Fuzz Stick

Equipment needed: sharp knife; working surface. Material needed: piece softwood (pine kindling, etc.) about 10" long, 1" thick, without knots in it. Steps

1. Hold stick at top with left hand, with stick braced on bench, stump, or whittling board (Fig. XII-6 b).

2. Cut long, slim shavings down the stick (avoid short, thick ones), starting at top, and making shavings as long as possible. Cut into wood at bottom, to keep from cutting shavings off, and draw knife out at bottom of stroke (Fig. XII-6 b).

3. Turn stick as work progresses, making shavings even on all sides.

4. Point end of top of stick, so it will stand in ground (Fig. XII-6 c).

Swedish craftsmen use this technique in making intricate trees, crosses, and animals for Christmas decorations. Southern mountain craftsmen make roosters of twigs, making the tails like a fuzz stick. Camp craftsmen can explore these same activities for favors or ornaments.


Broilers and toasters for cooking (Fig. XII-8) are made from green wood (cut with care, of course!). A search will disclose the right stick with thumb-thick handle, and the desired type of fork or forks. With a long end, and green weaving shoots, a woven broiler may be made. If there is a straight stick in the middle, small green sticks may be woven across the rim. Small peg-like crosspieces may be inserted in a fork by digging small holes inside the fork, and by placing the pointed sticks or pegs across the opening.

Pot Hooks

Pot hooks are made of forked sticks and are used to hang pots on a crane over a fire. The sticks used should be hard and firm, at least 1" thick. The notch for the bail of the kettle should be on the same side as the fork, for balance (Fig. XII-9 a). Sometimes two notches are made, so the pot can be raised or lowered. Sticks with forks going both ways are rare (but they have been found!), so it is good to join two forked sticks (Fig. XII-9 b). Cut ends of the sticks to fit together, and bind with whipping (see chapter on Braiding and Knotting, Figs. 11-10-14).

Pot Hooks

Tent Pegs

Handmade tent pegs are often a necessity when pegs break, or when there is a short supply for the primitive camp. A handmade set of pegs for a special tent will add to the rustic appearance of the setup. A sharp knife, a hand ax, and a small saw will soon turn a supply of hardwood sticks into tent pegs. The sticks should be about 10" long, 1" or more thick, and of sound maple, oak, or similar wood. Point one end, using knife or ax, with long, not too sharp point. Hold on stump or chopping block, turning peg for each stroke of ax or knife (Fig. XII-10). Make a notch for tent rope, about 1" down from top of peg. Make straight cut into stick, then slanting cut toward it. A small saw will help make the first cut, and a knife will finish the cutting. Square off top of peg, rounding slightly with knife, for finish. A forked stick also can be used.

Outdoor Rake

For an advanced project in knife craft, try a rake made of sticks and twigs.

Equipment needed: jackknife; egg-beater drill and 1/2" drill; vise; sandpaper; ruler and pencil; wood glue.

Materials needed: 1 forked stick, 5' long, 1" thick; 1 stick 12" to 18" long, 1" thick; 6 to 10 sticks for pegs, 3/8" thick, 4" long; cord or twine for lashing.


1. Trim ends of all sticks neatly and evenly. Leave bark on or peel, as desired.

2. Place 12" stick in vise, and draw line through center, lengthwise.

3. Measure and bore series of holes for pegs on the line, beginning 1" from end, and placing about 2" apart.

4. Whittle and sand pegs. Fit into holes with tight fit.

5. Put drop of glue in each hole, and twist peg firmly in place. Tap with hammer to make very secure. Let dry for several hours.

6. Notch forks of long stick and crosspiece so that handle fits crosspiece (Fig. XII-11). Lash with square lashing (see any campcraft book), putting a bit of glue where the sticks join and under the lashing.

Cap Tree, Pan Tree, Or Clothes Rack

A small dead evergreen tree makes a good place to hang cups, pans, or clothes. Trim branches short and sandpaper ends. Make a ridge around top, and tie cord with clove hitch (see Fig. 11-19 or any campcraft book). Throw cord over branch or frame (Fig. XII-12 a). Use taut-line hitch to lower or raise (see any campcraft book). A coat hanger may be made from a forked stick and branch. Cut all knots smooth, trim ends, and notch where joint will be made. Join with square lashing (Fig. XII-13).

Cap Tree

Tin Utensils

Refer to Chapter VI (Metalwork) on Metalwork for techniques in handling metal, and for many additional suggestions. The following projects require less skill and may be used for quick projects. Tin cans must be scrubbed clean, especially at bottom seam, and must be free from rust before being used for cooking utensils. It is important that they be cleaned thoroughly after each use if they are to be used again for cooking, as food that lodges in the crevice of the seam can easily become contaminated. Work gloves should be worn by campers when working with metal.

Tin Utensils

Nest Of Kettles

Nested kettles may be made from #10, #21/2, #2 cans (Fig. XII-14). Punch holes in sides for wire handles. Make denim ditty bag (see chapter on Equipment Making, Figs. XVI-24-30) for carrying the set.

Frying Pan

A serviceable frying pan can be made from a #10 can and a small forked stick for a handle (Fig. XII-15). Mark height of pan around the can, and mark lines 1" from seam on each side of seam. Cut down the sides of seam, and around the can. Cut small V-shaped pieces out of the top edge for turning edge. Be sure to match the cuts with strips on side of seam. Make the handle to fit, trimming smooth on ends. Make a few tabs on the seam, to roll around handle. Fasten handle to pan, and turn out top edge of pan, so there is no sharp edge.


A dipper may be made in a fashion similar to that of the frying pan, using a #5 juice can, or a tall cookie can. The handle can be all metal, using the seam as the center, and bending 1/2" back against the seam (Fig. XII-16).



A cup can be made from a small can, using a forked stick, wired on, as the handle (Fig. XII-17).

Tin Can Stove

Vagabond or charcoal stoves may be made from #10 cans or from any size can up to wash tubs; 25 lb. and 50 lb. shortening cans are easily obtained from bakeries, and these make good stoves for group use. The smaller cans are good for two-camper cooking.

Vagabond stoves have fires inside them, and the tops of the cans are used for frying. Larger stoves may be used for direct frying, or pots and pans may be used on them (Fig. XII-18).

Charcoal stoves need grates to hold the charcoal fire, and are open at the top. They may be used with pots and pans on grills, or for broiling and toasting. Much ingenuity can be shown in making and using these stoves, which are especially useful where the wood supply is limited, or where the fire hazard is great (Fig. XII-19).

See any campcraft book for details on how to make and use tin can stoves.