Dienstag, 18. April 2023

A different take on Slöjd knives

The magic troll and myself ordered some slöjd knives. Fact is, when we go out into the woods, a lot of the stuff we do is slöjd. 

Now there are a lot of people, still, and they are becoming even more numerous these days, who buy stuff that is labelled "Survival". You know my stance towards the marketing hype. No, it is not exclusively so, and well, I own Cold Steel and Fjällkniven and Böker stuff and it performs pretty well considering those are essentially prybars. But actually, while I have always said that survival as such is pretty much based on instinct and a lot of knowledge, this has been enforced (pun intended 😜) by several encounters with Ukrainian refugees. Who walked through some sixty kilometres through woods and dirt roads frozen solid in minus thirty degrees with a pot of boiled potatoes, a kitchen knife or a pocket knife and a suitcase, with both hands occupied with the little ones. Now one can safely say that Ukranians are of a harder breed than we sissies can even imagine, but this is also due to us living in a candied world of dreams. If you need to, you will be resourceful. The more you know, the better, obviously, but we need to stop believing in illusions. It is dangerous. 

A Ka - Bar is called a Ka-Bar because it is an abbreviation for to "Kill A Bear". I have often heard that since I was a kid, and as a kid, I really fell for it. My kid's knife was a Ka - Bar copy, actually not that bad, but ridiculously long for what I did. 

Recently, and keep in mind that my thoughts are with the guy and his family, an Italian runner was attacked by a momma bear, with fatal consequences. It was a relatively small bear, nothing compared to American brown bears or grizzlies. And you do not kill a bear with a knife without getting possible fatal wounds period. If you get close enough, the bear will hug you, and you do not want that. You win a fight with a bear with high - caliber firearms or not at all. Period. But in Europe, a fatal encounter with a bear is about as probable as being struck by lightning, and even if it is really a tragedy, there also was an insane amount of bad luck involved. Like getting hit by a widowmaker, which is actually far more probable. 

Or a topic that often comes up is self - defence, and well, I have elaborated a lot about that already on this blog. You don't win a knife fight. It is nonsense and if you find that notion romantic or even desirable, you might want to consider getting psychological help. 

Which leads me to the question, well, what is it then that we do with a knife. Bushcraft? Camp chores? 

Well, like it or not (I clearly do not), a lot of knives are illegal to carry in Germany. And only but recently knife bans have been identified as antidemocratic by the High Court of Administration in Berlin - with no effect at all. If it serves the political charade, there is little even the judicative can do. Also, there is no such thing as legal wild camping or lighting an open fire in the woods in Germany, which in times when draughts get ever more common makes perfect sense for a change. You are not permitted to cut down a tree, if you want to take any amount of anything sustaining you as provision for over a month, it is prohibited. You can take dead wood, but we are talking a stick, not timber. The Bushcraft that takes place elsewhere in the world is nonexistent or illegal and can cost you dearly or even put you in jail in Germany or you have permission by the authorities, the landowner (and even if you own the property you need permission, actually you have the right to toil and sell the timber) AND an invitation. If you want to collect timber, you need to apply for a permission, that has to be paid. Not all of this is bureaucratic chicanery and some of it actually makes sense, but even sitting in the woods whittling a spoon can be illegal. 

Camping is permitted on official campsites. A lot of those really are kind of cheap hostels without a roof, some of them are, actually. Of course they cost you. 

So, realistically speaking, you do not need a huge Survival knife in Germany if you are not an operator, soldier or hunter. You are allowed to go hiking, and that is that. You can collect herbs and mushrooms (but only a strictly limited amount per outing) and you can carve a dead stick. If you have permission, you can also take a strictly limited amount of timber, which, even if you are the owner, is defined by the authorities. 

So, well, essentially all you can do is a bit of mushroom hunting, foraging, small whittling projects and prepping a snack. Some forest officers tolerate you setting up an alcohol stove for a brew, but little more, and actually that is illegal, too. 

