Mors' try-stick

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Seagull

Settler
Jul 16, 2004
818
43
Gåskrikki North Lincs
Hmm, seems to have been a dearth of posts, on this one.

I find that it is not as easy as expected, could it be, that I am not alone?
Strange, for I always fancied my woodworking ability.

Its a whole different story, though; not using the vice, or square , tape, or chisels, or having the choice of cutting directions.
Seems odd, also, to have to assume the sitting position, in order to clamp the workpiece. And having to work "downhanded" at times, makes the cutting strokes quite awkward.

Have had a good few goes at this damn thing and it all looks ,depressingly, poor quality. Definitely not something to be photo,d.

Ah well, more practise then.
Mind, its a great excuse to make a mess all over the patio, innit?

Ceeg
 

Zodiak

Settler
Mar 6, 2006
664
8
Kent UK
I am at scout camp in a few weeks and will be taking the magazine with me to give it a go, although I have to admit that I am not expecting to get more than a few examples before I :censored: it up and have to start again. :lmao:
 

Stuart

Full Member
Sep 12, 2003
4,141
43
**********************
That’s the genius of Mors's teachings

I have heard many a person announce that his book 'Bushcraft' is "only really good for beginners" without realising that the skills within may look basic but take a many years of dedicated study to master.

We often skip over the study of the most important skills convinced that we know it already, whilst reaching for the more exciting advanced knowledge, few of us have actually invested the vast amount of frustrating time required to acquire the foundation skills.

no doubt most of us here will proudly proclaim to 'know how to use a knife' yet ask people to produce a 'try stick' with nothing but their knife and the masses will fall silent leaving only the proud work of those who invested their time really learning how to use their knife.

I can regale you with fancy knowledge such as the physiological reasons for rabbit starvation, the scientific reason why transparent plastic is better than black plastic for transpiration, why poachers gill nets are dyed red, how to accurately determine your latitude, direction and time from celestial observations anywhere on the planet.

But I wouldn’t dare call myself an expert and proclaim that I have mastered the Bushcraft art, my try sticks are appalling and my ability to create feather sticks which can be lit with a firesteel and ignite completely enough to start a fire in damp conditions currently results in a low success rate

Advanced knowledge with poor fundamental skills is like a shiny palace, built on sand.
 

Hoodoo

Full Member
Nov 17, 2003
5,302
13
Michigan, USA
Seagull said:
Hmm, seems to have been a dearth of posts, on this one.

I find that it is not as easy as expected, could it be, that I am not alone?
Strange, for I always fancied my woodworking ability.

Its a whole different story, though; not using the vice, or square , tape, or chisels, or having the choice of cutting directions.
Seems odd, also, to have to assume the sitting position, in order to clamp the workpiece. And having to work "downhanded" at times, makes the cutting strokes quite awkward.

Have had a good few goes at this damn thing and it all looks ,depressingly, poor quality. Definitely not something to be photo,d.

Ah well, more practise then.
Mind, its a great excuse to make a mess all over the patio, innit?

Ceeg
Which knife are you using? The small knife favored by Mors is better suited for such whittling than a lot of the larger, more popular woodcraft knives we usually see posted here.

 
Last edited:

Tadpole

Full Member
Nov 12, 2005
2,842
20
56
Bristol
Total noobie hick question :rolleyes:
What is a "try stick", what does it do, and why is it useful to know how to make it? Last question, why is Mor’s try stick the bench mark?
 

Seagull

Settler
Jul 16, 2004
818
43
Gåskrikki North Lincs
Hoodoo, this is my main carving tool for the trystick


Tadders, it aint really a benchmark, (you haven,t got the mag, have you)
its just a lump of lahkri, with the various nocks , cutouts and shapes, thats considered to be of bushcrafting good use.
As i was trying to point out, its one thing to be able to work wood, as in furniture making and small hobby projects, you get good at all types of joints, you get good at accurracy; but its quite another thing , to produce good work , with just a carve-knife........as I am finding out. :lmao:

Ceeg
but its a pity it dosnt help with spelling
 

JohnC

Full Member
Jun 28, 2005
2,624
74
58
Edinburgh
I've had a couple of goes and got some really good kindling. It's a challenge and a real task to improve knife skills.. I'd be keen to see others finished sticks in the gallery.. (shall now go and check gallery as there are probably several there)
 

falling rain

Native
Oct 17, 2003
1,737
29
Woodbury Devon
Seagull said:
Hoodoo, this is my main carving tool for the trystick


