Useless tool cart into useful tool box!

Killing time last night, and sorting things in the shop, while looking for something, I came across a tool box I never use.
I got this thing in early 2011. The guy I was working for then had the Big Stanley FatMax rolling tiered tool box and it worked great. I figured I’d try the smaller version.


Great concept, but it never worked for me. The way the lower opening was accessed, the angled opening and top to the area, you couldn’t use all of the space and close it. And nothing I ever wanted to put in it would fit.

Then anything I did put in the bottom wasn’t heavy enough; The balance point wasn’t over the wheels, but behind them, so getting many tools in the top meant it would fall over backwards all the time unless it was on a dead flat and smooth surface(I defy you to find one of those on a construction site!)
It would have been so much more useful to just make the top area 2″ wider front to back and eliminate the angled door area. Even a fully vertical door wouldn’t limit access or space usage this much!
So I modified it into something I can use. I’d have probably never though of this if I hadn’t already modified something else earlier in the evening, in the same way. (More on that in a later post!)
I took an angle grinder with a cut off wheel on it, and cut the top off making a regular hand tool box. File and knife to trim up the melted/jagged plastic and voila;


I started to take the folding top handle off, but it was going to leave too many holes in the lid. As it is with it on there it’s not exactly water tight, but it’s better than it would be.


Figured it’d be too off balance to use that handle, but I threw some tools in it and tried it; Works good! Not sure why I’d ever need it over the regular handle, but it doesn’t hurt anything to leave it.
Looked around some and found the tray that came in it too.


Now, as for the bottom half… I’m not sure yet. But without the top on it crowding andlimiting the space, it’s actually rather roomy. Think I’ll pitch the sliding door, since it’s latch is molded to the top box I took off and it still limits usable space.


I’m thinking it might make a nice light weight hand truck/cart sort of thing for the yard if I put a new handle on it, and maybe open it up and mount a milk crate.. Dunno yet exactly.

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Categories: Customized, Modifications, Re-purpose, Recycle, Repurpose, Tool Boxes, tool mods | Leave a comment

Do take heed of low velocity warnings!

So… when you read or hear warnings about low power ammo and long barrels… Heed them!

Been playing around with some .22 Aguila Super Colibri, which are a 20 grain bullet over no powder; primer only. Supposedly a 550 fps muzzle velocity… Out of what I’m not sure. I’ve read they’re designed for use in pistols(revolvers, it would never cycle a semiautomatic) only.

I like them because they’re so quiet. Even out of my 4″ Bearcat the report is a mild pop, barely a sharp crack to it. No hearing protection needed, and you’ll never annoy a neighbor with them.

Figured what the hell I’d try them in my 1953 Marlin 39A (only non semi auto .22LR rifle I have). Bonus is they are shorter than the length of a standard 22LR; I can get 22 of them in the gun!

[IMG]
Left to right; Standard Federal LR, Remington Shorts, and Aguila Super Colibri.

Down side is that this rifle is old school, and has a full 24″ barrel.

Every inch counts when your building velocity, I was betting they’d be faster than 550 out of a rifle length. But every inch is against you on low power rounds.

[IMG]

That’s the tip of the bullet that’s stuck in the tip of the barrel!

That was the first round I fired. Popped it out with a cleaning rod.

Then I reloaded. 🙂 :D

The next 21 rounds all fired and cleared the barrel fine. The first one was the lower one in standard velocity spreads? Bore fouling? Weak primer? A fluke? Who knows.

They’re accurate and fun at backyard range, but you better be damn sure you can see or hear them hit something! There is no recoil and basically no report, the hammer fall click is louder!

If I get some time to get it out I’ll fire a few over the chronograph.

And yes, in case your wondering, these are “Super” Colibri… There is a standard non super version, same bullet, at a little over 100 fps slower! If I get any of those, I definitely Won’t be trying them in long barrels!

Categories: 22 ammunition, 22 guns, GetOutdoors, Guns, Hunting, Marlin, Outdoors, Rifles, Rimfire, Shooting | Leave a comment

Selective hearing protection? Alpine MotoSafe ear plugs, part 1.

