Once again I
made the long trek, near the town of Hollister California
for the NAF yearly National Encampment. And I must say that
just like every other encampment I have attended, this one
was also a bucket of fun.
I never seem to be able to learn my lesson,
but last year when Tom asked if anyone could do a
demonstration at the Nationals, I opened my big trap and
said I would. I also said that, being a woodworker, my demo
would be woodworking in nature and that I wasnít positive
if anyone would be interested, since it had nothing to do
with buck skinning/Survival/trapper era skills. He said he
thought it would be of interest and I didnít believe him.
So I asked at each following encampment and George and
others said, they also thought it would be of interest. So I
hauled my lathe to central California and I must admit they
were correct. Those attending did in fact seem to be
(or just polite and good actors, Iím not
The other half of the demo about historic
wood turning on a lathe, is "what about the stuff that
doesnít work/fit on the lathe" For long pieces such
as rake handles for example, you canít turn on the lathe,
but you can shape them using a shaving horse.
As it happens, Tom needed a couple of ram
rods that were tapered at the end, so the deal was made, he
supplied the Hickory, enough for both of us, and I would
shape the ram rods using the shaving horse. Worked out well
for both of us.
I am rather reluctant to tell you about the
shooting competition. Manly because I did so badly. But I do
have all the standard excuses to fall back on; new gun, not
much practice shooting black powder, blah blah blah.
Jim here won. Course he had a rifle and the
rest of us had smoothbores, so we can take comfort in that.
Everyone else hit 5 out of ten, except me, I wonít say how
bad I did, just read the above excuses again and leave me
George, Jack and Dick had a archery contest.
Dick won but I did overhear a bit of grumbling. Now sure
what the excuses were, but Iím sure they werenít as good
I have to mention Buck Conners. Even though
he wasnít able to make it to the encampment he send Tom
out with a load of very cool stuff. He donated sewing kits
and cooking kits and many other kits and objects, with the
sole purpose of raising funds for the NAF. After we all
purchased the items we wanted the rest were to be used for
prizes in the contests (I even got a prize, which I was very
Just a note. If you didnít make it because
it was a long way from where you live...you should be
ashamed, Jay lives in Ohio and HE made it.