Join Date: May 2006
I like the sound of that Birch stuff.
Yes, Bob, in Jawa we call this mix jabung, it is pretty much the standard adhesive for all handles that are intended to stay put, The damar we use is called "damar selo" = "rock damar" and it needs to be melted in a pot over fire, it is very highly inflammable and the gas it gives off takes your breath away. It will stick to your skin if still liquid, and you can burnt severely by it, so when using it you stir the liquid jabung with a stick until it doesn't drip off, then you can handle it like putty with your bare hands. You need to work very quickly.
Of course, these days most people in Jawa use a modern adhesive like one of the super glues or one of the two part epoxy resins, and they colour these with iron filings as required.
In fact, it has been standard practice in Jawa to use two part epoxy resin between the blade and the gonjo of old keris, where this gap has opened up, since this adhesive appeared on the market there, more than 50 years ago. The reason for its use is to assist preservation:- if the gap between blade & gonjo is sealed it helps to prevent further deterioration.