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1943 British machete, US made

Article about: I found this 1943 dated British machete a few days ago in a small junkshop. It is in pretty good condition with a solid handle and some remains of green paint, and actually quite sharp. But

  1. #1

    Default 1943 British machete, US made

    I found this 1943 dated British machete a few days ago in a small junkshop. It is in pretty good condition with a solid handle and some remains of green paint, and actually quite sharp. But it also had a few areas of rust (the cancerous sort) so I decided to clean the blade.

    The scabbard was dirty with the seam burst open around the tip and partway on the back, and the hanger had been cut off. After I washed it with some mild handsoap and a nailbrush and let it dry overnight, it turned out the leather is actually in a very decent condition and I started treating it with a good quality leather cream.

    Some pics as I got the set:

    1943 British machete, US made

    1943 British machete, US made

    1943 British machete, US made

    1943 British machete, US made

    1943 British machete, US made

    I've been wanting to try electrolysis to clean rusty metal for a while now, and this seemed to be a good opportunity to try it out. So in the bucket it went. The brownish tint actually comes from the dissolved rust:

    1943 British machete, US made

    After a total of about 4 1/2 hours in the solution most of the rust and paint was gone. After a quick rinse I used some sandpaper for the last spots, then I finished it with some steel wool, and now it looks like this:

    1943 British machete, US made

    1943 British machete, US made

    1943 British machete, US made

    I think it came out quite good. I'll preserve it by wiping it with some WD40 or some other oil.

    As for the scabbard, I think I will remove the 3 rivets that are holding the remains of the hanger and make a new one from a suitable piece of leather that I'll then pop-rivet back in place. I intend to actually use this set for re-enactment and the split seam doesn't affect the usability. Quite happy with it, for a decent price.

  2. #2
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    Nice. Rich A. in Pa.
    1969 Shelby GT-500 King of the Road
    Knowledge is power, guard it well.

  3. #3

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    Nice Collins - turned out great after the treatment.........
    Regards,


    Steve.

  4. #4

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    Thanks for your comments. I'm quite pleased on how it turned out and I will use electrolysis more often when needed now. It's very cheap and won't touch good metal.

  5. #5
    CBH
    CBH is offline
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    I have a very similar or the same set up , US machete in a British sheath . If I have the time I'll take a photo , nice job you did .

  6. #6

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    Thanks! I assume these were made in the US by Collins under British contract or for Lend-Lease. I have another 1940 dated Collins that came in a 1943 dated Canadian scabbard.

  7. #7
    CBH
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    Here is a couple shots of mine , the blade has been ground down to thin out and lighten the blade . The sheath is marked Ottawa 1942 with black over paint with some green showing , blade is 1940 .
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture 1943 British machete, US made   1943 British machete, US made  

    1943 British machete, US made  

  8. #8

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    That's a great example! Here is my other Collins, dated 1940. The finish of the blade is as I found it, but unfortunately a piece of one of the plastic grips has broken off. The scabbard is complete & clearly marked, but fragile and shows signs of 'red rot' setting in.

    1943 British machete, US made

    1943 British machete, US made

    1943 British machete, US made

    1943 British machete, US made

  9. #9
    CBH
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    Nice one you have there , when I looked on the face of the sheath ( where yours is marked ) there is a C with /l\ stamp . As stated before this must be a Lean Lease item .
    Cheers Chris

  10. #10

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    I think Lend-Lease only applies to objects made in the US to be supplied to the British/Commonwealth, like the machete itself. The C /|\ stamp on the scabbard would indicate it was accepted by the Canadian military (and possibly then supplied to Great Britain?). I couldn't find any other stamps on my scabbard.

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