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Zebrawood Puuko-Style Knife

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Project by toddhelmkamp posted 12-29-2009 11:04 PM 3466 views 1 time favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the first hidden-tang, wood-handled knife I made. The blade is from Frosts of Sweden. I used nickel silver for the bolster, and zebrawood for the handle.

The handle was completely hand-carved by me from a block of zebrawood. Boy, did I have some blisters when I was done! I was surprised at the unpleasant smell that came from the wood as I carved it. I’ve never smelled anything quite like it.

I think that the butt of the handle could use more of a taper, although I liked the feel and look of the knife so much I decided to keep it for myself! The bead is made by me from elk antler.

I finished the handle with Birchwood-Casey Tru-Oil, although I have recently begun using an oil and wax from Dem-Bart that I really like.

As always, gentle, constructive criticism is happily accepted.

-- Todd Helmkamp, http://www.thornhillknifeworks.com





12 comments so far

View miles125's profile

miles125

2179 posts in 2753 days


#1 posted 12-30-2009 12:02 AM

Really beautiful knife in its understated simplicity. I like the look!

Ever consider doing most of that shaping at the business end of a horizontal sander and keeping those blisters at bay?

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View toddhelmkamp's profile

toddhelmkamp

50 posts in 1817 days


#2 posted 12-30-2009 12:07 AM

Thanks Miles! I appreciate it!

I do have a sander that I use for some things. But I wanted to try hand-carving if I could (and I used my new Dremel attachments to good effect on the filet knife I posted), and my wife will let me carve in the living room in the evening but won’t let me blow wood dust all over the place. :)

-- Todd Helmkamp, http://www.thornhillknifeworks.com

View toddhelmkamp's profile

toddhelmkamp

50 posts in 1817 days


#3 posted 12-30-2009 12:18 AM

Thanks, Prairie, I agree that the sander would drive my wife nuts. I’m glad that you haven’t had any issues with zebra wood. I really like it, but that smell was making me not want to use it.

-- Todd Helmkamp, http://www.thornhillknifeworks.com

View miles125's profile

miles125

2179 posts in 2753 days


#4 posted 12-30-2009 12:18 AM

I think every living room should have a horizontal sander in it. And all bathrooms a workbench for a vanity. :)

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View papadan's profile

papadan

1156 posts in 2115 days


#5 posted 12-30-2009 12:39 AM

Thanks for the laugh Todd, I wouldn’t attempt to cut Zebra without power, and yes it does stink don’t it. I like the knife, and didn’t know Frost sold blades, have you got a link for them?

-- Carpenter assembles with hands, Designer builds with brains, Artist creates with heart!

View toddhelmkamp's profile

toddhelmkamp

50 posts in 1817 days


#6 posted 12-30-2009 12:43 AM

Miles, that’s a very good point. :)

Dan, they have a new website: www.frosts-scandia.com. They don’t retail blades to the general public, but they do have a wholesale program. Just go to the site and fill out the contact form to ask about it. You have to purchase them in lots of 10, and there is a minimum order.

If you want just a few blades, I highly recommend Ragnar at www.ragweedforge.com. He has the best prices around, is great to deal with, and has a great selection. I also like www.thompsonsknives.com, although Brad doesn’t carry the Frosts. Good luck!

-- Todd Helmkamp, http://www.thornhillknifeworks.com

View papadan's profile

papadan

1156 posts in 2115 days


#7 posted 12-30-2009 05:17 AM

Thanks Todd.

-- Carpenter assembles with hands, Designer builds with brains, Artist creates with heart!

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112871 posts in 2324 days


#8 posted 12-30-2009 06:45 AM

good job.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View scrappy's profile

scrappy

3505 posts in 2177 days


#9 posted 12-30-2009 07:35 AM

Great job on the knife. Love the look of zebrawood but agree about the smell. You should smell it when sanding on the lathe. WEW!

Keep it up.

Scrappy

-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View toddhelmkamp's profile

toddhelmkamp

50 posts in 1817 days


#10 posted 12-30-2009 09:08 PM

Thanks for the encouragement guys!

-- Todd Helmkamp, http://www.thornhillknifeworks.com

View mafe's profile

mafe

9670 posts in 1836 days


#11 posted 01-08-2010 02:26 AM

Fine knife, if you need help with hidden tang ask, I have done some.
I’m from the viking land – Denmark…

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View toddhelmkamp's profile

toddhelmkamp

50 posts in 1817 days


#12 posted 01-08-2010 04:03 PM

Thanks Mafe! I will definitely hit you up! I have a problem getting the guard to lay flat against the handle. I don’t know if I’m doing something wrong, or what.

-- Todd Helmkamp, http://www.thornhillknifeworks.com

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