Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bee Hive and a hatchet

Like I said yesterday was going to round up some wood for a top bar bee hive.
I found some 1"X12" in my scrap pile and got two sides 45" long and a bottom 50" long.
I cut some 1"X4" trim 45" long to go around and gathered up some more one inch boards to make the bars.
I hit a snag as one of my sides had a piece splitting out of it so I pried it open and put in some glue and clamped it tight. So that's as far as I got on that project yesterday.

As I was working on the bee hive I saw a hatchet head hanging on a nail by the door in my shop. It's been hanging there my whole life as far as I know and I notice it almost every time I'm in my shop. ( In case you don't know my shop was built by my great great grandpa around 1890) So I decided it finally needed a handle. I should of gone in the house and got the camera so I could of shown you the steps I took to create it but you'll just have to suffer through my description instead.

I went out to my wood pile and dug through my pile of slabwood. I bought a dumptruck load a couple weeks ago to burn in the furnace. I got a nice piece of white oak that was slightly larger and longer than I needed.
It was only about 1/4" thicker than it needed to be and about 1/2" wider. First and most important in my opinion I took a pencil and marked the center line on the narrow side of the wood. This is where the narrow side of the hole will go. Then I held the head up to the blank and marked how deep the head would sit on the handle.

When I did this I saw I could cut about 3/8" off the back of the blank so I ripped it down with the hand saw.(that was some work) Then I put the blank in the vise and starting with a rasp I worked the head into a rough shape to approximate the shape it needed to be. Then I put the head up to the blank and looked into the top of the hole and could see when I was getting close in size. After a little bit of work I could slip the head on the tip of the blank. After a tap I could see the marks where the wood was too tight and rasp that part off. soon I had it fairly close and I used a wooden block and a hammer and was able to drive the head the rest of the way on.

I then smoothed out the rest of the handle with the rasp and made a slightly smaller grip area near the bottom, rasping it down until it felt good in my hand. Next I drilled a hole near the bottom for a leather thong if I feel like putting one in. I then took it out and split a small pile of kindling with it. You will notice I didn't put a wedge in, and I think I really don't need one since the inside of the head was pitted with rust and when I drove it on it compressed the wood somewhat and it expanded into these pits inside the head. I made one like this years ago and it lasted a long time. If it loosens up I can drive a finish nail into the head to expand it.

I am quite please with what I ended up with.

Still clinging to my God and my guns,

Saturday, March 28, 2009

This week on the homestead

Worked on a couple projects this last week.

Last Saturday dad brought two tons of stone over in his trailer and we filled holes in the driveway.
Our driveway if you don't remember is 1/3 of a mile long. If I order enough stone to cover it and spread by the quarry it costs almost $800. This way it was just a few dollars and then walking along behind the trailer with a shovel filling in holes. I have a grader blade for the old ford 9n and have kept the lane in fairly good repair since the last time we had stone delivered about 5 years ago. the important thing to remember with a gravel lane is to make sure and keep a crown on it. You should grade it so the center is higher than the sides that way the water runs off instead of puddling. No matter what I do, I eventually need stone. This driveway has been eating stone for 150 years and I don't think it will ever stop. There are a couple soft spots that just seem to sink and make big puddles. When I use the grader I bring all the loose material to these places and leave it there. But I had about run out of loose material so we got the two tons of new stone.

After we were done with the driveway I started tinkering with the rototiller. I got it running for the first time this year and made a pass through the garden. It turned out the garden was too wet to till on Saturday, But I ended up being able to do it on Tuesday after it had dried just a bit and before we got our rain on Wednesday.

Since the garden was too wet I went over to a patch of ground where the old bank barn had stood. About 5 years ago we had it torn down. They dug a big pit and burned it and then covered it back up. So now I have a big patch of subsoil. Anyway I mowed it last year and tilled up about a 15X40 patch Saturday. I hauled three wheel barrows of wood ashes and spread them on the east half of the patch. I only did half the patch because I'm not sure how wheat will react to wood ashes. (I killed all our squash a couple years ago by putting wood ashes on them to see if it would kill squash bugs... Well it killed the squash. I shouldn't of tried it on all of them at once) Then I raked everything semi smooth and let the wood ashes mellow until Monday night then I went out and scattered wheat all over the patch and raked it in. I know wheat will grow if planted in the spring it will just be ready a little later and won't have the jump start on weeds. It then rained off and on the rest of the week.

I have been having a reaction to my BP meds. I am extremely drowsy off and on. Thursday was awful. I also did something to my hand at work last night while we were moveing equipment. It feels like I have really bad arthritis ,we'll just have to see if that gets better as the day goes on.

