Friday, March 28, 2014

Chronodex week 10-11 and a leather knife sheath for two knives

Damn! what a busy week(s) for both my social and individual self:

there have been many great moments in the past weeks and i can not believe how fast time has gone. when i say "great" i really don't mean anything monumental but have had my fill of finishing some projects and having GREAT family time.

an example an individual "great", would be when i finished this two in one cook's knife sheath that is for a local fellow. a retired fellow who enjoys RV'ing in the spring had requested a sheath for two of his camper knives. one of those puzzles that i was pleased how the final product ended.  i decided to make them as both a single unit yet could be easily separated. made of 8 ounce leather, each sheath is 5 layers thick. there is no doubt that this will give him plenty of protection and a bit of style while preparing his food.

as the "luck runs out" chronodex

"luck running out" chronodex
feeling a star week coming up
horseshoe chronodex 1
horseshoe chronodex 2
the day after my oldest son's birthday i woke up about 30 minutes early (4:30ish) to put together my thoughts and organize my day. found his birthday candles sitting out on the counter and thought to myself how long they must sit before the next birthday use. i took some and though i would base a chronodex off of them. 
birthday candle chronodex

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The pliers sheath reviewed after 3 months of use - a success!

Around November 1, 2013 i posted a leather pliers sheath design i had made.

wet formed around my favorite old Cee Tee pliers, i was hopeful to come up with a durable sheath that would be much more dependable and better looking than what can be purchased locally.

as the crap hardware store pliers (on the left) ages, the thin leather stretches and deforms starting at the loop. the poor quality also dries out extremely fast. 
for my holder i purposely chose a thicker 6-8 ounce leather.  the back is two full layers thick with the leather's underside cemented together, never exposed. this has proved very reliable. 
handmade leather pliers sheath vs a poorly made store bought one
image when first made 3 months ago
the wet forming keeps the pliers in place very well and still does. there be no falling out if working on one's side or upside down for that matter.

below is the sheath as of this morning. leather and threading in great condition after three months. 
the handmade leather pliers sheath after 3 months of use

after that last photo i did apply a very light coating of neatsfoot to keep this sheath in its optimal shape. while i was there i gave it a quick polish and buff, too. i want the tool sheath to be as maintenance free as possible, but the fact remains that all leather needs attention.
especially if the leather is a real working leather, exposed and abused (as it should be).
the handmade leather pliers sheath after 3 months of use and a light coating of neatsfoot, then polish & buffed

this has been a very successful project. 
later this spring, i will probably be making some for sale on my Etsy shop.
i have purchased some great quality vintage pliers that i will sell with them, a sort of complete package.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Noble ignitus sky

With some days of warmer weather have come greater texture in the sky.
i am looking forward to start getting some images back into noble ignitus sky.

even though i greatly enjoy winter, by february i am ready for textured skies and the green of growth.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Chronodex week 10 - Esterbrook and the toilet paper

During week 10, i was able to use my new vintage Esterbrook SJ fountain pen 
with a 2556 (firm fine writing) nib. 
this pen arrived in excellent condition. in fact, the pen seems so lightly used that the state 
looks brand new.

upon opening the very sound shipping box, i see a mounded roll of toilet paper.
there was no added packaging so i cautiously began to unroll the mound.
7 feet of toilet paper later i find my prize and fortunately it was the pen.
to fold or to wad the esterbrook, that is the question

since the pen arrived in excellent condition i will call myself, "amused".

chronodex 3.8.2014

chronodex 3.10.2014

Monday, March 10, 2014

Working on the presenter

The next step in my entertainment:

 last week i had the idea to do some drawing and writing from the tools i restore. 
after that came that short little video of removing the axe head to expose a slightly ornate outline of the tool and some notes from the restoration process.  the video was a way for me to sort out some thoughts, so now from live video comes the move to try stop motion. 

