4.30.2016

Repost and UPDATE for 2016 of my Tramontina Machete's



Repost and update:



This isn't a sponsored review - I did some research into what I wanted and needed and purchased these full price online from Machetespecialists.com.

A machete is something I've wanted for the last few years but never got around to buying one because it wasn't a priority in the budget and I could 'put off' the work I wanted to use them for until "next Fall", or I could use another tool to do it.  However, this week I found myself tackling overgrown black raspberry bushes and a jungle of briars and other invasive weeds... with a little hand held pair of pruning clippers.  And after about 2 hours of working, came into the house, got online and ordered 2 machetes (that I had already researched and bookmarked) from Machete Specialists.


Although I had 5 machetes bookmarked; when I was going to order them, my first 2 choices were out of stock.  I had 3 in my 'cart' but could really only afford to get 2 of them so I opted for the 2 Tramontina's; a 14" and an 18". I also opted to pay a bit more to order them with sheaths so I didn't have to bother with ordering or making them separate. A leather sheath would have been nice, but again; budget.

Here are the two I bought and their product descriptions from the website:


Tramontina 14 Inch Bush Machete with Canvas Sheath

Product Description

Brand: Tramontina
Total Length: 19 inch
Blade Length: 14 inch
Weight of Machete: 12 oz
Blade thickness above handle/at tip: 1.25 mm/1.25 mm
Blade width at handle/widest point: 4 cm/6 cm
Blade Composition: SAE 1070 High-Carbon Steel
Blade Detail: Primary grind established at factory but will require further sharpening for fine edge.
Style: Bush
Handle: Natural color hardwood handle with full tang.
Features: Heavy Duty Green Canvas Sheath Included. Made in Brazil.




Tramontina 18 Inch Bush Machete with Canvas Sheath

Product Description


Brand: Tramontina
Total Length: 23 inch
Blade Length: 18 inch
Blade thickness above handle/at tip: 1.25 mm/1 mm
Weight of Machete: 15 oz
Blade width at handle/widest point: 4 cm/6 cm
Blade Composition: SAE 1070 High-Carbon Steel
Blade Detail: Primary grind established at factory but will require further sharpening for fine edge.
Style: Bush
Handle: Poly handle with full tang.
Features: Heavy Duty Green Canvas Sheath Included. Made in Brazil.


 They were delivered today.
So... what do I think?

PROS
  • The delivery was fast.  I appreciated that!  As a matter of fact, they shipped within a couple hours of me ordering them.  Kudos for that!
  • The canvas sheaths are much better quality than I was expecting.  Seeing how nice and durable they are, I didn't feel bad about not ordering a leather one after all.  
  • The knives are nice. Full tang. Have a good feel to them.
  • I opted for a wood handle on one and a poly handle on the other to see which I liked better.  I love the wood handle!  It also happens to fit the best in my hand and has a great feel to it.  The poly, I will be wrapping in either leather or possibly tennis tape for a better fit and better grip.
CONS
  • This isn't really a 'con' as it was expected; but the Tramontina's don't come factory sharpened.  I knew this and didn't think it was a big deal I'd have to put a good edge on it first - but when they arrived, I had underestimated how excited I would be to use them! It killed me not to be able to grab it and go tackle some brush asap as I have to sharpen them first.
  •  It was beat up.  As in... the tips are beat up - one more so than the other and there are a few surface scratches (eh, no biggy) but one has a pretty deep scratch to it.
My husband knew I was really excited about my new machetes so I called him when they arrived and I told him that I knew these would be 'working' machetes.  I'm not going to be hanging them on the wall or trying to keep them pretty.  I'm going to be using them and they are going to be dirty, scratched, dinged and used but I couldn't help be disappointed when I pulled them out of their sheaths and found them already sporting a couple deep scratches.  

He laughed at me... but when he was finished laughing he said he understood.  That when you get something new you want to be the one to put the first scratches, gouges and dings in it.  You don't want them to come 'new' like that.  Could I contact the company and complain?  Yeah.  But it's not an expensive blade, and I'm going to be using it for clearing brush and crap so it's not like it's not going to be dinged up by me too.  

