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custom Khukuri


R.W. Deavers
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Started another project today. I had someone ask me about a Gurkha Khukuri with a blade of 9". I did a rendering for him and he okay-ed the job. Starting with a piece of leaf spring that's 2 1/2" wide, 5/16" thick, and over 15" long, I cut out the blank and rough shaped it. On the forge, I straightened (flattened) the blank then proceeded to finish the arc in the blade. After all that, normalizing was in order to relieve the stress and soften the steel. What you see is after a total of about 4 hours of work. I'm taking my time as mistakes cost more.

 

gk progress 1.JPG

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im watching intently, as i have to make one of these for my next commish :P

 

Is a sheath going to be included?

It's kind of funny you said about the commish, that's exactly why I'm doing this one...lol

You are NEVER too old to learn something new.

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Just to keep everyone updated. I got the blade bevel lines in and the fuller groove as well. This was the first time I got to use my fuller tool on a good project. It takes a while, but it's worth the time.

 

gk progress 3.JPG

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wondering what the total weight would be-- which is a concern for mine which will be carried on a daily basis with molly gear. im shooting for under a lb if i can manage 12ish oz

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Scraping tool?

 

for the fullers, that is.

 

this is an interesting knife. I have failed pretty miserably at making khukris in the past. I am enjoying watching someone do it properly. Or, at least a design inspired by the khukri made properly.

kc

please visit my website http://www.professorsforge.com/

 

“Years ago I recognized my kinship with all living things, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on the earth. I said then and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.” E. V. Debs

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Thanks professor. The scraping tool I was talking about was made a while ago based on a design from a thread here on Bladesmiths under Groover/fuller tool in the Tools and Tooling section. My first attempt at making a khukuri didn't go very well either so I looked up on how the traditional ones are made. Gabriel, as far as it being 12 ounces, I think that target weight is too light. The gurkha khukuri is rather thick. I have come to think of these as a cross between a knife and a hatchet as per what the design dictates. The khukuri I am making has a spine thickness of about 1/4".

Edited by R.W. Deavers

You are NEVER too old to learn something new.

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I found some research of the 1904 version that became so popular around the 50s and 70s was on average 11-13.5" blade length and around 17 ounces total (hidden tang) this was all according to https://torablades.com/



Still im trying to decide edge geometry and thickness for optimum use for my particular needs my version

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As for the edge geometry, that's all subject to criteria set by the end-user and what they plan on using it for. I would think if you want to keep the blade rather thin (about 1/8" or so), I would think a flat grind from blade edge to spine would be in order(having a blade cross section like a wedge). You'll still have the strength needed in the spine, but the blade edge could sharper and also reducing more weight. I think that with the "S" curve though, that kind of grind could get a little difficult.

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I know it's been a few days, but here's more progress. The heat treating has been finished, and now the handle work has begun. I had to change the handle design, though. Originally, I wasn't planning on using any brass for the pommel. With the pin locations for the original handle, the walnut I am using wouldn't allow it without cracking and/or breaking. I think this new direction will work out better because the brass will also act as a counterweight.

 

gk progress 4.JPG

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And yet more progress. Question, has anyone tried using a stone block to finish their blades? I'm not talking about sharpening, but as a sanding block? I have started this process on the blade bevels and so far, its working, tedious but working.

 

gk progress 5.JPG

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I do like the brass pommel. Not a traditional shape, but I still like it. As for stones, a few years ago EDM stones were the new cool tool for hand finishing blades. I could never get a clean finish with mine, but I suspect I got the wrong grade or other operator error.

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I love using EDM stones. They go a REALLY long way in keeping your bevels crisp. However, I agree with Alan about not getting a perfect finish with them. I usually use them up to 1,000 grit and switch to sand paper at 1,500 on up to the level of finish I am looking for. I am sure someone out there knows the secret to getting a really nice polish with just the EDMs.. :P

Edited by James R.Fuller

-=JF=-

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Alrighty...here it is... sharpened, tested, and finished. I must say, this thing is mean! The balance is about where the notch is. With the blade being 1/4" thick and 9 1/4" long, it handles surprisingly well, even better than expected, honestly. Personally, I am very pleased with how this finished.

 

gk finished.JPG

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nice! that looks like a wicked tool. I think the handle should have more drop, traditionally. But, hey, who cares? The one you made looks great. Besides, that gives you an excuse to make another, if you want to.

 

By the way, I used EDM stones for awhile, too. You have to get the friable ones, and then they don't gouge too bad. But, you have to dress them or they will shape to the ridge of your blade and screw things up. Still, they work well. Rhyonwet sandpaper broke my EDM habit, though. It is just so much easier to use.

 

Faster, too. Especially since I can only get a good finish with the stones up to 600 grit.

 

Not trying to hijack your thread, but I wanted to mention the bit about stones. I used them on everything I made for 2 or 3 years.

 

kc

please visit my website http://www.professorsforge.com/

 

“Years ago I recognized my kinship with all living things, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on the earth. I said then and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.” E. V. Debs

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LOL It's okay Kevin, you didn't hijack it too bad. lol The stone I used was an old whetstone used for butchering way back in the day and it worked way better than I thought it would. I also use sand papers and scuff pads, then off to the polishing wheel, depending on what finish I'm looking for. Like I said earlier, this piece is a wicked beast! I chopped, hacked, and carved tree limbs and logs for 20-30 minutes and it made short work of it all. Too bad its for a client though, I'd really love to have this one but I think I will be making something a little better shortly.

You are NEVER too old to learn something new.

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