Completed Edge-a-cation Part II

Tazrae and Gracelin talk about machetes.

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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Edge-a-cation Part II

Postby Tazrae on May 24th, 2022, 5:17 pm

Timestamp: 72nd of Spring, 522 A.V.

Continued From: Edge-a-cation Part I


“When you fall a tree, you can sned it with a machete. That’s where you run down the length of the three and remove the branches from the felled wood. Machetes are particularly suited to this task. And speaking of wood, you can split firewood with machetes fairly easy. That also means you can shave down split wood into tinder with them as well. If you work on your technique, you can also cut poles with them from things like bamboo with one swing.” She added, then tilted her head, as if thinking harder. You can also lattice with them. That’s basically weaving thin strips of material to create a wall or barrier. The sharp flat blade of the machete is perfect for making lattice with bark from tees or even splitting bamboo like firewood and latticing that.” Gracelin said.

Taz smiled, still taking notes. She piped up more to add to Gracelin’s list.

“We used them, Randal and I, in building shelters. The speed and accuracy just made all the difference in say cutting notches in trees or bamboos to lash together frames. And like your lattice, I believe you can cut fibrous material and weave it together to make cordage, can’t you?” Taz asked, looking hopeful.

Gracelin nodded. “You can also use a machete as a shovel in a pinch. They are great for digging up roots and edibles, even loosening clams from riverbanks in a pinch. They aren’t first choice tools, but they really can do it all. And speaking of survival, they are great for once you get all that tinder shaved, you can strike a flint against most of them and create the spark required to get the fire lit. And if you keep your machete clean and polished, they can be used as a signaling mirror. If they are sharp enough, they can whittle wood, stumps, and even can be used for shaving.” She added, grinning.

Tazrae smiled. “That’s a lot of uses. I’m glad I decided on this for my weapon. I was thinking about taking whip too.” She said, smiling slightly.

Gracelin laughed. “You should learn whip too. I could see you wielding one.” She added, a big grin on her face. “Anyhow, back to Machetes. I’d like to run through the various types of them that I know about. Maybe you can do some sketches in that fancy book of yours. I’ll help you.” Gracelin said, then begin to instruct her on what each type of machete looked like.

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“The first type of machete is a Bush Machete. These are probably some of the most popular types. They are straight-backed with a long evenly weighted blade. They are great for all-around cutting of vegetation and clearing brush. Most people who just clear trails or do backcountry jungle work like these types.” She added, smiling.

Tazrae nodded and began sketching out the blade. Gracelin made some adjustments, pointedly making it a lot longer and narrower than Tazrae imagined. “Why… it's like a sword!” Taz said, grinning.
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"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts.
Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend."


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Edge-a-cation Part II

Postby Tazrae on May 24th, 2022, 5:25 pm

Her teacher nodded. “They are lovely to wield too, especially the well-made ones. They have an incredible balance.” She added. The next type is the Barong Machetes. They have a broad leaf-shaped blade. They range from eight to twenty-two inches long. They have a thick heavy blade that actually makes them ideal for slicing, defense, and agriculture. Like I said, most machetes are all-purpose.” Gracelin added.

Tazrae added the sketch, but Gracelin clued her in on the fat belly of the blade and the unusual hook at the pommel. She studied the design when she was done sketching and decided that this would be a really easy blade to hold due to its unusual shape. When she was done with the charcoal, she took her ink and finished the piece, labeling it carefully.

The next design, according to Gracelin, was the Kukri. Taz hadn’t known before today that Kukri were just types of machetes. But she felt a little wiser having come to Gracelin to ask her first hand. She was glad Mathias had pointed out that Gracelin was the person to ask. Taz could absolutely see why now.

“Kukri has three parts to the blade, and each one is distinct. They have a sharp point for stabbing, a wide belly for efficient chopping, and a sharp narrow area close to the handle for fine work. These blades are universally cross-functional, easy to use as a defense weapon, and great for deep jungle dives. I think you’ll find a lot of people around Syka using these.” She added.

Taz nodded. This time she had no problems with the sketch. It was a type of weapon almost everyone carried and she was familiar with its elegant but odd look. Taz wondered if weapons were like animals that evolved over time and use, with each generation changing just a little bit more until it was perfect in its execution. It was like a survival of the fittest game in nature. The best one won out every time. Taz finished her sketch in charcoal and inked out the outline… finally labeling it.

Gracelin then continued after approving Tazrae’s drawing. “The next type of machete is a Cane Machete. These are the heaviest types of machete blades out there and they are really used for chopping through crops like corn and sugar cane. Sometimes they hook the blade to make it easier to cut through vegetation though by far the majority of them simply have a squared-off end making them rather blunt-nosed.” Her instructor said, smiling as Taz attempted the sketch.

