Picture of How to make a harpoon on the cheap
Demonstrates how to make a harpoon, similar to the Hoffman Harpoon, intended as a sort of minimalist survival tool. It's 8 inches long, with a 2 and one half inch blade, the handle is wrapped in paracord.

I haven't made a sheath for it yet, but will post it when I do.

Step 1: Gather materials and tools

Picture of Gather materials and tools
For this project you will need the following:

- paper.
- pencil.
- 8"x2" peice of metal.
(I used an old machete from walmart)
- saw to cut metal aka hacksaw.
- a couple metal files; flat, rounded, and 1/4" round file.
- sandpaper, grits 60 and up.
- glue.
- paracord, or whatever 1/8" cordage you've got lying around.
- vise (optional but helps a lot)
- drill (optional if you make a lanyard hole)
- honing stone (optional, but not if you want a sharp blade)
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ilacoppola2 years ago
Tried to kinda design the first 1 after the m48 harpoon
ilacoppola2 years ago
Awesome instructable... Made one and still got enough material for another one. Gonna bang that one out tommorow. Probably gonna copy your pattern this time :P ...... Lol. Thx!!!
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BigBear5752 years ago
I have some old two man saw bladesthat work great for all kinds of bladed tools/weapons. As long as you don't go extremely long, they remain rigid enough. over greater lengths they will flex. However, they wont become bent under normal use. They also hold their edge faitly well under normal usage without tempering if you don't over heat them during creation process. if you do have your neighborhood welder heat treat them as suggested above. Here in IL the old used saw blades can be found pretty cheap usually at farm auctions.
Wulf1873 years ago
Hi Guys ! No need to cut up your machete. Just buy a wood plane blade. If you split it down the middle you can make 2 blades and it is a very good steel !
A modded machete is a much better survival tool :P I'll link to the vid
Belcher10357 years ago
Ruby looks like a viszla mix. I've never seen one with more than just a tiny white spot on the chest, let alone that much. Still an awesome dog. I have a viszla named Elvis.
Did he sing? xD
notjustsomeone (author)  Belcher10357 years ago
Cool. Ya, she's a mix, I think it's with a beagle.
you should write an instructable about how to make a pole to put it on so you could use it like a spear
MMoyce4 years ago
''really cute pup & preaty cool harpoon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!''
cudubh4 years ago
You could have made it a bit easier on yourself by using a 1/16" metal drill bit and drilling multiple holes around the outline and then cutting it out. Granted, afterwards you have more grinding to clean up, but the cutting it out goes much quicker.
supershot14 years ago
you have the same drill press as me
zach9117 years ago
OMG she is so cute! Good looking and healthy. I am a local vet at the Central Texas Animal Hospital. She looks like she is in good shape and not overweight. Cute doggy!
in odessa???
supershot14 years ago
"Excuse me, but wtf are you doin?"
xarlock6674 years ago
It looks like it was designed to rip a man's guts out. I like it! Now you just need to sharpen the hell out of the leading edge so it will pierce deeply when thrown.
eyepodd5 years ago
 very nice!! im going to make one next weekend along with a baby one with the leftovers, also do you know how thick the steel is?? i have a machete but i dont really want to cut it out, i have access to a lot of steel, but i need to kno whte thickness so i can buy a 10" by 2' piece to make multiple harpoons..
thanks for the insructable 
Jungle Jodo5 years ago
 A nice sturdy alternative source to a machete blade would be an old, used lawnmower blade.
XkidXhavocX5 years ago
would a gear off of an old go cart work? im not positive on the type of metal these gears are made of.. should be some type of high carbon steel, right?

red anger6 years ago
trust me, after you have had a wal-mart (ozark trail) machete you may want to trade that particular machete for anything.
This is very true. DO NOT RELY ON A CHEAP BLADE YOU HAVE NOT TESTED FOR SURVIVAL! I bought a "survival" knife from big5 once for $20. Broke the first time it was really used. The separate blade might just become a harpoon on the cheap.
GameV87 years ago
Anyone know how this kind of "Barbed Bladed Tool" is handled in California law? I already know that there is no real length limit for a fixed blade as long as it is "Open Carry" . Pictured:
I don't know about that specific item but here is a site where you can find California (and other states) laws on knives. home.netcom.com/~brlevine/sta-law.htm
This is a useful resource.
Thank you very much.
This one might also interest you. www.kniferights.org/
This organization is of GREAT interest to me.

