How to Moisturize a Horn Handle on a Khukuri

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I regularly am asked about how to moisturize or condition a horn handle.  This is important because if horn shrinks then it will likely split because it can’t shrink uniformly due to all the glue, different moisture levels, etc.  With that said, there is a very easy fix.  You can use hoof conditioner for horses to impart oils back into the horn.  I gently warm the horn slightly and the conditioner and then rub it into the horn by hand.  It’s important to use a bare hand so the warmth of your body is helping keep everything liquid.  I will work the conditioner in for about 5-10 minutes and then let it sit until it looks dry and depending on the temperature that might be 10-15 minutes or even just when I get back around to it.

I then repeat the above 2-4 times depending on how fast the conditioner is being absorbed.  I then buff the horn with a cloth handle and let it sit.  That’s it – mission accomplished.

I would recommend to khukuri owners to do this a couple of times per year if possible – especially in the fall and spring when the temperatures and humidity are changing.

I like Hooflex but just about any will do.  This may just be a personal preference but I was told to use thicker conditioners years ago vs.


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How to do Home Manganese Parkerizing

The Following is a Basic Do-it-yourself Manganese Parkerizing Formula

A couple of friends online, Elkaholic and Ding, got me interested in parkerizing years ago and gave me a home brew formula and process steps they use.  I have been tuning that formula for a few years and thought I would share it as I use it both for blades and firearms.  It works great as either the base for a top finish, such as Molyresin or as a finish all by itself.  You may be wondering “why not just buy a premade formula such as the great parkerizing solution from Brownell’s” – the short answer is because tinkering can be fun and more rewarding.  I like to experiment and try different things.   So, with that said, here is the recipe:

Ingredients

– 2 gallons of distilled water  (it gives more consistent results because impurities have been removed)
– 2 “biscuits” of clean 0000 steel wool (thinner steel wool dissolves faster hence the use of 0000 grade)
– 1 cup of Klean Strip brand Phosphoric Prep & Etch (or other phosphoric acid etching solution around 35-45% concentrate per the Prep & Etch MSDS sheet)
– 6 rounded tablespoons of manganese dioxide (available at pottery supply stores, Amazon or eBay)

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Do this outside – never in your house or shop (unless you have a great vent hood).  If you do it indoors, you will likely make stuff rust fast!

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As you can see, I use a camp stove.  For the first couple of years I just used a Coleman stove but that was always a balancing act with my 48″ long stainless pakerizing tank that I used for barreled actions.  I found the above great Camp Chef stove at Amazon and it is fantastic but any heat source will work.

Also, be sure to use stainless steel for your tanks.  I watch for sales or buy stuff off eBay.  The big cooker above is from Walmart and the rectangular pan shown below is from Amazon and is normally the water pan for buffet lines.

For tongs to move stuff around, use solid stainless.  I tried the plastic ones and they can leave a plastic residue on blasted surfaces and mess up your finish.

Just like baking, if you want more of the solution, take the recipe and multiply it by two, four or however many multiples you want. Just be sure you have a place to store it when done.  I use 5 gallon jugs and label them.

Steps to Follow

  1. Add acid to water in a stainless pan/pot and heat to 190F – don’t boil and waste it.  I use a baking thermometer clipped to the side of the pan.
  2. Spray each wool biscuit with brake cleaner to remove oils and allow each time to dry
  3. As the solution warms shred the steel wool into the liquid and add the manganese dioxide
  4. Let the mix simmer and dissolve the steel wool before adding parts
  5. I always blast my parts before I parkerize them – I’ve heard guys tell about using a wire brush on a buffer or drill press as well but I’ve not tried that.  Blasting removes the oxides and exposes the bare steel.
  6. Make sure your parts are very, very clean and degreased — only handle with rubber gloves after they are cleaned or oils from your skin can mess things up
  7. You can suspend your parts in the liquid with stainless wire.  Leave them until the fizzing stops or about 30-40 minutes.  The time varies.
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  8. Rinse the parts with boiling water thoroughly to remove the acid.
  9. Spray parts with WD40 to get the water away from the steel
  10. Wipe down with oil or apply whatever secondary finish you want – don’t do both 🙂  If you are going to apply a finish on top of the parkerized surface, use acetone or brake cleaner to remove any oils and then follow their instructions.

At the bottom of the post are links to Amazon products including long parkerizing tanks.

Cleaning Up

When you are done, let your mixture cool and strain the liquid through a coffee filter into a plastic can for future use. I use a blue kerosene 5 gallon container because it is a different color from all my other 5 gallon containers plus I label it.  Point being, you do not want to get confused and pour this stuff in when you meant to use a fuel, etc.

The precipitate, the stuff on the bottom, should be scooped onto a shallow pan, allowed to dry and be disposed of as a hazardous waste.  For example, where ever your community collects old paints, batteries, etc.

