Primitive and modern outdoor skills

Small projects


While I've been tanning and building bows, I've of course been working on small projects in between as well. I thought it might be fun to share a few of my recent ones.

I've been using 4 plastic containers as water jugs. They all originally had handles that eventually failed. I've been playing with different ways to make handles. This is just paracord. The orange handle is a constrictor knot and then a simple serving of half-hitches. The 3 black ones all have a constrictor knot and then various other knots I wanted to try to push the sides of the handle to opposite sides of the opening, thus reducing the pinching of the hand when carrying. One has a straight serving instead of the pretty half-hitch serving - I was curious how it would look and feel. I think that one may be my favourite. Surprisingly the constrictor side very occasially slides a touch, so next time I do one I'll probably try something else to fix that side in place better. IMG_20130802_131604

I got this knife a little while ago, it's an ESEE4 that I'm quite fond of. It came with this tactical sheath. IMG_20130801_162619 I found I really like the sheath design as far as the string attachment point goes. The twine on the far-side makes 2 belt loops, allowing you to wear it horizantally which is great for trail-running, and means it doesn't get in your way when you sit down. If you run the string through the other way you can wear it vertically. This also makes it super easy to lash to a pack. Only one problem... it's plastic and apparently wasn't meant to be used. After a short time no matter how hard I cranked the screws my knife would fall out if I jumped off a 4 foot drop or something. So, I made my own. It's welted the full way around to make a really flat sheath. I used a failed attempt at a sling (the strings were the wrong length) for the twine. It has two pieces of twine. One has the same purpose as on the original sheath, the other goes once around the handle and ties the knive into the sheath. Since these photos I modified it a bit adding a stick as a toggle-button to the tie-in so I can release the knife one-handed. IMG_20130801_162534 IMG_20130801_162538

Everything I read says I should use a bow-stringer. I've been doing the step-through method since my dad taught me how to shoot as a kid. Supposedly it can twist the limbs on a recurve. People keep saying my bow is a nice antique and I should stop doing that or I'll damage it... so I made myself a bowstringer. It's just a piece of leather cut right with some holes, and a piece of paracord. The far end is a simple loop that fits the string knockpoints. It's simple, but it took several tries to get right IMG_20130802_162521

My two bows (a 55 lb and a 45 lb recurve) were getting beat up in the back of the truck. I had an already damaged wool blanket lying around, so I sewed it into a couple of sleeves. Then I took some linen twine and made some thick linen cord and stitched that to the top, here's the result. IMG_20130803_125430 IMG_20130803_125437

Some projects coming soon. The bridge on my guitar seems to be slightly damaged. It's plastic and the high E string has worn it down far enough that now that string buzzing. I want to make it a new bridge. Bone should improve the tone as well. That should be a is a pretty doable project. The only problem is that I need a piece of bone. I might be able to trade for some at Wintercount, find a fresh kill while hiking, or something similar. I also just got bits to make some arrows. These are aluminum, but I couldn't get them in the right spine premade, I figure it's good practice anyway... Eventually I want to make my own wooden ones, so I start with aluminum.

As for future posts, I finally finished softening the two deer hides. The second one was only 4 days end to end, bucking and all, progress! That one is also a beautiful thin doe... looks like it was killed with a spine shot to the neck, so the hide has no holes. The super thick one needs a presmoke and another softening, but the doe is absolutely perfect right now. There's a fire ban on making smoking difficult, but hopefully I can find a solution and smoke them soon.