For the tasks at hand I love my Moras, as I said countless times. They could build an entire farm (if it were not illegal in Germany 😜) if you complemented them with a saw, an axe and a chisel. They also look quite civil and a police officer will, most of the time, believe you if you say you need them for whittling. My love for Moras has not faltered, but I am fairly intrigued by these new kids on the block. ☺️ 

These knives are made for www.mehr-als-werkzeug.de, aka Dictum, a German corporation. The handles are beech wood, which is quite a no-nonsense approach. The blades are made by Laurin Metalli of Finnish provenience. They are roundabout 3mm thick and come with a high Scandi grind to zero and are, very consistently so, tempered to about 59 HRC. Steel is 80CrMoV (L6), which is a good choice for a slöjd tool. The carbides in the steel make the edge holding capability almost equal to my Moras. The blades are a bit wider than the Moras, but the difference is marginal and doesn't impair detail work too much. The handles are good and comfy and do not have any bigger hot spots. The finish is a bit rougher than on the Moras, and you need to apply some wax, oil or varnish before use, but if you are not a musician, you should not get any blisters. The bolsters are made from steel, apparently, or painted brass. They just cover the front part of the handle and do not offer additional support to the half-tang. The Moras will be a tad more robust. Out of the box, all of the knives came shaving sharp and polished to a relatively fine hone. Delicate work, but also roughing, was a cinch, also over extended periods of time. I also bought a sheath for the bigger one, since it would also make for a decent belt carry. It is well and nicely made, but doesn't have a welt or liner, which maybe will limit its life span. 

As a conclusion one can safely say that while the Moras are still a tad more robust, quite certainly those tools are no-nonsense options for your slöjd roll. They are a little better in deep cutting and a bit better for more delicate carving. For sensible tasks, they are maybe all you will ever need in German woods. Complement them with a more sturdy full tang bushcraft knife, a hatchet, adze, chisel and saw, and you could build a village with them, just like with the Moras. Also, they come in at about 30€ each. For a tool that good this is a right bargain. 

So, well, you might want to add them to your toolbox. 

Some thoughts on a traditional knife

Some days ago I got a package from www.otter-messer.de. I am actually a huge fan of the corporation. Do not get me wrong, they do not offer display queens or collectibles. They offer traditional craftsmanship with a reasonable quality for reasonable prices. I already have one of their "Hippekniep", which is known in France as "Mineur" and prominently known elsewhere as "Sodbuster". Because this is what it is. 
In Germany, the knife was really common with miners, farmers and working class people. Locking versions were often referred to as "Notschlachter" (emergency butcher knife). To understand this, one must know that most miners, locksmiths and smiths also had a small garden and kept chicken, a goat and /or rabbits, because first and foremostly, food was not as readily available as it is nowadays and secondly, their salary in the heavy industry could not pay for luxuries as food. I mean, they had to be glad to have work, innit? 😁 The knife would serve as a tool to butcher chicken and rabbit, for repairs in the house and garden, and for eating. Like the "Henkelmann" (double pot), it was an icon of the every day toil of the common people. 

The Nether German name "Hippekniep" is pretty interesting in itself. It is commonly translated as "goat knife", because as I said, a lot of the common people had goats for milk. In Nether German, a "Hippe" also refers to a goat. It is, on the other hand, also a name for a billhook used for pruning trees. There is a special kind of bread and household knife with a sheepfoot blade that is called "Hepchen". The shape is found with small paring knives as well as bread and chef knives. With these applications, the word might be cognate with the diminutive "Häppchen", which refers to a bite - sized morsel in Germany. This leads me to the assumption that in this case, it is not referring to the goat, even if it looks plausible at first, but rather derives from Old Nether German *hapan or Gothic *hepjan, which has the meaning of hewing or dividing into parts. "Kniep" is Nether German for "knife", and you can see the close relation of the two words. If you want to follow my assumption, "Hippekniep" would mean "cutting" or "hewing knife". Actually it will not do well in hewing, but we will see whether or not it cuts... ☺️ 

Out of the box, it came shaving sharp. The handle is made from locally sourced and smoked oak. The liners are made of thick steel, the slipjoint spring is rather stiff. Bit of a pain in the arse to open with cold fingers, but great stay. The knife came with no play and is put together with a big steel rivet, which looks sturdy and has no hotspots. All pins are made from steel. At the end of the handle there is a small (4mm)lanyard hole, without a brass tube or anything. Actually I am not quite sure if it is a good idea. It is not that the blade will cut into the lanyard if you close it, but it will if you push it the slightest against the spring when you close it. Some old Hippekniep I saw often had no lanyard hole at all, or a ring, often handmade by the owner, threaded through a smaller hole. 
The blade sits in the handle well centered. Overall craftsmanship is more than adequate. 
The blade is made from C75 carbon steel, tempered to 56-58 HRC. This is not exhausting the hardness potential of the steel at all, resulting in a very resilient blade. It has a high convex bevel to almost zero. Thickness above the edge on mine is just 0,2mm, overall the spine thickness is 2,3 mm. The blade is 98mm long, making it possible to cut a piece of bread without too many crumbling. ☺️ 
I took it to the woods, and while it obviously is no specialized carving knife, it did surprisingly well for a slipjoint. The stay of the stiff spring adds safety. I would very much like some half stop, but alas for production line efficiency, this will not come to be. 

