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Ghurka Kukri info...

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by SwissArmyDad, Apr 6, 2014.

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  1. SwissArmyDad

    SwissArmyDad Member

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    So I've had a Kukri for a long time. I remember getting it in jr. high or so. So, about 20 years ago.

    I'll describe, and then post some pics when I can. I'm pretty sure it's an East indian Kukri, but I don't know much else.

    It has a black handle with two gold bands near the middle
    It has a lion pommel
    it has a floral design near the beginning of the handle/end of the blade (hilt?)
    It has the word "India" stippled on the blade. (the floral design is also stippled)

    The blade itself is rather thick at the un-sharpened edge (spine?), and the sides of the blade have two or three very smooth, shallow ridges running the length of the blade

    It has a leather scabbard with pressed designs in the leather.

    The blade itself has a very rough sharpened edge on it, and quite a bit of surface rust, because, tell you what, I've used the crap out of it for the last 20 years clearing brush, chopping small tree limbs, clearing saplings, etc. The blade itself actually has a pretty good fore to aft twist to it now.

    I know "tourist" models exist, but I also know that some of them were of fairly high quality.

    I'd appreciate any info y'all could give me on it.
     
  2. SwissArmyDad

    SwissArmyDad Member

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    Reason I'm asking, is that I really like having a sizable, useful and quite formidable fighting knife around. This one instills quite a bit of confidence, due to the fact that I'm very comfortable with how it handles.

    It's in need of a re-finish on the blade metal and cutting edge, though, so before I did that I kind of wanted to see if I should keep it, restore it, or if I should retire it and pay $100.00 or so for a good quality Nepalese replacement.
     
  3. SwissArmyDad

    SwissArmyDad Member

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    Handle with pommel detail
     

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  4. SwissArmyDad

    SwissArmyDad Member

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    Overall shot
     

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  5. SwissArmyDad

    SwissArmyDad Member

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    Blade detail.

    Hopefully you can see the stippling, and the "ridges" on the blade
     

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  6. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Take a look through these and see which comes closest to yours.http://himalayan-imports.com/

    It has given good service so you could clean the rust off and wax it to keep it free of the "red death" to pass on to the next generation.
     
  7. SwissArmyDad

    SwissArmyDad Member

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    10-4, thanks!
     
  8. Mp7

    Mp7 Member

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    i must say,

    it does look like one of those tourist items ....


    Handle looks exactly like the ones i see on fleamarkets regularly.
     
  9. SwissArmyDad

    SwissArmyDad Member

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    That's my thinking as well, having purchased it 20 years ago in, 1994 or so, I remember being told or understanding that it was already quite old when I bought it, but other than that, I'm not positive of it's origin or age. I didn't pay very much for it. Maybe $20-30.00?

    Could very well be a Indian tourist item from the 1950's-1970's, but then again, it could be fairly old, too? Love to get some more accurate info.


     
  10. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I'm going with souvenir item too.

    A real one would not have 'India' and the 'decorations stamped in the blade with a center punch!

    rc
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014
  11. DIY_guy

    DIY_guy Member

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    Hit it with naval jelly, 400 and 600 grit sandpaper and then cold blue it. Then sharpen the blade exposing the shiny silver edge through the bluing. It will look quite nice. Then wipe it down with strike force, G96, Eezox or some other water displacing rust inhibitor. Then display that sucker or fight with it (whichever you think is more likely)
     
  12. Mp7

    Mp7 Member

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    My best guess is between ´70 and 90`s.

    And even 20$ is too much.


    Better than a stick sure.
    But usually the balance is not comparable
    to real Kukris. Neither is the "steel".
     
  13. SwissArmyDad

    SwissArmyDad Member

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    I think I might just do this. I'll post up "after" pics if I do. :)
     
  14. gyvel

    gyvel Member

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    Don't cold blue it. Cold blue never comes out evenly and you will end up with something that looks like crap. Cold blue ends up being a very unattractive gray mottled finish, especially if you apply oil to it. Cold blue is just a stain, and has no durability.

