Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Eyes roll back into the head like a shark in the middle of a kill, the boys attack these hamburgers. 
i would half expect to see them rolling around on the ground tearing off chunks and forgetting to swallow.

quarter onion so the rings are like a rainbow. then cut under 1/4 inch perpendicular cuts.

now slice thinly perpendicular to that. with each cut the onion will fall apart into little bits. 
smaller is better so you may want to dice them up even further. 

ingredients added without measuring: beef, diced onion, seasoning salt (today was borsari salt), pepper (today was janes krazy pepper), italian seasonings and a dash of soy sauce.

mash very well between fingers like this.

once well blended, pack the patties so they are dense. this will keep them firmly together. to do this i make a ball and them pass them from hand to hand squeezing them tightly. 
flatten and then poke a  donut hole. these should be about 1.22 inches thick. 
when this thick the hole will allow it to cook evenly and be extra juicy. 

throw them on the hot skillet. 

done and damn good.

for the boys the burgers are a bit thick, so i will cut them in half.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Always a purpose

Thought i would answer a question about what one should do with a axe or hatchet that has rust on it.

my short answer is that rust is always hiding the true condition of the tool and it never hurts to just give it a vinegar bath and see what you have. the more rust the greater the chance there is a true defect that can effect the soundness of the tool.

below, i just finished hanging a double bit no name that had very good temper and quality of steel. when purchased with a lot of axes in an auction. this head had a fair amount of rust and i was not sure of its true state. after a vinegar bath, i found it worthy of hanging and will make a perfectly good splitter. and i would have no issue felling a tree with this one too. 
the main issue i wish to stress is that as long as it is sound a tool then it should be used. 
even if one feels that it should be relegated to a specific or limited purpose.

there are two categories of obtaining axe heads for this answer: 1 = purchased & 2 =inherited/given

1 = when purchased i always select those heads that are visually very sound, so the faults are very much at minimum. this includes minimal rust.
2 = there are times when i purchase an axe lot (multiple axes/hatchets sold as one unit) and in this there are sometimes one or two that are questionable. also when given or restoring there are heads in all sorts of conditions. the key for all of these is to never be discouraged as to proceed at least with the first step of any recondition and that is the vinegar bath.  i never try to predict what the condition of the metal below the rust is until i have finished the bath. 
no matter what the state, i do this because it reveals the introduction of the history of the tool. 
i am a bit fan of history!!! 
in a way it is like reading the introduction of a book or the cover of a magazine (with all the articles that lie inside). i am positive that i get over geeked up about it but the reveal from the bath is like tallying up the numbers on a lottery card. will there be a winner? the chances here are better than any lottery. 

before i go any further i will say that the next writings are about i look for in the reveal. i am not a professional with detailing guidelines that dictate whether or not a few measurement will determine the useability of the tool. i have a few pounds of common sense that give me the ability to judge what is workable and more important to what degree of workability. 

there are individuals whom will only use the pristine and i agree that if i were bush crafting or in a survival mode. i would also want the most sound tool in my arsenal for those situations, but here i am talking about something different.

when examined i am most concerned for cracks, craters and mushrooming. cracks, craters and mushrooming are positively a NO go. poxing is almost alway ok in my book.  poxing is usually more of a surface blemish. and even though i personally don't mind the rust poxing i do insist that it should not interfere with a smooth, pox free cutting edge. with a little filing i can obtain a nice smooth cutting edge. 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Alton's birth house

Long time abandoned and the memories made there are fading fast.

at least we have some images of the shell of what was once a home.

such views (especially those structures in the country) remind me of how all that we build turn back to their original components. when in their decline, from the hand, begin to look more natural and fitting in their surroundings. such surroundings i find right.

front yard view

trees acting as shrubs grow in direction of the predominant winds.

colored pinpoints punctuate the seemingly paler state of the brush.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Smith's double bit axe

Finished hanging smith's collins homestead double bit.

removed the nicks at the cutting edges and evened out the profile. 
this will make resharpening with the file much easier.

new helve fit tightly. very tightly.

the only thing left after the wood glue completely cures is to soak the eye in the linseed oil and then give it some flash (for visibility).

