Do you like the great outdoors; do you believe a hatchet is a necessary tool when venturing into them? Well my friend(s), if yes is your answer do I have another Instructable for you!
This Instructable is the answer to a problem I recurrently noticed after I made my 'Quick-Release Axe Holster'. Namely, what if carrying one axe is not enough? Of course if you have the upper body strength to cut branches one-handed with a full axe you're OK, but what if you don't? What if your objective is to ration energy by using the right tool for the right job?
This project is based on my outdoor experience and an elegant solution for carrying a hatchet on your hip, with engineering foresight to accommodate for various sizes of hatchets, and with the mechanical capability to provide quick release and quick holstering.
The following is the objective for this project; ultimately responsible for the design features of the Quick Release Hatcher Holster.
1. It must hold the hatchet on the thigh with the head of the hatch approximately at the hip (within arms reach)
2. It should have a quick release mechanism of quick deployment
3. It should be straightforward to sheath a hatchet
4. It should be compatible with any hatchet design
5. It should be robust requiring minimal maintenance over time
6. It should not have a negative effect on dexterity (i.e., running, bending over, doing front rolls)
7. It should hold the hatchet firmly on the thigh at all times.
Base on the objective above, the following design features were achieved:
1. Robustness and water resistance due to Nylon fabric and strap materials and all plastic hardware.
2. Two point harness mechanism - around the thigh and around waste
3. Hatchet gravity release - Velcro based axe head cover
4. Variable size and interchangeable hatchet head cover using snap buttons
5. Variable diameter shaft holster using Velcro and elastic straps
ABOUT THIS INSTRUCTABLE:
Please note that the fundamental construction method I use in this project is sewing. This said, the instructions themselves aren't to teach sewing, rather to walk you through the design described above. I hope that you will find this a practical, unique and interesting project.
Step 1: Tools & Materials
1. Sewing Machine
2. Snap button tools
3. Hammer (for snap buttons)
4. Spike-driver (for snap buttons)
5. Pins (for sewing)
6. Ruler and Measuring tape
7. Seam ripper (mistake are sometimes made)
9. Lighter (for singeing cut straps)
1. Heavy nylon fabric (Black)
2. Heavy duty tread (Black)
3. General purpose tread (Black)
4. Velcro straps (Black)
5. Nylon straps (width: ~4 cm)
6. Nylon straps (width: ~2.5 cm)
7. Elastic straps (width: ~2.5 cm)
8. Plastic Clips (width: ~4 cm)
9. Snap buttons (Silver)
10. Rod (Plastic, Stainless Steel, fibreglass rod, or carbon fiber rod; diameter: ~0.75 cm)
11. Plastic Sheet
12. Tape (Black; e.g., electrical, hockey etc.)
Step 2: Hatchet Head Cover
1. Turning the assembly inside out is a tedious process. Take your time and don't force it. Keep in mind that the internal stitching is only so strong, the tread may break and lead to significant delays.
2. Do not over trim the seam tolerance. Although trimming helps to greatly reduce the bulkiness of the assembly, the edge of the fabric may fail to hold the stitching if there is not enough left over.
3.CRITICAL, it is at this point where you must decide whether you want a left handed holster (i.e., attached to you left leg) or a right handed holster. Cut your head cover panels accordingly!
Step 3: Hatchet Head Cover: Sacrificial Protective Tab
1. I don't use a uniform piece of plastic since, in my experience, it is more susceptible to bending fatigue, causing the plastic to break. Rather, I found a plastic box and used an edge segment as the foundation for the protective tab.
Step 4: Hatchet Holster: Spine
1. Since I used steal rods, I used a Dremel to cut them to the correct length; remember to use adequate eye protection and hand protection.
Step 5: Hatcher Holster: Variable Shaft Sleeve
1. The number of attachment points is completely up to you. I selected three Velco straps and four elastic straps for an even distribution of pressure over the shaft of the hatchet.
2. Take care when ironing around the Velcro. Although this hasn't happen to me, I have a feeling that the heat of the iron can damage the fluffy side of the Velcro quite easily.
Step 6: Hatchet Holster: Finishing
1. Make sure that the length of the thigh strap is sufficient for the size of your thigh. I always add extra, especially if I want to allow others to use what I've made.
2. Depending on how you wish to mount the holster to your belt, there are a variety of options available. I used a loop/clip in this design. I recommend investigating and choosing according to your unique circumstances and thereby optimise the design.
Step 7: Quick-Release Hatchet Holster Videos
You are done! Congratulations! Embedded you will find a couple of videos I put together to show you how the finish product looks and operates.
Video 1: Operating the Hatchet Holster
Video 2: Interchangeability of Tools with The Hatchet Head Cover
Video 3: Only using the Hatchet Head Cover
Video 4: Hatchet Head Cover sacrificial plastic protective tab