Bow Drill Bearing Block

Last weekend I made a bow drill bearing block out of a stone.

Bow Drill Bearing Block

First of all you need to find a flat stone that fits nicely in your hand. The next thing you need to do is to start making a depression in it using some flint. 30 minutes later you’ll end up with a bearing block as shown above.

The advantage of a stone bearing block over a wooden bearing block is less friction. You want as much friction on your fire board, but a less friction as possible in your bearing block. Metal and glass are even better materials as a bearing block, but they don’t look as “natural” as a stone one.

Paracord Lanyard Knot

How to make a lanyard knot: a photo tutorial.

Step 1: form a loop with the working end under the standing end.
Lanyard Knot (1 of 14)

Step 2: take the other end of the cord. To make it easier to understand I used a different color of paracord. Pull the working end of the desert tan paracord under the loop.
Lanyard Knot (2 of 14)

Step 3: Pull the working end of the desert tan paracord over the standing part of the green paracord.
Lanyard Knot (3 of 14)

Step 4: make a bight with the working end of the desert tan paracord and pull it under the working end of the green paracord.
Lanyard Knot (4 of 14)

Step 5: pull the desert tan paracord over the right side of the loop of the green paracord.
Lanyard Knot (5 of 14)

Step 6: pull the working end of the desert tan paracord under it’s own standing part.
Lanyard Knot (6 of 14)

Step 7: continue to pull the working part of the desert tan paracord over the left side of the green paracord loop. You now see a diamond shape in the middle.
Lanyard Knot (7 of 14)

Step 8: with the working end of the green paracord you make a bight to the top and pull it over the standing part of the desert tan paracord.
Lanyard Knot (8 of 14)

Step 9: pull the working end of the green paracord under both loops into the diamond shape.
Lanyard Knot (9 of 14)

Step 10: pull further and make a bight to the right.
Lanyard Knot (10 of 14)

Step 11: take the desert tan paracord and make a bight to the left over the standing part of the green paracord.
Lanyard Knot (11 of 14)

Step 12: pull the desert tan paracord under both loops, trough the diamond shape and make a bight to the left.
Lanyard Knot (12 of 14)

Step 13: tighten everything up.
Lanyard Knot (13 of 14)

Step 14: and we end up with a nicely knotted lanyard knot.
Lanyard Knot (14 of 14)

Gathering Flint

A fellow bushcrafter, Mike – Survivalmike- , was looking for flint. To bad for him, in Austria there are very few sources of flint (if there are any). So he posted a video on youtube to ask for help.

Lucky for me (and for him) I live near an area full of flint (see previous posts). So I decided to help him out, and went gathering some flint to ship to Austria.

Flint & Steel + Horseshoe Amadou = Fire

Today I’m presenting to you a method of fire lighting, using flint, steel and some horseshoe amadou.

Not so far from where I live there’s a marl cave. There is an abundance of flint in those caves.
Marl cave

The firesteel or steel striker is made by Launditch who I met on BushcraftUK.com.

The horseshoe amadou I collected and prepared myself. I’ll explain in detail how I did this in a future post, but in basically you collect the horseshoe fungus, cut out the amadou, cut it into slices, boil it in water with ashes, flatten it with a baton and let it dry.

Broken Fenix LD20

Right after a battery replacement my trusty Fenix LD20 didn’t function anymore. Even after checking the head and tailcap, the LD20 refused to light. A very bad feeling was coming over me…

Maybe the batteries were dead, although the charger told my other ways. Same result with other batteries and since there isn’t much that looks that might go wrong, my only help would be the internet.

Immediately after entering my keywords I stumbled on a site called Light-Reviews.com. There it was mentioned to tighten the retaining ring that sits inside the tail cap.

Fixing tailcap

A twist of the wrist later, using my Leatherman Charge TTi, my Fenix LD20 was working again. Please note to tighten the retaining ring counterclockwise.

Artificial Fatwood

A time ago I was looking for fatwood, but i couldn’t find any. The only thing that I could find was really dry and porous wood. When I came home I decided to make my own fatwood. Fatwood is just wood and fat (resin 🙂 ) so it shouldn’t be so difficult to make it myself.

I took a small saucepan and filled it with paraffin which I saved from all the candles my wife burned the last two years. Once melted I dropped the pieces of wood in the paraffin.

fatwood

The bubbles you see on the picture is not the paraffin that’s boiling, but the air that’s coming out the dried wood and being replaced by paraffin.

Once all the bubbles were gone I let the pieces of wood cool down, so the paraffin could harden out. A few hours later I tried the first piece of self made fatwood.

The first two times I tried to light the fatwood (and all other attempts after this video) were successful as of the first or second strike. Only in this video (which is uncut) it took me 21 strokes to get the fatwood burning. It just needs that one little hot sparkle…

Flint

Today I went on a small trip with my wife and son to collect some new pieces of flint. The previous flint I brought from this cave is broken into way to small pieces to use with steel striker.

