Modifications

A hearing assist; Helmet shield re-fit.

I have no idea when CKX stopped making this helmet. This one is marked as being made in 1998. I bought it around 2000 or 2001.

It is a snowmobile helmet, lightly insulated, and with a double pane face shield, to mitigate fogging/frosting.

It never worked worth a damn. It was always a frosted mess I couldn’t see out of. Add to that my hatred at the time of the great lack of visibility out of a full face helmet, it was soon shelved.

Somewhere along the way, I took the face shield off of it. I’m not exactly sure why now.

It’s served perfectly well that way for several years now, both as my motorcycle helmet, off and on, and the one I kept as a helmet for a passenger on the bike.

But the last couple years, I’ve had an increasing problem with wind noise while ridding.

For years I never wore a helmet, nor hearing protection, and I guess it’s caught up to me. I much prefer no helmet, for hearing, visibility, and just general feel and awareness of the world when ridding, not only a bike but atvs, and snowmobiles too.

I also prefer no windshield, for the same reasons.

A couple years ago when I got back into ridding a lot, I had to start wearing a helmet for hearing protection, or else I ended up with my ears ringing, and that cloudy wind tunnel effect for hours after I got off the bike.

This helmet has served well for that for a couple years, sans face shield.

But, it has its problems. Mainly, since it is designed to be a full face helmet, it doesnt have the row of denser foam in front of your ears that blocks wind on a regular 3/4 or open face style helmet.

And my sensitivity to the wind noise has worsened to where any ride even with the helmet screws up my hearing.

Last year I took to wearing hearing protection, in the form of simple foam ear plugs.

That works perfect for the wind noise. But after more than an hour on the bike, your ear canels can get sore from the constant pressure they use to seal. Softer rubber plugs have nevet sealed well enough for me to work well enough for shooting, so foam has been the only option.

Also, with the plugs, you don’t hear traffic, nor the bike. Not good. Rather dangerous in fact. It can also be disorienting, to be in motion, with little to no sound.

Add to that the audible shock of how loud the world is when you take the plugs out after having them in an hour, and I needed an alternative.

So, with a two day fuzzy feeling in my ears, and sore ears to boot from the plugs after my first good ride this season, I went looking for an alternate lid to wear; The open face helmet thst was my Dads.

Took forever to find it. With it was the shield from this helmet.

Then I found again why I hadn’t been using it; its a good size and a half too big for me!

Enter the idea to just buy a new open face helmet.

But, I have that shield…

See, I’m broke, and trying to not have to buy anything, thus digging out old helmets to try to begin with.

I’d honestly wanted to re mount the shield to it at other times in the past, but couldn’t.

Verry simply, the fancy half turn twist lock screws that hold it and the helmet side aplates on, got lost not long after they were taken out. Then at some point the shield and side plates were lost.

At times I’ve come across the shield, and even tried getting new plates and screws, but never with any success.

I’m not sure why but I’d never really thought before about creating new mounting for that shield, but this time I was considering it.

I was even looking at it to see if I could mount it fixed; at least it’d be on there even if it didn’t hinge.

And there in lies where the light bulb went on. I suddenly saw exactly how I could fix it, and have it hinge, knowing exactly what piece of hardware I could do it with!

And knowing I just happened to have two of that item left over from a mid winter project, off to the shop I went!

First up was to measure the hole in the helmet, which was 0.25″. Perfect! The hardware I we thinking of using is 1/4″!

That hardware being T-nuts.

Next, measure the outside of the nut shank, and pick a bit, I ent 0.005″ smaller, for a press for. Then still the holes out.

Then, grind down the tang spikes in the nut, flush with the rim, and test the shank fit, and press in for depth test. Then also reduce the run diameter, to fit the recess.

And, finally, applied a few touches of super glue to reinforce the nuts seat and press them in.

