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Magnacut Machete


Kris J

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Looks a bit video game inspired to me.  Strongly recommend that even if you don't have any knife making skills you consider mocking your design up in plywood (or even cardboard) to see how it feels in the hand and even balances.  Between the cost of material, cost for heat treatment and cost of construction, this is not going to be an inexpensive design to produce.  You will want to be sure you get it right before spending the big bucks.

 

Your later drawings show the handle as being full tang, but the earlier ones have a threaded pommel.  The handle construction is also a little confusing.  Do you mean larger diameter rubber sections alternating with G-10 spacers?  If full tang, how do these go on over the pommel?  If threaded pommel the transition point between the tang and pommel seems a point of weakness.

 

The front hole is also a fairly major stock reduction right at what needs to be the strongest part of the knife.  Might want to reconsider that.

 

I'd probably class this as a bolo, like this one from Gerber:

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTR4-K77-q_ukqJr9FdiqF

 

Good luck in finding someone who can help fulfill your dreams.

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3 minutes ago, Dan Hertzson said:

Looks a bit video game inspired to me.  Strongly recommend that even if you don't have any knife making skills you consider mocking your design up in plywood (or even cardboard) to see how it feels in the hand and even balances.  Between the cost of material, cost for heat treatment and cost of construction, this is not going to be an inexpensive design to produce.  You will want to be sure you get it right before spending the big bucks.

 

Your later drawings show the handle as being full tang, but the earlier ones have a threaded pommel.  The handle construction is also a little confusing.  Do you mean larger diameter rubber sections alternating with G-10 spacers?  If full tang, how do these go on over the pommel?  If threaded pommel the transition point between the tang and pommel seems a point of weakness.

 

The front hole is also a fairly major stock reduction right at what needs to be the strongest part of the knife.  Might want to reconsider that.

 

I'd probably class this as a bolo, like this one from Gerber:

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTR4-K77-q_ukqJr9FdiqF

 

Good luck in finding someone who can help fulfill your dreams.

I went back and forth between full tang and hidden tang designs, the full tang ones weren't fully fleshed out but basically involved rounded scales that would have grooves filed in them to simulate that sectioned look.

 

If by front hole you mean where the first pin is going, I kind of fixed it in the last picture, it's further up on a wider section of blade and not as close to the tang.

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I was going to say anime, but video game could do.

 

20220320_1053531.jpg.9b8c5abb1820029a501663e70ae1aa16.jpg

 

The two red hexagons are stress risers, point that will tend to be the starting point of a crack. Most likely point of failure is a line from the inside sharp corner of the rearmost "tooth" directly to the hole in the ricasso.  You can ease the stress a bit by requesting those corners are not true sharp.  A human with a grinder isn't going to make a true sharp corner, but a milling machine can.  So can files, if you so modify one.  It doesn't take much of a radius to really lower stresses there.

 

The only machete I ever broke was an Ontario Knife 18" blade with saw teeth on the spine.  The sharp inside corner of one of the teeth was the starting point, chopping on a 3" dogwood tree was the stress.  Three or four whacks in and the last six inches of blade went sailing downrange whistling like a ricochet, travelling about 30 yards before hitting another tree, and passing right over the head of one of my crew on the way.  If he'd stood up at that moment that may have been the end of him.  

 

While that failure happened with the spine in tension, and your risers are where the spine will be in compression more often than not, you would be wise to round 'em out a little.  That's a VERY expensive chunk of steel to risk on a minor design element. 

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I also want to say that the handle design looks like it's going to create hot spots. even rubber it going to bite you.  Unless this is a wall hanger, it's going to be hard to use for long.

 

I like the idea of a mockup, that would tell you a lot.  You could buy a cheap machete and shape it with an angle grinder.  Even if you destroy the heat treat, it won't matter, it's just a way to check some design elements.

 

One of the things I think about is how were tools like this made in the day.  People design tools to work and not hurt the user, they don't put in a bunch of unneeded shapes and flow changes.  Humans have been making tools meant to hand held for a long time, a million years at least.  We are pretty good at it.

