Please Note:

If you “mouse-over” the photos, they will show better brightness/contrast… it’s a WordPress thing, I guess…

And… if you will scroll down and read up some series of posts might make more sense… jus’ sayin’

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“CAMPTON AX”

I finally received the small axe that I had ordered off AliBaba in the 11/11 sale. As I had already concluded it was not a Chinese POC [piece-of-crap], it was a Russian POC. After playing with both a Cyrillic keyboard and a Russian to English translator site, I managed to figure out that they had branded the blade “Campton Ax”… do you suppose they were trying for “camping”?

I am not even going to go into detail about the axe until I have messed with it some, but after having “bashed” it a bit in my previous post, I wanted to go into some digressive info on just why I had gone ahead and bought it. For now you can check it out in the post from a week ago was about “Chinese Inscrutable Advertising“.

The site description on this axe was a wonderful example of the difficulty in translating/ transliterating between languages, and the misuse and overuse of catchwords. It was described it as “Damask” steel at one point, 440 Stainless at another, and high-carbon steel in a third. I guess the first instance is a misunderstanding of the word Damascus, which is used to describe both a type of  highly-figured and layered steel, and a historic manufacturing process. The other two phrases are frequently used in the descriptions of knives on high-quality Forums. In fact, it is 65X13. This is the Russian made equivalent of AUS8… not a bad steel for this use at all. On other sites offering the same axe I had seen the branding on the shank. I was pretty sure what it was made of. This elevated it out of the POC range and made me think it was good for a shot as a “project piece” to see if I could bring it all the way up to worthwhile.

My second reason, and the real basis of this post, is that I have always wanted an “Ulu”.

    

These are two examples. The ulu is the traditional knife of the Inuit peoples of the North American Arctic. Before the white man and his supplies of metal, they had knapped a similar shape in stone, and beaten them out of copper ores. It was their butchery tool for whale blubber and sealife.

    

The ulu is generally made of moderately thick sheet metal with a handle above the blade as you seen in the above photos. They cut smoothly, and are surprisingly maneuverable. I know a guy who regularly dresses out his deer with one.

Newer designs are moving in an ergonomic direction. They also are making the blades heavier and profiled more like a traditional hunting knife. Benchmade is producing a version they have named “Nestucca” that retails for $150US.

The beautiful unit from Bliss [shown in first photo above] are made to order, and start from $130 depending on handle material. Those kind of prices put them way out of my reach, but the little Russian jobbie was only about $11 on sale/shipped. That fits with my whole 90% utility for 50% of the price deal.

I’ll let ya’ll know how the progress goes, and what the verdict might be some time soon.

My thanks to you all…

I am always a little boggled when I see that people really do visit and read the posts here at Moosenut Falls. I looks like just the visits [darker] have at least doubled over last year.

I started this a distraction and time-filler as my late wife, @divinecarlotta aka “The Hot Librarian” ‘s health declined. I was a full-time caretaker, and this was a way to take my mind off stuff and spend less time fretting. I have never been much of a writer. I know I’m a bit overly irreverent and too profane, and bit too opinionated for most mainline blog aficionados, so I am very flattered that over five thousand of ya’ll aren’t offended and keep coming back. I write what I like, when I like, but I do like what I have dumped here. After a lifetime of futzing around outdoors, along with my own spiritual questing, I now realize that I actually DO know what I’m talking about [most of the time]. I am glad if some you have enjoyed it, too.

Thanks to everyone who has passed through.

Please consider “Following” the blog… there’s a button on the webpage somewhere, and please comment on what you do and don’t like.

Like Oat Willie always told us….onward-sm.png

 

 

 

 

A Better Perspective

“Contemplating the universe was a form of therapy for the ancients. Seeing the Big Picture puts our own troubles and anxieties into a cosmic perspective, so that our anxious egos become stilled with wonder and awe.

Marcus Aurelius tells himself: ‘Survey the circling stars, as though yourself were in mid-course with them. Often picture the changing and re-changing dance of the elements. Visions of this kind purge away the dross of our earth-bound life.’ Contemplating the stars elevates our spirit, and makes our day-to-day concerns seem insignificant. Aurelius writes: ‘Many of the anxieties that harass you are superfluous: being but creatures of your own fancy, you can rid yourself of them and expand into an ampler region, letting your thought sweep over the entire universe, contemplating the illimitable tracts of eternity.’

