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Home > Magazine > ProjectGadget
Petzl Myo: Best Headlamp "Bang for the Buck"
April 07, 2014 - I've been using the Petzl Myo XP headlamps for about a decade now. Every day. They've never failed me. I think it's high time I promote them in detail. (I've mentioned them in a lights summary, but sheesh.) This is a bombproof, featherweight little light. For around $80. It's powerful. And it has many easy-to-use features and se...
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Best Bike Headlight / Headlamp Combo: 1200 Lumens!
April 07, 2014 - Yeah, it's bad that China makes stuff for us, but sometimes it's a good thing. I'm just not in the $200 bike light demographic. Thankfully, you can get the same quality with this $18 "big power" cheapy, courtesy of a misspelled listing. 1200 big lumens. Sure, people niggle at what you really get, but the result is TONS OF LIG...
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SRAM Generator Hub: Top Value for Endless Power
April 07, 2014 - Here's a $70 generator hub that you can built up into a wheel to give 3 watts of power for whatever you want to do on a bike. Most use it for a head- and tail-light assembly. Click on the pic to buy! (OYB gets a percent of the payment of anything you order after clicking the pic-link, at no cost to you!) With a generator ...
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Mike's Cool Vintage Bag
April 25, 2013 - [FROM 12/30/2011] Pal Mike has a neat old leather shoulderbag with an attached mesh bag. I wonder what it really is... Is there fishing involved? [UPDATE 4/25/13: It's a HARDY Trout Fisher's Bag, from the UK. They run about $200. Nice classic bag! I'm guessing they've been making this model for 100 yrs.]
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Sweet New Lights (for Bikes) -- Cheap!
May 16, 2012 - Personal lighting is booming like crazy right now. And, yeah, a lot of it on the dirt-cheap side is coming from Hong Kong. Dealextreme.com is rockin' the big firepower for little money like it always has. I recently picked up a jillion-lumen "Fandyfire" Cree stick light for,...
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Bike/Action Lights Set-up & Tips
November 16, 2011 - Here's the bike light combo I've been using for a few years: *Headlamp; *Sticklight, floody-type, with bar-mount; *Red blinky tail-light; *Big ol' Spotlight. My set-up seems pretty good to me. Of course, I really do need a Spot-type sticklight, but whatever, I've been making-do with the Big Ol' Yeller. I use these lights ...
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Maker Faire: Detroit, July 30-31
July 07, 2011 - If ya like inspiration, don't miss this! DIY project folks galore! The ultimate real-life DIY Expo right here in Michigan! ...Maybe someday Detroit will open itself to being re-DIY'ed! (What's holding it back, anyway? I recently heard that it was taxes, plain'n'simple. Nobody can afford to build and/or open up shop there...
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Pondering New OYB Products to Cover the Bases
June 20, 2011 - I like the idea of offering nifty but hard-to-find products to serve the possibly more exotic needs of everyday outdoor enthusiasts. I also like the idea of repurposing underappreciated existing stuff. I like to cover my bases. (Not to say that I specialize in cockamamie schemes!) I presently offer a hundred diverse books'n'ma...
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Have an Edge? Sheath it!
April 19, 2011 - I have a folding knives and sheath knives and they're happy as they are. My kitchen knives don't have it bad, being mostly in a block or on a magnet strip. But I've come to see that all of my other bladed tools are in a bad way, to put it bluntly, which is what they become. My saws, chainsaws, axes, hatchets, rasps, files: NO...
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Fix stuff when your zipper breaks, don't toss it!
February 05, 2011 - I haven't tried this gadget yet, but I hear it's good. I busted the zipper on my XC boots. It's not easy fixing these things. I suppose a boot shop can do it. I did once fix a zipper with a clip-on replacement. It was a bit bigger and kinda clunky. It might've been one of these ZlideOn's. Martha bought me a zip slider at...
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A Ghillie Kettle from Ben's Backwoods
December 06, 2010 - I enjoy tin-can twig-stoves, but I just got to test a high-end true-blue traditional Ghille Kettle, imported from chilly, rainy Ireland by the folks at bensbackwoods.com. It's like a twig-stove on overdrive. It's like a thermos with its own built-in stove! And it has a c...
