Sunday, September 29, 2013

Hatchet sheath

Finished up the first copy of a new style of hatchet sheath.
I wanted a sheath that had a reminiscent look of one of my border designs. 

the copper rivet with a penny burr's main function is to act as a secondary level of protection if there is ever a fall with tool sheathed. the stitching is to protect the bit, the rivet is to protect the carrier incase the threading gives. 
what the image doesn't show is that there are three layers of leather on the front & bottom and there are 5 layers of leather on the top. 
Next I will bring in the center penny burr in just a bit and work one in to each corner.

I used the penny burr again to fix he strap to the back cheek. This gives me a chance to show off the tails on the back side of the sheath and to repeat the material.

so far i am pleased with the overall direction i am heading.
i always like a project where my initial work is a good start (at least in my mind).

Monday, September 23, 2013

Best steel japanese woodworking knive

A favorite style of general purpose woodworking knife.
 these single bevel knives are great for detail cuts to stock removal.

i had to oil up the handle.
keeping it conditioned.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Watch step


although i do in my mind, i have not put an item in my empty nail barrel for some time now.

Small clipboard made from wine crate lids

I needed some more clipboards at work and another one for the workbench.
i had some wine crates waiting for a purpose. i usually make wood toolboxes with the body of the box and use the lid for drawing boards, clipboards, ect. what i like about these lids is that unlike the body of the box that is solid wood, the lid is in fact veneered on both sides. the lids are almost half as thin and feather light. the core of the oil also will be a different color when a clear coat is applied. this gives it some interesting variation when held. perfect for clipboards.

i cut these last week knowing i had finally found a good deal on copper shingling nails.  being such a stingy bastard, i was not going to settle on retail plus shipping prices. i found this 8 pound 1 1/2" lot on ebay for about 8 dollars a pound (included shipping). this is one-third the retail price with shipping. at around 200 nails per pound this makes for a good supply. i only use these for rivets.

i often use pre-1982 pennies for my burrs. i personally like the aesthetic. really the only time i do not is when space is too limited for the wide diameter of a penny.

these clipboards are for A5 and smaller. 
this takes care of the portable rhodia and the fieldnotes/doane farm notebooks i use.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Function first metropolitan fountain pen mod - update

Last night the modified metropolitan fountain pen had it's first shift at work
it preformed exactly how i needed it too.

here is from yesterdays post:

"one important note on this modification is that it is a "function first" mod. when the final product is laid out it looks like two separate items combined together. that is ok on this project.
the function is perfect, the material exposure is consistent and from the pocket or uncapped looks really good. this pen lives in only two places:
1. capped in the pocket
2. uncapped and in use."

tomorrow evening this pen will exist again during its second shift.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Pilot metropolitan fountain pen "function first" modification

At work i use fountain pens at the desk and out away from.
unfortunately, i must differentiate between the two places.

away from the desk i can use a pilot metropolitan. this pen can take a hit to the floor, can take a 
stub nib  (this is actually very important to me) and can be replaced inexpensively.
one thing i noticed about this pen is aesthetic of the raw brass where it had worn away from being in my pocket. i thought this to be a very appropriate look in my work environment. 

this mod was just an entertaining project to change the aesthetic of the pen by exposing the raw brass
add a way to have the cap stand upright when i am using the pen without the cap being posted. 
(this allows me to put it on a small area, be noticeable and grab it easily).

one important note on this modification is that it is a "function first" mod. when the final product is laid out it looks like two separate items combined together. that is ok on this project.
the function is perfect, the material exposure is consistent and from the pocket or uncapped looks really good. this pen lives in only two places:
1. capped in the pocket
2. uncapped and in use.

outside of these two places this pen does not actually exist.

for the pen caps fixed podium, i was going to used a .243 casing.
this was a particular size was perfect and brass. i flattened the pen cap just a bit so i could seat and affix the two components together better.

next i removed the rest of the finish from the brass parts of the pen.
the dry fit shows that the brass from the casing was more tarnished doesn't yet look like a good fit.  

i gave a rough polish to the pen brass and a more fine polish to the casing brass.
this really started to tie together the materials. 

i fixed the parts together and gave it a final polish.

i will let this pen tarnish naturally. if the composition of the brass is too different and age out of sync then i will polish and clear coat.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Waltham and Sheaffer fountain pen re-sac

Now in my possession, i ink dip tested two of my late great grandfather's fountain pens.
both wrote well and deserved to at least be re-sac'd.

outside of a petrified ink sac, the Sheaffer was in pretty fair condition.
i thoroughly cleaned out the barrel, section, section coupler, feed and nib.
damn if dried ink doesn't seem to need endless flushing.

my own quirk, i always let liquid adhesives & coatings cure for a maximum period of time.
in this case i just left the shellac overnight.

the next day it drew in the ink well. the nib was fed well and wrote with a very consistent line. even for my quick print.

the waltham though has seen some real use and the wear shows in the nib. even the 14K nib has no remaining gold plating. in addition to the wear from use, there was some corrosion from storage.

removed the petrified sac, a thorough cleaning, re-sac and now is ready to go.
this pen was fairly difficult to get apart and putting back together was much the same. i was anxious to get this pen together and test the re-sac success so the image shows a minute gap between the section and the barrel. this has since been tightly seated together. even in a hurry i had the sense not to force the connection.

i will enjoy writing with this pen.

both pens are fairly wet and not suitable for fieldnotes.
rhodia though is perfectly good.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Crating up the keen kutter carpenter's hatchet

Time to say goodbye to the keen kutter carpenter's hatchet.

after a final hone and last protective shine,
i prepared the hatchet before closing the crate.
keen kutter carpenter's hatchet honed and polished

first a quick bit cover. the tool is very sharp and will slice through the packaging during transport.

