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Tips, Tricks, & Useful Finds(FAQs too)

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by ddean, Sep 27, 2003.

  1. ddean


    Mar 26, 2002
  2. arty


    Oct 18, 2003
    I had some scuffs on my 21" Chitlangi.

    I found some Kit Scratch Out in the garage. I got it from Walmart's auto dept. to try to fix some scratches on my wife's van. She always seems to pick some up in the parking lots at work.

    It worked great and restored the original shine - perfectly.
  3. ddean


    Mar 26, 2002
  4. ddean


    Mar 26, 2002
    cool tools user reviews on cool site
    when looking for that special or general item
    that really does the job
    [click the catagory at left to open in new window
    too much clicking around from one window
    reaches some sort of limit]

    Small Parts Inc
    "the hardware store for researchers & developers"
    no min. order from website
    materials / components / tools / custom

    reference site for minerals / minerology

    <> they call me
    <> Tips <> Baha'i Prayers Links --A--T--H--D
  5. ddean


    Mar 26, 2002
    If you want to quickly find something on the HI website
    you can use this Google as a shortcut:


    After the google page appears from above
    replace the . . 'faq' . . term in the search box
    with the term you want
    then press the google 'search' button

    or to primarily search the faq's leave the 'faq' term
    & add your term of interest

    <> they call me
    <> Tips <> Baha'i Prayers Links --A--T--H--D
  6. ddean


    Mar 26, 2002
    Here's two storage ideas:
    [and at the bottom links to others]

    #1[​IMG] #2[​IMG]

    #1 - shoe storage horizontal plastic pockets
    9-pockets per side, clear vinyl a -bit- stretchy.
    Don't know if it would stand up with eighteen 2-pound kukris in it
    [that's ~36-lb total, or more]
    but add a few smaller blades,
    & that's a lot of knives hidden behind a closet door.
    Or hung on the rod in a closet.
    cost $1-$3, at $1-store or other discount store
    Another $1-$2 for the overdoor hook to hang onto,
    or any heavy nail or screw.
    Bottom part of pic shows how it can collapse,
    & could be put into a box for tote or further storage.

    #2 - wine bottle rack intended for sitting on counter $6
    plus toilet paper roll rack $2
    Bottle rack firmly screwed to wall
    & toilet-roll rack just hung from the bottom of first (hung upside down)
    Sometimes a roll of tissue hangs there for general tissue uses.

    More idea threads for storage & display:


    <> THEY call me
    <> Tips <> Baha'i Prayers Links --A--T--H--D
  7. ddean


    Mar 26, 2002
    Dust-free storage of abrasive & buffing wheels/small-belts/etc


    to keep grit & dust
    off or contained
    as applicable

    =Heavy ziplocks of all sizes of course

    =Elastic rimmed bowl covers from kitchen supplies
    they fit over a mounted wheel
    =bathcaps - ditto
    =:D auto wheelcovers if you have a a -giant- disk sander

    =Tortilla servers
    plastic & foam versions available $1-$2
    have lids of various styles
    some lids put on upside down are perfect for
    stacking several servers containing flat or thin items

    =vinyl 'suit' or 'dress' storage bags
    easily adaptable for longer belts
    will hang pushed against one another in small space

    =sandpaper sorted into file-folders inside a small, handled filebox
    heard about this several places,

    <> THEY call me
    <> Tips <> Baha'i Prayers Links --A--T--H--D
  8. Yvsa


    May 18, 1999
  9. Yvsa


    May 18, 1999
    Posted with Ice's permission. Thanks Ice.:D

    #5 [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG] 07-19-2005, 03:31 PM
    Green Ice [​IMG]
    Registered User
    Join Date: Dec 2004
    Posts: 492

    Yvsa, heres how I do a gun: first you have to remove all the old blue and grease leaving the metal perfectly clean and oil free. Hand polishing (no machine buffing) to remove pits and scratches. This is a pretty good cleaner and blue remover.