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Idea: Classy Multi-pocket Vest? Pivoting Blazer?
November 02, 2010 - I'm thinking of offering a line of improved, versatile clothing items. Martha already goes to the best thrift stores in the Midwest on her wool-sweather mission for her LazyGal.com fabric art biz. I'd just have her add a few items to the list of things she's looking for. She already shops for me and the kids, as it is. W...
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Maker Faire
September 15, 2010 - Many folks in the know already know about this but I've been slow on the uptake. Here's a big event that I bet is worth checking out. I note that it came to Michigan last summer at Greenfield Village. It's sponsored by the folks who make those pricey, no-ad's magazines "Make" and "Craft" and others. Here's how it's de...
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Celestial Navigation is Still Cool
August 27, 2010 - You don't have to know how to use a sextant anymore to get places on the wide open sea, but I still think it'd be neat to know how to use one of those things, or at least to know how it works. Years ago I acquired a big old wood sailboat and was set to fulfill my dream of sailing the seas. I did get to do a bunch of sailing and...
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DIY Trashcan Packbasket
August 18, 2010 - I shoulda got a picture of this but I didn't. Our upnorth friend Bill Perkins used to be the local Scoutmaster and he ended up doing a lot of picking up and hauling of stuff, for both campouts and community events. He made something that made the pick-up and haul chore a lot easier. He took a big plastic trashcan and bungiec...
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What's Your Handy Customized Pack Rig?
June 22, 2010 - I'm starting to think that a handy trail-pack rig would be a fishing vest with a Camelbak pack over top. What I really like is access to stuff while on the go. Things like snacks, camera, phone, binocs, map, compass, GPS. Plus water, of course. I used to rely on my fannypack with bottle holsters, but I get tired of rotating t...
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Joel Forrest's Saddle Shop: Where OYB Gets its Leather
May 27, 2010 - Here are a couple pics of the Circle JF Saddle Shop. Joel makes the leather straps and logo patches for OYB luggage. It's been nice working with Joel over the years. He always has good ideas for improving my leather processing, recently solving my lame rivet time-hole and turning me on to stainless steel tube rivets and one-step r...
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"NutnFancy": YouTube Outdoor Gear Review Dude
May 25, 2010 - Have you seen any of the NutnFancy guy's YouTubes? He's a gungho, anonymous military guy (Lt. Col., I've heard) who goes on bush outings in the snow with just him and his dog and reports on oodles of outdoor equipment; lots of knives, saws, flashlights and such. Also lots of gun reviews. Straightforward style. With a friendly, amateu...
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Wingnut Gear: a Low-riding Load System
May 24, 2010 - I've been pondering low-riding loads lately. I enjoy a fannypack for my allday ski outings. -- I appreciate the ability to rotate the bag around for snacks and wax. But I dislike tightening and unloosening the buckle every time to do so. And I dislike the sagging load. I pine for suspenders. Actually, I'm usually wearing them but ...
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Great, thrifty ultra-headlamp: Magicshine 900
January 26, 2010 - The folks at Geo Man Gear offer the stick type flashlight that I really like, the one with the SSC-P7 emitter and chubby 18650 LiPo battery -- it gives a great flood for outdoor action PLUS supermaxhigh power -- maybe 500 lumens for about $50 for all you need. I got mine from DealExtreme.com but these guys have it, too. But, w...
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Shagnasty Labs: steampunk creations and culture, galore!
January 26, 2010 - Party people have been modifying Nerf guns for fantasy fun for quite awhile. Here's a guy who has it dialed in and is cranking them out. $55 gets you a basic souped up classic Maverick. One-off's go on up in price, I imagine. Check out this laff riot Steaming Mad Englishman rap video: Read Article | Go to Website

"MYOG": Make Your Own Gear -- hot backpacking scene!
