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Old 10th July 2016, 04:42 PM   #1
David R
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Default Bakelite hilted Kukri.

I am posting this one across more than one forum because I would realy like to know if anyone else has come across a Bakelite or other synthetic grip material used on what is evidently not a "tourist" Kukri.
A new acquisition, I nearly left this one because of the grip but bought it for the blade. This one really deserves the epithet "Beast". Total length 18.5 inches 47cm, weight 26 ounces 740 grm. the blade is 11mm thick at the base with an even distal taper to the point. The grip is covered in a thick coat of brown paint or other finish, and underneath that it looks to be a moulded synthetic like Bakelite. A through tang, and painted or plated prominent "blind nut" or screw cap. But the blade is pure tradition, deep forged fullers, elegant rounded back with a ridged spine, and wedge section with a slight hollow grind or forge to the edge.
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Old 10th July 2016, 10:12 PM   #2
Timo Nieminen
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I doubt bakelite, because it has to be formed, under pressure, at 150C. But a synthetic makes sense as a rehilting material for somebody who wants a one piece grip closely fitting a through tang and doesn't want to (or know about) burning the tang in. Or even for somebody who doesn't want to carve one from wood, or thinks wood splits too easily.
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Old 10th July 2016, 10:18 PM   #3
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Better focus and close ups would be good.
It looks like there is a swirled pattern there.
Are the light colored marks scuffs?

Last edited by Rick : 10th July 2016 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 11th July 2016, 12:14 AM   #4
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Could it be an original wooden handle, repaired and rebuilt using plastic, and then given a thick coat of paint?

The pommel cap/nut fixing looks similar to some Afghan work I have seen previously...
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Old 11th July 2016, 12:07 PM   #5
David R
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Further research now inclines me to the opinion that the hilt may in fact be "Gutta-percha" a naturally occurring mould-able material in industrial use from the mid 19th century. It was used for sword hilts from that period on, and so would be a sensible choice for use on a Kukri. Gutta-percha seems to have been the wonder material of the 19th C, falling into disuse because of the overuse and collapse of the supply rather than any failure of function, and is still used today though in smaller mounts.
Quote from Wikipedia "A brief history: 'Even long before Gutta-percha was introduced into the western world, it was used in a less processed form by the natives of the Malaysian archipelago for making knife handles, walking sticks and other purposes."
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Old 11th July 2016, 09:05 PM   #6
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Nice looking khuk. Whatever the handle material is whom ever did it had skills.
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