This is the rough route. Right now I’m shooting for around 4 hours of drive time a day so I can take in the journey and not just the destination.
On 5/21/2018 I will be traveling from my home in North Carolina to Fairbanks Alaska and then on to Prudhoe Bay and the Arctic Circle.
Growing up my dad talked about how beautiful (and cold) Alaska is and I’ve see numerous pictures and documentaries over the years on Alaska and a combination of those things has had this trip in my mind for several years.
This part is still very much in flux. More updates as I make them!
Why Are You Telling Us About Something That Is Happening 2 Years From Now?!
Well, this is something I really want to do and honestly it’s going to be really hard to plan, supply, and execute. My hope is that by putting it out there to my friends, family and the world I will be able to draw motivation to keep this dream alive when times get rough. And I really like having something to look forward to!
So this is going to get published now, expect more updates in the very near future and some fun contests/raffles etc. I hope that you will follow along with me as I undertake this trip of a lifetime.
I normally don’t like sites of this type because of their clickbait-y links. But this one definitely struck a chord.
If you’ve read my blog archives you’ve probably come across some posts about my own dealings with depression. It sucks and it’s something I still deal with on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. I’m still not taking meds, not because I don’t believe in them but because through talk therapy I’ve developed tools to cope with depression. Some days are better than others. When I catch it early it’s a lot easier to get out of that mindset than if I miss it and have to crawl out of it after several days.
Just a few pics of some things I’ve been working on in the shop.
Starting with a piece of A36. Not ideal for a knife at all because of its low carbon content (aka it won’t harden/temper properly) but it gives me some practice on shaping.
Reducing the edge down.
Forging the tip.
Looking more like a knife.
Here’s one that’s finished. It’s made out of an old farrier’s rasp with an oak handle and brass pins.
Before and after.
Overall I’m pretty happy with the the rasp knife came out, especially since it’s the first knife I’ve ever made.
Since I have the shop setup I’ve been trying to get out there daily for a least an hour and work on *something*…Some days it happens and some days it doesn’t. Here’s a few pics of what I’ve been working on.
This is the initial drawing out of the original round bar stock. It started off as 3/4in round.
After sanding and shaping.
Brought up to non-magnetic heat and then quenched in canola oil.
Tomorrow I’ll draw some of the hardness out by tempering so it won’t shatter when I try to use it. After that, if I’ve done everything correctly, I should have a usable center punch to leave marks on steel. *crosses fingers*
I’ve gotten fairly serious about blacksmithing and knifemaking in the last several months. So much so that I decided I wanted a way to mark the things I make. On the recommendation of a designer who’s blog I read, I contacted Josh Ford and he worked with me to get the mark I was looking for. Here’s what he came up with based on my input.
Definitely digging it! Keep an eye out for more posts about this and check out my instagram since I post a lot of shop pics there.
In the coming months I’ll get this design transferred to a metal stamp that I can then use to mark things I make.
This is my new workshop. I haven’t been this excited about something in a *really* long time! I’m waiting for the builder to do a few final things and then I can move in and start setting up. The two windows together were an addon so my mom could setup her art studio…From what I can gather she’s pretty excited about it too 🙂
Footers dug out
More after the jump
I don’t normally post the motivational poster type sayings because most of them just really annoy me. But I found on that really resonates with me so I’m sharing it here if for no other reason than to just have it around where I can find it.
If you can’t make out what the text is here’s a copy of it.
“Motivation comes from within; there’s no supplement, secret or substitute for the power of the mind to control the body. The only thing holding you back from being the person you want to be, is yourself. No matter your goals, your challenges or the adversity you’ll face, the first step always begins with thought; don’t let self-doubt or fear cloud your mind. Unlock the internal fire that’s buried inside and don’t let anything stand in your way. Get up, get out and get after it.”
As someone who has an inner voice who says that I suck this saying really does help me put things in perspective and break out of my own negativity. If you want a copy of it for yourself head over to ITS Tactical. It’s only 5 bucks!
I like sharp things. Axes, knives, swords (high quality and *not* the cheap knock offs that seem to be everywhere) it doesn’t really matter. Since getting back into blacksmithing I look at them all very differently. How’re they made, what kind of steel is used, is it all high carbon steel or was the bit welded in? I’ve also recently had the urge to create things from leather, steel, copper etc. So I ordered a Cold Steel Tomahawk from Amazon so I could play around with some ideas I had. Lots of pics after the jump.
I’ve always enjoyed the satisfaction I get from making things be it metal, leather, whatever. I picked up a new knife a couple of weeks ago and it didn’t come with a sheath which I thought was a bit odd. But the more I thought about it the happier I was. The trend now is to use Kydex for *everything*. Knife sheaths, gun holsters, flashlight holsters and some folks love it. I’m not a fan though.
So I brushed off some old high school leatherworking skills and made my own little fold over sheath for it.
I wet formed it around the blade and once the leather dried it created a friction retention which is exactly what I hoped would happen. It did dry a bit harder than I’d hoped so it kind of has that hard plastic feel. I used an antique liquid stain for the base coat and then went back over it with some gel stain to bring out the natural lines in the leather as well as brush a few more dark lines on it. Overall I’m pretty doggone happy with the way it turned out. Since this is my box opening knife for work I’m working on another sheath that will also hold my multi-tool. I have a few more blades that need new sheaths as well 😀