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Jamaican cutlass/machete

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    Posted 8 years ago

    (196 items)

    It came up about sugarcane cutters. This I got in Jamaica many years ago & is usually referred to as a cutlass. "Cane knives" or machetes come in many styles & shapes but what I've seen as preferred, is about 24" long and slightly bulbous on the end. The U.S. style machete is virtually never seen. The cane knives are thick bladed with several fullers running the length of the blade & the best are made in the UK. The bulbous end gives more weight for follow-through. The cutlass I'm showing is mainly used for trimming, yard work & a weapon. In the '70's, machetes in Jamaica sold for about $2.50 us & came with a good file.

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    1. SEAN68 SEAN68, 8 years ago
      Thata is awesome:)!
    2. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 8 years ago
      I keep this clipped under my desk top for fast access.
    3. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 8 years ago
      We have one out in the #1 shop similar to the first picture. My father in law brought it home with him when he left Luzon after WWII. It has a curved end on it and he said he got it in a swap deal with a marine. It seems the marines had them but not the army. This one was made in Wisconsin as I remember but I never could find the exact same one. I did research the maker and they did make machetes for the government during WWII. Then I lost interest.
    4. Jono Jono, 8 years ago
      Very nice blunderbuss.
      I have an old machete but would almost be too embarrassed to post it after seeing this nice one.
    5. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 8 years ago
      fhrjr2, does yours have a thick heavy blade? All the American cutlasses I've seen are real thin & you can't get an edge right so it doesn't get stuck & when you hit a hard part of wood, the think vibrates at a frequency that hurts you hand. By the way, I did put the wide spaced checkering on the grip. At times in Jamaica in the 70's & 80's I slept with this!
    6. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 8 years ago
      Just tossed in a couple of pics of where it "lives". Have a hidden 9 I can get out faster.
    7. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 8 years ago
      Ours is quite different but a thin blade. Cutting edge to the left so for a right handed swing to cut. The handle was taped over 40 years or more ago but I think it is Cocobolo if I remember right. The lore is that it wasn't used to cut thick brush but cane and grass for camo cover. I tossed it aside again today in the shop as I am doing a crank shaft pulley. I need to bring it out and get a picture or two.
    8. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 8 years ago
      Yea Fhr, do that. There are so many styles & lengths to fit each job or users preference. Cocobolo is an extremely beautiful dense wood & have made a few special items with it. Problem with the super dense woods, besides the extra weight at the wrong end, is that it is slippery in a sweaty hand unless rough cut. I've used mine a bit in the yard etc. & find the fastest way to sharpen is with a belt sander & leave a wire-edge because it's real sharp for awhile & only takes a moment to resharpen.
    9. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 8 years ago
      I dug it out today but car repair took priority over pictures. Years ago Chicago Cutlery has their Goodell division in Antrim, NH. Population about 900. The brought in Cocobolo in log length on tractor trailers for their handles on steak knives. They would throw the end cuts out in a big dumpster for anyone who wanted it. Believe it or not people used it for kindling wood to start a fire in the wood stove. I use to gather up the big stuff and turn it on the lathe. Wonderful wood to work with and Australian friction polish makes it have a glass finish. When they went out of business they gave away everything in the warehouse. They made everything from putty knives to steak knives. I still have boxes of putty knives, all different sizes with no handles. Pretty rusted now but a quick wire brushing makes them usable for scraping. And yes, I also use a belt sander or bench sander for sharpening some things. It is quick and easy.
    10. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 8 years ago
      Know the situation fhr. We get all those beautiful exotic S. Amer. woods in here & when I need large pieces, I buy it. Otherwise, I dumpster-dive in custom furniture shops for my smaller needs. My best dive sight even told me the time their garbage was picked up everyday. Of course they cut off any swirls & odd grain patterns, which is the most beautiful, but can't be used for anything large as it warps unevenly. Have loads in the garage. The names of the woods are in as many languages & dialects as used here so you wouldn't recognize what they are. Many of these woods you can literally drill, tap & bolt together like metal.
    11. SEAN68 SEAN68, 8 years ago
      off with there heads:) LOL!
    12. negables7 negables7, 8 years ago
      hi did you find any orthophonic victorola parts i remmber you said sorry i havent been online for ages thanx
    13. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 8 years ago