keen kutter carpenter's hatchet with a shipping bit cover

then comes the bubble wrap.
i want to make sure that there is no rattling inside the crate.
from here on out all marks made on the tool will not be made by me
by the new owner creating a visual history of use.

keen kutter carpenter's hatchet with some padding so it will not move around in the crate during transport.

the final fastener screwed in. and that is that. 
next to be seen by its owner.

keen kutter carpenter's hatchet crated and sealed.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

1x keen kutter carpenters hatchet 1x collins camp hatchet and 1x companion pack hatchet

Friday before work i was able to post 3 more hatchets on etsy.

this keen kutter is a great tool. i have actually been using it for about a year before rehanging and putting fresh flash on it. the steel holds an edge very well and i am very partial to the balance of this 18" striker.

this collins camp hatchet is amazingly LIGHT.
i have been asked in the past for recommendations on a tool that is 18" but not very heavy  
(mostly for youths)
and this collins would be an example of an answer.

the trick is to find a handle whose handle is made of slightly newer growth. there are still plenty of annual lines but not overly dense.

below is a pack hatchet. using a short 14" handle, this companion hatched can easily be stored inside a small day pack.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Monarch butterflies

The monarchs are in every flower bed we have.

The past few years of drought though, both up here and all the way down to mexico, have really raised hell on their population. there are not nearly as many as before.
the dry conditions have hampered the milkweed and the past wild fire from way down south in texas:
neither bodes well for getting them up north.

we have a pretty good mix of butterfly garden plants, but i think we will be adding milkweed to the mix.

for myself, the monarchs are a definite sign that high summer is gone and the hot days are in decline.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Xbox travel case from a wine crate

The oldest son needed a travel case for his xbox,
so i thought i would punch one out today.

 i started with a full size wine crate. i wanted the fit to be somewhat tight so i cut off 5 inches from the length.

 after trimming down i reassembled with glue and better fasteners.

i added an internal framework for strength and to act as a frame for the 1" foam cello foam 
(this is a stiffer cushion).
there is an external frame i added too for more interest.

on the top i added some flash to personalize his case.

the fit is nice and tight. the lower level is for his console and the power supply.
the hinged & padded stop allows room on the top for his final cords, controller and some games on top.

not as light as a cardboard box but still very light. 
wine crates themselves are surprising low in weight.

mac was happy with his new case. i am very grateful that he doesn't mind my "cobble" style.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Words of wisdom

Buy Nebraska,
Drink Nebraska.

a poster from my barber shop, 1940's paper ad

buy local is too true for all states!
actually,  when "local" is expanded to a regional borders,  than the variation of land and microclimates should increase the variety of products. this is a win for the individual and for the self-sufficiency of the immediate locality.
(i am more than happy to drink beer from my neighboring states).

just for the record there is nothing wrong with imports either
(from outside our region but within the states or from outside the states), 
we just need a much greater presence/variation of regional product.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Sanding dust in a small shop

I kicked up a lot of saw dust today from the stationary bench sander
(including the making of an axe plus 4 hatchets crates).

hammers waiting to be restored sit there with a layer of sanding dust dandruff

on the other end of the small shop is the evidence that i foolishly did not run the dust collector during the sanding session.

if not for keeping the work space clean then at least for keeping my nose from being plugged up.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Bottling mulberry cider and beer closet storage

Last night wifey and i bottled our mulberry cider.

as usual i had too many projects and completely blew off running the cider into a secondary.
started july 14th, it had about 7 weeks in the carboy.

 from the fermentor

to the bottling bucket that has the priming sugar

to the bottle (we made it easy by using all gasket top bottles and growlers)
and then
to storage

for storage we have a basement closet dedicated to brewing supplies.
one of those small closets that are roughed in from the inside but looks finished on the out.

because the studs were exposed in the closet, when we moved in years ago i immediately built some quick little shelves between each stud, tall enough to hold 22 ounce bombers for storage and aging.
this closet gets no light and has the most even temperature in the house. perfect.

there is always that little bit in the bottom that allows me to ice and have a quick sample to get an idea as to what the final product is probably going to be.
even though it sat in the fruit for almost two months there was no tannin flavors, nor  was there any bitterness.
this will be very smooth!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mallet for hanging axe heads

I needed to cobble together another dedicated mallet solely for hanging axe and hatchet heads after cracking my great grandfather's.

i hit the parts bins to put this new mallet together.
first a 2"x2"5.5" block of bubinga left over from an extreme croquet mallet build
an old hickory hammer handle kept from a hammer restoration.

i cleaned and sanded the handle.
i will put enough grit into it with time, plus i wanted open up the pores a bit for a good soaking with long oil. the handle was in excellent shape and i wanted to keep it that way.

i "ovalized" the handle's wood that will enter the eye and cut a slit for the wedge.
for the head, i drilled in a blind mortise joint. 
the grain of the wood is very nice and i wanted to keep wood visually uninterrupted with a joint.
the bottom of the mortise is a bit wider so when the handle is pounded in, the wedge will spread out creating a very reliable joint.

joined, painted and oiled this tool is ready for action!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wink and a nod - sunflower and goldenrod

Garden with some prominent yellow.

with a wink and a nod, the sunflower gives the golden rod a look.

the entertaining part (for me) was that the sun was high in the sky yet all but this sunflower were faced to it.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Carrom powder

Labor Day started with labour 
ended with delabouring.

a game of carrom to lower the blood pressure:

carrom powder waiting to be streaked
enjoying how the freshly laid powder sits on the board.

Alcohol swab and Labor Day

Today, Labor day, started with work and a quick swipe with an alcohol swab:

there is nothing better to complement a bloody alcohol swab than an industrial blue bandage.