Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Lao Blades (Parang?)

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by Okiegunner, May 17, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Okiegunner

    Okiegunner Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Messages:
    662
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    A little history on these blades...

    My wife's brother is married to a Laotian lady. Her father brought these blades to the U.S. in the early 1970s.

    They were forged and made by a local blacksmith near the village where he lived. Appears to me that they were probably made from leaf spring steel. They are fairly heavy blades and pretty darn sharp still, even in their current condition.

    Based on some old photos it appears that they once had roundish handles about a foot long, either made from bamboo or wood.

    I was thinking about doing a para-cord wrap on the handles and using them like a machete.

    Are these parangs? My sister in law does not know and her father is now deceased.

    Anyhow, I thought these were kind of cool. I have been soaking them overnight in Ballistol.

    Hso, JShirley or Sam...You guys probably have a lot more experience with something like this. Can you identify these blades?

    Thanks much
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Messages:
    33,536
    Location:
    Central PA
    Those are very cool, but that's way outside my area of expertise. John and HSO will know for sure, though! :)

    Certainly they seem that they'd work like, and fill the same role as, a parang, even if that shape denotes a slightly different form.
     
  3. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Messages:
    20,843
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Parangs can come in various forms. Like kukuris, they all have blade-forward balance.

    Spring steel is perhaps the very best steel available for large blades in primitive places. It's not bad steel even for those of us who have a variety of good steels available.

    John
     
  4. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2005
    Messages:
    5,228
    Location:
    Rural Kentucky, surrounded by Amish
  5. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Messages:
    33,536
    Location:
    Central PA
    Wow, those are pretty cool! I wonder what the story is with the large vertical grooves on two of those. They look like artifacts of a previous purpose, i.e.: reclaimed material. Kind of like making a blade out of a W2 file, but on elephant scale!
     
  6. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2005
    Messages:
    5,228
    Location:
    Rural Kentucky, surrounded by Amish
    I know! So many blades! So little time!

    :D




    I've been wondering that myself.
    They have an (image rich) Facebook page.

    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Aranyik-Trading-Company/165373413480945
     
  7. Okiegunner

    Okiegunner Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Messages:
    662
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Sam Cade...

    Wow!! Very cool. Thanks for the info and pictures. E-toh, I'll research that.

    Once again...thanks
     
  8. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    47,608
    Location:
    0 hrs east of TN
    Ethnic chopper from Luang Prabang area of Laos from what I can dig up.

    Posted in a motorcycle forum chronicling a ride through Laos.
    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 18, 2013
  9. Okiegunner

    Okiegunner Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Messages:
    662
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    HSO...

    Great pic!!

    Thanks
     
  10. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2005
    Messages:
    5,228
    Location:
    Rural Kentucky, surrounded by Amish
    Dig the brass on the handles on the left side of the pile.

    Those look are particularly handsome tools.
     
  11. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    47,608
    Location:
    0 hrs east of TN
    One of our briefly posting members is a writer for one of the knife magazines and I vaguely remember him either posting a pic here or in the magazine of something much like that and that's what allowed me to run it down on the net (that and the Laotian connection;)).

    I had thought golok, but goloks tend to be sharpened on the curved side and, as John pointed out, there are a lot of different parangs depending upon the application (as we can see from the displayed local products).
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2013
  12. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2005
    Messages:
    5,228
    Location:
    Rural Kentucky, surrounded by Amish
    Meanwhile, back at the ranch:

    I'm rehandling and refurbishing these two choppers for Okiegunner and I figured I might as well post the process for the edification and entertainment of us all.

    Firstly, man, these guys are UGLY. Zero thought was given to aesthetics, they are 100% pure tool, completely covered in grindmarks and hammer divots. Wait, did I say ugly? I meant beautiful.
    [​IMG]

    The blades are deceptively short, the longer is 10" the shorter 9.5" above the socket with roughly one inch less edge,a true full flat grind and a great deal of distal taper.
    [​IMG]

    Both knives appeared to have been used and then stored with some sort of vegetable matter adhering to the blade. The resulting corrosion has completely destroyed the edge.

