Lightweight M-43 and trail pics and good and bad news.

jfox95307

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I received my lightweight M-43 by Kumar. It is an amazing blade. Three more inches and 4 ounces sure make a difference next to my 15" Tin Chirra. I've put a razor edge on it, etched it and oiled the handle. Here are some pics from the trail and some pics of the forest I call home. The good news is, I love this thing! The bad news, the handle scales loosened on the first 4" log I chopped. They slide about 1/16" up or down and have a vibration when in use. I am hoping someone can tell me what to do. I'm hesitant to try to fix it as I'm not as ambitious as I once was and would rather have someone fix it right. Any way here are the beautiful pics.
Sorry I am trying to use IMGBB but its not working
 
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jfox95307

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Jan 30, 2008
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I'm trying to use IMGBB but its not working.
Edit: Got it
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davidf99

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It's a gorgeous blade and a shame about the handle slabs.

If the slabs slide it means that the laha epoxy is not holding, The pins are probably aluminum and slightly smaller diameter than the holes. 1/16" smaller to be precise. This does not bode well for the longevity of the handle.

It would be a lot of work and risky to remove the slabs and epoxy them back with new pins. One possible fix is to heat the spine, which might melt the epoxy and cause it to reattach to the tang and handle. Personally I would consider that unreliable, and heating the spine could weaken it, but it might work. My recommendation is to contact Yangdu and describe the problem to her. She will probably ask you to return the blade for a replacement or refund. Maybe she can have Pala fix it, as he has a great deal of experience doing that sort of thing. This would preserve the etching that you have already done on the blade.
 

Rhinoknives1

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Don’t heat the blade on hopes that this epoxy will reattach itself. It won’t ... Not any epoxy I’ve ever used...Contact who you bought it from ...
 
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Contact Yangdu. She will take care of it. These things rarely happen, but when they do, Yangdu will stand behind the sale. I hate that it happened, but it did. Get it fixed, and enjoy the best model HI makes.
 
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As suggested, contact Yangdu, and she'll most likely ask you to return it for a replacement. As all of the knives are handmade, this can unfortunately happen here and there.
 

Bawanna

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Laha is unlike any epoxy we know over here. It will turn soft and reattach just fine if you can get it to the right temp. I'm talking heat gun, not a torch and not only on the spine.
I too am doubtful that would be a viable solution.
The pins are indeed aluminum and quite soft.
That's a beautiful handle. Sure would be nice if it could be saved but again kind of doubtful.
Do contact Yangdu, I'll also contact her, she might let me have a go at fixing that if Pala doesn't feel up to it. I've done a few in the past. They are tough to duplicate, I got nothing but respect for them kami's over there able to produce a handle like that with what they have to work with.
 

Bawanna

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I love the woods you call home, I'd love to be your neighbor but my mode of transportation makes for some pretty large logistical considerations.
 
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The blade looks nice on that man. Sucks about the handle. Have any of you ever just used some two ton epoxy on those? I did on an old ww1 bolo and I've tried forcing the handle to give and it won't.
 

jfox95307

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Thanks guys. It IS a beautiful blade. Scary sharp too. It would be nice to have it repaired, as I've fallen for it. But if we have to replace it, oh well.
Im not worried about the etching. It's just mustard. Could be redone in an hour or two. It is a beautiful swinger though. At first I was worried about the forward balance but it chops beautifully. I really like this design.
 
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Thanks guys. It IS a beautiful blade. Scary sharp too. It would be nice to have it repaired, as I've fallen for it. But if we have to replace it, oh well.
Im not worried about the etching. It's just mustard. Could be redone in an hour or two. It is a beautiful swinger though. At first I was worried about the forward balance but it chops beautifully. I really like this design.

The M43s are awesome, I really like the design as well, easy to swing, and the blade does almost all the work, I just need to aim it right, hit the target with the sweet spot, and that's all she wrote! If you really like that particular blade, you can ask Yangdu if you can just send it back, and ask if Pala can fix the handle up right, as someone else said, he has quite a bit of experience in that regard.
 

davidf99

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Another thought: One of the difficulties with most handle repair is getting off the slabs without damaging them. In this case, if the laha has completely let go, it might just require drilling out the soft aluminum pins. Then reattach the slabs with strong epoxy and new pins (or bolts). I would still leave that to Pala or whoever Yangdu trusts to do it.
 

jfox95307

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Thank you, Yangdu
I will send it back. It's so beautiful, I hate to part with it now.

I love to share the beauty of our area. We must protect what is left of it.
I so love the forest here. There are 3000 year old Redwood trees in forests tens of thousands of years old, most of them root grafted into one giant organistic community. And ancient Grand firs and monstrous Sitka spruce. I am transported and transformed every time I enter the forest. It's so precious. The tallest tree in the world is here in our area. The Kings Range Wilderness of the Lost Coast is the longest untouched wilderness in the lower 48. 40 miles of coastline and nearly 60,000 acres with only a very few roads. Not including all the rest of Humboldt, Del Norte, and Trinity counties. I plan to ride out my days here.
Need good steel though. Thats why I came back to HI. My Tin Chirra still lasers through trail debris and logs of medium size.
I need to go to the forest now...
 

ndoghouse

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This is what id do (Not proven yet but sounds logical):
Throw it in the oven about an hour and see if the Laha softens. If not raise the temp by 25ºF and try again. Let it soak for at least 20 minutes each interval. Wiggle the scales side to side to see if you can feel the softened laha. Should feel like peanut butter underneath. Your not going to do anything to the temper of the blade by heating it below 375 to 400ºF. Id just stay below 350 to be sure but I doubt you will have to go above 250º if you soak it long enough (some people soak the handle in boiling water with a plastic bag around it for a period of time to loosen the scales for removal so thats only 212ºF). Once you feel it softened sufficiently id clamp it and let it cool in the oven overnight clamped and when cool next day take it out and chop again. If there is not enough Laha under the scales then there is nothing you can do but punch the pins out and re-glue, clamp, and install new pins then refinish the handle. I have one with the same problem but since its one of a pair of the first Samshers made ill keep it.
or you can:
Send it to Yangdu;)
 

jfox95307

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Thanks,
I sent the piece back to Yangdu. I trust it will resolve beautifully.
Meanwhile, I got a very nice VUK to tide me over.
I could drive up the hill and check my mail, though.
 
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Thanks,
I sent the piece back to Yangdu. I trust it will resolve beautifully.
Meanwhile, I got a very nice VUK to tide me over.
I could drive up the hill and check my mail, though.

Great update. I'm excited for you as well.

xx
 
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