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Thread: Helle with homemade handle

  1. #1
    Not a Mod finallyME's Avatar
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    Default Helle with homemade handle

    Finally I get to contribute to the knife section of the forum. I just pulled this off the belt sander. It is not done yet, but close. Still need to finish sanding the details, then coat the wood with something, and make a sheath. But, I was excited I got this far and wanted to show a pic.
    I bought the blade from ragweed forge. I would have bought it from Safezone, but they don't sell Helle blanks...hint, hint, hint. Anyways, this blade is perfect for what I wanted. I am of Norwegian decent, so wanted to get something from that area. I like the thickness, and the rough look. The metal front is brass. The wood is not known. I am friends with the local high school shop teacher. I asked him for scrap hard wood. He gave me a bunch of stuff out of the back of his truck. There are three different woods, one is doubled. The back is some dark african wood. Great wood for free though. The brass was scrap from work.
    Any recommendations on what to coat the wood with?

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    Good times.
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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Well done. Lots of ways to go with treating an unstabilized wooden handle. Tung oil gives a good finish. Mineral oil and then a rub with bees wax is good as well. A lot of people use Min Wax Wood Hardener, but I don't care for it as much as the oiled finishes.

    Not sure what the traditional method is for finishing Scandinavian knives, but it may be worth looking into.
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    Alaska, The Madness! 1stimestar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crashdive123 View Post

    Not sure what the traditional method is for finishing Scandinavian knives, but it may be worth looking into.
    Oh what a good idea.

    Nice knife. I'd love to have one about that size.
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    Senior Member Winter's Avatar
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    Linseed oil is traditional I believe.

    The stacked wood look is nice.
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    I rub some of my none stabilised woods down with boiled Linseed oil, some woods really stand alone iron wood and a lot of the exotic woods, I do a lot of Black Walnut and Osage Orange they will last forever left natural, Problem is how long does a finish last on a knife handle that will be used and around for years, I try and plan for a wood that will just stand alone and last for years on its own merit.
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    Senior Member Stiffy's Avatar
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    I recently finished a Knifekit project with walnut handles. I used tung oil, and was happy with that, but I also saw a lot of recommendations for the linseed. Just about everything I saw recommended multiple coats, with fine sanding between each coat.

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    Great blade and it looks like you are doing a very nice job on the handle. Keep us posted.
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    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Good looking knife and handle. Lin seed oil or Tung oil I like the Tung my self it's more water proof than linseed is. I'm doing a gun stock right now with Tung oil.
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    Senior Member Skinner's Avatar
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    Looks Really Good .What is the Wood you Used for the Handle and Where did you Pick up the Blade . Looks Good .I Use Tung/Boiled Linseed and Teak Oil . Still Looking for Some Danish Oil for Another Finish.
    I Love Useing Tung Oil On My Maple Wood (Fiddle Back ) Since It's Great to Watch the Grain Pop once you Add the Oil.
    And If your Wanting a Shinet Finish you Could Also do the Super glue Finish . Coat the Wood With SG Let Dry Lightly Sand with 400 grit Then Buff With Steel Wood And Polish With Buffing Wheel With White Compound.
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    Skinner, you might have missed it, but I said in my OP that I got the blade from Ragweed Forge. I have seen it on other online sites as well.

    That is a good idea, going with the traditional. However, I won't be making a traditional sheath, so I am not concerned too much with a traditional finish. I think I might try the tung oil, whatever that is. Thanks
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    Not a Mod finallyME's Avatar
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    I finally finished it. I used linseed oil on the handle. The sheath is tool leather, and coated with snoseal. I used a heat gun to melt in the snoseal. The stitching is imitation sinew. I put a little decorative weave in the back stitching.

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    Alaska, The Madness! 1stimestar's Avatar
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    Wow that oil really made the handle look rich.
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    Excellent! Came out great.
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    looks great, nice job.

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    How is the quality of these knife blanks? I looked around and the blanks run roughly the same price as a knife from any big box store. The one site listed the hardness and steel type which was nice. I like the idea of being able to make a blank more personal. Also, I have some friends who would like a slightly custom knife, which would make a great gift, especially since heat treating isn't a skill I posses and not equipped to learn yet.

    Also recommendations on suppliers would be wonderful
    Last edited by JPGreco; 03-02-2013 at 12:59 AM.

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    Not a Mod finallyME's Avatar
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    Here is were I bought mine.
    http://www.ragweedforge.com/BladeCatalog.html
    You will have to scroll down a little. It is the Norwegian Tollekniv blade, carbon steel version from Helle. I would say the steel is very high quality. Much better than any Mora I have bought, but I haven't bought every type yet.
    Remember, when you compare things, make sure and compare like things. For instance, the blade I bought is the same used in the Helle Viking, which is priced around $90. I bought the blank for $16, but it is listed now for $20.
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    Kyrat, thanks, both sites look great.

    FinallyME, I looked at that site too, some good stuff for sure as well as the sites Kyrat linked me to. What I meant by price is that I can go into any store and buy a random, no name, questionable knife for 20 bucks or I can buy a blank with the steel type and hardness from a reputable supplier for 20 bucks (not the exact same design, but similar in size and style). The USA site has several blanks for that a similar looking knife would easily be 2-3 times as much as the blank.

    Now the hard part, picking the blank. Style and steel type, so many choices...

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    Just wanted to say thanks again guys. I ended up ordering from Ragweed Forge as well and picked up 2 blanks. A laminated carbon steel (similar to the one you got) and a stainless steel (a mora copy I think), both about 4.5 inches. Figured why not get two to play with.

    Only thing I don't have is any brass stock, as I didn't care for the look of any of the available precast guards and I don't really want to drop 40 bucks on bar stock right at this moment, especially going into my first attempt.

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