January 25, 2010 - You'd think there'd be a MYOG.com or .org but not yet. (Or, at any rate, the geeks have bought 'em up before an MYOG'er could put them to good use.) "Make your own gear" is a hot new scene in backpacking, but it can apply to anything, right? Thanks to ultralight godfather Ray Jardine a decade or so ago, folks started makin...
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Life with a Woodstove: Our First Season
January 15, 2010 - We've been heating our house with wood about half the time so far this fall and early winter. It's our first season on the wood. I've learned a few things so far. I bought a big old wood stove for $300 and put it into the basement. Then I bought a buncha secondhand insulated stainless chimney for $400 and installed that. So t...
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Handy Power-Generating Goodies...
November 25, 2009 - In my arsenal of tools and goodies I'd like to have several ways of generating power... *a pedal generator *a solar cell/panel *a wind turbine *a stream/water turbine Some kind of converter / storage system they could plug into. I suppose one would ideally have a couple sizes of each of these. But for start...
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Build a Sauna in Your Shack
November 24, 2009 - My pal Dave who owns the deer camp I went to last week built a sauna over the summer inside the porch of the old shack that's on the land. It goes to show that you don't have to build an entirely separate building if you want a sauna. He took advantage of several pre-existing walls (and ceiling and floor) in the old porch. ...
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Dangerously Fun: projects for the brave...and foolish
October 19, 2009 - If you like James Bond glide-wires and making homemade things that launch strange objects (spud gun!) you'll love the "Dangerously Fun" website of joyous projects.
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Spud Gun: Large Caliber Fun in the Back Yard
October 19, 2009 - Henry is that age. 12. He asks a lot of questions about machine guns and explosives. He's taking fencing lessons. We're starting early firearms training and practice. He's lateraled these skills into a devotion to Airsoft battles with his buddies (which seem to end up -- with the Airsoft stuff dropped -- as swordfights ...
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Pedal-powered Electricity Generator
October 19, 2009 - Since at least the 1970's folks have been working on ways to turn pedal-power into electrical power. I was thinking that they've probably worked out a tidy plan or other tidy option by now and it looks like they have. "They" being tinkerers. Yes, it's still a tinkerer's field, it looks like. Although, I should check out Real Good...
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Beer-can Stove: looks neat!
October 01, 2009 - So, did you know that you can make a high-heat alcohol stove using just a pop can? You can! And, in fact, there are a half dozen variants you can build. Take your pick based on your performance needs and build complexity. Looks lightweight and handy, indeed!
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A Laguiole! For TdF ...There's Only One, You Know!
June 11, 2009 - [$55 shipped in the US, flat rate Priority.] [SOLD! If ya snooze ya looz! : ) I'll keep my eyes peeled for other unique, nifty, useful knives.] Viva la France! TIOOYK! I just picked up a new-in-box R. David handmade Laguiole knife with corkscrew. I'm guessing the wood is Olive, but who knows. It's very ni...

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"Back to Basics": classic book of traditional skills
May 13, 2009 - I've long owned and enjoyed a copy of the Reader's Digest "Back to Basics" book about basically the complete, entire range of traditional skills, so I thought I'd pick up some extras and offer them to OYBers. Mine is a 1st ed. hardcover, so that's what I've stocked so far as well. (1983 printing of 1981 1st ed.) It's an amazin...

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Puukko & Mora Knives: Cheap, Great, Everyday Outdoor Blades...
April 22, 2009 - I've been bumping into Mora knives quite often in my outdoor knife readings lately. For instance, the Ray's Way ultralight camping school has students make their own Mora style knife, which Ray Jardin declares to be the best all around camp knife. That caught my eye. I've also noticed that they're cheap. Like $10. And it's from...
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Health Herbs Hike'n'Prep: April 25, mid-Michigan
March 20, 2009 - George Hedgepeth and Angela Abraham are hosting a medicinal plants and herbs day at Angela's "The Mustard Seed" natural arts and supplies shop in Shelbyville, MI. You'll go on a plants walk with George to learn to ID and find relevant springtime herbs. Then Angela will show how these plants can be turned into helpful tincture...
