Friday, 15 May 2015

Folding Knife Pouch

This is the small pouch I mentioned I was making in my last leatherwork post; i'm rather pleased how it came out.

I finished the veg tanned leather with a light brown dye and a mink oil top coat. I've used an antique brass stud to keep it closed and it has a couple of slits in the back for a belt to go through.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Microadventures so far

Adventure…. The word conjures up images of hacking through jungles; scaling huge mountains and sailing vast oceans. Google ‘Adventure’ and a host of inspiring images appear to whet your appetite to get off the sofa and set off on an adventure of a lifetime. But for many (myself included) the choices we have made, commitments we have and our own fears prevent us from undertaking such grandiose journeys. 

I travelled a bit when I was younger, more again with work, but the quest for security (both financial and emotional) has led to family and work commitments that don't necessarily align with heading off on a jungle trek for a few months. So currently my taste for adventure is filled by shorter trips and trying to stuff as much as I can between a family, a 9-5 job and everything else.

Just to be clear, would I change those decisions? No, the stability and happiness from these choices has given me a family I love immensely, the opportunity to explore many different interests and to meet a lot of great people along the way.

When I read about the idea of microadvertures on Alastair Humphreys blog  ( @Al_Humphreys it struck a chord with me, and I resolved to undertake a year of #Microadventure. 

Joining forces with Lee ( @1MansAdventures we have set out to spend at least one night a month under the stars, preferably with a bit of adventure thrown in along the way.

Well, the months seem to be flying by and already we were into our fourth official adventure. We've started with the easy stuff, testing our equipment and braving the coldest months with locations we knew a fire would be possible. January was held in my woods (remember those choices I mentioned above). Comfy and warm, tucked up in my hammock was a great way to see in the New Year, it wasn't even that cold. 
Roll forward a month and our February adventure ticked the cold box with a light dusting of snow to ensure we stayed close to the small fire we lit. Waking to a clear and crisp morning a hot porridge added some warmth before we rolled the few miles home to warm showers.

March and April's trips were a little rushed. Busy months for both of us, and a trip to Snowdon saw us heading to a spot in the Surrey hills I have used on and off for around 20 years. We got into the true bikepacking on these trips with just our bivy bags and what we could fit on the bikes. One thing that’s abundantly clear is that getting the weight off yourself and onto the bike makes for a much more comfortable experience. Something I really need to sort out before next month Gravel Dash.

April’s trip was the most rushed to date, not setting off from home till late evening and getting set up just before dark. A trip like that shows you how much you can achieve in the hours between work days and we were home before 7am.

Interspersed with these trips have been a few other nights out in the wild and I look forward to them more and more, especially as the weather improves and the wildlife starts making more appearances.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Skeleton Knife Sheath

Moving the workshop has pretty much occupied my winter this year; thankfully all the major construction is now done and I found some time to do a leather project. It’s good to be back doing projects and creating again. 

I've started wet forming the leather for a small pouch my Dad wants for his folding knife and made this cover for a skeleton knife.
 I'm reasonably pleased with the way it came out as it's just a cover for the blade (its going to be kept in a waist pouch).

 I’m not a huge fan of the blade as I think the proportions look wrong but it seems sharp and fits the hand well enough. Perhaps a paracord weave to add some interest?