I’ve been finding old axes and hatchets with rusted heads and cracked handles and buying them for a buck or two. With some grind and polish, a new handle (or haft as it is called), and some paint and varnish, I’m able to bring these old tools back to life and put them to work.
"America was a new world of unending wood where a man armed with only a felling axe could enter the forest and survive. With his axe he could clear the land of trees, cut fuel, build a bridge, a house, and furniture. With his axe he could fashion snares for game and, in a pinch, use it to protect himself against marauding Indians or wild beasts. No wonder the first settlers carried axes in their belts and treated them with a respect like that of a soldier toward his sword or side arms."
From Eric Sloane’s “A Museum of Early American Tools”
For a quick afternoon hunt, we visited one of the anonymous potholes in my portfolio of unnamed potholes and we left no trace except for some feathers on the water.
"To this day, Johnny’s pot-hole is known to only a few hunters, which is nothing unusual for pot-holes in northern Wisconsin. When you have some 5,500 lakes, many of them unnamed, there are bound to be some places that the boys just don’t find. The business of concealing these places can be high art."
From Gordon MacQuarrie’s Stories of the Old Duck Hunters & Other Drivel.
Giving some old iron new lives. I restored two vintage Griswold cast iron skillets and put a fresh seasoned finish on a Lodge Dutch oven and fry pan. I experimented this time with lard and peanut oil and let them soak the heat in a 400-degree oven for an hour. All of them came out looking like new but one Griswold skillet had a surface as smooth and glossy as a black diamond. You can almost see your reflection.