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Sunday, 25 November 2018

Homemade Copper spoons for Pike

I had a spare piece of copper pipe so I thought I'd put it yo good use and make a few pike lures from it.

Cut the pipe to the required size, for me this is usually between 3 and 4 inches.

Cut it along it's length

Open it out with pliers and hammer it flat

Draw the shape of the spoon on the copper sheet then cut it out and file the edges to get a smooth finish.

Using a ball peen hammer gently tap a concave surface into the spoon, I like the hammered finish it leaves as this adds more flash in the water.
Drill the holes, fit split rings and hooks and you're good to go, a great pike lure for just a few pennies.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Strawberry tree

Sometimes called the Irish strawberry tree because Sligo is the northern most part of its range... well supposedly because I found this one growing wild a little further north !

A beautiful little tree growing no more than about 30ft tall and producing really unusual lantern like flowers

Nearly always white but I have heard of occasional pink varieties being found.

It produces lovely red fruits that taste quite sweet once ripe and apparently can be made into jam or a very nice liqueur.
There doesn t ever seen to be many fruits on the tree but may be that was just this particular one.

The plant is also a great medicinal, a decoction of which is used for lowering blood pressure and in treating diabetes, it is also highly anti inflammatory.
The wood is very hard but twisty so is useful for small objects like fish harpoons and wooden needles.

Got to admit I was really happy to find this rarity, but I'll keep its location a secret for now.

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Marbles camp cleaver mod

I recently got a marbles camp cleaver and these are great value for the price but I'm not keen on their paint job.

So I decided to do a little modification
A slight remodelling of the handle and a lot of scraping to get the paint off the blade.

I initially tried to take the paint off with acetone but it didn't work, so a little bit of elbow grease later and we had a modestly clean blade.

I flamed the handle then added some linseed oil and I'm a very happy person with the result, I think you'll admit it looks wuite good.

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Himalayan strawberry tree

This is obviously not a native and neither is it a strawberry but disregarding the obvious it is a good find for the forager if you do happen to come across one of these trees in fruit.
It's actually a dogwood species and has a number of different names it goes by..

They do look rather like a strawberry but the similarity ends there.
I've read that they taste like everything from banana to apricots but they just taste bland to me. Soft and squishy after they've been bletted.

They can get you intoxicated though if they are over ripe !

I ate a gutful of them and rather enjoyed the texture and taste though a few people who stopped to watch while I was picking tried the fruit and weren't too keen on it. There are a few recipes for it online if you can find them.
It is another good find for the foragers armoury.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Reverse Swedish Fire Log

Everyone knows about the Swedish Fire log and recently we used one for our camp cookout, the thing was for some reason this one was really hard to light at the bottom the way it's normally done, so instead we lit it from the top

We weren't sure how this would work but figured that if the upside down fire worked then there would be no reason for this not to either.

Didn't take long at all for it to burn well and it worked just as good as if we'd lit it from the bottom

And a hearty jambalaya was soon enjoyed by all.

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Brother knife review from GEARBEST.COM

We were recently sent a knife to review from GEARBEST.COM, it's a fixed blade 440c full flat grind knife with micarta handle and hollow copper pins, total length is about 8 1/2 inches with blade and handle being equal length.

It arrived in a nice presentation box and when I opened it I found the knife nicely sheathed in a kydex sheath with a ready fixed teclok.

The knife was acceptably sharp as it came but a few minutes on the stones and strop saw this blade easily come up to hair popping sharp.

No review is complete without some field testing, so I've been using it over the past couple of weeks to gauge it's performance.

I needed some amadou for upcoming events so I put the knife to use cutting off huge amounts of this fungi to prep for the courses,

This it did easily with no rolling or chipping along the edge, and anyone who has cut amadou before knows just how hard the scale is on the surface of this fungi, so I was mightily impressed with this.

I scraped and feathered some tiny curls on some sticks to prep a small woodstove and again no problems at all

The spine also threw some great sparks from a ferro rod to get this fire lit.

I have even used this knife at home for food prep which it does admirably, all in all I'm very impressed with this tool.
It's comfortable in the hand, no hot spots or high ridges, gets an edge well and seems to keep it too but can easily be brought back to razor sharp just with a strop, for the price it's an absolute bargain.

If you are interested in this knife or indeed any gear from GEARBEST.COM I would heartily encourage you to peruse their site, it's easy to navigate and the items arrive fast. Highly recommended..

Here are a few links to take you there, get ready for your wallet to take a hit! Great stuff. Brother Knife  Knives and tools Gearbest website

Monday, 13 August 2018

Strange creature in the woods

Sometimes you see strange creatures in the woods

Was able to sneak right up on what I thought was a turkey until I realised it was a peahen.
I guess it must have escaped from the local zoo a few miles away.
Just as well I wasn't on a serious survival mission.