custom-made-tools

Custom ice auger adaptor for cordless drill.

These things are popular right now, with the high torque long battery life of modern cordless drills, its verry easy to drill ice holes with them.

Several companies make dedicated augers for this(a friend just got a 6″ K-Drill, works great!).

Also popular are these adaptors to run augers off of hand augers.

I figured the large 8″ auger off my new gas unit was probably heavier than the 8″ hand units, and definitely heavier than the 6″ hand units. But I also figured it should still work, maybe as fast as the others, but if the drill had the torqe to turn it, I’d still have holes!

Adaptors for the hand augers run around $25. But as far as I could tell, the shaft size was different than the gas augers.

And besides that, $25 for something I could turn myself on the lathe? Yup 😉

So, auger in hand, in the shop, and a couple hours later I had this;

Before and after, it’s turned from solid 1.5″ aluminum.

And then I decided it needed a side handle for stability. 1st version with a roller bearing between ring and shaft failed… Accidentally ended up too narrow to drill and tap for thd handle stud. Oops!

Second try I left out the bearing to save time and work, I figured if the whole concept works, I can do it later.

Opposing stud is for an added safety catch, the works can’t drop through the ice… Technically if the drill comes off though, the auger itself can– Considering the drill can’t got through a 8″ hole when on the auger, I kinda missed the boat on thst feature. Lol.

Need to re-mount this or similar below the connection to the auger…

But anyway, there she is!

Tried it yesterday, and it does work, it will crank it in the ice, and drill holes!

But its pretty slow.

Faster and easier than a hand auger, for sure. But the work needed isn’t something I’d want to subject this drill to very often.

We tried it on my buddies bigger drill, and it ate through pretty dang fast. Not as fast as the 6″ K-Drill, but very respectable!

Faster/more powerful drill than what I have, and it’d be perfectly fine.

So yeah, it works. But I won’t be using it. Bigger drill would be a couple hundred minimum. Smaller lighter auger bit, about $60. But since I have the nice 43cc gas motor for this one, I really can’t justify any of the cost.

I’ll shelf it. If I end up with a more powerful drill, or a hand auger, I’ll have the option to try it again.

If nothing else, it was a fun project for the lathe, I enjoyed it. 🙂

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Categories: Aluminum, Custom, custom-made-tools, Customized, Fabrication, Field gear, Fishing, Ice Fishing, Improviser, Lathe, Modifications, Prototypes, tool mods | 1 Comment

Custom ice fishing bucket seat.

When out last Saturday I wanted to travel lighter, leave my folding chair and fish cooler behind, go with a bucket seat. But there was no way in hell I was going shopping on black Friday!

Some old foam, a chunk of naugahide, and some scrap lumber in the shop, couple hours and I made me a hinged, padded, bucket seat, that doubles as a fish carrier.

It works! 😉

Only downside I’ve found is no backrest for 4 hours sucks 😉 and it sliddes a little on the ice. Second trip out with it yesterday and I put it in a milk crate, for traction. Works good, adds some stability and places to hang things.

Categories: Custom, custom-made-tools, Fabrication, Field gear, Fishing, GetOutdoors, Ice Fishing, Improviser, Modifications, New Gear, Re-purpose, Repurpose | 3 Comments

Denim case for a folding buck saw.

When taking my buck saw out for some work yesterday, I remembered I was going to make a case for it from a canvas painters tarp I’d gotten.
I’d cut up a pair of old jeans for making char cloth a few weeks ago, had a lot left on hand, had it out for another idea yesterday, so it was on hand.
Liked the idea of denim better than the canvas tarp.
Legs are great lengths of material, but a bit short on that pair I cut up because of worn cuffs and where I cut them before.
Had a brand new pair I can’t wear (bought 2 years ago when losing weight fast, could almost get into them. Got hurt and gained weight last winter, I garantee I can’t get into them now). So that’s how I ended up with a fancy, clean, spanking new denim saw case!
Cut a leg off, split about 1/3 and a taper off one side, sewed up what was left.
By hand. “Cheated” to get it straight and even. Pinned the edge/seam allowance where I wanted it, then clamped it up in my 2′ long wood workers vise on the bench, held just below the stich line. Think of it as a Loooonnng stitching pony like used for leather work. Worked a real treat!

Not the nicest stitches in the world, but they work!
Voila, a bag!
Sewed the old top end shut to form the bottom, leaving the hemmed cuff end as my new top. Figured the wide hem to be hollow, can run a draw cord through it. Forgot to do it before stitching the side…
1/16″ brass rod, loop bent in end to pull the 550 cord, bent in a loop, and I fished it through the hem. Little tight at the existing side seam, but I got it with come cutting fishing and finagling the rod through!
Need it longer but it’s (gasp!) the only 550 I had on hand. I’ll use it to pull a longer chuck through later. 🙂
Messy stitches to re tack down the hem ends where I cut it..
I wanted more length past the saw for fold over, but 28″ inseams don’t offer much over a 24″ saw… 😉 It works though!
With the saw in it;

Categories: Adventure Metal Works, Camping, Camping gear, Custom, custom-made-tools, Fabrication, Field gear, Improviser, MacGyver, Modifications, New Gear, Re-purpose, Recycle, Repurpose, Saws, Scrounging, Sewing, Soft Goods, wood processing, Woods tools

Rolling tool box re-purpose, part 2.