    Tourist kukris are generally sold with polished blades, so, if you want to "restore" it, just repolish the blade.

    I bought one almost identical to yours when I was stationed in Thailand in 1969. I paid 30 baht for it. (Roughly $1.50.)
     
  15. DIY_guy

    DIY_guy Member

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    That is all a very untrue and incorrect statement. As a custom knife maker myself and one who does a lot of cold bluing of knife blades and firearms I cant stress enough how incorrect your statement is. I must ask how many knife blades you have cold blued to arrive at this opinion??
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2014
  16. MartinS

    MartinS Member

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  17. kieranklein

    kieranklein Member

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    Hand forged at $40? Dang they got some fast people or slave labor. I would like to know what their "high carbon" steel is. It didnt say or I missed it.
     
  18. Ron James

    Ron James Member

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    No, no slave labor, just 50 cents an hour for 12 hours a day , six days a week. PS: no medical benefits or retirement program.
     
  19. Shanghai McCoy

    Shanghai McCoy Member

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    MartinS,
    That picture that you linked to is exactly like the one I have. Mine has India stamped on one side of the blade and a symbol that looks kind of like a leaf or a turkey foot. Got it 15 or more years ago from a guy.
     
  20. DIY_guy

    DIY_guy Member

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    Please do post up the before and after pics of the bluing job.
     
  21. HoosierQ

    HoosierQ Member

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    That is a souvenir kukri. The difference between a souvenir and a real one will be rather hard to see. Souvenirs are more ornate frequently. More importantly the handles are not stuck on as well and there may be no heat treat at all.
     
  22. CWL

    CWL Member

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    The lion head on the pommel is attributed to the Assam Rifles, an Indian paramilitary unit (formerly British). There are many kukris modeled after their design, especially India manufacture. Just Google Assam Rifles kukri for plenty of models for sale.

    Yours is definitely a tourist model based-on how simple the fittings on the handle are made and attached. It looks like you or somebody else ground that edge long ago as even the cheapest kuks would have left the village smith's shop polished. This may be an attempt to sharpen an untempered edge since many tourist models were not made for actual use.
     
  23. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    KLO (kukuri-like object).

    Goes to show that even cheap steel can suffice if sufficiently thick and shaped right.

    Kukuris are made in Nepal, and truck springs (5160) are the preferred steel.
     
  24. SwissArmyDad

    SwissArmyDad Member

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    Yeah, I hear what people are saying about this one not being a "top-tier" Kukuri, as far as where it's made or what it's made of. Regardless, the fact remains that I've used the living crap out of this on two many acre'd properties without fail. I'm sure it was only intended for display, but it certainly passed my "tough test".

    That being said, I've researched a bit about currently available Kukuri manufacturers, and I'm probably going to pick up either a Blem nepalese, or a Windlass Metalworks one, as both of those are in my price range. It's going to be used as a tool, so I could really care less about aesthetics, as long as it can work as hard as I do. :)
     
  25. gyvel

    gyvel Member

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    As a general rule, I have not used cold blue on any knife, ever. I was a gunsmith for many years in Florida, and I have used cold blue on guns, and, as a rule, if you use it for anything other than touching up a small spot the results are generally poor.

    Cold blues generally consist of selenium dioxide, copper sulfate and some kind of weak acid to help microscopically etch the surface of the steel to allow the staining effect of the other chemicals.

    The actual staining of the metal has little or no durability. Also, if you use a penetrating type oil such as WD-40 on it, you end up with a very unattractive grayish mottled finish.

    If you have a technique or a particular product that results in even distribution of the cold blue as well as durability, I would love to hear it as it would be of great benefit to me.

    As a final note, my comment was specifically directed at the cold bluing of a kukri. I have only ever seen kukris with polished steel blades. My father "liberated" a very old kukri (probably 19th century) from a chateau in France during WWII whose owner apparently had served in Indo-China and had a goodly collection of Asian knives. It, too, originally had a polished blade.
     
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