Discussion in 'Knives, Gear, Guns And Other Tools' started by Stone, Sep 20, 2018.
And here it goes, . Cuts brush, cuts onions.
My beloved bride says I might have a slight obsession with sharp objects. What do you guys think?
i'll get back to tmw ..
You falling down on the job here Stone! I want some pics of that mighty bolo in action...cut sumthin man!
We'll call this set "Building fires indoors...what could go wrong?"
1- one chunk of oak, and some bits of pine from a chunk I found the other day.
2-a redneck match, notch up a twig, wrap your pj saturated cotton around it. (You can ignite that direct with ferro but I wanted to try out the spine of my Tram on the magnesium block and ferro rod.)
3-the Tram made an eye blistering shower of sparks, like spots in front of the eyes bright.
4-I used a ss skillet on top of it's nesting pot to keep from setting the mancave on fire. . But man oh man does it smell good in there now!
still typing with 9 while #10 finishes healing.
i'll get back to you tmw,
the night that Outlaw King
streams on Netflix. Those Scots -- and I am one --
used swords the size of machetes or larger.
some may even have weilded bolos.
no evidence of that. mere conjecture.
now pardon me, please. my potatoes with extra butter & cheese are cooked.
After posting my comment above last night about machetes in the film Outlaw King, and then again this morning, I started thinking more about that time -- 14th centruy UK/Europe -- and the seeming (?) lack of machete-like blades in any film or documentary that I've watched. And if memory serves correctly, machetes weren't invented until the 1700's. (I'd have to check that.)
So my somewhat off-hand comment has turned into a question about history: why no machete-like tools before then? There were axes, swords of all kinds, spears ... but no machetes? With my limited experience so far, that left a big niche unfilled for centuries.
So, serious question: did people in those ancient times ever use shorter swords like machetes for clearing weeds, vines, brush, and such? I mean 42's Kingfisher sits on that edge between machete and sword. Were there machete prototypes back then?
Color me curious. When I watch Outlaw King tonight, I'll be watching for clues -- even if it is "Hollywood", producers of such historical films attempt to be relatively accurate about costumes, tools, weapons, etc.
Cutlasses were the origin of machetes. Billhooks and similar have existed for many centuries, but machetes as we know them didn't really develop until the European discovery of the Americas.
If you or others have a link to a site that lays out that history in some detail, I'd love to read it.
Here's a start from Wikipedia noting the connection between cutlass and machete, including the evolution of the latter from the former. Fascinating. Now, I want to know more.
Their illustrative image of a cutlass is telling.
Although also used on land, the cutlass is best known as the sailor's weapon of choice. A naval side-arm, its popularity was likely because it was not only robust enough to hack through heavy ropes, canvas, and wood, but short enough to use in relatively close quarters, such as during boarding actions, in the rigging, or below decks. Another advantage to the cutlass was its simplicity of use. Employing it effectively required less training than that required to master a rapier or small sword, and it was more effective as a close-combat weapon than a full-sized sword would be on a cramped ship.
Cutlasses are famous for being used by pirates, although there is no reason to believe that Caribbean buccaneers invented them, as has sometimes been claimed. However, the subsequent use of cutlasses by pirates is well documented in contemporary sources, notably by the pirate crews of William Fly, William Kidd, and Stede Bonnet. French historian Alexandre Exquemelin reports the buccaneer François l'Ollonais using a cutlass as early as 1667. Pirates used these weapons for intimidation as much as for combat, often needing no more than to grip their hilts to induce a crew to surrender, or beating captives with the flat of the blade to force their compliance or responsiveness to interrogation.
Owing to its versatility, the cutlass was as often an agricultural implement and tool as it was as a weapon (cf. machete, to which the same comment applies), being used commonly in rain forest and sugarcane areas, such as the Caribbean and Central America. In their most simplified form they are held to have become the machete of the Caribbean.
You are onto something with the close quarters angle Stone, in the age of sail most sailors were from poor backgrounds and uneducated, even in the 19th century people were still being "pressed" into service. There was little in the way of formal training. Furthermore if combat had closed to boarding range ( and it doesn't matter if you are boarder or boardee) there was no place to retreat to..it was win...or die.
Re: the FD mini file. If anyone needs a pocket or pack ( or tractor, truck, ect. ) way to quick touch up a farm or ag tool. Get one of these files. I've had mine for a day and it's as good as 42 says it is. No really, it's fantastic, fast cutting, good toothy edge finish, and handy as heck in a pocket. I plan on making a pvc pipe/tube so it's puncture proof- pack safe for carrying as well as keeping it dry and rust free.
