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Thread: an old villager.....

  1. #1
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    an old villager.....

    Blade = 12.7" 323mm
    Handle = 4.8" 122mm
    Spine = 0.39" 10mm (max.)
    Weight = 22oz 623.7gm
    Balance = approx. 4.5" 115mm forward of handle
    Shoulder = 4.9" 125mm forward of handle
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  2. #2
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    Excellent mate, glad you got it, a fine and classic example of a Nepali Villager, and a super weight for the sort of general use it would have been used for

  3. #3
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    some more details : accessories

    Knife
    weight = 4oz 113.5gm
    blade = 5.9" 150mm
    handle = 3.5" 89mm
    maximum blade thickness = 0.2" 5mm

    Striker
    weight = 2.25oz 64gm
    length = 5.5" 140mm
    maximum thickness after "handle" = 0.2" 5mm

    The knife has a steel band round the end of its wooden handle - that band has a layer of copper on much of its surface which does not show up well in pictures.... but although there is rust on the blade, there is none on the band -- it's copper that is the reddish colour on there, and it is definitely not a repair, so I think it must have already been a copper coating on the steel that was used.
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  4. #4
    Congratulations Cliff it looks a nice villiger, do you think it was a piece of brass/copper plated pipe cut as a ferrule perhaps? Or is it where solder has run? is thier a braising seam?

    Jonathan

  5. #5
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    Neat piece

    Chris,
    Congrats from my side as well. With the longer than ususal karda, the fish shaped chakmak this is a classic representative of the nepalese workhorse.
    A kukri made for rough jobs and a life of hardship (and seems it had its share of tough work).
    I'd call the handle original and the long bolster as well as the handle carving very classique.
    Looking at the scratched in spine grooves and the rather straight concept of blade and handle I'd say it is a post WW2 piece.
    Was there a scabbard ?

    Andreas
    As lo, the boy looked upon the beauty of the forward curved blade, and beauty stayed his hands
    and from that day forward, he was financially doomed.

    King Kukri, 2005

  6. #6
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    Was there a scabbard ?
    Indeed there is; and I will be photographing that in detail.
    Usual design with accessory compartments and tinder pouch.
    Actually, I'm going to need some advice about what to do to it, as its wood (leather covered) has suffered some structural damage from woodworm although the external shaping remains unaffected.
    They've not touched the knife handles - would that be because they're made from a different wood?
    Last edited by Cliff M.; 06-24-2008 at 09:31 AM.

  7. #7
    Yes definatly Cliff, the handle timbers are usualy very hard, fine grained timber with essential oils often present in it.

    The scappard timbers in Nepal are incredibly soft & woodworm love them.

    First thing to do is wrap scabbard in clingfilm & put it in the freezer for 4 days, that will kill any larvae.

    When you take it out of freezer you have to keep wiping of the condensation for about 10 minutes to prevent leather becoming damp. Dont put kukri back in it for about 48 hours then, stored at matching room temp..

    Jonathan

  8. #8
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    Thanks, Jonathan.
    Re your question about the metal wrap at the end of the accessory knife handle, I've examined it with a magnifying glass and scratched with a scriber, and it does not seem to bear any indication of soldering, welding or brazing at all.
    (the overlap/join is at the top side of the blade)

    The blade is set into the handle with some kind of red/dark pink epoxy, and from the appearance of the wrap's bare steel areas when compared to the ageing on the blade itself, I think it might be that at some time in the knife's career the original wrap had come off and was either filed clean and put back on, or a replacement made.

    Btw, there are no copper deposits at all on the surface of the kukri's steel bolster, though a small amount of coppery colour is visible along the join (on top side) which appears to be brazed (?) - it's not the more pale-brassy colour of braze that I'm used to though.... a different alloy?

  9. #9
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    It's raining here today - if the weather is dry tomorrow I'll try to take some out-door photos of the sheath before putting it in the freezer.

