Sentimental

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

Time for a fix; or fixing time?

Haven’t been able to wear my Eco-Drive chrony for a while, after I found a problem with the band.

Wore through around the under straps keeper ring. (Strap is a leather NATO style)

Technically the watch is still secured by the top strap, but I wasn’t comfortable wearing it til I got it fixed.

Took a couple months to get to where, today, I had time/wanted it enough to actually do something about it.

Some of the rest of the band is also a little rough, here is where its worn through on the bottom strap next to the spot I’m fixing. But its only through the one layer, it’ll be fine for a while though, I think.

I simply stitched the bottom strap to the top one, and trimmed off the worn loop where the ring sat.

From the back;

Got a little too far from the edge there on one side, but it works. 🙂

Side that shows;

Easy fix and all I lost at this point, is that it isn’t an easy change band anymore. I’ll have to pull the spring bars to take the watch off. No big loss really though; Except for about 2 weeks when it was new, the watch has been on this band since about this time of year in 2011. 😀

Categories: Damages, EDC, Leather, Modifications, Repairs, Sentimental, Soft Goods, Watches | 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 | 2 Comments

Got my money clip back!

While killing time in the shop with misc. little projects, and trying to find parts for one, I came accross the Buffalo Alaska Mint coin/silver proof from my old money clip. Several years ago the curve of the clip broke– its brass, and it had gotten brittle, work hardened from repeated bending back and forth.

I had intended to put the coin on a new clip, but never could find one I liked, wanting one similar yo what it had, a hinged camming action that clamped it shut.

Got to thinking that I hadn’t really been in any hurry to solder the Marlboro cowboy emblem back onto the clip I’ve been using after it came off last summer either…

So, why not combine them, eh?

The curve of the broken end on the coin backing plate almost perfectly fit the clips curved end.

Cleaned the chrome platting off the one, cleaned the other to bare brass and tinned them in solder. Pressed and heated. Twice.

Filled with solder along the curved end. Three times…

Have I ever mentioned that I Hate soldering? Well I do!

But sometimes I get lucky!

It ain’t perfect but its solid and will fer sure work.

All that holds the coin on is the bezel, 4 little tabs that bend/crimp over the backing plate.

Two old friends with a lot of memories attached

— the Marlboro clip I’ve had since I was a kid. The buffalo clip I got 10 year ago this spring on a 2 week trip to the big city, hanging out with a good buddy when he came home from the service, Fun Times!—

back in service together, finally!

Categories: Adventure Metal Works, Brass, Custom, Customized, Damages, Decorating, EDC, Fabrication, Good Friends, Modifications, Repairs, Sentimental, Welding

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

If reduced to three folding knives.

A challenge posted on a forum recently; If you were forcibly reduced, for whatever reason, to only having three of your folding knives, what would they be. And why.

These are mine. I picked based on the ones I’d want as my only three, but also to par that down, based on the ones I’d want if limited to just one knife. Made it easier to choose. Not easy at all, but easier. 😉;)

The peanut, my old and dear friend for 11 years now, and at times(some of them months, or years at a time) my only knife. The little knife that can, and does, do anything, always cutting above and beyond what you’d expect from knives twice it’s size.

The stockman, my favorite of the ones I have now, and a stockman has become my most carried and used pattern. This is a nice size, and would be well suited to be my only knife, if ever reduced to just one.

Both being my favorite traditional brand, Case, in my favorite production steel, TrueSharp(a 420 varient); it just plain works, and is easy to work with.

And last but not least, and this was a hard choice, my Kobalt folding razor knife. I wanted to call this one of my work tools, and not my EDC, to allow another favorite in the 3. ;)

But to be honest, it’s been carried and used a LOT when I have gone months without work.. And it deserves it’s place in the 3 otherwise. This sucker has taken anything I could throw at it, professionally and personally for 7 years now. It’s bomb proof, and I dare say construction proof, even Alaska proof!

Categories: EDC, knives, Life-Philosophy, Sentimental, Theory/Thoughts

Walnut Mystery Cube

One of last night’s little projects, something I’ve been wanting to try.  A fidget cube, fidget toy, mystery cube, cube in a cube, puzzle like brain teaser made from walnut.

