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Old 25th March 2012, 04:11 PM   #1
David R
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Default Cutlers resin...fail.

Today I had a go at making some cutlers resin compound to re affix the blade into my recent purchase, an Indo Persian khanjar. Not as easy at it seemed from the forums,
Various formulae perused, but all are variations on resin, beeswax and some sort of filler...charcoal, whiting, sand or fibre of various origin.
First attempt 2 parts frankincense (cheap Somali) 2 parts resin of unknown origin 1 part beeswax. Dreadfull fumes , burnt the teflon off the pan (not using a teflon lined pan again) and the dubious resin refused to melt. Experiment discarded, next attempt.
4 part cheap francincense, 1 part beeswax. Fumes, pleasant at first then noxious, bubbles and boiling but no complete melt of the resin, exp. discarded.
Lessons learned, not to use a teflon lined pan, I think that was the origin of the nastiest fumes, and check the resin is suitable. I think the first batch of unknown origin was probably a synthetic masquerading as natural, and I have my suspicions of the cheap frankincense.
I will try again sometime soon, getting this right will mean several projects can the be finished, but I might use a stove outside rather than indoors.
Any advice from people who have had success with this stuff very welcome.
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Old 25th March 2012, 04:46 PM   #2
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I would suggest using black epoxy resin; mix epoxy then add a drop or two of black ink mix more - looks like old cutlers resin, but holds a he$$ of a lot better.
Just a thought.

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Old 25th March 2012, 05:10 PM   #3
Ibrahiim al Balooshi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David R
Today I had a go at making some cutlers resin compound to re affix the blade into my recent purchase, an Indo Persian khanjar. Not as easy at it seemed from the forums,
Various formulae perused, but all are variations on resin, beeswax and some sort of filler...charcoal, whiting, sand or fibre of various origin.
First attempt 2 parts frankincense (cheap Somali) 2 parts resin of unknown origin 1 part beeswax. Dreadfull fumes , burnt the teflon off the pan (not using a teflon lined pan again) and the dubious resin refused to melt. Experiment discarded, next attempt.
4 part cheap francincense, 1 part beeswax. Fumes, pleasant at first then noxious, bubbles and boiling but no complete melt of the resin, exp. discarded.
Lessons learned, not to use a teflon lined pan, I think that was the origin of the nastiest fumes, and check the resin is suitable. I think the first batch of unknown origin was probably a synthetic masquerading as natural, and I have my suspicions of the cheap frankincense.
I will try again sometime soon, getting this right will mean several projects can the be finished, but I might use a stove outside rather than indoors.
Any advice from people who have had success with this stuff very welcome.



Salaams David R ~ I hope you survived the fumigation experiment Definitely down the garden well away from the house ya ! Rich has a good alternative there... Good luck with that...

We use a strange Glue. To fix the blade, Lakk is used (Tachardia Lacca ) from an insect secretion. Essentially it looks like small blocks/ sheets of black pitch and is imported from India and Pakistan. The molten pitch-like lakk is poured into the hilts cuff(tuq) and the heated blade is sturdily pressed home .

Regards,
Ibrahiim al Balooshi.
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Old 25th March 2012, 05:15 PM   #4
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DANGER MAD SCIENTIST AT WORK HEE HEE!!,
I HAVE HAD SIMULAR EPISODES IN MY LIFE, OF SUCH MINI DISASTERS MEMORIES ARE MADE.
AROUND HERE THE POLICE MIGHT HAVE BEEN CALLED TO LOOK FOR A METH LAB BECAUSE OF THE FUMES.
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Old 25th March 2012, 05:20 PM   #5
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Change the base. Try a mix using bitumen as a base resin. Solid, natural, you could get a chunk from anywhere that does tarmacing, most light builders will have it, roofers etc.
I'd be tempted to try mixing it with some very fine sawdust.

P.S. Do it outside and don't get any on your skin, watch the heat, wear goggles and gloves etc.
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Old 25th March 2012, 05:33 PM   #6
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Sounds like you are using too high a heat and too quickly and burning the substances before melting into a usable substance. You sould not have any problems.
Use a gentle flame from a small spirit/meths burner or even a big spoon over a candle except a yellow flame will soot up. If you cannot find one work with embers of a fire like any native / jungleman.
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Old 25th March 2012, 08:37 PM   #7
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Perhaps using an 'un-known' resin is the problem ....impurities etc could affect the melting point. Pine pitch is often used and is nicer smelling Curious as to why your using frankincence, an aromatic?

Best
David
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Old 25th March 2012, 09:15 PM   #8
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Damar selo, hard bees wax, terracotta dust.

Proportions :- 3 : 2 : 1

Must be done outside preferably with a light breeze to carry away the fumes.

The fumes can ignite.

Preparation is dangerous and I do not recommend the preparation and use of this material to anybody who has not received training from an experienced person.

When the mixture has been prepared and allowed to cool it will form a hard, rock-like deposit in the bottom of the saucepan. This can be freed from the saucepan by hitting the pan hard against the earth. You then break up the "rock" into smaller pieces and re-heat. When it is soft you pick up some from the pan with a stick, and cool it to the point where it is plastic. It will still be hot and if you do not enjoy a little bit of pain you should not have started the exercise in the first place, because you need to take the hot material between your fingers and roll it to a size that will fit the hole for the tang. You insert the rolled material, then you heat the tang and push it home while the material is still just a little bit soft. You need to work very fast from the point where you take the hot material from the pan.

You can clean up excess with mineral turps and a stiff toothbrush.

WARNING:- when this stuff is hot it will stick to your skin and burn straight through the skin into your flesh. It hurts. Believe me.

WARNING:- do the preparation outside well away from any buildings. If the fumes ignite, just leave it and run.