Marl cave
On the left of this picture, you can clearly see the flint bank. It’s compressed between two layers of marl. The funny thing about these marl caves is that the flint is only a side product. People who were working in these caves were out for marl to build house and churches or to make cement. But just like our ancestors, the Neanderthalers, it’s the flint that brings me here.

Marl 
cave
Walking in a cave like this always smells like an adventure. It’s dark and cold, and you’ll never know who or what you’ll come across. The cave we visited is open for public and not very big. You’ll never get really lost in it.

To collect some flint I didn’t cut into the ceiling nor the walls. I prefer not to take the risk the whole cave would collapse. There are plenty of pieces of flint just laying on the ground. What can be easier than just picking them up?

However, I should have taken some precautions, like wearing gloves. I’ve cut my finger just by picking up a piece of flint. Didn’t they used to make knives and axes from silex 😉 ?
Finger cut

Installing Ubuntu 9.10 On An External USB Hard Drive

Last week, I bought myself a new external Iomega Select Portable Hard Drive. I do not have a laptop of my own, but my employer allows me to use the one from my work at home. That’s ok as long as you want to use it for what it’s intended: to work. If you want to surf the net, or want to use it to download pictures from you camera, you’ll face some limitations. You can’t use or install a browser of application of your own choice.

That’s why I got the idea to install Ubuntu 9.10 on an external USB hard drive. It will be my own operating system and I can configure it how I want. I can even install my own applications. Actually you’re not installing them on the laptop, but on the external hard drive. You are only using the laptop’s hardware.

But as I do own a PC, running Windows XP, I didn’t want to use the entire hard drive for Ubuntu. I also wanted to have some free space to make backups. That free space needs to be NTFS formatted, and to get this done, I took me some time.

Good as I’m, I’ll tell you how I did it in a few steps, beginning with downloading the iso file of Ubuntu 9.10 from this location.

When this is done and before burning the iso on a CD, you must do a MD5 checksum to be sure the iso didn’t get corrupted while downloading. I used WinMD5sum from nullriver.com to compare the UbuntuHashes with the one of the iso.

winmd5sum

If the checksum is ok, you can burn the iso on a CD. For that I’m using ImgBurn.

When your CD is ready, remove al internal hard drives from you laptop, plug in your external hard drive and boot your laptop from the CD. Be aware your BIOS is properly configured to boot from CD.

As of then I followed the step-by-step instructions found on softpedia.

Like described in the step-by-step instructions I created 3 partitions. A swap partition of 2 GB a ext4 partition of 30 GB with mount point / and a ext4 partition with the rest of the available space with mount point /home.

Be sure to install the boot loader on your external hard drive. This is also the reason why I removed the internal drive from the laptop: less chance to screw it up!

After a while Ubuntu will be installed to your external hard drive. If everything went well, you can boot your laptop now from this external hard drive. But if you’ll plug in this drive into a Windows machine, it won’t recognize any free space as it’s not formatted in NTFS.

To do this I rebooted the laptop with the CD without having the external drive connected. Then I did choose to test Ubuntu without installing it, I plugged in the external drive and opened GParted. I unmounted the last and biggest partition, and reside it to about 30 GB. The newly free space was formatted NTFS.

Now I’m having a bootable external USB hard drive running Ubuntu, which can still be used to backup files created on my Windows XP desktop.

ubuntugolb

DIY: Ammo Box Lock

I just finished another very small DIY project, which I want to share with you. I made an adjustment to an ordinary ammo box so you can lock it.

munitiekist foto 1
Things you need: an ammo box, a u-bolt, some screws-nuts, whashers and a lock. Furthermore you’ll need a drill an a file.

munitiekist foto 2 munitiekist foto 3 munitiekist foto 4
First we mark the spots where we want to drill the holes. We’ll use a puncher to make little dimples to give the drill a starting point and some better grip. We’ll keep the lid of the ammo box closed, and we’ll drill through the lock and the ammo box in once. So we’re sure the holes are perfectly alligned.

munitiekist foto 5 munitiekist foto 6 munitiekist foto 7
How I do it, I don’t know. But I always manage to srew things up when I’m trying to make / break something when I’m using a drill. One attention point for me (and also for you) the center of the hole you’re going to drill needs to be a little further away than 1/2 diameter of your drill from another hole. If this is not the case you’ll end up with a hole that looks like the right hole and you riks your drill will get stuck and hurt yourself. So the left hole is ok, the right hole could be better.

Now we screw two screw-nuts on the u-bolt and add two washers. We stick the u-bolt in the two drilled holes, put two washers and screw-nuts on the other end of the u-bolt and tighten them.

Close the lid and the u-bolt appears. You can use a file if things are not closing smoothly.

munitiekist foto 8
Tadaa: an ammo box with a lock.