maanantai 29. lokakuuta 2012

2nd HIF Photo Contest...my take :)

Hendrik is having a cool thing going on in his Hiking In Finland blog, all about fire and photos, and the winner gets Swedish FireKnife.

You still have time to participate, click !


i my self, i dont have any dslr quality pics nor that required Flickr account so i giess that am not in the game but in any case, this would be my picture that id throw in.




This was taken at summer 2012 BcFin fishing meeting, when all the others were already sleeping and me and my buddy werent sleepy at all, so we had a good chat, in our strange loue shelter, facing the fire that was reflecting its light as well as warmth in the shelter, and nothing beats a late nite supper like roasted campifire sausage, flushed down with some Jaloviina.

sunnuntai 28. lokakuuta 2012

Winters here...and i wish it wont melt away soon.

Heres just a snapshot of my kota shelter, after two days of permanent minus Celsius temps and light snow falling...i spent one night in there.no blankets,no sleeping bags or specific winter clothing..as a part of BcFin skill test thingy...but i really wont call this overnighter extreme or anything as large fire and pile of spruce bough makes it a piece of cake..it has now been 4 days in a row, subzero, from minus 3c to minus 10c and everyday a tiny layer of snow has fallen all over the place. Man i am glad, i jus love winter over summer.





perjantai 19. lokakuuta 2012

Lost a dog.

This has been such a shitty week.

My old dog, that we adopted from Estonia, got very weak and sick in a blink of an eye, like in a week...

He suddenly lost a few kilos of weight, went a little unfocused and dizzy here and then, eat in some day and did not in the other, we noticed this like a week ago, that somethings not just right now, and called a time for a doctor,  but they did not have time immediately to check up his condition, so we could only give him the food that he wanted to eat, lots of time to sleep when he wanted, as well as took him ut when ever he felt like going for a short stroll, and every day the walks were shorter, but he still wanted to go out, to sit at the bench at the shore and such.

                                          .  . .its not even a month ago, when Roi was feeling all went and active, and we held strong rain, under a tree while scouting some forest and picking up mushrooms along the grouse hunting.


 It really suck to notice that your loyal companion is sick and theres so little you can do to ease his living. Offcourse i could have shot him, but we decided to give him a chance but i had this feeling, that the old furry friend is going to the final. He was born 1997, and mistreated, malnutritioned, chained to the factory gate, abandoned, adopted and then again abandoned after the granny who tried to care after him, died, and then he was taken to the dog shelter, from which we got him and promised him, as well as to the people who ran the dog adopting thing , to give him the best life we ever could, till the day he passes away, just like we did with our previous old dog. We always took him with us, everywhere we went if possible, and had good friend who always came to us, to look after our dog if we simply could not take him with us, or we drove him to our buddy,to be cared after. For that we are grateful, because its always a bit problematic, to trust your own dog to others, but we we´ve had this luck. The guy who has been our dag watch, also was present when we finally arrived to the vet, and i was kind of taken, when our dog, after receiving the first, calming injection, turned towards us, sat, and gave his paw, to me and to my buddy. I cant say, for what he gave his paw, was it to thank, was it to say that he´s sorry, or for anything but it always was nice gesture when he was in good shape. Then he collapsed towards me, and i could lift him up to the table, and he fell asleep for the las time in his life.

You gave the last paw shae and then you just slept away, died. And i can only wish that it was a lot painless solution, than trying to heal you with medications and surgeries, or by shooting you, which i wanted to avoid at any cause.


 Yes, you may think that this is again some sentimental bullshit, as said the people who offered to shoot the dog if i could not. I have show two of my gods and it always sucks so much, yet i know it also can be seen as the last service, to your trusty old dog, especially in emergency situation, to make end of dogs pain if hes injured or anything that cant be dealed by doc immediately. This time, the doctor said that the dog was so old, and he said that in his intestines, we might hide a cancer or tumor, as he noticed a stiff quite big thing in our buddys stomach area, in spleen to be exact and he thought that surgery might not go well as the dog is at his old days and he would propably never heal well, so we decided to make an end of his pains and to say goodbye to him. I am pretty glad that i am writing this in english as it its much easier to type this than to write in  my native language, i noticed. Well, anyways, i am happy because that i had several days alone with my dog, and we walked to the beach few times a day, and i was there to help my gods life, giving him painkillers, and feeding him and such, as i wasnt doing any daily job, so we ahd all the time together. But it was also sad to see his condition going back and forth hour after hour, day after day and to hear his heavy, faster breath that got better only when he fell asleep. In our home, dogs can sleep in our bed if they want to, so we hear and notice things like breath while sleeping, quite well among other things and changes going on in our pets.

