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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Tue 02 Oct, 2012 6:15 pm    Post subject: Gigantic Ceremonial Kukri.         Reply with quote

A little while back I purchased the Windlass " Gigantic Ceremonial Kukri " at the very least out of curiosity.

Windlass is the official maker of Kukris for the Gurkha regiments so whatever the qualities of this Gigantic Kukri I suspect that the steel and heat treat matches the military standards.

Here at Kult of Athena are the basic statistics and a few pics in addition to the ones posted at the end of this Topic by me:
http://www.kultofathena.com/product.asp?item=...nial+Kukri

The price is a bargain and it is put together very well, I don't know what hard wood they use for the handle but it might be teak which is available in India ?

Well, first impressions: " IT HUGE ", much bigger than it looks in pics because the handle is much too oversized for a comfortable grip unless one has a hand the size of a gorilla.

It really looks as if someone had taken the blueprints for a normal sized kukri and had just photocopied it at 175 % or 200% and not just increased the scale of the blade but also the scale of the handle. Eek! WTF?! Laughing Out Loud

Now the above 2" diameter of the handle is the only negative I see assuming that one can handle the weight of the piece if one wanted to use it ....... tree chopping or " Zombie Killing. Wink Laughing Out Loud But overall I really like it and I took pics as received without modification but I intend to slim down the handle reducing it's diameter and making it oval in the fat middle rather than round. Oh, two handed one can handle it fairly well by the way.

The edge is sort of butter knife sharp on the wide belly and positive curved part of the blade but very unsharpened in the negatively curved and narrow section closest to the hilt: I intend to sharpen the edge with a variable geometry where the secondary bevel would be very obtuse in the narrow section and very sharp in the belly. The narrow section really doesn't need to be very sharp or even sharp at all in my opinion.

Just using a diamond hone I can tell by feel that the heat treat is at least as hard as most Windlass swords or knives: Something in the high 40's r.c to low 50's r.c.

I will probably refinish the blade using the lemon juice/mustard method to etch the surface to give it an aged but well cared for sating finish with some surface activity.

By the way in the pics I included a Coldsteel CarbonV Kukri that has the kind of finish I'm talking about, and also to show the scale of this Gigantic Kukri next to a normal one. I also have a Windlass Dresden left hand dagger with a blued finish to also show scale in some of the pics as well as pics of my hand holding the Gigantic Kukri and next to it.

If and when I refinish this one I will post pics of the DIY project where I will have slimmed down the handle, maybe carved it a bit, and sharpened the blade.

Oh, the Kukri also come with a very good scabbard for it.



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Coldsteel CarbonV Kukri.

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Close up of lemon juice etched finish that not only looks like pattern welding but also hides the original modern grind marks.

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Notice the size comparison between a comfortable handle and the way too thick diameter handle.

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Sure I can hold it, but it would be very tiring!

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Grip on Coldsteel Kukri for comparison.

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Last edited by Jean Thibodeau on Tue 02 Oct, 2012 6:29 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Tue 02 Oct, 2012 6:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

More pics of size comparison with hand on the handle and next to the handle.


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Solid looking peen with some hammer marks.

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Fat, fat, fat and tiring to hold.

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Close up of peen and pommel/butt cap.

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Both Kukris in their scabbards: The Coldsteel one being Kydex.

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JE Sarge
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PostPosted: Tue 02 Oct, 2012 7:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeez, that thing is a monster. I wonder how far you could shave the handle down before risking it cracking when impacting a target? I'd definately try to get a little meat off of there.
J.E. Sarge
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Tue 02 Oct, 2012 8:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

JE Sarge wrote:
Jeez, that thing is a monster. I wonder how far you could shave the handle down before risking it cracking when impacting a target? I'd definately try to get a little meat off of there.


Yes a monster but for some odd reason I don't find it too heavy even with a very forward balance as I consider it almost more axe than sword, and for an axe it would be lively, even if when judged by sword standards as very much having " presence ".

( 30+ years of weight training does influence one's opinion about what is heavy ...... Wink Razz Laughing Out Loud Cool )

I think with a slimmed down handle I will really love it.

