Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Hangin' with Oleg, part 2

So the first time I met Oleg, I had just driven two hours from my home in Daytona Beach to a Holiday Inn near Cocoa. He was a gentleman who opened doors for me and bought me dinner. He operates under the marvelous philosophy of "I shouldn't treat you any worse just because I'm not sleeping with you."  Apparently if you're worthy of hanging out with him, you deserve to be spoiled, and if you don't deserve spoilage then you have no business hanging out with him.

I don't know if I could practice this myself, but it is an absolute delight to experience.

So after a nice dinner and conversation (in which he managed to vibrate and to interrupt himself), he took me back to his hotel room so that he could call his girlfriend (Hi Amie!) and let me play with his Kel-Tec RFB.

No, that wasn't a euphemism. He really did have an RFB that he'd brought along for the feral pig hunt the next day. I actually got the chance to shoot that rifle, but that's a subject for another post. 

Anyway, after I had finished admiring his RFB he showed me some other cool things, such as Kel-Tec's new 420-lumen CL-43 flashlight.

Let me tell you how bright 420 lumens is. When Oleg showed it to me, it was still inside a white cardboard box. The cardboard was neither glossy nor matte; it likely had the same albedo as a sheet of printer paper. The flashlight was secured to the inside of that box with its clip.

When I pressed the "on" button, the light hit the lip of the box straight on. All I saw was reflected light because the lens was facing away from me.

The mere reflection of 420 lumens caused me physical pain, and I was seeing spots for minutes afterward. I think a direct blast from one of these will stun a human and probably incinerate small woodland creatures.

Naturally, I've asked Kel-Tec to send me one for review.

Another funny thing which happened:  Oleg thinks knife sharpening is wizardry. After recovering from my near-blinding, he was complaining that he had lost his pocket knife. I reached into my pocket and offered him mine. He said thank you, but no, he had another one, and then pulled out an impressive fixed blade with serrations from (I think) Columbia River Knife & Tool.  I unsheathed it to inspect the edge (because that's how I roll) and...

Oh dear. Oh, this poor knife. It had been terribly abused. First, there was a large divot in the blade, like it had been used to hammer roundstock. Second, the edge had begun to roll. And adding insult to injury, there was sticky tape residue all over it.

"This will not do!" I announced, and I pulled from my bag a the EZE-LAP pen sharpener that I keep nestled up against my multitool.
(No, seriously, this thing is awesome. It costs $8, has a flat side for blade and a curved side for serrations, and folds to 4 inches long and is effectively weightless. You cannot go wrong with buying it and keeping it in your EDC bag.)

The best part of my entire night happened right then and there, as Oleg's jaw dropped in amazement. This is pretty much the best reason to carry useful things -- there will be moments when you can bust out gear at the perfect moment like Batman, and people will look at you in awe -- doubly so in this instance, because he explained that he had no idea how to sharpen knives and greatly respected those who did.

So anyway, I start sharpening Oleg's knife while dropping some science on him. "The trick to sharpening a knife," I explained, "is knowing the right angle at which to hold the blade and the sharpener. You just have to practice enough in order to get the right feel for it. Once you have that figured out, sharpening is pretty easy. Just work the sharpener until you feel the opposite edge rolling over, and then you turn the knife and sharpen the other side. Do this until can't feel it rolling any more. Now in a perfect world I'd have several grains of sharpeners here, so I could work the edge with a fine and then a super fine, but this will have to do for the moment."

I couldn't fix the divot in the blade -- that would require a hell of a lot of grinding -- but pretty soon the knife was sharp enough to slice receipts without much effort. If I had been really cool I would have also had a small can of WD-40 to remove the sticky residue. Regardless, the blade was much improved.

After that it was time for me to begin my 2-hour drive home -- but not before Oleg invited me to join him on a hog hunt on Saturday. That story will be the subject of my next post.


  1. I would have left too if you used that knife sharpening metaphor on me.....

    "this will have to do for the moment"

  2. "..moments when you can bust out gear at the perfect moment like Batman..."

    Heh. I'll have to tell you about my SuperBear Utility Vest and the 2000 Conclave sometime. (No! Really! He's got _everything_ in that vest. Just ask him for something!")

    RE: The divot. A little late now, but for future reference there's a better way to deal with serious blade dings than just grinding them down. Set the blade on your anvil and peen out the ding as much as possible with a ball peen hammer first. The advantages are 1) you don't have to grind away as much metal and 2) since less metal is ground away the blade lasts longer. My knives tend to get serious use, so I've had to do this a few times. I also had to dress my broadsword blade after some tree trimming. And it's pretty much part of my regular lawn mower blade spring maintenance.

  3. Sorry, it was a pitiful attempt on my part to be funny. It came across as vague and dry....

  4. It's adorable that you think I have an anvil. 

  5.  What? Doesn't everyone?

    (I'll have to give myself 1 out of 2 points on this. I thought you'd say something about the anvil AND the broadsword. [grin])

  6. While I don't own a broadsword (yet!), I do have a spear and a tomahawk and a machete, so I am no stranger to stabby-slashy-choppy things. :D

  7.  I've always been partial to edged implements, so my a/r/s/e/n/a/l/ inventory likely compares well to yours (haven't had a spear for years though). I actually wore out a Buck Ranger. But you still need an anvil. And when you shop for a sword, get the real deal, not a pot metal wallhanger (large SCA events are a good place to check for relatively decent prices).

  8.  You don't have an anvil?  Horrors!  I'm down to 2 and feeling underequipped.

  9. Scott Murphree-RobertsDecember 3, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    Nail polish remover works great on the tape residue.  Benefits of many daughters, and all...


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