Winter

New utility knife. 

Been having the idea lately,  related to having a couple Mora knives around, “just how much knife do I need?”

As in, I carry some pretty fancy traditional folders… but a blade is a blade.  In the past I’ve carried a folding razor knife for years, and been pretty happy. Did find that I prefer a longer edge though than that, generally.

Larely I’m also like the idea of carrying a fixed blade, right now opening a folder in the cold/snow/gloves is being annoying.

But the low cost Mora is too big for easy carry. So I want a Mora, only smaller…

I thought I’d see what I could find fixed, small, low cost, just your general disposable who cares type knife.

First thought was a small steak or boning knife from Old Hickory. They’re great steel, a popular knife to modify for woods use.

Saw on a forum, a guy(in an amazing blast from the past, I knew this guy on another long dead forum about a decade ago!) using a Victorinox boning/butcher knife (sometimes called/sold as a “rabbit knife” ) as a small field knife.  Small, low cost but Vics great steel. Nifty!

(Guys name is Spork, now on BCUSA, his pic, stolen by me.)

 But it being a little bigger than what I’d like for a general use knife, I suddenly remembered some small Vic steak and paring knives we had when I was a kid. They were a great cutter, always wicked sharp, but small and light.

Turns out I’m not the first to think of them for out of the kitchen use. Someone had beat me too it in a way, they’re popular in some circles as cheap disposable self defense knives. 

I find a knife(any knife) for self defense, quite honestly a stupid idea, but this helped because it shows these in nice sheaths! Kydex sheaths! More on that in a second..

For $5(inc. Shipping!) I can’t go wrong!

Amazingly a Victorinox paring knife costs less than an Old Hickory paring knife!

I can buy a kydex sheath for these things for from $20 to $35…  For a $5 knife. I don’t think so Tim! ;)

These are stolen from various places on the net… I’d give credit but can’t really remember where.( Kydex sheath for victorinox paring knife can be Googled, and should show where… that’s how I found them. )




I REALLY hate pressing kydex, but for $10 max in materials I already have, I’ll do it for this. ;)  

So, semi modular neck sheath will be seen here soon. :) Meant to do that in the shop last night but got side tracked.

And yeah honestly this won’t change what folders or anything else I carry or use… I like them, and that’s reason enough to use them. :) 

 But the thought concept/experiment of “all I need is sharp steel, not fancy steel” is fun to play around with every now and then. :)   that’s how I got my first Mora years ago.

And I had previously been wanting a small light field fixed blade anyway, so I might be finding it. We shall see!

 This really does seem great so far for a general utility blade,  both EDC and woods.

3.25″ blade, 4″ish handle.  Honestly still a little bigger than I had in mind. Seems they’ve changed in the last 20 years, little  bigger than they used to be, maybe 10% or 15%?

 

With Spirit for scale;

Will see how it goes, I can always re-grind the blade, and trim the handle.

Blade is thiiiiiinnnnnnnn. 

I thought it needed a fob. :)

Had this chunk of shimmery green acrylic pen blank in the shop, had previously made a bead from it, seemed fitting, so I made it one.

And no, none of it is zombie green…I HATE that fad!   I just get tired of the cliche neon orange or red for outdoor visibility. Went with green for bright but Different. 😀  

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Categories: Custom, EDC, knives, Modifications, New Gear, Outdoors, Theory/Thoughts, Winter, Woods tools

ATV plow, first use. 

Got 4″ of powder last Thursday night, finally enough to try out the ATV plow! 

I built the mount, and had it all ready in early October of 2016. But the night I finished it, and went to test ride with it mounted, is the night the clutch went out. I didn’t know what to do with the clutch until spring of 2017, so the wheeler and plow sat unused all winter. I never got to try the plow until this weekend!

SO, Anyway, I used the Prairie to plow my yard and driveway Friday. Works great!

One small section of drive plowed;

Took about the same amount of time as it does with my truck… Truck moves more in one pass, but takes more time to maneuver…

The wheeler is smaller, easier to turn and has better visibility. But not as much power or blade size to move a lot at once. 50/50-90 kinda thing.  I’ll break it up from now on, truck for large bulk areas, wheeler for the tight spaces, trimming up. 

Did have one problem. The plow doesn’t have an upward stop for lifting the blade… Just where you stop the winch. So if you go too far, it just keeps pulling. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if you have it all the way up or not. 

