So it finally arrived, the SPOT GEN3.
Its works really well and is a very good safety measure and a good way of letting your loved ones know where you are and that all is well.
However, since a good rule of thumb is that it takes rescuers 1 hour to reach you for every 500m you are away from a trail head. Don’t let this device make you lazy, plot out your route and let your contacts have a copy on an e-mail and let them know where you are heading when and where and when you will return.
I can only recommend this and would like to know if you have any experiences with it ?
The friends I’m staying with asked me to make a few file knives for them since my last batch all got traded off before they had a chance to grab any. Caveman simple these things are never very pretty to look at but I never mean them to be. Net result 2 afternoons of work on 3 blades grabbed me 10 days room and board off the road. Not a bad deal I don’t think.
After yesterday’s success with finding the fox den, i ventured out to see if i could track and spot a deer.
It was clear that there is deer in the area, but this leaves no indication of which direction to look. So i went with rule no1 of sneaking up on animals, go against the wind. Deer does…
JR’s Survival&Bushcraft knives
I’ve been meaning to do a proper post on JR’s knives for a while now, but then I ended up ordering yet another one from him about a month ago, and decided to hold off till I get it and have a chance to test it out. It’s also been some crazy times for my family moving states, but we are finally settled in our new place, and I have time to start posting again.
I came across JR’s work at the end of last year on eBay, while searching for a handmade necker. His blade caught my my eye — it was one of his earlier worlds, a bit rough, but clearly usable. I like short stout blades along the lines of the little big knife concept, and this one fit the bill. So I exchanged a few emails with JR, asking about his work and this piece in particular, and pulled the trigger on it. Another thing that caught my attention was his Kydex sheath, which looked extremely well made.
Anyway, I got the knife and tested it out on whatever I could get my hands on around the house. Then I took it with me on our New Years Skiing trip, where I got a chance to test it on some more wood, plus used it as an ice pick. It was truly a little beast, biting through everything with ease. It is a pretty thick blade, which results in quite a bit of heft, and a bit too much weight for me to use as a necker on a regular basis. But it sure is a worker.
I was so satisfied with the knife (and the price point :)) that I found JR’s Facebook page and looked up some of his more recent work. It just happened that this was just around the time he was really ramping up his new business and growing a following. The pictures he was posting were better and better almost every day. And one other model really grabbed my attention. So I ended up getting in touch with him again and commissioning a variation of it — this one in G10, which JR was just getting into using.
The result was pretty stunning. A nice sized bushcraft / skinner knife with very slick handles and a rustic finish on the blade. I got this one in 440C vs 1095, which is his other go to steel, as I wanted something I would not worry about getting wet. Again, the knife turned out to be a great tough user with an excellent edge and perfect balance for me. The sheath is amazing as well. JR made me a belt loop for it, but I ended up putting it on the “necker”, which is actually beefier and heavier :)
Here’s the little devil:
And here it is with the original:
I ended up following JR’s knife making journey pretty closely on Facebook and watching his work advance further and further. It’s been hard not to keep buying from him all the time :P
And then, months later, he posted a new model that was pretty different from everything else he and produced to date, and was almost exactly like something I had recently been thinking about. I again pinged him, wondering if he’d modify the design just a bit for me, but JR was one step ahead :) He already had a blank cut, so all I had to do was brainstorm the right blade finish and handle materials with him.
Here is the final result, in X2 blued finish and with black linen micarta handles and hollow pins:
And that’s how I ended up with three JR knives in my collection in less than a year. They are all pretty different, jet you can clearly see stylistic similarity. All are tough as nails and extremely usable. They are hard working knives that I would not be afraid to get dirty. And JR’s Kydex work is second to none.
I have a lot of knife. A lot :) And JR’s are some of the best performing in my collection, including a bunch of handmade scandi puukko. If I needed a knife to rely on, any of these would be it. JR’s line has also dramatically expanded over the past 6 months or so, so anyone can find something to their liking, not to mention that JR is a great guy to deal with and will work with you to figure out what would fit you best.
Here are some more pics. Enjoy!
Axe Project: Part 3
The handle is almost finished. I am going to treat it with linseed oil over the next few days as it dries, and then the head will be mounted.
Ironwood is not the best wood to work with, as it has a nasty tendency to tear out in strings. This handle doesn’t need to be perfect, though, considering the head that will be fitted to it. A bit of roughness will add to the aesthetic.