I offer knife blades, and other bits and pieces, separately for those who would like to build their own knives. These are the same high quality blades used in the knives from the various companies. They are sharpened and polished, ready to mount. Adding your own handle is a fairly simple project, and a good introduction to knife making. The result is uniquely your own, and something you can use with pride. Making a sheath is not that difficult either. The handcrafted look will enhance your historical outfit, or your regular outdoor gear.
I personally prefer carbon steel over stainless steel. In equal quality blades, I feel it is easier to sharpen and holds a better edge. (There is some difference of opinion on this.) There is no denying however, that the Scandinavian stainless steel works very well. They do a lot of salt water fishing and are rather fussy about their knives, so they've learned to make a stainless knife that works. In speaking with the folks at the various factories over there, they seemed to find my interest in carbon steel rather strange. Most of their upscale knives are done in their high quality stainless.
The metric measurements given are taken from the catalogs and are nominal. The English measurements are taken from sample pieces, and may vary somewhat depending on polish, etc.
These are the excellent laminated steel blades from Helle. They have an outer layer of tough steel for durability, and a hard inner core (HRC 58-59) for superior edges. Except for the #1-C carbon, Helle blades have the Helle logo etched on the blade.
The thickness may vary due to polishing.
I've since added the following blades.
These are traditional Norwegian Tollekniv blades. The Tollekniv was, and
is, the knife used for all things, but especially woodworking. The blades are a bit larger and stouter than is
usual, being 4 3/8" (11cm.) long and 7/8" (2.5cm) wide. It comes in laminated stainless or laminated
carbon steel. The stainless is .125" thick, and comes with a satin polish. The carbon is .148" thick, and
comes with the black of the heat treat left on the sides for a rustic look. It seems to have been made
directly from the hot rolled stock, and almost looks forged. The carbon blade is used on the current
version of the Viking.
#HB-1-s; the laminated stainless blade is $24.00
#HB-96; the laminated carbon steel blade is
$20.00 Out of Stock
For fishermen, I've added some Helle fillet blades.
Because fillet blades should be thin, these are not laminated. Because
they will be used around water, they are stainless.
The #HB-115 is the same blade used in the "Steinbit". It is just over 6", thin (just .087" at the base) and flexible, $18.00
The #HB-120, as used in the "Hellefisk". It is about 5" and a little stiffer in the Norwegian style (about .090" at the base), $20.00
#HB-70 is the blade from the Helle Lapplander leuku. It's a big blade, 8 1/2" long, over 1 1/2" wide and .102" thick. It's done in polished Sandvik 12C27 stainless for $35.00
#21000; The Brusletto 10 cm laminated carbon steel blades are about 4" long,
and 7/8" wide. The center layer is hardened to about 59 on the Rockwell scale. The semi polished blade has
a satin texture. It's about .117" thick, and has a bit more flair and upsweep than the usual tolleknive style, with
a strong curved clip. make would make an excellent hunting knife.
$17.00 Out of Stock
Karesuando is well into the Sami (Lapplander) portion of Sweden, and these blades resemble the Finnish style more than the usual Swedish style. Both carbon steel and stainless steel blades are hardened to 57 HRC. They do not have any markings. These blades are very nicely ground and have stouter than average tangs for hard usage.
Stainless steel blades:
High carbon laminated steel blades; These are the famous laminated Mora blades. There are three layers, the centers are hardened to 60 - 61 on the Rockwell scale, and the sides are soft. They will hold an edge like a straight razor, but are not brittle. In fact they bend fairly easily and should not be chosen for uses where this will be a problem. The blades vary a bit due to the polishing process, but are about .106" thick. The measurements given are taken from a sample blade and may vary a little. Most are marked with the new Mora logo, but some have the old Frosts stamping.
High carbon non-laminated blades; non laminated blades do not have soft sides, so they can be made thinner and still retain stiffness. Thinner blades slice better. These all have the classic Mora shape with a slight clip, and are hardened to 58 - 59 on the Rockwell scale. The spine of the blades is left rough from the stamping process. You may want to smooth it for appearance, or square up the corners for performance on a fire rod.
