Todays Project : Hobo Stove – found this at the thrift store and decided it was perfect for another hobo stove here are some pics…
I made the knife in a few hours one night and then needed a sheath for it I wanted something different so made one out of Birch Bark it turned out perfect and is very sturdy I will be makeing a few more for my other knifes now more of an outdoor bushcraft feel to them…
I found personal alarms at the dollar store today and have actually been looking for these things years ago PC would remember that ummm what I have done is convert them to be used as perimeter alarms for around camp to give you some pre warning of ether bears or heaven forbid the two legged ones these are very loud so you could set them well away from a camp and still hear them I have made a short vid of the personal alarms you can figure out yourself how they can be setup with just some fish-line connected to the pull string….
youtub vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4r39-eqRryY
I got the ceramic insulator from Switchblade to make it easier to use I have added a handle to it yes its just a branch and I used construction adhesive I pumped it into the center void and pushed the branch in hay it works great I have just finished sharpening all the kitchen knifes have to say it works slick..
Switchblade was saying that they used these ceramic insulators in very old homes it was when they needed to go through wood beams and then they would put the insulator through the hole then the wiring through the insulator just to make sure that for whatever reason the wiring does not catch the wood on fire when the electrical gets over loaded….
Since using it as a knife sharpener not its intended purpose it is not perfect and had a couple of imperfections on the surface but It was easy to fix by just using a sharpening stone and going over the imperfections its now a nice smooth surface to sharpen my knifes…
CRKT Lightfoot M1
(Review and photos by Switchblade)
About the Manufacturer:
The Columbia River Knife and Tool company is based in Wilsonville, Oregon,USA. But nowadays they go with the flow and manufacture knives in Taiwan. They work closely with the “Who is Who” of the knife design world. Just to name a few (randomly) Michael Walker, Kit Carson, Russ Kommer, Allen Elishewitz, Jim Hammond and of course Greg Lightfoot who is the designer of the M1. The CRKT company builds very good quality knives and stands behind their products with a limited lifetime warranty to the original owner.
About the designer:
Greg Lightfoot of Lloydminster, Alberta, Canada is one of the Top 10 Tactical Knife designers in the world (according to Blade Magazine). At one point he was the Vice President of the Canadian Knifemakers’ Guild. He has his own very successful business as well.
You can buy his original M1 for some $US 475-575.
But let’s see the object of this review – the CRKT production version.
The knife comes with 2 wider than average Teflon coated clips, fastener screws and fitting Torx/Allen key. These clips allow for the options of tip-up or tip-down carry, left or right. The handle is an open construction with stainless steel liners,spacers and honeycomb pattern textured Zytel scales. The blade comes with plain or partially serrated titanium nitride non-reflective coated edge in black or desert tan colors. The shape of the blade is a very appealing and usable refined tanto which was named “Millenium Tanto” by the designer himself. It has a false edge on the spine and a grooved thumb rest as well. The subject of my review is the black ,partially serrated version.
Blade: length – 3.125”
thickness – 0.13”
steel – AUS8, 56-58HRC
Handle: lenght – 4.5” (Zytel)
Weight: 5.8 oz.
Lock: Linerlok with LAWKS (Lake and Walker Knife Safety)
About the steel:
AUS8 is a well tried, tough stainless steel. Very popular with knife manufacturing companies (although it is not the latest in steel research…). It is Japanese made, very similar to the 440C stainless steel, but it surpasses that a touch in quality. Takes and holds an edge well and has good rust and stain resistance.