One more new item, that came in yesterday, arrived all the way from the Netherlands. (Couldn’t find a stateside dealer that had the model I wanted, so I ordered direct from the manufacturer. Could actually only find two dealers in the USA anyway! )
As part of my healthy hearing concept, along with adding the face shield onto my motorcycle helmet, I started looking for better, more active hearing protection.
The problem with foam ear plugs is the constant outward pressure they use to seal, it’s uncomfortable and makes my ears sore after a days commute both always.
But I didn’t want to jump in and invest in the full custom molded ear plugs.
And both styles tend to be full sound suppression, so you end up sealed off from your surroundings, with all sound deadened. There are rubber plugs that only filter out harmful sound, leaving conversation or traffic hearable, but I’ve never found rubber plugs that seal worth a damn, or that aren’t like the foam, and too tight. (For instance ear buds tend to drive me nuts and make my ears sore).
Anything that has custom molding and also let’s through lower conversation type sound frequencies are really spendy.
Then I found a half way product;

https://www.alpinehearingprotection.com/product-category/motorcycle/

They are a sound filter, supposedly they cut the frequency of wind noise, but allow traffic and conversation sounds through. Also, the rubber tips are semi-custom forming, in a thermo form rubber; Every time you insert them, your body heat softens them and they custom fit to your ear canal, sealing without outward pressure.

I figured why not, if they work then great, if not, then I’m only out around $20… A risk that I thought was worth it.
They have several variations for different activities, and two specifically for motorcycle riding. A “Tour” version, and a “Race” version that is a little stronger/higher decibel rated. I opted for the race version. At only a few decibels difference, I figured if they work as advertised to cut only wind noise, and leave other sounds, I still wanted as much protection as possible.
So far, in limited fit tests I find them a LOT more comfortable than foam plugs, and more than a lot of rubber plugs and ear buds I’ve had too. I won’t say they “disappear” to where I don’t know I’m wearing them, but I’ve only had them I for 5 to 10 minutes so far.
Have not gad a chance to ride with them yet.
Bug I can say that they let in conversation level sounds really well, and actually without loud sounds, seem like they do very little. But they did cut out the sound of my truck exhaust more than they cut out talking.. Not a lot more, but more.
I’m reserving and conclusions for after I test them with the noise they’re made for; wind.
They come with a little zipper pouch for carrying, and I sprung the few dollars for a hard key chain style carry case, and a safety cord that keeps them tethered together.

My only complaint so far is that the insertion tool they come with, a little plastic thing that’s supposed to grip the plug, and you use it as a handle to insert them, then turn them slightly in your ear to help them seal; It doesn’t snap onto the plugs, it’s far too big, and thus can’t be used… So I can’t really grip them to rotate them upon insertion.
Not sure how much, or if this effects how they seal/work. Will find out either way how they work though, as soon as I can.
Will let y’all know how it goes. 🙂
Categories: Adventures, ATV, ATVing, Field gear, Motorcycles, New Gear, Preparedness, Riding, Vehicles | Leave a comment

Glasses!

N

ew gear!
A buddy gave me some cash for my birthday, and after a little deliberation, I went for getting myself something I’ve needed for a while now with part of if it.

Yup, I g

ot new sunglasses

!

You might recall that my good pair got broke while hunting last September.

Been wanting, but putting off new ones since then. But the last couple months as its gotten brighter and brighter coming out of winter, I’ve really needed some.

Also needed new clear safety glasses for work, and new shooting glasses…
So I killed 3 birds with one stone;
5 interchangeable lenses! Impact safety rated for work and shooting, 99.9% UVA and UVB blocking.
I figured I can only do one of the three activities/concepts at once, so a fast lense change every now and then wouldn’t hurt, could be the best way to go.

Turns out it really is a fast easy change too!

They’re not sold as polarized , but so far the copper and smoke lenses both cut glare like they are!
Came with keeper cord, a micro fiber bag for carrying one separate lens, a nifty 5 slot micro fibre/plush sleeve that separates the lenses, 5 lenses in smoke, copper, orange, yellow and clear, and a neoprene case for all of it.

To me that was a steal for $32 (local price; Online you can find them as low as $19.99, but before shipping. ) especially since it is 1/5 what replacing the last ones could cost IF I could find a pair (discontinued model).

