A new idea; cord or zipper pull ends. 

Had this thought while turning beads last night, I’ve seen others do this,  and I used to do a few when my beads included modified cartridge cases.  Bored one end of a pair of my medium sized aluminum beads out larger.  Forms a snug fit over a knot tied in a single strand of u-gutted 550 cord.  

(Yes I know I need to re-trim the flash on those holes… I somehow missed it before polishing them.)

I need to play with the hole size. See if I can get one big enough in this metal stock, to fit over a knot of two strands of gutted 550. So that they could be put on loops of 550 cord.

  I know I can fit that into my magnum beads, but I’m not sure it can fit in this “large” size and leave material for much of an outer design. 
 Also need to try it in my “small” sized beads, a hole size combo that will fit micro cord knots. 

Categories: Adventure Metal Works, Aluminum, Beads, EDC, Fabrication, Frigid-Metals, New Products, Products, Prototypes

Beaded shop side tracking… 

Went to the shop to do a few things last night, only got one done. I got side tracked with other ideas… “What ideas?” you ask? I’m glad you did! 🙂

Coming soon to a sales page, to be announced soon as well. 🙂

Categories: Adventure Metal Works, Beads, Brass, Custom, EDC, Fabrication, Frigid-Metals

Not All Who Wander Are Lost.

Not All Who Wander Are Lost.🌄 One of my favorite Tolkein quotes from the poem of Strider, in Lord Of The Rings.. I identify with the line and the concept, since I tend to ‘wander’ through life, with little pre planned or ‘normal’, direction. 😎


Am making a series of copper tags, to be available soon. This is the first, prototyping a “battle worn” finishing process… Like it had survived the battle of the five armies, or at least a few skirmishes with Orcs. 😉 I like it! Turned out good I think.

This one is not available, it’s mine, but others will follow soon! ✌

It’s a somewhat long but fun process; cutting old water pipe to length, splitting, flattening, then cutting to size and smoothing edges, drilling. Then stamping, re flatening, texturing in various ways, and progressive levels, and repeats, inter mixed with chemical and heat coloring…

It’s fun and somewhat random, get to play around with what ya get, making each one unique.

Categories: Adventure Metal Works, copper, Custom, EDC, Frigid-Metals, Life-Philosophy, New Gear, Sentimental, Theory/Thoughts

My first coin ring!

Instagram is a dangerous place for a craftsman… SO Many new ideas to see, and to Try. I’d seen coin rings— Rings made from coins— before, but done where you centerdrill a coin, put it on a bar, and hammer the outer edge, mushrooming it out to the sides, slowly while rotating the coin… When you get down to the diameter, or out to the width you want, then you drill/cut away the center to the ring sixe needed… Its an OLD process, been around for centuries…

But the ones I’m seeing now are done with a hole in the center, then working the coin sideawys, bending, stretching and shrinking it over, so that one side of the coin ends up inside the ring, the other side making the outer ring surface… Then it is stretched or shrunk to size… So that you get this sweet showing if the coins printing/images inside and out of the ring!  

Lotsd of pics, and some videos later, and I figure I can do that!  It can’t be as easy as it looks, but I’m pretty handy…

OK, so to be honest, this is my Second coin ring. The rist didn’t turn out so well. If I can figure out how to UN-screw it up, you’ll see it… If not… Well… 😉 (OK, you might still see it..) 

Anyway, here is the one that worked, made from an Alaska state quarter. If you look close you can see the remnants of the coin edge on one side. And if you look Really close you can just read “ALASKA” in the face; I didn’t totally oblitherate the markings, just 99% of them. 😉  Now I see in the pics, there are a few letters faintly visible on the inner surface as well.














I figure that gets the process at least somewhat figured out… It I can get to be a little more gentle in the forming, refine a process and some different tools, I can I think get one with a lot more detail left on it. Big bonus is that all it costs to try is $0.25 😀 😉  

AlthoughI do have a few other coins of different denominations to play with too;



Categories: Brass, Custom, custom-made-tools, Frigid-Metals

Some cooking…

First, heat treating a knife.

First time I’ve done this for about 6.5 years… Worked out pretty well, although I remembered why I stopped making blades this long; its a pain to get the whole thing the same temp all at the same time!

Was nice though, it only slightly warped, meaning the grinding I did on this blade was pretty even, and thats amaing since its the first blade I’ve ground for the same 6.5 years! 😉  Might have warped from my un-even heating though too. I’m betting it was both.  But it pressed out OK before final cooling(yeah, I got cheeky and put a freshly hardenedm hard and brittle as glass blade in the vise and tweeked it before tempering it!)

Pre-heating the high end quench medium (veggie oil 😉 ); 



Oxy/acyt. torch ready to rock and roll;



And moments after quench;

The lighter grey area on the blade is where it hardened.



And, into the oven to temper for a couple hours at about 450F/500F




After “cooking” blades, and while waiting for the temper cycle, I went and cooked dinner;




One of my original recipes, a beef chorizo and mushroom chilli. 😀


Categories: Custom, Frigid-Metals, knives




Oh. Wait…. not a clearance sale….

 My Bad.  Nevermind.  


