Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Vacation is over, back to work!

Well its that time again, BACK TO WORK.  I have had the last couple of weeks off but rather than spend them sitting on my ass or pecking at the computer I decided to get stuff done.  I had the oppertunity to take all the kids skiing at June Mountain and at Mammoth Mountain.  I built a charcoal forge and a propane gas forge in the garage.  For the propane forge I used the "Oliver upwind burner" design and I am very pleased with the output.  So in light of that I have started making knives.  Keep in mind that I am still trying to figure this process out so mistakes will be made but it is a hell of  alot of fun making them.  Thanks to Luke Swenson at Swenson Custom Knives for information and resources and thanks to Dwane Dwyer of Strider Knives for his help and information.


So to date these are the knives that I have made, Now I guess that I need to learn how to polish them and work on how to photograph them....Its harder than you my think. 

This is my version of a early American trade knife, it is O1 with oak scales and stainless liners but I put it through a process to "age" the hande and erode the softer grains.  It is now my dress up knife. 

This is a picture of the filework that I did on the trade knife, it goes all the way around the tang and ends just before the cutting edge begins.


 This is a stout "man version" of the flimzy bird and trout knife.  It is also in O1with a single bevel scandi grind.
This is a bushcrafter that I made for my wife "little hands" it is made from an old Case farm tool blade and has a thin pink liner visable on the spine.



This is a large bushcrafter made from a Case farm tool blade and has red oak hande scales.  This is for a friend at work and the metal came from his farm equipment and the oak came from his fathers saw mill.  In this picture you can see my makers mark on the blade.

This one is a small patch knife for black powder hunting.  This one was hammer forged from the shank of an old broken screwdriver.  I think that I prefer to make knives from the stock removal method but I will likely use both methods until I settle on a favorite.

In addition to the above knives and projects I also built a filing jig to help me get a clean perfect grind on the knife blades.  I made an anvil from an old piece of railroad track and my wife bought me a new Lincoln wire feed welder so I salvaged some old bed frames from the dump and built a welder cart.  I also converted an old wood stove to a welding table and use the stove itself to store some blacksmithing tools and other odly shaped tooling and black powder bullet casting supplies. 

All in all it was a productive vacation but the show must go on, so soon Ill be back on the mountain training Marines to fight and survive in the harsh environment.

As far as new years resolutions go I have made a few!
1. To make some new friends and contacts in the survival community (build some bridges).
2. See more, learn more, and do more!
3. Solve as many problems as I can find.

In light of those resolutions I have commited to speaking at the Great Basin Group of the Sierria Club's Winter preparation meeting,  I will also tag along for a winter hike (snowshoe) with the group later in January or early February to help them expose some holes in their personal preparations for trips into the back country.  For those that do not keep up on the latest news, we have recently lost two people (that I know of) here in the sierrias one was on a snow shoe trip in the back country and the other was a ski instructor that was snowboarding out of bounds.  Both were experienced in the outdoors.

So get off your ass and do something or don't it is totally up to you but don't bitch when you realize that you missed the oppertunity to have an adventure or learn a new skill.