Saturday, December 26, 2009

A knife, A camera, the right light (sometimes....)

So, taking a camera into the woods is almost always a bad idea for me if I need to accomplish anything but taking pictures. I just get side tracked and never get back. Today I was supposed to be out looking for spots to set up as a permanent camp site on the folks place. Didn't happen that way... not so much, nope.

Instead we have a photo study of the necker in differing lights and new positions. I liked the pics so I figured I would post um up. Might as well count for something since I got nothing else done today... I am so bad.

Anyhow, thanks for looking and take care.

2009 Draws Down

Well, the prospect of a new year looms ahead of us while the definite crushing that was 2009 is almost over. I wish I could say it was a year of unparalleled successes in all regard however, that would... overly optimistic. There are so many work things that just sapped the life out of the year this year and I really can't talk about them in any detail here. Probably wouldn't anyway. They suck. Let's talk about 2010 and see what we can see with that.

Being who I am, I tend to face the new beginning thing as a chance to make a plan for how to best optimise my use of the available resource. I tend to ramble aimlessly if I don't. For the coming year I want to get the broad strokes down, by month....

Jan. - Squirrel and deer are still in season this month. I am going to get out and hunt my backside off (4 to 6 times) and probably all for squirrel. As an overlay to that I have been wanting to do a bit of geocaching and endurance testing. I am going to place a couple of those as well, just to see how they do.

Feb - Squirrel is clear out and Deer goes in the first week this month. Hunting season draws down. I expect it to be unpleasantly cold for the first couple of weeks here. We'll get out sometime in the second half to have the first of 4 or 5 bushcraft days I will have until Sept rolls back around. We'll think of the skills to work here but I am going to go out on a limb and say fire and shelter will be the big ones. Primarily I will be scouting a place to set up a camp site, preset for my getaways when I need them.

March - I'll get out for sure again in March. I am going to institute a tradition of observing my own birthday as a holiday and I'll find something to do. I'll probably start building camp site 1 and see if I can knock it out.

April through June - All questionable here. Ish is do to arrive and I doubt Mrs. Hunter will ever let me out this close to D day.

July - I may only get one day in this month and I will make it a full range day. I miss shooting...

Aug - Bush day and prep.

Sept through Dec - Well, we know what happens here don't we.... ;-)

I am sure the later months will firm up as the year passes. There about a thousand other things I am not going to detail here that will go into making 2010 better. It should be a good year and I am looking forward to it. Cheers, one and all.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Christmas Rush

So, you know those things you like to do that your friends don't do but like it when you do for them? I have one of those things, requested on a Christmas rocket. :-) It seems my good friend, let's call him Mr. T, and I never got together to talk about a Christmas present he needed made and he, also, did not go anther way for the recipient... Now, imagine my surprise when I get a wife to wife directive via my wife, from Mrs. T, to get Mr T on the phone and make it happen.... even if it will be late.

So I am laughing a lot as I type this because:

1.Now... I have an excuse to go to the shop and make the sparks and the dust on a day when I usually get bored about 2 in the afternoon. (Woohoo!)

2. I do this sort of thing all the time with other stuff so I know how it goes.

Check out the pic above there. I had this blade ground and on the bench and had just not done anything with it. Turns out, Mr T's intended gift recipient likes to hunt. Bingo! I spent about an hour sanding up to 400 on the flats and the bevel and daaaannng.... nice blade. Seems I got one right and should have made this one up a while ago. Mr T chose to pair it with the coolest spaulted maple scales I have ever seen and one of the 3/8 mosaic lanyard tubes I had in the shop and this is going to be a dandy. I'll be sad to see it go but glad it will get used well.

So for now, off to get wide (er) on the holiday cooking. I'll be fitting scales in about 36 hours. Merry Christmas Mr T., Mrs. T, and Mrs.T's Dad.... I'll have her shaving your arms before new years....

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Robert Ruark's Africa by Robert Ruark

Imagine my disappointment when a year ago I went looking for this book and discovered it was out of print and would cost on the order of $150 to get to read. Couple that with the announcement this past Spring that Safari Press would be printing this book again late this fall and things improved quite a lot. $35 later, I have a copy and have read it through.

