Tool Repurposing: Weed Whacker to Bush Knife




About: Oh wow a lot can change in three years. can't say I forgot about this place but got pushed away from it a little.

My friends and I were getting ready to go camping. We were going through everything we'd need and me being who I am suggested a machete. None of us had one nor did we really want to go out and get one because it didn't seem like something we needed, just something that might come in handy. So I was prowling through the house looking for some other things and found an old style weed whacker. Big ol serrated blade on a stick and set about converting it.

Either way a huge fan of Instructables, always looking for ideas but this is the first I've given back. Sorry about the general lack of pictures. I tend to get into the process and forget to document.

Step 1: What You Need

While this may seem very limited it is not contained to the exact tool I used, just any blade that could be repositioned to be more useful.

Bladed yard instrument
2 bolts
2 nuts

Gloves, or considerably more caution and skill than I used.
Bandaids if you did it the way I did until I found some heavy work gloves....

Step 2: Seperation

First thing I had to do was knock off the rivets holding the blade to its mount. Usually one would partake such an operation with a hacksaw or a dremel, even a grinder. I however found a log splitter and a hammer sufficient as in this case they only seemed to be aluminum. Few good hits and it was free.

Step 3: Adjustments

As it already had a long wooden handle I had no urge to go about forming and creating a new handle to house it. I simply trimmed down the handle that was previously attached to it and added a short cut up the center to wedge the blade into.

Step 4: Anchoring

This is the step I was most concerned with as several things could go horribly wrong. If the blade was loose it would shift as it was swung or in the worst case scenario detach completely. I looked through some spare hardware around and found two bolts that fit the holes as close as absolutely possible. Then I carefully drilled two holes to put the bolts through, making sure they were as spaced as close to the holes in the blade as possible. From there I slid the blade into place and tightened the bolts.

Step 5: Finished?

Of course this is simply a bare bones version. I plan on shaping the handle more as well as reinforcing how its anchored. Building a sheath for it and any number of small refinements that come to me as I go. Any decorative flair one has can be applied but personally I've been function over form. Happy trail blazing.



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    13 Discussions


    8 years ago on Step 5

    soon as i can fide that blade im making one!!!!!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I have a machete. Its OK. I have a brush hook as well. Now brush hooks are nasty business!


    8 years ago on Step 5

    the zombies will be helpless against its nasty razor sharp teeth!


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    AH!!! Zombie Attack!!1 Totally putting this thing on my list!! thanks....


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Just remember to be safe with it. I know I cut up my hands a bit working on it, I can't imagine swinging and accidently hitting someone. It would end the trip really fast.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    This is great, I actually did the opposite thing with a little bit more work. I took a flat aluminum bar, filed it, and attached it to a broomstick and used it as a weed whacker to keep trails cut low. Since the materials aren't exactly up to par it didn't keep an edge but was definitely worth it for the learning experience.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Well I made it in anticipation so I haven't tried it on the trail. However it did an excesively good job on keeping the weeds down.