Saturday, August 31, 2013

Hops based inferiority complex

I was comparing some of this years hops from the yard:

the summers here are just not ideal for a perfect English Fuggles hops harvest.

when compared to the American breed Cascade hops the Kent breed is just damn puny.
on a positive note, under the leaves there is still some good lupulin. it will still be brew-able. 

American Cascade on the left and English Fuggles on the right

cup of inadequacy

Thursday, August 29, 2013

First live vid on instagram

I have been thoroughly enjoying my time on instagram!

i invite all to go to nobleignitus there!
amongst the growth there is the vid feeds that happen.
i just finished making a new cobbled mobile benchtop grinder station, conditioned the woodworking bench and thought i would check the status of a heavily rusted Plumb double bit that had been submerged in a vinegar bath for some time.

here it is:

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Steam trunk decoration 2

If i stared long enough at the underside of the trunks lid, 
i would swear these ladies were inviting me to their ill party.

no thank you.
underside of great grandfathers steam trunk

Monday, August 26, 2013

Steam trunk decoration

"When looking over the edge,
first one then the other eye widen, all in order to make me feel uncomfortable"

an image from my great grandfathers steam trunk.
open the lid and look down to the back of the front panel and this is what looks back.
impressed that despite the deterioration of the paper, the color is still rather intense.

Friday, August 23, 2013

A serious crack in the mallet is not the end

This mallet belonged to my great grandfather, so it pained me dearly to hear the distinct crack of splitting wood while it was in motion.

during the hanging process of this champion pack hatchet i am constantly removing the head as i get a perfect fit. this time when i was about 3/4 of the done with the fitting, i heard that crack as i was removing the head. a deep crack running through both halves of the mallet.


tools are made to use
tools are made to be repaired.

maybe this weekend i will have some time to think of some clever repair + modification and then get this tool back to work.

using the whole buffalo

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


When tired and need the mind to slow down, i just need to put some pen to paper.

in the act, all quiets down.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Etsy strikers ready for Rhode Island - Zenith double bit, Kelly Perfect double bit and a Germantown carpenter's hatchet

Big post title for some big tools.

I happened to have been contacted right when starting the restoration of these three tools, so one lucky Gent in Rhode Island will be getting all three gems.

i was most impressed with the quality of steel and feel in hand on all three of these strikers.

germantown carpenter's hatchet ready for the east coast

kelly perfect heading east

zenith double bit ready to work
more than once did i think that i didn't want to give up any of these tools.
they are damn fine strikers.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Thought rockets and the new scissors

Ended last night on another high note:

i did not pick up the mail until well after dark yesterday
found these pinking shears i ordered earlier in the week from ebay.

i use these to cut the paper tape that holds the "thought rocket" igniter (match).
the scissors came in its original packaging. strong graphics with clever advertising fields.
kleencut pinking shears

the scissors made a very clean cut. i am pleased!

kleencut pinking shears in use

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Axe restoration using a riffler to hang the head

The week before the boys go to school we took a little camping trip.
came in late to work and then had the day to do some striking tool restoration.

when getting the head to fit on as perfect as possible one needs to make sure not to take off too much material. the more wood touching the inner eye of the head the better the hang and the more reliable the final product will be.

to do this i use a riffler (a small rasp). this allows me to take of material in a more controlled manner.
here is a quick 4 photo shot of one of many trial fittings i do before the head gets all the way on. i am happening to show this toward the end of the fitting.

first i seat the head. i do tap with a mallet, it will not just slide on.

after on as far as it goes i remove the head and look for the rub marks. here it can be seen by the blackish marks. these are the spots that will have to be riffle filed down.
also there is a distinct line that will have to be taken down to for the next trial fitting to go deeper into the eye. 

here the eye wood looks after riffling. 
now ready for another trial fitting. 

used a mallet again with the trial fitting to get a better seat. 

two more fittings and this collins pack hatchet is ready for the wedge.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Field notes and a chronodex per work day

