Tuesday, October 23, 2007
This military model is Scandinavian knife making at its best! Handle: Waxed Arctic Birch, length 4 5/8" with steel top and fitting Blade: Black side 0.8% carbon steel, length 3 5/8", width 1 1/16", hardness 60 on Rockwell Sheath: Finnish National Arms Crest decorated black leather. Has a belt loop that holds belts up to 1 1/2 wide.
Lapin Puukko was founded near Arctic Circle in 1974 as a "one man company" by Esa Silvola. Today Lapin Puukko employs four puukko makers and all the knives and sheaths are still handmade with the utmost excellence and craftsmanship.
Due to the lightly waxed finish and the nature of the Arctic Birch wood these knife handles have a warm, comfortable and firm feel. Each individual knife has a molded, hand fit leather sheath, precisely made for the exact knife.
Lapin Puukko makes truly quality working knives... no matter what model, they are all made with the same high quality standards. What makes Lapin Puukko unique, is that they never over advertise they products... I think Lapin Puukko is way too modest what they are mking! This small family company makes high quality puukko knives without making any noise about it... and they should! These knives are meant to last and have lifetime warranty for the workmanship.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Harri Merimaa has created a spectacular puukko knife for all women. This ladies model has unique shape on the handle... and feels absolutely great in your hand! The knife really becomes a part of your hand and working with it is easy and comfortable.
Merimaa is not just a knife maker, he's also well known of his premium quality handmade leather sheaths. Each sheath is specifically made for each individual knife and the ladies knife model has truly elegant, timeless design on it.
Even though Merimaa created this knife for women, this would be a great knife for any man also. The handle is big enough for man’s hand and the blade is perfect for everyday use in or outdoors! I really love this puukko knife!!
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Visiting Harri Merimaa, the owner of Woodsknife, I truly realized how exceptional sheath maker he is! I have always thought his sheaths are great, but actually seeing how much work he puts on each sheath, struck me with awe!
Monday, September 17, 2007
I had a short trip to Finland early September and was lucky enough to meet Harri at work...
It looks so easy when you know what your're doing!!
Friday, August 24, 2007
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
I had planed to go and visit different knifemakers in Finland at the same time, but it didn't happened since my schedule was so tight... have to do it at the end of August... This time of the year all the flights are totally overbooked and delayed because of the weather... just a nightmare!
Only if you have been growing up above 62 N lattitude you can understand how bad you need the light summer nights! I cannot describe how magical that is! The birds are up all night, singing and feeding their babies... it almost sounds like in the rain forest! The night never comes though and the air is like "bird's milk". Can you tell I have been home sick?!
I will be posting stuff a little bit more often now when I don't have house guest anymore and I'm back home... hopefully I will also have some new line of puukko knives to introduce pretty soon.
Happy 4th of July to everyone!
Saturday, June 02, 2007
It is the time of the year again when City of Kauhava will host the world's only Puukko Festival! This International Knife Festival truly honors the city's long traditions of puukko making! Kauhava will fill out with all sorts of "puukko nuts" on June 16 - 17. Every Finnish knife maker will try to be there to show their work. You can also see puukko making shows or participate in puukko throwing competition, enjoy folk music and other entertainment... all in all it is a good, fun event for whole family in beautiful Finnish summer!
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Puukkojunkkari, actually a name for 19th century thugs in South Ostrobothnia, is a family business in Finland's "puukko making capitol", Kauhava. The owner, Mika Heikkilä, takes a great pride of their name and honor Ostrobothnia's long history of knife making.
The Finnish sheath-knife and its use were traditionally associated with the customs of communities. It became almost a national symbol during the Second World War, when the knife industry flourished. The Härmä (South Ostrobothnian) puukko knife is an important element of local history. The Härmä knife was associated with the history of the "häjyt" or "puukkojunkkarit" (troublemakers) of Härmä, knife fights and the heyday of knife-bearing thugs around the middle of the 19th century.
During its history, the Härmä knife has evolved from a utility knife to a gift item and collectible. Its reputation has partly been maintained by the symbolic values attached to it. The Härmä knife was once regarded as the weapon of the häjyt, but also as a symbol of the home region and the spirit of South Ostrobothnia. Today It is the hunting and carving knife of choice for many Finns in this historic area. South Ostrobothnians are still known of their self-motivation, pride and self-determination along with their craftsmanship and Mika Heikkilä doesn't make an exception of that!