Sundays carry… And Mondays carry too;







Went and stole the beaded fob off of my of my Cryos, for the knife I’m carrying this month;



Categories: Beads, Daily-cary-log, EDC, Frigid-Metals, knives

Fixed my grinder

Fixed might be stating it too strongly… More of found out verry little was wrong with it and compensated for what was wrong Until I can properly fix it(yeah, it’ll probably be in its current “fixed” state for years…). 

It had died on me about… ohhh… a while ago.. fall 2008, spring 2009? somewhere in there. It was messing uo for a year or more before then too. When you went to turn it on, it would just sit and hum, flip the swith a few times and it would bump the belt a bit, trying to move, do it fast enough and it would start and run… towards the end, for a few months you had to just turn it on then manually spin the belt for a few seconds and it would free up and then run..

I figured motor bearings siezing up.   So, one day it stopped all together, wouldn’t go no matter what I did, so I thought the motor had completely froze up.  I was giving up knife making anyway, and didn’t really need it for other stuff having another belt sander on hand to use… So I wrote it off, and didn’t fool with it.

Thankfully I saved the whole thing… Was waiting on having enough want/need to fix it, to swap motors, theoretically for a bigger motor. 

So, anyway, last night in the shop, nothing to do, just tinking areound, I though WTH, I’d take it apart, and see how much trouble it’d be to mount another motor I have laying here… Can’t hurt it, its already not working…

Plug it in and try it one last time before I start working on it. The belt moved a bit. Hmm. Spin it by hand, it almost wants to go.  Ahh well, will take it apart, be easier to use if I can fix it.

Take the belt off…

Huh. Iddler wheels are kinda stiff to turn….

AND, now the motor wheel spins free by hand.

Plug it back in and turn it on.

Runs beautifully!

Its the iddler wheel bearings siezed up, not the motor!! 

WD40ed the heck out of the iddlers, and they freed up OK… not great, but OK.. Belt back on and voila! I have my belt grinder again!

Need to dig up my spring clip pliers, so I can pull the retaining clips for the wheels, and look at the bearings… If they’re not sealed, I’ll grease the snot out of them… if they are sealed, I’ll drill some holes in the side plates and grease the snot out of them 😉  And take measurements for getting new bearing units.




Yes, I made knives for about 5 years with a 1×30 1/4 hp sander… It worked and I liked it, and belts were cheaper than it would have been for a “real” knife grinder(usually 1×42  minimum or 2×72 with a 1hp motor… ) Not to mention I mever had the several hundred $$s for a “real” grinder anyway 😉



Posible projects, if I can scrounge up some good belts;




Some other projects I’m fooling with;


Categories: custom-made-tools, Frigid-Metals, Modifications, Winter

The Thor Pen

I now have a hammer, pen and 1/4” bit driver all in one!

I had an idea for a pen and decided to go ahead and try it as an add on to the one I already made last week. The idea was a cross section at the top to hold a 1/4” hex bit. 


First thing was seeing how small I could get a 1/4” hex driver turned down… Turned it as small as I could, then picked a close sied drill bit a couple thousadths under that and turned to to be about 0.001” to 0.0015” bigger for a press fit.




The head piece itself was going good till I miscalculated the bottom of the holes depth, and the dia for the center section to sit over the top hex on the pen… The plus side was I hit EXACTLY the same dia as the center hole for the insert. Cleaned up the ends and it slid tegether, just about 1/4” shorter than it had been.  I knew how to finsh it, but decided it wasn’t worth the work, and started anther head section.






Would have had to significantly shorted the insert and thuse the gripable depth of a hex bit too.



Version 2.0 came out a LOT longer, I gave myself plenty of material to work with for spacing the inserts hole, and the cross hole, offsets etc. Turned out too long for my tastes.










BUT, it all worked, proving the theory, and that I had the skill to do it…  only mistake was general spacing/length, and I sanded the insert too small to press fit, would have had to been epoxied in.

I went back and finished the 1st  one at this point, since it would be shorter.

I cross drilled it and pinned it together, then crossdrilled it for the pen shaft. It worked. Mostly. Not a clean look with the visible pin end, and the pin drifted and was a tad loose. Plus the shallow bit holder hole, and I decided not to use it.






I also crushed/mangled the insert when trimming it to length to fit the shorter 1st  head…  So, I made another insert from a 1/4” hex nut driver, and went back to the drawing board.

I fit the new insert to a super tight fit in the V2.0 head hole. Then trimmed both sides of that head down shorter, deepened the hole slightly, and press the sleeve in. Am verry proud of that, the precission turning that was needed to fit it! It can’t turn, and ain’t Ever comming out again!

So, the 3rd  and final version is actually the 2nd  one re-cut shorter.  It came out longer than the pinned 1st  version, but a lot shorter than it had started. I like it. Its semi press fit to the pen barrel, it can come off, but requies a bit of force, it won’t spin on it verry easily.   Had to shorten one of the pens outer sleeves/beads so it all goes together to the right length again.

There is no bit retension. I will go back later and center drill the bit holder pocket for a ~1/8” magnet to press in, IF it looks like I will actually use the driver more than once a year 😉 Otherwise its not worth the work at this point… I’ve already proved to myself that I could make what I started out to make. 😀 😉 

Anyway, I give you The Thor Pen! 










With the parts of the leftovers and misshaps;




Categories: Brass, Custom, custom-made-tools, Frigid-Metals, Lathe, Pens

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