Friday, June 21, 2013

Keen Kutter Axe - Trial run

Hey folks, Just thought I'd share my trial run/review with my Keen Kutter axe.  I believe it to be the Michigan pattern.  The weight isn't marked but it doesn't feel quite as heavy as my other 3.5lb axes, I'm think thinking it feels more around 3lb or so.  It's the later Keen Kutter models based off the makers mark.  While this one is in good condition it's certainly not immaculate or anything so I think this will be an excellent user.  This axe is how I got it.  It looks like someone restored it themselves not long ago or maybe it was someone's user that knew how to take care of their axe.  I don't think the handle is original but I like it.  It's nice and thin with a nice swell at the end of the handle.  Shoulder is a little bulky but it's okay.  The hang job is decent enough on it.  I sanded the handle down and put 4 coats of BLO on it.  The edge I did just a little sharpening.  No profiling was needed.  Well let's get started here

Length 32"
Head   3ish pounds

Now for the fun stuff

two easy swings on a 3" dead oak

next up about a 6" dead oak

biting good

this did not take long at all.  about 6 or 7 swings per side

next I found a fallen oak tree that was around 12-15" or so and thought I'd see how it would chop through.  It was throwing excellent chips and though it was a little rotten in the middle I was still impressed with how fast it went through it

the edge held up great.  I honestly didn't notice any dulling after the uses

did great for finer work too

Well I'm really liking this axe.  The length and weight felt very good.  This is about as long as I care to swing but it sure did a fine job today. 

Thanks for looking

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Evolution of a Fisherman

I heard this saying from a friend and thought I would share it.  It's pretty good

First you just want to catch a fish.
Then you want to catch more fish.
Then you want to catch bigger fish.
Then you want to catch certain fish.
Then you want to catch the biggest of certain fish.
Eventually though, if you fish long enough, you want to just go fishing.  That's about the time you realize that it's not even about the fish.

Now go put a line in the water....

Friday, June 7, 2013

make your own tent stakes

Well this nothing new for bushcrafters and woodsmen but I just thought I'd share one of mine and couple things I do and look for.  The main benefit of this is that you don't have to carry stakes with you so it reduces your load.  You can easily do this with your knife or hatchet/axe.

First off I find that seasoned woods work best as they are harder, my preference is seasoned cedar or oak but most any wood works.  If all you have is greenwood you can fire harden both ends to make them more solid.  You don't want a piece with a crack already forming as this will split with force when you hammer it in.  You want to find a straight and round piece.  I like them around 1" wide and around 10-14" long depending on use and conditions.

Once you have your piece of wood chosen it's pretty simple.  You want to carve almost a spear point in the bottom end and make another cone/spear shaped end at the top, just don't make it as elongated as the bottom.  This cone shape will prevent the wood from smashing and splitting apart.  Once you get a split in the stake it doesn't hammer in nice.  This helps reduce that significantly.  Then about 2-3" from the top make your notch to hold your string/rope.  Size of the notch really depends on how thick your rope is.

Here's a quick one made of oak

Now you don't really know for sure if you have a good one until you can hammer it in

Thanks for looking

Monday, June 3, 2013

Got in a little paddle time on a windy day

This quick trip was from a couple weekends ago.  I had really enjoyed this lake in the past but not long ago a path/road went in to allow people to drive to the back of the lake.  So you know what that means....more people, and more TRASH!  It was pretty disappointing to be honest.  I'm not sure if I'll go back or not as I only picture it getting worse as we come into summer.  What a shame.

Well onto the pics.  Here's take out

making some headway

did a little fishing but the recent rain and wind had the water pretty murky so no luck with the fish.

pulled over to rest a bit, dad was getting whipped by the wind on this day

this spot use to be a nice secluded spot that no one ever got to.  Not anymore.

 I went to a couple other spots and the same thing were there as well.  No more human-less spots on the lake

All in all it was nice to get out for some paddle time with my little girl.  The road access and litter was not what I wanted to find at all but I guess I shouldn't be surprised and perhaps should lower my expectations with today's society.

thanks for looking