The top picture has Mika Heikkilä's Wolf Leuku. Leuku is a Finnish word for a knife used mostly by Lapland (Northern Finland) people, Sámi. It is a very versatile knife, developed from the needs of the reindeer herder-lifestyle of the Sámi people. They are all-purpose knives rather than woodworking knives. The handles are typical of those used in the far North. They provide a solid grip for the draw strokes that are favored where the hands are often gloved, or stiff with cold. The wide flat pommel allows the use of the second hand to apply force to the point. The sheaths take almost the entire handle, which is a reflection of how serious a lost leuku can be in the wilderness.
The bottom picture is Heikkilä's unique style Carving Knife. With this puukko knife one can work very close to the bottom of the blade which gives more force to work even with harder woods.
Monday, April 09, 2007
The options are either high-quality black-on-sides carbon steel or polished carbon steel, or easy-care polished stainless steel. The advantage of carbon steel is its good retention of sharpness and ease of sharpening. A stainless blade is easy to maintain and it is dishwasher-proof.
The wooden handle of Lapin Puukko knives are made from Lapland birch wood. The Lapland birch wood has a beautiful grain pattern and it is extremely durable. Lapin Puukko sheath keeps moisture and dirt away from the blade. All sheaths are handcrafted. Leuku knives include the option of a furred sheath.
Due to the lightly oiled finish and the nature of the Arctic Birch these knife handles have a warm, comfortable and firm feel. Each individual knife has a molded, hand fit leather sheath, precisely made for the exact knife.
These knives are razor sharp, have long edge retention and are easy to sharpen. They are comfortable, light weight and durable. The Puukko is an excellent tool that will last for decades. They can be rugged working knives or exquisitely fine-looking collector items, even both at the same time!
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Little update on Oct 4, 07. Gipsy is fine and active as ever. Her favorite thing is to chase snakes at the back yard... She's smart enough to let me know if we had a bull snake out there and I will "rake" them in a trash can and we'll go and let them back out at the conservation area at night. Garter snakes she carries around and sometimes we have to kill one because she gets little too rough and fatally hurts them... I never kill a snake if I can avoid it!
Friday, March 30, 2007
In 1920’s and 30’s there were over 100 individual puukko knife makers in Kauhava area. Antti Liuha was one of the most respected puukko makers.
This Antti Liuha’s knife was made after 1920, most likely towards the end if the decade. So called “blood groove” on the blade first appears at the beginning of the century, but became more popular in 20’s and 30’s. The writing on the blade is actually made by Elli Lindholm. She "wrote blades" and did etching for several Kauhava knife makers for over 50 years and died at the end of the last millennium at the age of 100! The sheath is made by Rämäkkö family. They made most of the sheaths at Kauhava that time.
This is one beautiful piece of Finnish puukko making history!
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Scandinavians have developed perfect bushcraft knives for thousands of years. Few environments evoke the image of pristine nature and adventure quite like the frozen radiance of the Arctic north! In this harsh environment a good knife is a necessity you cannot afford to overlook. Without a good bushcraft knife you might not survive in tundra. Most people in the Arctic carry two knives that are called bushcraft combo. They carry big leuku knife (stuorra niiba) to use as an axe for cutting trees for fire and the puukko knife (unna niiba) as their utility knife. This type of bushcraft knife combo design has long traditions in Finland and all around Scandinavia.
I would recommend taking a part of a trip with one of the professional adventure travel companies. They will immerse you into the culture and bushcraft skills of the Nordic peoples of the northern forests. You can learn the skills necessary to become comfortable in this gorgeous environment, mastering age old skills that have enabled nomadic hunters such as the Sámi people to call this home. You can be taught the details of dog sledding and reindeer husbandry and have the opportunity to put these skills to practice in the breath taking mountains of Lapland. Driving your own dog team or a reindeer up through immaculate spruce and birch forest you will emerge above the tree line to the magnificent vistas of this incredibly striking mountain range before returning to the base for a well earned sauna and celebration meal…
Friday, March 23, 2007
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
Matti Koski, the owner of Kauhavan Puukkopaja, makes all his knives by himself. His style follows closely traditional Kauhava and Lapland style puukko knives.