A View from Above is what psychologists call a distancing or minimization technique. It’s a method of zooming out from your life, placing it in a cosmic perspective, and thereby gaining a measure of detachment. We say that anxious or depressed people ‘make a mountain out of a molehill,’ zooming in on their problems until each little obstacle seems of enormous and terrible proportions. We can practice doing the opposite, zooming out, widening our perspective to cosmic dimensions so that we make a molehill of every mountain. ”

Jules Evans, Philosophy for Life and Other Dangerous Situations

Old Timey Scouting

This a bit vintage even for me, but this is pretty much where I started, too. Army surplus two-piece canvas tents with no floor [and no blue plastic tarps to put down under you], hemp and sisal rope, wooden pegs, jerry cans, neckerchiefs with hand-carved slides, wool, and whatever shoes you owned.

We.Had.A.Ball!

Sharpening Tips and Tricks from Moosenut Falls

  • Using a black “Sharpie” marker, draw a band of color along the very edge of the blade about an 1/8th” wide. Then when you run the blade over your stone you can see if you are taking material from the true edge or whether you are too far up on the shoulder/body of the knife. You want to be working the micro-bevel, not further back.
  • [This also works if you want to remove material from behind the micro-bevel when re-edging a blade… just make the Sharpie band wider, and attempt to leave the color on the edge itself]
  • You do not have to use much pressure. A little is better than a lot. Let the stone do the cutting and removal.
  • Use some oil to help float the blade on the stone, and keep cleaning the surface of your stone or hone as you work. the minute steel particles that are being stripped off the blade will clog the pores/grit of your stone. Eventually, you are just working on the build-up without any cutting action from the now buried stone surface. I use a drop of WD-40 wiped off with a paper towel. It will lift the debris right up and off… re-oil the surface and continue. [Diamond hone “stones” usually recommend water for lubrication, but the WD-40 trick works for cleaning]
  • Oh, yeah… that business about shaving hair off your forearm to “test” sharpness…? Don’t. You just end up looking patchy, and might cut yourself. Instead, just touch the blade edge to your thumbnail at the angle you would cut a steak. If it catches, you are getting sharp… if it slips, keep working.
  • Get a cheap magnifying glass or loop. Looking at the edge close-up is a full education as to what you are accomplishing and what you still need to do. [Plus a magnifying glass is still just as cool as when you used one as a kid… take it camping, it’s worth the weight for the fun.]
  • The consensus jury is way, way out on the issue of whether it is better to sharpen into the edge or away from the edge. Whatever you like. My personal take is that it is easier to accidentally steepen the angle and shove the blade into the stone, dulling it, if you are working into the stone. I move the blade back from its edge. I think this also allows the burr to pull away from the edge instead of being forced back under or up.*
  • Likewise there is no real consensus on whether you should work toward yourself or away on the stone surface, regardless of how you draw the knife across it.
  • Pressure, direction, angle, orientation… Find which works best for your own comfort. Your results, and the speed with which you achieve them will tell you what is right for you.
  • Also, remember that you can over-sharpen a blade. Going ultra-sharp on a chore knife just means it will dull faster because the edge is “too” delicate. If your knife performs the chore as needed, it is sharp enough.
  • Finally… an oldie-but-goodie. You can get a quick-fix sharpening done by using the rough, unglazed ring on the bottom of your favorite ceramic coffee mug.

My last suggestion is to find some old knives , and try out your sharpening licks on them. You might be really pleased to discover that you have rescued what would otherwise be a POS, and, at the very least, you won’t be wrecking a good knife on your learning curve. [Check out a Goodwill… old carbon steel kitchen knives show up in the bins there all the time. Give ’em a couple of surface licks with some steel-wool before you hit up working on the edges]

 

*with the new Lansky System I am using the only real way to use it is gliding the stones into the blade, up and across… exactly opposite to what I ordinarily do, but the results speak for themselves.

Knife Sharpening~ Tips/ Techniques/ Tutorials Links

Note that some of these sites want to sell you stuff, but the info is good. These are not any kind of endorsements, just a collection of facts….

In no particular order: