The Biswakarma Kami (cast) are the traditional inheritors of the art of kukri-making. Modern kukri blades are often forged from spring steel, sometimes collected from recycled truck suspension unit. The tang of the blade usually extends all the way through to the end of the handle; the small portion of the tang that projects through the end of the handle are hammered flat to secure the blade. Kukri blades have a hard, tempered edge and a softer spine. This enables them to maintain a sharp edge, yet tolerate impacts.
Kukri handles, usually made from hardwood or buffalo horn, are often fastened with a kind of tree sap called laha (also known as “Himalayan epoxy”). With a wood or horn handle, the tang may be heated and burned into the handle to ensure a tight fit, since only the section of handle which touches the blade is burned away. In more modern kukri, handles of cast aluminium or brass are press-fitted to the tang; as the hot metal cools it shrinks, locking onto the blade. Some kukri (such as the ones made by contractors for the modern Indian Army), have a very wide tang with handle slabs fastened on by two or more rivets, commonly called a full tang (panawal) configuration.
Traditional profiling of the blade edge is performed by a two-man team; one spins a grinding wheel forwards and backwards by means of a rope wound several times around an axle while the sharpener applies the blade. The wheel is made by hand from fine river sand bound by laha, the same adhesive used to affix the handle to the blade. Routine sharpening is traditionally accomplished by passing a chakmak over the edge in a manner similar to that used by chefs to steel their knives.
Kukri scabbards are usually made of wood or metal with an animal skin or metal or wood covering. The leather work is often done by a Sarki
Step 1 – Weighing
Surplus Indian truck steel (suspension leaf spring) are imported from Kolkata (western India) to Dharan (eastern Nepal) and transported to factory located in Chaukibari . The steel is carefully observed for cracks or puncture and then the selected ones are stored with other raw materials. The steel is now weighed to make the required type of khukuri. Initial weight of the steel should be heavier than the actual weight of khukuri as steel loses its weight and also the area becomes smaller during the process of making khukuri.
Step 2 – Measuring
The steel is measured as per the length required. The whole length from tip to tail of a khukuri is measured by the standard scale. Normally, about 2/3 inches of extra area is measured on both sides of the steel as it later squeezes a bit while hammering and beating.
Step 3 – Cutting
The measured steel is than cut and split from the main body. At first the steel is heated till red in a charcoal oven Chula and then is hammered using 3 kg hammer against a sharp metal cutting Chisel. This hammering process takes almost half an hour for two men to break the steel apart.