I do not know where to buy damar selo outside of Jawa.

The safe, sensible, easy solution for this century is to use tinted araldite.
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Old 25th March 2012, 09:58 PM   #9
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Get ye some pine sap! Then cook it to drive the volatiles off, and it changes, now you got the raw material you need for your recipe. Have fun! Do it outside, try in old (steel) tin cans. Careful, extremely flammable.
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Old 25th March 2012, 09:59 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone for all the input. I see epoxy as the easy way out....and perhaps a last resort. I will have a couple more goes at this before I give up, and will keep the forum posted with my progress. I want to go the authentic route,.... even if it is a pain in the butt.
I wonder if the teflon from the pan effected the mix. Tim, the comment about rushing it and burning the resin before it melted also struck a chord.
Ibrahim, I will try my incense supplier for the stuff you mentioned.
Katana, I used frankincese 'cause one of the forums (not here) recommended it, and I had a load of it knocking around. One of my friends is an incense wholesaler, and often buys in Egypt and Saudi, so I can get some stuff easily that is not generaly available.
Watch this space.
Hi G. just got your post, daft as it sounds, I can get the exotics more easily than the native resins...but will see what I can get in that line.

Last edited by David R : 25th March 2012 at 10:02 PM. Reason: Saw a relavant post just after.
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Old 26th March 2012, 11:51 AM   #11
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I find it useful to make a mould from cooking foil. I cast a pencil like ingot of the wax resin mix. When this is hard it is a good shape for dripping the mixture into awkward places. Also just melting the end and dabbing the mixture were you want and final shaping with your fingers when cool enough.
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Old 26th March 2012, 05:00 PM   #12
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If you drive past roadworks.....
Doesn't hurt to ask, you only want a little block if you want to try a bitumen mix.

Just be careful, the burns would be horrible.
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Old 26th March 2012, 09:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David R
Hi G. just got your post, daft as it sounds, I can get the exotics more easily than the native resins...but will see what I can get in that line.


You should be able to get high quality solid pine resins from any music shop that sells violins{ called rosin to put on bow strings.}

Spiral
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Old 26th March 2012, 10:24 PM   #14
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David where are you located? Maybe we can brainstorm some local materials for you to try.
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Old 27th March 2012, 08:21 PM   #15
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Hi G. I am in West Yorkshire, England. Spiral, I keep forgetting about music shops, and we have a couple of decent ones local. I can also try "Pete the Pong" my incense dealer friend.
Watch this space.........
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Old 28th March 2012, 11:02 PM   #16
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Hmm, no conifers in Yorkshire Dales or Peak District National Parks?

Well, there is always fish glue or any other hide glue!
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Old 28th March 2012, 11:39 PM   #17
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David

I don't know why you want to go with traditional cutlery resin? When there are so many superior forms of modern epoxy available?




http://jbweld.net/products/jbstik.php

Last edited by Lew : 28th March 2012 at 11:51 PM.
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Old 29th March 2012, 12:39 AM   #18
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Hey Lew,

Do you have a first hand experience with this stuff? I have a coupe of tulwars where blades are becoming loose, and while I want to reset them, I prefer not to play around with traditional resin, especially after David R's unfortunate experience
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Old 29th March 2012, 01:35 AM   #19
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Stan -

I've used epoxy for repairing most ever type of knife and sword (except Nihonto). Also I was an amateur knifemaker. I used epoxy with black ink for all the knives I made. As I said above, mix the epoxy as usual, then add a drop or two of black ink (I use India ink as it's really concentrated and doesn't dilute the epoxy significantly). Pour in the epoxy and set the blade into the handle. Of course you want to tape off the area of the blade immediately in front of the handle and around the handle so the epoxy won't stick to them. I also use Vasoline on a Q-tip to get at the very edges -epoxy won't stick to that either.

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Old 29th March 2012, 01:50 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan S.
Hey Lew,

Do you have a first hand experience with this stuff? I have a coupe of tulwars where blades are becoming loose, and while I want to reset them, I prefer not to play around with traditional resin, especially after David R's unfortunate experience


Stan, I used jbweld to attach the mounting bolts to the back of this bronze created by Tim that we presented to Lee .

I believe they're still holding .

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Old 29th March 2012, 02:58 AM   #21
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How about just flaked shellac? It is the famous Indian lac that was used to attach tulwar handles for centuries, add a bit of powdered terracotta ( any brick will do) or just sand , perhaps some dye for authenticity.

Shellac is used as sealing wax all over the world, and there were no burns AFAIK.
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Old 29th March 2012, 03:16 AM   #22
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I used wood epoxy stick mixed with 0000 steel wool to reset the head of my Kalinga axe and and it just worked out fine for me .
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Old 29th March 2012, 09:55 AM   #23
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Hi all, thanks for all the answers and advice, I confess a certain suprise at how many people have noticed my post.
I am holding the epoxy route in reserve , I know it works and is a relatively simple solution to the problem, and so is there as plan B. The reasons I am playing around with the traditional resins are, it is fun, it is practical research on how this was done in the past, it is reversable, it is how this was done on this weapon originaly.
I am sorry that my own experience so far has put someone off going this route themselves. Bear in mind, I have not been put off further attempts ...yet. But perhaps there is a lesson here that this sort of thing is not as easy as it often seems to be.
Next step is to see if I can "rescue" the second batch, I am thinking of using real turpentine to dissolve the blackened mess and see if I can recover something usefull. This weekend I will be off round Leeds hunting up some shellac and/or rosin. Alas, Pete the Pong no longer deals much with the incense and resins and so cannoy get me the lac.
I will keep posting my results, including my fails, for the entertainment and information of all here.

Last edited by David R : 29th March 2012 at 09:59 AM. Reason: ref to Pete the
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