Saturday, May 1, 2010

Saturday Blog Rodeo 05/01/10

© 2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
$g&m f9bd 45kd q!?5.
Saturday Blog Rodeo 04/3/10

Well, here is another Saturday and it is time for another Rodeo!

As usual, I've picked out posts that I especially enjoyed this past week from the hundreds of blogs I follow. Remember if you bump into a post you especially like, drop me a note and I'll include it in the Rodeo. You can even feel free to copy this whole post and run it on your own blog; always nice to give a little link love to our fellow bloggers!

I don't usually highlight any blogs that are commercially affiliated, but this week I make an exceptions. The reason is that this blogs isn't necessarily plugging the businesses they are in. Yes they occasionally discuss what they do, but the information is substantially informative and worth considering!

First up is Muzzleloader/Scurlock Publishing Blog. I recently found Bill Scurlock's blog while researching Powder Horns. Bill is the publisher of Muzzleloader Magazine, and more books on early American and frontier history than I can reasonably get an excuse to buy! (As a matter of fact, you can look forward to some reviews on their books.) There's a lot of wonderful pictures and information on his blog. If you are into muzzleloading and black powder, this is a great site to visit regularly.

The Suburban Bushwacker has introduced us to several Dog-centric blogs this week. His post Dog Blokes, Dog Blogs has several really good blogs to entertain yourself with.

Mr Hank of Hunter Angler Gardener Cook talks turkey this week, wild turkey.  Fortunately Holly (NorCalCazadora) busted a turkey this season and Mr Hank makes a half dozen different things with the dang bird. By the way, congrats on the IACP award! Now about that liver custard...

Dukkillr has his bucket list up. He is big on the DIY type of hunting and I certainly applaud him for his desire to go it alone, Mano a Mano with the environment. I've had some good fun with the bucket list, and I sure would like to see more folks writing one out too.

I love Holly. There I've admitted it. She is so awesome that even when she says naughty words I get a shiver up and down my spine, instead of my usual raised eyebrow! Once again she lays the intellectual and righteous smackdown on the press in general, HSUS in specific, and in the end gets an invite to hunt bear. How cool is that? You can find Miss Wonderful's whole enchilada at Piss, Vinegar and the Humane Society.

Here's a fellow that likes to do reenactments and historical trekking. Pit's Obsession is lightly posted, but I see potential in it if he gets a few more regular readers!

Ok, Last on the list isn't a blog. It's a commercial site with some cool stuff for the contractor you know and love. Pimps N Mercs was originally created in Camp Dublin, Baghdad Iraq in 2008. "Designed primarily for Private Military Contractors, but we have not forgotten our past or where we came from. We want to share our pride in serving the War on Terror with you." Their t-shirts are awesome, definitely not politically correct. The custom art rocks!

Remember to let me know if there is something you want me to highlight for you! And don't forget, leave a little note on folk's blogs and let them know you stop by and appreciate their work.

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

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tapered Hole Reamer: A Chronicles' Project

© 2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
$g&m f9bd 45kd q!?5.
Handmade Tapered Hole Reamer

I've been on a bit of a Chronicles' Projects tear these last few weeks. I suppose I've been trying to get quite a few things done before I ship out again.

Yesterday I needed a tool to taper and smooth a stepped hole I bored in a segment of a powder horn I am making.

I remembered seeing an auger type of tool that was used to taper the bung hole on barrels after they had been bored out.

So I grabbed a piece of oak that was originally a piece of a pallet, and a branch. I scrounged around my junk bins until I found an old hacksaw blade.

The pictures pretty much tell the rest of the story.

Piece of scrap oak in the lathe

Every time I bump into a piece of hardwood, whether a limb or dressed lumber, I grab it. You just never know when you can use it for something. This piece came from under a crate.

Turned to taper

Starting saw kerf on midline.

Turned Red Maple handles.

I turned the handles out of some branches I had in my scrap wood box. I also took the opportunity to carefully bore a hole through the top of the reamer for both handles. I turned the handle tenons just a hair larger than the hole I bored, and I also grooved them with a pointy tool so the glue would have something to lock on to.

The piece of oak had been split so I had a couple of already somewhat flat spots that I refined with a block plane. They are not exactly centered around the hole, but they suffice to allow the handle tenons to bottom out properly.

Finishing kerf.

Measuring for the hacksaw blade.
I put the blade in a vise and snapped it at the mark I had made. Then I rounded out the end of the hacksaw blade, and flattened the back with a sharp single cut file.

Blade in place.

I did have to file the back of the blade down in order to have it sit just above the edge of the kerf. After filing it down, run it over a coarse stone to straighten out the edge. Finish with a fine stone, holding the back of the blade as close to perpendicular as possible.

