Report from the field

Feb 27, 1999

I took delivery of one of the village 15" chiruwa AKs on Tuesday.

It is actually closer to 16" and is a little thinner than my Shop 1 15" AK and feels just a little bit lighter. Fit is good and the finish is adaquate. I has been given a satin polish and is still full of grind marks. The blade is straight and well formed. Not bad for a villager. The horn handles are pinned in place with aluminum pins. The rest of the fittings are steel. The scabbard is decent but a little loose. The karda and chakma are tiny and almost useless. Typical for a villager.

I took it for a little woods walk on Wed. to test it out. Within the first 5 chops into a felled tree the handles came loose. I have almost come to expect this. I don't know what it is but I destroy a lot of handles. However these were not destroyed, just loose. I took it home and scraped and chipped out as much of th laha as I could the proceeded to stuff as much epoxy as I could into the handles. After letting it set for 24hrs. I took it out and tried again. So far so good. The handles seem solid now. I may get after it a bit with the belt sander just to finish things off a little better.

The blade takes and holds a beautiful edge. Good steel and good temper. Performs just as well as my Shop 1 15" AK.

I decided to modify the sheith to reduce its profile a bit. I figured I'd eliminate the accessory pockets since the Karda and chakma are next to useless. I took everything apart with no trouble and decided to steam the leather to make it pliable enough to work with. Well, it got pliable but it also shrank severely! Ooopppss! My efforts to stretch it back out and sew it up were less than succesful. I soaked the leather with some liquid designed for stretching leather shoes and that worked a little but not nearly enough. When I tried to tighten up my stitches the cord just ripped through the leather. It's pretty much of a mess now.

I think I will ditch this shieth an make a more conventional leather shiethwith a piggyback pouch for either a small lockback or a sharpening stone. Live and learn.

Great knife though. If Uncle Bill has any left you should really snap one up. It going to be a great working blade.
If you want to try soaking and streching the sheath back into shape, applying a condition such as Lexol while wet may help.


[This message has been edited by Will Kwan (edited 12-17-2000).]
Thanks. I'm going to play with it some more when I get some time and try your suggestions.