Monday Morning Madness

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Stephen King seems to be writing 2020 doesn’t he?

Think about it. If somebody had written a book about a virus with a response that left stores without toilet paper, what would you have thought of the author?

Turning a Land Rover into a mobile Swiss Army Knife

A muddy Toyota FJ, unencumbered with stuff – at the White Wolf Mine

Ulvens Tann (Wolf’s Tooth) is the official knife of the White Wolf Mine.

It’s not my daily carry knife. I have a folding knife that I keep in my pocket for that purpose. 

The Wolf’s Tooth is a one-off pattern welded blade that started off with nine layers of 1095 and 15N20 steel, folded to 288 layers. Hardened to Rockwell 60. 

It has a scrimshaw wolf on the grip/hilt. 
I haven’t had the opportunity to use the blade on zombies. But given the events of the past few weeks, it may be coming sooner than I think.

39 thoughts on “Monday Morning Madness

  1. All that stuff on the Lawn Roamer is just more things you have to take off every month when it breaks down again. Although Defenders aren't as bad as their other stuff.

    FJ is a better plan.

    Nice knife!

  2. Looks like something from a Hollywood movie set. Either that of someone had way too much time on their hands, the dead giveaway is the desk and chair (so must be a "field biologist" with a grant, who else would take an otherwise great vehicle and tack on a couple thousand pounds of doodads and junk, trashing the fuel mileage and drive-ability in the process?)

    But, hey, it's real clean.

  3. My FJ is called The Scorpion.

    This is the thread that I used when I was building it into "my own" vehicle.

  4. I've had that FJ almost everywhere in the US and parts of Canada. I haven't posted much beyond the build website that I linked in response to WSF's post. It shows what equipment that I pack when I'm fully loaded. Usually, it's just a blend of "stuff" like basic rescue gear. My load outs are modular so I grab this or that pelican case depending on where I'm headed.

    A few years ago, five of us, who all had modified FJ's planned a trip to Mongolia. We'd load the rigs into cargo containers to Vladivostok, entrain them to Ulan Batar and then do the ride. Details including liaison with the local army were complete and my buddy was diagnosed with cancer and was dead within 6 weeks. So we bagged the trip. We had sponsors and everything.

  5. I saw that picture of the Land Rover and thought that somebody had too much time on their hands.

    Normally on regular runs if I'm by myself, I sleep in the front seat of the FJ. And while it might sound uncomfortable, I've spend 40 or 50 nights that way. If it's too hot, I turn on the a/c. If it's too cold, I turn on the heater. I have the main fuel tank 18 gallons, a 20 gallon reserve tank and then there's the fuel I carry on the outside in cans, which has been up to another 20 gallons, depending on the trip. Roaming in Death Valley and doing the complete Kokopelli Trail (Fruita, CO to Moab, UT), I've found that I need to pack fuel.

  6. The sheath is black leather, basic. Not nearly as fancy as the knife. I haven't weighed it but it's light and quick.

  7. Thank you, Jim. It's too fancy to carry as a regular camp tool, which is what most good knives are. And I have better fighting knives, both D2 steel and titanium. Don't get me going on knives. I'm sort of a knife person, attend knife shows, etc. Truth be told, far more than gun shows, which I am not fond of attending – too many people with over-priced ambitions to sell their wares at gun shows.

  8. Being "trip dependent" prepared is rational and prudent…keep it simple. Heck, the Top Gear boys went to the Arctic Circle with a solid 4WD (yeah, May brought along wine, but that's just him and was a funny bit against Hammond on dogsled with no luxury items.)

    Might be a COVID19 message as related to certain people types in the juxtaposition of your FJ versus the over-accessorized Harbor Freight comfort machine. Heck, buy an RV if you need all that crap.

  9. I started replying on the blog (above) about the 2007 FJC and it got me thinking about all of the adventures that I've had in it. There are better rock rigs than my FJ, but I've been in a lot of rocks. There are buggies that make it look anemic. Rubicons have that solid front axle that is better in rocks, but it's a rougher ride and not nearly as good in deeper sand, and I've been in some wicked deep sand.

    Most of the stuff is either customized or I built it myself, like the canoe rack on top, the endoskeleton inside for securing gear and the rear bumper, my design but a friend built it. I found that I needed something very tough, with a swing-arm to hold that very heavy spare tire. The Walker Evans beadlocks are very strong but they are also heavy.

  10. I have tents, but they're always a hassle in the wind. I have stories about 75 mph winds in the Mojave. I was on a trip with my daughter, Emilie along with friends. The tent had been staked down with dog stakes (twisty) which normally anchors it. I had a LOT of gear in it to weight it down. I got out in the middle of the night to take a whiz and the tent (along with Emilie and gear) went AIRBORNE for sixty feet and would have kept going had it not hit a massive rock. Emilie was ok, gear was ok, tent was ok, great story, but it scared Emilie. If it wasn't for the rock, I swear, she'd have gone for a mile.

