Fabrication

ATV Drop basket/milk crate carrier.

First of the items for the rear multi-mount. (This is what I was building when I designed the mount system.) 

I like the idea of a drop basket, but wanted modular so I could take packet crates in and out.  

Measurements came out great! The wheeler overall width is around 47″ according to spec. I measured to about 44″ tire to tire, where I was comfortable with the width being inboard of the tires. 

The rack itself is 40″ wide. 3 standard milk crates add up to 39″.  Couple inches either end for the frame comes to 43″ or 44″. Perfect!

Layout;

Some of the best weld beads I’ve ever laid down! 

Welded up;

Painted;

Brackets made for the crates, one single crate, one double crate. 

Hardware for brackets, no snag heads inside(can’t catch your hands or tools on them).

All together;

Turns out the frame flexes a little more than I like, even empty. I should have used angle iron for the ends, its stiffer than flat bar. But I’d cut the sides too short to assemble well with angle iron ends..  

So I’ll put in a down post on the two rear(toward front of bike) corners, 

reaching to the crate bottom. Then angle brace them both directions, to the sides and ends. Will stiffen the frame, I think.

And yes, I know they block using the winch. But the winch is something you hope to not need. If I need it,  I can most likely, easily set a crate and it’s contents out for a few minutes for winching.

Categories: Adventure Metal Works, ATV, Custom, Fabrication, Modifications, Outdoors, Welding | Leave a comment

ATV Rear Winch InstallΒ 

I started with the concept of a rear reciever, and mounting the winch on a hitch insert. But it stuck out way too far to be practical. 

And, the reciever would have been a pain to work around to get into the trunk, even if trimmed.

So, I moved to above the trunk, behind the seat. Perfect open spot for it, just needed the tail light moved.

Had to scrounge a wider plate, to offset between the frame tails, and still have bolt realestate.

Made a mistake with the saw, cut too far. Twice. Erg.

The offset between the frame rails is to sit the winch and fairlead far enough back to clear the racks etc with the winch cable.

I LOVE this cutoff saw! Goes through 1/4″ plate like butter! Just gotta turn the lights off in the shop or it trips all the breakers. 

Squaring it all up, laying out for holes.

Drilled. 

I checked 3 times to make sure the winch cleared the bracket bolt heads. Oops. 

Found a bar with holes that matched, cut to length, made a spacer.

Test assembly;

You will note here that it’s only u-bolts holding the plate in. It was super tight, and if it slid backwards the plate would hit thr curved up frame rails, ride up the curve, and tighten the u-bolts. But I wasn’t 100% happy with it.  

So for the final install I drilled one hole on either side, through the plate and frame rail centers, and bolted it. Removed the two rear u-bolts in the process. 

Bonus there is not having to worry about gouging my hand on the U-boat tails when I reach in for the spool freewheeling release.

 Didn’t exactly like holes in the frame rails, but they’re small enough to not weaken it too much. While still big enough I think to keep the thing from going back under pull. 

Plate re welded at the cuts, welds dressed flat, corners clipped and rounded, drilled, and painted. One of the nicest install brackets I’ve ever made, if I do say so myself! 

I had to install the wiring twice. First time I got it all in, then tested the winch before bolt up… And it fried the relays.

 3 hours later, after some research on relays, and about 75 texts with a buddy that’s an electronics tech, I finally found where it was wired wrong. ( that’s how it was pre wired as it came too!) 

Had to take it all back out and lay it out, rewire it to match the existing wiring for the front winch. Works beautifully.

 5 minute fix. Ha!

Then reroute/reinstall it all. 

The relay bundle will almost fit in a small side area of the trunk.. This is a temporary setup to make sure I still don’t need to rewire again. Will fit it into its relay box it came with, and in turn into the side cubby hole later.

Wires out the side, gotta silicone the hole when I’m sure it’s setup permanently. 

One set of wires crosses and goes into a drain hole in the battery box, to the battery. The other set goes up, over the trunk.

And outcome the winch…

My mess of wires while trouble shooting 

The way someone wired it wrong…

Temporarily relocated the tail light. Need to build a bracket for it. (Cut the stock tabs off to clear the fairlead bracket)

Aaaannndd, two days, about 12 hours total work (amazing how long fabricating things can take!) It’s installed! 

