Letter Re: Advice on Small-Scale Grain Growing, Harvesting, and Processing

Dear Editor: In an earlier posting you recommended the book “Small Scale Grain Raising” [by Gene Logsdon], but [I found] that it was out of print. However, I found an Australian library that will provide a free downloadable copy. It only took a few minutes on a high speed connection, but you get the book in a PDF file. – Roger H. in Virginia




Letter Re: Advice on Small-Scale Grain Growing, Harvesting, and Processing

Sir: Friday’s letter on grains was very good. I have acquired myriad of 19th century farm tools at what are called Threshermen’s Shows in Wisconsin. These are shows for Hit and Miss [stationary] engines, Steam engines and the tools from late 19th Century to early 20th Century Farming. There is usually a flea market as well. I have picked up a scythe in reasonable condition for $20.00. I had to spend about an hour carefully sharpening it, but I got it sharp enough to cut my thumb pretty well. After a visit to my first aid station I took it …




Letter Re: Advice on Small-Scale Grain Growing, Harvesting, and Processing

Hi, I love your survival site. I was wondering about finding low cost or fairly low cost equipment to harvest, thresh, winnow and hull grains such as wheat, barley, millet, oats, etc. Also low cost equipment to extract oil from seeds such as sunflower seeds. I’ve done an extensive search on the Internet and can find very little that is meant for a family or small group of people. Manual (hand power) or electric/gas/diesel are all of interest. Being able to process and use grains is extremely important but I don’t know of any sites that sell survival equipment that …




Pre-Crisis Survival Skills, by D.A.L.

Pre-crisis survival skills: The only tool more valuable than knowledge is an attitude of self sufficiency. The mere willingness to provide for your own needs can pay off everyday, even absent any “end of the world as we know it” event. In fact, simply being willing to provide for your own needs can pave the way for not only learning valuable skills, but saving money to boot! By way of example let me tell you about a recent experience with the steam heating system at my lady friend’s house. It is a Victorian house and the main boiler furnace was …




Letter Re: Resources on the SurplusRifle.com CD-ROMs

Jim: It’s not often I recommend a web site, but this web site will disappear soon and your readers will want to check this out: SurplusRifle.com Jamie Mangrum has cancer and is shutting down the web site in three months. I bought the 2 CD set called “The BIG CD-ROM” 1 & 2. I think that the content is excellent. The web site includes instructions on how to disassemble and re-assemble many types of military surplus rifles and handguns. In addition, it also included videos on how to blue firearms and cast bullets. Anyone who does maintenance on their firearms …




Letter Re: The James Kim Exposure Death Tragedy: Lessons to Be Learned

Mr. Rawles: I followed the search and rescue story [the tragic death of James Kim–stranded on a remote Oregon logging road] in the news recently and was struck with very emotional feelings about their ordeal. Apparently he and his family did the right things, but in the end bad luck and a lack of proper survival gear was disastrous. Putting myself into his shoes I feel that I too would have definitely tried to hike for help after a week of hunkering down and waiting for rescue. See the series of Google Earth images showing his path while trying to …




Letter Re: Some Good Things Prompted By SurvivalBlog

Jim, The following are some things SurvivalBlog.com has prompted me to do since I began reading it: I’ve had no debt for 20 years, but my meager holdings are now about 1/3 precious metals. Is lead considered a precious metal? 🙂 My freezer is full of elk, whitetail deer, and caribou. I added to my long-term foods during your Safecastle special, but I’m now reviewing the viability of my existing stocks. Like the realtor’s mantra of “location, location, location”, a survivalist’s creed should be “Rotate, rotate, rotate. “ A 10 KW Generac generator is ready to be wired to my …