  11. That knife is a pretty thing, more of an art object than an everyday tool- gunnies talk about "barbecue guns", the rosewood stocked and engraved show pieces, maybe this can be the counterweight on the other side of the belt. What are you going to pair it with?
    For all of human history, finely ornamented weapons have been male jewelry- worn to impress, but nevertheless combat capable if needed. The Japanese would often have several sets of mountings for the same blade, one for war, one for storage and one for show.

  12. Based on the Our Better's statements, I'm thinking that "all non-essential travel" moratorium's apply only to urban centered roadways, and not backcountry and off-road routes.

  13. That blade is a work of art. Folded metal. Walnut gun stocks. Drool.
    That said, my trusty field knife for a couple of decades has been one of these–

    Light weight, decent steel, and if you lose it, well drat, buy another. Maybe two.

  14. They can send somebody to stop me if they can find me.

    I recall a Jesus Hippy in a park ranger outfit many years ago telling me that I couldn't drive through the Grand Staircase in Southern Utah. I listened to him politely, put it in gear and carried on.

  15. (1) Is the top of the clip point sharp? I've had a few similar to that and have to go to the grinder to get them razor sharp top as well as bottom.

    (2) How well does the saw blade cut? Again, I've seem some that do and more that don't/

    (3) It looks like a good camp knife. And you don't want one that's expensive. They need to be easily replaced.

  16. Two words for the Land Rover- TOP HEAVY!!! FJ makes much more sense. Purty knife too! 🙂

  17. The FJ is not top heavy. I have nose to tail 3/16" steel plate on the bottom and an additional fuel tank. It's not the least bit tippy.

    Land Rovers aren't bad. They're very expensive, though, and the question is always whether you're willing to drive your $100K rig through manzanita and get it all scratched up. If you can't stand the scratch on a 4×4, rethink your rig.

  18. Well, I'd like BOTH of those trucks, and that knife and then I reckon I could write a best selling thriller about ripping the arse out of a pandemic.

  19. Love you Jules.

    I'm seriously thinking about getting back to writing. What else is there to do these days?

  20. I was also going to mention that I don't see the crate of tools and repair parts and spares, because Land Rover is noted for their enviable record that makes AMF-Harley Davidsons look, in comparison, to never need work.


    Plus, all that stuff hanging on the outside is subject to five-fingered discounting, either by the natives or by wild life.

  21. Funny, I was just thinking this morning that if I get laid off, I might try my hand at Damascus steel.

  22. I'm much the same way. My knives tend toward the plain but serviceable. Still, I like an attractive blade. I do try to hit the occasional gun show. While you're right about most of the prices asked, I do occasionally spot a reasonably priced gem, usually something old school. But then I'm rather old school myself.

  23. (1) Top of the clip does not come sharpened from the factory. However, the first inch and 1/4 has the grind, so putting an edge on it is no big chore.

    (2) It cuts well because it has actual saw teeth. This video shows them pretty well (at the 6:00 mark, info in comments as well)–

    I'm not sure how best to sharpen the saw teeth.

    In the reserves, I carried mine on my old LBE suspenders. Here's a picture (not mine)–

    The sheath will fit under the cross strap on the shoulder pad, and the belt clip will fit on the 'D' ring at the bottom of the pad, making a pretty decent shoulder carry.

  24. Rebel…(in a good way)…Ida done the same as it is public land with a prescribed 34 mile track.

    Thing is, if he wouldn't have been such a nudge about it you might have tossed him a granola bar. Some people just bring the poxing on themselves.

  25. Right, it's public land.

    I've run onto a surprising number of people over the years who think that BLM land belongs to "them".

  26. Back when I bought my first Jeep, I did some easy-to-medium trail driving with it, under the direction of some serious off-road guys I knew. They had various names for a loaded up truck like the one you show, and generally scoffed at them, and their owners. The recurring theme was that these trucks tried to do everything, and as a result did nothing particularly well.

  27. Sorry to hear about the trip and your friend, that's the double-suck for sure.

  28. I have "recovered" a number of Land Rovers with my Toyota. I am not writing that they're not capable, they are. A lot of it comes down to experience driving in difficult environments. I've been doing it for fun since I bought my first truck at age 15. It was a 1956 International Travelall. I put an Earl Sheib paint job on it for $19.95 and slapped a steel girder on the front to replace the damaged bumper.

  29. I agree. We had some Land Rovers in our group, and they we're very competent. But then none of them had all that junk on them!

    I've slept in my Jeep GC many times. I've got an air mattress with a 12VDC pump that turns the back into a nice place for one, and a passable accommodation for two.

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