The high carbon Roselli blades are forged from Krupp W75 with a carbon content of .7 - .8%, and hardened to HRC 59 - 62. They are unique among the blades I carry in that they are forged rather than ground to shape. The blades are forged to shape in dies, then finished by hand. The upper sides of the blades still have the forge scale, and the bevels are ground cleanly to the edge with little or no secondary bevel. They are very sharp and ready to work. There are no blade markings.
Ultra High Carbon Roselli blades have a carbon content of 1.5 - 2.0%. They are hardened to HRC 64 - 66. As good as the high carbon blades are, these are said to hold an edge about twice as long. It is not practical to sharpen them on a stone, and they require a diamond plate or ceramic.
I've added just a few basic fittings. For the most part I think you are better off making your own from scratch, or simply not using them, as on many of the Helle knives. If used at all, they should fit exactly. There are so many styles of blades and handles that it would be difficult to carry pre-made guards for every combination. It's best to start with a guard having the slot just a bit small for the blade, then file it to a precise fit. Another option is poured pewter (see below).
Let me say this again, in another way; Matching the guards is quite easy. You want a guard plate with
a slot that is bit too small for the blade so you can file it to
an exact fit. You can file the slot larger, but you can't file it smaller.
Look at the thickness of the blade, and get a guard with a slot a bit narrower. The length isn't as critical, as long the slot isn't longer than the width of the blade.
The best answer is to just make the guard yourself. Then it will fit in all dimensions. There's video on how to do this linked from the bottom of the knife assembly page.
Brass guard plates from Karesuando; these are brass stampings, and may require
some flattening and polishing. They are about .122" thick. If you decide to use one these,
remember to file the guard to fit the tang, not the tang to fit the guard!
Due to polishing, some blades have tangs that are slightly narrower where the guard sits than
futher down. Here you will have file the tang slightly in order to fit the guard. If this is required
be sure to draw the file down the length of the tang, not across it. File the sides of the tang as little as
#3545; an oval plate 1.16" high and .795 wide. The slot is for the 2.5mm thick blade (.600" high and .095" wide). $4.00
#3546; an oval plate 1.16" high and .795 wide. The slot is for the 3.2mm thick blade (.59" high and .118" wide). $4.00
#3575-L; a plate with some left for a finger guard (.709" wide 1.37" high. The slot is .666" high and .121" wide). $5.00
#3575-S; as above with a smaller slot about .098" wide and .550" high. $5.00
Brass fittings from Frosts, for those who prefer the more traditional look
of brass fittings, here are some from Frosts. They are the same as used on Frosts knives
#277 and #311, and would go well with these blades sold above.
#9262; blade end ferrule from the #277, about .684" tall at the base, .508" wide and .633" deep. The slot is .475" long and .107" wide. $4.
#9263; pommel end ferrule from the #277, about .682" tall, .508" wide and .633" deep. The hole is .193" wide. $4.
#9264; blade end ferrule from the #311, about .860" tall, .424" wide and .503" deep. The slot is .702" long and .129" wide.
$4. Out of Stock
#9265; pommel end ferrule from the #311, about .860" tall, .424" wide and .538" deep. The hole is .228" wide. $4.
#9270; pommel nut from the #277, about .307" tall, .314" in diameter. The tapered hole is .155" at the base, and .161" at the top. $2.50
End nuts from Helle;
#h1; (left) a flush fit pommel nut as used on the Jjelkniv, OD's are .393" and .285", height is .280", ID is .148". $2.50
#h2; (right) as used on the Nying to provide for a keeper strap. OD's are .276" and .373", height .401", ID is .141". $2.50.
Leather pieces for sheaths; these are the same as supplied with the Karesuando kits. They are cowhide, about 9 1/2" long, 4 3/4" wide, and 1/16" thick. Imported from Sweden, they are dyed dark brown, and priced at $9.00.
I've added some oak-bark tanned tooling leather. Oak bark tanning is a
traditional, all vegetable process. The leather is soft and pliable
when wet, which makes it easy to work. It dries stiff and hard.
After it dries to shape, you should seal it to keep out moisture.
The wax process described on the sheath making page
works well. You can use regular waterproofing if you want it to be
less stiff. These pieces are less expensive only because I don't have to
I currently have two weights:
#OAK4-5; "4-5oz", which is about .07" to .08" thick, 5" wide and 9" long,
$8.50 Out of Stock
#OAK5-6; "5-6oz", which is about .08" to .09" thick, 5" wide and 9" long. $9.50.