All that was left then was to shorten the bolts I had, so they bottom out just as the head seats, and compresses the lock washer I used. Fender washers to cover the large hole and grip the visor, then a split lock washer, and seat the bolt. Gave perfect tension on the first try! The visor “click” ratcheting opening tension works great, smooth, but with drag, but also stars put in any notch you stop on(tested with it half open at 40mph too, no movement!)

The only issue I see when done was the gap along the top, reminding me that there had been a foam piece framing the opening on the helmet before. I thought it might allow some charter of the shield.

Turns out the gap is no problem! No charter, no vibration, and no air leaks!

It cuts the wind noise I had by half or more! Perfect! I’ve only had it out for two short 10 mile rides so far, but after both, I had no hearing or ear issues! As a bonus, one of those rides I was caught in pouring rain, and the warm dry face was a Very welcome change!

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Categories: Alaska-Life, Clothes, Customized, Field gear, GetOutdoors, Modifications, Motorcycles, Outdoors | 1 Comment

When you buy the wrong nails; A.I.O. #467

And you don’t have time to get more before you have to deliver a product, you improvise.

When i got nails for my brad nailer, I needed 5/8″ and at least about 1.25″. The 2″ was cheaper, and the length wouldn’t hurt the project, so thats what I got.

Forgot to check if thd long ones would fit the nailer.

Whoops!

But these fit;

Wondered if i could score a line on a stick, and snap them off shorter with the stick intact… Couldn’t hurt to try!

And voila! Shorter nails that fit!

They work flawlessly too, the now one sided bevel on the tip doesn’t seem to effect a thing.

A.I.O. Simple. 🙂

(Adapt, Improvise, Overcome)

Categories: A.I.O., Improviser, MacGyver, MacGyverism, Materials, Modifications, tool mods, Woodshop, Woodwork

Grip frame fun, 1.0? 

Killing time in the shop and tried the brass 1860 style grip frame(that I have for converting my Ruger Blackhawk) on my Beretta Stampede.  Rear frame fits good, but would need a filler at the bottom front, and the ears trimmed to the gun frame if it was to stay.   





Looks like the front strap, trigger guard holes line up close enough to go on, but the trigger slot in it is far too narrow.  Had the same issue on the Blackhawk. 

I might compare Ruger and Beretta triggers, and open the 1860 guard up to fit both, if I can. 

I’m actually not sure if this brass frame set will ever get onto the Ruger. I’ve grown rather fond of the grip on the Blackhawk as it is, with the nice wood grips I put on last spring. Much nicer and slimmer than the rubber that came on it. Not sure I really need the slimmer 1860 style on it now.   We shall see. 

One nice thing, IF I do mount it to the Stampede,  it has the same flat main spring style as the 1860, so little serious modification, if any would be needed. 

IE, it could still later be converted to the Ruger mainspring, etc. just as easily as ever. 
If nothing else, I can fit the backstrap to the Beretta,  leaving the guard alone to be fit to the Ruger later, and then simply get another back strap then. 

As I said, we shall see. Just thinking out loud, as it were, for the time being. 

Categories: Brass, Cowboy, Customized, Guns, Gunsmithing, Modifications, Revolvers

Shelf Track Bench Dogs

“Shelf what??” Your saying, right? 😉 

Bench dogs are pins, or flat jaws, that slip into dog holes– holes in the top of a work bench, for holding thing on the bench top. 

You clamp the work piece between the dog and the vice at the edge of the bench, or a bar clamp/C clamp or two. With a large grid of holes, you can hold just about anything in any position. 

I like the concept but hate the idea of having all the holes in the bench. Seems a great way to ruin a layout surface,  and a place to lose hardware. 

Then I saw this trick/tip that a fellow sent in to this month’s issue of Woodsmith magazine;

It uses cabinet shelf support rails and clip brackets as simple in line dogs for the vise; GENIUS! 

