Back to the basics – rope, wood, stone, and other natural materials

WoodworkingThe world has become filled with machines, automation, and advanced manufacturing processes used to create all sorts of high tech gadgets.  This has led to high quality, repeatable, dependable, and cheap products made all over the world.  There is nothing wrong with that and it has lead to great inventions and an ever increasing standard of living around the world.  But I wonder if in the middle of all this progress we have lost some of the basic skills that our forefathers had.  How many kids growing up today know how to use their hands and a few simple tools to create something.  It takes more time, patience, and craftsmanship, and in our busy world this has become less appreciated.

550 AMERICA wants to bring back some of the handmade quality and creative design from years back.  Back when your grandfather would pull out his pocketknife and spend a couple hours on the porch with a branch of wood and at the end of the day have a pretty cool walking stick.  It was one of a kind and had character.

Here we are going to start with our 550 cord cause thats what we do.  Sure there were probably some machines involved in making the cord.  I could go back to using vines or weaving my cotton string after shearing a sheep, but I’m not going back that far.  What other natural materials did our forefathers have?  Probably a lot of wood.  Maybe some stones or other minerals.  If they were a blacksmith they could probably do some pretty nice metal work, but I’m not a blacksmith.  If you’ve been to an airport lately you know that items made out of metal aren’t always the best to have with you anyhow.

Armed with a knowledge of a few of the basics in working with raw materials we can begin to let our mind expand into what we can create.  What could be carved or whittled from a branch we find in the woods?  How could we craft stones into desired shapes using flintknapping?  How are we going to use our 550 cord to tie, wrap, or connect these materials.  There are hundreds of different types of knots that have been around for centuries.  What are the strengths and weaknesses for each method and which should you choose to accomplish different tasks.

At 550 AMERICA you will see us trying to develop different items using all of these methods.  From jewelry, to weapons, to functioning tools the possibilities to create new items, recreate antcient objects or combine these concepts into your own are endless.  If you are working on your own projects we would love to hear about them.

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