i decided to create some VERY short stop motion scenes and a figure to present the tool being worked on. the initial idea is to make some sort of figure that can somewhat bridge the two tangents together, tool care and pen work. i thought it seemed fairly logical to have the figure made from materials used in restoration and in making the pen work. realistically i needed some other parts so i opened up the materials used to items that can be found inside the shop.

the materials used to make this fellow are items from the shop: 
1.  a retired double bit axe helve (all of the wood parts), 
2.  a deer antler (for textural variety and common in the shop), 
3.  a dip pen (to help bridge the two facets of tool and writing), 
4.  a handle from an old stanley block plane (such a great moveable head and brings in the shop motif), 5.  a manual counter (can not see, it is on the back. this will be to count the scenes),
6.  misc leather, copper and brass parts.
stop motion protagonist

the epoxy was added right before this image was taken. 
stop motion fellow made from parts inside the shop

next step will be the hands and the backbone. 
i think i can make the hands from old metal wedges extracted from restored axes.
i am still unsure about the backbone, maybe antler and brass pieces.
all the wood pieces are from the old axe helve

another variable to sort out is that the head moves up and down but i need a system for it to express side to side motion. 
despite the name being spelled out, this fellow will not be called stanley

after the body is done i will start fabricating the support for keeping this fellow upright.

even if nothing comes out of this project i have enjoyed the figure making process.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

True temper kelly works flint edge "best axe made" hanging

Today had some great shop time and it started with another great hanging.

was able to spend some more time on the kelly works "best axe made".
true temper kelly works flint edge "best axe made" getting hung

spent a good amount of time sanding this handle. excellent grain orientation but was a bit course.
when the time came to actually hang the head, this happened to be one of those eyes that just about perfectly fit the helve without any rasping.
i would say that within 15 minutes i had it resting firmly on the helve's shoulders.

axe restoration mallet made from an extreme croquet mallet scrap and recycled hammer handle.
invaluable for hanging axe heads.

kelly works axe hanging, ready for the wedge.

the wedge went in perfectly.
very tight and after the white glue that was added to the wedge cures completely i will soak in the linseed bath. 
kelly works flint edge hung tightly

the owner requested that this striker will not have any flash added to it. 
with that in mind, the helve selection was extremely important. i spent almost a month looking for one with the best grain. cant deny that i was getting a bit anxious to get this project done.

this is going to be a VERY reliable striker!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

American Pencil Co and some Esterbrook drawing nibs

With my increase in sleep and clear thoughts, i find my mind working overtime. as usual this translates into "needing" some more tools (pens) to best transcribe those thoughts into words, diagrams, sketches. starting this past saturday some ebay purchases and a goulet pen purchase came in.

on topic now is the Esterbrook No 16 drawing nibs and the American Pencil Co dip pen #1140 that came in. for a mere $4.99 i scored these drawlets and dip pen. the nibs were perfect, a 12 count box that actually had 8 new old stock nibs. i really enjoy these particular Esterbrook mark makers because they lay down a fairly dry line with pigmented ink. i do not always want this, but on occasions when i need to layer inks than the base line being dry fits my desired product.

the pen itself was in a bit of disrepair.
the 3 parts basically just sort of fell apart: the post (shaft), the section (that holds the nib) and the grip.

i first removed the rust and reshaped the section so the piece would better hold the nib.
then i needed to add a material to act like a spacer to fill up any looseness of the old stretched out grip. the rubber was still pliant but there was no going back to its slimmer glory day size. 

with two espressos and about 20 minutes of work (while listening to the news) i was able to get to a point that suited me.

now i have another writing tool ready to go.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Chronodex week 9 - plenty of sleep

An overall theme for the week was to catch up with sleep. i have made the decisive move to slow down a bit and try for 6 or 7 hours of sleep.
there is something to be said about wanting to just make all the time but there is always a price to pay.

in just one week my mind has already cleared up.

chronodex week 9

chronodex week 9