A Machete is a tool used for household activities like chopping up huge food items into smaller pieces, opening up a coconut, cutting twigs and branches of a tree, etc. Although it is easily available on the market, many of us like to have a DIY handmade machete. Those readily available won’t give us the satisfaction of building the tool all by ourselves. Let’s know how to make a machete and gear up for forging an improvised version.
Things Required for Making a Machete at Home
Making a Machete is quite simple if individuals have all the necessary tools available at their homes. All they will need is:
- Jigsaw or a hacksaw,
- Tape measure,
- Drilling machine,
- Vice, & clamps,
- Belt sander,
- Blocks of wood,
- Water for quenching,
- Cleaning scrubber or scourer, &
- Electric or a gas stove.
How to Make a Machete?
Now let’s have a self forged machete with these few simple steps
Select the steel according to the size of a machete that you want to build. For those who want to build a mini one, their steel should be around 18 inches. But, for a full-sized one, 20-24 inches of steel is necessary.
Make sure to choose the steel and machete designs that is appropriate for your requirement. Like the high-grade ones used in car bumpers, some kinds are difficult to mold during the heating process. Therefore, it is best to use O-1 steel for making a machete. O-1 kind is commonly available that’s very tolerant in terms of heat treating, making an excellent cutting tool.
Next up, draw the rough shape of your custom made machete outline on your blade on the steel. Then use a hacksaw or a jigsaw to cut the excess material. Make sure to secure the blade properly. Otherwise, it will jump around, and cutting will be difficult.
After that, an individual will get a rough cut of the blade and hilt. Thus, to make it somewhat soft and even, use a belt sander or the bustard file to smooth up the blade’s rough edges. Make sure to work on edges after you decided how sharp should a machete be.
Pick up 3 pins to secure the handle. Now, cut out a woodblock into 2 pieces for its handle. Trace out that handle on scales. After tracing, use a saw and a chisel to remove any excess part like the wood’s untraced part.
Now, mark holes on your machete’s blade and handle. Drill 3 ⅛ inch holes for its handle’s pins and a quarter-inch hole for a tube. To secure its handle and blade together, always remember to drill holes in the same size. Use locator pins to hold all pieces together. Punch these pins temporarily, flip them over, and drill them from the other side. It will ensure that they are well placed both on the blade and handle.
Later, it is time for quenching. Quenching converts the steel from a softer pearlite and cementite mix to a harder martensitic structure. Now, for heating its blade, use a propane torch. If you don’t have a torch, heat it with charcoal.
O-1 steel is known as the oil quenching steel, meaning that one can cool its blade quickly enough and harden it in the water. However, don’t forget to use gloves and eye protection if it flares up.
Heat the blade for up to around 1500 degrees Fahrenheit. Once you acquire an appropriate temperature, plunge it down into the water and leave it there to equilibrate with the water’s temperature. When it is cool enough, take it out and check if its quench has worked. And to do so, rub any corner of a file on the blade.
It is important to note that a blade should not be susceptible to chipping or cracking and also should not release any residual stresses. Hence, one must heat their blade yet again, although at a much lower temperature. For this process, use an electric or a gas stove to heat at 475 degrees.
Here, remove all the rust accumulated due to heating with a heavy grit cleaning scrubber or scourer. Plus, prepare the handle’s surface for epoxy. Use epoxy on both sides of a handle and its blade. Now, drive the pins and a thong tube into their holes. Make sure that all pins and tubes are equally lined up. Press everything together and knock every pin’s ends with a small cross peen hammer. Following, clamp everything together and set it aside for the night.
Finally, finish the handle of your machete by filing the excess pin material and removing surplus wood from its inner and outer surfaces. You can also modify it according to your convenience. For example, many people love to make finger slots in the handle for a better grip. Ultimately, give the handle a proper oil finish. That’s it! You are all set to work with the new and trusty machete!
A machete is one of the most important tools for your day-to-day chores. Making it at home will definitely give us a great and customized user experience. And that’s why here is a detailed guide to help you make a DIY machete. After making your sharp machete, ensure you have the right length, blade style, blade size, and the weight you’ll be most comfortable using.