Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Helle Nying

I thought I'd give the cool little Nying knife I bought at a garage sale last Saturday a closer look. I knew exactly what it was as soon as I spotted it from across the garage, and I knew I wanted it as well. I have had one of these stout little knives in my hands before and immediately knew it was a knife I'd like to own, though I didn't buy it that day.

The Helle knife factory in Norway turns out some fantastic knives. The style isn't particularly American, but I have long held the theory that the best knife for a given region is the ones the locals carry, not the one that is best advertised in the hook and bullet magazines. This might be a machette in the jungle, or a small blade without a hand guard, much like the majority of the Helle knives are. This is a fantastic example of a small Scandinavian knife, and while I won't give you a disertation on the variations of Scandinavian knives with respect to the local regions, I have yet to handle a Scandinavian knife that didn't seem "right."

One of the two places I know of to buy a Helle knife in the USA is over at the Ragweed Forge website (the other is Dryad Bows). According to Rangar, "The Nying is a short stubby knife designed for fishermen. The handle is generously proportioned to give a good grip even when your hands are cold or covered in fish slime. The 2 3/4" blade is laminated stainless steel. The attractive leather sheath has a distinctive cutout. It is fitted with a keeper strap, which engages a stud on the pommel, and a suspension thong. (Blade is 2 3/4", length overall is 6 3/8".)
This knife received the prestigious Norsk Designr├ąd Award for design excellence."

As you can see, the size is small, but no smaller than a typical Swiss Army blade, and, I think, more useful, and most defiantely more stout. Besides being easier to grip with "cold or slimy hands", the thick birch handle also is less fatiguing for long periods of knife work. The weight is essentially non noticable. I look forward to carrying this knife with me this summer and next fall and really putting it to some work.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Garage sale finds

I went garage sale shopping with my wife today. I rarely find anything more than a paperback book that I "have" to have, but today I found a few things... as soon as I saw the knife from across the garage I knew what it was, and I new I "had" to have it. At $10 it was a steal, and then I noticed the books as well, and I added four good books to my library for $2.25. I am a big fan of Helle knives, and this little traditional Scandinavian knife is a gem. It's the Nying model, and it fits your hand (at least my slightly small hands) like the proverbial glove. I can't wait to sharpen it up to razor and put it to good use. It looks like it hasn't been used much at all, and the guy I bought it from said his buddy bought it while he was in Norway.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Firesteel contest

Wow. That is about all that I can say, I am flabergasted, I won the firesteel contest over on American Bushman's blog. I get a custom sheath from JRE industries for having the "coolest" homemade firesteel. Hard to imagine because I saw the competition's, and they were very purty!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Axe sheath

I finished a project that I have been meaning to do for quite some time.... and axe sheath for my "bush" axe which I bought at a yard sale three or four years ago. I didn't want anything fancy, just a basic blade cover. Despite the scrap leather it turned out pretty nice, although I am not 100% sold on the closure mechanism I made, it'll do nicely for now. I used a scrap of ebony and made the button... and of course had to put an elk stamp on it as well.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

First float

My lovely wife and son came with me last night to christen the new ship at a local city park pond. It was fun, and by golly, it floats just fine! Spent about 15 minutes on the water. She'll behave quite a bit better with oars or a kayak paddle I think, but other than that and the runners on the bottom helping with straight line tracking, I am pleased! Very stable, I should be able to fly fish and bowfish out of her no problem.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Boat is done!

Well, we'll just say it is done for now. Sealed, calked, ready for the water. Eventually I will add oars (and oar locks of course), and possibly a front seat or bench. But it'll be on the water this coming weekend for the carp shoot, and I am pumped! It will be a while before I start another project this big.... but all in all I enjoyed it and am pleased with how it turned out. And you can't spend this much time and effort building a boat and go out and buy a paddle or oars, so I made a paddle as well.

And as a side note, please go and check out americanbushman's firesteel contest. If you like my creations, I'd appreciate your vote.

red oak bucksaw plans

I ran across this article talking about the virtues of a bucksaw. I recently bought a blade from a closing sporting goods store for $0.50 with something similar in mind, so I am looking forward to tackling this much smaller project after my boat is completed in the next couple days.