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Sweet new thrifty bike light! (good for everything else, too)
December 03, 2008 - I just got my new bike (and everything) stick light in the mail. I bought a handlebar mount, too. (I still need a headband for it.) Dang, it seems to be rockin' powerful. And it seems to have what I need in a bike light. The main thing is that it takes the huge brightness of a 2-foot Cree hotspot and spreads it out over ab...
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My Fave Junk Drawer
November 22, 2008 - Here's my favorite junk drawer. It's right where I work and it's for knives and outdoor sports stuff. Whenever I go on an outing, or need to tinker with something, I dip into it for what's needed. How about if you take a pic of your fave/junk drawer, too! You can upload it somewhere and link it to a reader-comment below. I th...
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Project: Homemade World's Best Sled!
November 17, 2008 - [BUMP from 12/07] My brother created a neat homebrew sled. I just made a couple for our kids for Xmas. At this point, I can't think of a better homemade sled. Feel free to post your own ideas, plans, links! What you do is take a plastic tub sled ($10 hardware store) and screw a pair of XC skis to the bottom of it---if it's...
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Snow Shovel Fever!
November 16, 2008 - [BUMP from 2/08] I'm a student of shovels. Whenever I do hours of work with something I end up studying the tools involved. It takes on the fever aspect when the work is of the maximum output type. This means seasonal yardwork. Yardwork takes work even if it's motorized. Motors are heavy and involve sweaty, strainful p...
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"Old Hickory" Camp Knife Project
November 09, 2008 - A few years ago I bought a $8 Old Hickory 6" butcher knife and it sat around. I'd bought it because I'd read that it was easy and fun to convert these into camp knives. Finally I went and just TOOK some time out of an overloaded (16 things on the to-do list!) day and just layed into it. Since then I've taken a few minutes here a...
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The Cheap Sweet Bike Light: more DealExtreme.com
November 08, 2008 - I've been studying the problem of the cheap sweet bike light for awhile. I'm talking a light that really lets you see the road. These can be readily had in the form of "HID" systems (dunno what that means) that cost typically $350. So there's that. There's also these new Cree-type LEDs that I've been telling you about th...
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Protect Your Fragile DigiCam with a "Skin"
October 21, 2008 - Today's digicams are amazing. The same goes for the fancy iPhones and such. You hightech people probably know all this stuff better than I do. The problem is that they're fragile, right? Well, there are a few neat options out there now to help. First, you could buy a new Olympus waterproof, shockproof wide-angle digicam for $250-...
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Finally: Shockproof, Waterproof Digicams
September 12, 2008 - Finally, there are two options out there for outdoor/action digicam users. Face it, digicams are fragile or at least they have been. I'm talking about little ones, to take everywhere with you. In my world they need to be good enough quality for printing and they need to offer wide angle and they need good video. And th...
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Flashlights Gone Wild: Deal Extreme is the place!
September 08, 2008 - LEDs have changed lighting forever, it looks like. There seem to be 3 bulbs, I mean "emitters," that are rocking the world. Cree, Seoul and Luxeon Star Rebel. I saw a report that said in 10 years that light bulbs---in houses and everywhere---will all be Crees---and that electricity usage will drop by half and lighting dur...
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Primitive Skills on Bois Blanc Island!
August 04, 2008 - [Bump. This is a report from last year's event. This year it's Aug. 7-10. This year our whole family is going! : ) ] Here are some pics and a new report about the amazing Great Lakes Primitive Skills Gathering on Bois Blanc Island in the Straits of Mackinac. A summary if you want to skip the report: This is th...
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Nice little DIY resource: "Making Your Own"
July 03, 2008 - Here's a site with quick info on doing it yourself for a bunch of reasonable projects of daily usefulness. Like making your own cheese. I need to do that.
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SteamPunk: retro-style & hightech gadgets
July 03, 2008 - Here's a guy who retrofits various modern items into practical outfits from the Victorian Age. Introducing: Hieronymous Isambard "Jake" Von Slatt. His projects work and contain improvements over today's offerings. Like his "Brass Age" PC monitor is an all-in-one---with hard-drive and such built into his ornate monitor mod....
