David Mary Titanium Machete

David Mary

pass the mustard - after you cut it
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Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider
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Jul 23, 2015
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I have received a billet of BT23 Russian body armor alloy, hardened by our very own Mecha Mecha of Mad Science Forge. I am using it to make a two handed slightly upswept machete. It's almost done. I'll show pics here, and then take it out for a bash in the bush and share the footage ASAP.
 
I can't wait to see the results.

As you wish. ;)

Thin behind the edge, high convex, with some of Mecha's forge marks still visible, black canvas Micarta handle. The grinding was tricky for me because it was the first time I have ground Ti (aside from a Ti pocket clip or two I have modded, which themselves were enough a pain in the neck!). The sheath was tricky for me too because my griddle is only ~16" but this knife has a blade length around 20", so I had to lay the Boltaron on the griddle, and hit the part that stuck out with my heat gun, so my heat was not super consistent, leading to the sort of bulgy looking sheath. It works, though, so after I sharpen, this bad boy is ready to go out for a day of fun and to see what we can learn.

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It's fully functional and ergonomic, and sharpened to where it needs to be for what I think will be an outstanding trail clearing machete. I still have a little bit to do like try and etch my mark on it, and play with handle ergos and finish a bit, but it's basically ready to work. Pretty sure I am going to take it out for a late night walk in the woods tonight. Too bad it's too big to fit in my light box, or I could get nicer photos, but I will take nicer ones soon, when I can get out with it during daylight hours. Not tomorrow, likely as I have an appointment. But hopefully soon.

Also, check this neat stippled look that I got by finishing the bevel on a coarse scotchbrite belt:

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That stippling is basically one way of making orange peel texture on Ti. I have a wire wheel on a bench grinder, and that works pretty well.
 
oldmanwilly oldmanwilly I made my first "arming sword" last year. :)


What is the thickness of the spine?

1/8", or 3.2 mm

That orange peel texture did it come from scothbrite wheel?

Scotchbrite belt.

Looks like a slashing machine to me.

Thank you!

Okay friends, my MBC appointment is done (6 hours of training on very little sleep because I suck at going to bed :( ), and I still have to walk to the store to buy my 18 L water bottle, but after that I should have a little daylight and will try to get a hike in with the Ti and my fully charged phone with an almost empty hard drive.

Back in a few hours, hopefully with some footage to share. Cheers, and I hope everyone's weekend is going well.
 
I was humbled by the machete today, but cut it short because I could see a well equipped crew had been through clearing a path pretty recently. I have computer stuff to do anyway, and I can either think about learning the new system of thought required for a blade ~4" longer than all the ones I have become proficient with over the last year, and so light. I thought about using G10, for its marginal weight increase, but I went with the Micarta because I had slightly color mismatched black canvas pieces that were not really enough for a whole knife on their own, but together were the perfect size for the handle. And then I thickened it up and added more confidence inspiring grip via hockey tape. Had I realized I would do it like that from the beginning, I would have made a different kind of handle to mate the sheath to.

By the way, I regret that I didn't think to take a pic of it before I started the work. Mecha's cool maker's mark was stamped into the tang, but ended up covered by the scales.

I didn't use it two handed, since I found myself holding the phone with one hand.

Anyway, I'll head over and do the video work. Such a neat new experience, and before I ended my quick test, I was quite optimistic that I can learn to put Ti to good use with practice. That's assuming that they leave any woods and swamp for me to play in.
 
You made quick work of that blade. I hope it works well for you, as there is an element of unknown here. I have only just recently found that some (not all) of the titanium that went through that house fire is having some sharpening issues. Mainly the small stuff that was up high and really in the middle of the inferno, while the BT23 was down lower and off to the side. It does appear that some of the ti was contaminated.
 
You made quick work of that blade. I hope it works well for you, as there is an element of unknown here. I have only just recently found that some (not all) of the titanium that went through that house fire is having some sharpening issues. Mainly the small stuff that was up high and really in the middle of the inferno, while the BT23 was down lower and off to the side. It does appear that some of the ti was contaminated.

I will add that SO FAR the BT23 stock seems to be fine. My welding wire collection, smaller plates like Ti 8mn, and two thin sheets of Ti 6-2-2-2-2 were definitely damaged.
 
Thanks Mecha, and so sorry to hear that. But I assure you this one sharpens well. 220 grit ceramic belt convex edge, and my usual 20° touch on the brown rods of the SharpMaker. And it's still slicing paper after six minutes of "reasonable" hard use bordering on reckless. :)
 
Thanks Mecha, and so sorry to hear that. But I assure you this one sharpens well. 220 grit ceramic belt convex edge, and my usual 20° touch on the brown rods of the SharpMaker. And it's still slicing paper after six minutes of "reasonable" hard use bordering on reckless. :)

I look forward to more reports of unreasonable recklessness!
 
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