sunnuntai 27. tammikuuta 2013

Bit of pulk "sledding" with my dog.

Heres a snapshot i quickly took, while i was at the lake, training my dog, to get him used to pull sled behind him.

Its just an ugly, plastic big pulk meant for ice fishers, but as it was dirt cheap, i thought i could convert it to a dogs sled. I own still one wooden, bigger and better pulk "ahkio", but its missing the bottom piece, so instead i had to use this makeshift thingy. All the hardware, is from local tiny hardware store, nothings dedicated dog sled stuff, except for the dogs harness, which is a ManMat product, made especially for pulk pulling. Total price without harness is under 50 euros, including pulk, rods, reflective stickers, nuts and bolts, everything, so it sure isnt a bank breaker. I was glad to see that dog seemed to like pulling it, and did it fast, with 40 kilos of weight, as well, if encouraged.

Hopefully my hand, that i injured pretty bad, heals enough in next two weeks, so i could do some more serious hiking, with ski´s and dog pulling the pulk. I sure would like to ski to my kota, through the woods with my dog ad hang out there over the weekend.

maanantai 14. tammikuuta 2013

Small rough knife for a dog sled driving friend.

Heres a picture of a very simple, raw knife that i made for my friend. She works as a dog sled driver / guide, and shes very tiny with very tiny hands.

The handle is just barely 10cm long total, and the actual gripping surface is just about 8cm long. Its made out of salix caprea ( i think:)....) piece, and the other parts are moose antler back plate and cow horn front ferrule / bolster, and leathe washers. Theres two small brass screws securing the butt plate as well.

The blade is forged rough from 22mm diameter truck coils spring, and its some 16cm long total, and the thickest part is 5mm.  It has edge, somewhat convex-like so its quite "dull" so it could last better, cutting frozen meat or dogs and small fire kindlings, as well as scraping snow and ice away from gear.

keskiviikko 9. tammikuuta 2013

Had the first shot with the tiny axe along the day

I was working in the forests today, ad the weather was going from minus 1 to minus 5, so it was a warm, sweaty day, crawling kilometers after kilometers in knee deep and deeper snow that was pretty damn wet. Well, after the task was over, i was about to head to home, but instead i hiked a mile or so to my buddys cabin, and while doing that i called to my gf, and asked her to join me....and to bring few beers with her :).

When i got to the cabin i took the tiny axe that  i showed you just day or so, ago, from my pack. I had been using it along the day, with stuff ranging from quarter inh to 2 inch diameter, without it failing in any way, while cleaning brush, making a fire for coffee etc, but now when my gf arrived she brough my camera with me. She had to walk 4 kilometers from car, as the place has not any kind of road plowing around the year. Well, anyways, i took the first beer, set the sauna on fire and cut some birch quickly to get just some kind of photos before pitch black hit us. Here its totally dark now, at 5 a clock. Well, i must say that i was very pleased to see this small axe, performing pretty darn nice, cutting 2 and 3 inch standing birch with 3 to 6 cuts, with ease, considering its just about 11 inches long total and weights 500grams about. I havent put any axe geeks super edge, nor thought to the edge, but it seems to work and i got a nice few cuts in to my fongers that i noticed when blood was over my camera :).

Also i picked up some miscellanous leftover pieces from firewood making, that we did at summer 2012, and the axe splitted 2 to 4 inhc thick pieces easily, but they were frozen...

Well, i dont have anything special to tell you, but i had a nice bath in nice company, a cold beer and i was excited about my small new tool, as well as happy to see that our new dog, seems to love being in snow all day long with me. I really, really enjoy that now i have dog that can pull a pulk or a sled, plays in snow, and does not run away if hes  taken off the leash .

 He got a sausage reward for his work as my buddy in the bush

. Few hours of bathing and diving in to the snow, and then we headed home, where i had a chance to change the soaken wet work clothes and i am feeling soo relaxed and i think ill hit the bed now.

Well, maybe ill continue making new needle case for a moment.

maanantai 7. tammikuuta 2013

Survival series, thinking. Military service = survivalist 4 sure ?

For last few days ive been reading a bit of this Dual Survival series and the fuzz about the characters in it, being changed and the reasons behind the changes.

It got me to think, again...

The military / army and survival skills, and the realtionship between the two.

I mean....they sure like to throw advertisement of series, with persons having military background. This is somewhat awkward to me, as i dont know, simply KNOW, how does going to military, af almost any kind, in any country, turn you in to survival expert. Especially if you connect the though to our civilian life and the outdoors activities involved in it.

Does  it make a person more beliavable as a survival guru, if you show him in military area, gunning in sandbox, or jumping with parachute, posing in jungle with smeare camo on their faces ?

How is that connected to survival. Offcourse in War, you are survivor if you dont get yourself kille in action by enemy actions or, as it happens, friendly fire or bombing.

Do they teach, in every single country, to every single man, survival skills so much, or how much, if any ?

In our country, they sure dont and its a Shame. Ive seen tents almost burned, thanks to not knowing how to use stove, ive seen axe cuts, since guys dont use axes before army and in army its rare nowadays. Theres not lessons in trapping, no studying nourishment from mother nature, no water cleaning, no firemaking classes, so much that you could actually call it as a class or course....anymore. Back in the days, men lived off the land and especially the people from countryside, got the info and skills, almost from mothers milk. Gone are those days, and i think we have just a few small special units that have survival skills in their training.

