American Bushman

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Sometimes I like to work on less domestic stuff like laundry, dishes, and cooking and I find myself looking for any excuse to break out some tools.  Today was no exception to that rule and I decided to sit down and make a jig for twisting up some twine to toss in my diaper bag for those times I need to tie something up or, in an emergency, light something on fire.

I poured myself a jar of green tea and got organized.  I took two pencils, a scrap piece of wood, and a (maybe?) 5/16" drill bit to put this together.  With it I can wrap twine or any cordage easily and neatly for storage and I could add additional holes to make longer or shorter spools if desired.

I wrap the twine from one pencil to the other in a circle and then come back around the loops to lock everything together.  Using the pencils allows me to slide the loops up or down and, in this case, allowed me to pass the whole ball of twine under and over before cutting.

The jig also allows me to jump up in the middle of the project to check on laundry or a sleeping kid and come back with a minimal amount of unravel.

When I'm all done I just come around with some half-hitches to tighten things up to prevent it from coming undone in the bag or pocket.  Now I've got a nice, neat, and compact source of cordage or tinder should I need it.

Thanks for reading,


Monday, September 09, 2013

A Sharpening Trick

A trick I've been using with great success lately involves the use of a piece of balsa loaded with stropping compound after sharpening. The balsa allows for a heavier-handed approach to stropping as the material is less likely to deflect under pressure and round newly sharp edges. 

Initially I would flatten mine on a granite plate with 220 grit sandpaper. This, however, proved to be unnecessary as experience has shown a "flat enough" piece of wood still works just fine. I do like to heat the wood slightly with a heat gun before applying the compound.  Basically, treat it just like you would the leather.

I have not done a head-to-head comparison between balsa and leather so there may be little overall advantage one way or another but it's another viable option for you to try and it's inexpensive to boot. 

Thanks for reading,


Wednesday, September 04, 2013

GEC Farm & Field

The knife I showed in my last update is the GEC Farm & Field in O1 steel and orange delrin handles. It has replaced a much more expensive piece in my right pocket (I'm a Southpaw) and has found a use many times every single day since I got it.

It's not too heavy, not too big, certainly not scary to onlookers, and it takes and holds a great edge with a minimum of effort. Sure, it's mostly been used for breaking down boxes, trimming tags, and peeling and slicing fruit and meat but it does those things with ease and the occasional heavier abuse it can handle too.

The lockback can be a little sticky but a quick shot of Tuffglide brings it right back to life.

Now I was a Sodbuster fan right from the beginning so it's little surprise that this particular design appeals to me but to bump a CRK Umnumzaan out of my pocket and up for sale was a little shocking even to me.

I've got some patina on the blade and it could probably use a quick cleaning and lube again but the knife does what knives are supposed to--it cuts.

Thanks for reading,