Thursday, 6 September 2007

Migrating to own domain.

This blog has been moved, please update the links. This adress will not be maintained anymore.

The new adress:

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Just for a few days

I'm migrating the blog to wordpress and it's own domain. To not lose any comments I'll disable the comments for a few days and not post again until the new domain is up and running with the blog.

There will also be some changes in regards to the goal of the blog itself. From strictly displaying skills, I'll focus more on the experience of it all, in an attempt to catch the interest of more readers. Not that I'm not satisfied with the primitive skills nerds that already read this blog... :-D


Saturday, 1 September 2007

Another Bone Knife

Bone knives are excellent for tasks requiring a more sturdy edge than stone normally is. For example, while cutting true tinder fungus with a stone is a pain, shaving it off with bone is easy. Bone is also sharp enough for cutting non-fibrous vegetables, gutting fish and skinning small animals. In the latter task bone has the advantage of not normally being sharp enough to slice through the skin, especially if you have a rounded tip on the knife. Though I prefer to work with fresh bones I have been in short supply of bones for a long time since last hunting season so in this case I had to use an old sheep leg bone I found in a field.

Start by sawing halfway into the bone at the lower end margin of where the blade is supposed to be.

Score around the sides and top so that the front piece is freed from the rest without cracking the rest of the piece. Score almost all the way through. Using water will help a lot.

Split from the top and break off the waste. This waste piece was made into a small chisel. It might not be of very great utility, but I'll try it on green wood.

Afterwards the blade was ground thinner and pointy. For cleaning fish I would ideally want a thinner tip, but I want a stronger edge on this one for broader application.

I already had a birch bark sheath from a now broken knife to reuse.

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

The Allround Hunter

My brother Laje do have some rather interesting updates on his blog now. It has been a very good start on the hunting season for him. I am very much looking forward to tanning that fox. Out of prime fur season it is, but the case skinned hide will make a nice bag or similar nonetheless.

Sunday, 26 August 2007

Fish Trap

I've finally finished my fishing trap. This is the style Patrick McGlinchey uses and Jon have also made one of them. This trap is all willow and was quite frankly a pain to make. The willow bark works fairly well as a binding, but it takes time processing as much as you need. Compared to wickerwork it also seems to slip easier.

The result is fairly pretty and I look forward to testing it, but the next time I will make a trap in the same way as the burden basket a little while ago. This method simply takes way too much time to be worthwhile.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Two New Creations

Nothing great to report. I've been gathering some nettle fibres for fishing lines, a carrying net and a fishing net. I have tested some new techniques for making willow basketry, since this was a crude attempt at a burden basket I will not post anything about the techniques I've tested them further and gotten better at it.

Both Patrick McGlinchey and Jon_R have recently been experimenting with coiled basketry and that has inspired me to give it a go. To start on this type of project I needed to make a needle first. This one is out of a thin, flat section of reindeer antler. I expect the thinness to be an advantage in this kind of work.

Monday, 13 August 2007

Sub-arctic Food Plants

The subarctic region has few food plants. Most of them give a fairly low output, energywise. It's fish and game that are the major sources of food there. Here I show you three plants that has a fairly good output. If you have a woman or two ( ;-) ) gathering these plants for several hours of the day I think you could at least achieve almost the needed calorie intake, at least combined.


You can not eat too many of these berries, but they contain a fair amount of sugar and vitamin C. They also store quite well. The Saami hid these for the winter under overhanging waterfalls. I love the taste of these and snack or gather them whenever they are available. The actual colour is more yellow than on the photo.


Viking era candy. All the plant is edible. Very spicy and too much flavour to eat alone in my opinion. Very good boiled with meat or fish. It's not so abundant and can be difficult to find in quantity. Also contains vitamin C.

Alpine Bistort

The whole plant is edible. The seeds taste a little nutty, but are hardly worthwhile collecting and processing (winnowing). Quickly fried in the coals, the roots which can be of quite decent size, taste almost like french fries.