Category Archives: Chat

General ramblings and mutterings.

A bit of Rangemaster training

Early this morning, I set off for a mysterious, unknown location in the middle of a snowy forest, with a bag full of knives and axes…..

Okay, so it sounds like the start of a low-budget slasher movie, but in reality, I was setting out for a couple of sessions of Rangemaster training for a bunch of Scout Leaders.

There were two groups, for a morning session and an afternoon session. The snow was still falling intermittently during the morning, but by the time we started the afternoon session, most of the snow had gone.  Sadly, this also turned the range into a muddy swamp reminiscent of the Eurothrow a couple of years ago. It’s amazing how much difference an hour made!

Morning throwing in the snow
Afternoon throwing in the mud
More morning throwing in the snow
More afternoon throwing in the mud!

Lots of fun was had by all, with some great sticks by some of the Scout Leaders.

Four hawks in one target!
Four hawks in one target!

New tripod!

It’s been a day of target maintenance.

Regulars at SKATTA know that I’ve been promising to replace the two main targets for, oh, years now. I still haven’t done that – although it is on the resolutions for 2018, honest! – but I’ve done some target work today.

First thing was to repair target no. two, since the back-brace support came loose last session, taking the target out of commission. I put that back on this morning, while it was still early. A lovely morning: bright, cold, with misty breath, crunchy frosted grass, and frozen puddles.

This afternoon, I assembled the second tripod. The first tripod, made last summer, uses heavy-duty wooden legs, and should easily stand up to the Norse ‘hawks., but it’s not easily luggable about the place, and I wanted something portable. I have another tripod at home that’s much lighter, but which is only suitable for knives – a Norse ‘hawk would go right through the uprights on that one! So something in between was needed.

Tripod components
Ready to get started

First thing was to get the uprights cut to the correct size:

Tripod uprights being cut
Uprights being cut

With my first tripod, I’ve got a single, M10 bolt that runs through all three legs, creating a single hinge. It’s a simple design, but it’s a pain to build and assemble, because that’s a big hole to drill through all three legs (I don’t have a drill long enough), and if it’s not straight, then it won’t work. Also, it’s awkward to assemble and dismantle, because it’s difficult to get all three pieces correctly aligned. And it means sawing through a 10mm threaded steel bar…

With this mark II tripod, I’ve stolen some of Gordon’s design, in that I’ve used angle-brackets to connect the three uprights. I’m hoping that they’ll take the impact of hawks – we’ll see. It goes together and comes apart more easily, anyway, and the legs are much lighter, so in total there’s less to carry. I’ve also added a horizontal bar for the front legs, but I’ll re-position that once I have the log round in place, and once I get some longer bolts – my M10 bolts are 80mm long, and they really need to be 100mm.

The finished item, seen from behind:

Completed mark II tripod
Tripod mark II, ready for action.