Saw Frames And The Shift

Yesterday afternoon everybody carved a bucksaw frame. It’s a great project in that it teaches safe and precise knife skills. We build them with no nails or wooden pegs, so that friction is all that holds it together. To accomplish this the carving and fitting needs to be close to exact. If someone does a poor job, it simply won’t hold together. Today we’ll use them and see how they turned out. If some need refitting, it will be done over the weekend.

Yesterday we also learned several new knots, pressed several more plants, and explored the lagoon at the end of the lake. There are a lot of fresh beaver chews, and we found what might be a bank lodge. The snow was still nearly crotch-deep, which made getting around slow. We’re supposed to get a big rain tonight, which should knock it down a bit. It could be a tough weekend for those people who live along nearby rivers, though, as they’re predicting flooding.

One of the rewarding aspects of running our semester programs is watching the shift that takes place in people while they’re here. When people arrive, they think of a piece of gear and, as they’ve been trained to do by our culture, wonder where they can buy it. By the end of the course, their thinking has shifted to where they wonder what they’ll need to get (raw materials) and do to make it. I can already see this group starting to shift.

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