Sentimental

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. 😦


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Categories: Custom, Damages, EDC, Improviser, MacGyver, mechanical, Modifications, New Gear, Sentimental, Sugru, Watches | 1 Comment

Grousing around, Oct 2017

Grouse hunting… 
My first time out.

A friend and I have been trying to get out to do this together for about 2 years now, finally got to go. 

Ended up with his teen son along, and got two other friends to go, one that has a fancy German hunting dog.

We even put it off a week, last minute plans from last Monday so to make sure one guy could go… Turned out great, we got a few inches of snow in the week, make the birds more visible on the ground!

I borrowed a buddies 12ga auto shotgun to take since I don’t have one.

2.5 hour drive south to a 70 acre private property plot we have access to(Church bible camp) just north of Mt. Denali, and the foot hills of the Alaska Range.

 2.5wonderful hours hiking around in clear  5F weather, fantastic company and country… 4,000 grouse tracks everywhere. Millions of rabbit tracks.
Some fox and lynx tracks.

We’d talked about other game, and unfortunately lynx is closed until Dec 1st, but fox is open, and rabbit, and I was hoping to see a rabbit.   

And I wouldn’t have argues with getting a fox pelt either to be honest!

 Hiked 2.5 to 3 miles in flat country trails, open forest and fairly thick brush/black spruce country.

$$$ fancy hunting dog tracking all over the place. Really cool to see that, finally. (Friend has been trying to get me out to see the dog for almost 2 years now.)

Never saw an (game)animal.
No, take that back… we saw one camp robber. Lol.

Now, it was mid day by the time we got down there after we worked out some issues, drive was slow because of hairy roads in places…

We honestly figure the birds were all up in the trees roosting by the time we got out there, and once a spruce grouse is in a spruce tree it’s invisible.

But it was a fantastic trip regardless of not shooting anything! Really was fun just getting good out and enjoying God’s creation with some friends.

I didn’t actually take the shotgun after all. Talking to my friend that I’d planned this with,  he didn’t have one either, so he and his son would be with .22 rifles.  

I remembered that last year when we started talking about going, I bought a new Skinner sight for my Dad’s(now mine) Browning SA-22.

 Figured it was a great brush gun, it’s super small, light, and short,  points fast, be a dream to carry. It’s also a take down gun, for easy packing.

Also knew we’d be in Super dense cover at tines, and that 12ga is Loooonnnggg. Be a bitch to swing in the brush..

So I took the .22.
And it did pack and carry marvelously!  Do need to get a sling mouth set on it to make it a little easier, in thrvthick stuff (bith hands free)and a dedicated short pack case for it.

One other friend was supposed to have a single shot .410 along, but couldnt find it, so he had a 12 ga. pump.  Figured the other guy would gave a 12ga. But he chose to just wrangle his do for us.  But we did end up with one shotgun in the mix, for any fast flight shots.

The country;

The group minus me and the dog;

Two friends;

Same two friends in this shot, if you can find them… even the relatively open forest was hard visibility beyond 20 feet!

Tracks;

The .22;


Something cool (I think) I started doing with another tube fed gun, a Ruger MKII magazine makes a great speed loader. Just push the rounds off one at a time. Easier than a hand full of loose ammo. 

Cutlery that I took for cleaning animals;

The red Mora fixed blade I bought that morning… Had to take one guy to grab a hunting license before we went.

I was walking around the sporting goods store while he got it, killing time,
and was amazed to see real Mora knives for sale with the fishing gear!  Never seen them locally before, just online.  Even stranger, it’s in a small home town shop (one of a kind,  not a chain store).  Even though I do have a couple already, I couldn’t pass it up for $9.99 😉 

Anyway, still a great day without the birds, and the season is open all winter. Thinking I’ll start taking a .22 along with ice fishing trips etc. Never know what you might see! 

Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Backcountry, GetOutdoors, Good Friends, Good Times, Guns, Hunting, New Gear, Outdoors, Sentimental, Wildlife, Winter | 2 Comments

Schrade Dogleg Trapper

Mail call yesterday,  a surprise gift from a friend! Great old Schrade USA dogleg trapper in really good shape! Little rust on the blades,  but nothing broke or excessively worn, someone took good care of this one for a while. 

 I’m usually not a trapper fan, but this one is nice, it’s only 3-7/8″, 1/4″ shorter than the norm, and has a much more pronounced curve in the frame shape– I like it! 

Will give it a spa treatment today, and drop it into cary rotation. 

Categories: EDC, knives, New Gear, old tools, Pocket knives, Sentimental

Milk crate traction.

Amazingly, these things wee originally used as a milk bottle carrier… I doubt most people know that.  I didn’t for years…just figured it was an odd name, if I ever gave it any thought.   To most of us, they are simply The greatest portable step/stepstool in existence. 

Especially the older metal ones!  

If you can find them. We always had 3 of them, one that I adopted and carried in my truck for forever, one that’s had a broken top as long as I can remember, and one with a Christmas tree stand permanently wired to the top (raises the tree for clearance under lower branches for packages and watering the tree).

About 3 years ago, I lost mine.   Had to climb into a dumpster to dig for something of sentimental that was accidentally thrown away… when I found it and headed home, I forgot the crate by the dumpster. Oops. Couple hours later when realized, it was already gone.  Someone here picked up a great find, a metal crate at the dump that night. Lol. 

So, I’ve been carrying one of the modern plastic ones in the truck for a while. Nothing wrong with them really, they work fine. I just miss my old metal one.

So. I had this chunk of steel diamond plate I scrounged last summer. And some time to kill. And my welder already setup. 😆😇😆

The plate was too wide one way, too narrow the other. Cut it down to fit. Turned out to be tough tempered plate, should wear great for eons..  The 1/2″ or so on the other axis doesn’t bother me.. Still sturdy enough, and won’t hurt anything.

I really, Really,  REALLY need to practice my “out of position” welding (technical term for any welding not on a flat, level surface in front of you…)  Turns out it’s a bear to weld the inner lower corners/edges of a box! Whether laying down, or stood vertical.  

Inner welds look like crap, but will hold more than enough. 

Outer edge welds were a lot better, right up until I ran out of welder wire. Ha! Will have to finish it later (if it ever seems to need it) 

1/2 can of Rustoleum gloss black later, and I have a fancy, rugged, heavy, should last a lifetime step! 😎

With a younger sibling 

Categories: Custom, custom-made-tools, Fabrication, Modifications, old tools, Sentimental, truck, Welding

New Watch Works

New little project. Quartz pocket watch my Dad bought me years ago, that has recently stopped running, on the right.  

New mechanical donor watch on the left. 

Either the works from the new one will go in the other case, or the lid from the old one will go on the new one… 

Lid hinges look pretty close, will try swapping lids first. 

If that don’t do it, I’ll pull the guts, and see about making a custom spacer ring to hold the new works in the other case.

Categories: Custom, EDC, Modifications, New Gear, Sentimental, Watches

Spring time catch up.

Been a while. It’s either been a lot going on with no time to post, or I’ve been sick as hell(flu, twice through, laid out for 3 weeks, then almost gone, got too cold working, relapsed, and now running into 6 weeks total) and literally Nothing going on to post about. 

Anyway, here is a random slew of pics from the last couple months.

Moon and Venus.


My first day out snowshoeing.



Recent knives used and the books I was reading that week.(for a forum thread)


Dads stainless handle Sabre jack knife that lives in the den, which is currently the reloading room.


Case hobo and an Alaskan cookbook

225 grain LWN (long wide nose) hard cast .41 caliber bullets I ordered from GTBullets.  100 lubed and sized for $13, even with $6 shipping, it’s almost cheaper than I could cast my own.. And is considering I can’t afford the mould right now! 😉  


Cleaning up an old Schrade USA stockman, a 8OT , that a friend gave me last summer.



