Fabrication

Grip tinkering.

Pietta 1860 navy grip frame test fit on a Ruger Blackhawk. 😎  Saw someone else do a 1860 grip on a Blackhawk, but wasn’t sure if my cap and ball revolver was true 1860 spec. Looks like it is. 

Backstrap is a great fit. 

 Trigger guard would need the front hole filled and mover about 3/8″, and the slot for the trigger widened.  
Then of course the back strap would need supports for the Ruger style mainspring and trigger spring fabricated and installed.    

Honestly probably take me less than an afternoon to do the full conversion.  ๐Ÿ™‚

Why would I want to? 

Because I have small hands and this grip is a a different profile, it’s a Lot more comfortable.

 Also, I want to eventually strip and brown this gun, and the brass would look Sweet!   And I like to tinker…. Can’t seem to leave Anything stock. Lol. 

Now all I gotta do is snag another 1860 grip frame set online (not using these since I’m not giving up the use of my Pietta!)

Categories: Brass, Custom, Fabrication, Guns, Gunsmithing, Hunting, old tools, Theory/Thoughts | 1 Comment

Copper teaser.

Just a tease of what’s to come. This angle iron is solid copper.  And for scale, the board it’s next to in the pic is a standard 2×4.  About 1/4″ stock. 

Categories: Adventure Metal Works, copper, Custom, custom-made-tools, Fabrication | 1 Comment

The saga might be ending.

My regular readers, those who have been reading for a while now, will remember my progression of preferences on pocket knives. And my search, in futility, for one with such features.  

Those features being; traditional in look and materials, slip joint in function, 3.5″ to 3.75″ in length closed, two blades opening from opposite ends, one a full frame length clip blade, the other a 1/3 to 1/2 frame length sheepsfoot. USA made preferably.

Unfortunately something that hasn’t ever been made in spades, and not at all,  in approx. the last 40 years, if not longer. Except one special limited factory order, the 2015 Blade forums traditional forum knife of the year… 

Expensive at the time,  and (unfortunately predating my preferences by 3 or 4 months) like getting adamantium hens teeth now.. (Canal Street Cutlery, the maker has since gone out of business,  making a limited rare knife even more collectible).

A long time ago, October-ish in 2015, I decided to just get as close as possible, and re-grind one blade to a sheep’s foot. 

That means picking the right sized knife, with a modifiable blade. Not as easy as it sounds! 

At that time I got a Case humpback half whittler, 3.625″, clip and long spear blade. Perfect. 

Problem is, I really got to like that long spear blade,  and after a few days couldn’t bring myself to grind the end off!

For several months that knife was almost all I used. 

But I still miss the straight edged sheepsfoot at times. 

This set of specs came about a lot from the knife I carried for most of 2015, a 3.25″ Queen stockman, the EDCForums special forum knife. The sheepsfoot and clip blades were great, the spey blade rarely being used. And the handle being just a bit too short at times. Thus the specs.  (Wanting blade pivots at oposite ends is mainly for asthetics, simply how I like a multi blade knife built. Also it seems that of knives with that arrangement, a lot seem to have the blades set lower in the frame-more comfortable to grip in use).

That led me back to carrying and using a few different stockmans for a while in mid to late 2016.  A 47 frame Case at 3.875″, great to grip, a touch big in the pocket. 

Then I found that the Case Muskrat- two identical clip blades at opposite ends- is made on the 47 frame. And the clip blades being arranges perfectly to convert eithet to a sheepsfoot (long straight edge, and the nail notch back far enough to not be removed with the tip). Even better than the humpbacks spear blade was. 

I decided the extra 1/8″ to 1/4″ in the pocket wasn’t that big of a deal, since the 47 stockman all but disappeared in carry.

So, in November of 2016, I got a nice Navy blue bone stainless bladed Muskrat. 

And yet again, like the humpback before it, found I like it in stock form. Heh. 

Although, not as much; This one I only carried about a month. While not what I wanted to carry a lot, I liked it enough to not want to grind into it.

And around we go again. Back to stockmans.

 A Schrade 8OT, 1/8″ shorter than the 47 frame, almost perfect. 

But still, as with the Case before, one more un-needed blade, the spey. 

I did find a production knife that almost fits the bill about a month ago. Some Buck brand improved Muskrats(the model 372) have a half frame length sheep’s foot in them as a second blade. Almost Perfect at 3.875″. 

(Side note; An “Improved”, or sometimes called “Hawbaker” Muskrat is a the same frame, a serpentine rounded bolster stockman frame, with one clip blade and a full length wharncliffe blade instead of a series on clip blade.) 

And not all of the 372s are what I’d want… seems a few snuck through with a mid length sheepsfoot or short wharncliffe blade. Most of them have a full frame wharncliffe in them. 

The catch? (You knew there was one, right?) They’re made in China imports. 

Now, I do have a lot of modern locking knives that are made in China,  and it never bothers me. 

Heck, some of the best built traditional folders I’ve had are Rough Riders, a Chinese import brand. 

I’m far from being a patriot in a lot of ways, and generally don’t give a damn where anything is made… In fact, in a lot of things I refuse to pay for things made in the USA, because all you get is 3 times the cost for 1/2 the quality of the import, and USA stamped on it. No thanks. 

But lately I’ve had a hesitation when it comes to imports in traditional folders. No idea why, just a feeling. I’ve even had a reservation about European imports lately. Again, no idea why. 

Im sure ill end up eith one eventually, but for now, the Buck is out. 

I also re-discovred the Case mini Muskrat, the same as the regular, but on a 3.625″ frame. 

And discontinued,  hard to find, and a bit spendy. 

[(I should add in here what some will mention; the Victorinox Swiss Army knife, the Apprentice model in Alox(aluminum ) scales. It’s a slim sturdy 3.5″ frame, a short sheep’s foot blade pivoted opposite a London spear point blade. The nicest imported knives yoy will ever get, and quite possibly the best production steel in use… I actually have an Apprentice, along with several others from the Alox line. 

Two minus points; the spear blade, although it’s probably close enough, only losing a touch of fine tip from my preferred clip blades. But mainly the Alox scales. They work great, and look great. But they’re still not jigger bone and bolsters, my preference. )]

And around we go again. Back to the stockman. Again. Recently, a Schrade 34OT, a bit short at 3.375″, but serviceable. 

But still, as with the Case, the 8OT, and back to the Queen before them, one more un-needed, usually un-used blade, the spey. 

ALL of this brings us to this week, where I was looking at getting a Case medium stockman, or another 34OT, basically a medium stock knife, and taking it apart, rearranging the blades, removing one, and reassembling it.

 A LOT of work, to get what I want. 

Then I realized I’ve not carried the Muskrat for a couple months. 

Hmm.

Less work, and I’d know for sure how I like the blade setup,  even if the frame is longer than I(think I) want. And I don’t have to spend a dang thing (funds being short right now). 

So, it spent about 5 minutes in the shop with me. Notched the edge and spine deep on the sander, scored the faces with a deep line both sides, and snapped it off in the vice. 

Ground spine to profile at the sander, smoothed it at the steel wire wheel, and hit it with the buffer. Simple. 

Now we shall see how much I really do(or don’t) like the arrangement I’ve wanted for so long. 

Before;

And after;

How it compares to the 47 stockman blade;

I ended with a finer tip than intended, more a wharncliffe than a sheepsfoot. I’ll see how it works,  might blunted it up later. 

Categories: Adventure Metal Works, Custom, EDC, Fabrication, knives, Modifications, New Gear, Pocket knives, SAKs, Theory/Thoughts, tool mods

A square Zippoย 

โ€‹Ever seen one of these?

 Regular, standard Zippo on the left (vintage steel cased from 1952 actually) 

Slim zippo center (vintage from 1985) 

And, a custom cut down I did several years ago.  These kept popping up online at the time, supposedly something that was “theatre art”; items made by deployed soldiers. From the vietnam war era, done to make them smaller to carry.. I call BS on that one! No way a soldier in the field ever did this mod, unless he was on a base with a machine shop handy! 

