New Gear

Custom ice fishing bucket seat.

When out last Saturday I wanted to travel lighter, leave my folding chair and fish cooler behind, go with a bucket seat. But there was no way in hell I was going shopping on black Friday!

Some old foam, a chunk of naugahide, and some scrap lumber in the shop, couple hours and I made me a hinged, padded, bucket seat, that doubles as a fish carrier.

It works! 😉

Only downside I’ve found is no backrest for 4 hours sucks 😉 and it sliddes a little on the ice. Second trip out with it yesterday and I put it in a milk crate, for traction. Works good, adds some stability and places to hang things.

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Categories: Custom, custom-made-tools, Fabrication, Field gear, Fishing, GetOutdoors, Ice Fishing, Improviser, Modifications, New Gear, Re-purpose, Repurpose | 3 Comments

Ice fishing report, November 24th, 2018

Got out to Birch Lake the first time this season last Saturday, I didn’t get anything but a buddy and his kids did great. I didn’t care I got skunked, I got all the fun I needed watching those kids(7 and 9)catch their first cold fish (and I think first fish ever)!!

Most of those are rainbow trout, a couple small silver salmon. They could have limited out, but put a lot of little ones back.

I had Something about twice that size on the line once, as did my buddy… Bugger got off just shy of the ice both times, stayed just long enough for us to see him each time! Bloody teaser!

Getting ready to hit another favorite spot this coming Saturday. About 13″ of ice according to F&G ice reports, up from the 8″ last week. Usually a lot more by this time of year but we’ve had the mildest fall/winter so far that I can remember in 25 years..

He got a new auger, one of those gear boxed suckers that goes on a cordless drill (works phenomenally! ).

They wanted to give me something as a thanks for helping out with some stuff last month, so they gave me his gas auger. Absolutely floored me!

8″auger, 43cc motor, Eskimo, came with an extension bar too.

I’ve been ice fishing 3 or 4 years now and have Never had an auger, even a hand one or even a ice chisel! Always go with someone that has gear, or use a hole already open that someone’s vacated, ask a favor of someone to drill me one etc.

Big game changer for me, really opens up where and when I can go now!

Sizing up to be a good season. Got a couple gear mods to make posts for soon, and some other new gear too.

Should be back with another trip report in a couple days, hopefully with at least one fish of my own this time!

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Backcountry, Field gear, Fishing, GetOutdoors, Good Friends, Good Times, Ice Fishing, New Gear, Outdoors, Winter | 1 Comment

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

Selective hearing protection? Alpine MotoSafe ear plugs, part 1.

One more new item, that came in yesterday, arrived all the way from the Netherlands. (Couldn’t find a stateside dealer that had the model I wanted, so I ordered direct from the manufacturer. Could actually only find two dealers in the USA anyway! )
As part of my healthy hearing concept, along with adding the face shield onto my motorcycle helmet, I started looking for better, more active hearing protection.
The problem with foam ear plugs is the constant outward pressure they use to seal, it’s uncomfortable and makes my ears sore after a days commute both always.
But I didn’t want to jump in and invest in the full custom molded ear plugs.
And both styles tend to be full sound suppression, so you end up sealed off from your surroundings, with all sound deadened. There are rubber plugs that only filter out harmful sound, leaving conversation or traffic hearable, but I’ve never found rubber plugs that seal worth a damn, or that aren’t like the foam, and too tight. (For instance ear buds tend to drive me nuts and make my ears sore).
Anything that has custom molding and also let’s through lower conversation type sound frequencies are really spendy.
Then I found a half way product;

https://www.alpinehearingprotection.com/product-category/motorcycle/

They are a sound filter, supposedly they cut the frequency of wind noise, but allow traffic and conversation sounds through. Also, the rubber tips are semi-custom forming, in a thermo form rubber; Every time you insert them, your body heat softens them and they custom fit to your ear canal, sealing without outward pressure.

