A common question often posed to us,
“I can’t remove the hilt. It is stuck. It appears to have been glued. Please help.”– Commonly asked questions from new collectors.
To those of you whom encounter this, fret not. Most importantly, remain calm and do not apply unnecessary force in attempting to remove the hilt.
WHY IS THE HILT STUCK?
There are a number of possible reasons as to why the hilt may appear to be immovable.
- The hilt has not been removed for a long time, hence reaction with moisture and humidity resulted in a build up of rust and sediments which may have oragnically fused the hilt to the keris tang over time.
- The hilt has been sealed with glue, gum, natural resin or even modern epoxy to secure the hilt in a permanent fashion.
- A previous restoration work may have been done to the piece which resulted in the previous owner deciding that the hilt should not be removed ever again.
Traditionally a keris is believed to be “retired” from active use by having the hilt permanently fixed in the wrong handling position. A possible symbolic representation that the keris has now been laid to rest and functions as a symbol of peace.
There are various methods to apply to remove a stuck hilt, however we will recommend our preferred method of loosening or removing a stuck hilt.
We apply the use of a humble hair dryer. A modern appliance commonly available in most modern homes today.
This method works most of the time however, there may be instances whereby the hilt has been permanently secured using modern steel epoxy. If this is the case, we do not recommend removing the hilt as this may result in damaging the hilt or keris tang (pesi/puting) permanently.
HOW TO DO IT?
Watch the video below on how to do this. It is self explanatory.
You apply heat directly to the base of the keris blade. The heat will spread to the tang and eventually will help to expand and loosen the adhesive.
Next is to apply gentle pressure by jiggling and wiggling the hilt in a left right direction to loosen the grip of the adhesive.
With some patience and repeated application of heat, the hilt will dislodge.
A note of caution though, do not apply too much pressure or you will risk breaking the hilt or worse the tang (pesi/puting) of the keris.
Some safety common sense to take note of:
- The blade is sharp, apply common sense when handling the blade. Keep your work area clear of unnecessary distractions and people.
- The blade will be hot, protect your hands with gloves or some other non-conducting insulative material.
- Keep flamable objects away from the work area.
- Have a first aid kit ready in the event of an accident.
Hope this quick guide is useful. Please feel free to contact us if you have further queries. We will try our best to respond in a timely manner.