Author Archives: akadventurer

Custom truck bed cargo divider bars.

Got this a couple/three weeks ago, cargo divider bar to keep gas and water cans in place in the truck. PITA to always be strapping them in. Looked at building something, but I didn’t have any viable scrap on hand and buying even electrical conduit or black water pipe and needed fittings cost more than this thing!

$25 @ Lowes. Easier to move it around than what I would have been able to build too. Adjustable from like 50″ to 72″

Did learn much to my amazement, that my bed inside width is wider than 72″. Hell, the outer width if the flatbed is only 72″, and I swore it was wider than a stock box. This box might actually be sprung an inch or so, but still…

But yeah, the feet on the ends have holles in them already, assumedly for what I did; screw them to 2×6 chunks. Little less grip than the rubber grippy feet, but it works fine so far.

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There it is with my improvised sideways divider, to separate diesel and water jugs… A scrap stove pipe support bracket I brought home from work, already made up. Didn’t quite clear my 5th wheel hitch(gotta get rid of that soon) but if you flipped it around and sat it at a slight angle it worked for most arrangements.

Most…

I got tired of it not fitting all the cans I needed, separately, on the right sides… And it all still had to be strapped somewhere.

Went browsing online for parts ideas(Lowes app is a rube goldberg/macgyver designers dream for finding hardware! )

Between black steel pipe and SteelTek structural pipe, I figured I could make a couple L shaped dividers that would slide on the sucker, outer L sitting on the bed floor (2 because there are the two telescoping tube sizes on it) and lock in place with some set screw/knobs.

Thats sorta what I ended with..

I did buy a chunk of pipe, a couple pipe fittings, and one steeltek fitting… but my total for one divider was over $30…

On the way out of the store, I decided to hell with it and got another of the ratcheting dividers for $25, too.

I’d already found that the feet are just pinned on with a rivet(the pipe bottoms in the cup on the foot first, pressure is dirrect, not held by thd rivet/pin). I’d removed the feet and hair clipped/bolted them back on the first one. Easier to move around and be able to put it in trough the other frame without the 3m2x6 ends on it…

With the second one, I found that with the feet off, the inner pipe will slide out the back of the outer one…

So I got to measuing and cutting.

Liked the idea of an adjustable divider, I can put the main bar further forward and still use it… Would have liked to leave more length, but to get it to shorten enough to trap the cans, it left me with just about 30″ max. Thats with it cut to be a minimum length of 16″, 1″ over the 15″ gas cans…

The bigger bar OD is 1.25″, small inner one is a touch over 7/8″.
Unfortunately Steeltek(and plumbing pipe) specs for 1.25″ are off… Its ID of their pipe. So all the fittings are much bigger!! And 3/4″ pipe OD is even bigger than 1.25″ OD, so i couldn’t just drop a size.

Could have used 3/4″ water fittings IF I drilled or machined the threads out, then the dia would work. Too freaking much work. 

So yeah, the smaller pipe goes into the steeltek T, with about 3/8″ of play, but locked in with the set screw on the short one… the other two screws on the cross bar are snugged up, but so it can slide.

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So, maybe $55 in actual used materials, got me one bar and one divider, that I can move on one side of the main bar. If I need the divider past center to the other side of the truck I can just flip the whole affair endo. If I need divider on both ends after all, I’ll think of something for a slider T then… maybe weld one up.. and cut down another ratchet bar, or use the water pipe I got… will find out at the time. 

:)

Ir bows the main bar out a little, with the ball pivots on the feet, and the center joint only being overlapped a couole inches lets it flex. Just have to remember to just snug the divider, not torque it in. The only real downside now is since its tightened against the tail gate, it drops every time you open the gate, and has to be re-ratcheted in place when you close it. Only mildly annoying. I might get another T and put a foot/leg under the end.. maybe.

Going to get a female/female coupler somehow, maybe find some pipe that will slip over the 7/8″ tube(maybe machine out a short chunk of 3/4″ steeltek pipe?) And I can butt joint the piece I cut off, back on at times… and use it as an extension, have a longer divider that way, with some adjustment still… will have to play with it.

Categories: Adapters, Alaska-Life, Automotive, Automotive Work, Custom, Customized, Fabrication, Improviser, MacGyver, MacGyverism, Modifications, truck, Truck EDC, Truck gear | 1 Comment

Smoothed Opinel

I rounded off the uncomfortable bits on the pommel of my Opinel, and recoated in polyurethane. 