I'm fairly sure that the tang inside the handle is way smaller in all directions than the handle itself so I'm probably safe to remove 1/4" on top and bottom and should be able to remove even more on the sides being 100% sure that the tang isn't more thick than the 3/8" of the blade near the hilt. I will cut and try and stop removing material as soon as it feels right, too small a handle would also be uncomfortable I think: One needs some decent volume in the hand for control as long as one can still close one's hand enough to not feel cramping by having to hold onto too thick a handle.

The only problem I could run into would be if the handle was very hollow but I assume that it's probably touching the tang on all sides and probably epoxied on in addition to the peening ? If worse come to worse and the wood proves to be very soft or flawed in some way by design or materials I could probably sculpt one from scratch in Purpleheart or Ebony: My first choice is to just slim it down,

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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Tue 02 Oct, 2012 8:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have a kukri where the tang is pretty much the width of the blade and can be seen on either edge of the grip. Some kukris have a rat-tail tang. I hope yours isn't that way.
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Tue 02 Oct, 2012 9:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's my giant "ceremonial" kukri (the brass handled one). These are also described as "sacrificial" kukri, being used for killing animals for sacrifice (also for non-sacrificial slaughter). This is is modern and more properly described as as tourist kukri than ceremonial or sacrificial. It's substantially shorter than yours, but still monstrously heavy (for the size).

You can get larger ones, too, like this one. The Nepalese-made ones, if one chooses a traditional style, are much more in the style of old kukris than the Windlass ones (or other modern Indian-made kukris).

Also a modern design that's the length of yours, but much, much lighter. Shown compared with a wakizashi and a tiny kukri.

The last one is an old (i.e., not a modern tourist one) big kukri, pre-WW2, 760g.

(More kukris here!)



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"In addition to being efficient, all pole arms were quite nice to look at." - Cherney Berg, A hideous history of weapons, Collier 1963.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Tue 02 Oct, 2012 9:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roger Hooper wrote:
I have a kukri where the tang is pretty much the width of the blade and can be seen on either edge of the grip. Some kukris have a rat-tail tang. I hope yours isn't that way.


Hard to tell without taking it apart or X-raying it, but the peen at the end of the tang is more than 3/8" in diameter, so the very end of the tang is at least the same thickness as the blade near the hilt before peening: If it's a narrow tang it's probably not of the fragile " rat tail tang " type of a cheap wallhanger.

To me rat tail tang means an extremely narrow tang, or worse just a very short narrow tang welded to an even smaller diameter round steel bar that will snap off if you look at it too hard .... Wink Laughing Out Loud

Also since Windlass makes the military standard version for the Gurkhas, like I mentioned before, and these as used to sacrifice an ox by decapitating with one blow the odds are good that it's of solid construction.

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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Tue 02 Oct, 2012 9:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Timo for the large variety of Kukris in your post: Very interesting.

The truly GIANT Nepalese one seems to exaggerate even more the oversized handle on mine in dimensions almost as if these where made to look as if made for an 8 foot giant to use. Wink Big Grin

Two handed even the thick grip is usable for a one stroke decapitating stroke but not optimum if one had to really fight with an overlarge Kukri.

By the way, the more normal sized Kukris are the real ones that would be used in warfare ( As I'm sure you know Wink ), and even the slim extra long ones would be good handling weapons. I bought the Gigantic Kukri with the intent to make it into more of a " theoretical " Zombie Slayer fantasy type, and after I modify the handle, it would be marginally usable by being better handling but only in a fantasy context.

For these reasons I am not overly concerned about it being period or culturally authentic and it is much closer in looks to some modern military versions also made by Windlass: It's mostly going to be an exercise in DIY modified/customized weaponry just for the fun of it, and I like the experience of handling extreme designs. Wink Big Grin Cool

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Daniel Wallace




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PostPosted: Wed 03 Oct, 2012 9:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

wow that thing is huge. like a hatchet, the wood does look nice, but i wouldn't think of it to be teak - teak is out of this world expensive per board foot. like $50 from my last look into it, but it's an excelent all weather kind of wood.

it looks like its going to be one of those fun little projects
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Wed 03 Oct, 2012 8:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Daniel Wallace wrote:
wow that thing is huge. like a hatchet, the wood does look nice, but i wouldn't think of it to be teak - teak is out of this world expensive per board foot. like $50 from my last look into it, but it's an excelent all weather kind of wood.

it looks like its going to be one of those fun little projects


You may be correct about it not being teak as I'm not sure exactly what teak looks like: Identifying woods by looks can be difficult even for an expert ( And I'm not an expert. Wink ).