Even more delicate work is well possible if you know how. 

The knife really shines when harvesting vegetables and preparing food. 
It is also a wonderful eating knife. 
Snacking is a cinch, and it adds flair to your rustic snack board dishes. It would also be a great companion to a BBQ or to a steakhouse dinner. 

It is obviously no specialized bushcraft knife either, but you can strike sparks from a ferro rod and prepare awesome feather sticks. The spine can be used for scraping, but you need to be careful, it is a slipjoint knife after all. But it is a really valuable companion for foraging herbs and mushrooms, and it also doesn't scare the shite out of people if you use it in public, quite the contrary. 

In Germany, it is available for less than 80€. If you are looking for a sturdy, reliable and sensible tool for the house and garden which is a legal carry almost everywhere in Germany and has a built - in legal reason and a long history, well, buy it. It is not a display queen, but it works. 


Samstag, 15. April 2023

Experiment with Hyourougan

Hyourougan are so - called "hunger pills" in use by the famed Shinobi of ancient Japan. They are actually a military ration for scouts and spies, half power bar and half medication. It is fascinating, because as soon as you manage to leave behind the prejudiced Western view of "Ninja" throwing Shuriken all over the place, a whole world opens up, a lifestyle even, that has to offer a lot for modern day bushcrafters and outdoorspeople. In fact, a lot of the stuff we do is actually quite similar to the Shinobi lore. 

Let me put something straight first, though. I have, while I have received a tiny bit of training in Bujinkan art long ago (three weeks immersion all in), I am not even a beginner in the art, and I do not make any such claims. I have never received any formal training. Recently a Sensei told me that my lifestyle were similar and that I were on the right track with my mindset. This was an honour, that I want to live up to, but he also told me that I am a bit fat and clumsy. And he was right, of course. I am not a Shinobi and I do not want to make such a claim. 

Next thing I have to put into perspective is that these Hyourougan are not cookies. They are an emergency food. There are a lot of different recipes from different schools of Nindo, and this is an educated guess at best, and we modified it according to our understanding, which is based upon more than a decade of learning and transdisciplinary scientific research, but as of today can only be limited. 

Our version of Hyourougan is rather strong and if you take blood thinning medication or have cardic or cardiovascular problems whatsoever, please consult a doctor beforehand. We would you would rather obstain from eating these altogether. We disclaim all liability, and for the same reason we will not offer you precise measurements. Also, the recipe makes for an aphrodisiac, and we also disclaim all liability for any adverse effects caused by this either. Actually I tell you a story for entertainment purposes, or at least I would like you to see it that way. 

That said, it has been quite a journey. I first heard of this food in 1990 and have been fascinated ever since. I dismissed it as a myth and an exaggeration for years, because, well, while I love a good story, the world is full of supposedly top secret martial arts manuals and self-proclaimed masters who learned their art from the last descendant of the family in a hermit's cave near the mountains of Shambhála. But in the early 2000s, I heard of the Bansenshukai, and while it is disputed whether or not it is a fiction, in that case it is an informed one and serves a good purpose in that it can help to question one or the other prejudiced view of the "Ninja". It was there that I first heard of Hyourougan. 

Actually the concept of a food like that, easily transported and high in calories and maybe medicinal properties, is pretty commonplace. From the 1700s hardtack to modern energy bars, from Tolkien 's Cram and Lembas to German "Lebkuchen" and "Panhas", from Black Pudding to Native Turtle Island Pemmiigáan (I hope I got that right) to modern political food substitutes, the examples are legion. I spent years in academic libraries to find out more about it, and I do not regret one minute of all the work. And do not get me wrong - I still have not seen one tenth of it. 

It was with the advent of the Internet and academical online catalogues that I got that bug bad again and realized those "hunger pills" were for real, and that there are several recipes around. Actually I must admit that learning Japanese, as I first intended to in order to be able to read the originals, turned out somewhat of a bummer, because I really had to struggle on top of all the other struggles. Cudos to the magic troll, by the way, who has been at my side all these years and has always supported my weirdness. I sincerely hope that this is mutual. I hope that I live up to the respect and love. 

