Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Go Learn Something Cool to Do!

Great Blogs you are sure to enjoy!
© 2011 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles

If you have knowledge, let others light their candles at it.
Margaret Fuller (1810 - 1850)
Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must first set yourself on fire.
Fred Shero
The preceding phrase, "You must first set yourself on fire." is a metaphor, and not to be taken literally.
Albert A Rasch

I've been putting off this particular writing assignment, not because I didn't want to do it, but because I wanted to make sure I did these sites justice. These blogs and websites are particularly good at doing something that I really appreciate, and that is, the sharing of knowledge and information. I especially like hands-on tutorials and real, live demos. When it comes right down to it, there is nothing like an explanation with pictures to really get you to understand what is going on!

First on the list is Bygone Country Skills. I originally found Antoni "Toni" Ross' site through a video posted by our fellow fellow blogger, The Suburban Bushwacker. As many of you know, SBW has more than a passing interest in outdoor and traditional skills.

In his introduction Toni says, "This site is intended to inform, educate and entertain those who believe that traditional skills are worth preserving." He further goes on to say, " is my aim to pass on my skills and preserve our heritage..." To this end he has made himself available for demonstrations at schools, scouting events, and holds one and two day workshops at his... well... workshop, where he shares his skills for a very nominal fee.

Toni only uses hand and human powered tools to produce very beautiful and practical implements for daily use. These items can also be commissioned from him, which is how he makes his living. See some of them here.

It's the videos that I really like. There is enough information on them for a reasonably handy and inquisitive person to learn from. Observe first if you please, this demonstration : Carving A Wooden Ladle. Notice how Toni deftly reduces a chunk of wood with a hatchet, and then refines it with a crook knife or hoof knife and a straight bladed knife. If I thought I wouldn't lose a thumb, I might try it myself! Check out the finished product; it is beautiful!

Think about this for a minute. You go to the nearest Walmart and get a plastic ladle. It costs you next to nothing. You use it, toss it in the dishwasher. Done.

How about instead, you set aside a few dollars, pounds, or euros, and you order one from Toni. The anticipation of its arrival is just like waiting for a gift. It arrives, you eagerly tear open the packaging, and you marvel at the craftsmanship. Now every time you use it, you think about the craftsman, Toni, eyeing that just right piece of wood, and then carving your ladle out of it. That makes for a far more satisfying time in the kitchen!

Next is a Shrink Pot. Notice how Toni selects the wood, then augers the hole in the wood. That creaking noise is the sharp auger pulling itself through the wood. Then he removes the bark with a draw knife. Believe me it is sharp, but it won't cut on striking his chest. Run it down your leg though, and that might be a different story. Next he cuts a shelf in the body for the bottom, splits another piece of dry wood for the bottom, thins and flattens it, and cuts it to shape for installation. As the wooden body dries, it will shrink against the already dry disc of wood, thereby making a secure bottom.

Toni has many other marvelous and well done demonstrations. Check out his video page! Many of these projects are done with relatively common handtools. Oh, and by the way, Toni has great taste in music!

The second site I would like to mention is Stormdrane's Blog. Stormdrane likes to tie knots. He takes line and makes knots until the line is something far greater than just a line!

I've owned Ashley's Book of Knots for well over thirty years, and I have on occasion used it for some project or another. The lanyard on my Swiss Army knife is one I made who knows how long ago. I've got a sap I made out of a three ounce egg sinker too.

I'm not sure how I found Stormdrane's Blog, (probably SBW) but his work has motivated me to try a little knotwork myself. He has some great tutorials, and an excellent list of links. Another thing I like about him is that he answers your question! And answers them well. All of his projects are doable with little more than some cordage and a knife. For those of you with limited shop space, this is a great activity. You may have noticed a bracelet I wear woven out of Paracord/550. Learned it from Storm Drane.

Last I want to mention my good friend Todd at the Primitive Point. As some of you have undoubtedly heard before, Todd got me into blogging. Todd is a bladesmith and works strictly with salvaged metal. He writes well and has put together some videos. It was very well done, and I keep on harassing him to produce more!

Besides his metal working skills, he keeps some goats, and bakes bread.

Folks, I hope y'all will stop by and visit my friends. Give them a few minutes of your time and you just might learn something new!

Best Regards,
Albert A Rasch
Member: Shindand Tent Club
Member: Hunting Sportsmen of the United States HSUS (Let 'em sue me.)
The Hunt Continues...

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles, Albert A Rasch, Hunting in Florida


CZLion said...

Thanks for the links - was happy to find Old Jimbo's site. I lost track of him.

JW (SFC, Retired)

Albert A Rasch said...

No worries my friend!

Thanks for your service!

Murphyfish said...

Thanks for the links Albert

LB @ Bullets And Biscuits said...

Thanks for pointing these blogs out....never heard of either one of them. I especially can't wait to dig into the Bygone Country Skills blog. That sounds right up my alley!

The Writing Huntress said...

Awesome blogs and I am so in love with your new background. Hope all is well, bud!



Diggity Dog said...

Also remember to let nature do some of the work for you. Instead of carving some primitive(but essential) tools you can grow gourds that will fit the bill. For example, I'm growing a dipper gourd plant this year. It will yield many more dippers than I need, but I know I've got a ton of Christmas presents to paint and give to family this winter!