Correcting A Loose Fitting Khukri Scabbard

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by J W Kilpatrick, Mar 23, 2006.

  1. J W Kilpatrick

    J W Kilpatrick

    Aug 11, 2001
    Greetings Men:

    This is J. W. Kilpatrick here. I have a beautiful 19" kobra made by Bura that really wobbles around in its scabbard. I would like to have your opinions, if on what I am about to do, will work or not work in solving this problem.

    I am planning on going to the local Home Depot Store and buy a can of that expandable foam and inject a certain amount of it inside the scabbard and let it dry for a day or two and then shove the blade of the kobra into the scabbard and hope that it secures the blade properly and stops the wobbling effect and corrects the problem in a permanent fashion. How about that for a solution to the problem?

    Would you please give me your thoughts in reference to success or failure of this idea that has popped into my head?

    I am an old retired commercial construction manager with quite a bit of brain damage that I sustained from working so many years and so many hours in the field of construction management with all its related construction time pressures, dead lines and multitudes of problems that had to be overcome in order to survive in the world of commercial construction. So, what I am saying is that I could sure use someome with a straight thinking brain to keep me from going off the deep end in reference to the solution of this problem, since I have received quite a bit of brain damage over the years and may not be thinking clearly on how to solve this problem.

    J. W. Kilpatrick
  2. JimmyJimenez


    Sep 30, 2005
    I've never tried the following, but I wonder if it's possible to carefully dismantle the entire scabbard, install (via a good wood glue) some thin wood panals to make up the loose gap, and then re-assemble the whole thing?

    I have heard of folks removing the Chapes from their scabbards, so that does not seem like the big task, but I wonder about the leather? Is it just stiched on, or is glue or something else used as well?
    Are the scabbard's two wooden halves glued together, or only pressure held by the leather exterior?

    If those are not major problems, then I could see the re-stitching being the most difficult task, IMO.

    Just a thought :)
  3. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    Probably the easiest way to correct a loose scabbard is to take a shim of leather and glue it at the mouth's edge. Usually, this will tighten the knife up enough so that it doesn't rattle too much.
    Another suggestion I have heard but never tried is to soak the scabbard in water overnight, then allow it to dry out over a few days. I would think a nice dry heat like over the vent in the floor would tighten it up pretty well.
    However, being the idiot that I be, the leather shim works well for my loose khuks:)

  4. kronckew

    kronckew Basic Member Basic Member

    Aug 17, 2003
    as another old ex-construction manager, i remember foam, gets over everything, expands and pushes the bits apart as it does so, if the scabbard survives, when you go to shove the kukhri back in the foam's gotta go somewhere, it'll be like spitting a log. i forsee a mess.

    there are some threads here on tight/loose scabbards and what to do, also seem to remember some on the HI website (link at top of page, see the faq's) recent one had someone glue a couple of leather strips to the sides just inside the scabbard mouth to grab it better.

    a lot of SE Asian wooden scabbards are made in two halves, many are not glued but held together only by their bindings, which may be leather or rattan, wire, copper/brass bands, etc. japanese scabbards are frequently only glued with mashed rice paste to enable later splitting & cleaning (still quite strong, mashed rice was added to the mortar on the great wall of china, one of it's secrets of lasting so long). these of course are easier to disassemble for cleaning or adjustment. some are glued and impossible to disassemble, these can be tightened with a leather piece in the throat. haven't had to loosen one yet.
  5. Kismet

    Kismet Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 30, 2002
    What those guys said, although I think it would be really funny to see you do the foam thing.

    I remember my first experience with using it in this old farm seemed like it was NEVER going to stop foaming back out!

    I'd try the shimming that Steely suggested, first.

    Good luck, and take videos if you use the foam, please.
  6. Yvsa


    May 18, 1999
    Never mind.
  7. J W Kilpatrick

    J W Kilpatrick

    Aug 11, 2001
    Howdy Yvsa,
    You and me sure do think alike at least in reference to the old coat hanger trick. I figured that I would put that scabbard in a vice and shoot a little of that foam in it and let it dry. That way the scabbard would not blow out on me and after the foam was dry I would use the old coat hanger trick and dig out a path for the blade however long that may take and then shove the blade in the sacbbard until I could get it to fit.

    I just can't resist experimenting with new ideas. Has anyone else tried this new scabbard tightening technique before or do they just immediately jump to the conclusion that it cannot be done?

    Hey, if it gets all fouled up, I will just tear the scabbard completely apart and rebuild it. No big deal. I will at least find out how a khukri scabbard is put together. He, he, he.