Alloy specs.: Carbon 0.70-0.75 %
Chromium 13-14.5 %
Manganese 0.5 %
Molybdenum 0.1-0.3 %
Nickel 0.49 %
Phosphorous 0.04 %
Silicon 1.0 %
Vanadium 0.10-0.25 %
When we hold the knife in hand the first time we can see, as well feel that, they did not cut corners and we are looking at a well built, good quality product. The blade opens and closes smoothly with a nice audible click. The fit and finish was good and tight throughout. No looseness, free-play,wiggling or gaps anywhere. The edge was sharp enough to shave some hair off my forearm, but was not “scary” sharp like a straight razor. Of course this can be fixed easy enough ,but I did not do that. I used the factory edge for my tests. I would like to quote Mr. Lightfoot about the outstanding handle: “Grab it and makes a fit. You instinctively know exactly where it is in your hand. And I believe that is a critical aspect in any successful knife design.” I have to agree with this 100%. This handle really is fantastic, all but grabs your hand back, not even the clip spoils the feel. The open construction makes easy to keep the folder clean and helps to avoid possible locking mechanism failure due to pocket lint or other debris. In my book this is a big plus for the M1. This folder is somewhat stronger and more robust than the similarly built M16 of the same size. Because of this, it needs a different approach for speedier one handed blade deployment. We start to open the blade utilizing the “Mako flipper” with our forefinger and after the initial blade movement we just flick it out from the wrist. After some practice it will go in one smooth move..This type of opening also has a very audible and authoritative sound, kind of like chambering a shell in a 12Ga. pump shotgun (it can have the same effect…). After the blade deployment the “Mako flipper” becomes a very effective finger-guard just like the “Carson flipper” on the closely related and above mentioned M16 folders.
I started my tests with some potato peeling. That is what my wife was doing in the kitchen, so I decided to kill two birds with one stone..Help her and test my folder (perhaps this will smoothen my next knife buy better…) The M1 had no problem. Holding the knife in the required position in my hand (which is also used for whittling) was comfortable and the blade ran under the potato skin easily, including the serrated portion. The tip of the blade cut out the bad, black parts easy enough, but obviously for this purpose let’s say… a clip or spear point would do better. After the potato peeling I cleaned and checked the blade . I did not see any discoloration or stain from the starch.
After this light warm up I cut up a 5′ long 1/4” rope to pieces by folding and pulling it over the serrated section of the blade. Piece of cake! The shortness of the serrated part did not pose a problem here. I got 32 pieces of rope with this method. Serrated blades excel in cutting ropes,webbing and other fibrous materials. That is why they were invented in the first place.
Next, I sliced the previously cut rope pieces in half using the plain edge portion and a cutting board.
The knife sliced easily, without much pressure. One slice – one piece. On the end I got 64 pieces.
The following day I brought a cardboard box home for my next experiment.
Utilizing the full length of the blade (plain and serrated) and using various cuts( eg. slicing, push cut)
I hacked up the whole box in seconds. This was nothing for the knife.
After this I tought I could use the cardboard pieces for a penetration test. So, I stacked them up nicely and then employing an icepick grip I stabbed my M1 into the pile. At first I was too careful and did not use full force. Even so, I have penetrated 9 layers. But because of my hand did not slip on the handle at all, I got bolder and used ever increasing power. The number of the penetrated cardboard layers grew accordingly, up to 16. I stabbed 5 times.
Just for comparison I repeated this test with my spear-point M16 folder – and I had the very same outcome! I think this is an excellent result. The false edge and the titanium nitride coating (which not only protects against corrosion but lessens the friction, as well) aided greatly in this outstanding performance. For my next trial I ended up at the kitchen counter. I took a look in the fridge, what is available for cutting? I cut a tomato to pieces and sliced up another one. No problem.
After that, I took some nice slices off a piece of Fruliano cheese. Here I could have used a touch longer blade (about an extra half inch would be nice..)
Next in line was some smoked sausage which I carved up very easily and for a better color effect I cut up some green pepper as well. So far, I did not observe any decrease in sharpness.
The fairly wide blade is very good for spreading butter, peanut butter and such. I can establish that, the “Tactical Folder” can be put in action in the kitchen, as well.
It is time for some woodwork. Luckily I could get three different kind of wood: pine, cedar and American poplar. I started my tests with making some “feather (or fuzzy) sticks out of the pine and the cedar. Also, I made a “tent peg” from the almost 1” diameter poplar. The blade separated the shavings nicely and very easily. I am not an experienced carver but I still could direct and control the knife easily. I think the next photo illustrates this well.
