Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Life Off Grid Alaska - Easy or Hard?

     Interestingly enough off grid life is as much or as little as you make it. You can live like a caveman or you can live like a businessman with a multimillion dollar job. You can run your own business, be a gardener, hunt for your food or get it from the grocery store. Most things in life are this way, your in charge.

     We chose to meet somewhere in the middle, though we could survive on either end of the spectrum, partly from life experience and partly from our experiences here in Alaska. We live off grid, in the south central part of the midnight sun state. There are no wires that come into our house. That said, we have TV with satellite and mobile internet. I wouldn't call it a necessity but it sure helps when running our businesses, Robs Alaskan Woodcraft, JNT Creations, Permafrost Supply and Frozen Trail Naturals.

     One could say, once you get rid of the hustle and bustle of life, it makes way for a clear vision of the future. We did exactly that. We left our large house in northern Wisconsin, built a house from logs on our land from scratch, and produced an income stream from nothing. Anyone can do this, but it takes a certain someone to stick with it.

     Our story is about sticking with it and making our own way in this life to suit our needs.

- Rob Van Sleet

Thursday, March 9, 2017

What is a Bentwood Ring?

In a bentwood ring, the grain is oriented around and around, into several layers, creating a durable ring with no weak spots.
To bend wood, thin strips of wood need to be steamed to just the right temperature, then quickly wrapped around a form and clamped to hold their shape. After the wood has dried into shape, a special glue is used to glue each overlapping layer until the thickness of the ring has been formed. We typically use 5 to 7 layers to create each ring for maximum strength with a thin profile. you can view examples of bentwood rings at Robs Alaskan Woodcraft 
The way the grain is oriented along the length of a bentwood ring, the layers upon layers of wood, and the strong adhesive work together to create the toughest wooden ring possible. Think of it like building with blocks where staggering each layer creates more strength than the one layer on it’s own.
After the shape of the ring has been created, we carefully sand the wood to a polished state, cut and round the edges into a smooth, soft curve and add any inlays you’ve requested. Crushed stone or shell inlays are placed with tweezers to create maximum coverage.
To finish, each wooden ring is coated with a durable, waterproof coating. This coating is built up into five thin, glossy layers that compliment the wood grain while still sealing in all of the surfaces to make sure your ring can be worn even while washing your hands or showering. See our rings at