The second half of my useless tool box conversion, the bottom half.

I had decided to try to maje a rolling yard cart, after seeing how close it was to perfectly fitting a milk crate.

Honestly, I only had one use in mind for this; A battery mover. Car and truck batteries aren’t very heavy. Unless tgeyre thr ones without handles, and yoh havr to carry it 50 yards. Then they’re heavy! Even with a carry handle, going very far is a pain.

It occurred to me that some left over CPVC pipe and fittings I had would assemble to a nice handle.

So, thats what I did.

The original door on this slid up and down in cfanels in the lower front wall. For whstever reason, they madr that lower wall in a separate piece from the rest of the box, it just snapped in. So I snapped it out;

Then it was simply setting the crate, and building filler/mount blocks around it. And also some plywood stiffeners for the back wall, to take the torque of the handle.

And then assembling and mounting the handle.

Along the way, I decided that a cord holder on the handle would be nice, like the setups on the back of vacuum cleaners. Was easy to add with cross bars and elbows.

Then I decided I wanted to paint the handle. Been using up some ancient cans of spray paint, so I chose one and went at the handle. 3 colors later I found a can that worked(most of this paint has frozen at least once, and is several years old… Thus my trying to use it up.).

Intended to only do the handle. Got carried away. 😉 At least, if nothing else, I won’t lose it in the yard!

Might go back and paint the crate and wheels black for some contrast. It’s just a bit bright for my taste!

But anyway, there it is. Didn’t buy a thing, all of it was scrap or hardware I had on hand.

Now to see if I ever actually use it. 😉

Categories: Automotive Work, Custom, custom-made-tools, Customized, Fabrication, Improviser, MacGyver, MacGyverism, Modifications, Re-purpose, Recycle, Repurpose, Scrounging, Tool Boxes, tool mods, Wrenching

An Axe Man’s Bucksaw Part 3

The entire build, in order, more or less; 🙂

I could go through everything I did here in long descriptions, and pictures, but it’s not really necessary, and probably not that interesting either. But here is a general run through. 🙂

  • Pick out a piece of 1″x8″ x 5′ oak
  • cut out the pattern
  • trace it on the wood
  • Jig saw one upright
  • Sand the contour
  • Trace #1 to get #2 the same
  • Cut, sand #2
  • Measure and mark for the mortises
  • Round the edges with a router
  • Cut pilot groove on blade end to guide cutting the blade slots
  • Locate blade mount holes, drill
  • Cut blade slots
  • Cut the mortise on #1
  • Rip the cross bar from the board
  • Square and measure it all for proper cross bar length vs blade length mounted (crucial for proper end angles when blade under tension, and good looks)
  • Cut and fit the tenon on #1 end
  • Cut #2 mortise and tenon
  • Test assemble
  • Find cord for windlass(I was out of 550! Finally found some heavy clothes line cord..)
  • Trim scrap to use as temporary windlass bar
  • Tighten it all up and do a test cut(worked!)
  • Cut thinning profile on cross bar
  • Sand cross bar, and route edges
  • Re-assemble
  • Discover binding in tenon joints, trim
  • Re-trim/fine tune joints
  • Assemble and do a test cut again
  • Find that I over trimmed the joints, it will now start to slip from a H to a parallelogram-ed H under tension. (Rounded the wrong corners too much; you need the Top corners of the bar end and tenon tips rounded for slip, but the bottom corners left square for rigid support, so the can only pivot in at the top, but not out at the top!)
  • Discover that if it slips, the windlass slips down the bars, loses tension and it falls apart.
  • Discover, by clamping the cord in place under tension, that, thankfully, If the windlass doesn’t slip down when it flexes out of H shape, it doesn’t collapse!
  • Locate for windlass cord supports
  • Cut pins from 1/4″ copper rod,
  • Drill and press fit copper as cord supports.
  • Re-assemble, tighten, test cut 7″ birch log.
  • Success! (With one about 1/8″ of flex at the joints out of square- good enough)
  • Decide the scrap your using as a windlass bar works great, no use to make another one
  • Trim, round, sand the windlass bar.
  • Disassemble, wood burn the saws name, and my product line name on the side.(not selling it, but figured, meh, why not? )
  • Also burn in witness marks to identify/match mortise and tenon joints in their matched pairs for proper future assembly.
  • 2 day break to get stain and oil finish.
  • Counterbore for recessed T nuts
  • Install T nuts, pin in place with tiny Brad nails
  • Install keeper ring on windlass bar
  • Turn down bolt heads, and threads to fit in wingnuts, making wing bolts.
  • Test the stain, find it won’t penetrate the oak dark enough, skip using it.

