Recycle

The W Box.

An older project. I started this in the summer of 2018, for a friend’s birthday. His name starts with a W, thus our title above. 🙂

He does electronics work, so when I found this old amp meter, in DC milliamperes, in some stuff that had been my Dads, it seemed perfect for a gift.

But i couldn’t just give a bare gauge…

Ok, I could have, but where’s the fun in that? 😉

I missed the birthday.

And Christmas.

Managed to get it done and give it in the spring of 2019. Ha!

But anyway, here it is. Only the 3rd box I’ve ever built in my life. (So don’t judge me too harsly!)

Its white oak, and curly maple. It was entertaining to get it how I wanted it, rabbeted construction, a place to store the leads (plugs and leads stolen from an old multi meter I took apart), but still compact. Engineered and re-engineered seveeal times, but I got it!

I don’t really have all of the pics I could, no step by step.And no steps of progress like I’d like… Hust a mishmash of what I managed to take, and the final product.

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Categories: Christmas, Custom, Customized, Electronics/Media, Fabrication, Good Friends, Just Plain Fun, MacGyver, Modifications, old tools, Recycle, Scrounging, Sentimental, Woodshop, Woodwork | 1 Comment

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.

Since I was welding that day, it meant finger burns (yes we had dedicated welding gloves, but generally I don’t bother with them, they’re a heavy leather gauntlet that allows no dexterity at all.)

My jobsite fix that day was a quick wrap (double layer glue to glue on the holes so it didn’t stick to me!) of gorilla tape over the finger tips.
I gotta say I’m impressed, after a month of work, and you have to remember I’ve been working in a crawl space most of the time so its not just work wear, but crawling wear too, that tape was scuffed and a bit softer, but still stuck, solid, holeless… I HATE duct tape with a passion because it never stays on anything even duct work, but this stuff was great!
But anyway, 3 more holes later and I grabbed a new pair of gloves. I have no idea what the old ones cost, they were a gift, the second pair out of a two pack a friend got. And I can’t shop where they came from(costco) so a direct replacement is impossible.
But the replacement I got at Home Depot was $25 a pair.
I’m sure the Costco ones probably cost less than that, and about 6 months on a pair before they wear out isn’t bad for good quality, real leather, all leather gloves.
But at prices like that I’d still like to prolong their life if possible. And besides, 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.
So, thus, I sat down with some scrap leather, needle and thread, and have been slowly fixing them in my spare time the last few days.
This has worked well so far, a couple seams resewn, and one finger tip I cut out the holed area and patched. Some of it I’ve just whip stiched on the outside, some thing I’ve turned them inside out to have the seams on the inside like original.
It has ironically been kinda hard on my hands. For a while now any hand sewing I do, or similar work that takes a good grip on small tools, and fine motor skills, has made my hands go numb while doing it.

Add to that some muscle damage and inflammation that I have right now in my shoulders/arm pits and lower arms that has been doing a carpal tunnel like effect of a piched nerve or restrictions in blood flow; making my hands tingling or numb over most of the past week anyway;

It makes this extremely slow, somewhat frustrating, and sort of painful to do.

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.

Categories: Alaska-Life, Clothes, Cowboy, Damages, EDC, Field gear, Leather, MacGyver, Modifications, Recycle, Repairs, Sentimental, Sewing, Soft Goods, Summertime, Welding

All chained up.

Rearranged and consolidated pocket watch chains yesterday. I only need two, one for the watch and one for the knife on my double Albert setup.

Had one, a bronze one already setup for that. Added the new black chrome one as the second. This setup with a Nightize S-biner hanger works great.

The biner fits over the snaps on my leather vest. Just snap a snap through the big biner, and it dissappears, but holds the chain ends giving the single or double prince albert chain attachment point.

Then cut, splice and reassembly, netted me a bracelet, which I wore all day, and really liked. Simple and classy-ish, but didn’t drive me batty. Two main strands with a third linking them.


Then the left overs got me a neck chain–which I have no idea what I’ll do with– yet.

And two big clasped utility/watch chains, which I also have no current use for… I’ll think of something.