It’s even cheaper than the last safety/sun glasses I had, a smoke black pair from 3M, they were $45. They lasted me about 4, naybe 5 years, and are still useable, but some of the marks on thd lenses are getting pretty annoying.

They’ve been backups in my truck for a while, but now in my bike bag, a last ditch pair.

Those by 3M are what I was going after to get again, when I found the Radians.

Anyway;

Here are the frames sans lenses, and then changed to the smoke from the copper shown above. Only takes maybe 45 seconds, a minute max to swap them.

Adjustable temple/earpiece lengths and soft bridgr pads, plus super light weight= really comfortable.

So far I’m using the smoke for general wear, and changing to the copper, which is a deep orange/amber with a pink tint, for riding the bike. After a few minute my eyes adjust and take out the pink tint, then the amber does like other brown/amber glasses I’ve had; Hightens contrast and boosts depth perception.

Only time will tell how the other colors will work but so far I’m really enjoying them.

Categories: EDC, Field gear, GetOutdoors, New Gear, Summertime, Sunglasses | 1 Comment

A hearing assist; Helmet shield re-fit.

I have no idea when CKX stopped making this helmet. This one is marked as being made in 1998. I bought it around 2000 or 2001.

It is a snowmobile helmet, lightly insulated, and with a double pane face shield, to mitigate fogging/frosting.

It never worked worth a damn. It was always a frosted mess I couldn’t see out of. Add to that my hatred at the time of the great lack of visibility out of a full face helmet, it was soon shelved.

Somewhere along the way, I took the face shield off of it. I’m not exactly sure why now.

It’s served perfectly well that way for several years now, both as my motorcycle helmet, off and on, and the one I kept as a helmet for a passenger on the bike.

But the last couple years, I’ve had an increasing problem with wind noise while ridding.

For years I never wore a helmet, nor hearing protection, and I guess it’s caught up to me. I much prefer no helmet, for hearing, visibility, and just general feel and awareness of the world when ridding, not only a bike but atvs, and snowmobiles too.

I also prefer no windshield, for the same reasons.

A couple years ago when I got back into ridding a lot, I had to start wearing a helmet for hearing protection, or else I ended up with my ears ringing, and that cloudy wind tunnel effect for hours after I got off the bike.

This helmet has served well for that for a couple years, sans face shield.

But, it has its problems. Mainly, since it is designed to be a full face helmet, it doesnt have the row of denser foam in front of your ears that blocks wind on a regular 3/4 or open face style helmet.

And my sensitivity to the wind noise has worsened to where any ride even with the helmet screws up my hearing.

Last year I took to wearing hearing protection, in the form of simple foam ear plugs.

That works perfect for the wind noise. But after more than an hour on the bike, your ear canels can get sore from the constant pressure they use to seal. Softer rubber plugs have nevet sealed well enough for me to work well enough for shooting, so foam has been the only option.

Also, with the plugs, you don’t hear traffic, nor the bike. Not good. Rather dangerous in fact. It can also be disorienting, to be in motion, with little to no sound.

Add to that the audible shock of how loud the world is when you take the plugs out after having them in an hour, and I needed an alternative.

So, with a two day fuzzy feeling in my ears, and sore ears to boot from the plugs after my first good ride this season, I went looking for an alternate lid to wear; The open face helmet thst was my Dads.

Took forever to find it. With it was the shield from this helmet.

Then I found again why I hadn’t been using it; its a good size and a half too big for me!

Enter the idea to just buy a new open face helmet.

But, I have that shield…

See, I’m broke, and trying to not have to buy anything, thus digging out old helmets to try to begin with.

I’d honestly wanted to re mount the shield to it at other times in the past, but couldn’t.

Verry simply, the fancy half turn twist lock screws that hold it and the helmet side aplates on, got lost not long after they were taken out. Then at some point the shield and side plates were lost.

At times I’ve come across the shield, and even tried getting new plates and screws, but never with any success.

I’m not sure why but I’d never really thought before about creating new mounting for that shield, but this time I was considering it.

I was even looking at it to see if I could mount it fixed; at least it’d be on there even if it didn’t hinge.