    Next you need to paint the metal surface with the formula that causes a very fine textured red rust to form. There are many do-it-yourself formulas but I cheat and use this:


    From this point on be sure to use clean cotton gloves when you touch the metal. Any oil will ruin the final finish. Just paint the solution on and let your part stand in a corner for 2 or 3 days until red rust forms.

    Next you have to boil the part in distilled water. I use a 4ft long narrow stainless steel trough resting on both top burners of the stove. I attach soft iron wire to a barrel so can get it out easily. Small parts are boiled inside a small stainless basket. The boiling water will turn the rust jet black after a few minutes. Just lift the part out and the water will evaporate almost immediately.

    Next you have to card off the black rust oxide with 4/0 steel wool. I removed all the oil from my wool by pouring Everclear over it and setting it on fire. Be real careful cuz it burns firecely and is hard to put out. First time you card, the finish will be very thin. You then apply more rust blue solution and begin the cycle all over again. After 4 or 5 passes you will have the most beautiful blue finish that you can imagine. You can either stop there or continue blueing for a darker and thicker finish.

    Thats it. No real secrets, just attention to detail, some work and a lot of waiting. Greatest cost would be the 4ft stainless trough. I bought mine some 20+ years ago but Brownells has them. I think it would be easy to blue a knife blade because you could use a pyrex jar for the boiling water and to hold the blade upright. You would have to protect the handle though.

    Sorry for the long dissertation. Please ask if I can give any more help.

  10. ddean


    Mar 26, 2002
    . . . . . . . . this post updated occassionally with new info

    safety post ! :

    for a few various lists of threads
    on various common topics:
    Picking a blade / Sharpening / More......

    Tips thread:
    [ includes this post ]

    Gallery of pretty pix:

    Extensive info on the khukuri / kukri -- old & new, Nepal, and more

    kami favorite, differences & preferences

    convex edges:

    edge hardness & edge profiles:

    old action videos:

    getting a grip:


    broken blade:

    Always test a new blade to make sure it will
    stand up to any stresses expected.

    Few will fail; but, rarely, one will.
    Better to find out & replace it quickly,
    (the replacement warranty of course)
    than find out in whatever field or forest you're in.

    Also, sharpen it a couple of times
    to get past the polished/decarburized metal on the outside.

    Most recently it was Satori who noted greater hardness after sharpening:
    "Initial tests are pretty light - thin green wood, plywood, etc.
    I'm not looking for minimal damage, I'm looking for no damage at all.
    If anything happens I sharpen it again.
    Usually it takes a sharpening or two to get down to the good stuff.
    That typically takes care of the problem"

    Here are compatible & equally necessary approaches to testing;
    plus related threads re toughness:


    Do as much as you have time for.
    At minimum, the percussion tests to all 4 sides of the blade.




    <:eek:> THEY call me
    <> Noobee <> Tips <> Baha'i Prayers Links --A--T--H--D
  11. Bri in Chi

    Bri in Chi

    May 28, 2003
  12. Yvsa


    May 18, 1999

    The Art

    Burnishing A Knife

    What's the difference between burnishing and steeling?. They're similar to the extent that you are using a steel rod in an effort to make a knife cut better. Most steels on the market are grooved. The grooves are designed to cut tiny teeth into the knife edge, and these teeth do make a knife cut better, but they can wear out a knife quickly.

    Burnishing generally implies the use of a smooth steel rod, and the objective is to draw the edge of a working knife back to a sharp point without wearing the knife down. For the most part blade edges are fragile, when used against a hard surface they tend to roll over and dull. When that happens a lot of folks may grind the blade needlessly.

    The fact is the steel has not been spent or used up, it's simply been deformed. If you own a knife that you would like to hold onto for awhile, burnishing using the proper techniques will help you to maintain a very sharp edge without grinding. As a matter of fact, once you become comfortable with burnishing, you shouldn't have to grind a knife but once or twice a year.