Anyways, at wednesday, we drove to the forest, where my kota shelter is and i set a fire in it, and took a blanket roll there, as my dog liked to take a nap next to the fire, at his blanket. While i was just setting the fire and it started to catch the flame, and my dog was checking his perimeters (he sure had one there, atleast in his imagination and i dont have a thing against that thouht especially now), he crawled in at some point, and came to sit on my lap and then just fell asleep.

                                         Last time at the campfire, sadly. Still, i am glad that we had it.

Pretty nice time. He then woked after some 20 minutes or so, and went to his blanket and as he fell asleep again, i went out and dug a grave just a few meters from the kota, as i had this bad feeling of grave being needed, and it was needed, yesterday, when our buddy was put asleep for the last time, and we drove back, from the vet, to the forest, where we buried him. In next few days, when i have time, we´ll be carrying more stones and sand and such to make his final place of rest, better as well as to respect his life that he shared with us. I like to make graves visible places, i dont know that if i do it for myself or for the dog, but i sure think that a clear, well made and mainained grave also tells that the dead animal in the grave was important part of our life, not just something that was killed and forgotten. We dont have kids, nor ever will have, so maybe it changes the way we look upon our pets, who knows. I am glad that before we took the trip, that was to be the final one, to the vet, i gave my buddy pieces of his favourite ham as well as a piece of chocolate, that he wanted, yet i knew it wasnt good for him anyway. But, i know that when i took a 30 minute nap, after this small last meal, and he snoored next to me, he was calm and i think he wasnt on great pain and then, soon after it, like in an hour after our nap, he has gone and felt none pain no more. We buried Roi along wrapped inside his own favourite blanket and toy , between thick layers of spruce boughs.

So, goodbye Roi the dog, thank you for that final paw shake and i hope that we gave you a better  life worth living it with us, no matter how short the time together was as it was for about 2 years. Hell, even our cats that you sometimes were bothered by,  are looking for you and smelling your collar.


 
                                          "Lähen nyt mie yksin metsälle, Uroista ulkotöille
                                              Tapiolan tietä myöten, Tapion talojen kautta"
                                                    
                                                    1997 -  18 / 10 /2012.
                                                         You´ll be missed.



People, they often say that mans best friend is his dog, but men also should treat their dogs as their best friends as well. Same goes for every pet owner from cats to horses and everything between.

keskiviikko 3. lokakuuta 2012

Simple restoration of Marttiini leuku.

Heres a  few pictures of the Marttiini´s leuku that i wrote about, a few days ago. So far, ive understood that its propably from year 1967, give or take 2 years, but most likely my dad received it as a gift from his dad and uncle at that year, since they thought that it would be more than needed and suitable outdoors gear for my father who was a scout back then.



The leuku had a tiny tiny compass when it left the factory, just as i remembered. But last time that i saw the leuku as a kid, in early 80´s, it still had the compass, and now i know that it was broken already at that time. When tis knife arrived to me few days ago, it didnt have even the remains of the compass anymore, as it had fallen off, when the soldering that held the compass sunken in the butt cap, had cracked.



 Who know where the compass is now, propably my grandfather had dropped it in the forest of something. Anyways, there was only the hole for the compass left. My grandpa had put in the place, a tiny red plastic cap upside down, held i place with stubby small wood screw, yanked in to the lead in the handle. "whatever works" attitude i guess.





Well, as i figured out that i´d like to do a small restoration to the knife, before i decide, whether id keep it as a user, or put it in my treasurebox with all the other old things with sentimental value, i started to put the knife in pieces. After removing the beaten buttcap, i had to use all sorts of minidrill bits to grind away the lead inside the handle. You see, its actually pretty clever old school method to lock in the tang this way especially in my leuku´s case, as it does not have a fully protruding tang, as it had the sunken compass in the handle. The tangs hole, is circular, about 11 millimeter diameter, and it goes do depth of about 30 millimeters, and there it joints, to the tapered shape hole, that comes from the blades end of the handle. And when you first assemble the bolster / ferrule to the handle, then you press in the blade.



 In the end of tang, theres a few notches, that reach to the drilled circular hole, and when the blade in its place, you turn the knife upwards, tip down, and pour in the lead, that runs all the way to the tang, locking itself to both , the handle material, as well as the notched area of the tang.



 Its actually one hellova rigid and durable as the lead wont crack easily at all and sure takes an effort to remove the blade, the lead keeps it in the handle like a chewing gum in your hair.



