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Gelbu Special Review with Pictures

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by Skyler R., Oct 19, 2006.

  1. Skyler R.

    Skyler R.

    Dec 27, 2005
    I received the 18" Gelbu Special the other day that I got from DOTD 10/13/06, the classy and wonderful triangular box (that I have acquired a keen sense for spotting at far distances) also came with it...:)

    Blade - The blade has wonderful lines with very crisp geometry. Its a true wonder to behold, Sher really took his time on this one. The knife also came with a great edge already on it, which was sharp enough to shave (seems they are getting better all the time). The fuller on the blade is very well done and even, it has a nice glow to it in the light. All the lines on the knife are spot on and even, the grind lines are right where they should be and don't waver at all. Over all the blade is fantastic and I could not be happier.

    Handle - The handle is Sisau wood and has a very nice grain to it. The handle fits well enough in the hand, however I think I will take some wood away from behind the ring to make it fit my hand better. The handle came with some small dents in it, but with a little sanding I think I can get them all out just fine. The bolster is well done and fits the blade better then I have seen on others, it has very little laha showing. The butt plate seems to fit better then others I have seen, sometimes the butt plate is rough around the edges, but this is not the case with this knife.

    Scabbard - The scabbard is very well done with nice tight stitching and a well fitting chape. The frog is very nicely done as well and fits great. The leather on the inside of the scabbard seems to be loose, when I would pull the knife out the leather would come with it, I would have to poke it back down before resheathing the kukri. I plain to fix this with a little glue, however after drawing it 5-6 times the leather has stopped coming out...go figure. The kukri does quite a bit of rattling in the scabbard, I am considering sending it to someone to make a quickdraw, I was considering this before I even receaved it..so it's not a result of the sheath.

    Chakma and Karda - Both very nicely done. They fit the hand well enough to make them usable. The both have great grain in the handle like the kukri does. The finish is mirror like the kukri and without grind marks. The karda seems to be pretty dole, but nothing that 5 minutes of sharpening won't take care of.

    Chopping - Since this was a lighter kukri then what I normally use, I choose only to do some limbing (2in or less) as well as some tatami and water bottles. The limbing went fine, one swing and the limb would be on the ground. The tatami and water bottles also where no problem, I used 1/2 mats for the tatami and the gelbu made quick work of it. I also batoned the limbs that I cut, most took only one strike to go though.

    Once I cleaned off the kukri from using it I noticed that the bolster was just a tad loose. I am reluctant to send it back to Yangdu since I like it so much, so I am going to keep my eye on it to see if it gets worse and if it doesn't then its no big deal since the amount of movement is minimal (couldn't get a picture it so small).



    Here are the stats:

    Blade - 12"
    Handle - 6"
    Overall Length - 18"
    Blade Thickness - 10mm
    Point of Balance - 3" away from bolster
    Weight - 21 oz
    Kami - Sher


    I got busy using it and didn't get many pictures, but here they are.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. lefthandblack

    lefthandblack

    756
    Jan 22, 2004
    Holy Cow thats a Beauty!!

    Good snag on that one!

    Thanks for the review!:thumbup:
     
  3. Skyler R.

    Skyler R.

    Dec 27, 2005
    Thanks for the kind words LeftHandBlack. She sure is a beaut. Very light and fast as well. :thumbup:
     
  4. namaarie

    namaarie

    Aug 23, 2004
    Man, I've thought hard about those. Now I'm thinking even harder... :)

    Chris
     
  5. Andros

    Andros

    Apr 20, 2005
    This is a beautiful knife indeed! Thank you for sharing these pictures and writing this review.

    Skyler R. from your overall presentation / assessment it becomes evident that it is also well made and a good performer too. It also appears that you are happy with it. Nevertheless, I understand there is an issue with the loose bolster.

    Bearing on mind all of the above, if I may propose something, I would say that if this minor problem with the bolster becomes more pronounced you may want to send it to Daniel Koster for a repair and opt to keep it (if you also think the cost for the repair will fall within the limits of your budget). On the other hand, you may want to act in a proactive manner and send it to Daniel now before it becomes more serious.

    Let there be known that I am not trying to promote Daniel Koster's business, neither have I ever had any experience with him personally. However, I have read nothing but good words for him and this is why I make this recommendation.

    I hope this helps.
     
  6. Skyler R.

    Skyler R.

    Dec 27, 2005

    Daniel was who I had in mind for fixing it if it did get worse. But like you said I may want to do it before it does get worse. Maybe I can just get all the mods done by him...bolster, thinning handle, and a new scabbard. :thumbup:
     
  7. Fiddleback

    Fiddleback Knifemaker Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    Oct 19, 2005
    If the amount of movement at the bolster is minimal then a little superglue bled under there will likely fix it. Do it before you start to sand the handle to the shape you want. That way you will sand the glue mess away later.

    Beautiful knife. Sisau is my least favorite of the HI woods, but this knife looks really well done.
     
  8. littleknife

    littleknife

    Nov 29, 2000
    Skyler, congrats to the beautiful khuk.

    Andy, did you have a bad experience with sisau?

    I have several sisau handled khuks, and almost all a perfect, two had minor problems in the karda and chakma handles due to some poor wood choice (small branches used?).

    Sisau (Dalbergia sissoo) is a close kin of satisal (D. latifolia), both frequently labeled as Indian Rosewood.
    Sisau is more colorful and can be as hard as satisal.
    I wonder if the few negative experiences are due to the improperly chosen wood segment (branches?) rather than the species of wood itself.
     
  9. Bladite

    Bladite ǝɹnsıǝן ɟo uɐɯǝןʇuǝb Moderator

    Feb 28, 2003
    loose bolsters are nothing to worry about... a variety of ways to fix ranging from woo hoo to quickies :)

    bladte
     
  10. Bladite

    Bladite ǝɹnsıǝן ɟo uɐɯǝןʇuǝb Moderator

    Feb 28, 2003
    all of the satisal and sisau handles i have is hard as i'd expect a rosewood to be. i CAN mark it with a thumbnail, but i have to try. same effort would mark rosewood or red oak.

    it's possible they're getting a variant wood, mis-id'ed wood, or wood that isn't proper and fully seasoned/dried.

    i would LOVE to see them use some exotic stabilized materials. then again, i wish i had a shop, i'd be making some exotics myself. either through age, or random issues, handles have to be replaced sometime if regularly used; same for axes and many tools. having SWEET handles would rock. i'd like to see linen micarta (slabs and rounds) especially, but other goodies come to mind. mmmMMMmmm.

    bladite
     
  11. Fiddleback

    Fiddleback Knifemaker Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    Oct 19, 2005
    You most certainly could be right, my experiences haven't been good. I really like Satistal and have never had a soft Satistal handle. I can put my thumbnail 1/8" into the Sisau handles I have. Well, not right now I can't, nails are too short.
     

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