While in the process of building a unique electric vehicle design called the ApocalypsEV-1/2 out in an old Kansas barn, the unexpected task of fending off the various wildlife found in said old barns became common place (snakes, possums, ect…). Subsequently, it became apparent that standard mechanics tools would basically be useless at fighting Mutant Wildlife and/or Zombies (aside from Gordon Freeman’s crowbar), and that standard Zombie fighting weapons could not be used effectively as tools.

Seeing as how this conflict of utility will ultimately make weight savvy Apocalypse survivors have to do the unthinkable and choose between carrying weapons or tools, it occurred to us what the world really needs are tools that can also be used to help take on a horde of Zombies.

Perhaps one of the more useful tools I have ever owned was a flat bar with a series of hexagonal cutouts in it. While minimally useful as a wrench because of its long length, it proved invaluable as backstop for holding nuts in place while I was tightening them down. Not to mention that when my wrench set was annoyingly missing just the size I needed, my hard to misplace flat bar always had me covered.

It therefore stood to reason that a Katana with a similar series of hexagonal cutouts would be valuable both for taking down Zombies/Mutant wildlife and complementing any set of tools used for post apocalyptic DYI projects. However, after a bit of research it became apparent that in addition to being expensive to make, “Katanas are notoriously high maintenance”* and at ApocalypsEV we hate the idea of high cost high maintenance (www.ApocalypsEV.com).

So seeking a simpler more affordable concept, we created the Mechanics Machete. It combines the Zombie fighting power of a machete with the utility of a set of wrenches. Also when using stainless steel for the blade, it eliminates the maintenance hassle of trying to keep the blade rust free.


Step 1: Parts & Geometry

Assuming you have access to a CNC Plasma or Laser cutter (Lasers being highly preferred) to cut a blade with, the hardest part of creating a Mechanics Machete is actually creating the handles and finding the right sized sheath.

So to save on time and add simplicity the Mechanics Machete was created to use the handles and sheath from a store bought machete. Specifically, it uses a Harbor Freight tools machete (http://www.harborfreight.com/18-inch-machete-with-nylon-sheath-94154.html), which is both affordable, and features plastic handles that won’t rot like wood ones can.

The blade profile needed to create the mechanics machete either by cutting the hexagon profiles in the stock 14GA carbon steel blade that came with the machete or, more preferably by cutting a new blade out of stainless steel can be found in the DWG file attached to this page. If you don’t currently have a CAD program installed to view/edit the DWG files, I recommend the free Draftsight DWG editor (http://www.3ds.com/products/draftsight/overview/).

The attached DWG includes the blade profile and hexagon cutouts for 9mm nuts/bolts up to 25mm nuts/bolts in 1mm increments. Due to the 1mm increments, this “Metric” blade also works with all major “English” nut/bolt sizes up to 1inch.

You can of course make your Mechanics Machete using any brand of off-the-shelf machete you choose. Just simply take off the handles, trace the blade on graph paper, and then draw it in some sort of DWG editor. Then when you have the profile drawn take the specially drawn sockets from the attached DWG and add them to your blade design.

If you plan to draw your own sockets, you should note that you can’t just draw plain hexagons as Laser/Plasma cutters typically don’t like to create sharp corners. So to fillet the corners without affecting the base “Wrench Size” you have to draw a 1.5mm(1/16in) diameter circle in every corner and fillet it into the hexagon with .75mm(1/32in) radius fillets. Also if you want to make a cutout for a 32mm sized nut, you can’t draw the hexagon exactly 32mm as such a perfect fit will most likely not work. Instead, you need to add .05mm to .1mm to the base nut size. The easiest way to figure exactly how much to add is of course to find a 32mm socket or wrench and measure it with a pair of calipers.
this is the best machete i have ever seen. now i really wish i had a cnc.
Good news, finally have the first batch of machetes up for sale! <br>http://apocalypsev.com/?page_id=47<br>
Due to popular demand I am actually in the process creating these to sell. It will be a few weeks as the fab shop I am having laser cut blades for me has a 1-2week lead time. If you are interested in buying one send me an email at ApocalypsEV.info@gmail.com and I will put you on the per-order list.
I dare admit it&rsquo;s quite handy; I used to have to carry out two sets of wrenches when going to work on my projects out in the country. Now I just carry one set of wrenches and my mechanics machete, it saves weight/hassle and I always have something handy to deal with brush/wildlife as needed.
awesome instructable!!!<br>i think this would be awesome if you made it with 12 pointed cutouts made with both imperial and metric hex sockets, because as a mechie it feels frustrating when i realise that i forgot my imperial kit (or vice versa)
fake edit: now do an instructable on tempering this blade. ;-)
damn fine instructable, and a great freaking idea to boot!! Favorited, and in my mental short-list for my bug-out bag.
Ugh I hate you show me something so freaking awesome then build it with tools I don't have ugh now I'm going to be sitting around with a plasma and due grinder and some files for days to accomplish what you did in pretty much minutes compared to what I'm up against now
Dam, I want one of those machines! I have been making my knives and machetes by hand with an angle grinder, drill press, and belt sander. I am in love with that machine! How much and where can I buy one ? Check out my stuff. The stuff I want to make I could do so easily on that machine! I really have to have one. Do you know of one used for sale. Or can I get one and pay monthly ???? PleaSE LET ME KNOW !!!
Beautiful piece but is not intended to change a tire
Great item! (and it proves you don't have to be a Witch to &quot;Hex&quot; somebody!) ;)
This is beautiful !
Prices for EU?
You can check our website for current prices and to place an order. Just make sure to select the international shipping option for orders outside the USA.
Wow. Five stars.
SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!!......i want this ...*drool* <br>
Cool idea.
that stinks that u didnt make as a finalist
If only had a cnc machine
The CNC featured in this instructable belongs to a friend of mine who uses it as part of a small CAD/CAM business called Redneck CAD Works. He does not charge any setup fees so you can order parts for your projects from him considerably cheaper prices than most other Laser/Plasma fab shops. Also at the moment he has large stockpile of 10GA stainless steel. <br>www.redneckcadworks.com
did u win that cnc
Unfortunately no, I dint even make it as a finalist. <br>http://www.instructables.com/contest/hurricanelasers/
Nice machete, looks awesome, but have you used it on any brush? I might have to modify mine, after seeing this. The only concern I have is that the largest wrench cutout might weaken a critical point of the blade. The cutouts will make for a better balanced machete, less tiring to use.
Actually the largest cutout is placed where the blade experiences the least stress as the majority of branches/zombie limbs hitting the blade while chopping will be either on the flat part of the blade, or the point where the blade transitions from flat to curved.
IMHO, as long as you don't try and pry with the point the final cutout weakening the blade is almost a non issue.
Blades need to be tempered... I doubt that's going to last for very long. <br> <br>Unfortunately, wrenches are tempered in a way that makes them very hard, but very brittle. The bulk of a blade should be softer, so that it's less likely to snap, while the edge should be harder to hold a good edge. The best bet for this would probably be somewhere in the middle for the whole thing
While I admit that my mechanics machete will never be as durable for bolt twisting as a drop forged chrome vanadium wrench; the heat generated by the plasma/laser while cutting out the hexagons does noticeably harden their edges.
All of my wrenches are drop forged.
I've carved machete handles out of wood. It isn't a big deal.
he put time into this ill give him that
This much awesomeness and not one comment??? <br>Great work/art/epicness .