Well after grinding, i finally could pull out the well seated blade off the handle. I was very keen to see how the wood had managed to exist under the ferrule, and it was pretty ok, although the ferrule was loose. In older days, the glues werent like they are now, and hey, this knife is already relatively old no matter how you look at it, so it wasnt surprising that parts are letting loose, since this was once a user, owned by persons who didnt give much mercy to any of their knives. You figure out this, when you see old marks of hammering, in the buttcap and once the point of tip, had cracked so the blade is like 5 millimeter shorter than originally etc.






By removing parts from each other, i had much better chance to fix the knife and make sure that the tang is still in one piece, and also to make sure that all the parts would be then put back in reliable way. I could have easily just grind away the clear coat of the handle and sand the metal parts to make it look good, just as i could inject a tiny drip of epoxy to remove the rattes caused by loose ferrule ad butt cap. But as i was interested to learn the way of how the tag was held in place by factory, i wanted to go this way.



I have seen a good few similar old leukus from Marttiini, in few sizes and with carbon steel blades, about same age, and i have to say, that only one of em all had a cracked tang and i think, it was not about the quality of material nor the build, as they had been beaten, batoned, with wood and hammers, etc, and i see it as a damage caused by mistreatment. I would baton my  stick tang knives only in case of life and death or similar, not along a dayhikes and general outdoors life. Offcourse, if you have a very long ferrule, very good handle material and truely robust tang, it would be maybe a different case but ersonally, i see that kind of thing as a abuse. Any stick  tang, will get loose, and any ferrule cup will get loose in time , even if not batoned i believe..but without batoning, it might be like 10 years of use, with batoning it might be about few days only...

Oh, back to the subject.





I ground and sanded away the old marble like cracked clear coat off from the handle, and then i sanded it using 60,80,100,120 and 240 sandpapers. Its still clearly on the rough side, but its that on purpose, to give a better feel and grip, yet its not coarse by any means.




Then i started to clean the front ferrule cup, and i scratched the inside of it, to get a good surface for the epoxy to attach. Also, i used a simple polishing wheel, made from felt, with automotive chrome bumber polisher on it, to clean the visible side. I say "clean" as i only cleaned the metal parts, since in all the nicks, scratches, dings and such, lies the lifestory of this knife. Its offcourse, because this has also a sentimental value to me. If this knife would have been from anonymous stranger, i would have sanded and smoothed it out much more, and then it would have looked more like a new knife, but this was my way of doing it in this case. To leave the marks of knifes life, instead of resetting it :)





The butt cap, that had the small hole, left by missing compass, was next. I only used brass brush and felt wheel to it, so it would be clean but also show the marks of its life in it. I used a 0.2mm thin/thick brass plate piece and a very very thin small piece of moose leather, glued on top of the brass piece, to make a cover plate, to block the compass hole. If i ever find a suitable compass to the buttcap, its easy to remove the block plate and put the compass back on its place. I own one broken leuku, that would be a good donor, of butt cap, without compass hole, but then again, it would not be so unique and same knife anymore, after swithching parts from other knife.

It has a quite good tang, thats pretty beefy from the start and tapers slowly, not a straight thin stick-like tang that you sometimes see...

Then i looked the blade ,and washed it, then used a #1000 sand paper to give it a hint of  better, even look. All the marks of its life are still there though , and if i would have started to sand the blade all the way, it would have been enormous task to make it like a new, and in the process i bet i would have ruined the old etched decortions as well. then i sharpened it a bit, and smoothed out the spine, so it does not have so strong hammer batoning marks anymore, and also....it now has sharper edges, the spine, to be used for scraping and firesteel use if i get tempted to use this knife.

Then i used slowly drying epoxy, to glue the front ferrule in its place, and smeared the epoxy in to the tang, and yanked them in their place . After they dried, i melted shotgun ammo lead, and poured it, in to the handle so that it would swim around the tangs notches and lock it in its place as it was originally done.



Then i only put back in, the the butt cap with it new hole covering plate gimmick, let it all settle and dry ad after a good while, i started to brush the wood oil to the handle, time after time and when it stopped to suck in the oil, i rubbed away the excess oil, let it be for a few hours and then rubbed in some hard bees wax, that i slightly warmed, and rubbed & polished with an old wool sock. How sophisticated and dedicated tools !





Now, i know that the tang is ok, not broken ,just as i know that the tang is well attached and in its place as well as i know that the ferrule is well and snugly fitting, fixed in its place as is the buttcap too. So i think that i can somewhat trust the knifes build again and if theres something going wrong, its my fault and due to my own job with the knives restoration.

