Sunday, February 5, 2012

DIY - giving a kukri machete a new look!!

Februari 2011

I purchased a Cold Steel kukri machete a while ago and, while I like the performance of the machete, it's finish was just plain horrible and low budget. Given the price that is not strange, but still...
Here's a factoryshot of it;

It has a synthetic sheath, rivetted together with plastic triangles al the top. The handle is a rubbery sun=bstance with a small diamondpattern in it. Sure to ghive you sore hands or blisters when used.

First I turned my attention too was the sheath. Since everyone is doing sheaths I decided to go for an old fashioned scabbard! A sword making friend told me how that was done and I got myself a supply of poplar plywood. This wood should be less agressive on the steel than pine... and light and strong at that. Getting the curving just right was a little tricky.

I was thinking about giving the scabbard a coat of forrestgreen paint and adding a simple beltloop or go all the way, with a leather suspensionsystem of leather and add a figure by burning it into the wood. I liked the latter idea a lot, but that would mean also doing something about the handle... which I had wrapped in paracord for the timebeing.

After closing and glueing the scabbard I sanded the edges round and smooth....

.... and I also cut off the rubber handle, hoping to see that the metal would go all the way through it.... phewww...

I marked the end of the handle and then roughly formed the wooden handle as I did with the scabbard...

No screw or other metal fastenings. All wood!! I marked the holes in the steel and added wooden dowels to hold it all together.... Some more woodglue and clamps..

After sanding the handle into shape, so it fits my hand perfectly, I applied some coats of unboiled lineseed...

Next I had to fashion a leather suspensionsystem. My initial idea was to make leatherstraps all along the outer edges and side, but that proved very difficult to finish in a satisfactory way. I tried all kinds of things, but it just wouldn't work.... untill it hit me! Why go all this way and twist and turn to find a solution? There was a very easy, elegant and versatile way!
But untill the idea was fully hatched I added a personal mark to the scabbard;

Than I finished the suspensionsystem; a couple of leatherstraps, some rivets with screwthreads et voilà... If something got broken it was easily replaced, simply by unscrewing the rivets and exchanging the broken strap...



1 comment:

  1. Nice! I like your version a lot better. :)