Ton’s of pressure is needed to seat each of these rivets!
Ok, we never really bothered to work out the exact force needed to seat these rivets correctly but it’s a whole lot! We use thick walled, pressure rated, 1/4 inch stainless steel tube. We modified a massive cast iron vise to do the hard work for us. It generates more than 2 ton of force directed at the face of the rivets. They are not going anywhere!
Now the factory handles are robust to say the least. Take a look here at one of our ‘Hard Life’ test cases. That’s a factory handle that has seen regular hard use for more that 4 years and its still going strong! It even spent a few months lost in a wet paddock and that’s with the factory aluminium fasteners.
So what’s the advantage of Tube Rivets?
They are much stronger than the factory fasteners and do a much better job of forcing the handle onto the tang. As we flare the rivets, they close over and ram the timber hard up the steel in the handle. You cannot use a punch to drive these rivets out. The only way is to drill them.
An advantage of changing over the rivets is that you now can set the handle on with both an epoxy and fasteners. When you glue these handles in place, your preventing moisture and rust from building up on the tang.
These two features drastically improve an already strong and reliable handle.
Lastly, they look pretty good with a bit of stainless steel jewelery!
This is not a typical DIY mod for safety reasons. You don’t want a handle coming loose mid swing! For the people out their that have ‘the know how’, their are a lot of tutorials found on line about these rivets. Googling ‘installing Busse style tube rivets knife handle’ will get you started. Their is a lot to it but the results are very satisfying when you get it right! We tried brass and copper but ended up going with a much stronger stainless steel tube stock. You will need to enlarge the holes in the tang if your using 1/4 tube. A small round chainsaw file solves this problem.
As always, this is best done when the machete is blunt!
We offer two versions of tube rivets
If you would like us to take care of this for you, we are happy to provide the service! The two Tube Rivet services we offer are :
The ‘Finish it off Yourself’ and ‘We take care of it All for You’
Finish it off Yourself
Basically you will receive the handle fully installed with new tube rivets and the tang bedded in with a hard, black epoxy filler/adhesive. We just knock of the high points with a very coarse abrasive and wipe out some of the grease we use when flaring the rivets. The handle will need to be finished off before use. Special attention is needed around the sharp edges of the rivets.
We Take Care of it All for You
Once we have done this step, these handles require no more work. Just normal inspections and maintenance that you would do for any timber handled tool.
Their is a bit more work that goes into finishing off and refining a Tube Rivet handle. Apart from shaping the timber handle, we taper and polish the stainless steel flares for comfort. By default, once we are finished the shaping we coat the the handle with Danish Oil to help seal the timber from moisture.
As always, we take requests! If you want a stain on the handle, no hard oil finish, rough texture more than smooth, leave the handle fatter (very long fingers, we fill the gap in the timber above the tang rather than cutting it back), just leave us a note during check out.
We don’t charge for small extras like that and we prefer to set these machetes up just the way you want!
The Picture above is of a handle that is shaped to fit a very small hand. We gave it a distressed and aged look. We stained it black, rubbed it back with #000 steel wool and applied a few coats of Danish Oil.