Actually, not being able to read Japanese lead to us having to heavily rely on secondary sources, and so we had to evaluate the information with our knowledge of plants and their chemistry. Since we do not need to write a literary evaluation or essay, but the whole point was recreating the food in the first, we took several original recipes in order to understand the principle of it. Yes, that is a rather alchemist approach, but well, you are reading the rumblings of the madman Fimbulmyrk in the first. ☺️ 

By doing this, we identified the principle of these rations as follows : Compact, light to carry, very sustaining, and invigorating. This in turn led to an assumption of the following nutrients :Carbohydrates, Proteins, Vitamins, Minerals and contents with antiinflammatory and regenerative properties. 
So, I guess you heard enough mumbo-jumbo for now and are maybe stoked to learn what is in that green goo. ☺️ 

The base is a mixture of glutinous and Yasmin rice, a lot of nettle seeds, a lot of ginger, pepper, turmeric, cinnamon, green tea (Matcha), a sensible lot of Taiga Ginseng, finely ground, mixed with Sake, sesame oil and paste, peanut butter and honey. 

Actually it is important not to overheat the mass, so we just rolled some balls and cookies from it, which we dried at 50°Celsius in the oven for two hours. 

The Japanese sources counsil to take three cookies per day to keep you going in an emergency. 

I tried them, of course, and I found it important to drink enough water with them. Both the Ginseng, the nettle seeds, ginger and turmeric have diuretic properties, so it is important to drink enough water. 

Plus, the ingredients stimulate your sexual energy, if you so will. It is taught in several schools of Meditation how to transform this energy into "power". If you are not capable of doing this consciously (which I can), you will not be able to use the food to its full potential but just be left more or less horny. Also, if you are a woman, it will not work that way. Nettle seeds are then only highly nutritional for you. If you want to try this, you would have to add about double the amount of, say, seeds of the wild carrot. Also no suggestion, by the way, and mentioned exclusively for entertainment purposes. 

The Shinobi also carried a sort of candy, named Suikatsugan, in order to suppress thirst, which might be necessary if you have no water, because the Hyourougan can make you a bit thirsty. 

The next experiment will be making a milder version of Hyourougan, and after that we will try out some Suikatsugan. ☺️ 

Watch this space! 

You can also give our Instagram Account a visit in order to get some Info on new experiments, which will be published here. 

 It is Acweorna_Craft. 

Thank you for your patience and your visit! ❤️ 


Samstag, 1. Oktober 2022

Winter is coming ?

They say it. They urge us and nudge us, everywhere in the Media. 

They talk about the "hardest winter in the history of mankind". 

And this is obviously bullshit again. It is a lie. 

Of course, it may be very cold, at least over here in Germany. Because of high treason, but noone calls it that name. And to be honest, well, I do not care much any more, because I have shit to do. 

Of course, food will be scarce. The 'rona will reign supreme again. The storms will take down entire cities. 

But trust me, we will be fine. We will cope. If we stand together with the people who want the right thing. If we stop believing the lies. 

We are not superior to nature. We are part of it. 
There is no such thing as eternal growth, not even the eternal life they so much crave, while their idea of it is some kind of Zombie existence. 
Living is more or less dying eloquently. 
But there also is only one thing we say to the God of Death :Not today. 

Because today is summer. 

Because today we need to savour all the goodness. 

It is a secret and many secrets and none at all. It is a doe in the thicket. 
It is sitting on a hill carving away. 
It is raspberries and strawberries and wild plums and blackberries and herbs. And we need to take away the feeling and the scents and all that summery goodness as well as the berries and herbs and roots. We need to conserve the food as well as the feeling for the hard winter ahead. But please do not fall into the trap of the "Survival mindset". We will need that, do not get me wrong. But we will need fond memories and food that is actually tasty and good. Conserve your food with love and care. Take your time. If you think you don't have any time, well, you would be astonished how much time I waste on social media. And I don't have a TV. You can put that time to better use. Smell the roses, go foraging, keep some chicken or maybe even a goat. Work in the garden, go swimming, too. Dance naked in the woods and under the stars. 
Relish in all the fragrance and the wonderful colours. 
Have fun learning new skills. Make, don't buy, if you possibly can. 


