Woods tools

New utility knife.ย 

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. ๐Ÿ˜€  

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Categories: Custom, EDC, knives, Modifications, New Gear, Outdoors, Theory/Thoughts, Winter, Woods tools | 1 Comment

Field Holster; chest carry.ย 

I’d decided that I need a new holster for my .357. (Vintage Ruger Security Six, 4″). Field holster I guess you’d say… I don’t concealed carry often anymore, just open carry for hunting/hiking. 


Until recently I’ve done belt carry, have a great pancake holster from Simply Rugged that works phenominally. 

But I can’t do belt carry anymore;
Problem #1, it kills my screwed up hips, and #2 at current weight loss level/clothing sizing, keeping my pants up is impossible with the weight of a gun…Hell, it’s hard enough without the gun. Lol. (belt tight enough to hold it all up, cuts into back/hips too much, back to problem #1)

I’ve tried regular shoulder holsters. No go. Got a leather Galco “miami classic” style for a full size auto, have had it a decade, worn it a total of maybe ten times. 

Borrowed a buddies Uncle Mikes vertical nylon job for hunting last month. Wore it once. Rode ok once adjusted, but where it was secure and somewhat comfortable, I couldn’t reach the gun to draw it! 

I’ve had nylon ones twice in the past before. Got a great vintage Bianchi leather job that a good friend gave me, but it’s too big for this gun(actually hoping to convert it to chest or bandoleer carry for my .41 mag Blackhawk ). 

Anyway, I can Never get any slight semblance of comfortable, or secure, at the same time, and never an easy draw either way… 

Add to that the layers of straps you get with the holster, a backpack, and a rifle sling while out and about in the woods… Just no. There’s too much of the world sitting on my shoulders anyway, don’t need to add more! ;)

I’ve thought about a bandoleer setup, but that ends up on the hip cross draw… hard to reach (yes, I still have a bit of a spare tire to reach around, and add a heavy jacket, forget it!) and in a place that would interfere with backpacks, pack frames, and I think a slung rifle.. 

So, my last ditch idea is to attempt to try a chest rig… 

They’re actually extremely popular up here in AK for bear country fishing, and some hunting. 

Yes it hangs on shoulder straps, at least one..but the weight sits on the chest, not under the armpits. And it should pull on the back more than straight down on the shoulders.. I think. I’m thinking it will be more secure feeling and more accessible. And probably more comfortable, leave me some range of arm movement without under arm binding. (Hopefully!)  

So, a couple weeks digging around, and some fantastic suggestions from friends on a forum, and I made a choice. 

I ordered a holster last week. I’d seen these before, and looked at them off and on, but wasn’t sure.

But I decided for the cost –About $40– I couldn’t really go wrong.. If nothing else I could modify the snot out of it. ;)

But really, I decided I needed something low cost to try, to see if chest carry was even the answer, without dropping $70 to $150 depending. Expensive risk, if it turned out chest carry wasn’t my thing.

So, the make is Skyball Mountain Holsters. Amazingly, made in USA. Only places I can find them are Facebook and Ebay, apparently it’s a small business, no dedicated website.

I dug around and found out that the current Ruger GP100 is super close in size to a Security Six, so I ordered the one for a 4″ barrel GP100.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/262234099076

It fits the gun perfectly! 
(Being a open non formed holster, it actually fits All of my mid frame ~4″ hand guns almost perfectly!)

These are built a little different than the average chest harness. The average seems to be an around the body horizontal strap, then the holster sits on that or straps down to it. Then the shoulder strap goes over and attaches to the horizontal strap on your back.

This one is the horizontal strap, and then the shoulder strap goes around from the holster, and BACK TO the holster…

It works. But it adds another strap crossing under your arm, and for me it’s a bit uncomfortable crossing that high under my arm. (I’ve a bit of fat there and it presses in anoyingly)

But even having said that, this thing is SUPER comfortable!! 

I threw it on with the 357 over a light hoodie a few nights ago, and went out and split a days worth of firewood. 45 minutes swinging a splitting maul, lifting, moving logs, etc. and I only had to reposition it a few times. That’s pretty upper body active, more so than any average time I’d normally be wearing a gun.


My only little problem is the way it sits, all the tension is pulling to the left side… The straps don’t hold it to the right if it’s pulled left. But it’s a left hand draw. So it drifts left during draw. Grabbing it with the right hand durring draw fixes it obviously. But I might not always have that hand free, so it needs a hold down strap on the right.

There is a loop on the barrel end of the holster (probably for a hold down), so adding a short cord, I’m thinking shock cord for a little movement, should be easy, run down to my belt.

One other thing, not really a problem, is the chest strap, on me, is extended almost all the way out. Not a design flaw, I’m just a big guy. So I’ll have to get an extension strap for wearing it over a heavy coat. It’s all 1″ strap, and all ends are held with SRBs, so it’ll be easy/cheap to add/remove as needed. The shoulder strap on the other hand, oddly has like another 10″ of outward adjustment, it’ll be fine.

Overall, I really like it. It works, and is verry comfortable. 


As to mods, I’m trying to find the site I saw a T shaped side release buckle on recently… 

It was simple the male or female side of the buckle, but the strap side had the slots on it at a 90 to the buckle… So you can slide it to any place on a strap and have the buckle T off. It was for camping/hiking packs, like to add a sternum strap or similar. Just can’t find it again! 

Anyway, was thinking one of those or similar on the around the chest strap, put it in the back, and clip the shoulder strap into it, doing away with the under arm strap. 

I’ll wear it/use it a while as is and if I don’t get used to that strap there, I’ll look into moddling it. But for now it’s fine!