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Might resand it, stain it and seal again. Or might not. 😉

;)
Categories: Customized, Folder Tinkering, knives, Pocket knives

Whats up doc?

I kinda unmodified the main blade in this Rough Rider doctors knife. When I got it was the earlier time in my life when I was experimenting with using wharncliffe blades… (later stopping, then going back again after several years)

I’d modified both pen blades in this to wharnies.

Which is almost as pointless as two pen blades… not sure why I did both. I’d also ground both to convex no secondary bevel edges, something else I was using a lot then. (This was around 2006, 2007 ish…)

I just made the main blade back into a pen, and dropped the kick to get the tip below the liners. The convex I left. Dont use that much anymore, but can’t see a problem with it either.

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Categories: Customized, EDC, Folder Tinkering, knives, Pocket knives

Schmachtenberg Bros. Sleeveboard cleanup.

Finally did something with the blades in this Schmachtenberg Bros. sleeveboard I got last summer.

Before;

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Squared the ragged end off the broken main, and rounded the back corner off so its not sharp to hold anymore.

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Sharpened the pen blade too, and dropped its tip so its below the liners. Could have left it a higher tip, and dropped the kick, but that would have made it impossible to open without cutting a relief in the scale/liner, and I didn’t want to do that on this one, wanted the frame shape left alone.

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Categories: Customized, EDC, Folder Tinkering, knives, Modifications, old tools, Pocket knives, Repairs, Vintage

Damascus and Copper Bear MGC Trapper, part 7!

This knife has a looong history of mods with me. I first got it in late 2005, or early 2006. I think in 2006.


It was the fist traditional pocket knife that I really carried a Lot and worked a Lot.  We started building our garage tgat summer and I remember the lighting fast cuts it made opening cement bags… A highly abrasive task that never seemed to phase it.

It is made by Bear MGC, Now Bear and Sons. Its a Damascus steel 4.125″ 2 blade trapper. It was built with brass liners, nickel silver bolsters, and thick swell center burnt stag bone handles.

Within a week I’d ground the stag down to smooth “normal” profile, and retoasted them a light caramel.

Within a couple years, I’d taken it apart to rehandle it in sonething else.

About 10 years later, I had gotten back to it after purchasing another like it that I did in moose stag.

At that pointvid picked out materials, etc along the way, knew what I wanted to do, had just never had the time or gumption to do it.

Finally in 2015, I decided what the heck, and did it.

The saga of that build can be seen here;

https://ak-adventurer.net/2015/12/02/slim-damascus-trapper-started/

https://ak-adventurer.net/2015/12/04/damascus-trapper-update-2/

https://ak-adventurer.net/2015/12/11/bear-damascus-trapper-part-3/

https://ak-adventurer.net/2015/12/11/bear-damascus-trapper-part-4/

https://ak-adventurer.net/2015/12/11/bear-damascus-trapper-part-5/

https://ak-adventurer.net/2015/12/13/bear-damascus-trapper-part-6/

I think I’ve carried it five times since I built it like that. Used less. When I did it, I left it Really thick toward the back, for a tapered fatter grip, which I thought I’d like.

It was OK to grip, but not great, and turned out horrendous to pocket.


The best couple pics at the end of the above posts, that show what I ended up not liking,  are these I think.



Aaaannnnddd… where I started this time;


I carefully sawed slots in the “pins”(corby bolts!), cranked them apart, and took the sucker apart. Thankfully I had a hatred for glueing knife scales on, so no trouble there.

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Cut and filed the uneven bolsters the same length(damn close)

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evened the scales lengths, made spacers for the gap, made/modified pins(bolts) to fit, thinned the scales out.

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Looks like I missed pics of cutting, stacking, and installing the fiber spacers. That was tedious but i got them a tight fit.

Before;

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During, attached together to match the profile, thicknesses easier, blue tape the super glue that together.

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After;

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Got into some porosity… semi super glue filled after I was done.

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Top bolt was the same as the lower when I started, had to lathe them so the shanks were longer. Half this hardware was in the knife when I took it apart. The other half was pirces Id screwed up the first time around that I had to mod/fix.

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Made a short brass spacer from a loveless bolt set even shorter for a corby bolt I had that wasn’t long enough to reach through the second liner… spacer is threaded so when its all cranked together its the same support and grip as the corby shaft being longer..

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Assembled and had actually sanded the scales too short from the spacers(freaking fine sanding to fit the angles) so I came up with a secret weapon, and filled the gaps.. color even works ok with these scales.

