Thread: Keris handle
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Old 15th April 2021, 10:47 PM   #7
A. G. Maisey
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Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,777
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Removing a stuck blade from its scabbard.

Over all the time I have been involved with keris and other items of tosanaji from SE Asia, I have never encountered a blade that could not be extracted from its scabbard.

Yes, I've come across a few pretty sticky ones, and the method that I have found most effective is simply brute force:-

use a bench vice with alloy jaw liners so you do not mark the tang, clamp the tang into the vice horizontally, grip the atasan (top part of the wrongko) with both hands, using short, sudden bursts of force pull the scabbard away from the blade.

Using this method I have never damaged a scabbard nor a blade, and I have never failed to get a stuck blade away from its scabbard.

I once saw Empu Pauzan Pusposukadgo remove a keris blade from a scabbard simply by talking to it and tapping the sides of the gandar on the edge of a stone step. He used very little force. I had already tried to remove this keris from the wrongko, but being in Solo I did not have a vice with alloy jaw liners, so I intended to use Pauzan's vice with wooden liners. Pauzan was sitting on the edge of step drinking coffee and relaxing, I asked if I could use his vice, he said yeah, OK, but give me a look at it, I handed him the keris, he spoke to it, tapped the gandar on the edge of the step he was sitting on a couple of times, then just gently lifted the keris away from its scabbard.

I've got a mate lives in Alberta. He has encountered a few stuck keris, and what he does is this:-

wrap the entire keris in a plastic bag and put it in the freezer, if possible remove the hilt, leave it for a few hours or overnight; it normally removes easily after this cold treatment.

I am not recommending this method, I've never tried it, but my mate swears by it.

I've got a real good story about a stuck tombak, but I do not want to put it up on a public Forum for the world to read because anybody who does not know me personally would be inclined to think I should be given residence in a home for the mentally ill.
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