key-chains

The Alaskan Log Cabin Valet Tray.

This started as an idea for a contest at printables.com;

https://www.printables.com/contest/334-catch-all-trays

Here is also where this model is on that site;

https://www.printables.com/model/380531-the-alaskan-log-cabin-valet-tray

Figured, if Anyone should/could be designing an EDC related item for printing, it would be me, right? 😉

Problem is, I don’t use the things!

I had one idea for this but brushed it off as too… hokey? I dunno, too rediculous in some way.

The more I thought about it, I couldn’t get really entheused about it, because I don’t use the things… I have a specific place I put current carry, its a dump place, but I’ve never done the whole box/tray/ whatever thing, unless I’m house sitting somewhere and need to Create a safe place. Its just not ever been a me thing at home.

But, THEN the more I think about it too, it could be a fun project to model my idea, and who cares if its a little over the top on a theme? So, for the fun of it, Iwent ahead and did it.

I give you, The Alaskan Dump Tray.
Or The Log Cabin Valet tray.
You’re choice.

And the Mini version,

I got a little carried away, I have it as a fully parametarized file(As in it runs in the OpenSCAD customizer pane, there all parameters are easy to edit by Anyone with the software, no 3D or coding experiance needed..Poimt and click without editing the model(s)) Can change; The log height(count), log diameter, inner area length and width, turn on or off 1 or 2 inner walls, and move the two inner divider walls around(although they always cross and make 2 compartments equal length… I’m too lazy so far to cut it up and make it 4 walls if wanted), and the inner wall height and log diameter is settable independantly of the main walls, and each other.

The big one Barely fits on my printer, and actually is barely big enough for what I’d want/need.
The little one was a compromise of print time, and space… I can get my average knife, light, multi and watch into it.. Although ironically todays items don’t fit. lol. I printed the little one to have something to take pics for the contest, and because it was only 4 hours to print. The big one would take 7.5 hours, at my coursest resolution.(I printed the small one course for both time, and I figured the rough layers would look better for logs… it does fit I think!)

For this one I went with 3 courses, 10mm dia on the outer walls, and 8mm on the inner wall, seemsed like a good look, and a nice scale. Fresh off the printer!

Some shop gear “EDC” in it;

And, some of today, the basics.

Overall, I’m rather happy with it! Looks like I wanted, and isn’t anything bad like I’d imagined it might end up. I think it came out just fun and interesting, not over the top on “Alaska” or log cabin woodsie LOL.

Categories: 3D Printing, Boxes, Custom, Daily-cary-log, EDC, EDC/MT use, Engineering & Design, Just Plain Fun, key-chains, knives, Life-Philosophy, New Gear, OpenSCAD, PLA, Plastic Parts, Prototypes, Retro, Theory/Thoughts, Traditional | 1 Comment

Are we square here?

Stumbled upon something I hadn’t seen before when Christmas shopping, but having no real need filed the idea away.

That idea, is mini speed squares. The speed square is without a doubt a handyman or construction workers most used tool. Layout, measurements, angles, checking square, and a great crosscut circular saw guide.

But sometimes, all you need is a 90deg or 45deg marking guide for layout, and dont want to carry a full size square. A lot of guys tend to use a 4″ slip square for that. I have for years. But its still a 3″x4″ chunk in the pocket, and without the angle guide, or saw guide.

Now granted, I’ve never used the angle guide more than twice in my life, and a 3″ square is not going to be a good saw guide. But I was still intrigued by a small light pocket square.

Enter 3D printing (yes, again lol) and I stumbled upon a mini and micro speed square design on Printables. There are actually several there, even metric versions. But these looked promising, with all the measurement and angle hash marks. One at 3″, the other at 2″.

I printed the big one, in red PLA.

Now, I was absolutely amazed. The precision of my printer setup hadn’t been the best, and I knew I had it pretty damn good, but this was still cool. I’d avoided printing anything with exact measurements for this reason(yes, printing parts to fit other parts, but not to a measurement without tweaking the scale for print error.)

Anyway, the measurement scale on it was dead on for a long ways, only walking a 1/64″ or less after the 3″!! yes thats off, and off quite bit in 12″. But when you’re always printing under 8″ and usually under 2″, a few thousands off per 1/16″ isnt too bad!

And also for carpenters tools, in construction not cabinetry, its fine. This isn’t precision machine work.

Now, the angles were something else. The 90 came out at 89, but the 45 was dead on. Which isn’t horrific! But even for a marking tool for construction, I wanted as good as I could get, at least within the tool… some drift 10 feet away is fine lol.