I figured why not, if they work then great, if not, then I’m only out around $20… A risk that I thought was worth it.
They have several variations for different activities, and two specifically for motorcycle riding. A “Tour” version, and a “Race” version that is a little stronger/higher decibel rated. I opted for the race version. At only a few decibels difference, I figured if they work as advertised to cut only wind noise, and leave other sounds, I still wanted as much protection as possible.
So far, in limited fit tests I find them a LOT more comfortable than foam plugs, and more than a lot of rubber plugs and ear buds I’ve had too. I won’t say they “disappear” to where I don’t know I’m wearing them, but I’ve only had them I for 5 to 10 minutes so far.
Have not gad a chance to ride with them yet.
Bug I can say that they let in conversation level sounds really well, and actually without loud sounds, seem like they do very little. But they did cut out the sound of my truck exhaust more than they cut out talking.. Not a lot more, but more.
I’m reserving and conclusions for after I test them with the noise they’re made for; wind.
They come with a little zipper pouch for carrying, and I sprung the few dollars for a hard key chain style carry case, and a safety cord that keeps them tethered together.

My only complaint so far is that the insertion tool they come with, a little plastic thing that’s supposed to grip the plug, and you use it as a handle to insert them, then turn them slightly in your ear to help them seal; It doesn’t snap onto the plugs, it’s far too big, and thus can’t be used… So I can’t really grip them to rotate them upon insertion.
Not sure how much, or if this effects how they seal/work. Will find out either way how they work though, as soon as I can.
Will let y’all know how it goes. 🙂
Categories: Adventures, ATV, ATVing, Field gear, Motorcycles, New Gear, Preparedness, Riding, Vehicles

Glasses!

N

ew gear!
A buddy gave me some cash for my birthday, and after a little deliberation, I went for getting myself something I’ve needed for a while now with part of if it.

Yup, I g

ot new sunglasses

!

You might recall that my good pair got broke while hunting last September.

Been wanting, but putting off new ones since then. But the last couple months as its gotten brighter and brighter coming out of winter, I’ve really needed some.

Also needed new clear safety glasses for work, and new shooting glasses…
So I killed 3 birds with one stone;
5 interchangeable lenses! Impact safety rated for work and shooting, 99.9% UVA and UVB blocking.
I figured I can only do one of the three activities/concepts at once, so a fast lense change every now and then wouldn’t hurt, could be the best way to go.

Turns out it really is a fast easy change too!

They’re not sold as polarized , but so far the copper and smoke lenses both cut glare like they are!
Came with keeper cord, a micro fiber bag for carrying one separate lens, a nifty 5 slot micro fibre/plush sleeve that separates the lenses, 5 lenses in smoke, copper, orange, yellow and clear, and a neoprene case for all of it.

To me that was a steal for $32 (local price; Online you can find them as low as $19.99, but before shipping. ) especially since it is 1/5 what replacing the last ones could cost IF I could find a pair (discontinued model).

It’s even cheaper than the last safety/sun glasses I had, a smoke black pair from 3M, they were $45. They lasted me about 4, naybe 5 years, and are still useable, but some of the marks on thd lenses are getting pretty annoying.

They’ve been backups in my truck for a while, but now in my bike bag, a last ditch pair.

Those by 3M are what I was going after to get again, when I found the Radians.

Anyway;

Here are the frames sans lenses, and then changed to the smoke from the copper shown above. Only takes maybe 45 seconds, a minute max to swap them.

Adjustable temple/earpiece lengths and soft bridgr pads, plus super light weight= really comfortable.

So far I’m using the smoke for general wear, and changing to the copper, which is a deep orange/amber with a pink tint, for riding the bike. After a few minute my eyes adjust and take out the pink tint, then the amber does like other brown/amber glasses I’ve had; Hightens contrast and boosts depth perception.

Only time will tell how the other colors will work but so far I’m really enjoying them.