Freitag, 1. Juli 2022

Chicken of the woods

 I only but recently made a really welcome discovery. Long story short, that funghus in the picture is Laetiporous Sulphureus (chicken of the woods, in German Schwefelporling). It is a delicacy that tastes and feels a lot like chicken meat, so much in fact that I can really recommend it for anyone looking for a meat substitute. It grows in large quantities, and as with many other funghi, grows more abundant with the forest problems due to climate change. It grows in brackets up to 45 kg in weight. It can be dried and frozen and then keeps over long periods of time. It is reputed to have antibacterial properties. It can be used as a natural dye, too. I found mine in early summer, and dried some for my stock.

Short story long, I learned about it first... well, in a situation that might be called one of those Fimbulmyrk stories. 

First things first, I have that appointment with the local hunters, the bureau of forestry affairs and the landowner that I virtually can do anything I like (as long as it doesn't involve fire or any silly stunt such like in the local woods, an appointment I very much honour, respect and like, because, well, I would be in a bedlam if I could not sit in the woods the way I do. Deal is that I have a bit of a lookout after those woods precious to my heart, too, which I find self - evident. 

Now I was on a bimble, when I smelled something I do not want to smell at any time in the woods. 


Looking around, I saw it rising from a thicket nearby. Actually I felt a bit relieved when I saw three people near it. 

Now, well, actually I think while not everyone should be permitted to have a fire in the woods, I also very much understand why someone would want one. And it is not the same if some ghetto kid sets the whole area on fire or an experienced woodsman makes her or himself a brew. Well, living in a shithole of a city, if you can even call it a city still, I very much had my fill of ghetto kids, and will bear the scars of telling some of them off all the rest of my life (they had to bear the consequences, too, of course, but I still do not like that), so I was less than enthused. 

Getting near the fire stealthily, but also trying not to look too threatening, but keeping my Shillelagh at the ready, I realized it was some elderly guy and two little girls. 

They had a pan sat on the small cooking fire, which was built very cunningly to be small but effective, and there was sort of a stew simmering away. 

I introduced myself, and it turned out they were Ukrainian refugees, two kids with their grandpa. They simply did not know it was prohibited in Germany to light a fire in the woods. With a lot of gestures, a translation App and more smiles and respect we agreed that they finished their cooking and then extinguished the fire. I agreed not to call anyone. 

Actually, we got into a really nice, if somewhat complicated conversation. It turned out the old fella was a very experienced woodsman (who sorely missed his home forest). The only German sentence he knew was "Ich kenne Pilze sehr" (I know mushrooms very), and I personally think someone with these priorities cannot be that bad a character. It also transpired that he simply forgot to bring salt and spice. Well, I was on my way to the old man (Fritz) and had a truckload of wild garlic in my backpack, and there were ground elder and ground ivy growing abundantly in the vicinity. I also had made a cutting board from elm just before the encounter, which I gifted to them.

It all ended that I made a spoon for myself and we all sat around the pan enjoying a delicious mushroom stew together.

I whittled some fast gypsy flowers and a heart for the girls, and they went arse over tit out of joy for it. We extinguished the fire together. When we parted, we hugged, even though we will most likely never meet again, as friends.

Message, by the way.

And that is the story of a new bit of knowledge I learned. Chicken of the woods. Tasted delicious, even without salt.

Next message, by the way. ☺️ 🤣 You might be able to find out yourselves. 

A spoon and a pouch

 I have been doing a lot of small bushcrafty projects lately. I find it is soothing to my mind to know how to create things out of nothing. 

Do not get me wrong - I know perfectly well all of the stuff I know is not relevant. I am just biding my time. I am waiting for death, nothing less, nothing more. No so - called "Survival skills" will save us. There are a lot of people knowing a lot more than myself. But all of us are inevitably doomed. The lunatics ruling us will make sure of that. Nuff said.

But how I spend the time until they finally pull the trigger, is none of their business, not yet.

Making things in the woods makes me happy. Of course they do not want anyone to be happy, so I try to be as happy as possible. Maybe this is childish, but I do not care. I do not do this against anyone, but for my soul. Just because I have the custom not to soil it with their swamp, if not because I believe in something greater. Something good. Who knows? It is not fashionable to believe in anything anymore, but I am an old fart, so I am entitled not to be fashionable. 

I made myself a spoon from elm wood. Actually I have fallen in love with this wood. I love the colours and the oxidation. I also tried my hand at some Kólrosing, which did not yet turn out too well, but could be much worse, so actually I really like the outcome.

