Fish Trap

I have been asked by one of my readers to provide a little more information about a fish trap which I use at the cabin.  This particular trap is called a “Mjäder” and I first used it when I visited the cabin before I even owned it

mjädar fish trap

From the top it looks like this

mjadarThe fish can swim in but they cannot find their way out again.  Some people say that you must cover it with Spruce branches so that the fish swim in to it for protection, but I have never found this necessary.

 

fish in trap (Small)

The frame is made from steel wire, and then the frame is covered with chicken wire.  It can be very effective at catching fish.

perch in trap (Small)

There is a small door so that you can reach in and remove the fish.

You can see here that there are many different designs.

https://www.google.se/search?q=mj%C3%A4rde+fisk&client=firefox-b&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwifnfHog9LPAhVG2SwKHbhACngQ_AUICCgB&biw=1366&bih=604#tbm=isch&q=mj%C3%A4rde+

The loft conversion and a quinzee

Last week I spent a day at Solberget Wilderness Village teaching their guests to build a quinzee ( I describe how to build one here; https://naturallore.wordpress.com/2008/02/05/making-a-snow-shelter-or-quinzee/

quinzee-1

The heap of snow was left to freeze for 2 hours

quinzee-3

Then the quinzee was hollowed out

quinzee

Once it was hollowed out, there was sufficient room inside to all the children.

Work on the loft conversion also continues…

loft conversion-9

The ceiling is up and all the electric cables to lights and plug sockets are in place, plus the wall dividing the bedroom and play room is now up

älvsbynhus

the built-in cupboards are also being constructed

loft conversion-13

loft conversion-11 loft conversion-12

I start work again on Monday, so progress will be much slower after that.

Finishing touches to out-building

So last weekend I worked on the finishing touches to the out-building.

I have fixed up a metal sill over the sliding door mechanism

door guard

and used camping insulation mat screwed along both the front and back edge of the door to form a wind and snow seal, but the flexibility of the mat still allows the door to opened and closed

door seal

The sills over and under the windows are in place now

window guards

and metal trim around the roof

side view

Inside, I made more shelving;

for tools and equipment

shelving-2

for timber

wood store

for work clothing and spare parts to machinery

storage

and a loft where we can keep skis and larger items

platform

On Sunday I even had time to go and saw up some Birch that I had felled in the spring.

cut birch

 

 

Out-building completed

Once the planks were cut to go up on the walls, and delivered

panels on lorry

I could start putting up the first layer

panels going up

with a 75mm gap between each plank.

panels first layer

Then the outer layer was put on, with each plank placed over the 75mm gap (each plank was 125mm wide)

outbuilding-1

I have also mounted a sliding door on the front

sliding door

and a couple of windows in the sides (these are old windows from the cabin)

outbuilding-3

Inside I am using all the remaining off-cuts to build shelving

shelving

So apart from some fiddly little jobs left to do, the out-building is completed!!

Raising the roof

Managed to get a weekend at the cabin last weekend.  I spent some time fishing but didn’t get a single bite, and I did some work on the boat.

As you can see in this picture, the left side of the boat house has sunk down; probably due to the weight of snow that lays on it during the winter.

boat house

Using a bottle jack, I have lifted up the roof now and placed a 4″ x 4″ post under a rafter to support the roof.  This is only a short term remedy as I never have to time these days to do a proper repair, but I am confident it will be good enough for another winter.

lifting boat house roof

The leaves on the trees have changed colour and are dropping and the temperature is dropping below freezing at night.  Some people have seen some fantastic displays of northern Lights during the last couple of weeks, but unfortunately I have missed them!

Hawk Owls plus an accident with an axe

I have located two different pairs of breeding Hawk Owl (Surnia ulula) during last weekend. 

Hawk OwlThey nest in holes in trees.  This nest site was made by a Black Woodpecker.

hawk owl nest

One pair have large, mature young that can already fly and so were difficult to photograph

Hawk owl young-1 (1320 x 990)The other pair however, have young that have just left the nest and although they cannot fly, they are very good at climbing.  They were very difficult to locate sitting in trees.

Hawk Owl chick-3 (990 x 1320)But once located, they did not move.

Hawk Owl chick-4 (990 x 1320) Hawk Owl chick-2 (1320 x 990)

While carving a Birch spoon today I chopped my fingers with the axe (I was keeping an eye on Kelly instead of concentrating on what I was doing).  I had read an article on Facebook that Cayenne Pepper is very good at staunching the flow of blood so I tried it out.

handIt did not stop the bleeding within 10 seconds as the article states, but within a minute it had stopped.  The base of the fingers is not an easy place to apply a dressing, but I have taped the two fingers together and that seems to have worked ok.

A new sheath for Emma’s knife

It is a very cold spring we experiencing. Today it has only been 1 degree C, with snow showers. There are not many summer migrant birds that have arrived, though just now we do have a lot of Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla) in the garden.

brambling sweden lapland

I am still not working a currently await a date for an operation on my hernia. While at home I decided to make a new sheath for a knife I made for Emma a while back.

20140424_142239

Emma designed the sheath herself and helped make it.

20140424_142226 (Large)

20140424_142213 (Large)

This and that

Last weekend I made a hard leather case for my EKA Super Swede folding knife.

super swede case-1 (Small)

I had three small scrap pieces of leather that I use to make knife sheaths and had to sew them together to make enough leather.  It was dark when I made this so the stitching isn’t so good quality.

super swede case-2 (Small)

I have bought another car and I hoping this one will be problem free (for a while at least).  Its a Subaru Legacy, 4 wheel drive.

subaru legacy

and finally a couple of pictures of a Siberian Jay that I took today.

siberian jay-1 (Small)

siberian jay-2 (Small)

Bushcraftage – Tools

Kids run around, kids make noise, kids do not pay attention – right? Not when it comes to using tools on one of our bushcraft courses.