Some could be shift in my printer, again, its not 100% tight, and this process has inherent movement, that (can)causes drift as you go… momentum and sheer force on molten plastic.

Or the guys model could be out of square. I also wondered how accurate the average metal square is anyway. I’m using a digital angle gauge to check with, assuming thats pretty accurate.

All other squares in the shop were within 0.4 to 0.5 degree of 90. A couple were dead on. Thats a full size 1960s era Swanson speed square, a Craftsman or Stanley 4″ slip square, and a 18″ framing square. Good sampling of styles and costs, and sizes, seems half a degree is it.

So, I modeled a simple square myself, and printed it.

Same 1 deg off! 89.0 So. Printer? Maybe.

I basically decided to ignore my OCD on it and accept 1deg out for what its used for. I remodeled, added the features I wanted, and beefed up the structure(test print was fast and light), and re printed it.

And you know what? Thag sucker is dead on 89.9, and 44.8!!

Printed a second one smaller, just the same.

Now, I’m not saying the other guys model is out of square. I will go back and re-slice it finer(although it was at the same resolution as I just printed mine) and see if it comes out any more accurate.

At any rate, I had fun modeling, and testing, and got the features and size I wanted, without things I don’t use. One for the shop, and one for my tool bag, will see how much I actually use them.

Now, my models turned out to be less speed square than where we started. They are 2″, or 2.5″on the thin 90deg leg, 1/4″ overhang on the edge on one side, 1/2″ on the other for marking gauges. No angle or length marks. A simple and fast layout tool. Plus one hole for a caribiner or similar, if I can find a way to use it that doesn’t get in the way, or be too fiddly to remove and replace all of the time.

Any interest in the comments, an I’ll make my model file available. 🙂 Otherwise, there are so many out there, including the other one I started with, I see no reason to release it.

The other guys square is here; https://www.printables.com/model/312095-pico-squares-small-speed-squares Also, PLEASE NOTE There is NOTHING wrong with his model! It is fully within normal parameters, especially for a printed part… 30 seconds with sandpaper on a flat surface would make it dead on square! Heck, you might even print it dead on to start with. Given how many variables there are in this game, 1 degree is a fantastic low variance. I was just being super picky about it, and wanted to see IF I could do better straight off the printer. Not that it really needed to be any better. Hell, the next one I print of my model could be off farther…. 😉

Categories: 3D Printing, Construction, Custom, custom-made-tools, EDC, Engineering & Design, Fabrication, key-chains, Modifications, Multitools, New Gear, Pocketable, Prototypes, tool mods, Work Tools | Leave a comment

Introducing, The Grangler.

 A couple months ago, soon after my shiny new 3D printer arrived, (yes, yes, need to post about that in details, I know…) with new flashlights, and playing around with carry concepts, I’d found I needed another Prangler. its been my favorite EVER for keychain carry, I have it at 11oclock on a belt loop all the time. Always secure, never a problem, I’ve never lost it off of me, but its the fastest easiest access.

Decided I wanted that for my flashlight, which has for years been caribinered to a belt loop at 9oclock.(southpaw!)
Yes, I’ve played with different carabiners and clips before. Just before this I had gone out and found THE perect caribiner, and also, had splurged for one new Prangler.(looks like that post about caribiners missed being Here… Will try to get it uploaded!)

Whats new now, was I found I needed about 3 more of them. 1 on keys, and one to swap around on 4 or 5 flashlights is a PITA.
But I’m unimployed for the year, and funds are short for Titanium trinkets… For a while now I was going to ask Eng1nerd Designs if he minded If I just made myself another Prangler, maybe in brass or copper. But I couldn’t do it, felt too cheeky.

((ANyone interested in a titanium Prangler, let me know in the comments and I’ll get you in touch with Zach, AKA Eng1nerd 🙂 ))

Also recently, winter had finally caught up to us, and I re-discover another issue, that I’ve had with ‘biners, and now the Prangler; its 0F to 10F out and I’m wearing heavy gloves. I CAN opperate a biner with them, but its annoying. I do the prangler for my keys pretty well, because most places I need them, I can’t get the key I want, or unlock a door with the gloves on.. So gloves off for them is fine.

But for the lights, I’d like to stay gloves on if I can.

Also something else I’ve thought about, is I have NEVER used the Pry feature on the Prangler. Actually thought about grinding the tip off the 2nd one I had just got.

So, you might see where this is heading…

I took what I liked and needed, in basic form from the prangler, added, subtracted, and designed my own belt loop dangler. 

:D

Enter, the Grangler.
G(rippy D)angler.