.... yes, the term "Shanghaied" originally referred to one of the means a person could enter service on the seas unwillingly..more often than not it involved the unwilling individual entering a drinking house and over indulging only to wake up, hungover and on-board his new workplace. Sometimes it was as simple as walking down the street in the docklands only to have something hard strike your head and waking up under sail..!! This was a practice here in Sydney back in the day. I drink and dine in a pub down in The Rocks with an interesting history.....
It is said secret tunnel running from the cellar of the hotel to the harbour was used for rum smuggling and the involuntary recruitment of sailors. An unknowing young man might find himself drunk at the bar, dropped through a trapdoor into the cellar and dragged through the tunnel, only to awake to the morning shanghaied aboard a clipper.
Reminders of the Hero’s notorious past are everywhere. The downstairs cellars still have shackles on the walls and the entrance to the smuggler’s tunnel can still be seen.
Why a machete? Well these images are a good example of Texas river bottoms. Pay attention to the large oak just left of center.
Pic1- campsite before. 2- site after. 3- during use. After meal fire time.
That cane growth can be anywhere from waist to head high, sometimes you do have to cut it back a bit. Away from the rivers edge the underbrush and briars can be a near impassable wall. If you have to portage you need a chopper, but you have to carry it along with your gear and boat. Ounces count.
Tree wise, there's not much cutting to be done. Maybe a limb or secondary coppice growth on an ironwood. Deadfall is your freind.
This was in early March, temps did fall into the 30's at night but fires are kept small and just for light, comfort and good conversation time. The dead sapling seen lower left is the largest thing you might cut. My Bro carries a tomahawk but an axe would be overkill. My cutter on this trip was my LTC machete, used mostly for clearing briars back so as not to snag or puncture the tent.
Glad to see this thread still humming ... including fine tales and pics.
I haven't abandoned it. I just had to wait for finger healing -- it's done; I'm now typing with 10 again -- then early winter weather set it. Today (Friday, 11.16) we're in our second snow storm of the season (this is pretty early). Expecting 5" - 7" tonight (on top of about 2 - 3" left from the last storm early this week), but the cold is bitter (we reportedly hit 10F last night) with brutal wind chills driven by 30 mph gusts. Not good weather for machete tests. My weatherology friend says we may get a bit of warming last week of Nov into Dec. If so, I'll get back to a tale of two bolos.
Oh, and I forgot to mention, I second ANRKST's endorsement of the FD mini-file. Fine piece of kit. (Great idea about a PVC sheath for it; I'm on it.) The thing cuts like a little Tasmanian devil (think Bugs Bunny). I'm using it to reprofile the tip of Bolo 1, following 42's lead on Bolo 2, which is now quite sharp to the tip. I envy his tools for that job. It's a lot slower by file, but the Tasmanian devil is making some headway.
Well while we're waiting for Stone to become a "Stone Popsicle"... Let's look at the "impassable wall" shall we?
See that grass that looks like wheat just to the left of the machete? Now from there take 2 steps forward and the ground slopes down, at about a 25-30 degree slope. Down the hill about 50 yards is a drainage creek. Now turn your attention to the large tree dead center at the top of the pic. It's about 5-8 yards down the slope, you are looking 15" or more up the trunk due to the slope. Note you can't see the bottom.
Now this is the "wall". You certainly can't walk thru it, can't bulldog your way forward. Take my word for it. You can't even crawl thru it, the briars and density will stop you in mere yards.
I doubt you could even worm crawl thru there. It's that thick and thorny, if you don't crawl face first into a nice fire ant mound, get eyeball close to an unfriendly water moccasin or less than happy to see you timber rattlesnake.
Here be thine machete paradise. You cut sparingly, choose your route, cut a piece or two, take a step, cut, step, cut, step....if you're hunting you can take a knee and see under the growth, 10-15-maybe20-25 yards some places.
I think I live in heaven sometimes. Lots of game, edible plants, mild winters, but dealing with this kind of growth, lack of visibility, it's part of the deal. Y'all come on down, we'll go fight ticks and get some mosquito bites.
Either ANRKST is a lepricon, or he meant to write 15'.
On this afternoon's walk out to the far side of the esker overlooking the ravine. Here are the first two of ... numerous, some of which will be posted here. Video is in production (I shot the raw footage this afternoon -- now comes editing, which will take some time), but it's about way more than Mr. Bolo.
Still, IIRC, this is the first pic of a machete in snow in this thread. That's my walking stick, Sticker, on the dead birch by the bench. This was a test to see how well the bolo -- in this case, Bolo 1 -- cuts snow. No contest. Sliced right through on the first try, all the way to the wooden bench (that I built out of scrap wood and dead wood over a year ago). Oh, a hairy woodpecker lives in the birch. Just to the left is a glacial erratic that I call Gnome Stone -- story in the video ...
The sharp stick to the right of the bolo was my first project with the bolo: a crude club.
Beautiful blue day, low winds (for the first time in days), temps ~ 40F dropping into the 20's.