Donnerstag, 26. Januar 2017

On the bench...

These are some current projects I am working on. On top is the "hobbit day knife", an EDC and snack knife from file steel and rebar. Below is a crucible steel (with a wootz-like pattern) snack and bushcraft knife. Next below is the tanto from magical stainless sorcery crucible patterned steel which now has assumed a mirror polish, as has the lowest in line, which will become my new personal carry bushcraft knife. It´s going real slow at the moment, for I can´t use the shop extensively and on top of all the regular madness my mother is severely ill at the moment and I have to tend to her. But I try to fit in some time and I actually appreciate taking my time. That way it was possible to do my first mirror polishes in years! ;-)

As I threatened before: I will keep you posted!

Mittwoch, 25. Januar 2017

Frost and freedom

 Again I felt this urge again. I had to get out, out into a world where things are just what they are. Where a fact is a fact and Amsterdam is not the capital of Berlin. Where there is no peace, sure, but certainly no war, and lunacy dies a sorry death. For a rabid fox or racoon will die, ultimately.

There is frost, and the trees are still and breathe but slowly. It is a hard time for birds and deer and fox and hare, for racoon and rabbit. Frost rides heavily and reigns like death. And yet, its crystals reflect the light, ever so fragile, and the darkest night has just passed, and the days get longer.

At the trailhead I met a deer. It just passed by ever so slowly. Another, passing from the dale, shied and sprinted away, clouds of snow trailing up from its flight. There was a simple beauty to both behaviours, a power in the stride and the flight of both of them, and it conveyed a deep meaning to me-but it would be futile to try to describe it.

The forest lay dark and still and adorned with the jewellish twinkle of crystal beauty. The wind bit hard down on my face, and still I coveted its touch.

 Words get frozen in a poet´s mouth. Words become crystals that fall and shatter with a sound, twinkling ever so faintly, and yet ringing like a roar in my weary mind.

 On I walked, to the top of a hill, entwined in a crystal cobweb´s dream... a song in my heart, faint yet strong.
 There are no answers given in the twilight, and no respite from the lunacy and rabies that has befallen man. But frost has come and frost will go.
 And tracks afield run from thicket to thicket and tell me the runes of the forest.
 To the hilltop. To a hawthorn in ornate needles and thorns of winter. Do not sleep under the hawthorne tree, they say, or you will never be the same again. And I laugh. I laugh at their fears and their want. For I DID sleep under the hawthorn tree, under a new moon, a sickle of silver.
 I laugh at their plight and their wars. My heart is armed with thorns and swords of frost and tongues of fire. I unbecame human long time ago.
 Welcome to the realm of frost and twilight. Welcome, ye wicked, to the treacherous trails of winter...
Where your worst nightmares dwell.

Donnerstag, 12. Januar 2017

A belt buckle

This is a belt buckle I made recently "on the fly", and certainly not perfect. Mild steel. This is something I would like to perfect, and it will be part of a belt (system?). We will see ;-), I´ll keep you posted, no really, I will! Promise! :-D

Bushcraft knife evolution

I am increasingly fond of the style of the traditional Finnish puukko as opposed to other Scandinavian knives and as far as I know no one has tried to incorporate the rhombic cross-section of this kind of knife into a full tang design. Plus, I am constantly playing with shape, balance and style of a knife suited for all the everyday kinds of work you can encounter when using a bushcraft knife. And while there are a lot of really fancy tactical designs (I spare you the rant, I hope you appreciate it ;-)), what works for me, i.e. "the knife that feels right", is a rather compact design with no crosspiece, a high Scandi or convex bevel (which screams "puukko" on top of its lungs, by the way), and a handle that is rather short. 
I seldom work with gloves, for I find they compromise my ability to feel where I am headed ;-), so this is not a problem. Also, if you use a knife with no guard the way to go when stabbing e.g. at a piece of wood in spooncarving or prying at an arrow stuck in wood in archery is to put the pommel end of the handle into your palm, which is very secure no less. I like my balance point on the knife on my index finger. Hollow rivets or better, pins, give you the ability to put the knife on a stick when harvesting fruit or mistle twigs with a length of paracord. Carving is facilitated by a slender tip design. To aid in durability, I prefer spring steel that is selectively tempered and thoroughly normalized. It is a simple steel, that also can be re-tempered with simple methods if the need arises, and makes for very durable knives. The handle is dyed yew. The knife needs some work still, of course, and I have to make a sheath for it yet, but as is, it represents my thoughts on the quest for the "perfect" knife as they stand for now. But since there is no such thing as a "perfect" knife, this quest will not end so soon... ;-)

A snuffkin ride and an escape

Somebody once said: You can´t run away from your problems. A mountainbike ad ca 1990 said:" Whoever said: "You can´t run away from your problems"... obviously wasn´t going fast enough.". I don´t want to decide which one was right.

Fact is, I think a lot more than is good for my own good, and I tend to discuss matters far too much. But there is a point where you just have to call it a day. Or a life, at that. And then try your best to make some new beginnings or whatever.

Take for instance this as an example.

The sun is shining brightly, with that wonderful light I love, golden and radiant and the sky oh so clear and blue. What to do, then? Brooding over your mishaps? Yeah, I did. And fortunately, the next day still was radiant and wonderful, and I was sick of myself. And I saddled my steed, the first time for a long period of time. Again I had gone into my own trap and quit riding.

The first strokes into the ride were agony, but then my muscles realized what was expected from them to do, and everything fell into place. I took it slow, however, and arrived at the hilltops not exhausted for a change.
The sun was bright, but it was really cold. No frost, however... and I took in the clean, crisp air with relish. I believe there can be a starvation out of lack of forest air, and I was near starving. It felt really good to be outside and get in some scenery and exercise in the bargain!
I cannot tell how often my friends and I were sitting on that private airport´s lane at night, stargazing and drinking, telling tall tales and making wild plans where to ride and what we had seen already... and the place thrums with memories of the good kind.
On I rode into the deep twilight. The shadows were crisp as was the air, in stark contrast to the light that was almost painfully bright.
My beaten and battered bike has taken me so many places... and I am grateful to have seen all the tings I did, the big drops and insane singletrails, the sheer rock and the peaceful fireroads. In no way it is a bling ride, and I would love to take more care of it, but as is, it does a good job of taking me places, and I love it all the more for all the nicks and scratches and broken tubes. They tell a story.
No radical technical riding, just some cruising the fireroads and smelling the roses...
...and then, on the very top of things, a flask of hot and cozy, rosy tea.
...a drink of trees in a cuppa tea.

The place was silent and peaceful and I took it in to take it home.

When the sun was sinking, I made for my way home...
...through the darkening winter twilight.

It was nothing special, really. And you have read a lot of posts like this on my blog. But that´s the culprit. Sometimes you have to do something that is nothing special.

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