Tadders, it aint really a benchmark, (you haven,t got the mag, have you)
its just a lump of lahkri, with the various nocks , cutouts and shapes, thats considered to be of bushcrafting good use.
As i was trying to point out, its one thing to be able to work wood, as in furniture making and small hobby projects, you get good at all types of joints, you get good at accurracy; but its quite another thing , to produce good work , with just a carve-knife........as I am finding out. :lmao:

Ceeg
but its a pity it dosnt help with spelling
What's lahkri? and I'm still not sure what you mean by a 'try stick'. Can you give some examples of the nocks , cutouts and shapes Is it just a length of wood with various cutting techniques practiced on that one stick ?....................and no I havn't got the mag either :eek:
 

JonnyP

Full Member
Oct 17, 2005
3,833
29
Cornwall...
falling rain said:
What's lahkri? and I'm still not sure what you mean by a 'try stick'. Can you give some examples of the nocks , cutouts and shapes Is it just a length of wood with various cutting techniques practiced on that one stick ?....................and no I havn't got the mag either :eek:
You had better get the mag then Nick. I got mine on saturday and I can highly recommend it...........
 

jdlenton

Full Member
Dec 14, 2004
3,002
7
46
Northampton
As the illustrator of said article i had to make every joint and nock on the stick to understand how they went together so i could redraw them form mors's beautiful but not too clear hand drawings.

I started buy carving each joint with separate pieces of wood and then put what i had learnt all on to one stick this took about 3 weeks one/two joints a night until i was done. the first few nights all i made was scrap because i wanted to get through the carving and onto the drawing, i was trying too hard. After taking stock of my wasted time i slowed right down relaxed and just went easy with the knife the joints didn't take any longer and were far superior in quality
i have to admit and i don't think this is cheating I marked out my joints freehand with a pencil.
so the things i learnt from my little foray with the try stick are:

relax, take your time, practice the joints you will find difficult before you put them on your stick, and have fun this is a great little (little in size big in time) project to show off you knife skills

and I'm still not going to show you my stick :p my jogged and wedged splice is a bit rough:(
 

Seagull

Settler
Jul 16, 2004
818
43
Gåskrikki North Lincs
Thanks JD, for putting my difficulties into a perspective I can understand.
Thou ,art a gent, scholar and fine judge of horses, as helpful as ever. :You_Rock_

I was tending, (waaaay too much), toward a carvers, " one-cut-burnished" effect, and I couldnt see how that was poss, in just a minute or less. Wrong hoss!

Ah well, time to break out another dod of hazel.


Ceeg
 

jdlenton

Full Member
Dec 14, 2004
3,002
7
46
Northampton
See there's another one ceeg if i read the text correctly Mors says your try stick should be as thick as your wrist in a good carving wood i think Willow gets mentioned somewhere but not sure right now do t have the mag to hand. I did all mine with hazel that was 1" dia and it felt like i was doing the joints in miniature so maybe scaling up might not be a bad idea all round

James
 

Seagull

Settler
Jul 16, 2004
818
43
Gåskrikki North Lincs
Yup, I believe youre right there, JD.

I was faffing around with stuff only an inch thick and it was real awkward.
Tried with Hazel of about1.5 inch and it was a whole lot better.
Got a cracking blister on my pushing thumb, I,m thinking of entering it for the next european games!

Ceeg
 

scruff

Settler
Jun 24, 2005
772
23
40
West Yorkshire
I've found the try stick a great way to relax, hone my knife skills (in more than one way) and to get blisters!!!

My soft office hands are not used to my Lapp Puukko as much as I thought they were and I've discovered hot spots I've not previously found.....but then I did spend nearly 6 hours carving so its my own daft fault.

I've been really chuffed with my results so far though and its 'stood' in my living room like a mini-totem pole :)

Have to say I kept the bark on mine though as I liked to see the contrast of the cuts against the bark.
 

JohnC

Full Member
Jun 28, 2005
2,624
74
58
Edinburgh


This was the go I had at one, the diameter was about an inch, I tried as many of the cuts as I could comfortably. I'll have to give it a go again....