 I simply liked the square,  balanced look, so I had to make one.  Shortening the case is pretty easy. Shortening the insert is interesting…The real pain is re mounting the hinge, and getting the lid to body fit gapless and snug, without binding. 

Categories: Custom, custom-made-tools, EDC, Fabrication, Lighters, Modifications, tool mods

ATV 2″ front receiver, and plow mount.

Wanted to modify my snow plow from my ridding mower to fit the Prairie 360. The plow mount got partly crushed in storage in the yard a few winters ago, so it hadn’t been used, and couldn’t be used anyway… No loss to cut up what was left of the mounting. 

But I wanted an easy, fat quick disconnect from the ATV, that also didn’t reduce my ground clearance like most factory mounts do.

  Good time to build the front receiver hitch that I’d thought would be handy anyway!
5 evenings work, 4 or 5 hours each, and two designs later; 

Bought a couple more U bolts than what I had (and the 2 U bolts were all I had to buy, the rest was already on hand!) And mounted;

The plate is welded at an angle to the receiver  tube, and sits flat on the frame tubes, which the u bolts go around. The tube is also butted against a frame cross bar at its rear, with a tab at the top sitting on the frame cross bar.  The front also bolts through a cross bar of the bumper.

Thus inward push is directly on the frame in two areas, and it’s protected from twisting up and down, and side to side.  It’s terribly over built, 1/8″ and 1/4″ thick plates and tube… Heavier than most truck hitch mounts. 

And, recessed in the stock front skid plate;

The plow mount uses a inner receiver piece, welded to the mount plate for the plow, which then bolts as it did with the tractor, to the plow pivot plate, which the plow angle bracket, and plow itself pins to.   Before, the plate and pivot would stay on the tractor,  and you understand pin it at the vertical joint. 

I have it so that stays pinned, and the  rear half of the mount will just pull from the 2″ receiver.  

One bonus I gain on this setup, is the plow mount plate receiver piece, is bolted to the plow plate… I can make anything I want to mount to that plate, just match the bolt pattern. Gives a send level of interchangeable mounts if I need it. 

I still need to add a vertical “tower” just in front of the vertical pivot, run up higher than the winch, with a pulley for the cable, to be the angle of lift force correct, and minimize winch strain.  

But it works pretty good!  It’s a little light on the plow, I’ll be adding a heavier cutting edge for durability and added weight (4′ of 1/8″x4″ steel plate). 

The power angle system I’m building for it will also add some weight, should dig in nice with that on it. (More details on that later! โ˜บ) 


As a side note, since it does look like a light setup, especially for our winters; I don’t figure to so all my plowing with it. 

I have a 3/4 ton truck and two heavy duty plows for my yard, driveway, and our road if needed.   But I also have areas around the yard, garage, etc that the truck doesn’t fit into, or where I can’t get it at an angle to push away from the buildings etc.   The ATV on the other hand will maneuver these areas.  

I plan to do those hard areas with the ATV, then in between big snowfalls where I’ll use the truck, I can maintain the walkways, and parking areas etc with the ATV. It’ll be easier for the light 3″ or 4″ max. snowfalls.  😎

Categories: Alaska-Life, ATV, Automotive Work, Custom, custom-made-tools, Fabrication, Improviser, Modifications, New Gear, Outdoors, tool mods, Vehicles, weather and seasons, Welding, Winter, Wrenching

ATV winch mount fabrication, and installation.

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So, the mounting holes on the winch are 4″ on center…. Yeah. My bigass huge piece of angle iron I was gonna use ain’t big enough.

Dug around and came up with a piece of square tube wide enough to cut wider angle iron from. 

Fits the frame perfect too, and I mean PERFECT, it’s 1/4″ shorter than the opening is wide, and 1/8″ for height and depth. Minimal cutting required!  Bonus, it’s 1/4″ stock instead of 3/8″, making cutting and drilling I do need Much nicer.