Next in my schedule was “drilling” a hole. For this purpose I utilized the cedar and made a pretty hole with the aid of the “Millenium Tanto” tip in seconds
After this, came a little wood splitting. I used a 3.5” long piece of pine and a baton to make some kindling/firewood. It was easy, no difficulty at all.
I split the firewood into even smaller pieces and got this nice looking pile of kindling for my efforts.
Next I stabbed my folder into my former baton with light force and with one move I pried/broke it out. The pine gave way with a crackling sound. I repeated this process a few times with increasing force and got similar results each time. In this picture you can see the little damage on the right, lower corner of the wood caused by the previous battoning.
I carried on my woodworking tests with twisting the knife tip out from a block of pine 2X4, after stabbing into it, to a depth of 3/16 of an inch. This did not pose a problem to the M1 either. Of course I repeated this tip twisting a couple of times with no change to the outcome. During my woodworking experiments I used the tip and the plain edge portion of the blade. Because of the location of the serrations I had to change my normal “whittling” grip. I had to grip further ahead of the handle on the back of the blade. This is executable easy enough on this handle, here the “Mako” flip guard aids greatly, preventing our fingers from sliding over the serrations. None of the three kind of wood I have used in these experiments is hardwood, but still we got a good idea of the knife woodworking abilities.
It is time for another edge holding check up. So, I carried out some paper tests. First a paper cylinder test. I do not think this edge dulled a lot so far…
And also I sliced up a couple of pages of some expired TV program for good measure. Here I have to mention that, the serrated portion tears the paper on the pull, but slices beautifully on downward push.
Writing about the serrations I decided to cut up some webbing with them, only. I used some 1” wide strap for this purpose and the serrated blade sailed through it, like if it was not even there…
Next I brought a piece of 5/8 of an inch diameter air hose (used for air tools). It is tough, flexible and not too hard, it is worth a try. Using the plain portion of the edge I sliced off a few pieces from this hose. It was not much more difficult than the smoked sausage slicing in the kitchen…
After this I had one more sharpness test. For this, I used a notepad page and the knife still sliced the paper beautifully.
I also gave one more try to shaving some hair off from my forearm. The edge sporadicly still took some hair off.(let’s not forget, the blade wasn’t razor sharp at the beginning)
Examining the knife up close I did not find any stains, wiggling, chipping or similar damages. The only thing I observed was some minor scratches on the blade coating. But even these scratches were visible only if the light hit them just right. I carried out my tests in a few days, not at once. During these tests I did not sharpen or fix the knife in any way. Based on my everyday use and my tests I can say, that the M1 stood up for itself well, passed everything I threw at it with flying colors.
For our money we get a robust, well built, reliable locking folder. The handle is outstanding, the steel is well tried and tough, the blade shape is very smart and useful. The wide clip provides good grip on a number of different places and materials (including pockets,webbing,backpack straps,belts,etc…).I would not recommend carrying it in tight jeans, because of the relative width of the knife (closed). Cleaning and maintenance do not demand anything special, the M1 is not particular. In my opinion there are only two things that could improve this folder. One is - an extra half inch of blade length (mind you, that would make it illegal for everyday carry in a number of countries, especially in Europe). The other is – some grooving on the edge of the liner lock for easier closing of the blade.
The knife has every capacity to be an excellent EDC knife or a compliment to a larger blade in the bush.