I find that many of our cadets get so excited on some activities it is hard to get their attention to show them how to move on in the activity, but when using a tool (particularly knives and saws) this is almost never the case.

Many cadets like to come on a course as they know they may be given the chance to carve something. They know from the start that if they pay attention they will get to use them, but if they do not pay close attention they will not get that chance – they will get a bit of time out instead.

IMG_1340_zps063f9ecc

Paying attention

Before starting any classes on using tools we always talk about the law here in the UK. A good article on this can be found over on the bushcraft forum BCUK. I have put a link to this at the end of the article.

I also cover First Aid at the beginning, pointing out where on the body cuts commonly occur and what to do if someone cuts themselves. Also the importance of getting into the habit of always carrying a First Aid kit if you are using tools such as knives, saws and axes.

We will discuss the ‘Blood Bubble’: the area around you that if you stretched your arm out while holding a knife you would puncture someone.
Also we will discuss the ‘Triangle of Death’: the area from knee to crotch back to other knee when you’re sitting down. As the femoral artery runs down your thigh, any cuts in this triangle are potentially very dangerous. See the article on my Bushcraft Days site on knife safety tips for more information (link at the bottom of the page).

Before picking up any tools I like to show cadets that they do not always need a knife, saw or axe to chop up wood. A good natural vice can be found where two trees are close together. This picture shows some Junior Sea Cadets helping me to snap some wood. This piece of wood was particularly dry so even though it was large we were able to snap it fairly easily, up to a certain point. The stump area was later sawn through. The cadets are taught to use this technique and they learn that if they have to put excessive force into the snap they should leave that piece of wood in a pile to be sawn through later. Also they are told to keep an eye on the bark of the tree they are using as a vice so they do not damage it.

???????????????????????????????

Your hands make the perfect tool

I like to give a demonstration of what they will be undertaking in the next few minutes. In this picture we have moved onto battoning techniques.

WP_20131027_013

All prepped for class – Demonstration mode

All my classes start with some basic and safe cuts. The link to the Knife Safety Tips post at the bottom of the page goes into more details on each type of cut.

Knife 1

Start with the basic cuts

I like to make sure we have plenty of instructors around to keep an eye on the spacing between cadets, ensuring they respect the Blood Bubble.

WP_20131027_025

Good spacing – The Blood Bubble

Once they have had a practice, I get them to try working to each side to find which suits them best.

WP_20131027_023

Working safely to the side

It is good to make use of your surroundings. Sometimes you see people using their knee as a support for the back of the knife but a small tree works a treat as well.

Knife 5

A tree can be useful and a nice safe cut

After trying out different knife cuts (also including the chest lever, fine cuts and using the shoulder), they are taught to batton so that they can split wood without the use of an axe.

Knife 2

Learning the art of battoning

Wherever possible I will get the cadets to use a small saw like the Laplander.

Coppicing 1

Learning a bit of Coppicing

Ensuring the hand holding the wood cannot be cut by the saw is a must. I have had a few saw cuts in my time and they are quite jagged and painful.

Saw 1

Safely cutting up firewood

The cadets who produced these butter knives learnt all the different types of cuts and also to batton. They took them home to give to their parents.

Carving 2

Finished Butter knives by the 10 and 11 year olds

When I have a little more time and just a few cadets we can go on to more advanced techniques such as carving spoons. I must admit this does not happen often enough for me and this activity is usually reserved for my courses teaching Sea Cadet instructors.

Carving 1

Confident Cadets Carving

The aim of these classes is to get the cadets to respect the tools they use, understand what they are designed for and to manage for themselves the risks that come with using them. These skills are, I feel, lacking a great deal in the youth of today, not through any fault of their own but because they so rarely are given the chance to learn what I was taught as a young boy.

I hope you can see now why the cadets for once do not run around, make a noise and do pay attention when it comes to classes using tools.

My last post in this Bushcraftage series will be on the other activities we do, including archery, atlatls and stalking games.

Cheers

George

Links

Bushcraft Days

BCUK article on knife law in the UK

Bushcraft Days How To….Knife Safety Tips

5 days at my cabin – day 3

I decided to start my day off with a good breakfast.  Curry and cheese bannock bread, with fried sausage!

bannock bread breakfast (Large)

Most of the day was taken up finishing off the new ceiling.

celing completed (Large)

Over the fireplace, where rain water had leaked in before I bought the cabin a 2,4m long ceiling bearer was completely rotten.  I needed to replace it before the ceiling could be completed, but did not have anything long enough, so using my saw and axe

working with axe (Large)

I made a housing joint to connect two shorter pieces together.

beam joint (Large)

There were over 100 Bramblings feeding on seed I had put out and so a took a break mid-morning to take some photographs of them.

brambling-1

brambling-2

Because the walls and roof of the cabin (like most older properties here) is insulated with saw-dust, you get a continual fall of saw-dust when you are working.   To reduce the amount of saw-dust falling from the ceiling I have placed newspaper in all the gaps and open spaces.

paper around ceiling (Large)

Saw-dust falling all the time also meant that I got very dirty. So each evening after I had finished working,  I filled my solar shower with warm water and hung up out side the cabin so that I could shower and get clean.

outside shower (Medium)

The only new bird species today were a pair of Goosander.