Saturday, November 30, 2013

Cup of pencil shavings

The more shavings made the more design and mark making i have completed in the shop.

cup of pencil shavings

this is not all from today
i am definitely contributing to the fill.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Table top baseball game refinish

winter time is tabletop baseball season!
today was time to give it a quick refinish for another season of gameplay.

A few years ago, whilst in the middle of one of my many tangents,  i was on the computer looking for ideas to make new table top game for me and the boys when i stumbled on a dice rolling baseball game.

i liked the idea but thought the aesthetic could use a little enrichment.
the original one i saw was on a built made out of a simple pine 1 inch thick pine plank, and had some simple lines and a scoreboard.

i started with a round oak table table top that had survived a bar fire. it was about 2" thick, finish was bubbled and smelled of smoke. i removed the finish with an old jack plane i use for such occasions and then smoothed from there. i like the heft of a solid wood game.

squared up to the size i wanted and quickly went to creating bolder color fields for the playing surface.
i really enjoy design and the layout (as simple as it is) was extremely entertaining to create.

i needed to contain the dice when rolling
i wanted it to be easily replaceable, after all this game is meant for young ones that will be dropping it as some point. the mahogany trim was a quick solution.

there are two types of square cut nails used. one size if for the players and the other size is for the 
game keeping.

mint tins make a perfect holder for the pieces and a place to put the directions.
with an old manual typewriter i applied to paper i made years ago and adhered to the mint tin.

i uses pigmented ink for the colorant. this ink is extremely lightfast and allows the grain to show through. plus this gave me an a color palate i wanted.

"play ball!!"

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Collins homestead shipping off to boston

This collins took a fair amount of file work to make the bit more practical.

now off to the east coast.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Deer hunting 2013 - sunday morn

The day started out and continued to be windy as HELL.
this type of wind will only keep the deer in shelter and not moving one damn bit.

not only does this wind mess with the deer but when given opportunity can absolutely foul up a shot.
if there is anything that i DO NOT want and that is to have a bad shot.

we after hunting the first part of the morning it was obvious that the day could be as fruitful as saturday.
the first have we hunted the south
the second part we hunted the north

in this vid we took a quick break. it sort of shows a bit of the wind but by no means shows its force on the body. literally 5 minutes I took after this i found my buck.

sorry about the finger.

from about 125 yards I went at this nice buck. 
fortunately it was from my position that I could claim him first.

2013 mule buck with 24 inch spread

what this photo doesn't show is that this buck actually has a 24 inch spread and there is a nice thickness to the base,
then on top of that, the antlers were very symmetrical. my favorite though was the G5s. they were both curled up evenly.

was able to get a fair amount of meat with this gem. 
as most know we are huge fans of deer meat.

in the end, this may not be a monster buck but damn if it isn't the closest i have ever been (so far).
GREAT hunt.

the next day two other fellows we were hunting with took theirs.
both were good but doc's was a very nice one. another big boy with some nice brow tines and 
great height on his 2s and 3s.

i am already motivated for next year.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Deer hunting 2013 - saturday afternoon

The ridiculously nice weather continued.
the dry spell runs though the afternoon.

at the end of the day, we spotted a monster of a buck.
he stood with 3 does at about 400 yards.
the light was all but gone and the distance was far enough away it is best to try for him in the morn.

saturday night is a full moon. not a good thing for deer hunting.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Deer hunting 2013 - saturday morn

The first morning of rifle season was too nice, nothing to drive the deer. 
Saw a total of 12 does and 2 smaller bucks. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Dropping hand tools after running power tools

At the workbench and this is the third time i have dropped the tack hammer!

i have been running the orbital sander for quite some time
the prolonged use has vibrated my grip away.

for these long sessions with this tool, i may actually have to consider getting one of those 
shock absorbing gloves.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Arnold fountain pen

Just received my auction win of 4 Arnold fountain pens. 

although i knew these inexpensive writing utensils were occupants of the third tier,
i still wanted the experience of writing with them. better yet, i wanted to interact with them. work on some designs and makes some notes. 
Quite frankly, i am a second or third tier sort of fellow, so i have taken GREAT enjoyment with using these categories of writers. 
if i am lucky the sum will become greater than the parts.
just received my 4 arnold fountain pens.
before charging up with ink, i went in for a close up.
one can see how a tip is formed by the simple bending of the end.
at this point of observation, i was beginning to doubt the pens ability to write. 
the pen's feed was also feeding this doubt. personally, i had never used such a feed before.

arnold fountain pen close up of feed

even under glass i couldn't see how the ink was going to migrate to the nib.
very curious, i immediately went to the diamine oxblood. i wanted to use an ink that was rich but not too opaque when thinned out.