  10. #10
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    A kukri made for rough jobs and a life of hardship (and seems it had its share of tough work).
    It doesn't feel clumsy, but does have the feel of a real axe-type chopper, rather than a slicer.
    Was a bit surprised at how light it actually weighed, compared to the weight it seems to be. I'd have guessed it as being an extra quarter-pound.

    The kukri handles at its best when doing a downwards diagonal stroke.
    It's a tough old thing, so when it is dry outside I can test that out on an old tree branch.

    Looking at the scratched in spine grooves
    Put in with a chisel, and as deep as any grooves on my other kukris.
    The side that is not in the photos was much more neatly done.

  11. #11
    Thanks Cliff, sounds like they used a piece of cut tubing as a ferrule, I often do the same with chisels.

    jonathan

  12. #12
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    The handle (darkened from use) is a pale, hard wood.... when tapped with a fingernail it has more of a clear "bell" like ring to it than any of my other kukris, which I assume means its also rather dry?
    What would be best to treat the handle of it and the knife with (I usually use linseed oil, but also have camelia oil and ballistol to hand)?

  13. #13
    Well it probably is dry, but the tone, probably reflects its hardness as well I suspect.

    i use mineral oil, {Johnsons baby oil , not gun or machine oil.} in small amounts, it is a non drying oil which means it penetrates very deeply into the wood & helps drying cracks if the humidty its stored in lessons.

    All though non drying it vanishjes into the wood very quickly & is soon non slip again.

    Linsead leaves a great polished effect that is suitible of parade ground kukri but less suitible for rough & ready or issue pieces.IMHO.

    Camila & Ballistol are both mostly mineral oil with smelly additives to inhace the seller factor.

    Spiral

  14. #14
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    Thanks Jonathan - I will use baby oil on this one as a shine would look rather silly on it. Same with the lightweight oldie I posted about before.
    ............................................
    Coincidence, with the woodworm issue.... just got a kukri (impulse buy) today which has a woodworm hole clean through its handle, plus a couple of others... I've dosed these holes with the spirit-based woodworm killer I usually use on sheds and the like, just in case. Odd thing is its scabbard seems not to have been attacked.
    Thought I'd made a mistake when it arrived... feared it might be cheapie junk.... but now I'm bemused - it's over 17", an unmistakeably "fighter" weight and balance, partial tang, may be a bit older than at first seemed -- and the entire re-assessment was triggered by it passing a user test (oh to heck with it, gauntlets and face-mask on, full-force chops and slashes on logs and branches to see if it breaks or bends) that would be more appropriate to my modern working sirupates... without any problems.
    I'll photo and post on it next week.
    Last edited by Cliff M.; 06-26-2008 at 11:59 AM.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff M. View Post
    Thanks Jonathan - I will use baby oil on this one as a shine would look rather silly on it. Same with the lightweight oldie I posted about before.
    ............................................
    Coincidence, with the woodworm issue.... just got a kukri (impulse buy) today which has a woodworm hole clean through its handle, plus a couple of others... I've dosed these holes with the spirit-based woodworm killer I usually use on sheds and the like, just in case. Odd thing is its scabbard seems not to have been attacked.
    .
    No problem, pics would be brilliant, look forward to them! some great & prctical kukri still look a little rough round the edges...

    Temperate zone [Europe & USA} woodworm bore lengways inside the timber & the holes are just where they have eaten there way out where they have reached flying beetle stage insteafd of bieng larvae. Most of the damage with woodworm cant be seen & can be a structral weakness.

    If a hole is visible all the way through that will be, pin hole borer, a different species from tropical zones that attacks standing & recently felled trees in the round. It bores straight through the timber & all it damage is instanly visible. It usualy cant survive in temperate zones or we would have no trees left! It a hardy bugger that can eat into most things, although it still prefers the sapwood usualy.

    Jonathan

  16. #16
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    Nasty stuff, and they can make mince meat of a scabbard!!