Broke some welds on the mount pulling it up too far.  Will need to re-weld that, and make some sort of positive stop that hits the bumper or something, so I can tell for sure when to stop the winch.. 

I’m thinking just a upward angled bar braced off the plow, that would hit the bumper, and be a solid stop I’d feel. Maybe have it high enough that I could see it… Something like that. 

Got the main mount piece with the breaks inside melting/drying out now, will get it done and back on in the morning,  so I can plow the new 2″ or 3″ tomorrow afternoon. 

I’m really not surprised it broke… I’m only semi professionally trained at welding, still not real good at it, and this was done with a rather light welder for steal this heavy… 

 And it was being torqued at this area by a 2000# winch, with about 3′ of leverage added… It simply tried to hinge on the welds and sheared them, and is now hinging/flexing others.

 Looks like I missed welding straight across the back edges too, which would be a lot of loss of strength against pull in this direction.. Whoops.  

I’m actually happy it broke where it did. This piece is a 2″ receiver hitch mount, that goes into a 2″ receiver tube mounted on the wheeler. Breaking at the female side on the wheeler would have been a Lot bigger of a pain to fix! 

And the plow itself hinges onto this piece. Breaking the plow side would have been worse too, mainly for being able to get it into my heated shop where the bigger welder is set up, and I’d probably have gad to do a lot more re-engineering if part of that broke.

All in all, if it was going to break, it’s the best area for it.

This time I’ll full box all 4 edges where the two pieces stack,  maybe drill a couple holes in one and plug weld it down to the 2″ square tube… Maybe add a cross plate above the tube. And use a much bigger welder for more penetrating heat.

Yeah, apparently forgot to paint it against rusting before I parked it last year too… 

Anyway, onward to custom plow mounting 2.0!

Categories: Adventure Metal Works, Alaska-Life, ATV, ATV Accessories, ATVing, Automotive Work, Custom, custom-made-tools, Damages, Fabrication, GetOutdoors, Modifications, Outdoors, Scrounging, Vehicles, Welding, Winter

Grousing around, Oct 2017

Grouse hunting… 
My first time out.

A friend and I have been trying to get out to do this together for about 2 years now, finally got to go. 

Ended up with his teen son along, and got two other friends to go, one that has a fancy German hunting dog.

We even put it off a week, last minute plans from last Monday so to make sure one guy could go… Turned out great, we got a few inches of snow in the week, make the birds more visible on the ground!

I borrowed a buddies 12ga auto shotgun to take since I don’t have one.

2.5 hour drive south to a 70 acre private property plot we have access to(Church bible camp) just north of Mt. Denali, and the foot hills of the Alaska Range.

 2.5wonderful hours hiking around in clear  5F weather, fantastic company and country… 4,000 grouse tracks everywhere. Millions of rabbit tracks.
Some fox and lynx tracks.

We’d talked about other game, and unfortunately lynx is closed until Dec 1st, but fox is open, and rabbit, and I was hoping to see a rabbit.   

And I wouldn’t have argues with getting a fox pelt either to be honest!

 Hiked 2.5 to 3 miles in flat country trails, open forest and fairly thick brush/black spruce country.

$$$ fancy hunting dog tracking all over the place. Really cool to see that, finally. (Friend has been trying to get me out to see the dog for almost 2 years now.)

Never saw an (game)animal.
No, take that back… we saw one camp robber. Lol.

Now, it was mid day by the time we got down there after we worked out some issues, drive was slow because of hairy roads in places…

We honestly figure the birds were all up in the trees roosting by the time we got out there, and once a spruce grouse is in a spruce tree it’s invisible.

But it was a fantastic trip regardless of not shooting anything! Really was fun just getting good out and enjoying God’s creation with some friends.

I didn’t actually take the shotgun after all. Talking to my friend that I’d planned this with,  he didn’t have one either, so he and his son would be with .22 rifles.  

I remembered that last year when we started talking about going, I bought a new Skinner sight for my Dad’s(now mine) Browning SA-22.

 Figured it was a great brush gun, it’s super small, light, and short,  points fast, be a dream to carry. It’s also a take down gun, for easy packing.

Also knew we’d be in Super dense cover at tines, and that 12ga is Loooonnnggg. Be a bitch to swing in the brush..

So I took the .22.
And it did pack and carry marvelously!  Do need to get a sling mouth set on it to make it a little easier, in thrvthick stuff (bith hands free)and a dedicated short pack case for it.

