My Khukris Needs Some Love

Discussion in 'Blades' started by 3M-TA3, Aug 13, 2017.

  1. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    I bought this khukris in the fall of 1980 about two weeks on the trail in Nepal. I knew enough Nepali to get along in conversation and ran across it's previous owner using it on a tree he had felled. We chit chatted a bit as he showed me how he used it, then I offered him a deal he couldn't refuse, though only a few USD. It was misplaced at my Dad's house some 30+ years ago and I ran across it yesterday going through his estate. To give you an idea of the size it is 12" from tip to the handle, and a bit over 16" from tip to the back of the handle. It's still razor sharp.

    These knives are amazing and if I could only choose one survival tool this is the one. The balance of these blades is incredible and the knife feels very light in your hand. In the mid 1980's we went to my sister's house in Washington State and took down over 20 big trees there in one day (a large family operation!). When it came time to start limbing I grabbed this instead of a chainsaw and I easily kept up with everybody else.

    The knife is not of the mass produced variety and likely made by a blacksmith in one of the larger villages. The metal shows evidence of having been folded and when you look at the very edge you can see grain of the steel as it follows the edge.

    As you can see the blade is still in very good shape though a bit discolored from being in the sheath for so long. I'd like to know what our resident knife smiths would suggest for cleaning it up and preserving the metal as well as possible.

    The second thing is the grip. The original grip was a very nicely carved piece of hardwood, but was sized for the smaller hands of the Nepali. The tang is a relatively small trapezoid that went up the center. It eventually came off (the fellow who sold it to me mentioned that you had to periodically reglue the handles) and I cut a thin piece of wood to fit and made the handle it has today. It's wrapped in a cushioned handlebar tape. I'm wondering if the tang could be enlarged into a full size tang so I could place a more conventional (and comfortable) grip on it.

  2. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    This is a job for @Bear. He is the master of knives and would know all that needs to be done. Hopefully Mr @Bear will see this message.
  3. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    I like it just the way it is!
    3M-TA3 likes this.
  4. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    A great tool....thanks for sharing!!
  5. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    I had a friend, who is a Master BladeSmith put a new handle on my Nepalese Kukuri a few years back.... There are pictures of it posted in the Knife Forum, somewhere...
  6. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    Was that Adam DesRosiers?

    Edit: Found it: My Alaskan Bush Knife | Survival Monkey Forums

    Beautiful work and just what the doctor ordered!
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
  7. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    One thing to add - if you have never held one they look like they would be ungainly - nothing could be further from the truth. These knives actually feel lighter when you grip them than they actually weigh. It is by far the most ergonomic knife I've handled.
  8. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Yep, It was Adam, and he just happens to be staying just down the beach, with his Aunt, this weekend...
    Tully Mars and sec_monkey like this.
  9. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    I have a Khukri somewhere in my house, and its blade, handle and sheath are in the same approximate condition as the example shown in the OP. I'd be interested in seeing info on refurbishing it. The sheath is made of wood, covered, presumably in goat hide leather. The sheath is probably past usable functionality, so will probably fabricate something to do the job. It will probably be one of those eventually to be done projects before I come down with dementia and forget about it completely....:(
  10. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    Even though my sheath is still in decent condition I think I'll make a new one to keep the original from getting damage - some of the stitching is close to worn out. Mebbie I'll look into what modern Gurkha soldiers use for inspiration:
    ^^ The edge grind on this one is all wrong - look at @BTPost knife and mine and you will see the difference. The profile of our working knives offers less resistance when chopping and slicing.

    Take a good look at the profile of the knives so far in this thread if you are thinking about one. Many of the modern blades I have seen for sale are what I would call a tourist knife. They may look good, and in fact a bit sexier due to a more pronounced (or less) bend or exaggerated curve, but are for looking at and not real tools. That classic profile used by people who use them for everything from war to chopping down trees to butchering a water buff or goat is highly evolved. Yes, you will see deviation, but stick as close to the classic profile as much as possible if you want a working blade.

    When I first saw them for sale in Kathmandu I knew I wanted one, but I wanted the working tool and not a pretty toy. Fortunately I ran across the fellow who was gracious enough to sell me his. I need to get my slides digitized because I think i have his picture and the tree he had chopped down and was working on. I also have a picture of a partially chopped down tree - there were literally thousands of cuts. These guys (Nepalis) are TOUGH and PERSISTENT. IMO the LAST thing you want to see coming your way with ill intent in battle are Gurkhas.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
  11. snake6264

    snake6264 Combat flip flop douchebag

    Wash it with some good hot soapy water and give it a good oiling
    you could always replace the handle if you wanted to but really a nice knife it will Kiiiiillll
    Dunerunner and Motomom34 like this.
  12. Bishop

    Bishop Monkey+++

    Make you up some burlap g10 for your handle it will make that blade pop out
    3M-TA3 likes this.
  13. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Bishop, unlike me, you're a man of few words. ;) I had to look up burlap g10 to find out what it was.

    I have embedded the following video clips, which might give others here who are blade scale terminology and technology challenged, an idea or three on how it works.

    Micarta - Wikipedia

    Sound quality not particularly good, but demonstrator doesn't speak much anyway....much of the video spent in demonstrating the mise en place aspects of the process.

    There may be other methods of doing this....but this clip will give some basic idea.
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
    Motomom34, Bishop and 3M-TA3 like this.
  14. Bishop

    Bishop Monkey+++

    The Bond is the way I make mine I like the tan burlap to me it just jumps out at you
    chelloveck, 3M-TA3 and Motomom34 like this.
  15. Bishop

    Bishop Monkey+++

    You can also take just string and two parts epoxy mix it up cover the just string with the epoxy and wrap the handle and let dry then sand to your liking
  16. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    This is really intriguing since I could mold the burlap G10 around the tang for a perfect fit that is also epoxied in place. These knives have a partial tang that tapers to fit the classic grip. I could also make some small modifications to the tang to provide a mechanical lock as well.
    Witch Doctor 01 and chelloveck like this.
  17. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    Consider using some pumice stone or jewelers rouge to clean up the blade....
    chelloveck likes this.
  18. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    NO! NO! That sort of character deserves preservation, not elimination. Even if a mantle showpiece, never to cut again, the history deserves preservation. This is NOT a civil war statue.
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  19. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    A Lille Acetone and MEK wiLl clean up the blade just fine...
    chelloveck likes this.
  20. JLRhiner

    JLRhiner Stranger in the Modern World

    Thought I'd add mine. From Kukhri House.

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