MacGyver

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

Bent?

Must have caught my knife clip on something…

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Less than a minute with the Spirit fixed it.

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Tough clip though, was putting a lot of twist on the Spirit jaws to do it! Light build of the knife, I was a little worried about bending the frame/liner. But it worked fine.

Categories: Construction, Damages, EDC, EDC/MT use, knives, MacGyver, Multitools, Remodeling, Repairs, Work Tools, Work/Job

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

The W Box.

An older project. I started this in the summer of 2018, for a friend’s birthday. His name starts with a W, thus our title above. 🙂

He does electronics work, so when I found this old amp meter, in DC milliamperes, in some stuff that had been my Dads, it seemed perfect for a gift.

But i couldn’t just give a bare gauge…

Ok, I could have, but where’s the fun in that? 😉

I missed the birthday.

And Christmas.

Managed to get it done and give it in the spring of 2019. Ha!

But anyway, here it is. Only the 3rd box I’ve ever built in my life. (So don’t judge me too harsly!)

Its white oak, and curly maple. It was entertaining to get it how I wanted it, rabbeted construction, a place to store the leads (plugs and leads stolen from an old multi meter I took apart), but still compact. Engineered and re-engineered seveeal times, but I got it!

I don’t really have all of the pics I could, no step by step.And no steps of progress like I’d like… Hust a mishmash of what I managed to take, and the final product.

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Categories: Christmas, Custom, Customized, Electronics/Media, Fabrication, Good Friends, Just Plain Fun, MacGyver, Modifications, old tools, Recycle, Scrounging, Sentimental, Woodshop, Woodwork

Darning leather gloves?

Have a pair of nice heavy deer skin work gloves that I wore almost all summer. They started developing holes about a month and a half ago.

Since I was welding that day, it meant finger burns (yes we had dedicated welding gloves, but generally I don’t bother with them, they’re a heavy leather gauntlet that allows no dexterity at all.)

My jobsite fix that day was a quick wrap (double layer glue to glue on the holes so it didn’t stick to me!) of gorilla tape over the finger tips.
I gotta say I’m impressed, after a month of work, and you have to remember I’ve been working in a crawl space most of the time so its not just work wear, but crawling wear too, that tape was scuffed and a bit softer, but still stuck, solid, holeless… I HATE duct tape with a passion because it never stays on anything even duct work, but this stuff was great!
But anyway, 3 more holes later and I grabbed a new pair of gloves. I have no idea what the old ones cost, they were a gift, the second pair out of a two pack a friend got. And I can’t shop where they came from(costco) so a direct replacement is impossible.
But the replacement I got at Home Depot was $25 a pair.
I’m sure the Costco ones probably cost less than that, and about 6 months on a pair before they wear out isn’t bad for good quality, real leather, all leather gloves.
But at prices like that I’d still like to prolong their life if possible. And besides, they’re broken in, already stained– don’t have to worry what I get on them, they fit me, and are comfortable as all get out now… I’ve been missing them!
With socks its called darning. Maybe only on knit socks. Ive been saying I’m darning gloves. But they’re not knit, and darning might not apply even to knit gloves… lol.
So, thus, I sat down with some scrap leather, needle and thread, and have been slowly fixing them in my spare time the last few days.
This has worked well so far, a couple seams resewn, and one finger tip I cut out the holed area and patched. Some of it I’ve just whip stiched on the outside, some thing I’ve turned them inside out to have the seams on the inside like original.
It has ironically been kinda hard on my hands. For a while now any hand sewing I do, or similar work that takes a good grip on small tools, and fine motor skills, has made my hands go numb while doing it.

Add to that some muscle damage and inflammation that I have right now in my shoulders/arm pits and lower arms that has been doing a carpal tunnel like effect of a piched nerve or restrictions in blood flow; making my hands tingling or numb over most of the past week anyway;

It makes this extremely slow, somewhat frustrating, and sort of painful to do.

But at any rate, I’m enjoying it, it improves my sewing, saves some gloves, and fills some time.

I still have one big hole and one small one to patch, and two seams to re-close.

Categories: Alaska-Life, Clothes, Cowboy, Damages, EDC, Field gear, Leather, MacGyver, Modifications, Recycle, Repairs, Sentimental, Sewing, Soft Goods, Summertime, Welding

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 Rifle Boot Mount.

A good friend got me a Kolpin gun boot and mount for Christmas almost 2 years ago. I’ve had it on the Kawasaki for about a year and a half, works great. Ive also found that the boot makes a pretty good travel gun case– It actually has more miles on it in a truck bed or on a boat deck that it has on an ATV!

But anyway, the boot being movable, but the mount not easily moved left me needing another mount for my Polaris. And those mounts ain’t cheap.

Honestly, I can probably build one from scrap on hand, in metal, in an afternoon or evening or two. Given the time.

Time is at a premium lately. So I went a faster route, and built one in wood. Figured if it worked, great. If not, I’d take the time and build a metal one. 🙂

Didnt cost me a thing either! Got a bunch of 2’x2′ squares of 3/4″ plywood from a buddy, they were doors on old cabinets he tore out of the garage he just bought.

So, I traced the loop on the metal mount, made a cardboard pattern, laid it out on the plywood.

Jig sawed it out, sturdy enough, but decided two layers were better. Traced the first, layered, brad nailed and screwed together. Trimmed the fit, longer holes and offset them for a slight angle to the boot.

3rd layer for a mound bracket added to the offset vertically from the rack, that meant I could mount it flat, eliminating the angle/pivot mount like the original.

4th smaller spacer layer added to hold a hold down bracket. Went through a lot of my hardware, but the hinges off the plywood from when it was a door were perfect!

Mounted with one Lock and Ride style mount with a custom stud, and another stud in the corner rack hole. Setup for quick on and off with just two 1/2″ nuts, leaving the studs in place. Used nylock style locking nuts.

The boot ended mounted in the groove of the fender, a nice locator, it can’t pivot side to side. If it seems like the boot tip will move a lot I’ll add a mount for the hole it has. So far it doesn’t move much at all. Ended up well back and away from my foot, clears the foot well area nicely.

Sanded lightly, gave it a coat of sealer/clear coat. If it doesn’t need any tweaking after a few rides, I’ll give it a couple coats of brown Krylon, should be pretty weather proof for a long time.

It’s not fine detailed wood working like some things I do, but it looks decent, and most importantly, it works!

Categories: Alaska-Life, ATV, ATV Accessories, Custom, Customized, Fabrication, Field gear, MacGyver, Modifications, Woodwork

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