This is a fantastic book which contains the compiled columns of Ruark from his return from Africa to just before his death. While I found Horn of the Hunter to be a little too full of the vernacular of the day, I find that bits written here are as straight forward and well spoken as a half page feature should be. Ruark is a fantastic writer and it shows here. If you enjoy reading Ruark, order this book. You won't be disappointed. So to it then...
  • Read Ability - 5 of 5 - Ruark's style just works for me. From it I would say you can establish a baseline for my reviews. I like things written like this, if you don't, find the ones I don't like and you'll have what you are after.
  • Editing - 5 of 5 - Michael McIntosh clearly did a fabulous job researching, providing background and knitting these together into a really good read. Top marks here.
  • Subject Matter - 5 of 5 - All africa, all the time. Nuf said.
  • Did I like the Story - 5 of 5 - well told by one of my favorite authors, about some of my favorite things to want to do. What's better to read than that?
I am excited that Safari Press decided to release a new printing of this book. I can say that for the money, this book is a must for the fans of Ruark. It is written with the usual direct gracefulness that is a hallmark of the man's style and contains writings not published in quite a while. To find it, go to and order. Essential read, in my opinion.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Let's Make with the Holiday Heat Treat... Deep Cryo Style

Well, here it is... all ready for transport to the heat treat place. There are about 6 hours of sanding in getting that 320 grit finish to glow like that. When it gets back I'll take it all the way up to 1000 probably. We'll have to see.

Packing was something new for me. I've never tried to pack and unsheathed blade in a box this big. I had to double wrap it in cardboard. Let's hope it holds...
On the upside, while this is travelling and heating a cooling and hardening and then coming back, I have time to work on other things... Let's see where that gets us shall we?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Camp Knife - The second of the Two knife set

So, the itch has taken me once again and while things around the house are still crazy I am starting to get a bit more time to work on these knife things again. I have five blades I need to get to done now but I am sadly, distracted. Check this one out.

I have recently discovered that I have a thing for Scagel knives. Specifically, I love the lines. Combine that with my love of the Nessmuk form and you get something like you see below here...

Here it is on the steel, wating to be profiled

After doing quite a bit of reading I decided to go with A2 for this blade. It's tougher than O1 steel according to Crucible and has equivalent or better wear ratings. Seems like a not brainer. I am going to get it ready and ship it to Paul Bos after new years. Should be a dandy when I am done....

Here it is profiled out. That's a Turley Knives Big Piney model next to it for comparison there. It's a big one. 11 inches OAL, almost 2 inches thick in the widest part of the blade. This should handle most camp jobs well.
The grind is full convex again. I did the blending after the initial grind a little bit different this time and used a disk sander to smooth things out because my grinder running slack belt is just not that good. The disk appears to have worked like a dream. Here it is all ground out and on the bench in the basement for sanding. The lights are horrid so please forgive the pic.

I've located some dynamite walnut with gallery hardwoods and Larry is cutting it out for me this week. Things will slow down into the holidays at this point. I owe a BCUSA forum member a knife that I will start this evening and then I owe 3 to RFC member I hope to dig in to later in the week. Busy busy busy.... Later.

Monday, December 7, 2009

One of the things I like to mess with is video. I am just learning but this is something I have wanted to try. So here, without further prattle, is a slide show of some of my better creations....

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Kit Revision - Necker Addition

So, part of the idea I had for this kit was the addition of a knife I could attach to the bag or wear as a neck knife. The knife itself is covered over here. Even though it worked out well, the sheath still remained. This past week I had some time and got it done. While it's not much to look at, it works very well. Check it out. Here it is attahced my bush rig. The 550 cord is supposed to be a set of D rings but I couldn't find the size I wanted... so I tied it up. It still works.

Here it is with a long bit of 550 attached to go around my neck. This seems to work very well if I am out just moving around with no kit. I need to get some time out with them both and I'll decide if the execution is all I thought the idea could be... ;-D

Thanks for looking.