I was just disappointed to have it arrive beat up - when I wasn't the one doing the beating.   


 Here is a deep scratch in one of the blades as it was delivered to me, brand new.

The tips are beat up a bit - not that I plan to go stab anyone with it anyway


 You can see some lighter scratches and another beat up tip

But... these blades are going to be cutting through some of the overgrown black raspberries and briars and other growth down by the creek and lining the side and back of our yard before our woods start.  Working blades.  So... I'll try not to dwell on my initial disappointment. 






Everyone has opinions on handles so I got one wood and one poly.
It ends up the wood handle is my favorite.  And, it fits my hand perfectly - I like the feel of the grip.
I may end up wrapping it if I find it gets too slippery from sweat when it's being heavily used but
I'm very happy with the wood handles.

Some people like poly handles.  I found they aren't my favorite.
But I planned on wrapping it anyway; leather or tennis grip tape, etc.
I'll decide that later.

Overall... I'm THRILLED with my blades.  Love the sizes too!  I'm a girl - about 5'5" and I opted for the 14 an 18 inches for this order.  I plan to order a 12" as well - which I will be not only using around the yard and woods but will keep in my backpack for camping and hiking.  Although a lot of guys like the longer 20, 22 and 24 or more... I don't anticipate having to fight off any zombies any time soon and for what I need it for and my size, I made a good choice.

UPDATE: April, 2016
I have been EXTREMELY happy with my machete's and wanted to do a quick update.
I attempted to sharpen my blades using wood blocks wind sand paper because I did not own an ax and machete sharpener.  It did not work. (I know, I know... but I had to try with something I already owned and that was about it.)
I finally invested in a simple ax and machete sharpener (this one: Smith's Axe and Machete Sharpener ).  I went out to handle some of the brush, small trees and bushes I needed to clear by the creek, by our raspberry bushes and around the edge of the landscape.
I EASILY hacked through small new growth trees of up to about 2 - 2 1/2" thick. Usually within about 4 'whacks'.  It was so much easier and faster than the previous years when I attempted to cut back, trim and remove brush using pruning sheers and even the law mower at times out of frustration. 
I have plans to purchase another 14" size to keep in the garage, as I loved my current one so much I now keep it in my camping backpack (I keep a 2-3 days 'camping pack' ready to grab and go at all times).















Some products available through Amazon related to this post;


Tramontina 18" Machete, Black Handle, Nylon Sheath







Tramontina 22" Machete with Textured Black Plastic Handle and Nylon Sheath





Tramontina Bolo Machete 26624/014







Tramontina 12" Machete with Wooden Handle








Tramontina 18" Machete with Hardwood Handle and Nylon Sheath




Five Minute History with your Morning Coffee: What was the "New Deal"?


While the Great Depression began with the stock market crash on Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929, many factors contributed to the financial crisis, including overproduction, limited foreign markets (due to war debts that prevented trading), and over expansion of credit, as well as stock market speculation.  Soon the country was in the grips of a severe economic downturn that affected most every American.  Some were harder hit than others:  many lost their jobs (16 million people people were unemployed at the depth of the crisis, accounting for about a third of the workforce); families were unable to make their mortgage payments and lost their homes; hunger was widespread, since there was no money to buy food.  The sight of people waiting in breadlines was a common one.

It was amidst this crisis, which was soon felt overseas, that Franklin D. Roosevelt took office as president in 1933.  In his inaugural address, he called for faith in America's future, saying, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."  Roosevelt soon rolled out a program of domestic reforms called the New Deal. For the first time in American history, the federal government took a central role in organizing business and agriculture.  Roosevelt initiated aid programs and directed relief in the form of public works programs that would put people back to work.  The new government agencies that were set up included the Public Works Administration, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Security and Exchange Commission, National Labor Relations Board, Tennessee Valley Association, the National Recovery Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps.  These government organizations soon become known by their initials (PWA, FDIC, SEC, NLRB, TVA, NRA, CCC).  Roosevelt's critics charged him with giving federal government too much power and began calling his New Deal "alphabet soup."  The president became widely known as FDR.