the nib was dipped in for about 3 seconds and then looked at. 
here i can now see the thin channels carrying the ink.

arnold fountain pen close up of ink in the thin feed channels

it was time to give the pen a line or two.

maybe it was my low expectation, but i was quite pleased with how it wrote. there was no scratch to the pen to paper contact, a bit of feel but it wasn't a drag nor any roughness. 

arnold fountain pen after some lines. the ink on the top of the nib was from dipping in the well

i gave the pen a few more lines and was very pleased.
i do write fast, so the consistency of line was fluid and smooth.

these were all broad tip pens and i think that this will work to my advantage.
i can actually see some variation of line (i am an italic/stub fan).

arnold fountain pen wrote very smooth with no skipping. the broad nib allowed for some variation in line.
next i will fully ink up the pens and put them to use.
this broad nib was wet enough that i will not use on a field notes notebook 
but will be perfect on a rhodia or doane.
(most of the vintage pens i have can only be used on the weightier paper).

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Bale with cat skin and free range running

A visit out to father's means the boys run untethered.

bales of hay act as elevated running platforms. jumping from one to one.
as long as they don't go tearing into them it is good.

i don't dictate on free range movement
every now and then they do need a second set of eyes.

this particular moment involved reminding the youngest to watch out for the 1/4 cat skin that had fallen off of the top of the bale.

at least one fox has been thinning out the cat population.
some days before the fox took this cat to the top of the bale for some dining privacy.

now the cat serves as another jumping obstacle on free range bale running.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Keeping an eye out(let) for dust snakes

I am just going to start with how i admire good writers.

I have rewritten this opening about 20 times.
i cant find the words to express how "just keep an eye out" can provide some simple 
valued entertainment.

if there is anything i am fairly descent at is "keeping an eye out" for:
the absurd, the humorous, the threatening and the unique. 
at least finding an image that can become anyone of those.

after i have captured an image of value, i then take great enjoyment in expanding its context,
basically making up stories in my mind. these stories i usually keep to myself but when the story is rich enough will share with family or friends (once again, all in order to entertain). 
such mind play is absolutely essential in my life. they offset the seriousness, stress and overly hard working, non-creative facets of my life.

here is an example, i was walking down the stairs of a business when i saw this outlet at the bottom.

i find this to be extremely visually rich and full of potential.
this business was actually very well maintained except for this outlet in a back stairwell.

breaking down this into multiple who, what, where, when, how and why will start to expand all of the possibilities. a sort of kafka's "unbridled horses" from the country doctor take control and i find myself just going not fully knowing where it is going to end, if it ever does.
 the stories are endless.
i would keep on going with the stories i have weaved but i am an on the spot oral observer/story teller, 
when i write almost all is lost. 

i admired good writers.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Pliers holder rig

After finishing this last pliers holder, i decided that it was time to see what else i could do with the sheath.

pliers, in a simple pliers holder, can always be found on my person.
a pair will act as: pliers, pry bar, slot driver, hammer and so on.
there are situations where i want to temporarily add another tool or at least have a loop or two to temporarily suspend a tool(s) that i am juggling on a project. 
sort of a practical puzzle, my first plan is to explore a system that i can just snap on a leather attachment to the back of the pliers holder. an attachment can cater to tools of a specific job. 
by being a snap system i can remove it easily for when it is time to walk away. 
i absolutely want to be able to remove this attachment when i walk away from the project.

tonight i quickly put together this leather rig with chicago screws, in order to try out potential attachments.
pliers holder rig to test potential snap on attachments

i can still go back and add snaps to make the potential attachments more real to the final but this was a quick fix for rough ideas.

pliers themselves are one of those essential every day carries. 

words of wisdom for the day,
"to avoid looking like a tool, one should not carry too many tools on their person in public".

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Companion pack hatchet

I am sending this restored Companion pack hatchet to Washington D.C.

i rarely hang hatchets on handles below 18"
there are times when the occation is very applicable:

when the head is small the handle does need to be shorter. this proportion is needed to maintain balance and a balanced blade will always be a safer striker. 

there are also times depending on how one wants to pack their gear that a short hatchet is needed, there is something to be said about the portability of a tool with a shorter handle.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Wet formed leather pliers sheath

I am jumping right to the results 
the wet formed leather around the tool vs wet formed around a wood tool blank.

the winner by far was around the tool itself.
wet formed leather pliers holder
the left cee tee is the one i used to do the forming.

i did dye the leather and riveted with the copper roofing nails.
beween rivets, stitching and cementing, i am confident that this full grain leather sheath will hold up very well.

after this post i will be attaching to a belt and start testing the wear factor.