    Hey, Yvsa I still have that millenium rose khukri. That blade is made from an awesome piece of steel. Nothing will ever break that blade. It is one thick heavy duty blade. Thanks for sending that blade to me, brother.

    Also Yvsa, I am glad to see that you are beginning to feel better physically. I hope that you are able to get out and about and enjoy life a little more this spring. It is such a beautiful time of the year and you owe it to yourself to do so.

    God Bless You,

    J. W. Kilpatrick
  8. Bri in Chi

    Bri in Chi

    May 28, 2003
    I want to see the scabbard foam video too.:D
  9. Leatherface


    Dec 3, 2005
    J W Kilpatrick,
    If ya need a couple pieces of leather lemme know...Since I have destroyed a $50.00 gunbelt AND a brand new sheath all in one week:barf: , I happen to have several pieces of scrap leather laying around!

    Yea I admit it...I wanna see that foam idea as well:thumbup: :D
  10. J W Kilpatrick

    J W Kilpatrick

    Aug 11, 2001
    Howdy Dave,

    Would you or some of the other formites around here get creative and give me some ideas on what else (other than foam) could be used to stuff down a khukri scabbard to tighten the blade up. Everyone around here seems to have only a one track mind which seems to be fixated only on leather strips.

    What about slipping one or two thin full length scabbard steel shims down into the scabbard?

    There has got to be numerous other items that could be inserted into the scabbard of a loose fitting khukri to tighten the fit of the blade up. What about slipping a few bannana leaves or some coconut fibers down into the scabbard? That ought to snug the blade up a little don't you think? He, He, He.

    J. W. Kilpatrick
  11. ferguson


    Feb 21, 2001
    I would definitely try the bananna leaves.:)

  12. J W Kilpatrick

    J W Kilpatrick

    Aug 11, 2001
    OK pardners----It worked---- Nice, snug, tight, clean fit for the blade and the 2 smaller knives also. No problems. I did the job today on Friday 3-24-06 at 3 PM.

    Here is the recipe if you got the guts to try it. I used a very small amount of insulating foam sealant made by DOW. It is in a red can and the name on the can is GREAT STUFF. I paid $5.00 for the can.

    I extended the plastic nozzle tube of the can about 3 inches down into the throat of the scabbard and released the foam very slowly into the scabbard and began withdrawing the nozzle almost immediately and let the foam continue to flow out of the nozzel until I pulled the nozzel out of the scabbard. I only released foam into the upper 1/3 of the scabbard. This complete process took no more than 15 to 30 seconds to inject the foam into the scabbard.

    I did the same process for the 2 smaller knives but only allowed foam to go into the lower half of the pocket which held both of the smaller knives.

    After cleaning the plastic nozzel so it could be reused again, I left the foam sealant in the scabbard to dry for 1 1/2 hours. I trimmed off a small amount of foam that had oozed out the throat of the scabbard and had dried. Then I shoved the blade gently but firmly 1/3 of the way down into the throat of the scabbard and removed it. No foam stuck to the blade. So, I shoved the blade 2/3 of the way back down into the scabbard and then removed the blade. No foam stuck to the blade. Then I shoved the blade all the way down into the scabbard and removed the blade and no foam stuck to the blade. I also used the same exact method for the 2 smaller knives and got the exact same result. I took a permenant black marksalot and colored over any minute traces of foam at the entrance to the throat of the scabbard, since the foam is paintable and everything is nice and clean and all blades fit firm and snug and tight into the scabbard and I am very pleased with the result.

    I will give you a report on this experiment in another 3 to 6 months and tell you how everything holds up ou how everything falls apart. There ye be. Nothing to it.

    J. W. Kilpatrick
  13. J W Kilpatrick

    J W Kilpatrick

    Aug 11, 2001
    One last thing. You can hold the scabbard upside down and shake it all about as hard as you like and the blade remains held firmly in the scabbard and will not slip out of the scabbard to any degree at all. However, when you use you hand to withdraw the blade from the scabbard, the blade withdraws smoothly, steadily and eaisly.

    J. W. Kilpatrick
  14. Bri in Chi

    Bri in Chi

    May 28, 2003
    Send a case of Great Stuff to Bir Gohrka.
  15. Kismet

    Kismet Basic Member Basic Member

    Jan 30, 2002

    Glad it worked for you.
  16. kronckew

    kronckew Basic Member Basic Member

    Aug 17, 2003
    can't wait to see the pictures, you did take pictures at each stage didn't you?

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