Introducing The BlackJack Machete!
You would have read a few times on this site that generally we are 'Anti' paint finishes on a machete. They are much easier to maintain without a coating. A quick scrub with steel wool and WD40 brings the blade back to tidy in under 60 seconds.
So Why a Paint Finish?
Well that story begins with one of our older customers. They have a cabin well off the beaten track and we had supplied some machetes and sheaths to them over the years along with a few custom modifications. Because they are so far from civilization, they were in the process of getting backup tools for long term storage just in case. Jack is a fan of these Bolo's out in the bush and did not want to be without one if he lost his 'old faithful' machete!
We needed to make up a machete that could be stored for a very long time and be instantly work ready when needed.
This is where the BlackJack Machete comes in. We first shaped the handle to remove the hotspots before removing it off the machete. We then cleaned and sandblasted the steel before painting the tang. The handle was reinstalled, set in with epoxy filler and tube rivets. We gave it a El Premio Edge Plus sharpening and then coated the whole machete in a Matt Black Epoxy paint to protect it from rust.
here comes the tricky bit! Because the whole bevel is polished to the edge and the body of the blade is sandblasted, as soon as it's put to use in a cut, the paint breaks away from the polished steel revealing the extremely sharp edge.
We put on a Ranger Band (A.K.A. bicycle inner tube) on the handle for looks and a bit of grip.
We actually made two of these machetes, one of which Jack took. He agreed to be part of the NAMCo. product test group. We kept the other one for our product testing. We got a little bit clever with ours (in the photo's) as we are testing a rust prevention treatment under the paint. We only treated one side before painting as we needed to know the long term results. We will be putting up our ongoing test results here from time to time.
The Tramontina Logo side has been pretreated for rust prevention before the Black Epoxy paint. The other side is coated only in Black Epoxy paint.
What is a Handle Wrap?
Apart from a bit of style, the wrap is just a length of bicycle inner tube pulled over the handle and it offers a few extra benefits:
No one is really going to know if a smooth or rough grip is going to suit them until they try it out for themselves. This is covered in our FAQ's. It's a similar issue as gloves vs bare hands. These wraps are a go between and an easy on and off solution that you can change as you like. We find in winter, smooth handles are a little harder to hang onto and sometimes we use these wraps instead of gloves. It's the best of both worlds.
Reduces Hot Spots
If you don't know what a 'Hot Spot' on a handle is, its the place where the handle rubs often causing a blister. These wraps can help with that.
It Increases the Size of the Handle
Sometimes it's nice to have a larger grip. If you have taken a little too much timber off the handle, these are a good fix provided the handle is still safe to use.
The photo on the left is an example of this. The timber was shaped down to fit a very small hand. Just one wrap and it feels much fuller in a larger hand.
Getting these wraps on and off are a little tricky.We do these in a Postal Slip clamped up securely a vice.
Alternatives to Ranger Band Handle Wraps (they can be quite grippy) is to use heat shrink. We will be thoroughly testing this soon!
Why do we name our machetes and products?
You would have come across the Stacy Sling, The John Wayne and of course the BlackJack Machete. Generally these ideas started out from one of our clever customers. We try and use their names when we come up with a new product as a way acknowledging their input!
So Stacy, Jack and Wayne, It's a big Thank You from the team here at NAMCo.!