Monday, November 20, 2006

PSK Knife Testing II

Yesterday I gave the PSK knife a bit of a work out and noticed a few things (which I'll come to in a minute). I was trying to make a sort of whistle/flute out of the elder I collected a few weeks ago.
I started of by removing the inner bark from the sticks as I'd only taken off the outer to aid drying. This went fine and the only problem I had was a bit of cramp. Because the handle is fairly small I ended up gripping it too tightly but once I adjusted to this I was fine (bear in mind I've got fairly small hands for a guy who is 6'3"/188cm). I also had a quick try at battoning through one of the sticks but didn't manage much other than to dull the edge. I probably should leave this to green wood!
I then split the elder in half as I'd read that this was the way to make blowpipes. This went fine and I scraped out the pith. After doing this I bored 3 finger holes in the pipe. The problems came when I tried to glue the two halves together using pine resin. I should have tied them together and then used the resin to fill in the gaps whereas I used it more like contact cement. At least I've learned not to do that again.
The finished flute was basically rubbish as the gluing didn't work out. I'm going to try again when I get something to poke out the pith so I don't have to split the stick.
The knife performed acceptably. There is now one noticeable flat spot on the edge, I expect it will strop out though as BRKT knives are relatively soft and respond well to stropping. My leather belt however doesn't and I ought to get a dedicated strop. The whole experiment went fine and was more a test of the craft ability of the knife although some things like de-barking and drilling holes may be useful in a survival situation. I had to resist the temptation to turn to my SAK Electrician Plus as it would've done the same job faster as I'm more used to it and it has that lovely awl!