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...
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
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
There was a time when Britannia accidentally ruled the world through commerce... Other European nations partook of the colonization of vulnerable lands with massive resources as well, tying the world together, for good or ill, and shaping the modern world as we know it. It was common for young men to begin their careers by … Continue reading Colony Exports
The heart and soul of a trail camp.
On the Subject of Beer: "Little children, that do not work, should not have beer." William Cobbett, Cottage Economy 1833 (25). I guess we need to put 'em to work then. How things have changed in 180 years!
"And, pray, what can be pleasanter to behold? Talk, indeed, of your pantomimes and gaudy shows; your processions and installations and coronations! Give me, for a beautiful sight, a neat and smart woman, heating her oven and setting in her bread! And, if the bustle does make the sign of labour glisten on her brow, … Continue reading Pleasant to Behold
For brick and mortar breed filth and crime, With a pulse of evil that throbs and beats; And men are withered before their prime By the curse paved in with the lanes and streets. And lungs are poisoned and shoulders bowed, In the smothering reek of mill and mine; And death stalks in on the … Continue reading Why Woodcraft?
I have always liked this image. It speaks to me... From the description of the Walters Art Museum: "In this work, the artist depicts the figure in such a way that most of his face is obscured, creating a sense of mystery. Everything we know about the character of this man is expressed though his … Continue reading Present Mood, Introspective
A painting by the Scottish artist John Burr (1831-1893). Tinkers were originally tinsmiths or "tinners". One of many itinerant jobs pursued by a class of casual laborers. These were mostly skilled and specialized crafts like basket making, shoe repair, leather work, and metal work but many poorer workers were migrant farm labor picking hops and … Continue reading “The Travelling Tinker” by John Burr
"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch … Continue reading A Powerful and Simple Philosophy for a Good Life
I really love this illustration from one of my favorite authors, Mark Twain. An image of his mind while recounting his many adventures on the road and playing the self-critical and self-deprecating American. This is how my thoughts appear to me much of the time.
As usual with internet information, captions and data are suspect at best. However, this is a great image of Romani on the road so let's just go with it. At first glance, it looks almost like a scene from the American west in the 19th century. It reminds me of early sheep camp images from … Continue reading Romani in Switzerland ca. 1890?
Here's another look at an image I posted quite a while ago. I really like this photo. These Scottish Travellers give a glimpse of some less-than-stereotypical living waggons (sic). Very few wanderers could afford the classic Dunton Reading wagon but made do with more affordable accommodations; possibly even owner-built. All three of the caravans pictured … Continue reading Another Look
I have no information about this image as it was one of those random internet finds. The gear looks to be from about the turn of the 19th-20th Century and supplies the basics for an American or Canadian outdoorsman. This would all apply to Mexico as well but as it's not written in Spanish I … Continue reading More Classic Camp Gear from the American West
Are you aware, gentle reader, that the bicycle is closely associated with women's liberation, the suffragettes, and other forms of late 19th century promiscuity and other offensive behaviors among the fair sex? Or that a truly rideable modern velocipede machine post-dates practical flying machines? Warning - a little tasteful nudity ahead. Bicycling was the final … Continue reading Have a Look at the Racy “Waverley Belle” Velocipede
Zenana- def. The place where the ladies reside. Origin: Urdu. Yesterday I posted this cabinet card image found on Tumblr and asked for help in identifying the style. Crowd-sourcing research on the blog certainly works. "KB" responded with enough key words that a quick image search revealed the nature of this carriage. Often called a … Continue reading Zenana Carriages, a minor mystery solved
I discovered this cabinet card on http://joshuafountain.tumblr.com/. Wedding? Circus? Festival? It certainly is some sort of novelty. Maybe some kitschy ideas to spice up my own ride.