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Sunday, 19 April 2015

Working with Bone again - Making a Bone Knife.

Its been quite a while since I've worked with bone and its something I really enjoy, so a few hours spare time recently allowed me to make a few items, one in particular, a bone knife, is something I've wanted to do for a while.

I wanted something primitive looking and not too refined, something an ancestor would have made, so it's a bone blade, hawthorn handle and it's fixed with pine pitch and artificial sinew. It's very comfortable in hand and I haven't put a serious edge on it as I've found it looses the edge quickly unless it's used on flesh or soft material, however if it's a serrated edge it works very efficiently and lasts a lot longer.

it would be good for us on fish, meat or as a skinning blade

and along side a victorinox farmer for scale.

While I was at it I thought I'd make a few other items too...

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Mora Robust has been DISCONTINUED!

It's with a heavy heart that I have to report that the original Mora Craftline High Q Robust that we all know and love has been discontinued by Mora, I received an email from them today confirming that it's no longer in production.

That's the original Mora with the Grey and Black handle and the 3.2mm blade as in the picture above (not the newly released Mora Robust Pro C)

It's such a pity as this is a superb knife and I quite like it in the grey colour, I liken it to wood pigeon grey! 
Anyway all is not lost as the Mora Companion Heavy Duty (essentially the same knife just in a different colour scheme) is still available at the minute. However if you want the original Robust you need to move quickly!

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Dirt Time, Re-covering the Basics.

It's all too easy to do something once then forget about it, so I believe it's important to cover ground again to refresh the memory and keep your skills well honed, practice makes perfect after all. So we went out today to cover a few simple techniques and see what else could be done.

we found a downed birch so figured we'd make use of it and make some more birch bark oil, we had very little left anyway.

didn't take long and we ended up with about 100mls of top grade birch oil.

We also honed our knife skills by making spatuloons. A friend once said that I should practice using different knives to make sure I'm comfortable with any cutting tool as I may not always have my beloved 510 with me, sound advice actually, so these were carved with a Mora Robust, 3 are mine one is Davy's, can you work out who's is who's??

Then we did a little tracking finding, mouse, rat, rabbit and deer tracks, no fox or badger but I'm sure if we had have spent longer we would have found some. Anyway we followed these deer tracks for a while until we found ..

a large bundle of it's fur..obviously shedding it's winter coat as the weather warms up.. A great day out and we could have done so much more if time allowed.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Eagle Steals a Mora

I'm sure some of you have seen this pic before, it was taken by renowned wildlife photographer han bouwmeester .. It seems that even our feathered brothers realise a good knife when they see one, why use talons when a mora Viking will do?
Magnificent picture Han!

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Does a Bushcrafter Dump in the Woods?

There's a brilliant new product out if you get caught short in the woods, it's partial camo Toilet paper, the reason it's only partial camo is because you add the defining colour to it (if you know what I mean) and that means you don't have to bury the stuff, it blends right in to the background.
Get yourself some, it's better than sphagnum moss!

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Potato Bread in the Woods.

It's worth treating yourselves a little, isn't it? and one thing we all love here in Northern Ireland is potato bread. It's called fadge in certain places and potato cake in others but it's basically all the same thing.
and it's incredibly simple to make. You can use either dehydrated potato for convenience or left over boiled potatoes, flour and if desired a knob of butter and a little salt.
mix the potatoes until it's soft and fluffy then mix in flour (salt and butter if desired)
flatten it into a patty about 1/4 of an inch thick, and cook in a dry or lightly oiled pan
and that's it, it's gorgeous and nutritious. you can always add extras to it as well to flavour it..
like any wild green, or even herbs or spices
it would be easy to replicate this with burdock or cattail root and powdered nut flour or cattail pollen or anything similar.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Difficulties with young plant ID

I saw a lady picking a lot of young wild garlic today, it's only starting to show and she was tearing up all she could find. After she moved on I went to the patch she'd been in to see how much was gone, and there must have been 30sq feet of forest floor raided, that's a lot of garlic, but she'd have gotten a lot more if she'd left it to grow.
However there was a problem, in her ardour to gather the wild edibles she'd been taking all growing plants she could find and she inadvertently took a lot of something else too - Bluebells!
It's, I suppose, not a difficult mistake to make, as you can see above, wild garlic on the left, bluebell on the right, they can look slightly similar as they are starting to grow.
But I hope she goes through her takings when she gets home, as a belly full of bluebell leaves could cause you some serious discomfort!!