It is my firm belief that knives are essentially the only thing standing between humanity and the bottom of the food chain and that the ownership and carrying of knives of any shape, size, or mechanism, should not be restricted by the law.

Thank you once again.
Murphman7 years ago
Sorry for the second post, but is there an alternative to a machete? If so, what is it?
notjustsomeone (author)  Murphman7 years ago
If you want to avoid heat treating metal, anything under 3/32 of an inch will do, the more rigid the better. If you don't mind heat treating steel almost anything will do. A good, simple introduction on how to do this can be foune here:draw knife. Using this method you could "recycle" an old file, lawnmower blade, steel plate, flat pry-par, that stupid metal art thing your wife bought, ruined wrenches, just about any peice of scrap steel you can find. hope this saves you a trip out.
the link is dead
Thanks very much, I have had two old lawnmower blades sitting in the garage for a while now. Perfect.
builder2107 years ago
Very creative... although I wouldn't trade my machete for a harpoon
Agreed you can make a decent fishing spear head from fire hardened wood or bone. A machete however is a valuable tool which cannot be duplicated easily in the wild.
Murphman7 years ago
Nice! Just one thing; I have not actually checked yet, but do Walmarts carry machetes in Massachusetts? If someone knows and could let me know, that would be awesome, before I make the long haul out to one? Otherwise, This looks amazing. First on my list of things to make.
I know lowes does i dunno if that is how you spell lows but anyway lowes home improvement has them
i remember how to spell it by the commercial where it says "Lowest" they just added the T in a creative way. So it just Lowes
Instead of using the cheapo steel of the wal-mart machete, consider stopping at any quality hardware or materiel supply house and buy some of the high quality steel strapping, (some running up to quarter inch thick and 2 " wide. Easier to cut and easier to sharpen.) Once you have it cut to size and shaped the rough cutting edge angles, take it to any competent welder in the area and they can simply use a torch to heat the steel EVENLY to a dull red to cherry red (930 to 1,075 degrees) and quickly quench it in simple water to temper the blade for a good edge holding ability, and still have a good toughness to resist bending in use. The strap material runs a few bucks (Less then $3-4), and I found a welder who charged me $5 for the quick heat treat. For less then ten bucks I had a blade that could hold an edge, was strong enough to prevent bending and as a fun side, I later heated the blade in the kitchen oven to 150 degrees for five minutes and then coated it with black oxide treatment as used for guns. The finished product was now great looking, and weather resistant. Add in a nice grip wrap with OD green para cord and it looked sweet. I had it maybe an hour before my brother saw it and bought it off me for $25! Now I'm considering doing a large and small blade set and make a combo sheath and see which of my buddies just can't do without one. Use good steel for your blades, cheap steel is cheap for a reason, and you don't want to have to count on something cheap when its your life on the line one day.
this is nicely made im gonna try to make one similar, but ive got another idea of putting blades into a monkey fist knot
jacobzman6 years ago
fishing tool
j626no6 years ago
how many hours would you say this took from start to finish? i was thinking about doing it this weekend but idk if i'll have the time. thanks.
notjustsomeone (author)  j626no6 years ago
Realistically, with careful work and attention to detail, there's no reason it should take more than five hours from the initial drawing to having it razor sharp and ready to use. I can say though that a decient job of it can be made within two hours if you're pressed for time, if nothing else cut out the blank and leave the blade for when you have the time to shape and sharpen it properly.
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