I was thinking teak was a possibility because teak is used by an India based company for the wood furniture of replica muzzle loading pistols and muskets.

Oh, if you want expensive woods look at some types of ebony: I've paid close to $100 for a 1 1/2"x4"x 4' piece of macassar ebony.

After I work on it I should have a better idea comparatively about the hardness and workability of the " mystery " wood as I'm used to working with extremely hard woods for my walking stick projects.

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Daniel Wallace




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PostPosted: Thu 04 Oct, 2012 9:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

now i've never seen teak in person before, but i know that a lot of hardcore wood sculptors use it. it has very tight grain and looks a little tannish when unstained? about the only color i can describe it. almost like a flesh tone tan color which might be the reason why sculptors turn to it.

it's possible that other countrys use it often due to its availability - the main reason i remember its price is so high in the states was because the way the wood is harvested is not exactly environmentaly friendly. i don't know the process i'm only repeating the explanation from a carpentry show i saw it featured in once.

like you say its hard to tell what it actually may be especially after its been sealed.

i used to go to a gun show about every month and there was always vendor there that had iron wood - you wanna talk about an awesome piece of wood - it looks like marble. i've been wanting to pick up a piece of it to make a knife handle with, but i don't think i have a single tool in my shop to work it properly. it would probably take longer to sand the wood than to polish a blade.

anyhow, Jean - i'll be sure to follow along on however this project comes out. i enjoy how your walking sticks come out, and a few of the others things you've posted here have always had a little of your personal touch to them.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Thu 04 Oct, 2012 6:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Daniel Wallace wrote:

i used to go to a gun show about every month and there was always vendor there that had iron wood - you wanna talk about an awesome piece of wood - it looks like marble. i've been wanting to pick up a piece of it to make a knife handle with, but i don't think i have a single tool in my shop to work it properly. it would probably take longer to sand the wood than to polish a blade.

anyhow, Jean - i'll be sure to follow along on however this project comes out. i enjoy how your walking sticks come out, and a few of the others things you've posted here have always had a little of your personal touch to them.


I appreciate your whole post but here is my take about working very hard woods: Firstly I think perceptions are very much influenced by what one is used to working with, If one has been sculpting pine just about any hard wood will seem " difficult ", since I've been mostly using wood 2X to 3X or more harder than White Oak I've gotten used to the time and effort it takes to even remove small amount of wood and very slow rasping or sanding times. Wink Laughing Out Loud Cool

A difficult wood to me, as far as being " unpleasant to use ", is not so much based on hardness but what I would find to be an undesirably unpleasant wood to use would be one that tear out when cut or planed and is very difficult to finish.

The very hard woods like many varieties of Ebony are very good woods to sculpt as they can take very fine detail and cuts done with very sharp knives are almost glass smooth: Their only negative is that it takes a great deal of patience as they work only very slowly.

Well, getting back to the Gigantic Kukri I guess I will have to work hard and carefully to be able to meet raised expectation and try to do some quality work on it. Wink Big Grin Cool

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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Mon 19 Nov, 2012 6:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well I did some work on the handle tonight and thinned it down to a comfortable cross section.
The wood seems reasonably hard but easy enough to carve and didn't give me any problems.

Finished the basic reshaping and it now feels like a very heavy weapon with enormous presence, but that is not a surprise, but it's now at least wieldable when before is was like holding a bowling ball i.e. one of the large type but without the finger holes !

Kept the shape similar and made it slightly oval in section. You can see a step down from the diameter of the front bolster/guard.

It would actually be usable with both hands. The wood is unfinished at this time and I still have to do a wood burning " Zombie " logo similar to the one on the Zombie Slayer sword scabbard and I might do some metal " aging " later.

Zombie Slayer DIY project for context: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...highlight=

If and when I do more work on it I'll post more pics

Refer to the top of this Topic for the " before " pics " for comparison to the " after " pics below.



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Matthew P. Adams




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PostPosted: Mon 19 Nov, 2012 7:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow! Much improved Jean!
"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training" Archilochus, Greek Soldier, Poet, c. 650 BC
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Josh MacNeil




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PostPosted: Mon 19 Nov, 2012 8:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean - I really like the refined handle shape you've achieved. It must be like night and day as far as handling too. Happy Have you checked out Himalayan Imports kukris?

