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Finally had to rehandle my AK, this time in black linen micarta

Discussion in 'Himalayan Imports' started by Last Visible Canary, Apr 6, 2012.

  1. Last Visible Canary

    Last Visible Canary actively parsing hurf durf

    Nov 28, 2006
    So after several ears of use my purpleheart handle finally developed a crack after I put some linseed oil on it. I think the linseed oil created stress by loosening up the exterior while the interior wood as still very dry from my current desert surroundings. Plus the winters here fluctuate between really humid and really dry, probably adding to the stress.

    It's original form:
    [​IMG]

    The day the scales sheered because I hit it with a baton. The pins were soft aluminum with no reinforcement, so it was bound to happen eventually
    [​IMG]

    Heres the purple heart rendition, after I ground down the tang down so it could be a wide, rounded hidden tang:
    [​IMG]

    and now the new handle :D I've been meaning to do a micarta/g10 handle for a long time, but never had a reason/resources for it. Using only a dremel and a 4x36" belt sander on my patio, I peiced together a 4 layer hidden tang handle, all glued together with 2 ton epoxy and screws+standoffs.

    [​IMG]

    I had to glue a wedge into the hidden tang compartment because I got a little over zealous near the cho side and made it to deep
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    my girlfriend helped by making a parts-man:
    [​IMG]

    after rough shaping:
    [​IMG]

    I brought it to a high polish
    [​IMG]

    But decided on a rougher 320 grit finish for grippiness
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I tried hard to avoid two things, making it look exactly like a Jerry Hossom handle, or the TTKZ handle from Busse Combat. The purple heart handle I shaped solely off of my own hand and my sensibilities for handle ergonomics, but really it ended up being very very close to a slightly more rounded TTKZ handle. This time it ended up being nearly identical in perportion to the TTKZ handle, with only a few very slight modifications, mostly to the palm side of the pommel swell/drop.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    I haven't gotten to use it yet, but I'm sure it will do well, as well at least as the TTKZ handle. It won't be quite as cushiony as the purple heart, but it will be a lot stronger and far more stable in the long run.
     
  2. alexs

    alexs

    516
    Nov 26, 2009
    Impressive work!
     
  3. badasp118

    badasp118

    105
    Feb 18, 2010
    that is so badassed! I'm very impressed!
     
  4. Dirtbiker

    Dirtbiker

    Jul 2, 2010
    We should ship some Micarta to Nepal and get the Kamis used to working with it.

    Yours looks great.
     
  5. OldPhysics

    OldPhysics

    Sep 2, 2006
    I like what you've done.

    Keep experimenting.
     
  6. homeka45

    homeka45

    87
    Dec 24, 2005
    Turned out very nice, thanks for all the pictures.
     
  7. Shinook

    Shinook

    344
    Apr 2, 2012
    Looks great!

    How common is it to need to re-handle a kukri? I just ordered my first kukri(18" GRS!), and I thnk I'd have a tough time making a replacement handle that is anything less than a disaster..
     
  8. Huntsman Knife Co.

    Huntsman Knife Co. KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Sep 10, 2010
    Looks great!
     
  9. Last Visible Canary

    Last Visible Canary actively parsing hurf durf

    Nov 28, 2006
    Not that often, and it depends on what style of tang it is. Most of the damages you'll encounter have relatively easy fixes.

    With the stick tang style you'd have to put a really serious crack in the wood to have to completely replace it. Normally you can repair cracks by drilling a small hole at the end of the crack and then filling the hole and the crack with either superglue or 2 ton epoxy (my favorite general adhesive). If the handle gets loose normally you can just peen the end of the tang to tighten it up. If all else fails and it's a near total lost because you can't peen it back into place - you can always slide the entire thing off the tang and 2 ton epoxy it into place. If it ever needs to be taken off, you can remove it with a chisel, hammer, and a file to get the glue off the tang.

    With the exposed full tang style, the main cause I've experienced for repair is when the tubes/rods that hold it in place sheer, leaving a pinchy line where the scale is no longer flush with the tang. sometimes you can just hammer everything back into place, other times not. Mostly this is a problem with unreinforced aluminum pins like the ones that came with this. If they have a brass tube around them it's less likely to happen. If you can't peen it back into place you can wrap the entire thing in tape, you can do a simple cord wrap to cushion the sharp edges, or you could do what I always do and epoxy the entire thing together and then sand down the sharp edges.
     
  10. Shinook

    Shinook

    344
    Apr 2, 2012
    Thanks Last Visible Canary!

    I can handle hit it with a hammer, drill and glue, and tape the hell out of it.
     
  11. Fourgates

    Fourgates

    26
    Oct 24, 2011
    Very nice work.
     
  12. Semper Fi1985

    Semper Fi1985

    80
    Dec 6, 2011
    Very nice! ZK
     
  13. JayGoliath

    JayGoliath

    Mar 27, 2010
    LVC,

    Thank you for such inspiring work! I'm going through my collection for a stick tang handle.
    Just one question, it is still a CAK, right?
     
  14. ivan51

    ivan51

    Dec 9, 2003
    very nice good job:thumbup:
     
  15. Last Visible Canary

    Last Visible Canary actively parsing hurf durf

    Nov 28, 2006
    Technically I don't think it qualifies, I think the 'Chiruwa' signifies a fully exposed tang. This is a non-traditional style hidden tang, with a traditional ang khola blade. If your going to do a stick tang, you may have to thread the end of the handle so you can add a nut to it, since there may not be enough space to drill a hole for a screw and stand off.
     
  16. ShamrockWill

    ShamrockWill

    81
    Jul 7, 2011
    Any chance you'd be willing to put a handle like that on my 17" Chitlangi for a price?
     
  17. davidf99

    davidf99 Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Sep 27, 2011
    LVC:

    You did a beautiful job with that micarta. Here's an idea that I'll throw out there for your consideration:

    Earlier in the thread you say that you brought the micarta to a high polish, then roughened it to 320 grit for grippiness.

    My idea is that you could polish just the parts of the handle (two on each side) that show the four-pointed "diamond" pattern, leaving the bulgy parts of the handle at 320. That would cause the diamond patterns to visually pop while retaining the grippiness.

    It might look really good, and if not it would be easy enough to go back to the 320 roughness.

    -- Dave
     
  18. Bladite

    Bladite ǝɹnsıǝן ɟo uɐɯǝןʇuǝb Moderator

    Feb 28, 2003
    nice mods and updates to the classic :)

    love the Zilla too :>
     
  19. Anttheknee

    Anttheknee

    376
    Feb 19, 2012
    Its really awesome!!! And Thats an understatement. If I could I would make a micarta handle for every blade i own Simply because it lasts forever and if you are skilled enough it can be quite beautiful as well. I am waiting to shark my perfect CAK, and when it comes i am going to make it perfect with a green and red micarta handle.....
     
  20. Last Visible Canary

    Last Visible Canary actively parsing hurf durf

    Nov 28, 2006
    For right now my projects are just labors of love. If I ever get a shop or an actual garage again I might take up projects for other people, but for now it's nice to not have to worry about supply and quality.
     

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