      Negables7, I guess that stuff is gone. The only part I found was the arm & base that hold the lid open. Sorry but will keep & eye-out for other parts. I did use the brass door knobs on something else.
    14. Zowie Zowie, 8 years ago
      This has me beat a second ago my laptop would not let me on Amberroses site but brought your's up for me. Anyway I love your machete I will show it to my partner a he grew up in the Cane Fields. Great blood grooves that's what makes me think it isn't a cane Knife sorry I could be wrong.
    15. Zowie Zowie, 8 years ago
      Hi there I did get to my partner & he was telling me that they were about 1950's I hope this helped some. I also had a good look around & there is quite a few different types, & sizes
    16. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 8 years ago
      Zowie, You can go in hardware stores on Eng./ex-Eng. island & see scores of diff. shapes & lengths. By the way, the groves are for strength & the concept of "blood-gutters" is almost all myth. Funny that you brought up this poste at this time as when you posted it, I was using it in the yard, tucked it back under the desk & just fired up my machine.
    17. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 8 years ago
      I'm going to jump in here for a moment about the blood gutters. I think that term came out as slang with military bayonets. Probably most of you have never been in close combat or had the need to stab someone. Regardless of whether the bayonet was rifle mounted or in your hand, when you plunge it into a body the body creates a vacuum and sucks down on the blade. To break the vacuum you need to release it and equalize the pressure. Up down or left right movement lets air escape and the blade can be pulled out. What you are calling blood gutters actually allow the exchange of air & internal/external pressure. If you were to have the bayonet mounted on a rifle when used...........simply pull the trigger to dislodge it. Not a fun subject but memories of what I was taught in the military long ago.
    18. Zowie Zowie, 8 years ago
      The term blood grooves is what was explained to me at one stage as I was told it makes it easier to remove. Yes my partner served his time in the military & was in a position he would rather not have been like most. Yes you can still buy them here & I keep 1 near where I sit outside you just don't know who is about these days.
    19. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 8 years ago
      For bayonets the blood groove serves a dual purpose. For swords, it is mainly for strength as they were used almost exclusively for chopping strokes if not for leader ID. The Western world generally considered sharpened edges barbaric while middle and Far East sharpened them. That dull blade will break bones, skulls & disable muscle real fast. I assume samurais are not grooved because their strength is in the construction method. I keep my cutlass sharp so guess I'm Barbaric! Note: in my experience, you can get stopped for carrying a "naked blade" on the street but simply wrapping a single page of newspaper around the blade makes it legal. As if that paper makes it safe!
    20. Zowie Zowie, 8 years ago
      When I used the term blood groove it is just one of the terms that I was told to explain things I believe it is more to do with letting air escape to make it easier to release sword. I'm trying to find the site where there were a heap of different knifes on same this just different styles.
    21. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 8 years ago
      That's what it's called as well as blood gutter.
    22. Zowie Zowie, 8 years ago
      Thank you this is one reason I love this site for the different conversations while learning at he same time. By the way I found that site I was also speaking of many varieties of machetes ( cane knifes ). http// This is what is at the bottom of the page I'm one hundred precent sure you will know what way to go. I hope the same photo shows for you as the one I have a really good collection. I also at some stage came across one were it rounds out at the tip of the blade this if just flat instead of having a point. Possibly someone may of cut it off. My partner also loves his blades easy to buy for.
    23. Zowie Zowie, 8 years ago
      Thanks for the tip also on the term blood gutter
    24. ho2cultcha ho2cultcha, 7 years ago
      the word for machete in Miskito [spoken by the Miskito Indians in Honduras and Nicaragua] is pronounced 'KOOTLASS'. many of their words are from pirates who settled on the Miskito Coast back in the 1700s and 1800s. [the word for 'mirror' is 'LOOKINGLASS'] The best quality machetes were from the Dominican Republic and highly prized by the Tawahka [the tribe i lived with] and the Miskito.
    25. BHock45 BHock45, 7 years ago
      blunder, I have a very similar one, although not antique. Made by a company called Condor. I like this type of machete for clearing high grass , brush, saplings, etc. Mine is sharpened on the reverse side so I use a little wrist flick on the backhand to take out what I missed on the forehand. I love this design.
    26. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 7 years ago
      Bhock, I believe I had a Condor once & remember them as good and hefty.
    27. JFranca JFranca, 4 years ago
      Style and function in one.
    28. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 4 years ago
      You got that right.

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