Thursday, January 11, 2018

A boy's first knife

It's an important time in a young boy's life when he gets his first pocket knife. 

My first pocket knife was a two blade jack knife. It had a brown handle with small silver shield on the handle. My Grandfather took me down to our local Target store and we picked it out.  I was 7 years old. I was SO proud. Then I screwed up and lost it.  I had it in my pocket, where it had lived from the day it was given to me. I was playing at a friends house when it fell out. My "friend" grabbed it up from the ground and ran inside his house. I ran after begging him to "Give it back!" He didn't. In fact he lied to his Mom and told her he didn't have my knife. His older sister took his side too, even though she knew he did have it.  I was beside myself crying. I walked slowly home and sat on  he front steps feeling awful.  A few minutes later the older sister came up the street on her bike. She said something about giving back my knife and she threw it. From the street. My heart leaped at the idea that I would get my most treasured item back! She didn't throw it very hard and it fell into the street before it got to me. It fell in to the street and right down a storm drain. I was crushed.

In the short time I did have that knife I had the wonderful experience of sharing time with Grandpa. We sat in his back yard and whittled away at the many maple branches that fell from the huge tree in the yard. Even now I can remember how smooth those twigs and branches felt after we stripped them of their bark. The fresh green scent that came up from the bark curls gathered around our feet.  I knew I was doing something with Grampa that"kid stuff". This was important stuff, grown up stuff. Even at that young age I could feel the seriousness of handling a pocket knife safely.

Tonight I had the privilege of working with a group of cub scouts on their Bear Claws adventure. We learned safe handling and care for pocket knives. How to cut with their knives, how to sharpen, even the correct way to hand their knife to someone else.  I don't know if they picked up on the seriousness of the lessons, I know from the smiles and nods I received their Dads and Grand Dads did.

Pictured at the beginning of this post is my son's first pocket knife, an Opinel No. 6. 
As promised, here is a better picture of the completed axe.  I really like how the BLO took to the handle and the rich color it added.  I did sand the handle first with some 220 grit sandpaper. Some of the handles bought at stores feel like there is a thin coating on them. I also wanted to make sure the handle would take the BLO.  Also I checked and the handle is a 26" model.

I do have some more file work to do on the blade edge. There are still some small nicks I want to get out of it. At this point, though, it is VERY sharp and would be just fine in the woods.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

I hung a new axe

Welcome to 2018!

To be honest I hung this axe in the summer of 2017.  I purchased a Swedish Military Surplus Axe from Sportsman's guide back in about 2013 or so. Finally this last summer I got around to putting a new handle on it and stripping off the OD paint job.

The picture below is a WIP shot about mid way through the process.

Shown are the tools I used for the process minus a shot of a few of the clamps I used as needed.
A bastard file, a 4 in hand rasp, rubber mallet, spoke shave, a beer and my Aegishjalmer pendant made for me years a go by Lee Kinder.

The process is simple enough, but as this is only me second time I know I still have much to learn.  I picked out a handle at my local Mom and Pop hardware store, I think this is a nice 24" one. The head itself isn't very big, I think its about a pound and a half. Its not to long or too heavy; I can strap it to a pack and take to the woods easy enough.

I learned how to hang from the Bushcraft USA forums linked in my side bar. Also i supplemented my learning with You tube videos.

I'll post a follow up picture of the axe as it looks now, oiled up with multiple coats of boiled linseed oil or BLO as many folks tend to refer to it.

enough for now, I need to leave something for more posts!

Get outside!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Garden Time!

Hey All,

Getting ready to put the garden in here at my small city lot. Nothing fancy, mainly things I know we will eat as a family, either fresh or canned.

For simplicity sake I ordered all my seed and plants from Territorial Seed Co.

Here is what's going in:

Hot Peppers (Jalapeno, Habenero, and Pepperoncini)
Various cooking herbs

Lots of root veggies I'm hoping will keep. Fixings for my own salsa and tomato sauce. I'm going to try to make my own gardiniera relish and pickles.

Anyway, that's whats going on at my homestead,


Thursday, March 31, 2016


Hey all,

Last post I promised pics of the Apocabox I received from Creek Stewart..still can't locate the camera to take some decent pics....sorry. I don't really want to take cell phone pics as I don't feel they do the subject justice.

This next month (April) is a fun month for my Cub Scout Den. I'm leading them on their "Tigers in the Wild" adventure. One of the requirements is to put together a kit with the Boy Scout "6 Essentials" to have for going out on a hike. Suffice it to say,the Scouts and I have a different idea on what those essentials should be. I'll teach the adventure as written but I will show the boys some other ideas on things they can carry in their kits.

The weather has been getting better and better here in MN and with my work schedule finally starting to co-operate some field time can finally be planned and enjoyed.

More posts soon!


Tuesday, February 16, 2016


Hey all,

I'm really excited to share with you some thing new for me. I subscribed to Creek Stewart's Apocabox subscription service. More information can be found by following the Willow Haven Outdoor link in my sidebar.

Basically, every 2 months I get a box in the mail filled with survival items chosen by Creek Stewart himself. Tools, supplies, information, and lots of other great things.

As soon as I find my camera I will do a full review of the February Apocabox!

Thanks for coming along...


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

This year, 2015, has been full of a lot of new changes here at "The cabin".

Started a new job in January with the Postal Service. All is going well there, I am just plugging along waiting my turn to be "made regular", which means I become a career postal employee, not a contractor.

Purchased a nice home big enough for my family to stretch out in and live life. Grounds keeping and general maintenance keep me busy at home.

Still an active den leader of the Cub scouts, boys are growing and learning but they sure aren't slowing down anytime soon!

Here's wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!