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Part 4 coming soo. 🙂

Categories: Adventure Metal Works, Backcountry, custom-made-tools, Field gear, New Gear, Outdoors, Saws, wood processing, Woods tools, Woodshop, Woodwork

An Axe Man’s Bucksaw part 2

I’m proud of two big things on this project;

One being design and execution. The basic mechanics of the saws are really, well, basic. Two uprights, a center cross bar, blade at the bottom, and a Spanish windlass at the top.

And the cross bar being mortise and tenon jointed to the uprights, to provide up/down pivot so that the windlass can tension the blade, but have no twist of pivot in any other plane or axis.

Simple.
I looked around the Web for ideas, since there are a LOT of these out there, for sale, and home built designs.

But I basically still had to design, engineer and build it from scratch.

Lots of time with measuring, squaring, offseting, re-squaring, and making sure both ends matched.. Etc.

The other thing I’m really proud of, is the fact that I’d Never, Ever cut a mortise and tenon joint before. I did one test mortise on scrap(which sucked!) before I cut on the first saw bar I’d just spent 3 hours making. Yeah, fun. 😉

Cut by hand, chisel and saw. Turned out exceptionally well, if I do say so myself!

The second one even press fit at first cuttings, no trimming needed!! (The first one took 10 minutes of fit/test/shave/test/carve/test/whittle, to get to work, then it was a touch loose…)

Now I know why my Dad hated doing them, and always wanted a power tool for it! I was never taught to cut these, not that I remember. He never got the tool till late in life– he just avoided the joint style.

I actually got him one that attaches to a drill press a couple years before he passed away. It didn’t exactly fit his drill, and he never got to use it before he went. I have them both here, but ironically, I preferred to learn to hand cut them. I’ll get the tool setup at some point soon, but so far, I like doing them by hand!

I Was a bit ambitious in part of my joint design; I copied ones I saw a guy on YouTube do, where the end of the bar is rounded, and the face of the mortise is curved to match. So that when it tensions, and the end bars angle, it simply rotates the two curves on each other. A cleaner look than with straight bars, where the angling would leave gaps.

THAT was fun to figure out the geometry on, and then cut in… Oi.

I didn’t get them perfect, but they’re pretty dang good, if I do say so myself.

Categories: Adventure Metal Works, Axes, Backcountry, Camping gear, custom-made-tools, Field gear, GetOutdoors, New Gear, Outdoors, Saws, wood processing, Woods tools, Woodshop, Woodwork

Shelf Track Bench Dogs

“Shelf what??” Your saying, right? 😉 

Bench dogs are pins, or flat jaws, that slip into dog holes– holes in the top of a work bench, for holding thing on the bench top. 

You clamp the work piece between the dog and the vice at the edge of the bench, or a bar clamp/C clamp or two. With a large grid of holes, you can hold just about anything in any position. 

I like the concept but hate the idea of having all the holes in the bench. Seems a great way to ruin a layout surface,  and a place to lose hardware. 

Then I saw this trick/tip that a fellow sent in to this month’s issue of Woodsmith magazine;

It uses cabinet shelf support rails and clip brackets as simple in line dogs for the vise; GENIUS! 

After pricing the track and clips, $3 for 6′ of track, and about $3 for 12 clips… Yeah, no brainer dude! 😉 

15 minutes with my router, and I have bench dogs!   Was a little fiddly to do, only have a 1/2″ straight cut bit, but the tracks are 5/8″ so I had to cut each channel twice for width. Track is 3/16″ thick, wanted it at least flush, I cut about 7/32″ deep to garantee it can’t catch on anything when not in use. 



Clips in place;


Then I just made the old front jaw front the vise into the cammed over jaw insert needed. Great to use that vise to make things for the vise! (Really have no idea how I survived so long without that vise!)

It works!

A few strategically placed screws makes a storage spot for the vice jaw under the end of the bench. 

And the left over ~11″ of track made a clip storage rack. 


Can’t beat simple, cheap and easy, especially if it works! 

Categories: Custom, custom-made-tools, Customized, Fabrication, Modifications, Repurpose, Shop Tools, Woodshop, Woodwork

Pipe clamp bench vise 1.0

Needed a good easy place to clamp some large pieces of wood to the bench to work them for an upcoming project.   Reminded me I’d wanted to build a traditional woodworkers bench side vise.. 

While digging around online, I found this concept on youtube. Not as traditional or elegant as the all wood single screw style I had in mind, but it’s easier, faster and would cost me nothing; perfect! 

Few feet of 2″x4″, some 1″x8″, some screws, and a set of pipe clamps I wasn’t using, and about 2 hours;

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After a few days on there, the front jaw board warped on me.  In its defense I ripped it down from a 12″ width, so it was used to haveing more support… 

Others building these are laminating up to about 2″ or 3″ thick, but I  figure I don’t need that stability, nor want to take the time for it now.  Now it seems I might have to just to stiffen it up. 

I then put a new face of oak on it. Should be more stable and warp less. Later I’ll laminate it up to 2 or 3 thicknesses if I need to. 

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I honestly don’t know how I ever got anything done before,  it’s so wonderfully handy to have!

Categories: carving, custom-made-tools, Fabrication, Shop Tools, Uncategorized, Woodshop, Woodwork

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