Modifications

Porter Cable 18V to 20V battery adaptor.

Been about a month ago, I’m trying to get caught up on stuff I haven’t had time or energy to post.

Got an adaptor to run my lithium 20v max Porter Cable batteries on my 18v (lithium, not the older NiCad ) PC tools.

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All assembled with a 2Ah battery and its not any(or much) bulkier than the original 18v 6 Ah.


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This was my test to see if it works, and how the quality was…

The tools work flawlessly, no issues I could see in a 10 minute test anyway.


I do actually still have 4 working 18v batteries for these tools, 2 in 6Ah and 2 in 2Ah. Not bad after a decade of use.. But they’re getting tired, don’t hold up as long anymore. I could have them rebuilt rather cheaply, but I wanted to try this, its simpler and easier(probably still cheaper). This thing was $21. Its nice cast/molded plastic, well made.(I expected 3D printed to be honest… surprised me its not!) This one is actually a 3 in one, takes Stanley, Black+Decker, and Porter Cable 20v batteries. (all of which interchange on PC 20v tools anyway, or nearly so with small mods IIRC.)


Works so well, I’m going to go ahead, as I can, and get the ones needed to cross all, or almost all my tools. I’m running Kobalt and PC 20v for work, Kobalt and PC 18v in my garage, and Craftsman in my home wood shop… And they get interchanged a bit too. I have more Craftsman 20V batteries than any other, but Kobalt batteries are the cheapest to buy, so I’ll get those crossed to my PC and Craftstman tools.. Or maybe just get what I need to use Kobalt batteries on everything if needed, then only buy the Kobalt batteries unless the Craftsman are on sale(both Porter Cable lines are no longer made/available anywhere). Ill figure it out.. lol.

Got the sucker here BTW, for anyone interested.
https://www.ebay.com/str/xtools99

Categories: Automotive Work, Construction, Cordless Tools, Customized, Modifications, New Work Tools, old tools, Remodeling, Reviews

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

Schmachtenberg Bros. Sleeveboard cleanup.

Finally did something with the blades in this Schmachtenberg Bros. sleeveboard I got last summer.

Before;

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Squared the ragged end off the broken main, and rounded the back corner off so its not sharp to hold anymore.

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Sharpened the pen blade too, and dropped its tip so its below the liners. Could have left it a higher tip, and dropped the kick, but that would have made it impossible to open without cutting a relief in the scale/liner, and I didn’t want to do that on this one, wanted the frame shape left alone.

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Categories: Customized, EDC, Folder Tinkering, knives, Modifications, old tools, Pocket knives, Repairs, Vintage

Damascus and Copper Bear MGC Trapper, part 7!

This knife has a looong history of mods with me. I first got it in late 2005, or early 2006. I think in 2006.


It was the fist traditional pocket knife that I really carried a Lot and worked a Lot.  We started building our garage tgat summer and I remember the lighting fast cuts it made opening cement bags… A highly abrasive task that never seemed to phase it.

It is made by Bear MGC, Now Bear and Sons. Its a Damascus steel 4.125″ 2 blade trapper. It was built with brass liners, nickel silver bolsters, and thick swell center burnt stag bone handles.

Within a week I’d ground the stag down to smooth “normal” profile, and retoasted them a light caramel.

Within a couple years, I’d taken it apart to rehandle it in sonething else.

About 10 years later, I had gotten back to it after purchasing another like it that I did in moose stag.

At that pointvid picked out materials, etc along the way, knew what I wanted to do, had just never had the time or gumption to do it.

Finally in 2015, I decided what the heck, and did it.

The saga of that build can be seen here;

https://ak-adventurer.net/2015/12/02/slim-damascus-trapper-started/

https://ak-adventurer.net/2015/12/04/damascus-trapper-update-2/

https://ak-adventurer.net/2015/12/11/bear-damascus-trapper-part-3/

https://ak-adventurer.net/2015/12/11/bear-damascus-trapper-part-4/

https://ak-adventurer.net/2015/12/11/bear-damascus-trapper-part-5/

https://ak-adventurer.net/2015/12/13/bear-damascus-trapper-part-6/

I think I’ve carried it five times since I built it like that. Used less. When I did it, I left it Really thick toward the back, for a tapered fatter grip, which I thought I’d like.

It was OK to grip, but not great, and turned out horrendous to pocket.


The best couple pics at the end of the above posts, that show what I ended up not liking,  are these I think.



Aaaannnnddd… where I started this time;


I carefully sawed slots in the “pins”(corby bolts!), cranked them apart, and took the sucker apart. Thankfully I had a hatred for glueing knife scales on, so no trouble there.

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Cut and filed the uneven bolsters the same length(damn close)

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evened the scales lengths, made spacers for the gap, made/modified pins(bolts) to fit, thinned the scales out.

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Looks like I missed pics of cutting, stacking, and installing the fiber spacers. That was tedious but i got them a tight fit.

Before;

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During, attached together to match the profile, thicknesses easier, blue tape the super glue that together.

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After;

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Got into some porosity… semi super glue filled after I was done.

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Top bolt was the same as the lower when I started, had to lathe them so the shanks were longer. Half this hardware was in the knife when I took it apart. The other half was pirces Id screwed up the first time around that I had to mod/fix.

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Made a short brass spacer from a loveless bolt set even shorter for a corby bolt I had that wasn’t long enough to reach through the second liner… spacer is threaded so when its all cranked together its the same support and grip as the corby shaft being longer..

