Fire by hand drill

Fire by hand drill

Friday, 29 October 2010

Antler detachable harpoon point.

This is something I have wanted to make for a while.

The antler harpoon point is attached to a peice of elder with string so that when it spears a fish or frog it comes out and the string absorbs the struggle!

I am really pleased with this one.

Antler Needle, Fishing hook

Hi have been working on a few Antler project recently. It is very hard to work.
I got a few tips from Torjus Gaaren who I think is an expert! thanks Torjus.

Here is what I have managed to produce. I really love making this kind of thing.

Some new cordage

Thanks to Phil for the material. I had never worked with flax before.

It took me a while to make this I must admit. It is very strong.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Mora Viking

What do you look for in a knife?
I want something sharp, and easy to sharpen. Comfortable. Robust and capable of taking serious abuse in the name of experimentation.
And lastly good value for money.
If you pay 100+ for a knife I don't think you can help being more careful with it. And god forbid, what if you lose it.

This mora cost me £2.50 and I have used it for 2 years without incident.

There is nothing you can do with a several hundred pound knife that you can't do with this!

And who cares if it breaks or you lose it. Just buy another 10!
Try it.

I highly recommend it.
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Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Hazel nuts!

A spot of breakfast. To slow squirrels!
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Monday, 25 October 2010

Top tip

Here is a top tip. Don't flint knap without a protective pad on your leg. I just got stabbed in the leg by a razor sharp shard of flint and ruined a good pair of jeans.

Oh well, we live and learn.

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Sunday, 24 October 2010

Preparing Larch/Taramack roots for use as cordage.


I needed some cordage for a project so I harvested some Larch (Larix kaempferi) roots. It is easiest to get them from mossy ground as the roots grow long and striaght and are easy to extract.

Spruce roots are also good amongst many others.

You scrape back the soil or moss and find a good root about little finger thick. Then you trace it through the ground until you have the length you desire. Cut the root neatly with a sharp knife so it has a chance to seal.

The root is closer to wire than rope in properties but are generally strong and flexible..

At this point the outer bark can be removed and the root can be dried if the root is to be used in the future. I wanted the root for immediate rough work so i didnt bother romoving the bark but did a bit for illustration purposes.

To make the bark easier to remove you can make a tool like this.The excess can be removed by washing in water. They will be creamy white and smell of resin. The bark is much easier to remove during spring and summer due to the sap flowing.

You can then split the root into halves or quarters. Which is quite simple if done slowly and practised.

A cut is made in the end of the root and it is split down the centre. You need to practice. Is it runs off you need to apply more pressure on the thicker side.

Platform trap.

I built a new trap today.

I love building primitive traps because of the ingenuity of the triggers.

I build these for fun and would never use them as it is illegal.

The trap works by introducing tension to a trigger from a bent sapling attached to the trigger stick which is vertical. The noose is also attached to the vertical.

When an animal stands on the platform the bottom bar is pressed down and the vertical trigger stick is released and is taken up by the sapling tightening the noose.

The noose is a little small here. It needs to be larger, about a foot wide.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Making a fishing float.

This afternoon I was messing around with some Pheasant berry and realiased that a fishing float could be made. I hav'nt seen this anywhere else. But it could be used with any plant which has air tight chambers and is light and strong, Like Bamboo. Dont have that here is belfast though.

Trim down to size making sure there is 1 airtight chamber left.

Scarpe bark off one end to make it stand out in water.

Make a hole in both side of 1 end. do not puncture airtight chamber in middle.

I stuck a flower in top for better visability. and glued it in with pine resin.

A pebble glued in base.

A useful float which takes 5 minutes.

Glass arrow head


I was wandering through the woods as usual today and found a thick glass bottle bottom.

I had a go at knapping an arrow head/ sprear head and this is what i ended up with. All I used was a small hammer.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Fat wood in northen ireland

Fatwood as it is called in other parts of the world can be found within northen ireland.

As I was wondering through some woods in south Belfast I caught wiff of pine resin nearby.

There was a standing austrian pine stem in the later stages of decay.

The smell of resin was nearly over powering. The wood which is partially decayed is punk wood which smoulders nicely and for a long time.

The wood strips that are near old knots show little decay because they are packed with resin. You can tell by the smell too.

Get a dry piece and it will light without any preperation.

The red, dead pine needles are also very good.

You can gather some needles and lace them with fat wood and then bind it with somme dry bark to create a great little tinder bundle.

Good stuff.
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Monday, 18 October 2010

Woodburn Carrickfergus clear fell

There has been an outbreak of Phytophthora ramorumin my local forest and the forestry commission has felled a large amount of Larch in an effort to stem the spread of the disease. I have my own opinions on this action but I will keep it to myself.

Its a shame to see such a nice resource removed overnight.

There today gone tomorrow

Friday, 15 October 2010

Building a debris shelter

I was out in the woods today and decided to build a debris shelter with nothing but my hands.

The thing about making anything or doing any skill within bushcraft is that experience is the best teacher.
I bet when you actually build something that looks so easy in the book you will be suprised at the challenges and problems you will discover and feel the self fulfilment of over coming them.

Clear the ground

Place two strong sticks to form an arch.

Add ridge pole. make sure it is 2 foot or so longer than your body

Add sticks as densely as possible

Start adding leaf litter. at least 30cm. I did one side first for illustration purposes.

do other side.

add loads of debris. As thick as possible. When you think you have enough then add more. Effort means warmth.

A good deapth of debris on the hut.

add more branches to keep the debris in place. Add debris to the inside as deep as possible. Place debris at entrance for when you go in you can drag it over to block door. These shelters are very warm if built correctly plus they warm you up building them too.