Modifications

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;

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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 | 1 Comment

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 | Leave a comment

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/

2018-08-18 23.18.26.jpg

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 | Leave a comment

Tool box refurbishment 1.0

Slight diversion from a week or two ago. Old Craftsman tool box I had, Dad bought it for me eons ago. Hadn’t really used it since the early 2000s, it was oil, grease, grime and who knows what soaked inside and out.
Forgot to take before pics. Paint was lifting off in some places and pitch/dirt/mold/grime covered and faded in others.
Bought a wire wheel for the angle grinder and went at it. Have been using up some 4 or 5 year old spray paint a buddy gave me a while back, picked a color and went at it.
Not sure why I didn’t do it in red and white to match my truck…. Just felt like blue I guess. Lol.
Not sure I really have any use for it now, but at least it’s clean and a solid finish now.
As you can see in close ups I didn’t have it as smooth over the old paint that I left as I thought I did… And the ancient paint didn’t flow/self level like it should have either, didn’t coat the rough areas as it should/could have. Good enough though, who looks that close anyway? 😉

Categories: Automotive Work, Customized, Damages, Modifications, Repairs, Sentimental, Shop Tools, Tool Boxes, Wrenching

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

Useless tool cart into useful tool box!

Killing time last night, and sorting things in the shop, while looking for something, I came across a tool box I never use.
I got this thing in early 2011. The guy I was working for then had the Big Stanley FatMax rolling tiered tool box and it worked great. I figured I’d try the smaller version.


Great concept, but it never worked for me. The way the lower opening was accessed, the angled opening and top to the area, you couldn’t use all of the space and close it. And nothing I ever wanted to put in it would fit.

Then anything I did put in the bottom wasn’t heavy enough; The balance point wasn’t over the wheels, but behind them, so getting many tools in the top meant it would fall over backwards all the time unless it was on a dead flat and smooth surface(I defy you to find one of those on a construction site!)
It would have been so much more useful to just make the top area 2″ wider front to back and eliminate the angled door area. Even a fully vertical door wouldn’t limit access or space usage this much!
So I modified it into something I can use. I’d have probably never though of this if I hadn’t already modified something else earlier in the evening, in the same way. (More on that in a later post!)
I took an angle grinder with a cut off wheel on it, and cut the top off making a regular hand tool box. File and knife to trim up the melted/jagged plastic and voila;


I started to take the folding top handle off, but it was going to leave too many holes in the lid. As it is with it on there it’s not exactly water tight, but it’s better than it would be.


Figured it’d be too off balance to use that handle, but I threw some tools in it and tried it; Works good! Not sure why I’d ever need it over the regular handle, but it doesn’t hurt anything to leave it.
Looked around some and found the tray that came in it too.


Now, as for the bottom half… I’m not sure yet. But without the top on it crowding andlimiting the space, it’s actually rather roomy. Think I’ll pitch the sliding door, since it’s latch is molded to the top box I took off and it still limits usable space.


I’m thinking it might make a nice light weight hand truck/cart sort of thing for the yard if I put a new handle on it, and maybe open it up and mount a milk crate.. Dunno yet exactly.

Categories: Customized, Modifications, Re-purpose, Recycle, Repurpose, Tool Boxes, tool mods

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!

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

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

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