Brownells Has Great Parkerizing Solutions and Kits

Brownells sells very well regarded ready-to-use formulations. I have no hesitation at all to recommend the below items to you – they are top notch.

  • Click here for their manganese parkerization supplies. Their formula meets Mil Spec STD171
  • Click here for their zinc parkerization supplies
  • If you have a lot small parts you want to park, they have a bench top kit ready to go that you can buy – click here
  • Click here for their complete parkerizing tank system. This is a complete system for gunsmiths or others who need to park everything from small parts and pistols up to firearms and swords.

In Summary

I hope this helps you out. I’ve used the above many times and the results are solid. Also, the following are many of the items you will need and are easy to order right off Amazon:


Note, I have to buy all of my parts – nothing here was paid for by sponsors, etc. I do make a small amount if you click on an ad and buy something but that is it. You’re getting my real opinion on stuff.

If you find this post useful, please share the link on Facebook, with your friends, etc. Your support is much appreciated and if you have any feedback, please email me at [email protected]. Please note that for links to other websites, I may be paid via an affiliate program such as Avantlink, Impact, Amazon and eBay.



The Best M4/AR Collapsible Stock Review I have Read – Maybe My F93 Isn’t Quite Up To Snuff

As you may well know, I am more of an AK guy than an AR guy but I must admit that I really like collapsible stocks.  A few years back when I built my personal M92, I opted to use a Yugo M72 rear trunnion an Ace modular adapter and their M4 stock adapter so that I could use a collapsible stock.

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I liked the Ergo F93 because I had seen it back when Magpul owned it and bought it on sale.  Now, I have to admit that I bought the stock and really liked the feel.  I never did a drop test and it never occurred to me to do a drop test. I have never done any real stress testing of it in terms of carbine courses, etc. — mainly a lot of range sessions and never a problem … until someone told me about a test done on the F93.

In reading this review, the F39 broke on the first drop – according to the author, even Ergo knows they need to overhaul the design to reinforce the latch mechanism.

I’m very happy with my Magpul AR stocks and will continue to use the ACS, CTR, and PRS stocks.

So, with no further a do, check out this cool stock review:

http://blogs.militarytimes.com/gearscout/2012/02/01/buttstock-bashfest-gearscout-finds-out-just-how-far-tough-talk-goes/


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More Info on IMI Galil Rifles

I’ve always found the IMI Galil rifles one of the more interesting variations of the Kalashnikov AK design.  I thought you might find the following links of  interest if you want to learn more:

IMI Galil Page on Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IMI_Galil

IMI Galil Assault Rifle (Israel) – On World Guns
http://world.guns.ru/assault/isr/galil-e.html

IMI Galil ARM / SAR Assault Rifle / Carbine / Submachine Gun / Designated Marksman Rifle
http://www.militaryfactory.com/smallarms/detail.asp?smallarms_id=23

 

The following video is very informative.  It shows the rifle being made at IMI, interviews designers and talks about some of the unique features:

 

Tharin’s Rifle – KVar US Plum Furniture and Our Dark US Plum Polish AKM/Tantal Grip

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Tharin’s Sweet rifle – it has K-Var US Plum Furniture and Our Dark US Plum Polish AKM/Tantal Grip.

Our Dark US Plum color is the one that comes closest to the K-Var color by the way.


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Use An Air Riveter to Get Barrel Pins Out Fast

One of the things that used to drive me nuts with AK builds was driving out barrel pins and then I got a tip from Gunplumber – a variable trigger air hammer or air riveter makes it way easier.   Many cheap import air hammers have an air valve behind the trigger that is either on or off and not much in between.  Some guys call the variable valve triggers “tickle triggers” – why?  I have no idea.  At any rate, every air riveter, which looks like an air hammer, that I have seen has a tickle trigger to allow the user more control when setting rivets.

I use the pointed conical air chisel to start the rivet and that is the hard part.  Once you get it moving, then use a big hammer and the largest punch you can fit in the hole to drive the rivet the rest of the way out.  Note, I only do this when demilling.  I use a barrel pin jig to install barrel pins because you have so much more control.

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The following photo is of an ATS brand Pro Series 3X riveter.  The bigger the number, the more poweful the riveter.  I also have a big 4X equivalent Ingersol Rand that I use on large rivets or work needing a powerful tool.  The 3X has a nice combination of power and weight and it almost always works on barrel pins and certainly on small trigger guard AK rivets.

 

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You can find rivet guns from many suppliers – even Harbor Freight.  I’d recommend you get a 3X for most work and a 4X if you want even more options.

The following is the riveter shown above:

When the conical chisel gets beat up, I grind the tip down and when it is really fried, I just pull out another.   I would recommend going with a good brand name.  For example, Ingersoll Rand, Chicago Pneumatic, etc.  

The big 4x equivalent air hammer I use is the IR 117K standard duty model and it hits hard:

 

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When Strength and Quality Matter Most

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