  17. #17
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    quoting myself re the old villager.....
    The kukri handles at its best when doing a downwards diagonal stroke.
    It's a tough old thing, so when it is dry outside I can test that out on an old tree branch.
    trial now done.....
    Oh boy does it chop. And slice..... that's without giving the edge a touch-up, though it's actually pretty sharp as it is. I'm impressed.
    These somewhat rough looks don't seem at all out of place once the kukri gets into serious action, and the handle is comfortable.

    Andreas, re the attribution of date to the styling of the kukri (rather than the kukri itself) -- it works so efficiently, I'm now wondering if perhaps for day-to-day work the ordinary farmers etc. in Nepal might have used a fairly straight blade/handle configuration like this a long time ago, as well as in more recent times.

  18. #18
    Hi, Cliff, I liked your pure blood villager khukri. Looks like the brut de forge works, without pretending. I think the balance is correct for your blade, I´m not suprised you found it suitable. Functionallity is another sort of perfection. The karda and chakmak are very interesting. There is not a real complete collection without pieces like this. I´m glad you have more pieces in your collection.
    My best regards

    Gonzalo

  19. #19
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    Well I didn't think a kukri made for use in Nepal for a Nepali in a Village was going fail somehow, unless age had taken its toll. It sounds like it behaved in a typical Villager kukri fashion

  20. #20
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    Just to complete the documentation of the old villager, here are three pictures showing.......
    (1) the sheath.
    (2) the pocket that's on its back, which survived better than the rest of the sheath; and - peeled apart after cutting a few stitches - a view of where the accessory knife and spark-striker went.
    (3) the tinder pouch which was inside the pocket, with an inset showing its contents - by the look of it a shredded and fluffed up thread of the same type as is used for some of the stitching that can be seen in (2).

    The sheath had suffered far too much internal collapse (woodworm) to be useable any more. After a week in the deep freeze I dried it out, masked the holes, then poured in some glass-fibre resin - so at least its shape is now stabilised.
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  21. #21
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    Thumbs up Scabbard restoration

    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff M. View Post
    The sheath had suffered far too much internal collapse (woodworm) to be useable any more. After a week in the deep freeze I dried it out, masked the holes, then poured in some glass-fibre resin - so at least its shape is now stabilised.
    Cliff,
    I think this is a superb scabbard restoration job that you have done there. Thanks for sharing it with us !

    Maybe a stupid question, but did you fill the whole scabbard with glass-fibre resin to mainatin its shape or were you abe to repair the structural damage in a way that the kukris still fits into the scabbard?

    Looking at the scabbard now I think it was worth the
    effort with the leather still being intact and the overall style (back pouch, long sheaths for kada and chakmak) being so classic).
    Actually looking at them I'd put your kukri closer into the WW2 era than before.
    Actually i wouldn't have ruled out post 1970 (can't entirely do so now) but with that scabbard I'd personally place it before 1970s (just personal gut feeling).

    Given the fact that you like how it slices and handles it seem that you have great calssic user there.

    Thanks to all the top notch repair tips and advice given in this thread! that is what really helps all of us in preserving these great knives!

    Andreas
    As lo, the boy looked upon the beauty of the forward curved blade, and beauty stayed his hands
    and from that day forward, he was financially doomed.

    King Kukri, 2005

  22. #22
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    but did you fill the whole scabbard with glass-fibre resin to mainatin its shape or were you abe to repair the structural damage in a way that the kukris still fits into the scabbard?
    I used the kukri blade (covered with cling-film) to force the sheath into shape after pouring in some resin, and took it out when the resin was in the process of setting, but not yet hard.
    It almost worked -- but not well enough.
    So although it is still hollow inside, the sheath can no longer be used.

  23. #23
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    At least saved

    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff M. View Post
    So although it is still hollow inside, the sheath can no longer be used.
    Hi Cliff.
    Thanks on the update !! At least you were able to stop it from further "disintegration" and have preserved it to study it and compare it with other future scabbards in your colection as a refference point.
    So congrats on a job well done.

    Andreas
    As lo, the boy looked upon the beauty of the forward curved blade, and beauty stayed his hands
    and from that day forward, he was financially doomed.

    King Kukri, 2005

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