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12" Sirupati handle finish

Oct 18, 2003
I just got the "small" sirupati from 12/27. It was done by
Dil Bhadur Kami with a shiny Horn handle. This is pretty tough for a small Sirupati, with a .4" thick spine. The overall length is just over 12" and it weighs in at 12 1/2 oz on my scale. This one looks like a keeper. I like it much more than the overly heavy balance that I have.

The finish is nice, and the horn is much more shiny than I am used to.

Does anyone have an idea of what sort of finish is used on the horn?

It looks like a varnish or shellac. I usually finish my horn in multiple coats of Watco, but this one doesn't look like it requires a finish. Watco prevents any possible cracking, but I don't want to mess with this one if it has a good, protective finish on it.
I'm a big fan of the "small" 12" sirupati. It's only considered little around these parts. In saner places it's pretty dang big.
I've never run into a horn handle with any surface coating coming from Bir Gohrka. I think they just shine the hell out of 'em with rouge polishing compound on a soft muslin wheel.
I have cleaned up a few handles, and the final surface finish that I prefer after finish sanding with 320 grit, is 4/0 steel wool. Kinda matte with a bit of tooth to grip. not too shiny and slippery. I soak finished handles in olive oil for a few days to keep them from walking around. Seems to have worked for the last 30-odd years.;) Mineral oil would work as well, I'm told.
This one looks like it still has some buffing compound in the grooves.
I may need to get out the Watco!
This one looks like it still has some buffing compound in the grooves.
I may need to get out the Watco!

Always tape the cutting edge with a couple of layers of masking tape BEFORE doing any handle work.

They almost always have that red stuff in there. A pipe cleaner is good to clean it off. Wrap it around the groove with some solvent (kerosene, mineral spirits) on it. Work it around a bit.
An inexpensive set of needle files is great for cleaning up the rings and groves and defining their shape.
Thanks for the suggestion about needle files.

I usually wait to sharpen a Khukuri before finishing the handle, but didn't want to wait for this one.
It sharpened up nicely, and has a good, hard edge

The only problem with Khukuris is that you can only get one. I am running out of storage space for blades.