Monday, September 20, 2010

September Frolics

Golden sun, fish in the crick and our first's been a glorious September thus far. We've been slaying the coho salmon with bow and arrow to fill the smokehouse and just finished the last pressure cooker full last night. 175 cans of smoked salmon are lining the shelves of our pantry and we are now eyeing the lean firewood pile warily, seems it's a never ending chore.

Although it's duck season at last we've not been out blasting holes in the sky as much as we'd like...I think they sense the murder in our hearts. We've only brought one plump spruce hen home, these are well known for a very poorly honed sense of survival instinct.

Oh yes, the mushroom hunting has been fantastic! Our good friends Jim and Maria Rodebaugh were here for a week and we had a fine time harvesting puffballs, hedgehogs and chicken of the woods. We also logged off the most impressive stand of shaggy manes I've ever seen, they were almost too pretty to pick. However if you were to get a chance to try Jim's wild mushroom risotto do it!! We got in some salt and freshwater fishing while they were here too. Just so noone forgets, the girls carried away the record of most dice games won for the whole week and were very humble about it. Halfway through the week the boys hauled off to fetch us forth some venison since we'd been living off fish for awhile and red meat sounded awfully good. Us women folk stayed back at the shop to have the first ever all-ladies hammer-in. There were some finely turned towel and coat hooks coming off the anvil and quite a good time was had by all. Topped off with fresh backstrap and huckleberry pie when our conquering heroes returned. Suffering in the wilderness once again.

We have been working on a few blades in all this. Adam has been twisting every bar of damascus in sight and turning out some real eye candy in preparation for our time in Brazil with Rodrigo S'freddo. I have been working on some 10 inch blades, a bit bigger than I usually create but I'm preparing for my cut and bend test which is my first step towards becoming a journeyman smith. I find the combination of housewife/bladesmith to alloy perfectly...just the other day I tossed a crusted old baking pan out on the porch declaring it hopeless, not worth my time to scrub, let the ravens have it etc. etc. I took myself off to the shop to drown my guilt in the comforting roar of a *KMG when lo and behold I found myself looking around for a shallow metal container to hold the sand for my *blue-backing procedure...proof that God governs in the affairs of men...that's what I say.

* KMG Knife Maker's Grinder, a 2x72 inch belt grinder that allows you to make mistakes at top speed removing perfect plungelines, pleasing profiles and knuckles efficiently and indiscriminately.

*Blue-backing is an extra step to the tempering process. The cutting edge of a hardened and fully tempered blade is protected from heat by damp sand while you apply a torch to the spine. This further softens the blade making it springy and tough while the edge retains the hardness necessary to hack through a great deal of stuff and (as my brother Mark would say) still shave a camel's behind without waking him up...


  1. Haley,

    You have a gift for writing! I enjoy reading your adventures of day to day life you both experience...

    hope you keep up the postings! I am blessed to own two of your fine blades...a Denali bowie and the small "naked" hunter that Adam gave to me....

    David Buhrer

  2. David,

    Thankyou... I hope your knives are serving you well. We look forward to hearing of your adventures also!


  3. Greetings from an autumnal UK! Many thanks for such a highly informative and entertaining blog. I check back regularly for updates and am currently having my own camp knife/chopper made, i'll send you a picture when it's done

    All the very best,
    Matt Jenkins

  4. Matt,

    Thanks for the comment, looking forward to seeing your blade!


  5. Hi Haley! This is your cousin Natalia, from Santa Cruz, CA, although I live in DC now with my husband who is stationed here at Arlington Cemetery. What an amazing life you have, congrats on the marriage and good luck in your business!! Oh yeah, you'll see my dad and brother at Chase's wedding.