 The side towards the cut gets relieved.

I relieved the front of the kerf so the wood scrapings would have some where to go. It's just a small shelf, maybe an eighth of an inch deep, and at a right angle to the blade.

Reamer in use.

 Almost done.

Nicely done!

I put it right to use, and it works like a charm. Don't get me wrong, it's not a machine, so it took me a while to get the taper reamed out completely. But it sure looks pretty and when I am making something for pleasure, I am not in a hurry.

It's not centered, but because the horn curves, and you start out with a square block of wood, the initial hole doesn't always end up where you think it should. But it is centered to the previous section.

The tool itself took me about an hour and a half to make, and the majority of that was cutting the kerf. All that's left to do, is to give it a coating of linseed oil, touch up the blade, and hang it up.

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

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What Are You Doing to Help the Environment?

© 2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
$g&m f9bd 45kd q!?5.

If you were able to do one thing to help our environment and/or it's wildlife what would that one thing be?
Rick Kratzke

The environment...

What abuse we heap on it every day. Ever wonder how we manage to survive?

Rick Kratzke of Whitetail Woods asked something that we all should be contemplating consciously on a regular basis. He asked, "If you were able to do one thing to help our environment and/or it's wildlife what would that one thing be?"

What a great question. I wanted it to be something simple, doable, repeatable, practical, and shareable.

As I walk to my local Starbucks, I traverse Uelin Park and the beautiful large freshwater lake that we boat and fish in. The amount of trash strewn around isn't great, but it is enough to distract one from an otherwise idyllic view.

It struck me then, I will stop and pick up trash everyday at every opportunity!

I was already doing it. But I wasn't systematic or consistent. I would do it if it was convenient and it didn't take me too far out of my way.

Now I have made the decision that if I see it and I can get to it, I will pick it up. A plastic shopping bag doesn't take up any room in my pocket, and recycling it as a trash bag is a plus. Every piece of trash I pick up, is one less thing that may end up in the water or woods, endangering both plants and animals.

There is something else I do regularly.

I hate Brazillian Pepper trees with a passion! Every time I see a seedling I yank it out. If it's a sapling, I try to pull it out. I have gone as far as to return to my garage and grab a machete and even the hatchet, and hacked them to pieces. Invasive plant species are as bad as any other invasive, and those Pepper trees are my pet peeve!

Today's haul...

There are two pieces of PVC in that pile, those ended up in my shop, stored in a milk crate with other pieces of PVC. You never know when you might need some.

So what are you doing to help the environment?

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

Though he spends most of his time writing and keeping the world safe for democracy, Albert Rasch was actually a student of biology. Really. But after a stint as a lab tech performing repetitious and mind-numbing processes that a trained capuchin monkey could do better, he never returned to the field. Rather he became a bartender. As he once said, "Hell, I was feeding mice all sorts of concoctions. At the club I did the same thing; except I got paid a lot better, and the rats where bigger." He has followed the science of QDM for many years, and fancies himself an aficionado. If you have any questions, or just want to get more information, reach him via TheRaschOutdoorChronicles(at)MSN(dot)com.

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tool Treasures Found!

© 2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
$g&m f9bd 45kd q!?5.
And they were right by me the whole time!

Sometimes you just get lucky! I was sitting in front of my garage on a Concrete Masonry Unit, or cinder block for the uninformed, whittling and sanding away on powder horn number II. My garage neighbor, a Columbian fellow who happens to be a Viet Nam Vet, comes to chat with me often. I really like him, he's polite, talks just enough but not too much, and always brings me a bottled water.

He takes an interest in all my projects, and I believe he really enjoys watching me struggle my way through some crazy plan I have cooked up!

This weekend, like I said, I was working on Horn #II. I was scraping the inside curve when he stopped by, cold bottle of water in hand.

As he handed the bottle to me he said, "Let me show you some tools I was given some years ago. There's a plane that might be useful to you."

The tool box is a three drawer, top tray affair, hand made, and painted in oil. It's obviously older and has seen honest use.

As he opened the top tray, my eyes fell upon a cranked slick, another large slick, and a brace with an assortment of auger bits. Slicks are basically very large wood chisels used in wooden boat construction and timber frame construction. You don't see them very often. The one I own I found at a flea market and it was quite beat up. It took me a while to bring it back to its former glory.

In the trays was a small, but valuable assortment of chisels, auger bits, odd-ball tools, and several bronze pattern makers planes! Again, tools not frequently seen in your usual tool chest.

Bronze round bottom pattern makers planes.

My friend has invited me to use them any time I care to, and I definitely took him up on the offer. I gave the pattern makers planes a quick clean up, just to make them look better, and he loaned me two chisels and a turner's gouge, all of which I am going to sharpen so they are usable again. I have some old blue jean pants' legs I have been saving that will make good oil cloth. So I'll make a chisel wrap to protect them while I am at it.