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Harri Merimaa, father of four, is one of the premier knife makers from Ostrobothnia providence, Western Finland. He has very unique style and he is a third generation knife maker, whose family is renowned for their commitment to inimitable Finnish quality and superior Ostrobothnian Puukko design. There is a passion for excellence and quality that is obvious when you hold one of these high caliber Finnish hunting knives.
Harri's brand name is "Woods Knife" and he makes all his knives himself. During the years he has developed his own exclusive style and his sheaths have their own distinctive look also. As a creative person Harri frequently looks for new and better ways to improve the style of his knives to better assist the needs of his rapidly growing customers.
At the moment Harri is working on developing bigger “bushcraft leuku combo”, like the one in the picture. The new combo will have darker handle with a bigger “chunk” of reindeer antler and it will widen towards the end of the handle. The smaller knife is going to be longer also and the sheath will have hard liner for both knives, since the lighter sheath will not work with this serious camping combo! I can’t wait to see this knife! :-)
I will be posting a picture of it as soon as I get my hands on it!
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Thursday, February 15, 2007
It is located in the province of Western Finland and is part of the Southern Ostrobothnia region, 280 miles NW of Helsinki and on the main railway from Helsinki to Oulu. The municipality has a population of 8,080 (2003) and covers an area of 486.13 km² of which 2.32 km² is water. The population density is 16.6 inhabitants per km².
Knife making is a traditional industry in Kauhava, and many Finns recognize the name of this small town because of knives made there. At one time, as many as five different knife-making enterprises were underway in the town... today there is only one knife manufacturer- Iisakki Järvenpää OY, which has been making knives in Kauhava since 1879, but several individual custom knife makers like Antti Rannanjärvi, Harri Merimaa, Matti Koski, Mika Heikkilä and the last but not the least Altti Kankaanpää.
Puukko (one of the styles of Finnish knife) made in Kauhava are sometimes referred to as being in the Ostrobothnian style.
Each June sees the Kauhava International Knife Festival, lasting a couple of (very sunny) days and including knife exhibitions, knife making and knife throwing.
As with many Finnish localities, there are museums in Kauhava (Kauhava-Seura). One in the center of town features both the knife making tradition as well as the local textiles, which are striking. An out-of-place fishing lure is one interesting feature of this museum. Another museum on the outskirts of Kauhava features the 19th century home and farm of Iisakin Jussi. It provides an accurate view of late 19th century life in Western Finland. The Iisakin Jussi House in not open during the winter months.
The surrounding country is flat and well suited to agriculture, alternating between fields and forests. The town probably takes its name from the small river which passes through it.
Kauhava is also the home of the Finnish Air Force Academy.
Saturday, February 10, 2007
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Leuku is a Finnish word for a Sámi knife. This very versatile knife was developed from the needs of the reindeer herder-lifestyle. They are all-purpose knives rather than woodworking knives. The handles are typical of those used in the far North. They provide a solid grip for the draw strokes that are favored where the hands are often gloved, or stiff with cold. The wide flat pommel allows the use of the second hand to apply force to the point. The sheaths take almost the entire handle, which is a reflection of how serious a lost leuku can be in the wilderness.
Monday, February 05, 2007
The roots are still strongly in the Finnish forest nature where it all began by selling hunting and fishing permits as well as renting wilderness cabins. Nowadays Wild North operates around Finland and its new footings are in Estonia, Sweden and Russia. The base for development is clean forest nature together with possibilities taking an interest in nature and wilderness at the best spots in Finland. An effective and capable co – operation network guarantees the best achievement as a result.
Finnish wilderness – and nature enthusiasts have been already for years, traditional Wild North customers to whom we are offering and developing even more possibilities for fishing, hunting and other nature attractions. The frame of our destinations is formed from Wild North own recreational fishing - and hunting areas, selling fishing – and hunting licenses to Metsähallitus other state lands and waters as well as by organising fishing – and hunting tours to Estonia, Russia and Sweden.
During the past years the Wild North has charged fulfilling the domestic and international group – and tour operator’s wishes offering them experiences surrounded by original Finnish nature, yet close by to the services needed. Wild North arranges, all at once, additional services with guiding, meals and different activities – whatever Your wishes are! The services are produced with local suppliers selected carefully to the co – operation network."
Click the head line to get Wild Norths web page.
Kuksa is light to carry with you and you can use it for any type of beverages hot or cold. The burl is soaked in salt water before the kuksa is carved, so it has a little salty taste the first time you use it. After that it will never hold any taste! You can use it for tea or coffee, juice or even for a shot of whiskey. All you need to do is rinse it with water after each use. Never put it in a dish washer or soak it in soap water!
Saturday, February 03, 2007
Since 2003 it has been prohibited to make, import or carry in public throwing knives and stars, stilettos, tasers or stun guns, unless you have a special permit. In many cases that hasn't changed people's way of using puukko too much... together with everyman's rights you can still carry your puukko where ever you need it... since it has always been a tool and you don't camp, hunt or fish in a city anyway! :-)
Even today if you're driving outside the cities in Finland and go to a local gas station... forgot your puukko on your belt and happen to meet a local police officer, most likely he/she will ask if you had any luck with fishing or hunting :-) In the cities the law is taken seriously though and you will not only get a ticket carrying a puukko, you might also lose it!
Funny thing is that I know lots of people carrying a pocket knife with them all the time, since it doesn't show... even though it's as illegal as any other knife...
Thursday, February 01, 2007
It's a funny thing, but I have to admit that sometimes I think the saying "everything is big in America" is true :-) Most people seem to love their Bowies and the bigger the better... although I have met quite a few Americans lately, who prefer shorter blade knives. Even those people still prefer tipping point in their blade.
Has anyone idea why Americans tend to like big Bowies?
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Samis are "people without country" living in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Kola Peninsula in Russia. Traditionally they have been living of reindeer hearding, but today tourism is a big part of not just Samis life, but all citizens living beyond the Arctic circle. Sami people have strong cultural history and they are famous of their stunishing handicrafts... using reindeer leather, hide, antler... and of course, they are known of their "stuorra nibas", leuku knives...
Monday, January 29, 2007
Finland's forests, lakes and rivers present incomparable surroundings in which to relax and enjoy the fresh air and unspoiled natural environment. Thanks to the concept of ‘Everyman's Rights’, there is far greater freedom to roam freely in Finland than in most other countries. This freedom, however, implies a responsibility on behalf of the visitor; not least the responsibility to remember that nature is very fragile and takes a long time to recover from misuse.
Everyman’s Rights are a concept that has evolved over the centuries, an unwritten code of practice born out of the customs and experience of a sparse population living in a vast, densely forested country. Basically it entitles Finns to go where they please in the countryside - on land or on water - as long as they don't intrude on people's privacy, cause nuisance or damage, or leave litter... and believe it or not, IT WORKS!
Everyman's right in brief
- walk, ski or cycle freely in the countryside, except in gardens, in the immediate vicinity of people’s homes, and in fields and plantations which could easily be damaged
- stay or set up camp temporarily in the countryside, a reasonable distance from homes (for camp fire you have to have land owner’s permission!)
- pick wild berries, mushrooms and flowers, as long as they are not protected species
- fish with a rod and line
- row, sail or use a motorboat on waterways, with certain restrictions; swim or wash in inland waters and the sea
- walk, ski and fish on frozen lakes, rivers and the sea
What you think, folks, could Americans handle this, or would we abuse it?
Even though I live in the US, I grew up and lived in Finland for over 30 years. In other words, I was pretty "grown up" when I moved to Colorado!
Growing up in rural area in the heart of Finland was very different than it would have been in the US. First of all, it was very safe environment! We spent most of our days out in the woods and only things my sister and I had to worry were not to wonder too far (Our Karelian Beardog, Musti, took care of that.) and avoid the vipers in summer time! Very early on, my grandpa gave me a puukko knife to use for wood whittling. I think I was 4-5 years old. I still remember him sitting beside me on our porch watching over me while I got into whittling my first bark boat. He only gave me couple of advice with a soft voice and let me try my best. I don’t remember how the boat came out, but I do remember how big and important I felt myself… I was trusted to use a puukko! About a year later my grandpa gave me my first puukko to keep… and I have always have one ever since!
I think this is a great way to start my Finnish Puukko blog! Click the head line to visit The National Museum of Finland where they currently have Puukko Exhibition... Some 500 puukkos and sheaths are on display!
I will be posting other topics of Scandinavian knives, but also other outdoors related subjects… Please feel free to comment!