    There will come a time when burnishing is no longer effective and grinding/sharpening is necessary. The good news is that if you've burnished on a regular basis, grinding will be minimal. If you decide that you are going to adopt burnishing for maintaining your knives it's important that you start with knives that are sharpened properly. The techniques that I'm showing here will very little effect on knives that have not been cared for properly. Some folks aren't very good at sharpening, and that's OK. If that's the case bring your knives to a professional sharpener. For folks who would like to learn how to sharpen I'll be posting some well researched links on the subject shortly.

    Rolling Dough - Contact between Knife & Steel
    With traditional steeling most don't pay attention to whether the edge is leading or trailing the stroke, and it probably doesn't make much of a difference. When burnishing the edge always trails the stroke. It might help if you think of burnishing as rolling dough. When you roll a pile of dough out with a heavy pin you work from the center outward to thin the dough. Burnishing is pretty much the same, you're working from the spine or back of the blade to thin the edge.

    Pressure is important when burnishing - you don't need much, about a pound, CLICK HERE to get an idea on how to gauge pressure.

    Burnishing a knife requires control, of which there are varying degrees. I'm going to show three methods here that will provide you with great results that are designed for use with our smooth or fine grooved steels but would work equally well with what you have on hand.

    The method that provides the least amount of control is the one we're all used to seeing and perhaps using - stroking the knife against the steel in mid air. There are a lot of people who cut things for a living - meat cutters, fish mongers, chefs, where speed is essential. Often these folks use rented knives and aren't concerned with their care and longevity, so using this technique with an aggressive steel is well suited to them. The problem is that You really can't control the angle of contact, and those tiny chips that cling to the steel are pieces of the knife.

    See link above for more informationÂ….

    And thanks Sarge!!!! :thumbup: :cool: :D
  13. munk


    Mar 22, 2002

    That is the address for the International Khuk Society. It is comprised of good natured fellows who enjoy the topic of historical khukuris. No current manufactured blades are reviewed there. Guests are expected to conduct themselves appropriately for the Academic environment of the Forum.

    So, if one has a question about old khuks not answered to their satisfaction here, by all means check out this forum. They are eager to share and expand their knowledge.

  14. Yvsa


    May 18, 1999
    A link for the BFC Search Engine FAQ's.

    Will help anyone who has had trouble or will have trouble with finding things using the search engine.:thumbup: :D :cool:
  15. Big Bob

    Big Bob

    Oct 13, 1999
    The following is how I'm currently sharpening my khukuris.

    Materials used:

    1. strip of mousepad about 1 1/2" wide
    2. 1 1/8" or so strips of 180, 400, 600, 800, and 1000 grit sandpaper
    3. Smooth steel without any "teeth" (I use a Raz-R Steel from Edge Company)
    4. Old towel


    Start by sitting in a position where one or both thighs are at a 90 degree angle and forward away from anything that you don't want nicked or cut ( arm of chair, table, etc). Lay the strip of mousepad on top of one of your thighs and lay a strip of the coarsest grit (180) on top of the mousepad. With one hand, hold the nearest inch of sandpaper and mousepad together.

    With the other hand, hold the khukuri by the handle and place the first section of the edge (immediately past the cho) on top of the sandpaper at no more than a 15 degree angle. To visualize such an angle, place the blade at 90 degrees to the paper, half it to 45, then half it again to 24-25 and then to 12 degrees. The edge will be in the middle of the strip, facing toward you.

    You will then push the blade away from you with the edge trailing using light to firm pressure. As you near the end of the strip of sandpaper, lift the blade up while trying to keep it held at the same angle. This will prevent you from rolling the edge (the same concept of using a leather strop). Do this slowly at with light pressure at first to get the knack of the movement. Using overlapping movements, push strop the first half of the edge until you raise a burr along the entire section. You will be able to feel the burr with your fingernail by scraping at the edge (from spine to edge); your nail will catch on it. Turn the strip and mousepad around and with the unused half of the strip, push strop the remaining half of the blade until a burr can be felt on the whole part of the edge. A fresh strip of sandpaper should be used if you are unable to get a burr before the first strip becomes too clogged to be effective.

