The ‘John Wayne’

The ‘John Wayne’ Machete & Sheath

One part of our job that we enjoy the most is building a premium package from the ground up for a customer that we know is really going to enjoy using it.  The 'John Wayne' was a nickname we gave to this rig. We can't explain why.. It just felt like a fitting name!

We were asked to build a shoulder carry system to suit both trekking with it strapped to the outside of a pack, as well as slung over the shoulder for day hikes. The shoulder carry system needed to be comfortable carrying weight as well as remain in the correct position on the side with minimal swing.

Our solution was this rig.  


We started with a Backpack Sheath as this would suit both being strapped to the side of a pack fully loaded as well as being easily converted to a Shoulder Carry System. We included a Handle Retention Strap for safety as backpacks get thrown around a lot and it just makes sense to use one if you're walking around with this system on your shoulder.

These shoulder carry conversion straps are where this system really shines. We managed to fit many great features into such a simple concept and ended up with a really easy to uses rig that just works! We designed a system that can be set up to be fixed, predictable and stable under load while moving around and quickly adjusted for easy use when regularly deploying and stowing the machete. 


The Shoulder Carry Strap

We achieved this with two simple features. First is the paracord slider on the side of the sheath. This is set in the high position for walking and moving around to keep the shoulder rig in a stable position. When you're doing camp chores or constantly deploying and stowing the machete, grab the sheath and pull down and the sheath drops to a more convenient and flexible position. When you're done, hold the paracord slider and shift the rig back up.

NB. You can still draw and stow the machete comfortably in the high position. It is a little easier when the sheath is lower. This is the reason we developed this slider as it's very simple and quick to adjust on the fly.

Another feature that really increases the function and comfort of the shoulder rig is a simple adjustable length of paracord that goes under the arm. Primarily this keeps a 'loaded up' shoulder strap from creeping up and resting on your neck. The other advantage of this loop is it helps hold the position of the sheath relative to your body as you move. It's easy to adjust this whole set up to sit in front, to the side or behind you and it will hold that position very comfortably. One little cord does all this, and it simply releases in one second and reattaches back in two.   

The Wayne’s Handle

This customer wanted something special but not over the top. This rig will be used in the bush not just hung on a wall. This is why we use a product called 'Lignostone' for our premium handles. It is a stabilised hardwood ply product and is a great choice for a machete handle. It's extremely stable and moisture resistant. Lignostone is a very dense product and the extra weight in the handle increases it's chopping performance.

We put on a soft sandblasted finish to add grip and left parts of the handle in high polish for a bit of style. The handle was made a little longer than normal to accommodate a big hand. The shape and feel of this particular handle just feels right when you hold it.

All in all, this is up there on North Arm Machete Co.'s favourites list.

If you ever come across a machete with a little cross on the butt of the handle, that machetes name is 'John Wayne'



Click an image below for links to the shop for some of the related products found on this page.

Backpack Sheaths

Ranger Bands (sml)

Ferro Rod Fire Steel

Handle Tube Rivets