Letter Re: Tool Chest Needs of the Survivalist

As a survivalist, you need a complete set of tools to keep your stuff running. As this could include cars, trucks, tractors, motorcycles, ATVs, bicycles, snowmobiles, little red wagons, etc. You might think that is already a fair number of different types of tools required. But what about other things you might need tools for? Some examples: Weapons – tools used by a gunsmith or armorer are rather specialized. General – Hammers are a common, but what about sledge hammers? What about post-hole diggers? Axes? Hatchets? Roofing hammers? Crow-bars? Saws? Levels? Mattocks? etc., etc., etc. Plumbing – Requires some specialized …




Letter Re: Muzzleloaders for Long Term TEOTWAWKI

Dear Mr Rawles, It is possible that I am simply not an attentive reader of the Survival Blog, so I may have missed this. However, it seems to me that rather than getting into technically very difficult and potentially very dangerous pursuits involving home-made brass & home-made primers, why not become proficient with a flintlock rifle? Flintlocks never went completely out of style, and there are many, many excellent makers today. In the hands of a practiced marksman, a flintlock is certainly the equal of any modern rifle out to 100 or 200 yards, and at the Battle of New …




Letter Re: Clothes Washing Without Grid Power

James, In reading the letters on this subject, the responses seem to center on alternate technology to complete the task. When I first saw the topic, my thoughts were to my OCS class in Camp Upshur in the summer of 1987. One of the challenges was to keep yourself in clean clothes, given a limited number of washing machines (I think it was maybe 8 machines for a platoon of 55 to 60). I was waiting to do laundry and noticed a long sink with trays by it. We had scrub brushes and laundry detergent, so I took the opportunity …




Letter Re: Cannibal Reloading, by Mr. Yankee

Dear Jim, I saw the article posted on SurvivalBlog about cannibalizing ammo [by Mr. Yankee). Unfortunately, that’s a really bad idea where powder and primers are concerned. Projectiles are fine, if they don’t get warped out of round or weakened by oxidation. First of all, you don’t know what powder is in the case. You can guess, but overpressure runs the risk of exploding the casing and possibly damaging the rifle (and yourself!). Second, “light” loads are more likely to explode a casing, not less. If the powder burns too fast it can spike the pressure without moving the bullet …




Cannibal Reloading, by Mr. Yankee

We all recognize that there will be a scarcity of resources in a post-TEOTWAWKI world. One of the things that almost everyone preparing for such a contingency stockpiles is ammunition. Stored ammunition is a viable, but short term solution. Sooner or later factory ammunition will become scarce. Whether that is in days, months, years, or decades, reloading becomes the next most viable option. Powder, primers, and projectiles can bring new life to previously fired cases. I recommend that everyone store powder, primer, and projectiles, but sooner or later these too will get scarce. There are things that we can do …




Two Letters Re: Another Perspective on Selecting Barter Goods

Mr. Rawles: I’m glad to see I’m not the only one that thinks having skills in different areas is a great barter tool. I worked for years as a mechanic, in my thirties I changed careers and went into construction as a General Contractor. After about 10 years in construction. I semi-retired and when to school to become a professional farrier. I spent seven years shoeing horses and working metal in a forge. That lead me into custom knife making. My wife & I have been selling handmade and factory knives for the last several years. I have always kept …




Letter Re: Clothes Washing Without Grid Power

Shalom Jim: Recently my wife and I have started looking to replace our old [clothes] washer and dryer machines with something more energy-efficient. Since we plan on converting to solar photovoltaic panels in the future what do you suggest we do now? 1.) Lehman’s sells an AC +/ DC operated washer. Is this (DC) feature conducive to solar technology? 2.) What are you and your family doing for your clothes washing needs? B’Shem Yahshua HaMoshiach (In the Name of Yahsua the Messiah) – Dr. Sidney Zweibel   JWR Replies: 1.) With a PV power system, using a DC motor clothes …




Letter Re: Bullet Casting: A (Relatively) Simple Introduction, by AVL

James, Another safety item for melting lead: When done pouring bullets, it is important that any remaining lead should be poured out of the pot, rather leaving it to solidify in the pot. Lead like all other materials will expand when heated. Lead will also melt from the bottom up and if trapped by a solid layer at the top, may erupt when it breaks through that top layer. – R.H.