After pricing the track and clips, $3 for 6′ of track, and about $3 for 12 clips… Yeah, no brainer dude! 😉 

15 minutes with my router, and I have bench dogs!   Was a little fiddly to do, only have a 1/2″ straight cut bit, but the tracks are 5/8″ so I had to cut each channel twice for width. Track is 3/16″ thick, wanted it at least flush, I cut about 7/32″ deep to garantee it can’t catch on anything when not in use. 



Clips in place;


Then I just made the old front jaw front the vise into the cammed over jaw insert needed. Great to use that vise to make things for the vise! (Really have no idea how I survived so long without that vise!)

It works!

A few strategically placed screws makes a storage spot for the vice jaw under the end of the bench. 

And the left over ~11″ of track made a clip storage rack. 


Can’t beat simple, cheap and easy, especially if it works! 

Categories: Custom, custom-made-tools, Customized, Fabrication, Modifications, Repurpose, Shop Tools, Woodshop, Woodwork

Carving Hawk 2.0

 A couple years ago, I made this nice little tomahawk style carving hatched from an old lathing hatchet. 

I never did finish it though, it had some sharp edges from the cutting process left under the blade. I couldn’t get at them with the grinder, with the handle it was on. And didn’t want to take it off the handle.


But that handle, while nice, was a bit small and short. Another project I have going, is re-hafting a bigger hatchet I have, since it’s handle had become loose(and was epoxy set so I couldn’t tighten it).

Once I had the handle off the hatchet, I realized that what was left, with a little trimming, would be perfect for the little hawk! 

Not perfect, couldn’t go deep enough to take the whole cut out, didn’t want it any thinner.

Grinding is a little rough to look at, but is smooth to the touch. Was going more for function that visual form. 

Again, not perfect,  the shim stock I used as a wedge was a little soft, and flaked off the front edge. But it’ll work.  It’s on there like it’s set in concrete! 😀


Except two small saw cuts, about 1.5″ each, one with the band saw, one hand sawn, all shaping was done with my laminated Mora 106 carver. Then some light smoothing with sandpaper–one spot, the wedged end of the eye was on the belt sander, you can see where it scorched. Otherwise sanded by hand. I’m really enjoying work with hand tools where possible lately.

Categories: Axes, Custom, custom-made-tools, Customized, hatchets, Modifications, tomahawks, tool mods, Woods tools, Woodwork

Chest holster re-strapping V1.0. 

Thought I’d post an update. Been wearing the new holster I got a couple months ago off and on for some work, and short hikes.


Have some setup issues.

They have it, as set for left hand draw,
Holster sits basically horizontal, grip left, muzzle right.

Shoulder strap run from top of holster (by hammer) up over RIGHT shoulder, down across back, under Left arm to bottom of holster(behind grip/by trigger).

The the chest strap runs around you, through a loop on the back of the holster.

Holster free floats on the chest strap, held up by shoulder strap.

When you go to draw, to keep holster from sliding left, you have to grip with the off side hand. 

Also while walking/working, it naturally drifts left, rotating the shoulder stap on your torso, sliding on chest strap, till under the left arm. (To where you cant grip the gun to draw without sliding it back to center chest with the off side hand.)

Because of shoulder strap placement/tension it can’t slide to the right.

Basically, the tension is backwards.

While hiking with it like this, every time I repositioned it (about every 150 yards!) I thought about strap direction and buckle placement, being pretty sure I could reverse it to the left shoulder, but still be left hand draw.

It actually was as simple as I thought. (Amazing)

I now have the shoulder strap run from top of holster(by hammer) over my LEFT shoulder, across back, under Right arm.

Now it gets different.. that bottom right end of the shoulder strap I connect to the end of the CHEST strap.

Chest strap goes Left, and Down through the loop on the back of the holster, then BACK to the Right, and around my back, to the Left bottom of the holster. 

So the pull to the left is now resisted by the tail of the shoulder strap, and the chest tension. If it slides, it will be down to the right. So even if it does move, it could go a ways before I couldn’t draw.

Muzzle end is also held by the chest strap. And because the chest strap and shoulder straps tension each other, once set, it can’t really drift very far either way.