If you are going to use a lot of leather, you can get it more cheaply at M. Steffan's Sons, Inc. (tel. 716 852-6771) This is probably the oldest leather goods store in the nation, founded in 1851. It's still under the same name and family. Now operated by the fifth generation, it's a great source for leather and leather working supplies. This is where I get the leather I sell for knife sheaths. If you are going to make more than a few sheaths, you would be better off getting large pieces from Linda. Then you can fit the patterns to the leather and reduce waste. A piece of leather that will make four of the rectangular pieces shown above will usually make five or six sheaths.
Plastic inserts for sheaths; Iíve had a number of requests for the plastic inserts
that many of the Scandinavian factories use in their sheaths. If I use an insert myself, I prefer to
carve it out of wood. That way I get just what I want, and it seems more in keeping with the
traditional nature of the Scandinavian design. However for those folks who prefer a ready made
insert, Iíve added the following styles. They are nicely made in two parts, with one half taking the
full thickness of the blade so the edge of the knife is not on the seam. The mouth is
slightly funneled for easy entry, and the outside of the insert is nicely rounded. There are four styles:
#3544; a straight insert for blades up to 3/4" wide (19 mm) and 4 1/16" (107 mm) long, $4
#3555; a straight insert for blades up to 1 1/8" wide (31 mm) and 5 3/4" (150 mm) long, $4
#3556; a curved insert for blades up to 3/4" (22 mm) wide and 4 3/8" (110 mm) long,
$4. Out of Stock
#3557; a curved insert for blades up to 5/8" (18.5 mm) wide and 3 5/8" (95 mm) long, $4
If the size of the curved insert is a better fit for your blade, and you prefer a straight insert, you can remove the curved portion.
Lead Free Pewter
Poured pewter was a common early method of bonding the blade to the handle. A lead-free alloy is preferable where the knife may be used in preparing or eating food. This is a bright, clean casting alloy of tin, antimony and copper (Sn 92%, Sb 7.75%, Cu 1/4%) in convenient bell shaped ingots of about 3/4 pound. These should give ample metal for several knives. The price per ingot is (out of stock).
I just got a new supply of nice looking blocks. They are not uniform sizes, and run from about 4 1/2"
in length to about 5". Let me know how long a piece you require.
First Quality, with good grain coverage;
$15. Out of Stock
Second Quality, with fair grain coverage,
$10 Out of Stock.
Third Quality, with little or no grain coverage, $5.
A neighbor found some old wagonwheel spokes in his barn. They appear to be White Oak. They have never been fitted to a wheel, and are at least 70 (100?) years old. As you would expect, they are well seasoned and have a particularly fine, straight grain that is difficult to obtain today. Sold in 5" lengths, they are ample in diameter for the most robust knife or sword grip. If you are making a large sword, let me know and I'll send a piece from the larger end. If you need a piece longer than 5", I can do that as well. While they last, $5.
Shipping and handling is $6 per order (not per item) anywhere in the US. Standard shipping is by Priority Mail, so please give me your mailing address, not your UPS address. The $6 doesn't actually cover the cost in many cases, but it's easy to calculate, and is my way of saying "thank you".
Orders in New York State require sales tax. If you don't know the sales tax in your county, I can calculate it for you, but you should expect it to be added. This applies only to orders shipped to addresses within New York State.
I'm sorry, U.S. orders only please.
Most folks use a credit card and the encrypted secure order form. If you prefer, you can FAX your order to 716-731-3715. I'll need the type of card (Discover, Visa, or Master Charge), card number and expiration date. Of course I'll also need to know what you are buying, and where to send it. Please include your e-mail address.
If you don't have a FAX, you can call 716-731-3715. If your timing is good, you can just speak to me and give me the order. If I'm not in the office it will default to the FAX machine. No collect calls.
If instant gratification is unavailable, you can always send a Postal Money Order or check to:
PO Box 326
Sanborn, NY 14132
The Postal Snail may be slow, but he's faithful and discreet. Checks may be held for clearance, so if you're in a hurry, use a money order.
Everything on the page should be on hand and ready to ship. However some items may be short supply, so if you are ordering by mail, you might want to e-mail first so that I can hold your item (firstname.lastname@example.org).