Turning gouge, 3/8" gouge, hand forged fishtail gouge

I have to make a custom slip to sharpen the fish tail, and the 3/8" gouge needs to be reground and profiled. The turner's gouge just needs a quick swipe across a fine stone, and it will be fit to work with.

By the way, I researched the 3/8 gouge. It's 138 years old! The William Butcher Steel Works existed between 1867 and 1873. To think I am holding a tool that who knows how many craftsmen held, really thrills me. I hope my work can do it justice!

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

Monday, April 26, 2010

My Outdoor Adventure Bucket List

© 2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
$g&m f9bd 45kd q!?5.
Things To-Do...

Whitetail WoodsWhitetail Woods has been foremost in my mind lately. Rick has had several intriguing posts that I wanted to participate or comment on.  My Bucket List, a Goal for the Future is one of Rick's posts that I would like to see everyone participate in, just so we can see what everyones wish list might be.

I noticed that the majority of my wish list generally revolves around a few firearms and using them in specific adventures.

Probably my number one adventure wish would be to take a Cape Buffalo with my Ruger #1 in Tanzania. Preferably charging me, where my second shot drops him mere inches from my outstretched foot.  I have thought about it for years. Even as a child I dreamed of hunting in Africa, and Cape Buffalo has always been at the top of my list.
Right up there would be to hunt an elk with a Harpers Ferry 1792 pattern flintlock rifle like Captains Lewis and Clark had during their trek across the United States. Ever since I read Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose, I have wanted to trek in their footsteps and hunt where they hunted. Taking an elk with a flintlock like their's would be a dream come true!

I love to make things. My garage is a disaster waiting to happen, with scraps of metal and wood, pieces of machinery, along with assorted other odds and ends that someday may become something useful. One of these days, I intend to build an eight bore flintlock rifle. Something that the early African explorers might have carried. A no-nonsense working man's rifle; nothing fancy,  but capable of taking anything that might come my way!

Ever since I have received my American Longbow from Siegeworks I have wanted to take a whitetail deer with a long bow. The idea of working hard, and using "primitive" to take your game has always appealed to me, and is probably the reason I hunt the way I do. For me, the hunt is everything, the kill secondary. It's the adventure that counts, and shooting a long bow is part of the adventure! Sharp broadheads, a simple, light weight bow, a grass and reed blind, and you have the beginnings of a great hunt.

Some might say I am quirky. I am enamored to the 16 gauge. I suppose that since everyone else uses a 12 or a 20, I must therefore use a 10 or a 16. I would love nothing more than to hunt Wild Turkey with a Connecticut Shotgun Manufacturing RBL in 16 gauge. Even better, would be to pursue the Turkey Grand Slam with the RBL!

OK, this one is a what I would call having real fun with my friends! First I need to commision my blogging bladesmith friend Todd Hill of Primitive Point, to fashion me two sets of harpoons. Then I need to somehow get good 'ol Suburban Bushwacker stateside for a week or so. Then I have to convince SBW that my pirogue is a safe enough platform to harpoon first a shark, and then an alligator!

Harpoons: $750
Roundtrip Airfare: $1800
Look on SBW's face when surrounded by man eating sharks while standing in a flimsy plywood pirogue hundreds of yards from shore:


The romantic allure of the Double Rifle! Nothing speaks of competence and professionalism like a big bore double. Sooner or later I am going to manage getting my hands on a double rifle in 500 Nitro Express. Something that will let me know that I pulled the trigger, and let the recipient know that it got hit!

Now this one requires intestinal fortitude and two or three weeks in the Alaskan wilderness. I want to take a Brown Bear in Alaska. I want to hunt hard and range far into the interior while pursuing a magnificent specimen.I've always wanted a big bear throw for the bed.

While I am up there in the Great White North I want to fish for Salmon too. Until my arms are tired.

Well I think that about rounds out my top ten Outdoor Adventures! Here are a few more that I really would like to accomplish too.

Bonus Adventures:
Follow the whole Lewis and Clark Trail.
Eat enough Biltong to make me sick!
Build an Atl-Atl.
Hunt grouse in Scotland.
Hunt Red Deer in New Zealand.

Post your Outdoor Adventure Bucket List and let me and Rick know so we can link to it! Let's see how they are the same, and how they differ.

Bucket List List!

Rick's My Bucket List, a Goal for the Future
Emily's Bucket List
Dukkiller's Bucket List

Albert A Rasch
Member: Bagram Tent Club
Member: Hunting Sportsmen of the United States HSUS (Let 'em sue me.)
The Hunt Continues...
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles