"Forgotten techniques"

I’m an old tarp fan, having used them since 1968 for shelter, and I consider myself reasonably adept at rigging. But at Raystown I commented on Topher’s rigging of his tarp with short ties at each pullout. He told me he had gotten the idea from Cliff Jacobson’s video, so I ordered one from Piragis.

A little corny, and Cliff writes better than he narrates, but I give it a “thumbs up”.


Informative Video
I try not to be too much of a follower, but since watching that movie I have also bought a Grohmann knife and a hand forged Swedish hatchet…both of which I like very much.

Grohman Knife
That is a sweet blade isn’t it. I got one a month or so ago. Very handy for making fuzz sticks and spreading cream cheese on my bagel!


– Last Updated: Oct-27-04 6:26 PM EST –

Forgotten SKILLS.

Dang, I want a Grohmann knife too! If you go to the Grohmann website, a link will take you to a Canadian company that sells 'em for U$63.


Grohmann knives
Hollow ground or flat ground?

Stainless or carbon steel?

I’m leaning toward a flat-ground high-carbon SS blade.


Paddled past their factory last Saturday
They’re located in Pictou, NS, about 8 miles downriver from me.

I got
The flat grind, stainless blade. Holds a decent edge but takes longer to sharpen than a carbon. Check out Ebay Canada. I got mine from a shop in Nova Scotia for $45.00 U.S. (plus shipping).

Boat Knife
#3 Stainless

Boat knife
What was your reason for chosing a #3 Boat over the #1 Original?


…I can’t remember. I ordered the knife through BMO in June. Through a couple of delays, mostly on our end, I didn’t get the knife until October. In the mean time I can’t think of any rationale for the choice…but it is a nice knife and I like it.

I think it may have to do with the fact that the handle is more like a kitchen knife…which after my culinary career I find very comfortable.

I also like the idea of having a Canadian Army Knife (although mine has the boat sheath) rather than a Swiss Army Knife.

Ordered a #3
I agonized over the decision, but in the end I ordered a #3 Boat knife. I liked the bigger “hook” for the index finger, and your comment regarding kitchen cutlery seems valid (as it will get much use in that area). The more I thought about it, the more flexible flat grind blade did not seem to be as good for splitting kindling as the hollow grind.


(Got my tarp ties in position, got my sheath knife, just need to get a dog and a hatchet to complete my transformation into Topher’s evil double!)

Tarp Ties
Guess I need to get the video.

I bought a tarp with cloth ties on it instead of grommets for a BWCAW trip this spring. It was a cheaper (but not cheap) version of the one Cooke’s sells. We only needed it once but the cloth ties don’t look like they’ll hold up well and grommets will need to be added in the key spots. They could have left off half of the ties and done a better job on the remainder of them and it would serve better. Maybe this old dog just needs more time with the ties trick.

Flat ties
will not work for the application in the video. The idea for cord ties (tied to each webbing loop) is to use a quick release sheet bend to attach guylines where you need them. The ties I attached were 2ft parachute cord, doubled and tied with a close-cinched overhand knot. These can also be used to tie teh tarp edge to a pre-strung ridgeline.

Stay away from grommets - you should be able to add flat webbing loops to your existing tarp with a home sewing machine. Google Cookes Custom Sewing to see a picture of their loop design.


I’ll check Cooke’s…
site as you suggest. At this point I’m still missing something. What this tarp has is not loops. It may be destined to have the kids use it at their clubhouse :-).

Grohmann #3 DHR Boat Knife
Arrived today. Lovely knife.

Topher, I plan on conditioning & moulding the sheath with neatsfoot oil (very tight right now and needs to take on the handle’s profile). Any tips?


Don’t use oil.
Oil will soften the leather. You want it stiff. Wet the sheath with water. Put the knife in it. Mold the wet leather around the knife. Sometimes spring clamps are helpful. When you got it the way you want it, remove the knife and let the sheath dry. Then use shoe polish. Polish, not oil. It will retain its shape. With polish the leather will be stiff so that the knife “clicks” into the sheath.

But Grohmann’s

– Last Updated: Nov-01-04 8:17 PM EST –

website sez to use Neatsfoot?!?!?!


Actually I had planned on the water moulding, and am sitting here contentedly squeezing and fondling the sheath into shape. OooohhhhhAhhhhhhhOhhhhhhh

Mink Oil
I didn’t bother to read any directions and went straight for my old standby.

Calling agin on my culinary background I have also sanded the handle and have begun a series of Mineral oil rubs. It ends up with an extremely smooth but water resistant finnish. I am also finishing my hatchet handle the same way. I’m not totally sure hwo this will all work out, but I’ll share my results.

Congrats on your new knife.

I wondered at the apparent slipperyness of the rosewood. May have to try the oil finish - I have some wood block oil (food grade) which may be less slick.

I don’t have any Mink Oil, but I do have SnowSeal and Snowproof (the latter is for oiled leather).

And I am glad I went for a #3. Feels great in my hand! Can’t wait to use it this weekend.


Well, OK …
I trust that Grohmann’s knows what they’re doing. My recommendation is the way I do it. I make my own sheaths. I buy leather from a local shoe repair shop.

BTW - I “customize” my sheaths using a wood burning tool (looks like a soldering iron). I generally only put my intials on it but you can make designs as well.