• Happy Hannukah, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year to all of you! Thanks for your continued support and I hope that your holiday season is a blessed one.

Carved wood handles for users

May 17, 2001
Are the Hanuman, Garud, and Snow Leopard carved handles able to stand up to use? I mean normal use, chopping wood and such, not torture testing. They sure are beautiful but I believe khukris are for using not just looking at. A 16.5in WWII with brass inlay in the sword of Shiva and a Hanuman handle is what I have in mind. What do you guys think?


Lots of variables in your question - First, my version of the Garud has so much fine detail that an accidental bump might very easily ruin the carving. The talent and skill shown on some of these is awsome, and the risk is too great (in my case) even though the blade is a massive Durba AK, and capable. Carvings that are smoother, with fewer legs/claws/eyebrows etc. are more usable, but still deserve respect, so it may be a choice of "most usable" carving, plus a great amount of care in use. The temptation to take mine out and help the neighbor take down an old basketball hoop (on a section of rotted out telephone pole) was hard to overcome, but the Malla came to the rescue :)
Sage advice, Wal. The Hanuman is less complicated carving and can survive use pretty well. Quietone used a Hanuman as his field knife for several years until it was stolen recently and it held up well as far as I know. The Garud is a different matter -- He is pretty complex in his appearance and there are many small "parts" that could easily get knocked off.
Uncle Bill, what would a WWII with BAS style brass inlay in the sword of Shiva and a Hanuman handle cost and approximately how long would it take to get it? What if I just wanted the BAS style brass inlay?

Figure around $175 and anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months to get.

Special orders are a strange thing. Sometimes the kamis will whip one out in two or three weeks. Some they never make -- like the katars I've had on order for two years. They just ignore me when I ask. So, I was going to say somewhere between 3 weeks and never but thought that was maybe stretching it a bit too far.
Sounds like it may not be a good idea- might wait a long while and pay a premium only to damage it by accident. Just have to settle for a BAS I guess. Or maybe an 18in Sirupati. The idea was to have a "pretty" and versatile carry and use Khuk. I love the brass inlay and the Hanuman looked like the most usable carved design. Thanks for the advice guys.

Yvsa and I both possess one of the original "mistakes" where Uncle Bill ordered a Hanuman blade on a WWII handle. They showed up with a WWII 18" blade, and a Hanuman handle with all the tools in the sheath.

The combination is not perfection, I suppose, but don't try to tell me that while the monkey is in my hand. He'd probably express his displeasure very directly, and I'd more than half agree with him.

( BTW, they have now upsized the Hanuman handle which I and several others feel was a mistake. )

One thing to consider is consulting Yvsa about putting a superglue finish on the handle once stabilized to reduce drying and swelling due to humidity changes. The other can be done two ways. Either pull the handle right away, let stabilize, clean out all the old laha and enlarge and roughen the hole inside, then re-epoxy on, or just wait til it gets a little loose and squirt some regular superglue into the loose areas round the bolster. Superglue dissolves the laha and rehardens it really well.

It might even pay to tell the kamis to fit but not laha the handle on.

This is all presupposing a problem that may never happen. Villagers with blind handles fall apart cause they are essentially abused all the time. The HI's are in effect overengineered anyway.

Thinking in blue sky terms, order just the blade, get some composite ivory ( made from real ivory dust but bonded together ) and borrow someones carved handle khuk ( putting up your firstborn as surety ) for a model. Epoxy on, pin thru, carve, and superglue finish for good measure ).

I actually worked in a shop where they built things that way. They stayed in business cause their clients knew they'd only have to buy the product once. ( The owner had been chief accountant for Douglas during WWII, and we used to joke that it was a good thing they didn't let him into design. Otherwise, they'd have ended up with a bomber that couldn't get off the ground, but was the world's fastest tank! And then my dad would have beefed it up further. I think I'd feel very comfortable at Birghorka. They think like I do, and my dad before me. )