Colin Wheeler
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Hi, my name is Colin

Started this discussion. Last reply by Ryan Johnson-Hunt May 25, 2010. 1 Reply

I stumbled upon the website recently and joined. I have been in NZ for 2 years. I am a Kiwi but have lived in the UK for 39 years. I have been keen on bushcraft for a long time and in th UK would go…Continue


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What part of the country are you based?
Town/City where you are based
What are your interests?
Firecraft, Tracking, Primitive skills, Tramping, Navigation skills, Crafts, Survival skills, Plant identification, Hunting/trapping, Shelter building

Colin Wheeler's Blog

The Parang knife as a bush tool

Posted on June 18, 2010 at 9:00 1 Comment

The Parang

The Parang is a Malaysian bush knife; it has…


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At 18:24 on June 30, 2010,
Martin Hunter
Hi Colin, just bumped into your post on bows etc. left to Ryan. Not sure that the Maori had bows as such, not on the South Island anyway? There were short spears (throwing), long spears (thrusting), axes and adzes etc. I can't find any reference in my books to bows, but if you do find out anything let me know, would be interested as I too have wondered what would make the best cordage for such things...
At 19:01 on June 23, 2010,
Any chance of seeing some photos of the bows that you have made?
At 18:58 on June 23, 2010,
Draw horse does indeed look like a useful bit of kit- the black and decker bench of the medieval era! I have seen them before but have gotten used to working without. Might give one a shot though.
I have seen quite a few ash and elm (the golden variety seems popular) trees here in Auckland.
Quick tip- look at weedbusters site, they list a lot of invasive pest plants suitable for bowmaking.
Ash is listed, so is spindlewood, black locust, yellow locust, hawthorn (meant to be excellent if you can find a straight bit) strawberry dogwood and my favourite tree privet... I'm sure we will find someone willing to let us loose with a saw!
Coppicing is a great way to yield bow staves. Quite a few coppiced trees in Epping forest when I lived in the u.k.- neglected art nowadays.
At 13:15 on June 23, 2010,
For making my set up is pretty basic-
I rough out with a small hand axe,
Tidy up with a combination of stanley surform, drawknife and machete,
Fine adjustments with a spokeshave and cabinet scrapers.
Nocks are started with a small triangular file and rounded out with a chainsaw file.
Then sandpapers down to a fine grit- finish with danish oil.
No powertools, no bench etc.
I need to figure out recurving the tips slightly with dry heat- thats next!
Did you bring the ash with you or stumble on it here?
At 20:01 on June 22, 2010,
great tool,i use a british army machete,nice and compact,good weight,but i like the look of that one,where can you buy them,cheers.
At 13:49 on June 22, 2010,
Thanks for the welcome Colin.
Good idea with the bow making group.
I don't have any photos here at work but will upload some later.
In the mean time please check out
which shows the bows I have made... work has begun on the next already.
I read somewhere that there are some osage orange (maclura pomifera) trees in the waikato.... would love to get my hands on some!
I don't know about cutting down native wood (legaly etc) and so stick to invasive imports. What woods are you using?
At 16:33 on June 21, 2010,
Ryan Johnson-Hunt
Not sure about ethnicity of members, but native cordage would be interesting to learn about. You could use your pages status update to broadcast the question (like I did with the flintknapping question) you never know what you'll find out.

Once the network is fully up and running, say august, contacting some local iwi to get their perspective would be a great idea. I'll remember that, really good suggestion.

Had a chance to check out the Bow making group yet? I just want to double check that you have access.
At 11:49 on June 18, 2010,
Ryan Johnson-Hunt
Check out the "How to add a video" instructions under the Multimedia tab. Should help with the video question.
At 10:42 on June 18, 2010,
Ryan Johnson-Hunt
Hi Colin
Anyone on this network can create a post on anything bushcraft you definitely don't need to go through me, this is a community after all =)
So go ahead and publish a post on the Parang (check out this tutorial if you are lost: How to use your blog you can insert the image into your post)
As far as the video goes I'll write up a quick tutorial and send you the link soon.
let me know if you have any questions
At 11:35 on June 15, 2010,
Ryan Johnson-Hunt
Small world huh?!
That made my day, its exactly why I set this up. Connecting people who are into bushcraft!
Cheers Colin

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