The warm sun today stimulated my “cabin fever” maladies and promoted the start of some springtime projects. Most of these have been glaring problems for some time but it’s easier to ignore them when I can hide in my man cave and make a knife or some similar project.

Unfortunately, most of today’s projects were work related. No fishing, coyoting, or shed hunting on the schedule. Actually, I did do a small woods tour to see if there was a really flagrant set of antlers laying out there for me to find. All to no avail. All I found was another tree that has fallen across the creek that I must find time to clean up. But that’s some more wood!

It was still a bit cool in the early hours so I elected to cut some firewood. That’s always a good project for a cool day since the body temperature rises pretty fast when handling logs and running a chainsaw. I had a big pile of logs and pole-wood so it wasn’t necessary to actually cut down the trees. Unfortunately, some of the logs were so large that even when cut into sixteen-inch lengths they were quite heavy. It’s fortunate that my new log splitter will split both vertically and horizontally. This makes short work of what would have been a nightmare a while back. My wood sales have been quite good all winter and I thank you folks who have been using the self-serve rack.

Earlier in the week I had some time in the shop to make a couple of new knives. I like making knives out of railroad spikes and they are relatively easy to make. Each one has a personality of its own and many times my original design thoughts change as I heat up the forge and start pounding out a shape. It seems like the old spikes have a mind of their own and just desire to shape and bend at their own will. I mostly like to leave the head of the spike in place just so it’s obvious what it was originally. Sometimes I have twisted the shaft of the spike, making a very distinctive handle, but this time I forged it out flat for several inches and machined out a piece of green correl (marble type cabinet top material). This made a rather unique handle for it. It blended in with the shape rather well and after a few hours of polishing it looks like a knife.

The second one was much harder. I took an old farriers rasp or file and forged it into a camp knife. The original file was super hard and I burned up three cobalt bits before getting out my plasma cutter and blowing holes in the tang for the handle. This worked out well and I used some African zebra wood to make the scales for the handles. I left a few of the “rasp marks” on the upper side of the blade as evidence of its original form. It’s a hard blade and should serve well as a camp knife or hunting tool.

Then it was back to the outdoor projects. I had a pear tree that had been a thorn in my side for several years. It must have been tired because it kept trying to lay down and I kept trying to hold it up with stakes and ratchet straps. Giving up, I got out the tractor while the ground was still nice and soft and pulled it out by its roots. That should actually be singular – “root”. I found it had only one good root causing it to always fall that direction. It became part of a big brush-pile and that problem is solved (except for the lost pears).

Back to the wood cutting project, I enlisted some help from Ryan P. and that boy about worked me to death. We ended up with a monster stack of firewood all ready to split and stack again. Someday I’m going to count just how many times a piece of wood is handled before it gets used for a nice fire. Anyway, after cleaning out some tile intakes and shoring up some erosion spots, the good Lord made the sun go down and my body was glad for it. Isn’t it amazing how He knew we wouldn’t have sense enough to quit by ourselves so he shuts off the lights! Well, the Lord willing and the creek don’t rise I’ll get some more of these jobs out of the way just in time for a hog hunt in Oklahoma and some fun spring fishing! I wish you all a good day.

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