And there in lies where the light bulb went on. I suddenly saw exactly how I could fix it, and have it hinge, knowing exactly what piece of hardware I could do it with!

And knowing I just happened to have two of that item left over from a mid winter project, off to the shop I went!

First up was to measure the hole in the helmet, which was 0.25″. Perfect! The hardware I we thinking of using is 1/4″!

That hardware being T-nuts.

Next, measure the outside of the nut shank, and pick a bit, I ent 0.005″ smaller, for a press for. Then still the holes out.

Then, grind down the tang spikes in the nut, flush with the rim, and test the shank fit, and press in for depth test. Then also reduce the run diameter, to fit the recess.

And, finally, applied a few touches of super glue to reinforce the nuts seat and press them in.

All that was left then was to shorten the bolts I had, so they bottom out just as the head seats, and compresses the lock washer I used. Fender washers to cover the large hole and grip the visor, then a split lock washer, and seat the bolt. Gave perfect tension on the first try! The visor “click” ratcheting opening tension works great, smooth, but with drag, but also stars put in any notch you stop on(tested with it half open at 40mph too, no movement!)

The only issue I see when done was the gap along the top, reminding me that there had been a foam piece framing the opening on the helmet before. I thought it might allow some charter of the shield.

Turns out the gap is no problem! No charter, no vibration, and no air leaks!

It cuts the wind noise I had by half or more! Perfect! I’ve only had it out for two short 10 mile rides so far, but after both, I had no hearing or ear issues! As a bonus, one of those rides I was caught in pouring rain, and the warm dry face was a Very welcome change!

Categories: Alaska-Life, Clothes, Customized, Field gear, GetOutdoors, Modifications, Motorcycles, Outdoors | 1 Comment

EDC Mid April, to Mid May 2018

🙂

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Daily-cary-log, EDC, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Welcome back old friend!

As you may remember, a little over a month ago, around March 20th, I posted about losing a knife.

Well, about 1.5 weeks ago, I got a text with a picture from a friend I had visited and helped the day I lost it.

Yup! Found, amazingly intact, in his driveway, close to where I’d parked!

Took a week til last Sunday, for me to get to meet up with him and get it.

As I said, it is amazingly intact, and unhurt, for having laid in a snowy, gravely driveway for over a month!

But it isn’t unhurt either. A fair amount of rust has been acquired, although a lot of it surface rust.

The main clip blade was unopenable without repeated efforts, and some mud removal. Amazingly the secondary spear blade was stiff, but came open easilly. And is astoundingly unmarked except one small spot.

I’ll be doing a good and thorough cleaning soon, and put it back into rotation.

All will be easy enough to clean off, except the thicker corrosion on the inner side of the springs. It looks to be a loose easily removed surface rust, a flaky scale. But its location and thin limited access will make it difficult.

Categories: EDC, knives, Lost And Found, Pocket knives

If reduced to three folding knives.

A challenge posted on a forum recently; If you were forcibly reduced, for whatever reason, to only having three of your folding knives, what would they be. And why.

These are mine. I picked based on the ones I’d want as my only three, but also to par that down, based on the ones I’d want if limited to just one knife. Made it easier to choose. Not easy at all, but easier. 😉;)

The peanut, my old and dear friend for 11 years now, and at times(some of them months, or years at a time) my only knife. The little knife that can, and does, do anything, always cutting above and beyond what you’d expect from knives twice it’s size.

The stockman, my favorite of the ones I have now, and a stockman has become my most carried and used pattern. This is a nice size, and would be well suited to be my only knife, if ever reduced to just one.

Both being my favorite traditional brand, Case, in my favorite production steel, TrueSharp(a 420 varient); it just plain works, and is easy to work with.

And last but not least, and this was a hard choice, my Kobalt folding razor knife. I wanted to call this one of my work tools, and not my EDC, to allow another favorite in the 3. ;)

But to be honest, it’s been carried and used a LOT when I have gone months without work.. And it deserves it’s place in the 3 otherwise. This sucker has taken anything I could throw at it, professionally and personally for 7 years now. It’s bomb proof, and I dare say construction proof, even Alaska proof!

Categories: EDC, knives, Life-Philosophy, Sentimental, Theory/Thoughts

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