New Cloth on an Old Garment

“No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse.” Matthew 9:16. (Also Mark 2:21)

dsc02433Seems we have an illustration here!

At least the hole is somewhere other than the usual place.

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Primitive Technology–Primitive Forge Blower

Here is an excellent piece of ingenuity!

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Primitive Arrowhead Option

copper arrow head and tools used in making it.Here is a copper arrowhead that I just made out of a 1-inch piece of 1/2-inch water pipe. Sitting on the anvil around it, are all of the tools used.
You can see that one side is filed smooth and sharp, the other is only shaped with the hammer and chisel. A stone could be used instead of files. A chisel could be made from a large nail (possibly even from a stone. A stone could be used for hammering.
There should be 2 arrowheads, but one went flying when I was separating them, and I haven’t found it yet.
Hammering the copper work-hardens the metal, making it stiff and more capable of taking a sharp edge. Stop before it begins to crack, though. If you need to shape it more, heat it up until it just starts to glow red, and then quench it in water. This will soften it, and you can continue hammering or flexing the metal until it hardens up again.
Remember the Bronze Age?

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Most-Used Knife on the American Frontier

Here is an outstanding example of the do-all survival knife that has served well all over the world, for a long time.

Photography by Bark River Knives

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The Sentry

Here is a less-usual pattern, made from a piece of 1/4-inch-thick 154CM steel that was left over from a custom order. knife and sheathThe guard is 416 Stainless, handle is brown canvas micarta.
The sheath is very simple–designed to be carried on a wide leather belt.  Also suitable for leg/boot carry. It is completely ambidextrous.  The retaining strap is reversible.Knife in Sheath Left-handed DSC02024
The blade has a keen, strong point, which would compare nicely with the old Quartermaster’s knife, and be suitable for its use of prying boards off of supply crates.  Balance is good for light chopping.
Finish is a non-glare bead-blast, which fuzzes up the handle nicely, as well as giving a smooth, clean appearance.
Price on this one is $350.  Sold.154CM

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Primitive Pinch-Pot

clay pot and cornWhile planting corn last spring, I happened on a nice lump of clay in otherwise loamy ground. Just for fun, I pinched this pot out, and took it in the house to dry on a rack near the wood cook-stove.
Several months later, it was placed in the oven. Then, a couple weeks ago, when we had a good fire going, I moved it from the (hot) oven to the firebox. After an hour or so, I fished it out and left it to cool. It is fired to bisque hardness, and will no longer dissolve in water.
The pot didn’t fall apart. It holds 1/8 cup of water, which is about right for dipping ice-cold water from a spring or rivulet to drink.
This is my first successful primitive pot. Thanks to John and Geri McPherson ( for the inspiration.clay pot

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Poor Man’s Kydex

Really, Kydex isn’t that expensive. But, not everybody wants to order a sheet of it just for an experiment. Anyway, here’s what happened when I stuck a Victorinox paring knife into a piece of hot CPVC water pipe:

Victorinox paring knife in CPVC pipe sheathThe piece of pipe was heated in a 250-degree toaster oven until soft.  (Cradled in a folded piece of cardboard.)  Then, it was squished between a couple pieces of foam that I use for molding Kydex.  (Placed the foam on the floor, with knife inside, and stood on it.)  The knife was stuck, so I used a heat gun to warm the portion that the handle fits in, and worked the knife in and out as it cooled.  It was still a bit too tight, so I used the saw to make the slit you see.  That eased the tension a bit.  Then I drilled the holes, and smoothed up the edges on a sanding belt.

It locks in nicely.  I definitely won’t fall out, but it isn’t overly hard to extract, either.

Unlike starting with a flat sheet of Kydex, you don’t have to use eyelets or other rivets.

When working with this type of material, take care to avoid getting plastic “grit” inside the sheath.  It can be hard to extract, and can actually mar a knife.

If you want a different color, get some paint that is designed to stick to vinyl.

Hope you try this at home.  Most people have an oven, or a toaster oven.  But any heat-source will work, if you can get the material up to about 250 degrees long enough to mold it.  A candle is often adequate for making adjustments.

If you don’t have the special foam, any similar material should work, although it might be necessary to put some thin, soft leather between the hot plastic and the padding.

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