Today in the News: No news is good news. We've consistently had over 100 hits a day for quite some time. That's about 99 more than I expected. If you like the site, please tell a friend or post it on a relevant discussion board. I'm always looking for guest writers. I've only found one so far. Thank God for him. I'm working on getting some gear stored up to offer as a reward for a writing contest. We'll see how that goes. I'm also thinking over the rules of said contest. If you want to contribute, please email me at email@example.com .
Link of the Day: As mentioned in the article you're about to read, today's L.O.T.D. is www.bensbackwoods.com . He isn't a corporation, just a bushcrafter selling bushcraft stuff. Check out his site. He sells lots of nifty items that you could all use. Tell him I sent you. He'll send you an email back telling you he has no clue who I am.
When I started in on this obsession with axes, I didn't even know that you could or were supposed to sharpen an axe. The axe that my dad had in the wood shed when I was a kid looked like it had been dragged behind a truck and the handle was all dried out. Doubtful he ever sharpened that one.
I was watching an episode of Ray Mears about a year ago. He was reviewing different types of axes. He held up a piece of paper and sliced it in two with his axe. I was amazed. I'd seen people do that with knives, but to do it with an axe seemed extra cool.
Then I came across a discussion forum where they were asking the age old question (which I think all of us bushcrafters fantasize about on a non-realistic level)- If your plane went down in the wilds of Alaska, and you could only take one tool for survival, what would it be? A knife or a gun? One guy responded, neither - I'd take my axe. It made sense to me. If the blade was sharp, you could skin and animal (crudely) with it. You could build shelter with it. You could defend yourself (to a point). The list could go on. I'm not sure what I'd take. In Griz country, it'd have to be a gun - with an axe attached to it.
Kind of the idea, but dang, I wish it came in semi-auto.
So I went onto the web and looked for something that made sense in sharpening my axe. I wandered across http://www.bensbackwoods.com/ . Lots of cool stuff on his site and in the process of reviewing everything, I found the Lansky Puck. It was exactly what I was looking for, so I ordered it. Within a couple of days, it came in the mail (Ben's Backwoods has great shipping time - and if he's going to be out for a few days, he posts it on the front page of his site).
Now, I'm not good at sharpening things. I don't get angles and that seems to be how everyone explains it. I'm more of a change it up til it works kinda guy. At the time, I had only a hatchet and I used it for just about everything around the HHA (Happy-Half-Acre). I bought it at Big Lots a few years earlier and believe it or not, it sharpens up nicely. The puck got it sharp in no time and, what I discovered was, with a sharp axe, you can do a lot of things. Not just cutting down trees - you can craft as well, which, for me, really makes me love my axe even more.
The puck, as the title says, has two grits. The package said you could use with or without lubrication. To save mess, I use it dry. While I have gotten a few axes really sharp, I haven't yet reached the slicing-through-a-piece-of-paper sharpness. I guess that doesn't matter. I'll get there........eventually.
Pax Domini Sit Semper Vobiscum
Mike, Oscar, Hotel.......out.