Categories: EDC, Field gear, GetOutdoors, New Gear, Summertime, Sunglasses

New, cheap day packs.

I needed…

wanted…

uhhm…. yeah 😉

Lets say, saw a need for 😉 a couple light packs, to fill out gaps in capacity capabilities for day bags.

My main and favorite grab and go day bag for several years now has been a Black Diamond 16L pack. Its small, light, durrable, and can really be stuffed with day trip/hike essentials.

But it’s on the smaller side at times. Two years ago I acquired a 25L TNF (The North Face) Vault as an upgrade for those times.

It has the room I need on average, for day trips. But it has two problems; it has a stiff structured back panel that is a great idea, but horrendously uncomfortable.

And it’s bright red.

No matter what they say animals can and can’t see, I see little to no way of proving it… So I have a hard time taking bright colors on hunting trips.

On the other hand I find camo pointless, but thats another topic for another time. 🙂

So, I wanted another mid sized 25L to 35L pack for day hikes and day hunts, that wasn’t brightly colored.

And I also wanted a pack between that size, and the big 65L 3 day trip pack I have. An overnight day trip bag that wouldn’t be heavy or waste space. Mainly for my summer weight camping gear, where I don’t need the room for my 20° bag or many, if any extra clothes. Went with 45L.

I ended up with a claimed 35L that I’d say is around 20L maybe 25L actual capacity. And the other, claimed to be 45L, around 30L, 35L absolute max.

Not optimal. But then, for $10, and $15, shipped, respectively the small and large, I can’t complain much. 😉

It was worth the risk, and while not exactly what I needed, they’ll help out. I’ll just still need to find something in the 40L to 45L area for a summer time overnight trip bag.

For the smaller, I went with green, so I’m comfortable with it for hunting trips.

Draw closure top, with top flap. Pocket under flap.

And one ob the top of the flap;

Standard stretchy side pockets;

The outer sleeve pocket on the frontvis the same stretchy material.

Nice straps;

Grab handle leaves a little to be desired;

And, the nifty feature I liked, the inner pocket on the top flap is double zippered;

Turn the pocket insige out, roll the bag into it and zip;

Will make neatly packing it in my main hunting trip bag/dry bag much easier!

Overall it seems well built, and while light weight materials , also seems like it will be durable enough. Time will tell.

For the other, since it was planned as a non hunting hike pack, color didn’t matter much. So I went with something I liked, and something I’m garranteed to not lose when I set it down.

So sue me, I like purple. 🙂

It is 2 main compartments, small side mesh pockets, and a tiny zipped one on the front. And a bottom access area, that when fully opened/pressed out to capacity almost fills the whole main compartment! Bottom easy access for sleeping bag? Or ive seen the same made for shoes.. I’m sure ill find a use, but its a little odd in its size.

Chosen for it’s everal cord locked bungee attachment points, compression straps, and bottom straps that I liked the look of for hanging my tent on.

This one is heavier materials than the other, has a more solid feel to it.

I want to say it feels more solidly built as well, but that might be an illusion of the heavier materials. As I said above, only time will tell how they survive, but I’m thinking theyll be fine. 😉

Great wide padded straps;

Hip belt comes mid gut on me, like most do and is deathly short… I’ll probably cut it off. Nice adjustable/removable sternum strap though!

And I was pleasantly surprised by this;

First time I’ve ever seen a heavy dedicated carry handle on a backpack! And it still has the usual carry/hanging loop too.

