Tools, & Craftsmanship
& Drying Fish
Pegs, & Lashings
Clutch & Chain
& Vapor Barriers
Lamps & Gas Stoves
& Spark Plugs
Motor Lower Unit
Motor Cooling System
- Make an ice pick out of a wrecking bar or other good steel.
Before putting a slight bend in the tip, make a few holes in the
ice. Then put the slight bend. Observe the difference. Does it
widen the hole better with the bend? Can you hear the difference
between the two picks?
Putting the slight bend in the tip should cause the ice pick
to quiver and shatter the ice. It will be easier to widen the
sides too. There is a destinctive buck, buck sound
of a well made ickpick. With your back turned you can hear whether
an ice pick is well designed or not.
- Before rounding the nose of the wood on the handle, leave the
wood square. Does it splash once there is water in the hole? Round
the nose of the wood and try it again. Does it splash as much?
Rounding helps a lot. Once the hole is full of water splashing
becomes a real concern.
- Strap a five to six pound weight to the ice pick you have made.
Pick a hole. What differences do you observe? (Ankle or wrist
weights might work well.)
- Try to make a hole in the ice with an axe. What is your experience
once the hole fills with water? Can you widen the bottom of the
An axe is almost worthless. Once there is water in the hole,
the axe splashes so much it is impossible to make a decent hole.
- If there is an ice auger in the village, compare the time and
effort required to make a hole with the auger to the time it takes
to make a similar hole with an ice pick. Which is faster and easier
for you? What are the advantages of each?
An auger is faster and cleans the hole by itself. It is necessary
to shovel the chips out of a hole made by icepick. However, an
icepick can make a hole big enough for beaver, but an auger cant
widen a hole.
- Observe how icy your gloves get when using the ice pick. What
will you do to increase friction so you dont lose the ice
pick down the hole?
Put a rope on the icepick or you will lose it!
- Listen closely. Can you hear the difference in the sound of
the ice just before you punch through and water comes into the
There is a destinct sound the ice makes just before breaking
through. Before punching through, widen the hole on the bottom
as it is hard to do with water in the hole.
- Make an ice pick out of a snowmachine spring over 2 wide.
What differences do you see between this ice pick and the first
It is too wide to penetrate deeply, but it cuts brush in a
beaver feedpile very well.
- Compare the ice pick you have made with a commercially designed
ice pick if there is one available. If they are both sharp, which
one works better for you?
- Are there any homemade ice picks in the village? Look at them.
What do the tips look like? How wide are they? How heavy are they?
What is the average weight? What kind of steel are they made of?
Do they ring when struck with another piece of steel? (The wooden
handle will deaden the sound to some degree.)
- What kind of wood is used for the homemade ice pick handles?
- Talk with the local beaver trappers and, if possible, go out
trapping with them. When you get back, describe to someone else
what you learned.
- By inquiry in the village, discover the difference between an
ice pick used for walking after freeze-up and one used for beaver
An icepick used for walking and testing thin ice is much lighter
than one used for making a waterhole or setting snares for beaver.
- Why is it important to have an ice pick that has enough mass?
If the ice pick doesnt have enough mass, the force to
drive it will have to come from the individuals arms. With
enough mass, the force will come from the ice pick.
- Draw an edge that is too thick. Draw one that is too thin.
- Why is a slight bend put in the tip of some ice picks?
To make them quiver and shatter the ice.
- Why is friction important on the handle?
Good grip. It might slip and be lost down the waterhole. A
- What is the most common material for an ice pick handle and
Spruce. It is strong and doesnt rot easily.
- What happens if the bottom of a water hole isnt widened?
The hole will freeze over quickly if the current isnt
available to warm the surface
- Draw a perfect ice pick, including handle.
- Mike has a chance to go beaver trapping with his uncle. A gasoline-driven
ice auger costs $209. He can make his own ice pick for $12. If
the average price of a beaver pelt is $25, how many beaver does
he have to catch to break even with the cost of the gasoline auger?
Eight beaver. However, he might consider that the motorized
auger might break down. If it does and they are very remote, he
might not catch any. There is more to consider besides money.
- Mike can pick 14 holes a day when the ice is 3 thick.
The next year he traps, he finds that the ice is 4 thick.
Approximately how many holes will he make if he picks at the same