One other friend was supposed to have a single shot .410 along, but couldnt find it, so he had a 12 ga. pump.  Figured the other guy would gave a 12ga. But he chose to just wrangle his do for us.  But we did end up with one shotgun in the mix, for any fast flight shots.

The country;

The group minus me and the dog;

Two friends;

Same two friends in this shot, if you can find them… even the relatively open forest was hard visibility beyond 20 feet!

Tracks;

The .22;

Something cool (I think) I started doing with another tube fed gun, a Ruger MKII magazine makes a great speed loader. Just push the rounds off one at a time. Easier than a hand full of loose ammo. 

Cutlery that I took for cleaning animals;

The red Mora fixed blade I bought that morning… Had to take one guy to grab a hunting license before we went.

I was walking around the sporting goods store while he got it, killing time,
and was amazed to see real Mora knives for sale with the fishing gear!  Never seen them locally before, just online.  Even stranger, it’s in a small home town shop (one of a kind,  not a chain store).  Even though I do have a couple already, I couldn’t pass it up for $9.99 😉 

Anyway, still a great day without the birds, and the season is open all winter. Thinking I’ll start taking a .22 along with ice fishing trips etc. Never know what you might see! 

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Backcountry, GetOutdoors, Good Friends, Good Times, Guns, Hunting, New Gear, Outdoors, Sentimental, Wildlife, Winter

This week, April to May 2017 transition, EDC, and Alaska outdoors.

(No, I haven’t taken up snus. Needed a tin for my gum, got tired of the cardboard packages getting mangled, crushed, wet, etc. These tins are durable and have a rubber seal; water tight.)
Alaska state bird is out in full force;

Went boondocking, checking out some river roads one day, grabbed my 380 for just in case… Should have had something bigger since it’s late enough I know the bears are out, but this was handy. Thankful I had it on hand when I had an… let’s say odd, encounter with a two legged animal… Not threatening or dangerous, but, disconcerting, and.. odd. The gun was reassuring. 

Yes Very few of these EDC pics are different,  or not much different… If it works, it works, and I don’t change it often.

Mr. Peter Cottontail, showing a start to his summer clothes.

Bloody Big moose track on a sand bar

Along the Middle Fork of the Chena. 

And along the North Fork (also the Chena)

Look close, you’ll see three swans in this slough;

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Daily-cary-log, EDC, Guns, knives, Outdoors, Spring, weather and seasons, Wildlife, Winter

A good spring day. 


Was another outside work and play day yesterday. Got the snowmachine unstuck.  Snowshoed a trail (over it twice, double wide)to pack snow for the machine through deep powder,  so I can haul firewood tomorrow(a buddy and I dropped and bucked trees yesterday). 

Carried the .22 rifle(Marlin model 39, made in 1951) while on the snowshoes in preparation for a bird hunting trip with a friend this Saturday. 

Did some bushcraft firecraft, and had a cookfire. Dinner was my last caribou steak grilled with some fried tater slices and hot tea at the fire.  Plus regular chores of getting firewood split and in for the house. In the 20s all day. Last few days have been 20s and 30s, but Monday night/Tuesday morning was the first night to stay at or above 0F. We’ve turned the corner, spring really is here I think!

Backwoods Knives sheath knife, Lee Reeves nessmuk hatchet, Plumb cruiser axe. The prep work tools for my little warming and cooking fire this afternoon. 

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Axes, Guns, hatchets, knives, Outdoors, weather and seasons, Winter, wood processing, Woods tools

And again!

That’s the third time I’ve gotten stuck in the SAME FREAKING SPOT!! This time I was fine till I slipped one foot off a running board (ridding sitting up on one knee for side weight ballance) it was either slow down or drag my leg into the burm… Problem is I had to do it before the engine cleared the burm.  High centered, no traction in 4′ of powder. 😒😧😭 At least it’s in my yard… but still… Really? I mean, REALLY? UGH. 

A friend has suggested it’s time to EDC a winch… Which is funny since I do have two brand new AT winches sitting here waiting for another project. And I’ve thought in the past about rigging one on the sled.

 The problem is that the sled doesn’t have electric start, so it doesn’t have a battery. I can add a battery, but it also isn’t set up to Charge a battery… And these winches will EAT a battery fast without something charging on them to keep up.  

 I Hate electrical work, so I never get around to doing this. But If I keep getting stuck this often, I might just force myself to figure it out!! 😉

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, ATV, Outdoors, Vehicles, Winter, Woods tools

Spring time catch up.