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You Like Sharp? --these guys are NUTS for sharp
June 12, 2008 - This is an esoteric subject. How to even find the right image to illustrate it? Sharpness. (OK, I'll find something basic that will work---a pic of an edge---easy.) I've always appreciated sharpness in a tool. Well, since my uncle showed me the basics. Or at least provoked me about the basics. It was mysterious. I was maybe...
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Young Japanese Tool Maker --- tradition in an eBay store
May 17, 2008 - Here's a guy running an eBay store that offers traditionally made hand-forged tools. He says he's also a carpenter who makes traditional buildings. These tools seem about 30% cheaper than similar items I've sen. He says this is because he's so young. I like reading his "Jinglish" listings. The natural whetstone stuff is fascinating, ...
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Thrifty Wool Underwear: "Minus 33"
March 21, 2008 - Wool is the best cold weather underwear. ...For me, anyway. Quite a few folks prefer it as well even in warmer weather. Possibly for children---who have sensitive, non-wooly skin---it might be dry feeling or itchy, but with Merino wool and the new processes being used, kids would probably like it, too. It's not your grampa...
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Too Many Shoes?
March 16, 2008 - How many do you have? That you USE, I mean. (How many coats and jackets? Whew! When you live where it's cold they tend to pile up, even when one is into layering. To think that I used to live out of 2 duffles...) Here's an old OYB online article-blurb that I'm digging out of backstock and reviving... **** For years ...
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Greatest Show in the Universe! [Literally!
January 22, 2008 - [by Michael Edelman, special correspondent to OYB] The greatest show in the universe is… out your back door! If you were to ask the typical ten year old today what the sky looks like at night, the reply would probably be something like “dark.” Sure, you can see the moon, and a few stars, but that’s about it. Yet if y...
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Making Harrison's Hutch
January 22, 2008 - An Experiential Report of a Project, by Mike Hayes. (A summary report by JP is elsewhere here.) When I was a kid we’d take summer trips to Colorado and then some years later my Dad took me to see the film "Jeremiah Johnson." For some reason that kept playing over and over in my mind, and into the years to come...
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Kids & Osage: A Stick and an Easy Doll House
January 15, 2008 - It's fun to make cute things for the kids. My projects can't involve much skill, time, money or tools---because I don't have those. That still leaves me with a lot. The kids don't notice any shortcomings. I recently found a dead osage orange tree that had fallen over. I salvaged some logs from it for, well, who knows what. A l...
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G-Flex Epoxy: Revive Those Dead Shoes
January 11, 2008 - WEST Systems epoxy is good stuff. It's run by the Gougeon brothers here in Michigan. This is worldclass epoxy chemical action but I like it that one of the owners, Meade, has helped revive a near-extinct and simple type of boat, the sailing canoe. This is basically a semi-decked one-man canoe that has a small mast, rudder and ...
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A Handmade Hatchet...That's Affordable
September 21, 2007 - I've long appreciated the Gransfors-Bruks line of axes. But their 10" model, which my pals and I call the "brook trout," starts at about $100. Here's a line of heritage Swedish axes from Ben's Backwoods, a new OYB indy biz sponsor, that starts at $29 for a 13" hatchet. Cool! They say they're a bit less polished, but may...
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Barefoot Shoes!
August 29, 2007 - The barefoot movement is coming on strong. Shoes are bad for feet, I guess. The idea is that feet readily adapt to being used bare and then they don't get hurt as often nor does the rest of you. But if your skin isn't quite Huck Finn tough enough, you can now try these semi-barefoot shoes. I've been hearing about several brand...
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Making My Own Nessmuk from a Cleaver
June 19, 2007 - A friend was selling his grampa's old butcher knife at a garage sale. It was huge, with a 1/3" thick maybe 14" long blade---more like a cleaver. But I saw another knife hiding inside it. I asked him if it would be OK if I chopped up the old knife and he said fine, let's do it! He wanted to see what would come of it all... So I dr...
