Custom Ulu Blade - Recommendations?

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by alaskanativeson, Jun 19, 2014.

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  1. alaskanativeson

    alaskanativeson Member

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    As I am finally back up in Alaska, and things are starting to go well again in my life (horrible experiences going to Wyoming for a couple of years, life fell apart - don't ask) I am trying to get things back to a semblance of normality and comfort. One of the things I miss is having a nice ulu in the kitchen. As a Native Athabascan, I like to do some things the old way when I can, and one that fits in well is using an ulu in the kitchen. In addition to being traditional, it's also very useful.

    Here's the problem: I gave my good ulu away to a family when we left Alaska. There are places I can get them up here, but most of them are "tourist" places, and I have no desire to buy a Chinese made ulu. Even the ones made locally are fairly small, and often are not made to be used, but to look pretty on a shelf.

    I want a good blade. I want it big. Basically this means either I need to make it myself or I need to have it made. Since I'm starting research for a PhD, I have no desire to get back into smithing at this time. Is there someone here who would be willing to do a custom ulu blade for me? If you can attach the handle, that's fine, if not I can have one of my students do that in the shop. However, I want the blade made by someone who understands proper materials and heat treatment. The steel has often been old saw blades, which I can find, but I'm also good with quality modern steel. It wouldn't have to be stainless, I actually like plain carbons for their edge holding and ease of sharpening, but if someone's sure an ulu could be well made out of something like S35V or VG-10, that'd be great. Honestly, I really like the idea of D2.

    I included a scan of a roughed out idea of what I'd like. It's big, the blade is about 8 inches worth of cutting edge, but moose and whales are pretty damned big critters. I know it's not going to be a terribly cheap undertaking, but I thought I'd seek out some thoughts of y'all. Any blade makers here willing to consider this? If not, suggestions about who might be interested?
     

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  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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  3. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    How should an real working ulu be ground?

    Just a primary edge on flat stock?
     
  4. chameleonbear

    chameleonbear Member

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    The best grind for an ulu I would think would be a convex edge. It would be strong enough to hold up to the chopping and skinning, but would be easy to touch up in the field. I think traditionally it's been a scandi grind. But I'm not 100% sure of that. I think the one I had was a scandi grind but I honestly do think I would prefer a convex edge.
     
  5. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Maynard Linder of Homer AK is a pretty well known ulu maker that is respected for making working ulus.
     
  6. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    Interesting.

    http://dancingmanknives.com/About_the_Knives___Ulus.html
     
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Sure wish Caribou would chime in on this thread.

    But I haven't seen him post anything for a couple of months now.

    rc
     
  8. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    I picked up a cheap stainless ulu SEVERAL years back and I use it nearly every day. If I ever do get into smithing, it will certainly be at the top of my to-do list. I bought it at a cheapo kitchen gadget store while looking for an ulu type pizza cutter. If you find a quality blade for a reasonable price please pass the source info along.
     
  9. snoonk

    snoonk Member

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    A quick solution would be to pick up one of Maynard Linder's Bristol Bay style ulus - the shape is similar and the quality of the steel and craftsmanship is high.

    I grew up in the eastern Interior, also make ulus, and occasionally take special orders shape-wise, but am almost into commercial fishing season now and won't be back to my bench until late fall now.
     
  10. caribou

    caribou Member

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    northwesternStars670_zpsf61edae9.jpg make yer own, I make them for the wife and daughters......or find Charles Criss of Noorvik on Facebook and get him to make you a real made by an Inuiaq, custom type Ulu.

    The edge is l/ not V, and the edge kept wicked sharp.

    [​IMG]
     
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