    Get a fresh strip of sandpaper of the same grit and push strop the other side of the blade in the same manner until a burr is felt along the edge.

    Repeat the above with the finer strips of sandpaper, being sure to raise a burr along each side of the edge. When you are done with the finest grit that you want to use, you can steel the blade. I like to steel (or burnish) with the edge leading. I hold the khukuri still with the edge up and steel it at about a 35 deg. angle, alternating sides with every "lick". I'll typically give each side four licks, using light but slightly firmer pressure on the first two.

    Finally clean the blade of any shavings/smudges from the sandpaper. I put several drops of Tuff-glide on the blade and wipe off with gun cloths but using warm water and paper towels will do.

    Notes: I hold the khukuri by the handle when sharpening it, so it can be tiring when sharpening the longer, heavier models. A set of gloves with secure gripping would probably be a good idea to avoid blisters. Some edges have sections that are thicker and using coarse sandpaper may take too long to raise a burr. A diamond hone like the folding DMT that Yvsa uses will come in handy in this situation.

  16. ddean


    Mar 26, 2002

    So, you decided to make powder out of something hard
    & you don't know where to find
    a mortar & pestle made of iron


    Good & better options
    that are quick to find

    The mortar:

    'Lodge' castiron cookware includes a small 'kettle'
    big enough to hold a baseball,
    maybe even a softball
    Most sport/outdoor/other stores with a large selection of Lodge
    seem to carry this for about $11

    Your local builders supply
    has 'black iron" pipe in the plumbing section
    [---don't--- use the zinc(silvercolor)galvanized]
    get the biggest endcap (2" here) that they carry (~$6)
    for your mortar

    the pestle:

    then get
    a 1/2"-3/4" short(~4'~6") threaded pipe-piece (~$1)
    to use as the pestle

    if you like,
    you can add a small endcap to the pipe
    to round the end of your pestle

    I like the bare end of the pipe
    about the same as a capped end

    sometimes the pipe threads seem to help
    with fine crushing


    If you really want a really killa' pestle
    find a hitch-ball of a suitable size
    [1-7/8" dia & 2" dia most common]
    ($4-$8 New, $1 flea market or thrift store)
    [-not- welded to the hitch mounting]
    & mount it on a grip if you like
    a pound or two of morter pounding pestle that can't be beat

    <:eek:> THEY call me 'Dean' <> [​IMG]
    <:)> fYI-fWiW-iIRC-JMO-M2C-YMMV-TiA-YW-GL-HH-HBd
    <:D> Noobee <> Tips <> Baha'i Prayers Links --A--T--H--D
  17. ddean


    Mar 26, 2002
    Seems that most of us have burnishing rod material at hand
    all over our house

    I grew up thinking of it as cheap-stuff

    Chrome metal has a hardness greater than steel

    there are some other metallic options too
    but I'm going to try to find some practical samples first

    The trick is to find real, unalloyed chrome plating

    alloy plating will be softer
    nickle plating will be softer
    some 'cheap' chrome plating is too thin &
    too poorly adheared to the supporting metal

    Most towns offer chrome plating for vehicle customizers
    So burnisher customizers be alert

    Good quality tools that are chromed have a good chance
    of having good hard thick plating

    I just picked up a small 'chromed' tool extension rod (6" x ~3/8")
    that works just fine :D

    I'll be keeping my eyes open for a tough small screwdriver
    or similar size (chrome wire 'baskets' are everywhere)
    to use for a truly portable burnisher

    Any solid auto- or boat- or rope- or home- hardware that is real chromed
    is a good possibility for burnishing material

    Maybe even your truck bumper !?

