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Monday, 20 March 2017

Forged in Fire

Some of the guys and gals from the club went down to the local forge at moneypennys lock for a day of black wind fire and steel.
We all had it in our heads to make enough steel strikers to use for the next wee while.

It's an incredibly charismatic place with a real historical feel especially with the stone cobbles on the floor.
Johnny got us all prepped up and away we went

The pace was relentless and the sweat beaded our brows as the hammer did it's work

Even the God of thunder made an appearance!

There were some posey people!

And even a surprise for the big guys birthday.

It was a tired but very happy bunch of people at the end of the day and all will remember the experience for a long time to come.

And the result of our labours, the rest of the group will have their chance in the next couple of weeks so I'll keep you updated with their experience too.
A big thanks to Johnny and Emile for a great day.

Monday, 13 March 2017

It's that time of year

Saw some lovely plants coming up at this time and it seems that love is in the air!

Friday, 10 February 2017

NIBC Late Winter Meet

Although this was a simply kick back relax and meet new people meet we did manage to get a few little things done too.
I found a pile of dead and rotten willow on the forest floor and set the challenge to see who could get fire from it using friction. Myself and Gary have often used this method before and although it was tough we managed it. Ciaran had never used this technique before but..


Succeeded after a short time.


Shea tried on Friday then all day Saturday then finally achieved his goal on the Sunday..what tenacity from such a young man, 13 years old and managed the firebow from less than ideal materials on a very frosty morning all because he never gave up. Very impressive.


And you can see here just how white the area was from a heavy frost that morning..
A great time was had by all and it really good to see some new friends along for the first time too.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Cardboard oven

Davy was experimenting with a cardboard oven out in the woods recently and it worked incredibly well.


Simply covered in tin foil with some charcoal in the bottom


It successfully cooked pizza and even an apple crumble !


What ingenuity !!

Friday, 30 December 2016

Unusual Natural Tinder - Wasp Nest

Not really the sort of thing you would normally go for while its inhabited, but once the wasps have flown then nature provides us with something very useful
 
 
the way the wasps make the nest they've practically given us a whole ball of paper!!
They chew up wood pulp to break down the fibres and then build the most incredible house
 
 
and inside you can see where the grubs live, what a fantastic construction.
This one was the size of a watermelon so it will provide vast amounts of tinder for use with a ferro rod once dried.
 
 

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Happy Christmas 2016

A very happy Christmas to everybody and a peaceful and loving new year

Friday, 23 December 2016

Using the spine of your knife as a ferro rod striker - Bad idea.

I'm sure we have all used the spine of our knives as a ferro rod striker but for a while it's been puzzling me why I have to re-square the spine every now and again and why the square edge doesn't last long after continual use, I put it down to steel wear, just like the edge of your knife needs to be re-sharpened then so would the spine, but recently I started thinking about this and it hit me.. The reason the spine wears and gets less effective over time is simply that we are damaging the temper of the blade each time we strike the ferro rod. Lets face it, a ferro rod burns at around 3000 degrees Celsius, although it only burns for a very short time that initial burst of heat is enough to damage that area of the knife, I've found that stainless gets brittle and chips and carbon gets soft and wears or rolls,
 
 
this is a carbon bladed knife , if you look closely at the spine edge you can see damage to the square edge, every time you strike the ferro rod, the heat damages the temper and causes the edge to get softer

 
and a stainless blade which is much more noticeable, this is a victorinox farmer, you can see what fewer than a dozen strikes of a ferro rod has done to the spine of the saw blade. Being a thinner blade heat isn't dissipated as much and therefor the damage is more dramatic, but over time all blades will suffer.
 
Your knife is your most important piece of kit, treat it well, get a proper striker for your ferro rod and use your knife for what it was intended.