Friday, July 4, 2008

The Machete

Wanted to retire my old machete, it has come to a point that if I were to lose it in the jungle or anything I might just die of heartache. Even thou I have been to many hiking and camping trips with it, the main reason is still because it is a gift from my late uncle.
Without a machete, an outdoor trip would be weird for me especially when I love taking the lead. Taking the lead doesn't just means that the person will merely walk in front of the group, the lead to me is very important role to play, not only he/she has to make sure that the group are on the right path and also clear the path, he/she must also make sure the surroundings is safe and nobody is left out.
So I hunted for a new machete in an uniform and outdoor adventure outlet called Outpost located in One Utama and here's what I got:

18 inches blade of horror

A 23" overall, 18" carbon steel blade Tramontina Machete with hardwood handle. How can one resist getting one of this? Anyone wielding this monster will look intimidating, besides, this baby's sheer size alone is enough to put the others machete freaks in my group to shame.

Yet for me is it still far from perfect, the machete comes with an ugly canvas sheath that couldn't completely hold the blade properly and it looks really bad, I hated it so much that I decided to make my own sheath. But with what? At first I thought leather would make a good material but it would be an ass to find the material and I won't be good at stitching it in to a sheath. Then I remembered during the time I acted in a short film as a communist, one of the prop was a fake sword in a wooden sheath, did a little research on wooden sheath and got a general idea how it's made, I when on to look for the materials I need to construct the sheath for my machete.

Wood cleaned and ready for a new life

Day one of construction, collected the wood of the right size and have them both sawed to the shape I want and grind clean, then I measured the shape and size of the blade, draw the outline of the blade on the wood then more grinding follows, grind/carve out the shape of the blade on both wood. I glued both wood together using glue and had them held together using clamps, I didn't want to use nails because it might damage the wood, creating unwanted splits or cracks.

Watching glue dry

That night I showed my unfinished work to a few friends, and they were laughing their heads off because of the thickness and how crude it looked at that point. They were even teasing me about using it as a chopping board and some other stuff. I tried to convince them that it is not finished and it will be smaller and much nicer when I am done with it, but then we were all still drowned in laughter.

Day 2:
Spent at least an hour grinding the wood to make it thinner and smoother, next I sand it to make it even smoother, filled up the cavities with glue and sawdust mixture and left dry, sand it again and then give it a nice finishing using shoe polish.

Here's the result

Both Machete

I just can't wait to put it to action for my trip to Pisang waterfall this Sunday!

Have A Great Weekend


Linus Linnaeus said...

you're good with your hands dude...i think you're the right guy to make big movies where we have to construct shit and then blow shit up =P

Here's to blowing shit up!

pH said...

looks good. Great work!

Anonymous said...

Nice job there Heng ..... really looks like an authentic iban parang ....- seth -

Sim said...

new movie---the kayu ara machete massacre (doesn't sound catchy).

We all know heng is good with his hands...ask the girls.they can tell you that.

k0n said...

or maybe we'd have to check out his shower place LOL

HuonHengChai said...

linus: hope I dont burn my thumb again while blowing things up.

ph: thank you :)

seth: thank you abang Rafiq, bila mau gi yumcha?

Sim: What you talking about?

kOn: Stay away from my shower!

Anonymous said...

A review on the performance/handling of the blade after your trip will be nice, my comment is that the handle needs some sanding down to give a more comfortable grip..... my tramontina has a diimport/edar oleh chop hock heng, masai, johor bahru