Monday, April 16, 2007

March 4th - First Dog Father Use

When I first gradutated from college, and had more disposable money, I bought a pretty cool stag handled 10 inch bowie knife. At the time, I really didn't know what the real uses for a knife that size was, and bought it purely for the look of it. When your camping from your car, weight isn't an issue and you can always have a hatchet or small ax. Since then, I have learned how to use larger knives more effectively than even a hatchet.

That stag handled knife had too many design flaws to be used hard. It was too pretty, and now that it is no longer being made, was more of a collectors piece than a user. So, I decided to sell it. With the money from that, I was able to get 3 knives. Two of similar size, and one smaller that are real users, and not safe queens like the first one. Besides, I don't like to have stuff sitting around that is not used, or is not going to get used.

The large knife is called the Dog Father from Scrap Yard Knife Works. You can see the specs here. Hence the blog entry title.

Today, I had to do some work outside. The right front tire of my truck was squeaking. Just to make sure it was nothing serious, I wanted to pull of the tire and check it out. Being that it is hard to work like that with gloves on, and I could be a while, I built a fire to warm my hands with.

I keep a bunch of wood cut, and split in decent sizes because we have fires all summer long. But, it is not covered this time of year, and most of it either had snow or ice on it. So, I had to split some to get to the inner dry wood. Here is the pile I started with.

Normally in the woods, or while camping you would not be able to find wood already cut to this length. So, normally I would carry a small foldable bow saw in my back pack like the Gerber, or Sawvivor. In weather like this, you would have to make sure to get dead wood that is off the ground, like dead standing trees. With a folding saw, it is pretty quick and pretty much necessary to get a fire going in either wet weather or snow. Even dry and seasoned wood will be wet for the first 1/8 of the exterior making it nearly impossible to get a fire going in those conditions. The only solution is to get to the center.

You can see I had quite a few piece split into smaller pieces already.

Normally, at this point (If I really wanted to guarantee the fire would get going) I would take a smaller knife and create fuzz sticks. This is where you make curls in the edges of the smaller pieces. I just decided to go ahead and do it with this monster bowie. I was actually surprised how easy it was. The beast of a knife is so heavy that it basically made the curls all by itself. This is even maple, by the way.

That was about it with the wood. After all, I actually did have work to do. It was fairly nice outside, right around freezing. Brendan was outside with me the whole time, and even helped me with the truck. After we were done, we played hide and seek, and we even had a smore on the fire. I can't wait until camping weather comes!


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