An essential part of me is being capable.
not wanting to disappoint myself, on all work days i make a "chronodex" (that i keep in my back pocket field notes booklet) to visually organize my time. 

with this i can see if i really do have any blocks of time i can work on a project. 
different blocks of time afford different opportunities depending on my current project list. 
lots of project going on simultaneously means i can do something no matter how much time i have.

making a chronodex only takes a few minutes.  just enough time to organize the days potential.
the more ornate the timepiece the longer i needed to think something through.
today i had something on my mind.

i am very keen to this visual organizer
the inner ring = midnight to 9a then 9p to midnight
the outer ring = noon to 9p then 9a to noon.

this may seem odd at first but the outer ring is to represent the more functioning parts of the day 
9a to 9p.

red is my sleep time and the pencil blocks is work or obligations.
blank are the opportunities to make something.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Sanding axe and hatchet handles

One of the steps before hanging any tool is to sand the handle down.

hickory is by far my favorite wood to use on all of my striking tools. one of the characteristics is the fibers can have some texture to them. this creates a friction on the hand and leaves channels that the paint can flow under the masking tape (leaving tributaries of color).
depending on the handle some take more sanding than others.

here is a slightly more extreme case of before and after sanding
a slightly more extreme case to show the before and after necessity of sanding tool handles.
a sanded handle will perform better in the hand and show off the grain of the wood so much better.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Axe restoration and cutting wedges

When hanging axe or hatchet heads attention to the quality of the wedge should be taken in to consideration.

I do use some stock wedges, but i find that if i do buy a handle that has a wedge with it, it may not be suitable for the eye that it is to be inserted into. 

in that case, just make it.

today i hung 4 hatchets and 1 double bit and found myself needing to make 4 wedges.

i rough cut a 1"x4" board and then cut that in half.
axe restoration cutting wedges
after sawing in half i make quick work of the shaping on a bench sander.
with the shape cut, sanded and sized i rough the surface (with a flat rifler) to increase the surface area and opens up the wood to better absorb the wood glue that will help it swell before curing. this will tighten the fit.

axe restoration hand cut wedge shaped and then roughed.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Length of shower

A one beer shower
what a great shower it was.

colorado's great divide brewery's "claymore scotch ale":
this is a beer where the nose has the exact traits as the taste.

smell and taste = big malt with caramel and roasted barley.

7.7% octane

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Zenith double bit restoration

This Zenith has been great to work with and i am starting to see some progress on re-establishing a proper bit to cheek transition.

kicking up the metal fines as i work on removing the hollow grind the past owner put on this Zenith double bit

the previous owner had put a sort of hollow grind on both sides of the primary bevel. reminds me of what some people do to their chisels. anyway, the thought of it on an axe doesn't sit well with me.

not only does a trough in the middle of a bevel look awkward it will do nothing to reduce the resistance because 3/8" into the cheek is the elevated portion again.

At over 4 pounds this double bit has a good weight to it without being a burden.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Mushroom poll on axe or hatchet

There is a lot of subjective advice out there and one should always way out their references, but here is a set in stone piece for all: please never use your axe or hatchet's poll as a sledge, hammer 
or wedge (when one uses another sledge to pound the back of the axe through).

mushrooming is a symptom of pounding on the back of a hatchet or axe.
the exception to this rule are axes/hatchets that have special tempered polls made for striking.
unfortunately, the vast majority of polls are not tempered to give or take impact.

not only does the impact show on the curled burr that forms but also denting on the poll surface itself.

the good news is that mushrooming does not mean the end of the tool, although it is a serious red flag.
if there is evident mushrooming then the eye must be checked for 
deforming (sagging on one side or the other) or cracks coming from the eye.
if these are there then the can no longer be trusted as functional.
if there are no other defects then the mushroom has to be controlled with filing.
it pains me to do this because it is a reminder to poor use/abuse, but other than that the tool is still in perfect to use. 

getting the tool back to work is a way to reverse its history and start afresh.