If you look close the bracelet has 3 different chain sizes/styles, the necklace 2, and both utility chains are different…

I actually had a lot of fun doing these! The opening and closing of the rings and links was a bit tedious, but still fun.

Categories: Customized, Decorating, EDC, Fabrication, Jewelry, key-chains, Modifications, New Gear, Pocket Watches, Re-purpose, Recycle, Repurpose, Watches

Ice fishing tent fix 2.0

Some of you might remember fix 1.0 last year. A friend was given an Eskimo Quickfish 3, but he doesn’t (ice)fish, so gave it to me. It had 2 broken poles. The ends had snapped relatively clean off, so I made connectors to reattach the ends for the hubs to the poles.

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Done in brass because it was the only stock I had bigger diameter than the pole end pieces.

This year I had it set up before first snow to dry out (outside storage over the summer) and 8″ of snow load collapsed the top; I broke a pole getting it cleaned off...


This time it broke the pole mid length, and it exploded, long slivers of fiberglass everywhere… Couldn’t salvage it, and handling it to salvage the end/hinge piece was too hazzardoes.

So, I made a new pole, and the end this time. Machined the hinge end from aluminum, with a steel cross pin. And mounted on a fiberglass driveway marker rod. Works great!

(These poles are only $10 new, but shipping something 49” long to Alaska is rediculously expensive!)

Categories: Alaska-Life, Aluminum, Custom, Customized, Fabrication, Field gear, Fishing, Ice Fishing, Improviser, MacGyver, MacGyverism, Modifications, Re-purpose, Recycle, Repairs, Repurpose, Winter

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

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

ATV Rear bumper/brush guard

After I got the front guard on, on my trail ride test run, the day I posted about, I also did some brush busting. Going forward was great, a lot less worry with that push bar, I was plowing over sma 2″ to 3″ diameter trees! 

But when I couldn’t get through where I was trying to make a trail, turning around meant a 12(more like 20!) point turn in narrow quarters, pushing against/over what I had to… And it was a lot of pushing against the rear rack, rack walls, and fenders. 

Decided then that I need a rear bumper/guard. 

Lots of research later, I decided on the simple tube bumper style, and preferably one big tube. Hoping I could get curved ends.. 

To the scrap pile we go!

Bunk bed frame ends, just happened to be wider than the racks and plastic, but narrow enough to match overall… 

Some creative cutting, and more cutting… 

Amazed me, those 3/8″ cross bars were solid, not tubing! 

Mock up of Mount positioning…

Simple brackets, angle irons welded into slits cut in the tube. 

Getting it all squared and oriented right, those slits aligned, and the brackets squared in to get the curved bumper ends level/square was a pain… But worth it.  

And some welding, which I didn’t get pics of.  Worked out perfect… Ran everything together, got it all. Then decided to touch up a spot, ran about 1/4″ of bead, and the wire stopped… Ran out of welding wire right there! (Man, that roll went FAST!!)
Had to move the winch fairlead down about 3/4″ to clear. Was easier to do that than notch the tube. 😉

 Voila, crooked bumper mounted. 😉 

I’d squared and leveled it to my accessory receivers… Forgot that the left side of the rack is still tweeked down a little, thus that tube is low on that side as well.  

Adjusted the mount holes, little bigger for some tilt, and thus a level bumper!  

Not sure I like the clearance I ended with. The rack wall corners stick out further than the bumper corners.

And everything else is only an inch, or two inside it…  The idea was a brush guard more than anything, and a push bar so I don’t push with plastic or rack, and it should accomplish that.

  Will run it for a while and see if I need it spaced out some (thinking 1″ max), but I *think* it’s ok. 

Also wasn’t thrilled about the winch roller fairlead being recessed slightly.. But it’d take an extreme upward cable angle for it to rub the bumper, so that too *should* be fine. I didn’t want to space the fairlead out very far, reducing it’s stiffness to its bracket (figure all the pull of the winch, and weight of the wheeler rides on this rollers when in use!).

Amyway, thar she be!

Categories: ATV, ATV Accessories, Custom, Fabrication, Modifications, Recycle, Repurpose, Scrounging, Vehicles, Welding

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