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I Forge Iron

My style of machete

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A couple of weekends ago I went on a hiking camp.
It was through thick scrub with a lot of lantana (couldn’t crawl through it).
We had to cut our way through it for about 5 Km... Luckily someone had a machete with them.
So this is my design that I came up with from use of farm items for clearing & that weekend.

This is forged down from a piece of leaf spring (don’t know what from) that was 60mm wide x 8mm thick. Set down tang 25mmx 8mmx 125mm long.
Finished blade is 350mm long. 45mm wide at the handle x 7mm thick tapered down to 5mm thick about 100mm from the handle.
Blade stays 5mm thick from there. Widest part of the blade is 60mm.
I normalised it in the forge several times through the process and once before hardening.
Heated to non magnetic & oil hardened. Tempered twice to about 350C & allowed to air cool.
Fuller groves were because I just felt like doing them.
Lanyard hole is fitted with 3/8 Hyd feed line tube flared both sides.

Edge near the handle is hollow ground changing to a flat grind further forward.
I have left the finish rather rough because it is for rough work.

Feel free to tell me what you think of the style & my process this is my first large forged blade (only done 1 small blade knife before & a small camp axe (hawk))

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The style looks very useful. As I am sure you know by now, the shape makes sharpening a bit trickier... worthwhile balanced against usefulness though IMO. Your tempering temperature seems a bit high to me. I'd have tempered it at more like 250 degrees centigrade. On this type of blade/tool I'd like to fit the lanyard at the front of the handle (preferably a strap) so that the hand can be strapped into the grip in such a way that control is practically never lost... sort of the way that ski pole grips are set up. This seems to help as fatigue sets in and sweat makes everything slippery. A powerful blade like that swinging about near your body is a significant hazard.

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To complicate things more I would suggest a differential temper with the back drawn considerably to make a very tough tool but with a harder edge to hold an edge.

If it works for you then it's *great* My opinion should weigh little as I'm not the one using it...

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Thank you guys for the comments. I love constructive comments on any of my work.
The temper I did was so I could resharpen in the field with a file or stone.
As I was not sure on what the material was I did a small sample piece to test.
At 210C temper a file only scated on it so had to go a bit more. Now it is at the point where a file will cut but not by much.
Bigfootnampa- as you would have seen I have a hole for a lanyard at the but of the handle "but" I love you idea of the lanyard near the blade. I will work out how to set 1 up on there.
Dave Budd- I have used billhooks before in clearing & it is partly what influanced my design. (I am sure there are others out there like this Im not that clever lol)
Again thank you all for your comments.

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got to agree about the lanyard and the differential temper. my khukri has differential hardening with no temper, i agree about it being easier to sharpen when soft, but i carry a little stone(1 inch wide x 2 inch long x 1/4 inch thick)in a little leather sheath in my pocket, so the hardness isn't an issue. also i don't need to sharpen as often, both have their pros and cons, i like it on the harder side of the spectrum, but that is a personal opinion. also it is great to have that wrist strap after swinging it for a few hours, i accidently threw the thing 40 feet into the jaggers and didn't have anything but the scabbard to hack through the things. the next one gets a strap. also it is good to see that someone actually tests their scrap steel before making decisions on it!
By the way, what is the weight and balance of it?
wery nice blade looks like it will serve its purpose very well
Ed Steinkirchner

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I do quite understand the desire to be able to sharpen with a file. I make some sickles with hooked ends and do not quench them at all (use 1035-1050 steel and as I thin the blade out it air and anvil hardens just a little... enough). I have also managed to lose my grip a couple of times... why I thought up the strap lanyard system. I do think that heavily used items like this benefit from less hardening and more sharpening. That strategy also minimizes damage from chipping and makes it possible to peen out some damage preserving the life of the blade and keeping the edge maintenance minimized.

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Ed - the total wieght of it is 750g (26oz)
Balance point is about 70mm in front of the handle.
You dont need a lot of effot to swing it arcs nice with little effot.

Bigfootnampa - as you have said with the blade soft enough to work in the field can help. Where we were there was a lot of rock & the blade on the other guys machete ended up with a lot of nicks & dings from them.
I am hopeing with the harden & temper I have will let me to be able to fix these problems in the field. If it was much harder I would be concered with breakage.

I enjoy all of your comments guys, & dont get me wrong, I am not disageeing with you only further explaining my reasoning for what I have done.

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