Though the New Deal measures alleviated the situation and did put some Americans back to work, the country did not pull out of the Depression until industry was called upon to step up production in order to provide arms, aircraft, vehicles and supplies for the war effort.  It was during the early days of World War II, the economy buoyed by military spending, that the nation finally recovered.  Many New Deal agencies are still part of the federal government today.






Source: 


The Handy History Answer Book, Second Edition (The Handy Answer Book Series)

A concise guide to all things historical, this compendium addresses people, times, and events in a wide-ranging and comprehensive manner, complemented by helpful illustrations and a chronology of major events. Some of the history-making events include the election of George W. Bush, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; spectacular images from probes in outer space, medical advances and debate, and many new scientific discoveries on Earth; a devastating earthquake in Iran and the deadly tsunami in Asia; the downfall of Enron and the comeback of Apple, as well as the dot-com bubble burst. Beginning with a section on historical eras, this popular reference source tracks history and organizes information in 13 specific subject sections, ranging from politics and war to science and religion. It tackles exploration and settlement, technological advances, legal fireworks, financial and business events, social movements, natural and man-made disasters, medicine and disease, and art and culture. This resource is the perfect fingertip, time-traveling guide through the pages of history.


The 2015 release edition;

The Handy American History Answer Book (The Handy Answer Book Series)

4.29.2016

Coffee Talking: Coffee themed curtains for a coffee themed kitchen!

Good Morning!  I'm sipping cup number two of strong, hot, black coffee and while pondering what I might want to chit chat over coffee about this morning, I suddenly thought about coffee themed kitchens and the fact that I don't believe I've ever thought about coffee themed curtains before.

I went looking online for some coffee themed kitchens to start brainstorming ideas and I found everything from cute little coffee nooks to copycat coffee house theme decor.  It's so interesting that you can take something as simple as a 'coffee' theme and have it interpreted and implemented in so many different, wonderful, creative ways!


I'm pretty happy to say that by price shopping Amazon offers, I was able to find many affordable options - and some downright 'cheap' but not in a bad way!  Like, some valances or panels were only about $8 to start.   




Coffee Tier and Swag
  • Complete Window Set
  • Fabric Content: 100% Polyester
  • Measures 57-inch x 36-inch


















Coffee Talk Beige Brown Earthtones 28" Wide X 36" Length Tier Set and 56" Wide X 14" Length
  • Complete Window Set
  • Fabric Content: 100% Polyester
  • Measures 57-inch x 36-inch









 


Achim Home Furnishings 58-Inch by 36-Inch Cuppa Joe Embellished Cottage Topper with 58-Inch by 36-Inch or 24-Inch
  • Includes tier pair and a topper
  • Fabric Content: 100% Polyester
  • Cuppa Joe - Cups of hot coffee, flower cutouts enhanced with gold lurex yarn detailing Solid brown scalloped borders with brown matching tiebacks













Coffee Beans Java Cups Kitchen Window Curtain
  • Two tiers: 60" x 36"; One valance: 60" x 14"
  • 100% Polyester
  • Beige, tan, brown, black
  • Rod pocket







 
Java 56-inch x 12-inch Tailored Valance
  • Measures 56-inch x 12-inch
  • Stripe fabric: 80-Percent Polyester/20-Percent Cotton Solid fabric: 65-Percent Polyester/35-Percent Cotton
  • : Machine wash, cold water, gentle cycle; No bleach; Line dry; Warm iron if necessary
  • Measures 56-Inch by 12-Inch
  • Machine wash, cold water, gentle cycle; no bleach; line dry; warm iron if necessary








Other accessories to finish the look may include rugs, clocks and wall decor; many items available and affordable through Amazon;


Achim Home Furnishings Braided Rug, 20-Inch by 30-Inch, Coffee
Westclox Coffee Time 3-D Wall Clock



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