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Saturday, 19 January 2019

There is no spoon.

I Love that clip in the Matrix when Neo is told that there is no spoon and that reality is an illusion. In my case there is a spoon..too many of them! I got a new hook knife for Christmas and decided to try it out, 20 spoons later. Yeah I like it!! I tried 4 different woods when making these and definitely got on better with birch..I'm sure I'll make a few more if I get the chance.


Tuesday, 25 December 2018

A Merry Christmas 2018

A very merry Christmas to all our Buzzard friends out there.. health, wealth and happiness to you all.



( A Christmas robin with Benwhiskin in the background.)

Beefsteak fungus - Fistulina hepatica

A really nice find at this time of year, the beefsteak fungus also call the ox tongue or bulls tongue fungus is one of those fungi that look so palatable but usually fall short.



It really does look like meat when it's cut and even exudes a reddy juice that looks like blood.



Young ones are ok but older ones taste bitter and need stewing for a long time and even masked in a rich sauce or casserole..
That being said it's always a nice one to come across especially as it stains the wood of the tree it grows on making it vety desirable for woodworkers..

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.