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The Craftsman --- a poem from a reader
May 30, 2007 - The Craftsman a poem by Michael Alan Hays The craftsman his tools very precise Refines, hones and sharpens his knives Working with his loves ~ mahogany and teak Known to hum, as there is no speak Revealing the rings of character and age The scent of fresh cut wood Releases the sage, from within Within... Scul...
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Treefort time!
April 20, 2007 - UPDATE! I finally finished the fort! It's tall and strong. And dangerous to make sure it's safe. Nothing makes kids more cautious than no railings. They go up and get real quiet and sit right down. It's strong enough for a few adults to have a picnic up there, too. (3/4" wolmo-ply on lots of 2x6 joists with a center po...
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I Hate Burning Good Wood...
April 07, 2007 - Every now and then when I cut up some wood for the fireplace I come across pieces that just break my heart. This is art wood, furniture wood. Knife handle wood. Gunstock. Freehand pipe. Or just carve out, sand and varnish wood. But not firewood! Man, it hurts. It's mostly in the crooks of hardwoods. Man, wood can be pretty. Eve...
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Snaky Bows & Freehand Pipes
March 29, 2007 - They go together. They both have natural, flowing shapes, that go where the wood wants to go. Many crafted wood items, including pipes and bows, are cut to symmetric shapes. Boats, skis and gunstocks are. But here are two instances where the wood takes over. If one appreciated the one I bet they'd appreciate the other...
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NESSMUK --Say it loud!
January 31, 2007 - Do you know Nessmuk? If you like outdoor culture, you should. So now you will! He's the guy who first launched the idea that anyone can learn the skills necessary to enjoy a wilderness excursion. He also started the idea of the small, light solo canoe (via Ruston's "Wee Lassie"). And lightweight backpacking. He democratized...
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Axwork is where it's at! But any woodwork warms SEVEN times
January 10, 2007 - You know how they say that chopping wood heats you twice? That's bunk. *WOOD HEATS YOU SEVEN TIMES!* 1 cut down tree and cut it up 2 haul away brush 3 haul away logs 4 unload logs 5 split logs 6 stack wood 7 carry wood to house It's a buttload of work! ...Add in any axwork if you dare. I used to drop em with an ...
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A Purty Sports Rack...
November 14, 2006 - I used to have a purty sports rack up in our living room. But it wasn't that purty. Martha took it down to make room for cutesy things. She says if we ever got an addition I could put one up again. It was like a horizontal gun rack but it held: *wood kayak paddle *wood XC ski *longbow *muzzleloader *bamboo flyrod .....
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Survival Kits & Notions
November 08, 2006 - Survival skills and awareness is a must for outdoorspeople. I've been getting free subs to the two "biggy" hook'n'bullet mags for a couple years now and they often cover the subject. There seem to be a couple key details that pop out: if you get lost and panic you're a goner and also if you're lost for more than a day the odds g...
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$25 pack-tent? Yeah!
October 27, 2006 - I picked up this new $25 solo backpacking tent online. It's the Texport Knollwood and it's 3 lbs. That puts it in the "bivvy" category but they say it sleeps two! I like it because it has a full-mesh option for stars, air, dry (buggy) weather. It seems fine so far---it just went thru a good rain and came out dry, and I've hea...
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A Job for JP?
September 29, 2006 - Martha says that I should set up a knife-sharpening (bike-powered), shoe-shining, pest-control service...maybe with a little bike repair on the side. I could have a little trailer-cart that I pedal around. I could also offer my books, apparel, CDs, DVDs and luggage. Make a nice display. It would be like a mobile man-boo...
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A Family-run Japanese Knife Forge
August 02, 2006 - For a REAL insider's look at wonderful blades, check out: watanabeblade.com/english/special/index.htm. They offer the niftiest ranges of knives for the outdoors as well as for the kitchen. Be sure to also go to the main Japanese language homepa...