The sheath was pretty ok, for its age. The belt loop is perfectly fine and i sunk in a lot of leather oil to it to keep it all healthy, and i rubbed the sheath with beeswax too, after it was througly oiled with leather oil. One nice old detail in the sheath was that t has a wooden liner, made out of some wet molded (?) plywood, instead of any type of plastic. The fishtail, seems to wear i all sheaths of these leukus, at this age. Mine is still somewhat intact but very worn and if it drops away, then it drops, but i sure wont cut it off, time will, if anyone.













Oh boy.... this knife sure takes me down the memory lane, to the days when i was kid and life was all about reading the first Woodchucks guide books ever seen in Finland,making bows and arrows, playing with your first knives and stealing your dads matches for  making campfire with your buddies...

Well thats about it for now  i have been enjoying the time while studying the build of this leuku, and giving it some some more days to exist.

P.S

..this wont be the last of its kind in my possession ;)


maanantai 24. syyskuuta 2012

Leuku of my father,and his father.

At first, sorry for the weak picture. But its the best i have in my hands right at the moment.

Every year, i have mentioned my fathers old leuku while we´ve had been over the phone, like in every chat over these last 12 years or so. Today, about 30 mins ago, i received an multimedia message to my phone from him and i was what the heck....and when i got it open i was like what the hell. He had  all of the sudden gone  through his boxes and carage and while doinf that, came across this old leuku. Its the frigging same that i always wanted from him when i was  kid. For what i can remember, my grandfather owned this first, and gave it to my dad as a birthday present when he was teenager or under 20 for sure. At some point, the leuku found its way back to my grampas possession to serve as his hiking knife, during tenths of trips around the eastern and northern Finand, just as it did on my dads belt as well. Well in any case, last years this leuku just serves as memorabilia, in my grandpas trailer, as he had a stable summer place where they lived in the trailer for some 20 summers with my grandmom. The leuku just hanged from a hook along with other decorative stuff and they never gave it to me....well i was justa tiny kid back then, 10 years or so, maybe 12.....24 years ago maybe. When my grandpa died couple of years ago, the leuku was given back to my dad and he didnt use it ever. He liked it but hes old man and settle s for small puukkos in his fishing and camping trips, which he still seems to like, and i dont wonder as he had a loooooong life in the scouts,all the way from puppy to instructor / leader and i think i went to scouts myself, automatically, kind of, as he had been there for ages, as well as my grandfather. Oh anyways, i am soooo glad to see that the leuku made it to these days, and in that poor quality pic, it seems to be doing pretty fine , and still its used as all around knife once. Maybe it has survived in decent condition because it was turned in to more decorative item, so long ago, so it has rested for over 20 years in warm dry conditions. If i really remember right, and i am remembering the same exact knife, this leuku might have a small brass compass sunken in its butt plate. Hopefully i remember right, as as a kid, i remember, that some of the knives either my grandpa or my dad had, had a brass butt cap, with tiny compass. Well....even if it has, its pretty sure that its broken after all these years, as welll as the fact that it was a everyday user before it got retired. If it has the compass, i want to contact to the factory that made it, and ask for the manufacturing year and such.

Well...rigth now, i donno, should i keep using this after doing the repairs that have to be made, since id like to restore this, instead of raping it with any creepy mods like tearing off the fishtail of its sheath..one mod that i dont understand with leukus that originally had often the fishtail, that also has and still has a function. The only mod i think ill be seeing reasonable, is to remove all the clear finish off from the handle, as it would only do good to the handle and offer a good grip.

I dont have yet, a slightes clue about the age of the knife but i do know that it was clearly looked as an old knife, at early 80´s, and that it had served for very long time before eighties. Maybe its from early seventies, as it would fit to the age of my dad when he received it.

Well, as this old leuku arrives to me, ill be taking more pics and telling about it. Yes, i do know that its "just a factory made leuku", but back in those days, even the tourist leukus werent so bad as some are nowadays....shiny blade that attaches to magnet is also a good detail ;).

keskiviikko 5. syyskuuta 2012

Hows it going here.

Well, like this..



I made small simple coffeepouch, in style of canoe bags, from cow & moose leather and pitch thread.


And went to participate Bshcraft Finland´s meeting in which we concentrated of wild edibles of early fall.  It was one good meeting with small crowd, i could only stay there for one night, others ,except for OzMe were there for 2 nights. It kept raining almost all the time, but it was all good, as they say. The next wild edibles-meeting will be one, to which you wont be allowed to bring any real food with you.I think the meet-ups are the best damn thing in BcFin.




























And then ive been doing a bit of small jobs to the kota-shelter. I took in a few necessities, canteen, firesteel, cheap Hultafors puukko, pot and pan, and few plastic kuksas to drink from. Maybe during next week ill have the time to finish the fire ring that i dug out, with stones surrounding it, and sleep in the kota  over night/s as well.