 

Geoff 

"The worst day smithing is better than the best day working for someone else."

 

I said that.

 

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.

- - -G. K. Chesterton

 

So, just for the record: the fact that it does work still should not be taken as definitive proof that you are not crazy.

 

Grant Sarver

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48 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

I was going to say anime, but video game could do.

 

20220320_1053531.jpg.9b8c5abb1820029a501663e70ae1aa16.jpg

 

The two red hexagons are stress risers, point that will tend to be the starting point of a crack. Most likely point of failure is a line from the inside sharp corner of the rearmost "tooth" directly to the hole in the ricasso.  You can ease the stress a bit by requesting those corners are not true sharp.  A human with a grinder isn't going to make a true sharp corner, but a milling machine can.  So can files, if you so modify one.  It doesn't take much of a radius to really lower stresses there.

 

The only machete I ever broke was an Ontario Knife 18" blade with saw teeth on the spine.  The sharp inside corner of one of the teeth was the starting point, chopping on a 3" dogwood tree was the stress.  Three or four whacks in and the last six inches of blade went sailing downrange whistling like a ricochet, travelling about 30 yards before hitting another tree, and passing right over the head of one of my crew on the way.  If he'd stood up at that moment that may have been the end of him.  

 

While that failure happened with the spine in tension, and your risers are where the spine will be in compression more often than not, you would be wise to round 'em out a little.  That's a VERY expensive chunk of steel to risk on a minor design element. 

 

Point well taken, I don't mind if they're not sharp, they're mostly just there for aesthetic purposes anyways.

 

Thanks for the advice! 

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26 minutes ago, Geoff Keyes said:

I also want to say that the handle design looks like it's going to create hot spots. even rubber it going to bite you.  Unless this is a wall hanger, it's going to be hard to use for long.

 

I like the idea of a mockup, that would tell you a lot.  You could buy a cheap machete and shape it with an angle grinder.  Even if you destroy the heat treat, it won't matter, it's just a way to check some design elements.

 

One of the things I think about is how were tools like this made in the day.  People design tools to work and not hurt the user, they don't put in a bunch of unneeded shapes and flow changes.  Humans have been making tools meant to hand held for a long time, a million years at least.  We are pretty good at it.

 

Geoff 

 

considering it's only slightly thicker and it's shorter than the average machete I think the feel/ balance should be good in the hand, but I'll consider messing around with something like that. I actually have an old $30 Machete I wouldn't mind trashing for "science".

 

No way to test the handle though. I will say that the blueprint for the handle isn't exact though, for example the grooves in-between the rubber rings are bigger than I really wanted them, they're also deeper too.

 

The blueprint was really to get the length down and showcase how I was doing the tang and the end part where it's threaded than anything else. If someone were to actually agree to make this I would be explaining all of this to them.

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I think it's cool, though I agree rubber doesn't make a good tool handle! I think the mock up is a good idea, and I think once the design is finalized you should make it yourself with stock removal, and send it to one of these fine gentlemen for heat treating. Then you can put the handle on it yourself. Makes for a good hobby, and there's nothing like saying you made a knife or sword yourself! I like the blade shape, it has some panache, and I'm a fan of subtle curves. If it's part Japanese, do you want it differentially hardened so you get some hamon?

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9 minutes ago, Carlos Lara said:

I think it's cool, though I agree rubber doesn't make a good tool handle! I think the mock up is a good idea, and I think once the design is finalized you should make it yourself with stock removal, and send it to one of these fine gentlemen for heat treating. Then you can put the handle on it yourself. Makes for a good hobby, and there's nothing like saying you made a knife or sword yourself! I like the blade shape, it has some panache, and I'm a fan of subtle curves. If it's part Japanese, do you want it differentially hardened so you get some hamon?

 

I wouldn't know the first thing about grinding my own blade from stock, I'm not a knife maker, not even close, heck I usually go to some one to get my knives sharpened lol.