    This is after a trip through the dishwasher (which blasted off some of the crud) and a quick descaling via paint scraper.
    [​IMG]

    Ah, what is this? A clue to the history of this tool!
    [​IMG]

    After a bit of scotchbrite:
    [​IMG]

    Looks like it might be Thai in origin after all.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Tambon_One_Product


    Handle rough fit but not driven into socket, ragged edge knocked off and ready for a swim in the de-rustification solution.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2013
  13. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Messages:
    20,843
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Thanks for the pics and info.

    John
     
  14. Okiegunner

    Okiegunner Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Messages:
    662
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Sam...

    Thanks much for the update and photos.
     
  15. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2005
    Messages:
    5,228
    Location:
    Rural Kentucky, surrounded by Amish
    It is a good day to work outside!


    I went ahead and hung chopper #1, the longer and more corroded of the two.

    Hmmm...socket handle on a swinging tool....ah well, works on billhooks.

    I gave it a convex secondary bevel and proceed to clear about hundred yards of heavily overgrown fence-line.

    Very interesting tool to use. The long handle gives a tremendous amount of leverage, it chops almost as well as an Ang Khola and doesn't want to bind, but still develops enough tip speed to be useful on greenery.

    It is exactly 28" tip to tail with the handle at the current length, long enough to keep your hands and arms out of the thorny grasp of Rubus argutus and the Smilax gang.

    OTOH the length of the handle was fantastically in the way when I made several wholly unnecessary fuzz sticks and the only reasonable way to carry the assembled tool is lashed to a packframe.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 24, 2013
  16. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2005
    Messages:
    5,228
    Location:
    Rural Kentucky, surrounded by Amish
    Okiegunner:

    Shiny or not shiny?









    #2 has a broad secondary bevel whereas #1 was full flat.
     

    Attached Files:

  17. Deltaboy

    Deltaboy Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Messages:
    6,262
    Location:
    Texas
    Good Lord that some great blades.
     
  18. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2005
    Messages:
    5,228
    Location:
    Rural Kentucky, surrounded by Amish
    This is #2*, chased the flats with a completely worn out belt then lightly massaged with 800 grit.

    Pickled it overnight to float off some of the corrosion inside the socket that a rotary brush wouldn't touch.

    Also,cleaned up the joint where it was left dangerously sharp.

    Reflection from the oil makes it look shiner than actuality in this pic.




    *on top in the OPs pics.
     

    Attached Files:

  19. Okiegunner

    Okiegunner Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Messages:
    662
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Sam,

    They are looking great!! I've been away from the internet for a few days and just now looked at your latest on these.

    Thanks much for your work!
     
  20. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2005
    Messages:
    5,228
    Location:
    Rural Kentucky, surrounded by Amish
    Massive shipment of paracord finally arrived so I can start on the wraps.

    The yellow hank is a short 100' length from Planet Paracord. Very attractive color.
     

    Attached Files:

  21. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2005
    Messages:
    5,228
    Location:
    Rural Kentucky, surrounded by Amish
    The socket on #2 is cranked a bit to the left with the edge facing down. Bit out of round too. It also had heat color in several spots and the weld on the socket seam was a bit rough.

    Must have been made on a Monday or the 'smith had a bit too much Singha at lunchtime.:D

    The finished product should look something like this:
     

    Attached Files:

  22. Okiegunner

    Okiegunner Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Messages:
    662
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Sam

    Those look great!! (and really sharp)
     
  23. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2005
    Messages:
    5,228
    Location:
    Rural Kentucky, surrounded by Amish
    Blades and handles are all taped up, wrap has been epoxy doped.

    Waiting for the epoxy to cure so I can lop off the paracord tails (bandsaw) then it is time for a shakedown session and final cosmetic touches.
     

    Attached Files:

  24. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    47,608
    Location:
    0 hrs east of TN
    Careful with that one with the cracks and discoloration. Face shield and welder's jacket when you torture test it.
     
  25. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2005
    Messages:
    5,228
    Location:
    Rural Kentucky, surrounded by Amish

    Ain't that the truth. I have nightmares about PING!!!!

    :eek:

    Seriously.

    You are 100% correct. I only plan on doing a bit of light chopping to make sure everything is going to hang together. Torture test might be a bit strong, but safety first.

    I think that #1 is a good solid tool.

    I'm a little afraid of #2, specifically the seam in the socket and its rough weld. Especially now that it is under stress from having the handle driven in.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page