The little pouch I just made to practice the technique. It is made from bramble splittings weaved together. After plaiting, I gave it a quick oiling to keep it flexible. I still have to learn a lot, and that is a very good thing, because it keeps my mind off things. 

The "Nessmuk" I made some years ago. It is made from spring steel with a selective quench and temper. Scales are desert iron wood with mosaic pins. It is a bit of a controversial knife, having a spine thickness of almost 9mm at the handle (albeit with a distal taper towards the tip). For the length it is a very able chopper, but it is also a very heavy knife. Having fallen in love with Moras again I find it stays at home more often than not. Actually it also cuts quite nicely, but it needs to get some getting accustomed to it, mainly when carrying is concerned, but still. It is a monster, and actually overbuilt for what I do these days.

Anyway, it still is a very good feeling to make things out of nothing, to be even able to do so, in these times, and doing it with tools you yourself made from junk noone cares a runny shit about. 

Message. ☺️ 

Mittwoch, 15. Juni 2022

Salt flask WIP

In the woods I found me a piece of deer shank (taken with permission, of course) and thought I would make me a salt flask. I sawed off the joints with the saw of a Victorinox locksmith SAK. 

I fitted a piece of elm into the bottom, leaving it a tad longer to facilitate carving. Since it was fresh elm, make sure you really have to whack it in (you might want to wrap the bone really tightly with wire or cordage before, because it might split. If you possibly can, use dry wood for the bottom.

Glued it in with pitch glue. Carved a stopper from boxwood with tarred cordage for a seal. Carve a recession into it, fill that with tar, wax or glue and wrap the fibres or cordage around it while the glue is still hot. Let it cool, cutting off the excess cordage or fibres. 

Et voilà. 

Salt flask. ☺️ 

The decoration is made from charred elm bark in kólrosing technique. 

Now off to decorate that bone. ☺️ 

Dienstag, 14. Juni 2022


 The title of the post is insanity.

You know perfectly well, why.

I do not need to go on lengthy about that. Because, well, who cannot relate to the fact that we delve ever more and ever deeper into its dark depths?

Life has become shitty. For you, for me, for most people on Earth, and it is not a secret that it is deteriorating.

You don't need me to tell you that. I do not like to dwell on that. 

But there is hope. There is always hope. Never forget that. We will be fine. 

We just need to stop believing in do-no-goods, banksters, hipsters and politicians. 

Actually, I do not have a political alternative. I have no idea how we can solve all that shit going on in the world. And I can safely say that I have and had no part in it. But that is not helpful, either. I can only say what it is that helps me, and you might guess it. 

It is the woods, of course. I find I am spending more time with trees and deer and foxes and hares and robins and thrushes, owls and eagles, bussards and salamanders, toads and axolotls, trout and badger and what have you than I do with humans. And if you do this you realize two things. The first thing is, how toxic the world of humans really is. The second is that it does not matter. Because just fifteen minutes in nature have a great and soothing effect on your soul. 

I often sit in the woods carving myself a spoon or what have you. I give myself something to do. I keep learning a lot, every day, and it never ceases to amaze me how much there is still to learn, and that is a very good thing. I concentrate on that. 

And, on my oftimes nocturnal bimbles, I keep meeting dear (or was that deer? 😁) friends. Since we treat each other with mutual respect, well, at times that guy still shies, and I sometimes scare him just so he does not forget humans in general are dangerous, but last time he actually came closer. And tried to boop me with his snoot. Which felt otherworldly good. 

"My" birds are raising their offspring. And I feel right at home with them. 
What is happening in the world right now is of course deadly serious. Its power, however, lies in your despair. 


There is hope. 

Stop believing in this world of mankind. There is a world out there. And it takes place (amongst some other places) in the woods. 

It takes place (amongst a lot of other places) in the woods. 

Mora Garberg review

 I got myself a Garberg Carbon, courtesy of www.westfalia.de, who offered me a deal I could not resist. And actually I was a bit shocked by its performance.

Do not get me wrong. I am a knifemaker myself, and while I do not do beautiful, and am my own worst critic, over the years I have learned to make some pretty decent blades for myself. I also do quite a bit of bushcrafty things, nothing fancy, and I am living that way, not doing it, if you get my meaning. I do a fair bit of woodworking and whittling, too. I own a great many knives, and the Garberg always reminded me of the Fjällkniven F 1, and I have next to no funds, so I always was a bit reluctant to buy a knife with a similar concept to that knife.