Knives and guns, notable pairs, (for a forum thread )

My Beretta. 45, that I’ve now amazingly had for 10.5 years! And the custom Andy Sharpe coffin fighter that it’s come to live with. I rarely ever carry one without the other.


My Mom’s Liberty Mustang .22 and Dad’s Case peanut.


Most sentimental pairing; my Ruger Security Six 357 mag. Which has belonged to both my older brothers,  and my Dad before me. With Dad’s Western brand hunting knife. 

New stuff, second week of March, my takes from the EDCC (edccommunity.com) passaround box.


Old style finned bomb shaped beads are a fad right now, had some shop time so I tried one. LOTS of work to get the rounded nose, and fins. Had to freehand the cutters on the curve, and lots of file work off the lathe. Too time intensive to make many of them, but I might still..


A slew of pocket dumps, in mostly cronological order, late Jan. to now. 



On my knees in a sniw bank digging out firewood at 0F or 10F. Something like that. Proof that I wear my guns working, they’re not babied. (Much.. 😉 )




Simple day last week, hour or two after dark working on firewood. Headlamp and the bluetooth speaker did constant duty… I zip the speaker into a mid layer pocket, hit Google Play, usually Springsteen,  and have music wherever I am while working. 

Yesterday’s carry, 3-15-17, an outside day. been cooped up sick, wanted to get out and work for a while, puttered around with a few projects (most of which involved shoveling snow!). 


Cousins. Both old used and worn, but great Schrade USA stockmans. Large 8OT, and medium 34OT. 


My Titanium Eng1nerd Prangler  (mash up of key dangler and pry bar) is getting some great coppery brass colored wear stripes in its anodizing. The things that swing and rub on it are brass and it sort of burnished onto the area as it rubs. 

And, more of 3-15-17… got the sled out for a bit.And found out how out of practice I am… Was stuck a total of three times! Oi.  Thankfully all within ~100 yards max from the house! God is good to me!


Categories: Adventures, Alaska-Life, Beads, Clothes, Custom, custom-made-tools, Daily-cary-log, EDC, Field Notes, Flashlights, Guns, Hanks, key-chains, knives, Leather, Modifications, Multitools, New Gear, No-pain-no-gain, old tools, Outdoors, Pocket knives, Reloading, Sentimental, Theory/Thoughts, titanium, truck, Vehicles, weather and seasons, Winter, wood processing, Woods tools

Friday the 13th EDC. 

My carry for a possible snowstorm, and a birthday party some friends threw for my Mom. 

I apparently felt a little Blue yesterday 😉 I need a blue 550 bracelet, multitool, and flashlight to round it out… lol. 

  • Pheonix Hanx (formerly HeartHanks) blue stained glass “take me to church” hank. 
  • Case Cutlery Navy blue Muskrat. 
  • Bullet  Space Pen.
  • Leatherman Wingman. 
  • Cerelean blue diamond plate Zippo. 
  • vintage Marlboro moneyclip.
  • AMW 550/leather bracelet.
  • Jetbeam BC10.
  • Seiko “5” automatic.
  • Custom copper tags/AMW tag & beads.
  • Write Notepads & Co. Royal Blue limited edition notebook.
Categories: Adventure Metal Works, Adventures, Alaska-Life, Beads, copper, cordage/550, Custom, Daily-cary-log, EDC, Flashlights, Hanks, knives, Lighters, Multitools, Notebooks, Outdoors, Pens, Sentimental, Watches, Winter

A Christmas knife 

​I keep this one handy every year from Christmas eve until new years day, or there abouts. Got it in a round table gift event at Christmas of 2006 on another forum. Was my first Case knife. Shortly after, I removed the pocket clip and locking liner, and edced it for a bit. I also reground the bladend to a full flat grind. 


For 6 or 7 years now it’s been my dedicated Christmas or December knife. 

Highly modified originally 1 of 300 red Christmas tree bone Mid folding hunter from 2003.

Categories: EDC, knives, Modifications, Pocket knives, Sentimental, Winter

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