So far as I can tell anyway. Will walk a couple miles with it and see.

Still needs work, but it’s better!


It even ended up with the tension right so the lower end of the shoulder strap is lower away from my arm and arm pit, more comfortable and crowds my arm less when moving. On the other side it tended to pinch and pull at my underarm. 

The only problems I see, are if it does move around, the gun/holster is semi fixed in line with it all, and it tensions through one end of it… As it moves one strap will tighten as the other loosens. So it’s going to chinch/tighten around me in one place or the other, and be crushing… 

And there is the other problem. With this set so it works, the chest strap is pretty tight… and rather crushingly uncomfortable already. 

I know I should be able to set this up so the weight and tension is all on the shoulder strap, and the chest strap can just center/position the gun on me and hold it semi loosesly..

What I’d like to try is;
The chest strap run from muzzle end of the holster, or the loop on the back, but a fixed atachment, not slidding, and around to the lower left corner of the holster as I gave it now. And the shoulder strap as I have it now for top of holster run over my left shoulder. 

But then attached to the center back of the chest strap.

Either floating or fixed at that joint. I think fixed would get the effect I want.

Will have to play with it some more, and see… need to find the 2 or 3 Big safety pins I have so I can pin this up how I want it before I cut/sew/ add/modify anything.

But as it is, it’s a lot better!

Pics to follow in another post if I can find someone to take them while I’m wearing it..

Categories: Alaska-Life, ATVing, Backcountry, Customized, EDC, Field gear, Fishing, GetOutdoors, Guns, Holsters, Modifications, New Gear, Outdoors, Theory/Thoughts

Auxiliary truck lighting and 110V wiring. 

I now have a 110V cord hard wired, or permanently mounted anyway, in my truck. Run from under the center of the dash in the cab, out the firewall, and ending in the drivers side inner fender. Should come in handy for any 110V current tools I might want to run off of my power inverter. 


I’ve actually wanted to wire a setup like this in both the front and back of the truck for a while, just never got around to it.

So, Why now? your asking…

Weeeeelllll….

What do you get if I’m bored, not feeling the season, wanting to do something festive, and just plain silly fun, and have a brand new 20′ spare set of Christmas lights just laying around?

😀  ðŸ˜‰ 

Cut up a couple old cords, one from a dead fan, the other from a dead string of lights, to make a small extension cord. Cord ends wouldn’t fit through the hole in the fire wall, and I needed a custom length anyway, so I put it through, then installed the 2nd end, thus my now permanent cord.


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Dug out the old power inverter I cary in the truck;

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Lots of zip ties;

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And voila!

😀 


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Yes, I know I’m a total redneck… And that I’ll Never live this one down. But its just so freaking cool to drive around! 

One guy that passed me on the 4 lane, as he went by me slowly, his passenger suddenly did a double take as they came up even with my front fender… The guy just about Garfielded himself on the window! Just so hillarious! 

That reaction alone was worth it if no one else noticed… And a lot of other people noticed. Got lots of smiles out of people on our quick trip to town last night. 

If nothing else I “lightened” up a few folks evenings, hopefully for the better… Definitely got me feeling a lot better

Next year I’m thinking I’ll hang a wreath in the middle of the grill, and light it, and run the other lights on out down the full bed length.  ðŸ˜€

Merry Christmas everybody.  ðŸ™‚

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Automotive Work, Christmas, Custom, Customized, Decorating, Fabrication, Funny, GetOutdoors, Good Times, Just Plain Fun, MacGyver, MacGyverism, mechanical, Modifications, Sillly, Silly, truck, Truck gear, Winter

For warm dry knees! 

Got a new item recently. Well, 3 items actually. 

After my moose hunting trip this fall, a sleeping pad I’d borrowed to take was misplaced. Wasn’t in my gear, and when the boat was unpacked, it wasn’t found. We figured it blew out of the boat on the long drive back, and hoped someone found it on that winding mountain road– If I lose something, I at least hope someone gets some use fromy it, that it’s not wasted.

