Handmade Norwegian Knife & a Lunch w/ Sigmund

This hand whip is Herk’s traditional Norwegian blade that he made in Northern Minnesota at the North House Folk School in Grand Marais. There you can learn to make a knife, build a canoe and hide a body among many other skills and crafts. He rode his bike up and slept next to the transmission under a tent that was tied to his brake reservoir… on the shore of the Superior Lake. Camping at night and working during the day.

Herk selected the Damascus steel blade, which was forged by a Norwegian master, to the style Bunad Tollekniv. The initials MH are the blacksmith’s mark. Herk fab’d the remaining parts of the whole with traditional methods that exclude power tools and large mechanical systems, like a lathe or bandsaw for example.

The Norwegian birch for the handle was shaved to its current state and silversmithing techniques were used to fabricate the hilt, ferrules and threaded cap. Because each component was built separately it can all be disassembled for any required maintenance and to clean the blood off, as needed.

The knife fits in the hand-stitched sheath like a piston would a cylinder, making a perfect pair. The unworked leather was soaked and wrapped around the finished tollekniv. There it dried for several hours, after he saddle stitched the seam on the reverse side and pauted the obverse creating ornamental telemark-style scrolls and acanthus leaves. My sorry ass didn’t do a great job at capturing a photo of it since I was so preoccupied jabbing everything at the Blue Door Pub with the knife.

Overall, it’s a beautiful display of craftsmanship and fabrication with great functionality. We have done everything from opening bottles to carving our names places to cutting ourselves accidentally with it and the journey is just beginning.

We did this all over lunch, which was very productive. After burgers and a quick convo on Freud’s accurate prediction of our ritualistic behaviors we went antiquing .

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