I own their 25" Kobra model, which is about 5/16 thick but weighs only 1lb 13oz!

http://yhst-7333098713883.stores.yahoo.net/25inchkobra.html

It's very quick, but hits like a freight train. Perfect short sword with serious stopping power.
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Ken Speed





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PostPosted: Tue 20 Nov, 2012 5:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If one looks closely one can assess the amount of wood Jean removed from the handle by comparing the circumference of the wood at the collar with the circumference of the collar. Jean removed a LOT of wood and I think the dimensions of the handle look much more human scaled now although I am still startled when I see how much of the butt end of the handle protrudes from Jean's hand no to mention the size of the butt end. I imagine that the butt is now even more like the knob on the end of a baseball bat or axe handle and would aid in making an axe type two handed cut. I imagine a hard two handed cut with that kukri would feel somewhat like splitting wood.

Zombies being in short supply at present, I hope Jean can find a suitable media with which to do some test cuts after he's finished his modifications.

I I think modifying one of these giant kukris looks like great fun and I'm interested to see what Jean's kukri will look like when completed.

Jean, thank you for such a fun topic.
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Tue 20 Nov, 2012 9:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I <3 all Khukris, big or small.
This one's a beast, a beautiful beeast!

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Tue 20 Nov, 2012 10:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Josh MacNeil wrote:
Jean - I really like the refined handle shape you've achieved. It must be like night and day as far as handling too. Happy Have you checked out Himalayan Imports kukris?

I own their 25" Kobra model, which is about 5/16 thick but weighs only 1lb 13oz!

http://yhst-7333098713883.stores.yahoo.net/25inchkobra.html

It's very quick, but hits like a freight train. Perfect short sword with serious stopping power.


Thanks for the link and some of the Kukries there look very interesting and mostly more " practically usable ".

I do have the Cold Steel Kukri that is a good modern version and this Gigantic Kukri is interesting in it's over the top excess.

It is heavy but not impossibly so as a battlefield weapon but way too heavy for general routine use as a tool/weapon, but after all the actual purpose is " ceremonial " and for a specialize purpose in decapitating a large Ox for a ritual sacrifice.

Out of a historical or practical context it would be very usable in a " Zombie " context: It would cut great and it would take a really tough and hard zombie neck to resist being chopped off ! In fact one could use the back of the blade as a mace and bash in any " unlucky " zombie. Also the odds of the Kukri getting stuck rather than sailing true a cut is useful as a horde of zombies close in ..... Wink Razz Laughing Out Loud

Well, I see this project as an exercise of making something with an " ergonomic challenged " handle usable and aesthetically pleasing and using the " Zombie Context " just for the fun of it and to give a theme to whatever aesthetic treatment I give it.

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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Tue 20 Nov, 2012 10:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ken Speed wrote:
Jean removed a LOT of wood and I think the dimensions of the handle look much more human scaled now although I am still startled when I see how much of the butt end of the handle protrudes from Jean's hand no to mention the size of the butt end. I imagine that the butt is now even more like the knob on the end of a baseball bat or axe handle and would aid in making an axe type two handed cut. I imagine a hard two handed cut with that kukri would feel somewhat like splitting wood.



I didn't remove as much from the butt end of the handle ( None at all at the very end next to the butt plate ), but the grooves or risers where reshaped and ended up being also smaller in diameter. The flared butt is a lot like a wide sword pommel and if one ;lets the hand slide on the handle the flaring helps in securing one's grip.

It is also a good place to put the second hand for a two handed hold: One would have to almost invent or adapt longsword techniques for a unique fighting style: Although massive it is relatively to a longsword short blades, but it's mass should be able to displace another's blade easily and very hard to deflect.

Might even be good against a pole arm after and initial bind and defective blow followed up by closing in ......
Well, I always tend to at least imagine how I would tactically use just about anything in my hands from this Kukri to even a shovel when clearing snow or even an umbrella. Wink Razz Laughing Out Loud[/u]

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Gene W




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PostPosted: Thu 22 Nov, 2012 9:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks good Jean!

I have a few myself:
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