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Hollow Iron

A few years ago, while working in Norway, I found an old book about the Saami in a second hand book shop.

The text was in Swedish I think (I’m not good with languages.) but there were lots of fascinating illustrations so I bought the book and learned what I could from the pictures.

Recently I worked out that it was called “People of Eight Seasons” by Ernst Manker and I managed to find a copy in English.

Hollow Iron, illustration by Siw Englund
Using the Hollow Iron, illustration by  Åke Gustavsson

A couple of the illustrations that caught my eye were of a tool called a “Holkjärn” in Swedish and translated as “Hollow Iron” in my English copy.

It seemed like a great tool for the deep bowl carving required to make a kuksa or ladle.

So I asked Dave Budd, a talented blacksmith and blade maker I know, if he could make something like the blade and I hafted it with a suitably shaped piece of antler to see how it would work.

Hollow Iron

While I am the first to admit that woodworking skills are not one of my strong points, I was very impressed with this tool and what it could do even in my unskilled hands.

When I actually get the hang of it and produce something worth showing I’ll be sure to let you know.

 

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Bushcraft and wilderness skills should always be practised with respect for the environment and other users of the outdoors. Leave No Trace.

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