She got it all wrong. Her design wasn’t thick enough, nor long enough… and she truly didn’t understand that a blunt nose meant at a 90-degree angle to the spine and really rather chopped off. But once she had the piece charcoaled out, she ran over it with ink and nodded at the more permanent clear picture she had of the weapon. “I think these are easy to recognize too.” She commented before Gracelin continued.
Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts.
Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
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Tazrae
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Edge-a-cation Part II

Postby Tazrae on May 24th, 2022, 5:26 pm

“Your next type of machete is a Parang Machete. These can sometimes be called Golok Machetes too. They look a little like a Kukri and a Cane Machete had babies. They have a distinct curve in both the blade and the spine, and are rather long and thick. These blades are heavily weighted and also have the same blunt nose as a chop machete. This is basically just a hybrid that wants to be good at chopping, but equally fine at brush clearing and self-defense. Someone forged one that compromised the Kurki and the Chop and it’s been a thing ever since.” Gracelin said with a grin.

This time, Tazrae had no trouble sketching this one. She giggled as she did so, and Gracelin joined in. They were actually having a good time, and Taz had quickly decided she liked Gracelin’s personality and her anti-social nature. The Estuary was a beautiful homesite, so she didn’t blame the woman for picking it as a place to take up residence in. If you loved the weather in Syka but weren’t a fan of the sun, the speckled landscape under the heavy vegetation was nothing but a relief.

Gracelin snapped Tazrae back to the present and put her back on task. “Okay, now… Tactical Machetes. These are another hybrid style… most notably a compromise between a bowie and a kukri. They have strong slightly curved blades whereas bowie’s have the elegant curved concave tip that looks a lot like a bowie knife if you blew one up to giant proportion. Bowie machetes are just enlarged bowie knives. They have a clip point which means you can really dig into the wild game and skin them easier with that sharp elongated point. So, the Tactical makes use of that, but its more of a fighting weapon, easier to grip like a kukri, but the tip is dangerous and very powerful for piecing.” She added.

Taz got to work on the sketches, finding the Bowie Machete easy to get out onto paper, but the Tactical harder. Once she thought about the huge bowie knives, the shape came easier to her, especially with Gracelin pointing out for her to make the blade sharper, longer, more elegant and the back straight, with a bit of serration on the top so one could use it as a saw in a pinch. Once that drawing was done, she turned and started on the Bowie, sketching that one as well, knowing there are tons of examples hanging on everyone’s hip in Syka.

“What’s left?” She asked Gracelin, and the woman frowned, looking at her page.

“Oh! We almost forgot the Bolo. It looks like a Bush Machete but it has a thick swirled out bulbous tip. They are popular as agricultural tools because you can easily harvest things like rice, peanuts, and beans with them. The bulge at the tip gives them away every time. Its purpose, before you ask, is to give it weight on the tip so that you can make it far more efficient for chopping!” She added.

So Tazrae started sketching a Bolo by sketching a Bush then thickening and bulging the tip until Gracelin was nodding in satisfaction.

“So that’s it?” Taz asked, glancing at the images and then the pictures.
Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts.
Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
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Tazrae
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Edge-a-cation Part II

Postby Tazrae on May 24th, 2022, 5:28 pm

Gracelin frowned. “No…we’re missing one. Oh! Billhooks. They have distinctive curves on the blade… like you take a bush machete and bend its top up and backwards. They are really great for cutting around tree trunks, cutting vines, brambles and a lot of agricultural work. You should actually carry one, Tazrae. You can snedd with them, coppicing and hedge construction are really easy as well. Since you sharpen the area on the inside of the curve and it curves backwards leaving both edges sharp.” She said, smiling. “Then, that’s it. Lets see if you can draw one.” She added.

Taz was out of room on her current page, so she turned it and got to sketching. She initially got the direction of the curve wrong, but once Gracelin pointed it out, she had no trouble making her drawing and labeling it then adding notes below.

Image


Once Taz had her drawing down, she glanced at Gracelin and smiled. “Now we fight?” She asked, fingering the machete at her side.

The other woman just laughed. “No, not yet. Soon, I promise. First, I wanted to talk a little bit about maintenance and repair of machete blades. You literally use them as your workhorse in brush beating through the jungle. So, you’re going to have to sharpen your machete often. They are designed for impact and that impact sooner or later will damage and blunt the blade. A blunt machete or one with big chips out of the blade is useless. I honestly sharpen and oil mine daily, and you should do the same.” She said, fishing around in her pocket and pulling out a whetstone that looked like a little round handheld stone.

