Sentimental

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? 😉

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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

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

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

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