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Dandy Michigan Knives
August 02, 2006 - Bark River Knife & Tool is a company that descended from the world famous Marbles Company. They're in the U.P. of Michigan, with an outlet store on Hwy 2 near Escanaba. They offer a classy line of knives. A great place to buy these knives is McKnight's shop in Baldwin, MI, near where we have our trailer on the Pere Marquette. H...
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"Messy, broken or lost"
May 15, 2006 - That's the status of things around here now. Is it Springtime or what?
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Welcome to Team D.I.Y.!
March 26, 2006 - The OYB scene is all about DIY. Here's the bike jersey concept: TeamDIY.com Do-It-Yourself Adventure & Culture ...with Friends! So, take charge, take ownership, of what you do. Don't just do it because everyone is doing it and there's a convenient line to stand in. Don't just take anyone's word for it. Go ...
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Workshop Mayhem!
January 23, 2006 - Here's the OYB Shop Empire, starting with a 3D "stand in one place then turn around" view of the workshop area, including my shipping desk. (There are boxes and inventory off to the side but I ship about 1000 goodies a year from this lovely space. My kids like sitting on the workbench and watching the wide range of projects go by...
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Packbaskets: classy way to haul anything
January 22, 2006 - Packbaskets are hand-made. But the boutique makers to upper-crust folks charge a good $100-200 for a packbasket. Trapper supplies have always offered them at plain prices to the plainfolk who hit the traplines and need baskets. It's a different demographic---and pricepoint. About $50 for the thrifty models. The artisan baskets...
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Wood warms, uh, TEN times!
December 27, 2005 - They say wood warms you twice---once when you cut it then when you burn it. Or something like that. Maybe chopping wood warms you twice. Well, anyway, they're crazy. Here's how many times wood warms me... 1. chop tree down---chopping with big sharp ax is the best and most fun way (and healthiest---those bone-blows are good fe...
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What a Stocking Stuffer!
December 16, 2005 - The Victorinox Midnight Manager has to be the neatest little knife going. It's the ultimate keychain item for me. This darn thing has a light, cap-opener, philips screwdriver and ballpoint pen and, of course, "much more." Oh yeah! And it's cheap. Check it out!
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Ray's Way: an outdoor school you bring good stuff back from
October 16, 2005 - The "Ray Way" ultralight backpacking stuff seems pretty neat. Why go heavy, after all. But even more than that, I think I like the way Ray runs his outdoor schools. When you attend one of his camps it looks like you learn the basics of primitive outdoor skills, for sure. Probably quite a few schools teach that. But it looks l...
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Easy jiffy camp cooking: Coffee Can Twig Stove
August 29, 2005 - I'm taking off on a weekling solo bike tour in a couple days. I'm going lean. It's still hot out these days and I figure I don't need a stove. I'll get rolling in the morning and eventually find coffee if I want it. I'll go to bed with a few goody-snacks waiting for morning. Simple is fine by me. But I was thinking I just migh...
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OYB Laboratories: Revealed!
August 20, 2005 - OK, here's where it all goes down. All the wacky books, projects, repairs...and the shipping of hundreds of goodies a year out to savvy people like you! And what a jury-rigged world it is. These pics make me laugh just to see them. Yet it all works. I can find anything (almost). There's no end of goodies that you can do all kinds ...
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Backlist of OYB Workbench Blurbs, Links & Stories
May 19, 2005 -

*Wood Bowls by Tom Cannon... My ski/canoe/skate/carpenter/builder pal Tom is making fancy bowls on a lathe. Very nice! Great value: they fly out his door. Site at TomCannonBowls.com. ...

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The DIY House Grant... and a Dream of a Dug-Out Cottage...
April 29, 2005 - My brother is building his own home, from recycled materials (salvaged, secondhand and auctioned). Another friend is doing something similar. Both say the same thing: the income they earn during the year they build their homes is equity income. They're ...
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Selfwood Longbows...
January 04, 2005 - Get a nicely made snakey bow someday and you'll really have something worth shooting. A good one is so sweet, it's like playing music. I made an Osage self-bow once and after I settled into shooting it and getting to know what it liked I realized that it was playing notes. A good self-bow is almost as fast as a top recurv...
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