sunnuntai 29. heinäkuuta 2012

Tar making and few misc. pics

What i am learning, is the making of tar in a pretty old the traditional Finnish way. During next week, ill be having an over nighter watching and ...well...smelling the "tar grave" smouldering and finally giving some of that black gold, made slowly and carefully, watched and taken care of, over a week, around the clock by group of approximately 20 voluntaries who are interested in old methods of the "old world" that still are worth learning and passing on, even today in this modernized busy world in which there is factories to make tar if man wants some. Well, my opinion is that learning the past, is the only way to see clearly to the future.

                                         Man, even the houses were a lot nicer and to my taste ,back then.

Ill be taking more pictures, of my overnighter and the tar grave as it changes as time goes, and at next saturday i think the making will be ending, the final drops of tar are in the wooden old barrels, and the grave with its fine charcoals...that  crave for, to get some in to my blacksmith shed, naturally...are covered to reassure that there will not be anything causing forest fires. I think ill take just some old fashion gear along with my simple tarp shelter, and have a good time.

But, heres a few shots i took.

"Ships were wooden, men were steel", is what i think !

 Can you make your own vessels for containing fish, meat, milk ? With your own hands, from wood without electric machinery ? Are you willing to travel LONG distances to buy salt, though the winter, lets say with kick-sled ? Can you make your own quilts and mats `? I can not, and i am ashamed of it a bit.

 Do you save your own tools, are they here after 50-100 years after you have passed away ? Did you use em every day, to earn your bread and milk, to heat up your selfmade log house ?
 We can ust grab our wheat and bread, from shop and microwave it and such....they could not.
  A small reminder of days when even whetstones, used for scythes and puukkos, were used all the way till they wore out,both the blades and the stones. We buy new diamond rods just like that. Weird , aint it ?
 We dont have to saw, whittle and carve our lanterns to have lights on our carages.
This was an luxury item once. Now its collectible, luckily.
 The place of cleansing, birth, healing, social gathering. Sauna, a smoke sauna, to be exact.
Luckily, i can bath in smokesaunas just as They did back in the days.
 Scythes, with manmade handles. Functional, reliable, economical, ergonomically beautiful. Compare to soul-less injected plastic
 `To keep the tools edgy. These were used till the end, and worth a lot. Some made their own stones too. We and our electric,bought sharpeners ? This is truely an item that i like, as its made to maintenance the tools that were and stilla re to many, precious and useful tools, and in their plain simple style, they represent a variety of skill levels men had. Some TAHKO´s are like jewellery, and some are very crude, but they all work, which was the point of the whole tool after all.
 Wooden tar bucket, and an " tukkinkeksi".  Bucket, was handmade, to carry handmade tar, and mayb its made from the same wood, that the wood handling hook & spike was made from too, who knows. Anyways, these also represent the importance of forest, wood material and also the crafting skills required to live mostly off the land once.
Making nets from cotton/wool material thread..... almost forgotten skill,sadly.

And heres the tar making pics that i got before batteries went surprising. I was originally going to the tar burning crew but my neck issues are making it a bit tough to kneel and move in a certain way for a while, but i am still putting up my camp next to the site and harass the crew and take pictures, who knows if i can do little bit of task too. I noticed a familiar face in the crew so i might still get a chance, no matter what the doc says :), so stay tuned, in next sunday i migth be posting more about this thing and how it went. I am also planning to fish and craft few things at the trip. Surely, i could use some company there too, but its also very nice to spend time alone too, i dont have a thing against some solitude.

The "tervakset"...... wood that contains a lot of resin....old stumps of pine, and such.

These are carefully laid in certain form to make the "tervahauta", the "tar grave" or a "miilu" as we call em often. The wood is laid on a  hard packed clay base , dug in the sandy soil, thats like funnel, that directs the tar as it starts to form, in to the hole in the bottom of the funnel.  On top of this circular shaped wood pile, is  tight cover layer of moss, clay and sometimes stuff that covers swamps. This cover has to be watched all the time, and fixed, so that the grave wont catch a huge fire.

It has to be hot and smouldering, but not in open fire, as the tar is formed by heat that squeeses, kind of, the tar out of the wooden material, between some 160 to  320 degrees.

As the tar runs through the hole, its then guided through a wooden channel, running under the grave, so that in it can be collected, from the end of this tunnel, in to the tar drums, buckets and such.

perjantai 27. heinäkuuta 2012

Wooden fork with leuku

Heres a 34 minute attempt to make a some type of a fork, from wood. I made it from birch, and with a leuku from Ilkka Seikku. Ill be crafting small things, with just few leukus, i think, to show that leukus are VERY capable tools for variety of different tasks.

maanantai 2. heinäkuuta 2012

Venture Tech Sheath Systems P.A.C.K One point One (1.1) incoming.

This summer sure keeps me busy at work, but, i am trying to get some weekends totally free to do some outdoors stuff and crafts.

Also, along few other items, i am going to offer you a review & field use review, of this very interesting new pack, that i REALLY think to fit the bills & needs of many different outdoorsmen, from Bushcrafters to hunters, and from dayhikers to UltraLight packpackers and several others. What i found immediately, when i saw the pack for the first time, as best thing of this pack was that its made to be customised, so that you dont have to pay for functions that you dont need and offers you a simple way to sew accessory pockets, buckles,straps and such in the way that YOU need to have em. Also, i dont know any other pack that comes un-dyed, un-waxed , as does this pack, so you can use your favourite tin-cloth mix, greenland wax or  anything, to treat your pack as waterproof as you want, after you have customised and dyed in the way You want it. Also, its old, vintage like appearance must be a joy for many people out there,  who like to use older looking gear, without having to break your bank to get one. Just switch the buckles to brass ones, or steel....and you have an affordable, new rugged, pack to carry your gear.

Its the clever pack from Venture Tech , named as "P.A.C.K" that comes from Personally Accessorized Canvas Knapsack

You can already read about the first 1.0 version of this pack, at Woodsmonkey.