And I’d just obviously get a new one for the guy I borrowed it from. 

I did go buy a new one. 
Couple weeks went by before I got to take stuff back to him. 

In that time, my buddy cleaned Everything out of the boat. 

He found the padd, said literally it was stuffed so far up under the front deck a hurricane wouldn’t have budged it! 

None the worse for wear, I returned that pad to my friend, intending to return the new one, get my much needed $45 back. I did think about trying to still give my friend the new one, but he wouldn’t have accepted it if the old one wasn’t lost.. 

After using the first padd in an emergency, sleeping on it on Cold front deck on the boat on the river one night, I was sold on it, figured I’d get myself one like it before next season. 

Just didn’t really want to spend the money now… Didn’t get around to trying to return it till after the return period had ended. Oops.

In that time period I’d been also looking at small foam pads, after seeing someone at BCUSA carrying a sitting pad in their day bag. Found something I never knew anyone made; kneeling pads! Some for camping, some for gardening, work etc. 

My dad used to cut sections from the old 1/4″ closed cell foam sleep pads for kneeling to work, but I’d never seen anything sold for that. 

I’d started carrying chunks of cardboard in my truck box for roadside, job site etc kneeling, sitting, laying etc on cold or wet ground. Realized I should have had a foam one like dad used to make in the truck years ago, just never thought of it! 


You can see where this is headed, right? 

Since I have it, but don’t need the padd for sleeping till next summer, and can pick up another one then if I need it (I actually use a Klymit V-luxe air pad the most); In the mean time I can save myself the cost of keeler pads. 

I’d also found another great use for that pad on the hunting trip, as a chair pad. Took my folding canvas camp chair along, and it was great. But as id found before, sitting too long in one of those in cool wet weather, especially with a breeze can freeze your back and butt; its just cold canvas your sitting on, stays cool and bleeds heat fast.. I laid the pad in the chair and with a light sleeping bag over my legs was very comfy for early and late river vigils waiting for bulwinkle. :)

I did this last week a few days before ice fishing… I use the same chair for that activity, and sitting in that chair even with winter gear on can royally freeze your ass in a wind on a lake @ 10F or colder… 

So 30 seconds laying the new one in a chair to measure length needed for seat and back, then another 30 seconds with a pocket knife, cutting along the thin fold line. One chair pad made! 

Then what was left I cut into two equal sections, also cutting on the folds. Go two kneeling/sitting pads, one for my hunting/camping/hiking gear, and one for the truck. 

It was so warm last week for ice fishing I didn’t bother to take the big chair pad along, just took a small one. Never needed it, it was so warm, and the fishing was so good I spent a lot of time standing anyway. 

Anyway, it was still in the cab of my truck last night, got home late, 40F out (!) light wind, clear sky, stars out and Lots of northern lights. 

I killed the yard lights, grabbed the pad and sat on the tailgate of my truck to watch the show. 40F ambient is great, but a metal tailgate will still be 0F or colder after a week if that and freeze yer ass off! But with the pad I was dry and toasty. Size was good too, enough to sit on comfortably, but not huge to store. 

Gonna need two more pads now… One to keep as a sleep pad, and another to make more kneelers, for other uses/places/vehicles. 

It is/was a Therm-a-rest Z-Lite pad BTW. 

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Thermarest does make a sitting pad, shorter than the sleep pads, and cheaper at $15. Same design, same materials. It would have been too small for the chair pad I wanted, but I might get a couple of those for making more kneelers. Think I can get two of this size kneeler from one of those. 2 for about $15 ain’t bad!

As it is now, two sit/kneel pads and a chair pad that could be used as a short sleep pad isn’t bad at all for $45! 🙂 

Categories: Backcountry, Camping gear, Custom, Customized, Field gear, GetOutdoors, Ice Fishing, Modifications, New Gear, Outdoors, Preparedness, Truck gear

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