Here are a couple of photos of the one I still think of as the "new horse." It is made up of mostly recycled and scrap wood that I was hoarding for just such a project. More than ten years later, I am still quite happy with the size and design of this one. It … Continue reading My Favorite Working Pony
Here is an update on one of my favorite throwers. It was created one morning from a scrap of Osage Orange wood from the bow-making pile. The finger loops are rawhide. The style is a generalized Basketmaker/Great Basin but is probably a bit heavier than some of the originals as I throw darts that are … Continue reading Basketmaker Style Spearthrower 13 Years On
Carpenters at work. Wood is certainly one of man's oldest durable building materials. "The man who, by his own and his family's labour can provide a sufficiency of food and raiment, and a comfortable dwelling-place, is not a poor man." From: Cottage Economy, William Cobbett 1833.
The great Philosophers have long thought about how to live a good life; good not only for ourselves but for the betterment of others and the world around us. One of the tenets of the Buddhist Eight-Fold Path is the concept of Right Living. I think this would have been far easier and less complex … Continue reading Thoughts About “Right Living”
When setting up shop it is important to set your tools and surfaces to the optimal working height. Here is some advice for setting up your mechanic's vise for best use. Now, get to work...
I hope these become treasured heirlooms as they live their life.
I think of this type of bag as a forager bag, mainly because it is the type I carried in the late 80s while working on a High Adventure summer program teaching outdoor skills. It's really just a classic shooting bag; the type that could be found just about anywhere in North America or Europe … Continue reading Hunter’s Pouch
These have been my most popular item over the years but they are fairly time-consuming to make. They also use a lot of leather and generally a fair bit of hardware, especially if the strap is leather with a buckle. However, they are a lifetime investment and have made quite a few people very happy … Continue reading Possibles Bag
Dare Might Things... “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt, The Strenuous Life, 1899.
Freezing cold temperatures for weeks on end and no pressing chores with this old house gave me a chance to cut out a dozen new projects. Now, just a bit of trimming, stitching, lacing, riveting, and wet-moulding to make these into some useful heirlooms.
“The truly sociable man is more difficult in his relationships than others; those which consist only in false appearances cannot suit him. He prefers to live far from wicked men without thinking about them, than to see them and hate them.” — Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Dialogues "Naturalistic Philosopher (28 June 1712 - 2 July 1778), steel … Continue reading Avoiding Hate
Images from Mendel, A.D. 1425. I'm dedicating the next few weeks to my small leatherwork business. When I'm making things with my hands and simple tools, I feel a real connection with our ancestors. It's nice to get lost in the projects and learn new techniques along the way. When I'm away from this portion … Continue reading Leatherwork is Timeless
I'm calling this one the Ranger Bag - It takes a lot of work to prototype a new bag design. To get just the right shape and proportion, find the right materials, and choose the appropriate construction technique is a big deal; especially if it's going to be done well. I wanted something that looked … Continue reading Prototyping a New Belt Pouch
Before the cold weather came we were able to escape to one of my favorite places in the world. A little hidden corner of the Ozarks that has many fond memories for me. Kyly the wonder dog got some much needed wilderness time as well. Of course, she always needs to be first down the … Continue reading A Much Needed Walk in the Woods
Sometimes it's nice to have the security of a bag strapped closely to the body and not swinging around your neck and shoulders. This little 9 x 5 x 2 inch design has done quite well over the past year and has been a popular seller in the shop. Made from 7 oz. veg-tanned leather … Continue reading Small Possibles Bag for the Belt
This will be the last one for a while as I have other projects in the hopper. Two-toned 7 oz. leather. The complete kit will get you started and, if frugal, can start several fires. The strikers are custom made by my friend Eric at Colonial Iron. A bundle of juniper bark and ample charred … Continue reading Flint and Steel
“About going where he likes, for instance? Are there not certain laws of the road that forbid the tarrying by the way of caravan folks, for a longer period than that necessary to water and feed a horse or look at his feet? By night, again, he may spy a delightfully retired common, with nothing … Continue reading Ode to the Wanderer, the First Land Yacht
I like to add a little character and variety, even if I'm just making the same thing again and again. I want to believe that this is what my ancestors would have done, toiling away in the craft to make a living. It keeps things interesting and more human than the soulless, mass-produced consumables. Here's … Continue reading Catching Up
On this day before the coming Burns Night where we celebrate the Bard in virtual lockdown I invite you to pull up a chair, pour a tall drink of something potent, and enjoy a few poems from the master of Scottish vernacular. This evening, I strongly recommend you find a copy of Tam O'Shanter and … Continue reading Burns Night, a Dirge
I decided that my kit bags, although nearly perfect for their function, could use a little more room. Outdoorsmen and women can never have too many nooks and crannies about themselves to store little necessities. With this in mind, I have made the bellows sides bigger to accommodate about an inch in thickness. It might … Continue reading Improving on a Design