I was wrong. How wrong I was. ☺️

The first shock I was in for was when I was first given the package. Now I own quite a few Moras, and maybe that sounds nuts, but all of them have that special Mora feeling. You all know what I mean. While they still feel rock solid, they have that light "carry all day without noticing" feeling and the a very nimble balance. When I first took up the Garberg, I nearly dropped it, it was far heavier than I expected. This is not a criticism, by the way, I was just taken unawares. Balance point is a bit behind the index finger. Mora could better this by machining out the hind part of the tang a wee bit more to bring it a bit further towards the index finger to make it even more dexterous, but this is complaining on a very high level. 

The package, by the way, comes with a sustainability certificate. That is Mora for you. Gotta love them.

Straight out of the box, sharpness left something to be desired, but just three strokes on a strop fixed that. After that it was scary sharp. Not just shaving, hair popping away in every direction. Awesome.

I harvested Chaga with it and rammed the tip into a piece of aged birchwood and levered it out sideways. It was not even warmed up by that kind of abuse.

I chopped antler with it. Now keep in mind that this is a Scandi grind with just a tiny micro bevel. You don't do this to that kind of grind. You simply don't. It came out with no dents or cracks or anything at all. It lost some sharpness, and that was all. You could still do these beautiful wood lock shavings with it afterwards, and in aged boxwood, which is very hard.

Actually I carved some twenty spoons with it, processed tinder conk, harvested Chaga and used it in the kitchen, used it as a chisel and a prybar. Of course it is not a kitchen laser, but it is still possible to make see - through onion rings and make short terms of taters, veggies and meat. Of course, due to the thickness of the blade, carrots and celary are split rather than cut, but if you adapt a bit, it also is an awesome knife for field cooking. The black coating is as good as new after all this abuse. 

To date, I did not have to put anything abrasive near it. Edge retention is very, very good. 

The handle to me is a really comfortable outright treat. Due to the almost symmetrical shape it also excels at in-reverse power cuts when whittling, which hints of an extraordinary performance when skinning. The blade shape would also excel at that.

The sheath comes with a rather coarse diamond hone and a fire steel. Both the spine and the protruding piece of tang are ground to 90°, allowing to use the firesteel with great efficiency. The firesteel snaps into a thermoplastic holder, with an awesome fit.

If I need to find anything not so good, it is the retention of the sheath. The knife can fall out when upside down. Given that this is a very, very good knife also in a tactical or military setting, I would suggest Mora could add some kind of mechanical retention device to secure it in these settings.

Actually this is the one knife. You can throw a lot of abuse at it and it is not even warmed up. But it is not a sharpened prybar, either. You can still - with some compromise, of course-use it for cooking tasks.

I am not impressed easily. But I am impressed.

I know some of you might ponder whether to get one. Do (If you can afford it). You will not regret it. I am aware that there are other knives on the market, like the Condor Terrasaur or several Finnish products. They might be good in their own right, maybe better and with a better value for money. I have not yet had the chance to handle them. But this here is not a comparison test, just a review. I do not get paid for it. All I can do is offer you my thoughts on this here knife. And given I have spent a lot of dough on knives, had I had a chance to get my hands on this, maybe it would have saved me some money. Actually, of course, there is a huge gap between, say, a perfectly able Mora companion when pricing is concerned. I, for one, understood the moment I first handled this. While a companion is really tough, too, the Garberg is neigh on indestructable, at least you get the impression. Even to have that feeling in the woods is reassuring and, at least for me, worth one or the other Euro more.

As I said, I can really stand behind this product. 

Dienstag, 4. Januar 2022

Leather pouch for a Victorinox Forester SAK

Now you faithful readers know that I am a big fan of Victorinox knives and especially the forester wood, which might just about the perfect knife for light bimbles and hikes. So when the opportunity arose for Fritz to get one, I suggested he should fire away. He even got it for free. Now he cherishes a lot, and for fear of loosing it, always left it at home. 

This was when I had a chat with Santa. He immediately put a red cap on my head and gave me even more green clothes and let me use his workshop to make the old man a leather pouch from some thick and sturdy leather. I messed up several times, since I did not use a scheme, but eventually it all worked out. Put some stain on and formed the leather around the knife. Works even when the flap is open. 

The joy of the old man when Santa brought his gift was priceless. ☺️ 



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