Thursday, January 30, 2014


All the pumice in the world will not be cleaning these hands:

dry hands, making it easier for the fortune teller

with winter comes the dry skin. 
the hands seem to become even more prone to staining from work in the shop.

i dont mind the stains so long the were the vehicle to a job well done.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Chronodex week 4 2014

A productive week, much more so then "the sick week".

like a cat, the youngest suddenly found interest in what i was doing.
chronodex investigated

was thumbing through some vintage motor oil can labels (looking at the graphics) and found some wing inspiration.

chronodex and the motor oil wings

Sunday, January 26, 2014

I forgot the coffee again

A few choice words for an ante meridian disappointment:

i did it again, i thought i had bought coffee the other day 
and sure as hell did not.

i do enjoy going to a restaurant but we rarely go out for meals (once or twice a month). we like to cook and direct resources to our kitchen rather than others. 
coffee is usually stock (an entertaining in the p.m. and personal essential in the a.m.) but the past two times have let the stores get completely depleted before realizing we are out. 

need to slow down and remember not to forget.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A proper cleaver sheath

Cleavers are one of those kitchen essential tools that also need to be able to GO.

this afternoon i finished a cleaver sheath that the owner can now confidently (in a safe way) take on any hunting trip.

leather cleaver sheath

i used some nice full grain leather from the shoulder. the front is three layers thick and the ends are 4 layers thick. this allows the sheath to better follow the form of the tapered tool.

leather cleaver sheath

i also used my copper penny and nail rivet system. 
this combination seems to be finding its place in many objects that i am making.

leather cleaver sheath.

this was a great project to work on.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Toolbox for leather working supplies

I was in desperate need to reorganize the leather working tools that i use the most.
in particular i wanted to better contain the dyes, oils, cements, ex cetera.

a quick grab set up would be best so i repurposed a toolbox that i made out of shop scraps.
the toolbox went from sandpaper scraps to my most used leather working supplies. it seems that through no conscious planning of mine, some systems (like the toolbox used for sandpaper quarters) just come out of favor. it really wasn't until i was looking around for a way to better store the 
quick grab leather working supplies that i became aware.
maybe i just have too much shit laying around.

before any repurpose switch, i do try to clean it up and make any restorations.
for these toolboxes i cleaned out, then just added a wipe on poly. the toolbox itself is very durable despite how light and thin walled it is. wipe on polys are so low maintenance that i do use them for these sort of items.

toolbox made from shop scraps

the toolbox itself is made from scraps, using the whole buffalo:
base & side walls is a scrap pine board
front & back side walls are slats cut from an old cedar deck plank
the handle is from a broom
the round well is a cheese container (that i of course had to draw on)

toolbox made from shop scraps

this box has only 4 compartments: the three can be seen here but under the cheese container is another small one. the hidden one is where i can put pieces. hiding the little things keeps the over all look tidy.

toolbox made from shop scraps
cleaned and ready to go.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Chronodex week 3 2014 - a sick week

I have two simple facets:
my social self is focused around the home, with my family and friends
my individual self racinates from making.

If there is ever a time i feel worthless it is when a bad cold of flu sets it. 
it is not the suffering that i care about but the lack of productivity or the ability to tend to the family.  
last weeks rub came from the fact that i have about a half a dozen projects i am working on that i am VERY motivated to finish. 

so now i can say, "to hell with last week" because i am ready to tear it up again.
chronodex 1.14.2014
sick week, time for the day glo orange 

chronodex 1.14.2014
sick week, the mind was racing but the wheels were not turning
the one thing about being sick is that when better the motivation seems so very increased. i am sure that the fact that it is from being idle for so long, but damn if it isn't a rush.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Bear with a dog coat

I am just going to start out with we do NOT have a dirty house, but 
with three boys and two dogs it takes no time at all before a cleaning is in order.

this morning cleaning from under the couch revealed another dirty couch secret:
a bear wearing a dog fur coat.

fron under the couch, the bear looked utterly defeated
damn dogs!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Sharpen a pencil and 4 easy to stash pencil sharpeners

The time is now to sharpen that pencil is now
then in a few moments now, again.

out of all the tools i use, the pencil is always present and demands the most "sharpening" attention.
as the tool is important, so is the act of sharpening. this process optimizes the tools performance and thereby helps maximize our potential. one can never have too many sharpeners!