The kids have wanted a fort for a couple years and my sister came over this morning to build it finally. She came in just a bit ago with a flat finger form hitting it whit a hammer. She smashed it real good.

Plans for today include running the grader up and down the lane to even it out just a bit and then I will try to disk the old orchard field. I am planning on putting in sunflowers, beans,corn and annual rye(for weeds).

I graded the lane but the field was way to wet to disk. I watched my sister work on the kids fort and I will try to get some wood together to make a top bar bee hive this afternoon.

Still clinging to my God and my guns,

Monday, March 23, 2009

Militia member/domestic terrorist, is this you? Probably

A report links anti abortionists and third party supporters to being militia members and domestic terrorists. LINK
This is the information law enforcement is going to be using when they decide who is worth watching for whatever reason.
If you are reading this site you are probably already on a list somewhere. It looks like the conspiracy theorists are finally right.
Big brother is watching you.

Still clinging to my God and my guns

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Working Guns Part 1 Handguns

Working on the homestead I am rarely unarmed.
Any sort of situation could come up that a firearm may be required.

For an example read this post.
Another example was a couple years ago my sister and I were cutting wood in my woods when her cell phone rang and it was my dad asking where she was. Seems the police had a running gun fight for about 30 miles down the interstate that ended in our town where my sister usually buys gas. My woods is 100 yards from a main road with an exit on that interstate. The bad guy could easily of ditched his car there and headed into our woods. When dad was a cop many years ago he drove the 4x4 blazer when they pulled an escaped convict out of a woods that he had fled into. Also believe it or not there was a bear killed in my woods in the 1960's here in NW Ohio. Really I have pictures!! (ok it was an escaped pet but it was a bear none the less)

Quit a few times I have dispatched a 4 legged varmint with my handgun when otherwise I would of had to return to the house for a long gun and probably given it time to escape.

I have three main uses for handguns on my homestead, hunting, varmints and self defense . Some of the guns fall into more than just one category.

At the top is a center fire magnum I use for big game hunting. This one happens to be a .44magnum but you should use what you can shoot well. I have been shooting magnums since I was about 10 years old so recoil up to a .44 mag. doesn't bother me. (I've never shot anything bigger) Stainless makes this gun a great durable weapon on the homestead. It can also double as a personal protection gun. I had a 4" .44 mag. that I carried a whole lot, but here in Ohio you need a 5" barrel to be legal for hunting so I sold it and bought this one.

Right below that is my .22 rimfire. This little Ruger has ridden on my hip more that any other gun I own. (I've had it nearly 30 years) It is my trapping pistol and has killed more fur and put more food on my table that any other gun also. (well my elk rifle has put more pounds) When I was a teen hunting rabbits in Colorado, I started out using a 12ga. shotgun just like we used here in Ohio when I was a kid. When that was too easy I went to a .22 rifle, that was also too easy so I got this handgun and have used it for small game ever since. It is still the first gun I think of strapping on to work.

Below that is my Colt 1911 .45 ACP. This is mainly a self defense handgun but I have hunted small game and dispatched varmints with it. This was my competition gun when I competed in IPSC, I have well over 30,000 rounds through this gun and it's a toss up between it and the .22 on which I can shoot most accurately. (It's cool being able to shoot the head off rabbits and squirrels.) The one problem I have had with this gun is once while cutting wood I somehow hit the magazine release and walked around with an unloaded gun until I saw the magazine laying in the trail. (OOOPS!)

On the bottom are three concealed carry handguns that can be hidden on your person or even put into your pocket when you don't want to show that you are carrying a weapon. I tried shooting a grouse with the auto one time many years ago. After two magazines of misses I figure this category doesn't translate into hunting or varmint guns very well.

Top right is my old .44 cap and ball revolver. I included this one because it is the only one I have with a flap holster. A flap holster will keep your gun a whole lot cleaner than any other kind. Sure it is slower to draw from but in real life we aren't in quickdraw gunfights. A flap holster would of kept me from dumping the magazine out of my .45 and it sure would keep out the sawdust that gets in the nooks and crannies of whatever gun I am wearing while cutting wood.

Speaking of holsters the holster lying between the .44 and the .22 works for both. I have one for each but the other one is a different brand and I use this one because it keeps the gun out of the way better. I just switch out guns when I feel like carrying the other one.

On to feeding the working handgun:

Here are the main types of ammo I use from the left:

- .357 magnum hydroshok - self defense

- .357 magnum 158 grn softpoint - Hunting (hollow points tend to explode near the surface of big game since they are designed for self defense)

- .38 special hydroshok reduced recoil - self defense

- .32 ACP hydroshock - self defense

- .45 ACP Aguila IQ 117 grn alloy - 1500 fps - self defense- I have used this to dispatch a groundhog that had been hit by a car and was crawling across the road. I shot it in the head and the round penetrated and bounced off the pavement and I could hear it ricocheting off into my woods. This is some zippy ammo.

