Preparedness

Introducing, The Grangler.

 A couple months ago, soon after my shiny new 3D printer arrived, (yes, yes, need to post about that in details, I know…) with new flashlights, and playing around with carry concepts, I’d found I needed another Prangler. its been my favorite EVER for keychain carry, I have it at 11oclock on a belt loop all the time. Always secure, never a problem, I’ve never lost it off of me, but its the fastest easiest access.

Decided I wanted that for my flashlight, which has for years been caribinered to a belt loop at 9oclock.(southpaw!)
Yes, I’ve played with different carabiners and clips before. Just before this I had gone out and found THE perect caribiner, and also, had splurged for one new Prangler.(looks like that post about caribiners missed being Here… Will try to get it uploaded!)

Whats new now, was I found I needed about 3 more of them. 1 on keys, and one to swap around on 4 or 5 flashlights is a PITA.
But I’m unimployed for the year, and funds are short for Titanium trinkets… For a while now I was going to ask Eng1nerd Designs if he minded If I just made myself another Prangler, maybe in brass or copper. But I couldn’t do it, felt too cheeky.

((ANyone interested in a titanium Prangler, let me know in the comments and I’ll get you in touch with Zach, AKA Eng1nerd 🙂 ))

Also recently, winter had finally caught up to us, and I re-discover another issue, that I’ve had with ‘biners, and now the Prangler; its 0F to 10F out and I’m wearing heavy gloves. I CAN opperate a biner with them, but its annoying. I do the prangler for my keys pretty well, because most places I need them, I can’t get the key I want, or unlock a door with the gloves on.. So gloves off for them is fine.

But for the lights, I’d like to stay gloves on if I can.

Also something else I’ve thought about, is I have NEVER used the Pry feature on the Prangler. Actually thought about grinding the tip off the 2nd one I had just got.

So, you might see where this is heading…

I took what I liked and needed, in basic form from the prangler, added, subtracted, and designed my own belt loop dangler. 

:D

Enter, the Grangler.
G(rippy D)angler.

First was to sit down and copy the Prangler.
and do a test print on my geometry, I wanted the same slot/loop hole size and shape, it works so perfect on the Pranglers.

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Then, add and subtract what I need and don’t.
Rounded off the top end, no more pry bar.
Removed the mid and upper holes, since I’ve never hung anything from them, to me it gets too messy/bulky and rats nests too much.

Then, added a wide grip area to that side.
And realizing the holes if nothing else provide grip texture, put them back, but in 1/4″ hex holes.
No I don’t intend to ever use them as a driver, after all its in 3mm plastic… But in a pinch its possible. I just wanted traction.

Voila!

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As I went the thickness progressed, from the same as the Pranglers, up a bit, then a little more. The thickest one I have is about 4mm(3.81mm or 0.150″), and I used two different “fill” patterns for strengths… can’t tell any difference, they’re all about the same strength. The narrow side bar on them all is springy side to side(width of the bar), and a little more top to bottom(ie with the thickness) which is still fine. I can pull on both bars as hard as I can sideways(direction it would pull if I snag what ever I have on it) with just the finger grip I can get, I can’t break the sucker off!

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The outcome is perfect! The grip is great, even with gloves, they hang just like the Prangler, safe and secure, but easy on and easy off, AND with the gloves on its no hitch whatsoever!! I had been a little worried about the PLA in the cold, but several weeks now of constant use between 30F and -40F, and you figure the only heat these get is anything radiating off my hip… not a lot lol, it never seemed brittle, or anyway I didn’t notice if it was, didn’t seem to bother it at all.

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So far I have about a dozen of them on various flashlights, knives, and tools. In 4 different matterials, and almost a dozen colors. PLA and wood fiber PLA, PETG, all work fine. The translucent white ones up above are even Glow In The Dark!

Categories: Adventure Metal Works, custom-made-tools, Customized, Danglers/carabiners, Design, EDC, Engineering & Design, Fabrication, key-chains, New Gear, New Products, OpenSCAD, PETG, PLA, Plastic Parts, Preparedness, Prototypes | 2 Comments

Slip cases for batteries.(3D printed)

Anyone need some slip top battery carriers? 

I did. 

Well, kinda… This was a drift of another project I did in the last few days, a small cartridge box. Realized the same design could be made to hold just about any cylendrical item… like a battery. SO I remodeled from the ground up to give me a fully parameter-izable model. Now I just plug in numbers and I get different sized cases. 

I Have wanted a safe way to carry a spare 18650 for a while(not that I HAVE a spare but thats besides the point… I have ended up with a loose cell some days and its annoying. )

Anyway. 

battery cases! 