OK here is my spoon took me about 2 hours to cut/carve the shape from a chunk of wood and about 3 hours sanding the hardest part is the inside of the spoon… Next time I will take more time to carve the inside as smooth as I can, I could cut the sanding time down to an hour or less I bet…
I tried using a crook knife but found that just did not work for me not enough control.. I used a small cheep wood gouge and that worked OK for me…
Now that I know what works for me I will be looking into buying a good quality spoon gouge for the next spoon project….
|Regulating Oven Cooking Temperature|
|Regulating cooking temperature is by far the hardest thing to master when learning to cook in a Dutch oven. Hopefully the few tips I have to offer will help you out.First and foremost, always use high quality briquettes. I recommend using Kingsford charcoal. Kingsford is packed tighter than most other brands so it won’t pop and spit, and it tends to burn longer than other brands. Avoid using “Match Light” charcoal as it burns hot so it doesn’t last as long. Kingsford charcoal will generate good heat for about an hours time. For recipes that take more than an hour to cook, after an hour remove the remaining briquettes and ash from the oven and replenish them with new briquettes. Note: because the Dutch oven is already hot, you will not need as many briquettes as when you started cooking. I usually remove 2-3 briquettes from the top and bottom the first time I replenish them.The general rule of thumb to produce about a 350° heat is to take the size of the Dutch oven in inches, double the number, and use that many total briquettes. So, for a 12″ oven you would use 24 briquettes, for a 14″ oven you would use 28 briquettes, etc.. Remember this is just a rule of thumb and does not work for all makes of ovens! This rule for instance does not work when cooking with MACA deep Dutch ovens because they are much deeper and they are manufactured with more metal. This will be better explained below.Generally speaking each briquette will produce about 10° – 15° F. worth of heat on a moderately warm day with no wind. However, do not use these numbers to try and formulate how many briquettes you should use to generate internal oven temperatures. Instead, use the general rule of thumb to calculate the number of briquettes to reach 350° F. and then add or subtract briquettes to reach the temperature you desire. Why shouldn’t you use the heat values to determine temperature? The answer is, other factors such as the amount of metal used to manufacture the oven, the size of the oven (volume), and the amount of free airspace inside the oven affect the final internal temperature the oven will reach when using a set number of briquettes. The more metal, volume of food, and internal air space you have to heat up, the more heat will be required to bring your oven to the desired temperature.
Other factors such as ambient air temperature, humidity, altitude, and wind all influence how much heat is generated by burning briquettes. Cool air temperatures, high altitudes, shade, and high humidity will decrease the amount of heat generated by briquettes. Hot air temperatures, low altitude, direct sunlight, and wind will increase the amount of heat generated by briquettes. Also note that in windy conditions briquettes will burn faster due to the increased air flow around them, so they will not last as long.
Heat placement around the Dutch oven is crucial to yield the best cooking results. Briquettes placed under the oven should be arranged in a circular pattern no less than 1/2″ from the outside edge of the oven. Briquettes placed on the lid should be spread out in a checkerboard pattern. Try to avoid bunching the briquettes as this causes hot spots.
The number one question I am asked is “How many briquettes should I put on the lid and how many should go underneath the oven?”. The answer is “It depends on what you are cooking”.
For food you wish to simmer such as soups, stews, and chili’s; place 1/3 of the total briquettes on the lid and 2/3 under the oven.
For food you wish to bake such as breads and rolls, biscuits, cakes, pies and cobblers (rising); place 2/3 of the total briquettes on the lid and 1/3 underneath the oven.
For food you wish to roast such as meats, poultry, casseroles, quiche, vegetables, and cobblers (non-rising); use an even distribution of briquettes on the lid and underneath the oven.
The golden rule of Dutch oven cooking is “go easy with the heat”. If the oven isn’t hot enough you can always add more briquettes, but once food is burned, it’s burned.