First was to sit down and copy the Prangler.
and do a test print on my geometry, I wanted the same slot/loop hole size and shape, it works so perfect on the Pranglers.

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Then, add and subtract what I need and don’t.
Rounded off the top end, no more pry bar.
Removed the mid and upper holes, since I’ve never hung anything from them, to me it gets too messy/bulky and rats nests too much.

Then, added a wide grip area to that side.
And realizing the holes if nothing else provide grip texture, put them back, but in 1/4″ hex holes.
No I don’t intend to ever use them as a driver, after all its in 3mm plastic… But in a pinch its possible. I just wanted traction.

Voila!

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As I went the thickness progressed, from the same as the Pranglers, up a bit, then a little more. The thickest one I have is about 4mm(3.81mm or 0.150″), and I used two different “fill” patterns for strengths… can’t tell any difference, they’re all about the same strength. The narrow side bar on them all is springy side to side(width of the bar), and a little more top to bottom(ie with the thickness) which is still fine. I can pull on both bars as hard as I can sideways(direction it would pull if I snag what ever I have on it) with just the finger grip I can get, I can’t break the sucker off!

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The outcome is perfect! The grip is great, even with gloves, they hang just like the Prangler, safe and secure, but easy on and easy off, AND with the gloves on its no hitch whatsoever!! I had been a little worried about the PLA in the cold, but several weeks now of constant use between 30F and -40F, and you figure the only heat these get is anything radiating off my hip… not a lot lol, it never seemed brittle, or anyway I didn’t notice if it was, didn’t seem to bother it at all.

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So far I have about a dozen of them on various flashlights, knives, and tools. In 4 different matterials, and almost a dozen colors. PLA and wood fiber PLA, PETG, all work fine. The translucent white ones up above are even Glow In The Dark!

Categories: Adventure Metal Works, custom-made-tools, Customized, Danglers/carabiners, Design, EDC, Engineering & Design, Fabrication, key-chains, New Gear, New Products, OpenSCAD, PETG, PLA, Plastic Parts, Preparedness, Prototypes | 2 Comments

New Ti and SS!

New trinkets arrived recently!

Titanium Prangler (gpry bar and key dangler)  and an stainless steel cross.

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Old and new,

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What I got the new Prangler for, is flashlight carry, so I promptly put it on my Skilhunt.

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Might also note that its finer finished there than the first pic. Nothing wrong with Nerdys finish, I just wanted more polished like the first one was. Also Hoping to heat anodize(or even real anodize if I get adventurous) it at some point and wanted a finer sand/semi polish for that. I just went at it with 220 for about 5 minutes.

Cross turned out a lot bigger than I though it was! in a good way!
Had no idea what I was going to put it on when I orered it, just figured why not… FOr now I have it on my house carry/den & bedroom emergency light chain.

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Categories: Danglers/carabiners, EDC, key-chains, New Gear, titanium

Fenix E03R(new micro pocket flashlight! )

New toy!

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I picked this as a donor to cut up for a new mod/custom project(details on that soon!), trying not to have to build a light/driver from scratch.

But after I ordered it I realized that its cased in solid aluminum! And would be a real bitch to take apart without hurting the innards.

On top of which, I really started to like the idea of keeping it as is.

Its just arrived, and I must say I won’t be able cannibalize it for parts, I Really do like it!

When they say small, they mean it! I bought it mainly on its external dimensions so I knew where I could fit the parts, but even then I was surprised how small it is!

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Absolutely amazes me that on high this thing is only 40 lumens shy of the BC10 on high!

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Full specs, details of operation etc, coming soon when I do a review after I can get in a few days of carry and use.

Categories: Aluminum, EDC, Electronics/Media, Flashlights, key-chains, New Gear, USB

Little key addition, little tool fix.

Just some misc. EDC stuff from this last week.
Been collecting keys to other peoples houses lately, for things like house sitting, checking on places/people etc. But it’s a pain keeping track of separate small key sets.
So I added a permanent unused/empty S-biner to my keys. Doesn’t add really any bulk when empty, but any day I need another houses keys I can clip them in, and know they’re safe.

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Strategically placed between other items to keep it from catching anything in my pocket or in the truck. And placing any kets I add where they don’t tangle with the keys I use the most.
Annnd, found out if you grip extremely hard with this little SwissTech tool, you can bend the handles at the rotary joint. Don’t even remember now what I was working on, but I did apply a LOT of pressure. All I could as I recall.

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They bent in far enough that they wouldn’t clear the jaws to fold up again.

So, bent back out… which took some considerable force.

