Mittwoch, 31. Oktober 2012

A ride into the golden autumn´s peace-and being very nasty to my mountain man bushcraft knife;-)

I just had to get out the other day, what with my mind and my heart battered from too many obligations, conflicts and other interhuman pieces of cake;-). So I straddled my steed, which hasn´t seen the dirt for some time, and made for the woods. When I rode the first kilometres, I was still asking myself what the heck I was doing, when I could stay at home, cuddle into my bed and pull the blanket over my head to pretend I wasn´t there. But that state of mind has never done anyone any good. Life IS a bastard, at times, at least when you have too much interference with humanity:-/. But it won´t stop kicking at you if you´re lying on the floor. Instead it will jump on the back of your head with all its might and nailed boots on. So, no use crying or hiding other than in the woods. It was right painful to go the distance, not only psychologically, but also, due to my profound lack of training... but after the first downhill, my mind was wiped clean, and with the first air I got over an embankment, I was grinning like a madman (okay, I AM a madman;-)), and I was in the mood to shred. And shredding I did, and as my muscles warmed up to their task, it became increasingly more easy, and I really enjoyed the ride. At this point, I paused and cuddled between the twin stems of an ancient oak that stood there in my youth and hopefully will be after my death.
I leant the bike to a tree and knelt at the oak leaves at her feet... erm, another song...;-).
Having a look around, I grew ever so much calmer, and the excitement of the ride left me to make room for a sense of deep peace. The sun was warming my chest, and I had a sip of tea.
Golden light surrounded me, and the clamour of the world subsided in silence. Even my bike became but a device to get there...
Then that gnarly little troll in the back of my brain told me to take out the mountain man knife I made some time ago, and which I finished recently-okay, I THOUGHT I had finished it*ggg*-and made a sheath for it, too, and really put it through its paces. The blade is 115 mm long, has a 6mm thick spine, and a high convex bevel. It is made from leaf spring steel with a selective temper and a leather washer-stag antler crown handle. Making a fuzz stick was a cinch, and for its heft, it really cuts well. I realized, however, that the edge was not hair-popping sharp, as I like to have my knives and that I can improve on it still.
The blade with its sheath, and a patinized leather sheath, wet-formed and hot-waxed around the knife.
The spine of the knife. The rough surface shows it was forged into shape about 95 %. It has seen less than 3 % stock removal. The handle is heat-coloured.
Batoning through dried, knotted pine wood and spruce wood was a cinch, of course, for the blade´s convex bevel and thick spine.
Then I rammed it tip first into an aged oak stem lying around and levered it out. The tip went in for about 5-10 mm each time. I repeated the process 10 times. No damage to the tip whatsoever, which delighted me very much.

It was when I had hacked halfway through the oak stem that I realized the handle came somewhat loose, not as much that it would have hindered working, but loose nonetheless. Since I am increasingly fond of this knife, I stopped to check, and I realized I simply forgot to peen the tang over the rune disc at the crown! Silly, I know...;-)
So I just sat back and enjoyed the scenery.

I sincerely hope that tree will sleep well this winter and awake to a new year of prospering after the dark hag is done with dealing death...

And I had a cuppa forest...;-). (Cheer up, my love!*ggg*)
 I kept sitting there and meditating, and the sun sank lower. Short have the days become, and it became a bit chilly, so I went on my merry way, having a bit of shredding and a really enjoyable singletrail ride-oh, and as far as I can tell, no toads were harmed in the process;-).

At home, I peened the tang over the rune disc (this much cheating shall be allowed, isn´t it?;-))
Akiri really inspired me;-), so I hacked through a piece of stag antler.
No harm to the edge!
 Then I cut a sanding belt from my belt grinder. No harm done.

I carved a mild steel rod. After all that, the blade still shaved. Then I slammed into the rod, inflicting a minor dent on the edge.

 It still worked, though.
 Slamming through a tin can then was but child´s play.*ggg*
The dent. It could be removed with some strokes of the strop, and I had not to reprofile the edge at all.

I am a bit proud of my achievement, for all that means I got something right. Noone in their right mind does that to his or her knife, and a knife certainly is not an axe. But it´s comforting to know that you can rely on your blade. Tiny mistakes, however, lead to failure, for instance, not peening over the tang properly. If you have to rely on your knife, you want to double check you have done everything properly. And, I will make a knife with a full tang out of this steel.

Coming to think about it, this knife is made from spring steel. I think, I will stick to this sort of steel. I have tried silver steel, CrV steels, 100Cr6, Tank bearing, damascus, 440 C, D2 and many more. The best knives I own are made from junk spring steel.

It was a strange day, with going from depression to joy and to contention even. I know there are several of you out there currently living lifes that are not exactly easy. Do not let life bring you down! get out into the woods, they can help you cope with the everyday madness. For me they do that.

And hey, we´re all mad, aren´t we?*ggg*

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