|Campfire Cooking Tips|
|I have received a lot of response from people asking how to use their Dutch ovens over a campfire. I have two separate campfire cooking methods I like to use, each depending on the amount of time I want to spend tending my ovens.The first method involves using charcoal briquettes which are lit in the campfire. I prefer to use charcoal for cooking as opposed to cooking over an open fire because temperatures can be easily regulated with briquettes whereas an open fire is riddled with hot spots that can lead to burned food if your Dutch ovens are not watched carefully. I simply add a pile of charcoal to the center of the campfire to be started by the flames. Once the charcoal is lit, the briquettes are removed from the fire and arranged for cooking near the edge of the fire pit away from the campfire flames. Then cooking proceeds just like it would at home.The second method entails burying your Dutch oven in coals and is about like cooking in a crock pot set on low heat. I usually use this method when out hunting or fishing (in a campfire safe area) and I don’t want to spend a lot of time over my ovens. It starts by digging a hole 18-20 inches deep and 20-24 inches in diameter in the center of the campfire pit. Line the sides of the hole with flat stones and check to make sure the oven will fit in the hole. Next, start a campfire in the bottom of the hole to get coals going. Keep adding wood to the fire until the hole is 1/2 – 2/3 full of coals. Next kick the fire out and remove the larger pieces of remaining wood. Dig a hole in the coals that the Dutch oven containing the evening meal can be set in then cover the Dutch oven with the remaining coals (you want at least 2-3″ of coals on top of the lid) followed by a 2″ layer of dirt spread out over the coals. Spread 2 wet burlap bags over the dirt and cover them with rocks so they won’t be blown away in the event a wind comes up. The burlap bags will help to hold the heat in. Then leave the oven to sit for the day. When you return to camp in the evening the food will be ready for eating. Simply dig the oven up and brush it off with a whisk broom prior to opening it.|
|Helpful Dutch Oven Cooking Tips|
|Many problems can be avoided by watching your ovens while you are cooking so don’t be afraid to lift your oven lids to check on your food. If you see steam escaping from around your oven lids then your ovens are to hot. Dutch ovens act as a sort of pressure cooker steaming the food from the inside out making it more tender. If you let the steam out of your Dutch oven, it doesn’t help the food and more often than not the top or bottom will be burned.To keep from generating hot spots which cause uneven browning and burned spots, rotate your Dutch ovens every 15 minutes by turning the oven 90° in one direction and the lid 90° in the opposite direction. The easiest way to manage this is to lift the lid, rotate the oven 90° clockwise, then put the lid back on so it is facing the same way it was when you lifted it. I usually look at the number cast on the lid when I do this. When rotating the oven properly the number on the lid should stay in the same place during the whole cooking process.When I lift the lid to rotate my ovens I usually peek inside to see what the food is doing. This way I know if the oven temperature is right or if I need to adjust the number of briquettes.”Stacking” your Dutch ovens is a convenient way to save space and share heat. Stacking is best done when ovens need the same amount of heat on top and bottom. (I.E. – Do not mix and match ovens that require different amounts of heat on top and bottom. Placing an oven with a cake, pie, or rolls in it, on top of an oven loaded with coals on the lid is not a very good idea.)
A Dutch oven lid can be placed over the fire or stove upside down and used as a skillet or griddle. Using the lid in this fashion, you can make virtually error free pancakes and eggs that don’t run all over. This is because most lids are shaped like a very shallow bowl so things naturally stay in the center, even if the lid is not level.
Many people have asked me how to turn an upside down cake out of an oven without getting cake everwhere. Here’s the method I use: First, let the cake cool for 10 minutes or so in the oven with the lid cracked. Next run a rubber spatula around the inside edge of the oven to loosen the cake. To turn the cake out, first lay a piece of parchment paper across the top of the oven so it lays flat and replace the lid so that it holds the paper in place. Make sure you have an available lid stand resting on your table for the next step. Using gloved hands place one hand on the oven lid and your other hand under the oven and carefully flip the oven over so the cake falls onto the lid. Rest the oven upside down on the lid stand and tap the bottom and sides of the oven lightly with your hand to make sure the cake didn’t stick. Then lift the oven off the lid. The cake will be resting on the parchment lined lid and can be cooled this way or slid off the lid using the parchment paper.
Generally speaking each briquette will produce about 10° – 15° F. worth of heat on a moderately warm day with no wind. However, do not use these numbers to try and formulate how many briquettes you should use to generate internal oven