Another Bucksaw on the Loose

I am stunned to hear from several recent misguided enthusiasts to the gentle art of wilderness skills that their new hobby costs them so much money... I guess even our low-tech approach to life can be marketed and sold to the right customer with our ingrained need for newer, quicker, and "approved" gear. Let's hope … Continue reading Another Bucksaw on the Loose

Gourd Bottom Bags and More

Stacey has been adding her art to the shop lately so I wanted to give her a bit of a promotion here on the blog.  Among other things, she produces meticulous and beautiful art, beaded bags, earrings, and fiber arts.  Here are her latest additions to the shop. The smaller bag on the left is … Continue reading Gourd Bottom Bags and More

Bike Trekker – Allen Hastings Fry

Despite how much I like this photo, I have held off posting this image here because I couldn't find any attribution or further information about this gentleman and his fine bicycle.  I came across it several years ago and stuck it in my image files until I could find out more; alas, I have not. … Continue reading Bike Trekker – Allen Hastings Fry

“The Travelling Tinker” by John Burr

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

Making a Stitching Pony; Video Tutorial

Stitching Pony, Leather Worker's Clamp, or Saddler's Clam... Whatever you call it, it is a handy device to own if you sew any leather.  These are simple devices that just about anyone can make with little time or money invested.  Although there are many varieties and models, the one shown in this tutorial by Harry … Continue reading Making a Stitching Pony; Video Tutorial

Pump Drills

In preparation for summer teaching I recently spent some time making a couple new pump drills for demonstrations and hands-on activities.  While some modern tools were used in the production, these are entirely hand-made with no purchased parts or plans.  As I have only made two of these previously I spent a little time perusing … Continue reading Pump Drills

How to Build an Earthen Oven — Savoring the Past

https://www.youtube.com/embed/i0foHjPVbP4?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent The existence of ovens like this is easily documented for the 18th century. In fact, just about every ancient culture had a very similar oven. There’s one particular wood cut illustration from medieval times depicting an earthen oven built on a wagon. There are references in 18th century literature and also archaeological evidence that … Continue reading How to Build an Earthen Oven — Savoring the Past

Documenting a Foot-Powered Treadle Lathe

From the YouTube channel, Chop With Chris where he does "amazing woodworking projects with no power tools."  At last count, he has 19 "how to" videos available and a slew of other good things on his YouTube channel. From his "About" Page: "I play in that weird intersection of woodworking and music! A few years … Continue reading Documenting a Foot-Powered Treadle Lathe

Sibley Tent, an Early Review

A tent has been invented by Major H. H. Sibley, of the army, which is known as the “Sibley tent.” It is somewhat similar to the Comanche lodge, but in place of the conical frame-work of poles it has but one upright standard, resting upon an iron tripod in the centre. The tripod can be … Continue reading Sibley Tent, an Early Review

Ancient Dutch Ovens and the Ceramic Hibachi

"A good meal ought to begin with hunger." French Proverb. All animals need to eat.  All the time.  As humans, we eat every day if we are lucky.  An average Westerner will have about 275,000 meals in a lifetime, not including snacks, munchies, and other nibbles.  Once upon a time, we all caught, gathered, and … Continue reading Ancient Dutch Ovens and the Ceramic Hibachi

Maya Pedal, upcycling bicycles in Guatemala

An excellent project and a good cause. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2agir3xepuQ From the Makers: In 1997, in San Andrés Itzapa in Guatemala, Maya Pedal Association began recycling scraps of bicycles into Bicimáquinas. Bicimáquinas are pedal-powered blenders, washing machines and threshing machines, eliminating the need for fuel and electricity. Pumps are also possible, and are capable of extracting 30 … Continue reading Maya Pedal, upcycling bicycles in Guatemala