Categories: ATV, Automotive Work, Custom, Fabrication, Modifications, Outdoors, Vehicles, Welding, Wiring, Wrenching | 2 Comments

Fixed ATV tail bags.

When I put the gun boot bracket on my 4 wheeler, the rear bag wouldn’t cleat it/go back on. 

I figured I’d just trim the right side compartment off of it. 2/3 bags is better than no bags! πŸ˜‰ 
I lucked out though, ended with 3 bags anyway! I figured I’d end with 4 walls and a lid cut off, basically useless. Turns out the compartments have a attached bottom separate from the base bottom sewn to all of them.   Got one loose bag for elsewhere now! 

Cut the compartment off the top, trimmed the foam back even with the rest. 

Then folded the base corner up to clear the brackets better, and seam sealed all the cut areas. 


Yes, that’s Gorilla Tape I used for seam sealer. Redneck, but it works! 

Categories: ATV, Custom, Fabrication, Improviser, MacGyver, MacGyverism, Modifications, Outdoors, Vehicles | 1 Comment

Midnight in the garden of good and….

….Electrical problems. Which are very close to being evil! πŸ˜‰ :p

Not what you wanna be doing at midnight(yes, it’s that light here at exactly 12am! ) …

 Wired in new trailer wire plug on my truck(1st time it’s had a current/useful trailer plug since the 80s !). Got all done, works great, then notice I have a truck tail light out. 

Uhuh. Trailer lights still ok. Hmm. 

 Check bulbs, ok. 

Start tracing/probing for power before my splices, and after… at the socket… good past the splices for 4″ I can see, nothing at the socket…

 Normally I’d have ignored it for a day or two till I could trace the 4′ of remaining harness. But I had to be in town to the trooper sub station/dmv in the morning. Uhuh, not doing that with a light out. πŸ˜‰

 I cheated and spliced in, and ran a new bypass wire for the tail light on that side. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜ˆπŸ˜‡ 

I’ll go back and pull the old wire and see about sheathing this one later when I have more time. 

I hatecwiring/electrical/electronic work. Although ironically I find it very interesting and intriguing! And amazingly I’m getting passable at it. Ha!

Categories: Automotive Work, Electronics/Media, Fabrication, Improviser, MacGyver, Modifications, truck, Vehicles | Leave a comment

Milk crate traction.

Amazingly, these things wee originally used as a milk bottle carrier… I doubt most people know that.  I didn’t for years…just figured it was an odd name, if I ever gave it any thought.   To most of us, they are simply The greatest portable step/stepstool in existence. 

Especially the older metal ones!  

If you can find them. We always had 3 of them, one that I adopted and carried in my truck for forever, one that’s had a broken top as long as I can remember, and one with a Christmas tree stand permanently wired to the top (raises the tree for clearance under lower branches for packages and watering the tree).

About 3 years ago, I lost mine.   Had to climb into a dumpster to dig for something of sentimental that was accidentally thrown away… when I found it and headed home, I forgot the crate by the dumpster. Oops. Couple hours later when realized, it was already gone.  Someone here picked up a great find, a metal crate at the dump that night. Lol. 

So, I’ve been carrying one of the modern plastic ones in the truck for a while. Nothing wrong with them really, they work fine. I just miss my old metal one.

So. I had this chunk of steel diamond plate I scrounged last summer. And some time to kill. And my welder already setup. πŸ˜†πŸ˜‡πŸ˜†

The plate was too wide one way, too narrow the other. Cut it down to fit. Turned out to be tough tempered plate, should wear great for eons..  The 1/2″ or so on the other axis doesn’t bother me.. Still sturdy enough, and won’t hurt anything.

I really, Really,  REALLY need to practice my “out of position” welding (technical term for any welding not on a flat, level surface in front of you…)  Turns out it’s a bear to weld the inner lower corners/edges of a box! Whether laying down, or stood vertical.  

Inner welds look like crap, but will hold more than enough. 

Outer edge welds were a lot better, right up until I ran out of welder wire. Ha! Will have to finish it later (if it ever seems to need it) 

1/2 can of Rustoleum gloss black later, and I have a fancy, rugged, heavy, should last a lifetime step! 😎

With a younger sibling 

Categories: Custom, custom-made-tools, Fabrication, Modifications, old tools, Sentimental, truck, Welding | 1 Comment

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.  πŸ™‚

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

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

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