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Length of shower


a three drink shower. having guests over and had to hurry. was barely able to use soap.

lucky bucket is a local brewery and have a few really good beers in their growing lineup.
their octoberfest is one of them. 
this seasonal is very much familiar tone to their general theme of "pre-prohibition beers"  and that probably comes from the yeast strand used. it is the same german yeast strand as used in their pre-prohibition lager. this beer has all the color, malty punch and toasty sensation as a good octoberfest.

i need to qualify the reason for the increased number of posts on the length of showers.

seasonal change brings out all of these great beers. beers just waiting to take a shower with me.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Shinto rasp

A real wood hog. the 11" shinto rasp is my most aggressive wood rasp.

this tool is more like a lattice of tough saw blades. the coarse side has 11tpi and the fine side has 25 tpi.

the lattice design keeps clogging to near impossible.

very durable and well worth the dollars.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Platte river

Coming to an end of a hot dry summer, the platte looks thirsty.

with temperatures getting cooler the chances of rain have increased.


east central

west central


on the I-80 bridge between lincoln and omaha @ 70 mph.

i wanted to see more of the rivers in nebraska and their relationship with the platte.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Length of shower

A one beer shower.

the seasonal beers are coming in. 
some are awesome and some are just entertaining.

this is one of those entertaining beers. more of a novelty of the season change.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Smith's axe & hatchet

Two farm tools ready for a tune up. 

the double bit collins homestead will be an easy fix. mostly a cleaning, still fairly sharp and needs to be rehung.

the hatchet was found buried in the ground. hard to know how long it was entombed.
will also do a vinegar bath on it to check the temper.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Boys on the deere

Boys taking turns steering uncle ed's tractor on a tour around the house.

pre tour pose

mac ready to role.

jack getting the levers in order.

lochlann with a little extra help.

Today's hatchets from yesterday

Forgot to post yesterday's hatchets.

hung two: a plumb and old stanley.

cleaned 4 heads: pulled from vinegar bath. 3 looked great the upper right head had a limited temper. i will put that one with the other inadequates (for some undefined future project).

the good three are ready for their next two grits of polish, sharpening, hanging, flash and then final polish.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

8.18.12 hops

Will be able to harvest the next group of hops soon.

had to add a bit of the cloudy sky. we have had rain consistently throughout the dat.

makes the green, greener.

Length of shower

Post work one beer shower. 

not just any beer but one that is specifically concerned about my hygiene.

and as all good men do, i listen to my beer.

ska brewing co!! from their website:

one of my favorite canned beers. a barrage of different hop sensations that are a guarantee to overwhelm you olfactory senses and kapow you parietal lobe.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Lockard axe final

Lockard's axe had its eye soak for 24 hours
the helve has been coated twice with tung oil.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Godzilla vs monster zero

The last night of summer time freedom 
jack was desperate to see an old godzilla movie.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Lockard's axe

Finished a quick tune up on Lockard's camping axe.

this axe is this is a general and all purposes axe (anything goes). 
in its recent past it has had many close encounters with the ground. 

wanted to clean it up, fix the edge, paint a stripe, and tighten up the fit and oil the handle.

i took this photo after removing some of the surface rust. the rust was light and came off easily. 

i had to remove the chips from the blade's edge and spend a good 25 minutes re-establishing the cutting edge. the brand new bastard file made shorter work of this procedure.

i left the angle less aggressive because it is mostly for spitting wood.

after the file work i used a stone and then a polish on the entire surface.

final step was a diamond file honing.

the end was split from being used as a club. i had to trim off a 1/2 inch of the doe's foot.

painted on a bore sight for a little visibility.

after adding two more wedges it is now soaking in linseed oil to get some moisture in the wood. 

after 24 hours in the linseed oil i will tung oil the handle the it will be ready for another bout with the field.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Camp hatchet & saw

The tried and true wood harvest tools. 
our house loves our tools and from rough work to detailing all have their value. 

i also spend too much damn time on websites/forums to see what other people carry. 
it tells a lot of what the individual wishes to convey to others.

as for these two, they always go with us on our camping trips. 

small and portable, capable of bigger jobs and some detailing.

because of my preference for carpenter's tools i have migrated to the carpenter's hatchet as my camp axe. 
i have especially found the hammer side to be invaluable on many occasions. 

about 17 years ago i switched to a japanese style branch saw. i had just won $1200 in a college art department competition and spent the entire lot on tools, including this exact style of saw. all purchased from japan woodworker. in fact that was my first venture into my lasting appreciation for quality japanese woodworking tools.

Saturday, August 11, 2012


It was an XXX rated cabela's day.

not sure what you saw but we sighted in on this:

the imagined carnage was horrible, will have to go to confession tomorrow.