I did 3 basic designs for me, a 4xAA box, a 3xAAA box(headlamps anyone?) and a 2×18650 box(somehow, not shown… hrrm.).  Need to go back and do something for 2 or 3 16340 or CR123, just in case I ever need it. OR wait till I need it… lol. That was the concept to an easy to use pre modeled file.. Print as I need things instead of 2 days of modeling every time. 

These are printed in PETG, a little stronger than the other plastic I have(PLA), with a good heat resistance, and a bonus of being resistant to most chemicals, and waterproof(most soda and water bottles are PET or PETG).

To be geeky; they are printed from a 0.4mm nozzle at a whopping 0.8mm line width(everything says not to go over 150% of nozzle width, which would be 0,6mm… I haven’t had a single issue with 0.8mm. Tempted to try a full 1mm.) in vase mode(Spiralized outer contour in Cura) at 0.25mm layer height, 235C nozzle, 70C bed temps. Filament is Sunlu 1.75mm PETG. All from a Elegoo Neptune 2S.

I’m trying not to totally 3D geek out in these printing posts, but will tell you a little about the mechanics, and the trick I found, for getting these to print in a different style.Normally these would take about 1.5 hours to print top and bottom, and use about a dollars worth of plastic. IN “Vase Mode” they print in 1/3 of that time, and use half the plastic, or less. The thing is, that Vase mode, normally only prints the outermost surface of an item as one continuous line. It compketely ignores the insides no matter what it is, and can’t print any horizontal surfaces beyont to base/bottom. Thanks to a guy on YouTube, I now have a trick. You slightly change the structure, by slitting into the side of the object, connecting the inner and outer surfaces, in essence tricking the software so it prints both. No top surface, and Slight loss of structural integrity(although the clearances could be tightened so that the lines touch and fuse at the ends! ) but for most things the difference is negligable…. UNless its something you plan to run over with a tank… then this might not be a good approach. 😉

Anyone interested in the print files,both STL and the fully parametarized OpenSCAD file to create different boxes, I have it uploaded to my account at printables.   A big bonus, this will make cartridge boxes, just need dimensions of the cartridge in question!

https://www.printables.com/model/358094-parametric-vase-mode-battery-casesopenscad

Categories: 3D Printing, Batteries, CAD, Cura, Custom, custom-made-tools, Day Bag, EDC, Electronics/Media, Fabrication, New Gear, OpenSCAD, PETG, Plastic Parts, Preparedness, Slicing, Vase Mode | Leave a comment

Curly Ferro Rod Handle. OKC22

This months OKC22 challenge is collecting and lighting 5 natural tinders with ferro rod.
I cant stand ferro rods, and dont use them. I find real flint and steel faster and easier! 

As far as I knew,  I didn’t own one, other than the blast match style ine a friend gave me, thats in my ATV hunting gear… cant strike that with the knife.


Then I remembered this little guy I made, a 3/16″ rod set in a muley deer tine with a scraper years ago..

Figured I’d try that, but its a short shower of sparks, and hard to use with a bigger knife..


 Then, I happened  onto pics I had of a bigger ferro rod I’d forgotten. If I still had it. Found it quite by accident after giving up, looking for something else lol.
Was getting ready to remove the handle and replace with something better,  when I got deja vu…

Went and dug around and found the one I started to do that to like 4 years ago… Went ahead and did that one instead.

One of my peeves with these things is the ever epic short grip. So I grabbed a block of curly maple(close enough to the curly oak on the knife) , drew out a design and put a nice sized grip on it.

Wanted as much rod length exposed as possible,  found it a super tight fit in 9/32″ brass tube(hammered  in, it is NOT coming out).   Fit 1/4″ into the tube, then 2″ of the tube set in the wood handle.  Extended the rod reach, and in theory when its used up(if ever) I can remove the stub, add a new rod to the handle.

Could have cut/carved/sanded, but I went and put it in the metal lathe.

Siting here with a first coat of wipe on poly drying. 🙂

Categories: Bushcraft, Custom, Customized, Field gear, Fire Starters, OKC22, Preparedness, Woodwork

Snack knife to Hunting knife.

Little post a few days ago mentioned getting this knife back into my travel kit.
Good thing I did!
Its actually not been in the truck, but in my lunch/snack box. One day a little while ago, transfering gear to a friends truck to go shooting(target) I grabbed the snack box for a light lunch.

That meant that later I had a sharp single blade thats easier to clean than the twin blade I was pocket carying, when an impromptu bunny hunt came up..