“This is a puck. You can keep that one… I have quite a few. But it’s a good quality one so if you shop for spares, you’ll know what to look for.” Gracelin said, handing Taz the puck.

Taz examined it, finding it rough like a pumice stone, as she fingered it curiously.

“Look, when you sharpen a machete, it's not like a dagger or a sword. You aren’t looking for a superfine edge. Remember, you chop and clear brush with it. What you really want to make sure you do is remove damage… little nicks, blows, things that will drag on whatever you are trying to chop making your work harder.” She said, settling closer to Taz. “Useable is the word you want.” She reiterated.

“Now, that puck has two sides to it… one course and one medium. It’s designed to sharpen machetes and thicker heavier blades like your hand axe or a scythe you clear grass around your home with. Let me see your machete?” She said, holding out her hand for the weapon Taz had set aside earlier when she began sketching.
Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts.
Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1246
Words: 1808035
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
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Edge-a-cation Part II

Postby Tazrae on May 24th, 2022, 5:29 pm

Taz handed it over.

Gracelin peered carefully at the blade. “Look closely at its edge. This one had had almost no work done on it and its literally in terrible shape. See how some of the tiny edges is folded over, crumpled, and otherwise damaged from hard blows? We need to fix that. Grip the puck in one hand, and the blade to be sharpened in the other and make sure that none of your fingers are protruding over the edge of the puck, use small circular overlapping motions to rub the puck against the blade edge in a sandwich style. Use the course side… you can tell by feel.” She said, demonstrating.

Taz watched carefully, leaning towards Gracelin.

Gracelin continued the lesson. “Note what angle your blade is at… then make sure the movements of your swirling sharpening is matching that angle perfectly… your edge will come back faster. It’s also important not to place too much pressure on the puck. Let it do the work for you. You only need light to medium pressure on it to be effective.” She said, doing a few more swirls then handing the blade and puck to Taz. “You try. Again, use the course side.” Gracelin urged.

Taz assumed the same position Gracelin had, cradling her machete upside down, puck in the other hand fingers tucked. Then she examined the portion of the blade Gracelin had been working on and nodded at how much better it looked. Then she took the puck and began as she’d seen Gracelin do. She worked in small overlapping circles at just a slight angle against the blade. Then she gave it a good exam, then flipped the machete over, and did the same with the second side. It looked wonderful, but Gracelin still wasn’t satisfied.

“Now, do it all over again with the fine side. You’ll need to do this after each use.” She advised, even as Tazrae flipped the machete over and then spent a moment feeling the puck, deciding which was the fine side and started all over again. When she was done the blade was nicely sharp with no rough spots but not super thin.

“One last thing….” Gracelin said. “If the machete isn’t damaged, worn, or nicked… you do not need to use the coarse side first. You can simply use the fine side and start with one pass… it's just to keep and maintain the edge in that situation.” Tazrae’s instructor said. “It should take you about fifteen chimes to prep or restore your weapon before or after the uses.” She added, as Tazrae finished her work, examined the blade with a critical eye, only making one smaller adjustment as needed.

Then she handed the blade to Gracelin, who did a similar check and nodded in approval.

“Now… finally, I can show you a few things.” She said with a smile.



Words: 2509
Last edited by Tazrae on June 19th, 2022, 1:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts.
Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1246
Words: 1808035
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
One Thousand Posts! (1) One Million Words! (1)
Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

Edge-a-cation Part II

Postby Tazrae on June 17th, 2022, 3:59 am

Grading!


Tazrae –
Machete +5, Wilderness Survival +2, Drawing +5

WS: Sneding Trees, WS: Making Tinder With Machetes, WS: Cutting Poles With Machetes, Machete: With The Right Technique, Cutting Poles With One Swing, Gardening: Making Lattice, What Lattice Is, WS: Using Machete’s To Build Shelters, WS: Making Cordage With Machetes, Machete: Use As A Shovel In A Pinch, WS: Harvesting Clams W/Machete, WS: Using A Machete As A Signaling Device, Machete: Types And Uses, Machete: Use Of A Puck, Machete: How To Care And Maintain A Machete, Machete: Blade Sharp But Not Like A Sword – Remove Imperfection/Damage, Pucks: Appearance & Uses – Two Sides One Coarse One Medium, Puck: Can Be Used On Machete Or Hatchet, Machete: Swirling Motion To Shapren,
Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts.
Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend."


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1246
Words: 1808035
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 5
Mizahar Grader (1) Overlored (1)
One Thousand Posts! (1) One Million Words! (1)
Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)


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