Westernizing a Parang


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Sam Cade
June 29, 2013, 09:58 PM
Fellow knife dorks, Behold the mighty Parang.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=185800&stc=1&d=1372556457


...an actual Parang made in Bidor, a quaint township in Malaysia well known locally for the production of fine blades and agricultural implements.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=185801&stc=1&d=1372556571

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bidor

Most Parangs are in the 10-14" range, this one is much larger at 20" OAL. I have a plan. :cool:

The grip is of the common southeast Asian "handshake" style and made of some gooey soft purple PVC and ribbed. <assumption deleted>. :evil: I feel dirty just looking at this thing.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=185802&stc=1&d=1372556768

As far as I can tell, the tang is heated and just unceremoniously jammed into the solid grip and a single soft aluminum pin is driven into place to secure it. Since the traditional method of handling a Parang is to drive the tapered end of the tang into a bit of root (seriously) this is a premium feature to your average Maylay blade-swinger.

The grip itself is quite small by western standards.
I'm a little guy and wear a size medium glove and it is to short for me to get a full hammer grip on.

You dudes what got fingers like a buncha bananas would be SOL.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=185803&stc=1&d=1372557254

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JShirley
June 29, 2013, 10:10 PM
Good start...except for any parts that may have been edited out... :rolleyes: :)

Unfortunately, on my monitor the handle looks more blue-black, but I'm sure it's more awful in person.

Sam Cade
June 29, 2013, 10:14 PM
The blade itself is Spectacular.
..and delivered razor sharp.

Listed as 5160, at the thickest point tang it is just over 5/16ths of an inch thick and has a strong distal taper with the tip being just over 1/8" with the extended "gooseneck" being roughly 1/4" thick and perfectly rectangular in profile as it is intended as a secondary grip when choking up on the knife.


http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=185804&stc=1&d=1372557817

First order of business is to knock off that terrible grip.

Surprisingly, even after knocking out the pin, I couldn't hammer it off and had to resort to the saw.

Hunh. I guess that works pretty well.

Naked tang, cleaned up a bit.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=185805&stc=1&d=1372558069


Did the usual hillbilly faux-carta thing using 3M resin and Desert Storm vintage night camo.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=185806&stc=1&d=1372558288


Holy smokes, this stuff is TOUGH! Fabric selection makes a difference.

Sam Cade
June 29, 2013, 10:18 PM
Good start...except for any parts that may have been edited out.
.

I had to try. :evil:




Unfortunately, on my monitor the handle looks more blue-black, but I'm sure it's more awful in person.

I don't think that my camera will allow itself to capture this particular shade of Purple.

It would embarrass Prince himself.

19-3Ben
June 29, 2013, 10:19 PM
Can't wait to see how this turns out!

Sam Cade
June 29, 2013, 10:26 PM
I extended the grip far up the goose neck in the interests of basic ergonomics and gave it a strong hourglass shape with a large hook pommel to allow a good approximation of the original handshake grip.


http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=185808&stc=1&d=1372558996

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=185809&stc=1&d=1372558996


I haven't had opportunity to give it a full days workout, but this far, I'm pretty impressed with it.

Performance on woody vegetation is better than than the average latin type machete of equal OAL and performance on grasses is quite good since the relative narrowness of the blade keeps weight down and allows for good tip speed despite the thickness.

JShirley
June 30, 2013, 05:56 AM
That grip is gorgeous.

Sam Cade
June 30, 2013, 03:37 PM
That grip is gorgeous.

Thanks!

:D

I am mighty pleased at how it came out and it was fun to work on.


So, these Bidor parangs are cheap.

Like, CHEAP cheap.

They hover around 30 Ringgit, so $10 per.

Downside is, shipping for an individual blade is around $30. :cuss:

Machete Specialists has some of these in stock put their prices are pretty steep.

Certaindeaf
June 30, 2013, 04:56 PM
The blade looks markedly shorter. Did you "westernize" it in that way?

Sam Cade
June 30, 2013, 05:03 PM
The blade looks markedly shorter. Did you "westernize" it in that way?

I extended the grip farther up the "gooseneck" ricasso.

If you look at the first pic, the new grip stops just past the stamping.

Walkalong
June 30, 2013, 09:57 PM
That grip is gorgeous.Yes, very nice looking and looks a great deal more usable.

Sam Cade
June 30, 2013, 10:28 PM
It is an interesting tool to use that is for sure.


The strong distal taper does wonders for how it handles. My wife describes it as "lively" and I don't disagree.

POB is about 1.5" above the grip, so when held in the rearmost position it has quite a bit of blade presence but when you choke up to the forward position you have a great deal of control.


The grip itself is 8", OAL for the knife is 21.5".

Deltaboy
June 30, 2013, 11:24 PM
Another fine job Sam.

hso
July 1, 2013, 11:03 AM
Since you've changed the "pistol grip" to a straight grip how do you think it has changed how it swings?

Certaindeaf
July 1, 2013, 11:32 AM
It's Western.. we have better medical plans here.

Sam Cade
July 1, 2013, 01:34 PM
Since you've changed the "pistol grip" to a straight grip how do you think it has changed how it swings?

Well, I like having the option of the handshake grip on midweight choppers so I try to make the swell+hook on the edge side of the grip large enough to work in that manner.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=185854&stc=1&d=1372699397

The biggest change in handling came from the drastic way that the weight was redistributed.

Lining up the pin holes:
http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=185855&stc=1&d=1372699397

I lost length and added weight.

Post-wrap it is much less blade heavy and more knife-like.

Losing the length (and attendant leverage) undoubtedly had a negative effect on raw chopping ability but I'd say there was a huge net gain in overall utility.

Certaindeaf
July 1, 2013, 01:37 PM
I kinda like swinging one a those beasties how they were originally designed.

JShirley
July 1, 2013, 02:33 PM
Really, that handle is incredible.

Did all the black ink come off in the process? That's all essentially just dark green?

Great pics, thanks. :)

Sam Cade
July 1, 2013, 03:11 PM
Did all the black ink come off in the process?


Essentially yes. Since it is just printed on the moment I touch it with the belt it vanishes.

There is a spot on the pommel where the grind stopped between layers and you can see a bit of the pattern.

Since today was a tractor day and it is raining so hard I can't even get to my shop::banghead:

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=185857&stc=1&d=1372705110





Could have use another couple layers there. Pommels are tricky to keep adequate pressure on so they have to be massively overwrapped so that the slightly dowdy outer layers can be cut away.



That's all essentially just dark green?


Sort of a grey green since the edges of the fabric are lighter colored once cut through.

Deltaboy
July 6, 2013, 08:25 PM
Keep up the good work.

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