:D

Little fur ball kept getting curious about the sound or something and running out into the range (gravel pit) we were using.

He knew I’ve been wanting to rabbit hunt a while, so my buddy said go for it if I wanted. 3rd appearance of the critter, 2nd active stalk I managed to connect before he completely disappeared again.

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Great knife for the task, thin point was easy to control, handle comfortable, good reach, and laser sharp.

Guy that was with me gave a couple ideas and left me to it, so I just basically taught myself to clean/skin a rabbit. He said I did great especially when he found out I’d never cleaned anything but fish before!

:D

Was too hot and tired that night to do the grilling we’d planned, but roast bunny is on the menu soon. Will take pics!

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Case Knives, Cowboy, EDC, EDC/MT use, Field gear, Food, GetOutdoors, Good Friends, Good Times, Hunting, knives, Outdoors, Pocket knives, Preparedness, Summertime, Traditional, Truck EDC, Truck gear, Wildlife

Magnetic USB Charge Cords.

I first saw these last winter sometime, I think around November.

Took me till January to decide “why not?” and try it.

A little background;

I use my phone as my only internet device at home, and e-book reader too. Holding it is fine, but invariably after a while, you end up resting the end of the phone on a surface. The end with the charge port. That about half the day (or longer on a 5 year old device on its 4th battery) has a cord plugged into it… You bend the cord over. A lot. Too much.

Aftera while it breaks the thin wires in the cord.

I was going through about 1 good flexy braided cord every 2 months.

So, I figured a 90deg ended cord was a good idea. But most had the 90deg end aiming the cord left… which meant for the 3 places where I sit(or lay) the most, the cord would still make a bend or loop, 180 deg, to get to where it needs to goe. Not only does that eat up cord length, but its another place that can wear out.

Then I saw these. 90deg. End. 360deg rotation. Fast “plug in” (get the phone within 6″ of the cord end and it jumps to the phone! Great for one handed while driving!!), braided cord cover. LED that shows it has power.

I got a 3 pack. 3 cords, 3 micro usb ends.

And there is the other great feature; You can get Micro usb, Lightning, Usb C tips that go into the phone– and they snap in, staying put.

And use just 1 cord for any and all devices!

Recently with my new phone, I needed a USB C end. Ordered 1 more cord and that tip, which are whats shown here. My other 3 cords are bright red.

Now, I did end up damaging the end on the one cord I use the most, to charge you now have to press the cord into its magnetic tip slightly. Loosened a wire. But it took 3 months to do it!

The set of 3cords (3ft. Each) w/ tips was $16. The single set was $8.

$5 to $8 every 3 months IF I ruin them is plenty cheap enough. Much better than monthly as before!

My only real gripe, and its a minor one, is the LED indicator end. In a dark room, you can read by it! Hell, it does a passable job as a night light in a dark (15’x15′) room! Its just a little annoying as a bed side charge/reading cord.

I’m keeping one cord in the truck, one in the den, and one at the bedside. And currently I use them for 4 devices! An old phone thats media and gps in the truck, another old phone that’s media and internet at home, a tablet, and my EDC phone.

I’m intending to get more of the inserts/tips to do 3 or 4 other items, like Bluetooth speakers, and headphones, etc.

Categories: Cellular Accessories, Damages, EDC, Electronics/Media, New Gear, Preparedness, Reviews

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

Gloving around again.

Part two, or, darn those gloves! 😉

Parg one was here;

https://ak-adventurer.net/2019/10/13/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.

*snip*

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.

*snip*

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.

So, thus, onto the finish!

One more finger tip done;

And a thumb;

Not perfect by any means, but I think they’ll last a while again. A bonus, I’m getting better, and faster at the sewing!

I switched to a skin needle– its a cutting needle, a triangular cross section and sharp edges. Goes through the glove leather easier.

I also changed to a smaller, but stronger thread, that’s easier to sew with.

What I had before is a heavy waxed braided cotton that’s sold for leather work.

What I changed to is a braided synthetic fishing line. Designed for ice fishing, it has a high abrasion resistance, and is s 20# test. It looks likd a super fine and weak thread, but is some tough stuff! Should last a while anyway.

So there we have it. probably an hours work that took me a couple weeks.

They’re not perfect. One finger got shorter because I over trimmed. One got longer from over compensation for the previous over trimming. The last thumb I did stayed in length but got narrower/tighter,

Hahaha, Just can’t win, eh? 😉

but I have my gloves back!

Categories: Clothes, Cowboy, Damages, Field gear, GetOutdoors, Gloves, Leather, Modifications, Preparedness, Repairs, Sewing, Soft Goods

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

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