Category: Survival Skills

Making A Huge Two-Handed Chisel From Scraps

Sustainability takes many forms—from shunning single-use plastic to repurposing waste steel, destined for landfills. Whichever path you take, the most important thing is to make life and the environment a better place in the process. We can draw inspiration from the Advoko Makes YouTube channel, which has all kinds of blacksmithing DIY projects that turn less-than-ideal material into works of art—including making a knife from a file and even a well-balanced bi-metal bearded axe.

Blacksmithing is an art that has been refined throughout the centuries. It’s through black smiths that some of the most world-changing tools came to be — from household items to weapons. But away from commercial metalworking, there’s a wealth of talent skill in hobbyist blacksmiths such as Max from Advoko Makes.

In this YouTube video, he takes viewers through the impressive process of making a two-handed chisel – forging a fully-functional and high-quality two-handed chisel from an old rusty leaf spring.

Also known as a ‘framing chisel”, the extra-large forged chisel is a handy tool for several reasons. As Max elaborates, the two-handed chisel is particularly applicable in situations when you need to be productive (work fast and efficiently) and precise. This includes shaving wood in spots that are hard to reach with a hand plane, spoke shave, or axe. Being two handed it also gives greater power, which can also yield greater carving control in the right hands.

If you know your way around metal works and welding, this is an interesting DIY project to undertake. So make sure to follow Max’s DIY adventures for more.

“Recycling is what we do when we’re out of options to avoid, repair, or reuse the product first. Firstly: Reduce. Don’t buy what we don’t need. Repair: Fix stuff that still has life in it. Reuse: Share. Then, only when you’ve exhausted those options, recycle.”
Annie Leonard, renowned proponent of sustainability

Making A Huge Two-handed Chisel From Scraps
Making A Huge Two-Handed Chisel From Scraps – Images: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBQI0pQBoyc

Survival Lessons From The Great Depression

Survival Lessons From The Great Depression
Survival Lessons from The Great Depression – Images: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SH3PUBkWYQ

In challenging times such as the recent ones, it can be valuable to look back at a similar period of economic struggle (for example, the Great Depression of the 1930’s) — and draw some important survival lessons to prepare us for the uncertainties that await.

The Great Depression is widely regarded as one of the worst economic disasters to ever hit the USA. It was a time when the nation’s jobs, housing, food resources took a hard hit— leaving countless people stranded and dreams broken.

But even in such a torrid time, some stalwart survivors made the most of scant resources and adapted to the hardships. This survival mindset is what the YouTube video by the Sensible Prepper promotes. It is a breakdown of survival tactics that got our forefathers and foremothers through the bleak circumstances of the Great Depression.

The survival lessons from the Great Depression that could help you prepare for worst-case scenarios include:

• Honing your gardening skills and learning how to grow your own food sustainably.

• Learning the basics of foraging, fishing, and hunting.

• Having hard cash around and being prepared for a barter system. People were left stranded when banks closed without warning during the Great Depression—freezing their life savings in the process. So, don’t rely too much on loans or credit cards.

• Appreciate the value of frugality and resourcefulness — including knowing how to recycle and reuse everyday items.

• Turning to unconventional means when utilities designed to make our lives easier become too much to afford. For example, people would sleep outside during the hot summer months in the old “pre air conditioning” days to cool down. You can also consider the idea of off-grid power supply from sustainable sources like solar.

• Strengthening community and family bonds. We’re stronger together!

• Remain positive through mental resilience to survive tough times.

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Survival Lessons From The Great Depression
Survival Lessons from The Great Depression – Images: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SH3PUBkWYQ

Fatwood For Beginners

Fatwood — aka. heart pine or pine knot — is widely known to be an excellent firelighter wood. It’s the resin-soaked wood that forms when sap from dead pine trees settles into the trunk and branches. Although fatwood can be found in most forests, actually locating it is easier said than done until you know what you are doing.

If you want some quality fatwood for camping, you of course have the option of ordering from stores. But what if you’re in a survival situation in the woods or buying pre-made kits is not economical? In the following video, Coalcracker Bushcraft offers a hands-on explanation of how to spot fatwood and quickly process it for various uses.

Below are the simplified steps to finding and using fatwood for beginners:

1. Find a dead and rotting pine tree – either fallen or upright.

2. Look for roots (if the tree was upright) or branches that are attached to the trunk. These branches are likely rich in resin, which contains a flammable hydrocarbon known as terpene (precursor to turpentine). The part of the tree with a concentration of the sap hardens and is rot-resistant.

3. Confirm the presence of resin from its fragrant smell, a shiny look, and an occasionally sticky texture.

4. Chop away at the resin-rich branches as close to the trunk as possible.

5. Make a pile of shavings by trimming down the edges of the fatwood with a knife. You can also smash it into chips if you don’t have a knife.

6. Place it under larger wood pieces or twigs and start a fire.

Finding your own fatwood is easier than most people assume — and it’s a skill that could potentially prove to be a lifesaver in a survival scenario.

Fatwood For Beginners
Fatwood For Beginners – Images: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmQA-ChX4PQ