Overall, I’m pleased for $25 total. Hell, I think I’d have been pleased with just the purple one for that much, or a little more. 🙂

Categories: Backpacks, Camping, Camping gear, Field gear, GetOutdoors, Hiking, Hunting, New Gear, Outdoors

Slingshot Ammo Pouch

I needed an ammo pouch. Saw a nice one, flat bottomed to sit up nice, on Jas Townsend for $6, but they get $10 for Alaska shipping. Nope.
And besides, if I make the slingshot, I should make the pouch too, right?
Digging around in the shop looking for one set of leather pieces I’d bought, and found some others I’d forgotten. Knew I had them but had forgotten how big they were… it’s thin split garment weight deer hide. The tan a bit heavier.
Went with the light tan for the pouch, the wine for a tie cord.
Wanted the round flat bottom for it to sit up nice. Had to figure out how to do that as I went.
Punched holes with an awl, and stitched round the bottom, then up the side seam.
Turned;
It sits!
Forgot to measure for thus first, lucked out and got it perfect, I cam just get a paw into it to dig stuff out. Only sizing I did was trace around a Min wax stain can plus 1/4″, then a height that looked nice..
Made a sliding knot for a cinch closure lock. Works good.
Categories: Custom, Fabrication, Field gear, Leather, New Gear, Sewing, Slingshots

An Axe Man’s Bucksaw Part 3

The entire build, in order, more or less; 🙂

I could go through everything I did here in long descriptions, and pictures, but it’s not really necessary, and probably not that interesting either. But here is a general run through. 🙂

  • Pick out a piece of 1″x8″ x 5′ oak
  • cut out the pattern
  • trace it on the wood
  • Jig saw one upright
  • Sand the contour
  • Trace #1 to get #2 the same
  • Cut, sand #2
  • Measure and mark for the mortises
  • Round the edges with a router
  • Cut pilot groove on blade end to guide cutting the blade slots
  • Locate blade mount holes, drill
  • Cut blade slots
  • Cut the mortise on #1
  • Rip the cross bar from the board
  • Square and measure it all for proper cross bar length vs blade length mounted (crucial for proper end angles when blade under tension, and good looks)
  • Cut and fit the tenon on #1 end
  • Cut #2 mortise and tenon
  • Test assemble
  • Find cord for windlass(I was out of 550! Finally found some heavy clothes line cord..)
  • Trim scrap to use as temporary windlass bar
  • Tighten it all up and do a test cut(worked!)
  • Cut thinning profile on cross bar
  • Sand cross bar, and route edges
  • Re-assemble
  • Discover binding in tenon joints, trim
  • Re-trim/fine tune joints
  • Assemble and do a test cut again
  • Find that I over trimmed the joints, it will now start to slip from a H to a parallelogram-ed H under tension. (Rounded the wrong corners too much; you need the Top corners of the bar end and tenon tips rounded for slip, but the bottom corners left square for rigid support, so the can only pivot in at the top, but not out at the top!)
  • Discover that if it slips, the windlass slips down the bars, loses tension and it falls apart.
  • Discover, by clamping the cord in place under tension, that, thankfully, If the windlass doesn’t slip down when it flexes out of H shape, it doesn’t collapse!
  • Locate for windlass cord supports
  • Cut pins from 1/4″ copper rod,
  • Drill and press fit copper as cord supports.
  • Re-assemble, tighten, test cut 7″ birch log.
  • Success! (With one about 1/8″ of flex at the joints out of square- good enough)
  • Decide the scrap your using as a windlass bar works great, no use to make another one
  • Trim, round, sand the windlass bar.
  • Disassemble, wood burn the saws name, and my product line name on the side.(not selling it, but figured, meh, why not? )
  • Also burn in witness marks to identify/match mortise and tenon joints in their matched pairs for proper future assembly.
  • 2 day break to get stain and oil finish.
  • Counterbore for recessed T nuts
  • Install T nuts, pin in place with tiny Brad nails
  • Install keeper ring on windlass bar
  • Turn down bolt heads, and threads to fit in wingnuts, making wing bolts.
  • Test the stain, find it won’t penetrate the oak dark enough, skip using it.

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Part 4 coming soo. 🙂

Categories: Adventure Metal Works, Backcountry, custom-made-tools, Field gear, New Gear, Outdoors, Saws, wood processing, Woods tools, Woodshop, Woodwork

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