Sunday, December 18, 2016

Modifying a Cold Steel Kukri Machete and Sheath

There's endless debates over which is the best hatchet/tomahawk to take along bushcrafting. After years in the woods I've decided none of them is the best choice for Texas woods. I find machetes are much more useful, not to mention they weigh a bit less, too. Hand axe-style tools make sense up north where there's a lot more wood (and bigger pieces) needs cutting just because more fire is needed. Down here you should be able to get by with smaller fires, assuming you've made appropriate clothing choices.

Down here the big cutting will mainly be trimming branches into walking sticks or tarp pegs and for trail clearing. Something you can whip around quickly to cut through soft vines, thin branches, and young saplings. After trying many machetes I've settled on the Cold Steel Kukri Machete. Its weight to cutting power ratio is amazing. It's easy to sharpen. The wide blade also makes a pretty good shovel! In a pinch it'll also mess up a feral hog pretty well if needed. The down side is the handle, while practical and ergonomic, is ugly and the sheath, while designed well, lacks character. I'd been wanting to improve it but there was never enough time. So this weekend I finally made time!

Cold Steel Kukri Machete after a number of adventures. Great blade...boring package.

The synthetic-rubber handle sliced off easily revealing a sturdy tang.

My buddy Wildcat replaced the rubber handle with a custom epoxy/fabric blend made from the remnants of the first adventure shirt Misseswether made for me almost 20 years ago. I then wrapped the new handle with glow-in-the-dark paracord because I like knowing where it is in the dark plus extra cordage is always nice to have in the woods. Once the handle was completed it was time to do some leatherworking.

Cutting out the pieces.

Taking shape.

Finished product! I'm really pleased with it.

The sheath was rubbed down with mink oil to protect it from the elements. Now to get out into the elements and have some fun!

Adventure! Excitement! Sharp objects!

1 comment:

Wildcat said...

nice! i like that sheath.