Improviser

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

Multiple tools use?

A friend on an EDC forum asked me an interesting question today;

Hey AK-A, You’ve had that Victorinox Swiss Tool Spirit for quite some time.
Which three of its tools have you used the most? TIA

It’s funny that he should ask me that; A couple nights before when putting things up for the night, I was looking at it and thinking about what I use and don’t use.

My answer is as follows;
Top 2 are easy, pliers, phillips driver, in that order.

But I had to add a footnote, that I’m not sure that #2 counts as Vic specific since I hated the Vic driver. I cut it off and welded a Leatherman flat style 1/4″ bit holder onto it several years ago. 🙂
#3 is hard to tell what I use more, but I *think* its the large flat head driver/bottle opener as leverage/a pry bar.

Honorable mention/#4, #5 goes to the other two that tied with that big driver, the awl and the wire cutters.


Use the awl as a pick, scraper, small pry tool a lot. And the wire cutters get alot of use when I’m running the wire feed welder.
Honestly, out of those last three its really, really, really hard to tell what I use more.
I can tell you what I Never use; the knife blade.

I started out hating the style(which is ironically now my favorite to use on any other knife, a sheepsfoot), and now I just prefer the ergonomics of a dedicated pocket knife.
Rarely, almost never used, is the chisel/scraper. Like maybe 15 times in the ~12 years I’ve had the tool.

That thing I’d probably use more if I remembered it was there… for some reason, maybe because I carried a Leatherman for so long and they don’t have one, I never think of it being there.

I tend to see it when opening another tool and think “dang that woulda been handy 10 minutes ago…”

Categories: Daily-cary-log, EDC, EDC/MT use, Field gear, Improviser, Journal, MacGyver, Modifications, Multitools, Preparedness, Reviews, SAKs, Theory/Thoughts, Usage Reviews

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. 🙂

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

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

Ice fishing tent fix 2.0

Some of you might remember fix 1.0 last year. A friend was given an Eskimo Quickfish 3, but he doesn’t (ice)fish, so gave it to me. It had 2 broken poles. The ends had snapped relatively clean off, so I made connectors to reattach the ends for the hubs to the poles.

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Done in brass because it was the only stock I had bigger diameter than the pole end pieces.

This year I had it set up before first snow to dry out (outside storage over the summer) and 8″ of snow load collapsed the top; I broke a pole getting it cleaned off...


This time it broke the pole mid length, and it exploded, long slivers of fiberglass everywhere… Couldn’t salvage it, and handling it to salvage the end/hinge piece was too hazzardoes.

So, I made a new pole, and the end this time. Machined the hinge end from aluminum, with a steel cross pin. And mounted on a fiberglass driveway marker rod. Works great!

(These poles are only $10 new, but shipping something 49” long to Alaska is rediculously expensive!)

Categories: Alaska-Life, Aluminum, Custom, Customized, Fabrication, Field gear, Fishing, Ice Fishing, Improviser, MacGyver, MacGyverism, Modifications, Re-purpose, Recycle, Repairs, Repurpose, Winter

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

Poor Man’s ATV Cargo Rack Trays.

Took me two years to outfit my Kawasaki the way I wanted it. Got it just about set up perfect for my uses.

Problem is, I got another ATV! A bare, dead stock one at that. So, here we go again.

On the Kawi, I went with adding a front dry box, and a rear rack extension/rack wall.

https://ak-adventurer.net/2017/06/29/atv-rack-extensionretaining-walls/

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On this one, a Polaris, the front dry box, while a little small, is provided, built into the fenders/rack.

So I set out to add rack walls. Most ATV racks suck for keeping things in place, even with a bungee cord or two, things tend to slide off the edges/sides.

The last one I built on the Kawi, I just cut some light scrap tubing and welded it up. Simple. But time and labor intensive. Time is not something I have a lot of this fall.

So, I set out to get some trays, or shallow boxes to mount, left open without lids, I get a cargo tray, the same effect.

In my research, looking for boxes I actually found plastic cargo trays made for ATVs. But other than one that Arctic Cat made, out of production now, there are none sold in the USA. Seems its a popular item in Australia.

Thats basically what I was after, but on the cheap.

Know how hard it is to find a plastic storage tote thats 1.5’x3′ or 2’x3′ or bigger, but only about 6″ to 8″ deep?

Nearly impossible!

the best bet is “under bed storage” boxes. Long wide and flat.

Unfortunately nothing I liked was in stock locally.

Also, very few have latching lids. Yes, I wanted to mount them as open trays, but if you pay for lids, they might as well be useful!

Anyway, after 5 stores over two trips to town, I found two I liked. The first is a simple light Sterilite box, snap on lid. The other is a Hefty storage box, with a latching lid.

First step was painting, since they came in that milky clear plastic. The green is double coat primer/paint, rated for among other things plastic, by Rustoleum. The brown for the lids is the same basic thing, but made by Krylon. (Got at separate times, different stores. I prefer Rustoleum paint in general, it goes on easier, more durable, but the Krylon works fine too.)

Why green and brown? I’m sick of green with all black accessories.

The rear box went on as is. The front on the other hand, had to be cut to fit around the headlight pod/handlebars. A simple process with a sharpie for layout and an angle grinder (proverbial hot knife through butter, works great on plasic!). While I was at it I cut the lid. Not probable I’ll ever use it, but I had it so why not.

Mounting was simpler still. A handful, 4 or 6 self tapping screws for each box. Located the boxes wherd I wanted them, drilled through them for hole placement, and screwed them down.

Screws I used for the front tray went into the front storage box, so I used screws made for metal roofing; They have a rubber bottomed washer under the head that seals, so they don’t leak. I also drilled a few holes in low corners so the trays don’t flood and hold water anyway.

Maybe an hours work and about $40 including the paint. Not too bad!

And, they work great too!

Categories: Alaska-Life, ATV, ATV Accessories, ATVing, Custom, Customized, Fabrication, Field gear, Improviser, MacGyver, Modifications, Re-purpose, Repurpose

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

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