 Really simple to make once you know a few tricks, I saw it on YouTube and had to try it!  






Yes, its all from one piece, the inner cube started in there! 

Managed to cut the same thumb twice in 15 minutes, in the same way, while rounding/carving off the corners.. lol slow learner.


 The walnut wood is a chunk a friend gave me about a decade ago, from a tree his dad cut down some 50 years ago.. Cube is headed to being a gift for one of the friends grandkids, great grandkids of the tree cutter.  Seemed a fitting piece of wood to use. 😎👍

  Here it’s soaking up its first coat of Watco butcher block oil a first time use for me, for a food safe/kid safe/they can chew on it all they want, safe finish 😉😆 

Categories: carving, Sentimental, Woodshop, Woodwork

Quartz to mechanical pocket watch conversion. V1.0

Back in mid May, I bought a cheap Chinese mechanical pocket watch. To be used as a movement donor, to fix one of my favorite quartz pocket watches that has bit the dust.  The quartz watch is special because it was one my Dad bought me.

I spent two days on ebay searching the watches for a dial/face I liked,  that was easy to read… Many mechanical watches have an unreadable color scheme,  or too much skeletonizing to be readable. 

I do like the dial in the quartz watch, but this process is a LOT easier if I don’t have to change the dial/hands between the movements. Or even remove them from the movements!


The project got shelved at the time. Then I realized how much I like the watch itself… The case is a little lightweight (cheap-ish) but it was nice enough, and went into rotation. Making it harder to canibalize for the other one.   

Every time I though of it, I put it off for various reasons.

Anyway. Today I was swapping watch chains around so I could carry my other mechanical pocket watch, and saw the quartz one on the shelf. Thought, gee wouldn’t it be nice to carry that one. And thinking how long it’s been since I carried the newer mechanical one… 

I thought oh why not, and took them apart right then. 

I always figured this would be a case of the mechanism not fitting, or the dial, or spacing ring etc, and turn out to be a real hassle to figure out.

At this point I did think that if nothing else, if it all went in ok, but the spacer ring didn’t fit, I could build a mount ring, or spacers with Sugru. 

Pulled the back covers first.

Measured the case diameters inside, quartz was 0.06″ smaller… PFFT! close enough!    

Pull plastic spacer rings, screw the crowns off (I need to find finer pliers for the next time, Victorinox Spirit tips were a bit big but worked great– you have to hold the inner shaft on the mech, and turn the crown off of it.) 

The mechanical dial was a touch smaller than the quartz one, but did fit ok. 

The mech. watches plastic ring fit the quartz case well enough, just had to whittle off some spacer nubs on its edge.. 

Room enough that the back plate went on too. 

Hands cleared the front glass. 

All perfect.

Except… 

The mechanical movement is thicker. By a few thousandths. So the stem shaft wouldn’t line up with the hole in the case/spring.  At least, not with out offsetting the dial in the case and binding the hands, and the crowns use.. 

I got that figured out with firm placement of the dial in place, and flexing/slightly bending the stem rod to line up, then starting the threads. Once started and seated it simply flexed the shafts where it needed it. 

Unfortunately…. (saw this coming, didn’t you?)

In the process,  I was handling a bare unprotected mechanical movement. That was running slightly… Somewhere I stopped it wrong, or pressed wrong,  or tweaked something… Ended up with a fine loop double up in the main spring/balance spring. 

Even if I could take it apart (oi.) I doubt I could straighten out the spring and make it work.  And I’d probably never get it back together right. 

So, at that point I had a half installed broken movement.  

I went ahead and finished the install, trimming the the plastic ring, etc.  

It all fits and would work great. If it still worked. Lol. 

So now I just need to order another of those watches to canibalize… A little more careful this time. 

Thankfully I’m only out about $12 on the broken one. It’ll still only be a $24 conversion! 😀 

Only took three pics of the whole process, will take more the next time. 


Mechanical spacer ring in quartz case;



The spring after I was done trying to push the loop out… Yeah. 😦


Categories: Custom, Damages, EDC, Improviser, MacGyver, mechanical, Modifications, New Gear, Sentimental, Sugru, Watches

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