Sunday, 9 December 2012

What to do with a Sunday

So you know how you just sit on the sofa on a Sunday thinking “I’ve got nothing to do today, I think I’ll just sit here and watch TV”. No? me neither. As an aspiring bushcrafter I find that there are 101 things that I want to do, make and learn. But the list never seems to get any shorter and other things in life always seem to get in the way. I’ve got so many part started projects my poor shed is bursting at the seams.

But a few months ago there was a break through. SWMBO was out for the day sheep dog trialing, the weather was too bad to do anything on the farm, the house was beyond tidying and only a day wouldn’t even make a dent in it and work had been very stressful. So it was decided that it was going to be a Man day!

Full of gusto, I marched down to the shed, head held high and flung open the doors. As I was hit by the tidal wave of junk and debris, my head sunk, what exactly was I going to do with little to no work space that could be achieved in a day. As I waded through everything, and trying to tidy as I went, I found the bow saw blades I had bought in preparation of a project I had wanted to do for some time. That was it, today I was going to build my own version of a buck saw.

Fighting through the array of tools and bits of metal I finally found my wood off cuts bin. Delving deep to find 3 suitable lengths of wood, I was set to go. But wait, how was I going to make this, was it going to be a quick and dirty, more function than form, or was it going to be something that I would look at and say, yes, that’s both useful and pleasing to the eye.

So back into the house I march and grab the computer. I’m sure there is someone on BCUK who has made one of these much better that I ever would. So now with a stolen design, back down the shed.

Pulling out the table saw, I set to work, cutting and measuring (yes, I did do it the wrong way round). Then a sudden flash or inspiration, what if I could make it so I could carry the blade within it and a spare. In fact my intension had always been to carry a green wood blade and a dry wood blade, so that I had options. And so, on the fly, my design was born.

I decided to put a slit running the length of the cross bar to house the blades when not in use, I also opted for scrolled tops to act as the tie-off point for more of an aesthetic touch than anything. The handle I crafted smaller and rounded for the comfort of my southern softy hands. It all locks together with a mortise and tenon joint and the blade fits in the slot and held in place with a couple of bolts and wing nuts. With the basic construction done, it was time for the finish, or in this case the Danish (oil that is).

It has been a fun little project to work on and a very practical one too. It’s been out with me on the last couple of Sussex BCUK meets and really proven its metal by getting through some big bits of wood. All in all a job well done and this is now a part of my regular bushcraft kit and packs down quite nicely.

all done, and well used.
Packs down nicely.


  1. Nice one Jack, now to make one in the woods using just the materials you find around you.

    1. Thanks Mark

      You're right, think I'll wait till spring and do it with some green hazel.

      I keep forgetting to record and blog stuff, so New Year's Resolution, that and find a job!

    2. Nah, do it now, less sap to worry about in the timber, or you could make one from some Sweet Chestnut down at Broadstone this weekend?

  2. Sounds like a plan. I hope I can find time between cooking and fire wooding.