Been a while. It’s either been a lot going on with no time to post, or I’ve been sick as hell(flu, twice through, laid out for 3 weeks, then almost gone, got too cold working, relapsed, and now running into 6 weeks total) and literally Nothing going on to post about. 

Anyway, here is a random slew of pics from the last couple months.

Moon and Venus.


My first day out snowshoeing.



Recent knives used and the books I was reading that week.(for a forum thread)


Dads stainless handle Sabre jack knife that lives in the den, which is currently the reloading room.


Case hobo and an Alaskan cookbook

225 grain LWN (long wide nose) hard cast .41 caliber bullets I ordered from GTBullets.  100 lubed and sized for $13, even with $6 shipping, it’s almost cheaper than I could cast my own.. And is considering I can’t afford the mould right now! 😉  


Cleaning up an old Schrade USA stockman, a 8OT , that a friend gave me last summer.



Knives and guns, notable pairs, (for a forum thread )

My Beretta. 45, that I’ve now amazingly had for 10.5 years! And the custom Andy Sharpe coffin fighter that it’s come to live with. I rarely ever carry one without the other.


My Mom’s Liberty Mustang .22 and Dad’s Case peanut.


Most sentimental pairing; my Ruger Security Six 357 mag. Which has belonged to both my older brothers,  and my Dad before me. With Dad’s Western brand hunting knife. 

New stuff, second week of March, my takes from the EDCC (edccommunity.com) passaround box.


Old style finned bomb shaped beads are a fad right now, had some shop time so I tried one. LOTS of work to get the rounded nose, and fins. Had to freehand the cutters on the curve, and lots of file work off the lathe. Too time intensive to make many of them, but I might still..


A slew of pocket dumps, in mostly cronological order, late Jan. to now. 



On my knees in a sniw bank digging out firewood at 0F or 10F. Something like that. Proof that I wear my guns working, they’re not babied. (Much.. 😉 )




Simple day last week, hour or two after dark working on firewood. Headlamp and the bluetooth speaker did constant duty… I zip the speaker into a mid layer pocket, hit Google Play, usually Springsteen,  and have music wherever I am while working. 

Yesterday’s carry, 3-15-17, an outside day. been cooped up sick, wanted to get out and work for a while, puttered around with a few projects (most of which involved shoveling snow!). 


Cousins. Both old used and worn, but great Schrade USA stockmans. Large 8OT, and medium 34OT. 


My Titanium Eng1nerd Prangler  (mash up of key dangler and pry bar) is getting some great coppery brass colored wear stripes in its anodizing. The things that swing and rub on it are brass and it sort of burnished onto the area as it rubs. 

And, more of 3-15-17… got the sled out for a bit.And found out how out of practice I am… Was stuck a total of three times! Oi.  Thankfully all within ~100 yards max from the house! God is good to me!


Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Beads, Clothes, Custom, custom-made-tools, Daily-cary-log, EDC, Field Notes, Flashlights, Guns, Hanks, key-chains, knives, Leather, Modifications, Multitools, New Gear, No-pain-no-gain, old tools, Outdoors, Pocket knives, Reloading, Sentimental, Theory/Thoughts, titanium, truck, Vehicles, weather and seasons, Winter, wood processing, Woods tools

Some recents pocket dumps. ( Jan 23-29 2017)

​ A sloooow Monday(1-23-17) trying desperately to swap from being up nights to a daytime schedule, I was up 30 plus hours that Friday into Saturday, then 22.5 hours Saturday through Sunday… Sunday night I crashed, and other than about 4 hours, spread over 3 different times, I slept 30 hours until 6am Tuesday.  Lol. One of those hours I was up around 1am, I went and got Monday’s mail… thus this pocket dump. ☺

The week 23rd to 28th was Extremely busy, outside working everyday in some amazing weather- the week prior was a few days at -30F, -40F, -45F here, a friend had -66F. -So this week’s amazingness was 20sF ABOVE 0! It got up to 28F one day. I hate to say it but it was too warm for me to work, I kept over heating. (I was out in the -45 every day of it, and apparently got acclimatized.) 

Having said all that to say this… I was apparently too busy to take any pics. Lol. 

Sunday, the 29th, 

My older Eco Drive pilots chronograph that I don’t wear much anymore..

The ever trusty peanut.

My only actual Every day carry, or as close to it as I get, my copper tags. 

🙂

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Beads, Daily-cary-log, EDC, knives, Outdoors, Watches, weather and seasons, Winter

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