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What I planned to use for mounting; two 1/2″ grade 8 bolts, and one 5/8″ grade 8… But, with my apparent poor organization(poorer than I thought!) I couldn’t find a drill bit bigger than 1/2″ 😒:(😬 So, two bolts it is! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Honestly it’ll be fine, the factory supplied install bolts for the winch itself are grade 5 or lighter, and 5/16″. And there are only two of those…

Yeah, two 1/2″ grade 8 s for the bracket are fine. ;)😅

So. The design kept evolving as I went… got simpler in some ways, but more complex in others.

I was going to cut the square tube down to an  L angle, and stick with the initial style  I’d designed.

But,  then I figured I could cut it to an uneven U , the winch on the back taller arm, and bolt the fair lead(roller cable guide) on the front shorter one, saving me from having to fabricate another mount bracket for the fair lead. 

Then I realized that the tube fit the frame area so perfectly, and that the tube form would be less likely to twist/torque/bend under winch load.

And further, that when in place, the top front corner would hit the bumper cross bars back side… So if it did torque foreward, that would stop it, and stop it from twisting on the mount bolts.

PERFECT! Simpler form, less pieces, better function!

But… Then that meant I’d have to, do all the layout and alignment, drilling, setup on one piece, at once… making layout being more precise, more important. It also meant cutting a feed hole for the cable in the tube wall.
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Which is what you see here. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Actually turned out not to be as bad to cut as I thought it’d be.

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And, there it is. Drill 6 holes, two bottom for mounting,  two rear for the winch inside, and two front for the fair lead, plus the big hole cut for the cable.

At this point, I got tired of working bent over, and squatting… Dug out some wheel ramps, that coupled with the driveway being 8″ higher than the shop floor, got the whole wheeler up where I could save my back and legs some wear.

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(Supposed to work smarter not harder, right? 😆 )

And assemble. THAT was a pain, getting at the inner end of the winch mount bolts inside the tube.  Found out I didn’t leave enough room, the heads of the mount to frame bolts won’t fit under the winch.. :(😒

And realized that to get it mounted in the frame, even If the bolts fit, I’ll have to do the winch install IN position in the frame….

Thought I’d do it half assembled and put it in the frame… Nope! Won’t fit through the frame/bumper with the winch in the tube. :?😥😩

Took the bolts to the grinder and made the heads half as thick. Probably only grade 7 bolts now ;)😜.

That fixed that.

Over an hour later, of fit, re fit, etc later, it’s in and all hooked up! Had to install the cable to the motor… but couldn’t spool it on without the motor mounted, so I did the install with the cable hanging loose. Got the cable into the spool mount hole, crimped the wire nut… THEN realized that the cable needed to go through the tube side hole and fair lead.  Oh, yeah… cable go out the front. Right. I knew that.. 😒 ๐Ÿ˜‰

I finished the install, actually twice, because I pinched the cable behind the lowest mount bolt the first time… (probably what I get for not quitting at midnight… long days tend to breed little mistakes in groups at the end..)

Then fed all 50′ of cable up through the tube end and out the front… through the fair lead without one of its rollers so the hook would fit. 😆 (think outside the box!)

Gotta say, I was real glad I had it up on ramps for that… I did it sitting on the ground under the nose/axle etc, which wasn’t real comfortable,  but it put the winch etc at chest/face level and easy to see/reach most of it.

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And, it’s all in!  😎
Now, I was going to test fit everything,  take it back out and paint it, then reinstall… But even without all the little complications,  it really is a pain in the butt to get in there… Not happening now! 

I might.. MIGHT,  mask off the oil cooler behind it and the winch motor, and paint it in place later. Maybe.

A couple details.
With the wheels turned all the way to the left, it looks like the tire will hit the motor… It won’t. Got a couple inches clearance. 

And, it also looks like I covered part of the oil cooler, but it just covers the lower 1/2″ of the mounts and mesh for it… the cooler itself is even with the top of the tube,  or only about 1/8″ lower.

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Categories: ATV, Automotive Work, Custom, Fabrication, Modifications, Outdoors, Vehicles, Wrenching

A little teaser for things to come soon.

Next step; fabricate winch motor mount brackets/plate. 😎

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Categories: ATV, Custom, Fabrication, Modifications, Vehicles

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