 

What I am is a designer, I make pretty good drawings and blueprints of blades and other things.

 

It's not really part Japanese, I just noted that if you took a Kukri and straightened it, it'd have a similar shape, in all honesty it pulls from many things, it's part of alot while not really being any one thing, it's unique in that way, but hey that's what custom designs are right?

 

Nah, you can't differentially heat treat CPM steels, and Magnacut is pretty tough even with out differential heat treating. seen charts of it being above A2 in toughness even at hrc 63-64

 

I really do hope someone from here or one other forum I'm on can make this though, I've been waiting for a year now and still no takers :(

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Hmmm. The trouble may be that it's a material that's hard to forge, and most people here are smiths! If it's been a year and you haven't been able to find anyone, it's probably not going to happen. Even for myself, I don't really do stock removal, just forging and casting (and just starting at that!). I have seen a lot of newbies online make their first sword with stock removal though, and they usually turn out pretty good! 

 

There's even an instructable about it. Basically, you trace the outline of your blade on the material with a pencil or sharpie, then cut it out with a hack saw (plus at least one blade, maybe two!). Then, you carefully coarse refine the edges with a cheap file or two. You probably won't be able to use a grinder, or cut off saw, because if you accidently heat it too much, that may make it too hard to file. It doesn't get harder than that though. The hard part is this is going to take some time, it's not a weekend project! Since you probably got your blank annealed, it won't be too hard to cut provided you go slow. Then you'll have your pick of places to heat treat it! It has to be pretty finished before the heat treat though, for the same reason. Sharpening/polishing also won't be too hard to find. If you can't find someone to do something (even for money!) there's probably a good reason.

 

If you were ok with a standard metal like 1060, then someone could hammer it out in an hour. Or if you were ok with a standard size or shape magnacut knife, it might be doable. If the smith ruins the steel trying to work it, what's going to happen? If it cracks in the heat treat, what's going to happen? If it ends up warped or bent, what's going to happen? I think the fact no one has taken it on after a year suggests there's too much risk. This is an inherent problem with custom commissions, and why most smiths get out of it sooner or later. There's also the problem of trying to reconcile two artistic visions! So the only way forward is probably only if you do it yourself.

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1 hour ago, Carlos Lara said:

Hmmm. The trouble may be that it's a material that's hard to forge, and most people here are smiths! If it's been a year and you haven't been able to find anyone, it's probably not going to happen. Even for myself, I don't really do stock removal, just forging and casting (and just starting at that!). I have seen a lot of newbies online make their first sword with stock removal though, and they usually turn out pretty good! 

 

There's even an instructable about it. Basically, you trace the outline of your blade on the material with a pencil or sharpie, then cut it out with a hack saw (plus at least one blade, maybe two!). Then, you carefully coarse refine the edges with a cheap file or two. You probably won't be able to use a grinder, or cut off saw, because if you accidently heat it too much, that may make it too hard to file. It doesn't get harder than that though. The hard part is this is going to take some time, it's not a weekend project! Since you probably got your blank annealed, it won't be too hard to cut provided you go slow. Then you'll have your pick of places to heat treat it! It has to be pretty finished before the heat treat though, for the same reason. Sharpening/polishing also won't be too hard to find. If you can't find someone to do something (even for money!) there's probably a good reason.

 

If you were ok with a standard metal like 1060, then someone could hammer it out in an hour. Or if you were ok with a standard size or shape magnacut knife, it might be doable. If the smith ruins the steel trying to work it, what's going to happen? If it cracks in the heat treat, what's going to happen? If it ends up warped or bent, what's going to happen? I think the fact no one has taken it on after a year suggests there's too much risk. This is an inherent problem with custom commissions, and why most smiths get out of it sooner or later. There's also the problem of trying to reconcile two artistic visions! So the only way forward is probably only if you do it yourself.

Well, I've really only been looking off an on for a year, and I was stuck at only 2 forums before finding this just recently, so who knows. If I can't find someone here I think there's there's 2 other well trafficked forums I can try and 3 or 4 other small ones, so I'm going to keep my fingers crossed.

 

One things for sure though, this isn't a beginners project, I would be far more worried about my self messing up this blade then someone with even just a few months experience. If it were a smaller knife I might try it, but something of this size, no way, I need help.

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17 hours ago, Kris J said:

 

I agree, but I already have the steel now, so I'm going to use it, it's going to make one awesome Machete/ Bowie.

 

Would you be interested in making my blade?

Shipping cost would kill you, and my kiln is 16cm too short.

I like your design, but I think you'd have more luck if you wanted somebody to make you 4 knives from the Magnacut you have, and your design in a more suitable steel.

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4 hours ago, Gerhard Gerber said:

Shipping cost would kill you, and my kiln is 16cm too short.

I like your design, but I think you'd have more luck if you wanted somebody to make you 4 knives from the Magnacut you have, and your design in a more suitable steel.

Oh wow, just noticed you're from Namibia, haha, I suppose so, shipping costs would be a bit to much I'd say......

 

Oh well, it was a nice thought, I'm sure I'll find someone, I actually had someone in Canada that was going to make my blade, like he had no problem at all with doing it, but like you his kiln was a little to short and at the time I only knew of one heat treater I could have him send it to in the US and rather than paying for all the back and forth shipments and dealing with customs I decided to keep looking. But had he had known of some one els to ship it to in Canada to get the HT done, or had I found an American maker that could ship it to an American heat treater I would have been fine.

 

You could say that most of the issue with me has been bad luck more than anything because there are makers willing to tackle this project it's just not everything is lining up just right to get a finished product.

 

But at this point I'm willing to do this in piecemeal, for example, if I find someone to do most of the blade work but can't HT it, I will pay them for their time, take the unfinished blade as is, get it heat treated and ship it off to someone else in the country for the final clean up, sharpening and polishing. that's how much I want this done, I'm very flexible and willing to work with 2 or 3 different people.

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17 minutes ago, Carlos Lara said:

Then I think you should contact the person in Canada who was going to make it, and get them to ship it back to you when it's done! Then you can take your time finding someone to heat treat it!

Tried, he's not responding, last I heard he was swamped with work and then nothing. Ideally I think I'd want a few people in the US to work on this though, rather than shipping it to Canada, having to have it shipped here for heat treat and then shipping it back to Canada to finish it and then have it shipped back here. it's just better to find one maker here who could roughly finish the shape of the blade, then send it to heat treater I know in the states and then send it back to them or someone else to finish it in the states and not have to deal with customs in Canada which I've heard can be very annoying with things like long blades and might impose duties on the metal and all kinds of non sense.

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14 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

The biggest problem I've had with Canadian customs is that they take forever to process incoming packages. Like, three months or more.  

Exactly! it's a pain, they may not take your knife/machete from you but they'll scrutinize it and just be very slow. At worst I have heard of them charging fees for large amounts of metal coming in from another country, and by large I don't mean 100s of pounds I just mean quantities sufficient enough to make a large blade.

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Well in any case guys, I think we've covered about all we can here. If any maker from the US on here sees this thread and is interested in getting a rough blade finished up to the point it's ready for heat treat I'd be willing to pay as much as $400 just for that alone.

 

I can then send it off to Paul Bos or someone similar in the country and get it heat treated and take it from there, maybe I'll finish the blade or find someone else who can, most likely the latter, I probably will end up making the handle my self though.

 

Thanks for all the advice I got here, you guys have been a big help in improving my design, that I can say at the very least!

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Just wanted to give a quick update to this thread.

 

I found a knife maker willing to make my camp sword/ machete/ bowie custom piece!

 

So glad it's finally going to get done, unfortunately he can't start work on it until December so it'll be awhile before I can share anything more about how this turned out, but once I can I will.

 

Thanks again guys for the help here.

 

Until later.

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