Fat guy in a holster;

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My view;

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And the bonus, I can pick and chose what I want to carry;

4-5/8″ Blackhawk;

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Ruger MK2;

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Beretta Stamped SAA;
(3.5″ barrel us a little short in there, but I think it’ll balance ok/hang ok)

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Browning BDM 9mm;
(Which is great for now since this is my usual winter woods carry gun. No bears then so I don’t need the .357 etc.)

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:)

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, ATV, ATV Accessories, ATVing, Backcountry, Clothes, GetOutdoors, Guns, Hunting, Life-Philosophy, New Gear, Outdoors, Woods tools

I *Think*ย it’s time to re-blue my 30-06 barrel.

At the least, some serious touch ups are needed.  Dragging it through the brush the last several years has taken its toll… Not to mention it turned 49 years old this summer, I’m sure some of these scratches were there before it was mine.

 But I do see a lot more after every season, some distinctively new this last week.. 

Especially on the underside. –Which makes sense; when the gun is shoulder slung, that part of the barrel meets the brush I push through as it goes over/around me.

And Yes, those are rust spots in the first pic, and on the muzzle… Found out the hard way that my Kolpin gun boot IV is NOT waterproof if left upside down..  

The butt end cover fits Over the main part of the case, but without a seal. So left upside down in the rain on the boat for 5 days, water runs into the cap… And then into the rest of the case when you pick it up.

 Dumped probably a quart of water out of it… Foam liner was basically soaked. Found this when loading the boat to come home  –no time to dry it.

–In defense of the case, it is designed to be solid mounted in a vehicle,  butt up, barrel down, cap up, “right side up”, so water couldn’t enter in this manner.  Ive been using it as a hard carry case off of a mount, Not what it was designed for.

About the only way you’d get water in it when mounted upright is full submersion… which its not designed for either..    Definitely operator error leaving it upside down in the rain a few days, Not a fault of the case or its design.

No other easy way to carry the rifle home though, to keep it out of the way anyway, and out of the rain. Had to put it in the wet case.  15 hours later when I got home, the rifle was pretty wet.. Wiped it down then, but it still managed to rust a few spots before I got it cleaned(couple days later).

Gave it a thorough WD-40 bath… Really slathered it on, whole action out of the stock, and the bore. Wiped down again. 

Then did a simple bore cleaning, solvent, brush, patches.. There is some somewhat heavy copper fouling in the bore, that  wouldn’t budge… Didnt want to scrub it THAT hard now, but if any of it was rust, I did brush it hard enough, I’m sure it would have come out.   Then oiled the snot out of it inside and out…

Did the 357 while I was at it… been meaning to clean and oil that gun for months, its spent a lot of time out in the weather this year, and it’s missing a lot more of its blueing. Actually amazes me that that gun never shows any rust inside or out..

Hate to admit it, but this is the cleanest they’ve both been for a couple years…

Honestly, I don’t clean guns often, if they shoot and function good, and ain’t rusting, all I do is oil from time to time.

  Do Need to get in a better habit though of post trip cleaning! At least for surface moisture/external dirt and grime if not full on scrubbing..

Categories: Adventures, ATV Accessories, Damages, Guns, Gunsmithing, Hunting, old tools, Outdoors, Woods tools

Got a new wheeler!

Did some “horse trading” as its called around here, got me a new toy! 2012 Polaris Sportsman 400 H.O. ๐Ÿ˜Ž 

It was stolen last spring, then recently recovered by the Alaska statet roopers a few weeks ago. I’ve had to fix a few things the thieving jerks broke, but overall it’s in great shape! 

No, I don’t know what I need two 4 wheelers for… Just couldn’t pass on a cool deal. โ˜บ

I’m planning to keep it for the winter, 

1 to avoid having to sell it now,

 2 it’d be harder to sell now that hunting season has started anyway, and 

3 I get something else to play with… ๐Ÿ™‚   

IF ๐Ÿ˜‰ I can’t find a way to justify having a second wheeler next spring, I’ll swap the better tires off it for my worn set, and still easily sell it for $2K or more.   ๐Ÿ˜Ž

Categories: Alaska-Life, ATV, ATVing, GetOutdoors, Horse Trading, Hunting, Outdoors, Riding, Vehicles, Woods tools

Blackhawk grips part 4.0

4th installment for this, first was leather grips, which I need to finish, second was a great block of birch burl, third the 1860 conversion. 
So.. I figured in the mean time, till I can find another 1860 grip frame set, I thought I should at least put some stock grips(came with oversize pachmyre presentation grips) on the stock grip frame and shoot it that way at least Once before changing it ๐Ÿ˜‰ 
 

I started to make a set of grips 6 months ago, and have the piece for wood grips, but haven’t had either a warm shop or the drive/desire to work on them when I have the time to work on anything… So I bought some “cheap”(in price, not quality) cherry wood grips from a guy called LS Grips , that I found on ebay. 

$38(shipped cost) is horrendous for something I can make myself in a couple hours… But then, I haven’t had a couple hours where I could do it.. lol,

 AND it really, really is a steal for after market wood Blackhawk grips.  

Will need some fine fitting in a couple spots. And they are unfinished, I’ll have to clear coat them but thery’re a 99% perfect fit. 

Guy does good work! If your in need of some simple, but well made grips , give the guy a look. (He had maple, and walnut too, and other composites, and for most of the Ruger grip sizes.)

They feel good! MUCH better than the bigger rubber it had on it, nice and slim. 

 

Not quite as comfy as the 1860, but it’s really close. Will see how it shoots.  I can always thin them out some if I need to. (Gonna shoot it as is before applying a finish for that reason– and I don’t want to wait for a finish to dry.. lol) 

Categories: Guns, Gunsmithing, New Gear, Woods tools, Woodwork

A good spring day.ย 

โ€‹
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!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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! ๐Ÿ˜‰  


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.. ๐Ÿ˜‰ )




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

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