with that said, i probably have pencil sharpeners in every room of our house. every room except wifey's bathroom, officially banned from that room. in fear of more banishment i keep to the premise that the lower the sharpeners footprint, the better.

here we have 4 such easy to stash pencil sharpeners. there is one long lead maker, two medium lead makers and one short lead maker.
the "ratcheting" one is new and sort of initiated this post.
4 easy to stash pencil sharpeners. the pencil is the most consistently used tool that requires point/blade tuning;  beating out the saws, knives, chisels, scrapers, hatchets, axes, shovels, ex cetera. 

each task/duty/project requires a different lead length, usually based on the coarseness of the material marked on and the thickness of line desired. i have three general lead lengths: long (for smooth surfaces), medium (for general) and short (for coarse surfaces).
of the 4 here is the long lead and the short lead makers.

maybe a bit overdone, but these considerations actually make a big difference when it is time to make a mark. proper layout is absolutely invaluable.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Chronodex week 2 2014

A week 2 in visual review:

as the "work" week amped up, i had been able to manage my open time to the greatest effeciency.
a few surprises did arise, but with expectations at bay, i was better able to tackle them.

orange is such a good highlight color. whether on a tool so it doesn't get lost on the workbench or on the paper to highlight caution.
chronodex week 2 2014
 a week highlight (with projects) of making a neck pen holder from scrap leather.
chronodex week 2 2014
the highlight was raised when i found a purpose for the old western style leather belt (late 1970s). reformed into a neck pen holder that i can use everyday. 
chronodex week 2 2014

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Counter pull wall shelf for fieldnotes - a need to organize

A few weeks ago i needed to make something to organize some of my desk fodder. 
my original idea for this counter pull, wall mounted shelving unit came as a response to the number of spent field notes that were piling around the desk. i still need access to each fieldnotes book so burying them in a drawer didn't seem like a good idea.

i have been working with this shelving unit and feel i can definitely expand on its organizing potential.
i am going to make 6 more.

I plan to also use these for some pen storage, nib storage, and other desk essentials that are not on the current rotation.

the roofs are now on and although the bottom support brackets are built they will not be attached until tomorrow.
counter pull, wall mounted field notes shelf

i wanted a steeper roof so i cut the carcass at a 45. this really stressed some linear movement and can make something fastened to a wall a bit more dynamic looking. 
counter pull, wall mounted field notes shelf

i wanted to keep them uniform in height and construction. 
they will vary in the type of boxes that they will be holding. i will mix antique ones that i collect and make some different styles too. 
counter pull, wall mounted field notes shelf
i am hoping to finish this lot before next weekend.
i have already started making some more boxes for these too.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Chronodex week 1 2014

Although i did use the chronodex every work day, i only seemed to have taken one image.

friday was the first day the week started to slow down a bit,
thereby affording a little more time to reflect after laying out the visual.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Grandmother's soap

The soap options from a grandmother's bathroom:

grandmother soap is guaranteed to get you 25% cleaner.
the shell shaped varieties up the cleaning potential to 26%.

although i have a choice of fragrant surfactants, i am almost afraid to choose either. last thing i want to do is be disrespectful and muck up her sink.

i may go with the neither approach. i am pretty sure that being male allows me to exercise this option.
maybe i will wash my hands, then i will wash the soap. 
(that should do the trick)

Friday, January 3, 2014

Last week reviewed via chronodex

I have been wanting to do some sort of visual review of my week and thought the chronodex would be a fitting avenue. 

i already use this visual planning aid everyday that i work. 
as i have stated before this system is perfect for me me to temper my overloading of daily projects.

chronodex for 12.22.1013

even the act of making the chronodex more ornate is apart of the process for prioritizing the day.

after finishing a day's design, i have often found myself taking a quick image of it with the tools i used. i enjoy not only the end product but the layers of means it took to get to this visual end. 

chronodex for 12.24.2013
if the chronodex is the Capitalized first word, then the tools used become a sort of punctuation at the end of the planning sentence.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year, Boot sliver and long shifts

Letting everyone who had to pull long shifts during the Christmas to New Year transition
still in the middle of the fray:


it doesn't matter what the job is, nor if you really like your post, really long sessions take a toll
it always takes time to recover.

i am not much for new years resolutions but if i were to make one then i pledge to afford myself
more recovery time. we are all stronger afterwards.

my most memorable moment from this past week was when by boot had a sliver.

double shifts and steel toed boots with slivers
2014 will hopefully see me making rough drafts before i hit "post" or "update".