Problem there though, is that the back and forth flex loosened the joints, and they were a friction joint that kept them roated up. And staying up is what keeps the tool closed, and compact too.

Plus the way I carry it is a ring trapped in the locked closed jaws… no good if the handles flop down and let the jaws open.

Tried pressing thd joints in a vice, but the two handle pieces were still tight to each other. Ended up simple putting a cone ended expanding punch on the hollow rivet end and whacking it… Actually over did it the first time, had to loosen again, and reset again.

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Angle of the handles is still a little tighter to the jaws than it started, but it’ll just stay closed better. Better a bit too tight than flopping around!

Next time I need that much torque, I’ll go get bigger pliers! Not like I’d be far from any since this is in-the-house edc anyway.

Categories: Daily-cary-log, Damages, EDC, EDC/MT use, key-chains, Multitools

Holy Slip-It, Batman!

Anyone remember these things?

I don’t. Generally before my time I think. I’ve seen them for sale, once, a decade or so ago in the SMKW catalog. Had never seen them there before that, nor since. I’m told they wee common 30 to 40 years ago, or there abouts.

Huh? Oh, what is it, you say?

It’s a knife. Called a Slip-it.

Cool design, simple and cheap, usually given away as promotional/advertising freebies.

You pull up one end of the inner bar, the other end hinges on the tail of the blade. Then slide the blade out, and press the (now)flipped inner piece back down. Friction keeps it down in both open and closed positions.

This one came from a yard sale when I was a kid. I was 8 to 10, somewhere in there. I picked it up (closed) looked it over, didn’t know what it was, set if down.

Dad came along, picked it up, opened it, closed it, went hmm, and the lady running the sale said, oh, you can just have that.

I tried to connive that I’d seen it first, but neither one of them would go for it since I’d put it back… Hey, it was worth a try! 😉 lol.

So, why the post, and the funky comic reference title?

The retractable 3/8″ blade on the mini utility knife I have been carrying is greag for a lot of things, but is really lacking in slitting letters open.

When I reached for a longer blade, I saw this little guy on the shelf, and a light bulb went on.

I’ve never used it much since its been mine(about 8 years). It’s cool, but it’s such a thin blade. Like really thin. Like utility knife thin. But utility knife blades are wider, shorter, and more stable. And disposable if you break it.

And let’s face it, as much as knives are not pry bars, even those of us that are extremely careful tend to have lateral pressure on a blade about 1 in every 5 cuts. Just how it is with a working blade!

I like and use small blades, but not this thin, while this long. Just don’t want to bend or snap the sucker off.

But as a household knife, I figured what risk is there? Opening mail, packaged foods, light crafts tasks like cutting twine or trimming leather is the hardest use it’d get.

And since this week I’d been carrying a household knife, as posted a couple days ago, I suddenly saw a use for this lil ole guy.

And the Holy part you ask?

Thats simple.

It should be spelled Holey or hole-y.

‘Cause I drilled a hole in it.

😀

They don’t come with the split ring, or a place for one. For my current concept of home carry, it needed a bail/key ring/lanyard loop/whatever you want to call it.

Put it in the back end, where there was already a divot in the plastic. It looks like it was hot pressed there to keep the two handle halves together. Doesn’t seem to have loosened the parts any though.

How it spent the day, with its new friends, in my pocket;

Categories: Alaska-Life, Customized, Daily-cary-log, EDC, Home Life, key-chains, knives, Modifications, old tools, Pocket knives, Vintage

All chained up.

Rearranged and consolidated pocket watch chains yesterday. I only need two, one for the watch and one for the knife on my double Albert setup.

Had one, a bronze one already setup for that. Added the new black chrome one as the second. This setup with a Nightize S-biner hanger works great.

The biner fits over the snaps on my leather vest. Just snap a snap through the big biner, and it dissappears, but holds the chain ends giving the single or double prince albert chain attachment point.

Then cut, splice and reassembly, netted me a bracelet, which I wore all day, and really liked. Simple and classy-ish, but didn’t drive me batty. Two main strands with a third linking them.


Then the left overs got me a neck chain–which I have no idea what I’ll do with– yet.

And two big clasped utility/watch chains, which I also have no current use for… I’ll think of something.

If you look close the bracelet has 3 different chain sizes/styles, the necklace 2, and both utility chains are different…

I actually had a lot of fun doing these! The opening and closing of the rings and links was a bit tedious, but still fun.

Categories: Customized, Decorating, EDC, Fabrication, Jewelry, key-chains, Modifications, New Gear, Pocket Watches, Re-purpose, Recycle, Repurpose, Watches

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