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Assembled and had actually sanded the scales too short from the spacers(freaking fine sanding to fit the angles) so I came up with a secret weapon, and filled the gaps.. color even works ok with these scales.

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We’ll see how durable it turns out to be.

Assembled and ground the corbys off, still no epoxy in it in case I want to have it apart again someday. (Not likely!!!)

Finish sanded and thinned it some more, hand sanded everything @220, and buffed lightly…

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Need a clean buffing wheel, will set that up and buff the bolsters to high gloss… someday. 😉

But for now, she’s done again! Its a lot cleaner of a build now, and friendlier in hand and pocket.



I like it a lot better!! Its a much better grip, still thicker than a single blade trapper would be, it feels like a slightly thick two blade folder, or a thin fixed blade. And it basically disappears in pocket too.

Maybe after about 15 years,  I might get to carry it again. 🙂


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(Wood filler is the thin tan lines between the bone scales and the first red spacer)

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Categories: Adventure Metal Works, copper, Custom, Customized, EDC, Fabrication, Folder Tinkering, knives, Modifications, Pocket knives, Repairs, Sentimental

About that Muskrat.

Yeah, backup blades of the same type aren’t my thing. I’m more for multiple blades in different styles, for different tasks.
I can see how it would be, as these were originally meant as a skinning blade. Use it till dull, swap blades and keep going without having to change your way of doing things to compensate for a different blade. But I don’t do that kind of repetitive work that warrants a direct replacement blade.
So, yeah.

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Ended up with a nice lambsfoot profile. And just about the same length of edge as is on the sheepsfoot in the stockman.

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Usually I do the back or pile side blade for this, but the curve of the frame leaves more access to the nail nick on the front/mark side blade, than if does the other. So I did the front. The main blade used will be the straight edge anyway… Might as well make it the mark side blade, usually considered the “main” blade side.

Slight swedging and blend of spine edges.

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Might touch the “peak” on the spine a bit to straighten the overall look of the blade. Then again I might forget. It doesn’t really need it.

Categories: Case Knives, Cowboy, Customized, EDC, Field gear, Grail Item, knives, Life-Philosophy, Modifications, Pocket knives, Re-purpose, Theory/Thoughts, tool mods, Traditional

Do I? Or Don’t I?

“What?” you ask?

Why, Bob the 2nd blade on my new mini Muskrat into a wharnie/sheepsfoot/lambs foot profile, of course!

With the big muskrat I did.

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With the blade I’d want in it if I could build one(no, can’t, I’m not that good).

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So the issues are I’ll either end up with a long pointy wharnie, or sheepsfoot, because the nail knicks are so far forward on these blades…

Unless I crop it into the knick (not ideal) or behind the knick… better but then I’d have to cut a new knick… something I suck at. Been there fraked that up before. Several times…

But I’d really like the shorter stiffer profile blade.

Then again there is the argument tp leave it alone altogether since right now i carry and use the CRKT minimalist all the time anyway. Thats the blade I’d gain by the mod.

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But what do I need two long clip points for, too?

Soooo….

any input?

Ideas?

Categories: Case Knives, Custom, Customized, EDC, knives, Modifications, No-pain-no-gain, Pocket knives, Theory/Thoughts

A Sunday EDC, after 5 years.

Was looking through some old pics of mine, and realized that May of 2015 and 2020 are identical for dates/day of week.

The 17th was a Sunday in both years.
So, Sunday carry Exactly 5 years apart;

’15;

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This would be one of my last pocket dumps with the flip phone, since within the month, and as I recall not long after my birthday, I went and got the Galaxy S5.

Also one of my last photos taken with a “real” camera, not a phone.

Looks like no watch since I think I had converted that pocket watch to a pill case by then, but maybe not. Nook as E-Bible.

No ring since that fall is when I made my moonglow and acrylic rings.

Didn’t start carrying hanks till the next year I think, or at least winter of 15/16.

IIRC I hadn’t started consistent Sunday CCW then.

Before I started color coordinating.

’20;

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This one is a bit odd, since this last year I had started a distinctively lighter/minimal carry for Sundays… Which this isn’t. Its kinda 1/2 and half.

This sunday was the first church since Convid19/pandemic/shutdown. (Alaska is now on “reopen” orders, with gatherings, events etc allowed again.) I couldnt find my go to church bible, so used my phone. Phone is now an S8 as of this month so these pics skip the S5 entirely, even though it lasted almost the entire 5 years.

No notebook or pen since I stopped them a couple months ago. Haven’t worn my dog tags for a while either since weekdays I have the neck knife.

Metal ring I made before or ironically in 2015(from an AK quarter), since I have recently broke the acrylics.

New watch, and a general blue theme which matched my wardrobe for the day, blue denim, T and Hawaii-ish/islands shirt.

Haven’t used the buffalo money clip for about a year, although I still have it. Got these light weight card case wallets especially for light church carry, and they became every day use.

Same style of knife, traditional. One a stockman, one a muskrat which is a stockman frame.

Same exact flashlight, and the multitool too!

Categories: Alaska-Life, Daily-cary-log, EDC, EDC/MT use, Flashlights, Good Times, Journal, Just Plain Fun, Life-Philosophy, Modifications, Pocket knives, Sentimental, Summertime, Theory/Thoughts

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

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