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We’ll see how durable it turns out to be.

Assembled and ground the corbys off, still no epoxy in it in case I want to have it apart again someday. (Not likely!!!)

Finish sanded and thinned it some more, hand sanded everything @220, and buffed lightly…

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Need a clean buffing wheel, will set that up and buff the bolsters to high gloss… someday. 😉

But for now, she’s done again! Its a lot cleaner of a build now, and friendlier in hand and pocket.



I like it a lot better!! Its a much better grip, still thicker than a single blade trapper would be, it feels like a slightly thick two blade folder, or a thin fixed blade. And it basically disappears in pocket too.

Maybe after about 15 years,  I might get to carry it again. 🙂


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(Wood filler is the thin tan lines between the bone scales and the first red spacer)

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Categories: Adventure Metal Works, copper, Custom, Customized, EDC, Fabrication, Folder Tinkering, knives, Modifications, Pocket knives, Repairs, Sentimental

A Saturday evening wallet.

A couple hours project from last weekend. 

What I’ve been using a few years(not that I’ve carried it much for a bit over a year, using metal card cases instead);



It’s one of those free ones you get with a hunting license. Thin, waterproof, and durable, its worked fine. I would put cards in it, fold cash over it and clip it from the end.

I actually have been carrying this again, for a few weeks, simply because I hadn’t for so long.



Used the plastic one as a pattern and did this in some thin pebble grain leather I got a few years ago(2014 on the mailing envelope… good gracious time flies!!). Calf skin as I recall… Got it for watch straps that I never got made.



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That blue thread is my favorite braided 20# ice fishing line. Great to sew with, strong, blends in on most things, but a nice(I think) contrast on others.

Don’t use cash much anymore with Covid, but I fold a few bills inside this one, its just a touch too thick to have them on the outside. Makes cash access a little slower, but as I say I don’t really use it now anyway.

So far its working out verry nicely!

Categories: Cowboy, Custom, EDC, Fabrication, Leather, New Gear, Sewing, Sheaths, Wallets

A hot item from 1935

If you light it, that is!

Another new lighter that I’ve had a few weeks now. Been wanting one of these for a while, the 1935 replica Zippo.

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Finish on it is like a polished brushed chrome… it has the brushed pattern on it, but it is super smooth and shiny in some light. A real Pain to photograph.

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You can easily see the difference, they are much less rounded, boxier than the newer style. Also slightly shorter. (The current modern style dates from the mid 1940s, with a couple other variations between it and the 1935.)

1935 on the right, modern in the middle, and for interest, a 1952 steel cased model on the left.

They have their own insert to fit the squared corners, but a standard modern insert, even a pipe insert does fit. Might be a bit more fuel evaporation since its not snug in the case corners though.

1935 on the right.

And the modern insert in the 35 case;

Here is the 35 insert, where it’s corners are too big to go into the modern case;

Unfortunately with the case being not as tall in the lid, the new butane and electric arc insert won’t work. They go into the bottom case, but the lid won’t clear them to close.

Close but no ceegar!

Not really a big deal, if you’re into the retro style, then odds are your after a oil lighter style flame anyway, not the modern ones. I’d just thought it would be groovy to have an arc insert in sometimes– but I have an odd mix of tastes! 😉

Categories: EDC, Lighters, New Gear, Retro, Sexy, Vintage, Zippo

Evercraft 150 lum pen light.

One more new light. This was purchased on a whim, it popped up in the checkout area of napa’s website. For $4.99, I figured why not?

Branded Evercraft. Its one mode, 120 lumens. Runs on 3xaaa, which it came with. Given the cost of alkaline batts these days, I think I paid about $1.50 for the light! Lol.

Its all plastic, verry lightweight.

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One long bar led?

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I expected the butt end of it to be magnetic like I’ve seen on these bar lights before, so I’m a little disappointed. But it does have a magnet on the clip, and the clip rotates/swings on the light for aiming it, which is kinda nice. Will see how it works in use.

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With Jetbeam BC10 for scale.

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It is freaking bright! I’ve no doubt its 150 lum, or at least 100.

Might actually grab a couple more of these things to throw in glove boxes or tool boxes for cheap backup/ emergency work lights. Looks like they’re $10.99 normally, they’re $6 off this month. Even @ $11, I think I’d get at least one, can’t see anything wrong with it.

Categories: Automotive, Automotive Work, EDC, Electronics/Media, Flashlights, Just Plain Fun, New Gear, Reviews, Truck gear

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