Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Sami, not a Scandi machete

Example of a Sami from Wikipedia
I stand corrected. A diligent observer has noted that "Long blades are not usually used in scandinavia as tools...
.. Lapplanders of course have the "leuku" but it is a different design from a scandi "puukko"."

That said I never knew if the Scandinavians had machete type instruments in the first place so I was hoping to try something that hadn't been done. As it stands I'll be trying something that's been done by the Sami people in Finland for I don't know how long (probably a while, I'm guessing).

So here's my chunk of file which is going to end up looking more or less like a really big Leuko, or Sami.

Thanks for the update, Pun.


The Suburban Bushwacker said...

I too have fancied one of these bad boys. Its worth noting that they are a tool which reflects the surroundings in which they were developed. Where the Sammi live the forests are mainly birch. So there isn't the need for heavy chopping tools. The blades are thin, typically 2mm, and the edge can be the fragile yet sharp flat grind. What's the wood like where you camp?

Obsidian Rabbit said...

Depends on the time of year mate. The wood's either sopping wet or bone dry. Gumtrees mostly.
The blade on this one is going to end up being pretty much the same as the existing stock (around 3.5~4.00mm) but I'll give it a flat grind so I can have it taper down nicely to the edge.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update, Pun.

You're most welcome.

My own leuku is a bit thicker than 2 mm, maybe 3 mm, 30 cm long overall the blade is about 4 cm wide.

It's a nice tool but I usually carry a small knife with it for delicate work. The only problem I have with it is that the the blade is sharp right to the bolster and because the handle tapers towards the blade your hand easily slides on the blade if the handle is wet and you grip it the wrong way.

Looking forward to see what you come up with.


Panday said...

That's a good piece of metal for making a knife. I look forward to seeing the finished product.

Perkunas said...


The most usual sami Leuku lengths nowadays are ffrom 7 to 8 inches,before they were about inch longer.And in folklore the 7 incher was womens leuku back in the days.The thickness should now go over 3 millimeters,this is what i had a bit of a task to find out from tha sami reindeer farming guys ive met in my trips.Handles seem to be about 12 centimeters (about five inches) total.I am making one sturdy lauku for our well known sami man now,so ive been chatting with him about those quite a bit.He wants old school long one,about 20 centimeters of blade and my twist to it,as he cursed modern factory made leukus,from breealing in the joints,is that i will make it full tang,but othervise in the old shape and it will have two different angles,the blade,the front i will make bit more dull,so it will chop better but it cant be too dull as it will be used for gutting and skinning too.The end closer to handle i will sharpen for whittling.

BlackRabbit said...

Unfortunately I haven't had any further progress on it yet but as soon as I've got my new workshop up and running (just moved house) I'll be getting on to it.
From memory, I think I cut the file down to around 35cm total so the blade should be at least 20cm when finished.