So, maybe the fact that in our country, every soldier is has Not gone through survival classes, not to mention in a major scale, i seem to bit lost, if i think a soldier as survivalist, just like that.  And it makes me wonder even more, when the tv-series characters bacground is secret, like a james bond, that watching crowd just has to believe that the soldier is offcourse, naturally, for sure an survival expert, when they only show , in advertisement, bits of shooting and stuff, not related to actual outdoors survival.

Dont get me wrong though, i am most likely going to watch the series and see how the new guy acts, and even more, i think, i have big expectations. Not only regarding new guys skills, but more, much much more i am interested in his person, as his predestorleft big boots to fill, if you are waiting for person, and as its entertainment too, a written series with financial interests from producers, i think they have had to choose by those factors as well.

Maybe a soldier sells, to big crowd, better than a truely educated and experienced lifestyle woodsman found from a shack behind the mountains, with no CV nor a courier to brag with ?

sunnuntai 6. tammikuuta 2013

Tiny old axe, or a hatchet if you prefer.

Hello people.

4 days ago, i found a few old axe heads, from an old shack belonging to my work buddy.

Among em were Billnäs, H.B etc, but what i really found interesting instead of  those that i already own many pieces, was this small, very small in my mind, axe head. I have absolutely no idea of its trademark nor maker. It weights 409 grams.

It has a stamp , that looks like K and 8 or K and S upsidedown.... but the 8/S looks bit odd.  I believe they are markings made by the maker of this as they are only ones and done with stamp tools that are old, looking by the style of the letters.

The head is not machine forged in to mold. How ever it might be made in mold but with human operated hammer, as the forging marks dont look like machine made at all.

I was pretty happy to see that it has a forge welded edge between the rest of the material, it can me seen as visible welding seam, and as i sharpened it with water and stone, the actual edge came mor evisible and polished bettet than rest of the head. I´ll be adding mor epictures to this post what i can, i am having quite hard times with computer as the one that i waited for long sadly was a piece of s-it, as its hard drive wont co-operate at all, so i am using again the loaned P.O.S from my buddys sister, and this is slow one from stoneage.

Well, i used a steel wire brush to clean most of the rust off this head, after i held in in lamp oil over night. Then i filed some off the worst nicks etc off from it, and thought that i´d put this in to my cheast of old relics and treasures as this sure aint the most commonly found head, atleast these days, so its also maybe a future collectors item.

Maybe you wont  do 16 true (not thrown piles) cubic meters of firewood, with this axe heads help and get rewarded with gold plated axe head pin, like many did during our tight years, including my grandpa who had loads of these, black, silver and golden ones.

Clik below:
THESE DAYS YOU CAN HELP OUR WAR VETERANS BY BUYING THESE PIN REPLICAS. Dont whine about price, its for helping out true heroes of our nation.

Then i thought again....what an earth....i´d rather treat it that show it.

So i made a simple short wooden helve to it, or do you say handle or what ever. I am not an axe geek so excuse me while i use wrong words in english.

I cut the coarse blank to work with, with a jigsaw, it was about 5cm x 5cm and some 30 cm long.  Then i made the rest usng my BushProwler.  No sanding, no rasping, just knife finished and scraped finish, topped off with candle flame and linseed oil mixed with three-four tearfulls of leather dye.

i used a small wedge, commonly used in Finland, called "snake wedge" as well as tar / sand mix (common trick atleast here), to lock up the head in to the helve, that i whittled as tight as possible so that the last about half of the heads eye was almost beaten to the helve.

I think, that for a test helve, it became satisfying, and if it does not work, its just a few hours of work to make a new one anyways.

                                            Almost 27centimeters of awesome power :)

Ive been lately enjoying an argue about axes in general woodmen use in the forum, and there seems to be about just me and one other guy who sees the thing so, that the tinier hatchets / axes really are enough in real world use, today. No, i dont mean felling 8" trunks to ground, and processing em to stuff used for heating uo your cozy little stove at your living room. I am talking about Finnish  outdoors use all over the country. If you are lucky to have a camp in your own7relatives/etc woods, where you can campcraft all you want, bucking trees etc, then it might be good to haul around a big lumber axes. But in my reality, i can hike around this country, and gather small woods, and do campfire´s, to cook as well as for warmth, with "just" an smaller one. In ntaional parks, there are rules and regulations as well as usually either branches etc in the ground and pre-made wood material. In areas wher ei have land owners permissiont o make fire and craft around, i dont Really need to buck down a trunks bigger than 3 inch diameter for campfire of any kind of shelters, as i m not there to build log houses. But what ever, everyone goes with what they want. And i am not saying Now, that this kids axe would work at all, thats to be seen at next week, but in generally, i think small tools are very usefull, as well as compact to pack, ligther to carry, and offer better performance with small works.

Ive been drooling over few small axes (they are all xes here, we dont have a single word for small ones, like hatchet)  like Granfors Mini Axe and Gubben, Wetterlings Small Axe, but they are pricey now for me, and i do have to say that the looks of my new small axe are something i like, they are familiar and traditional in my country.

Well, i l do another post of how it works as soon as i can.

Stay tuned.