    <:eek:> THEY call me 'Dean' <> [​IMG]
    <:)> fYI-fWiW-iIRC-JMO-M2C-YMMV-TiA-YW-GL-HH-HBd
    <:D> Noobee <> Tips <> Baha'i Prayers Links --A--T--H--D
  18. Bri in Chi

    Bri in Chi

    May 28, 2003
    Dean, you are one-of-a-kind!
    Thank you for your dedication to scrounging and keeping things simple.:D
    The forum owes you a debt of gratitude.
  19. ddean


    Mar 26, 2002

    It's midnight & you want to clean / polish your khuk.

    but no polish in the house
    you think.......

    check the cupboard & medicine cabinet for vitamins & supplements
    The best you can find contains Magnesium Oxide (MgO)

    Or maybe Titanium DiOxide
    Silica is in the running too
    Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3) is good for cleaning, but won't polish steel

    So far
    i've found that MgO is the best single ingredient to find
    usually sufficient quantity to be useful
    & it's used as a commercial polish

    drop of water on the blade,
    then tablet on top
    an outer coating sometimes needs to be removed
    to get to the tablet contents
    the water does this as you start to rub
    just enough water to build up some paste as you rub

    be careful
    slippery gets you cut

    if water is not to your liking
    especially if you're after a high polish
    let the material dry,
    then lubricate with any oil--less cut more polish

    every brand will vary in composition / 'grit' .
    So far, the MgO in tablets in the house seems to be polish grade or close-to
    pure MgO tablets run about $4 for 100 generic (not big brand) tablets

    Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is used as commercial polish (usually rock polish)
    & as a whitener / opacifier in various products
    very common in small quantities in toothpaste, ..........
    paints often contain TiO2

    cheaper paint will use CaCO3 & ZnO for white / opacity
    In artists ==oils== ZnO is added to TiO for specific handling properties
    TiO -can- be used in a pure state in other types of paint
    usually 20-30% of total volume

    [[[[[ addendum--
    ARTIST paints still sometimes use Leads for white.

    thanks James re cake 'white'
    Also wax candle colorant - high % TiO2 in wax base
    Paint pigment concentrate or powder

    Liquitex is a brand I like in general
    because they list exact pigments & other tech specs on the paint containers.
    they have a 'Concentrated Acrylic Artist Color' series.
    The "Professional" line of paints has higher pigment concentration
    than their 'basic' line.
    is the liquitex spec/data book.

    Cement/morter colorants......
    some permanant lightfast colorants are varieties of iron oxides
    red/yellow/black ]]]]]

    * most metal oxides are hard enough to be abrasives / polishes

    later we'll talk about using muriaic acid near aluminum framed screen doors
    makes for heavy coating of aluminum oxide on the aluminum
    My mistake
    Apparently this creates hydrated-Al-Oxide which is a very soft compound......
    The 'non-hydrated' compound is the hard one.

    <:eek:> THEY call me 'Dean' <> [​IMG]
    <:)> fYI-fWiW-iIRC-JMO-M2C-YMMV-TiA-YW-GL-HH-HBd
    <:D> Noobee <> Tips <> Baha'i Prayers Links --A--T--H--D
  20. ddean


    Mar 26, 2002

    metal identification

    spark testing

    illustrations of various alloys' sparks (.pdf file):
    http://www.ohiosteel.org/homepage/Spark Testing for Mystery Metals.pdf


    extensive info on ferrous & non-ferrous ID:
    "Part 1: Guide to Metals : First Part: Information on the properties of Metals"
    "Part 2: Guide to Metals : Second Part: Information on the properties of Metals"
    includes spark testing pics & descriptions

    <:eek:> THEY call me 'Dean' <> [​IMG]
    <:)> fYI-fWiW-iIRC-JMO-M2C-YMMV-TiA-YW-GL-HH-HBd
    <:D> Noobee <> Tips <> Baha'i Prayers Links --A--T--H--D

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