- .45 ACP 230 grain fmj - self defense /varmints good even for defense against large critters as it penetrates well to reach vitals.

- .45 ACP CCI Lawman 230 grn. hollow point (flying ashtrays) - self defense

- .45 ACP 200 grn lead semi wadcutter - varmints/small game

For my .22 I use whatever is cheapest. I have CCI stingers for varmints if I have time to load them, but don't carry them too much since they shred meat if you hit a rabbit or squirrel wrong with them.

That about wraps up the different kinds of handguns and what they are used for on the homestead.
Stay tuned for part two shotguns and part three rifles, coming soon to a blog near me. (LOL)

Still clinging to my God and my guns,

Friday, March 20, 2009

Even healthy shopping can be bad for you


Picked this story up this morning.
Worlds deadliest spider was in some banana's at a health food grocery.
As my wife would say "EEEEEKKK!"


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tanya's New Blog

Check out My wife Tanya's new blog.
Living Healthy in the Modern World
Our homesteading life from her point of view.
It will be on the bottom right of my blog under "My favorite blogs"

Still clinging to my God and my guns

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A saner view of HR 875 ? plus burning the fields

Here is a more optimistic view of HR875. LINK
I think the best part is hardly anyone thinks it will actually pass, which is good news.

I spent the last two evenings burning my plots in preparation of spring tilling.
I know everyone says don't burn because it kills soil life,worms etc.
The soil right now is cold and wet, nothing was harmed by me burning my weeds and crop residue. I do make sure and walk through the area first and pick out all the praying mantis egg sacs. Then I keep an eye out while I am watching the fire because I seem to miss 75% of them the first time. I picked up about 20 of them this time. I usually take them and spread them out evenly around where my new crop will go in .

Last year I had the bright idea of selling them on ebay.(they bring a pretty good price) so I gathered up about 30 of them, put them on my enclosed porch and promptly forgot about the whole thing until I got an email at work from Tanya one day telling me we had a million tiny mantis's crawling around our porch eating each other. I made sure and left them outside this year.

Still clinging to my God and my guns,

Friday, March 13, 2009

A simple wire snare support

I originally posted this on Frugals.

This is an easy way to hang a snare almost anywhere.

Simple tools Gregerson coyote snare.
Needle nose pliers
and a piece of wire.

Use the pliers to bend the end of the wire as shown.

Insert the snare cable in the notch and use the pliers to squeeze it tight.
Don't squeeze tight enough to crush the cable, you just want a good friction fit. When caught the animal will pull it out easily while struggling.

Here is the finished product hung on my garage door. The full weight of the snare is held by the notch.
You can wire this snare anywhere now.
If you use stiff enough wire you can even poke it in the ground and hold a snare where there is nothing to hang it from.

Still clinging to my God and my guns

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Guest posting...

Wanted everyone to know I am open to a guest post now and again.
I don't know everything, as you no doubt have discovered by now so others information would be helpful to all the readers. I am willing to trade posts also on your blog. The only rule I have is it can't go against the Christian faith. Feel free to email me and put blog somewhere in the subject line.

Still clinging to my God and my guns

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Get your torch and pitchfork!!! HR 875


This link is to another blog that describes very well what HR 875 is all about.
This bill would seriously impact any of us who grow gardens and put our produce out for sale.
Our current regime is trying to stifle every last bit of freedom that is left in this once great country.
This is the change so many voted for. Monsanto is sure happy about it.

Still clinging to my God and my guns

Sunday, March 8, 2009

David Wilkerson has something to say

David Wilkerson of “The Cross and the Switchblade” fame has made a dire prediction, and I felt it worth sharing.

Read it HERE

Are you prepared?

I do not get caught up in predictions of doom and gloom but I feel a wake up call to some believers might be needed. We get carried away with the status quo and don’t live with a sense of urgency the we as believers in a risen Savior should feel.

If this comes to pass is not the issue. The issue is what will you do to warn your neighbor that someday he or she will kneel before Christ.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Found this while reading...

Supreme court justice William O. Douglas said...

"We need exercise as individuals. We need to keep physically fit and alert as a people. ... History is the sound of heavy boots going upstairs and the rustle of satin slippers coming down. Nations that are soft and slack--people who get all their exercise and athletics vicariously--will not survive when the competition is severe and adversity is at hand. It is imperative that America stay fit. For today we face great danger, as fearsome a risk, as any people in History."

Hard to believe those words were written four decades ago.
History truly repeats itself over and over. Lets learn from it one of these times.

Still clinging to my God and my guns