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I have a Fiskars hatchet for camping. It’s not very big, about 14″ long. The hatchet itself is excellent. I like the quality of the head, which is made in Finland and it seems to retain an edge very well. The handle, although light and feeling cheap (plastic vs wood?) has been sturdy, though I have taken care with my strikes making sure not to accidentally strike the handle against wood.
The one thing I have always disliked about it is the (in my opinion) ungainly and poorly designed case or cover it comes with. It is fine for hanging on a hook in the garage, or hanging in a store, but isn’t very good for carrying. It’s big, has a big carry handle and the plastic pressure locking tab wears out and would break over time. I decided I was going to make a replacement sheath for the axe head.
Today I took my first step in Kydex construction and following a procedure very much like the one described HERE, proceeded to make a very simple cover.
The reason I chose to make a simple cover over a fancier cover with belt loops is that I can attach a belt loop to this cover, as designed (the top two holes are spaced for a kydex loop) or I can just tuck the axe through a belt, or mount it to the Molle loops on my backpack. It’s simple and minimalist, and the best part is it adds very little weight or volume to the hatchet itself.
For the build, it was fairly simple. Figure out shape, cut Kydex, heat Kydex, press in foam, cool, rivet. The only divergence was I used a heat gun to heat the area where it grips the blade and used my thumb to form it a bit tighter than the foam was doing. I then did something I haven’t read anyone else doing. I used an ice cube to hold the press and force cool the spot I had heated form the indented grip. You can see how there’s a tighter grip on one side.
Although this wasn’t a step by step instruction guide, I hope you enjoyed the article and I want to encourage you, if you have been thinking about trying Kydex forming, go for it!
On my last trip, I went to Thailand and the Philippines. I ended up in the Philippines just before Halloween and that turned out to be a bad idea. I didn’t…what’s the word…understand? I really want to use the word GROK here… but at any rate.. I didn’t *get* what it means to be in a predominantly Catholic country during All Souls Day and All Saints Day. Those two days, it seems like virtually EVERYONE goes home to the provinces to clean the headstones of their ancestors and share in family meals. It’s a national holiday to help people accomplish this and that meant that most services are closed and nearly all tourist sights are closed or partially closed.
It also means that traffic the few days before and the few days after is jam packed. Buses are packed, freeways are packed, there are fewer taxis on the road and the ones that are, are stuck in heavy traffic. It’s quite a mess. Now, I’m not saying that the people or the country was particularly unpleasant during the time, it’s just that as a tourist, if I could have exchanged those two days for two non-event days, it would have been easier to get around and do the tourist thing
That makes for a couple of very slow days and really eats into any scheduled activities.
I did manage to see Fort Santiago, in Intramuros. Once a fortress for the Spanish conquistadors, it now stands as a historical landmark, a multipurpose open space, and as a memorial for Filipino freedom fighters, in particular Jose Rizal whose shrine is visited by thousands of Filipinos each year.
So I did have something to do during one of the days. I did miss out on the museum and a few other things I wanted to do, so lesson learned.
If *any* holidays come up during a trip, I won’t assume what it will be like there and dig a little deeper to try to find out what the actual atmosphere will be like!