Feb 26, 2011

Altoids Tin alcohol stove.

I've always wanted to try and make an alcohol stove but for some reason or another something always diverted my attention elsewhere until Bushcraft USA started their BushClass. One of the elements was to make a cooking implement so I decided to make a stove. In my search on the internet I came across rockvilleoutfitters video and borrowed the design he used.

It's a really simple design and here's how I made mine. I took a 7/32 drill bit and drilled holes around the perimeter just below the lid. I used pink fiberglass insulation on the inside to act as the "wick" although they say vemiculite work well for this. I also made some standoffs out of some 316 stainless filler rod but you can   use clothes hanger wire. The wire standoffs I made so that they would fit inside the tin.

The fuel I used was either methanol fuel additive or denatured alcohol, the isopropyl alcohol fuel additive burns with a lot of soot, it works but makes everything black.
I've found that it takes about one and a half to two ounces of fuel in mine with a little on the inside of the lid before you close it. I put my standoffs on before I prime it with a little bit of alcohol on the outside of the lid then light it.

I've found that if their is the slightest breeze you'll have to use some type of wind guard. The GI. canteen cup stove worked well for this and took a little under ten minutes to get water hot enough to make tea. I'ts not the most effecient stove but you can't beat the price!!

Feb 21, 2011

Kolrosing, or at least my attempt

For the last couple of months I've been thinking about trying my hand at kolrosing, a Nordic method of decorating wood much like scrimshaw on whale bone. I've seen examples on Pinewood Forges website and on the BCUSA forums and think it really sets off what was decorated. While milking the cows it occurred to me a drill bit should make a pretty decent blade for this purpose once ground and handled. I used the shank of a #14 bit and set it in an Osage handle

You'll find a better explanation on the internet but basically you make a small cut in the wood with a small knife and rub a fine powder in the cut then set it with oil, I used instant coffee but traditionally they used powdered Birch bark or coal dust from what I understand.

Here's a simple serving spoon I made over the weekend and decorated with a simple design.

I'm a beginner at both spoon carving and kolrosing, but it's great fun trying these skills that goes back to our ancestors.

Feb 6, 2011

Spoon carving

About a Year and a half ago there was a spoon carving contest on the BCUSA forum, so I thought why not give it a shot. I used my Rat Cutlery RC-3 (which is now ESEE Knives ) to carve it from a Sycamore branch while I was milking at the farm.

I found that spoon carving  can be addicting for some reason or another (another is that I never figured out how to carve anything else) and you learn very quickly how a knife handles, and the RC-3 handled very well!

The bulk of my carving now is done with Mora's

My latest one is a made of Birch, carved with a BHK Boat Tail .

All of my work starts out pretty much as firewood or a branch cut and carved with no power equipment with no real design other than what the wood "wants" to do.

Some of my work.

What is Bushcraft

For me Bushcraft is learning and practicing the skills that our ancestors used to survive in the past. This can encompass many things, fire craft,cordage making,making implements etc. not because we have to or the end is near but because a great deal of satisfaction and accomplishment is derived from it.

It's a different mindset that puts you closer to how things used to be when we depended more on nature and ourselves for our well being,wants and need's instead of "civilization" Man had an intimate knowledge and awareness of the world around him and he had to rely on these skills for him and his families survival which pretty much was just life! He didn't live outside of the natural world but lived in it.

Plus it's just a lot of fun!!

Feb 5, 2011

Things soon to come

I hope to be adding things in the near future about bushcrafting and life in general along Back Creek.....Stay Tuned