Steampunk Wrist-Gauge

Whats the most important part of exploring? In any time? Boy Scouting taught me to be prepared. So when I’m out of the 33rd century I need to carry some tools to be ready to fix my gear.

I hadn’t consciously planned on using screws for everything but by this point, I thought it was a good idea to have a screwdriver.

I also needed a time distortion gauge. you know, to measure the amount of affect you’ve had on the past. Trust me, you don’t want to red-line that one!!!

The problem is that time travel can be hard on you, especially if you’re trying to carry a toolbox, so why not build it into your arm?

I started with a free hand pattern for an arm bracer. I used once again, some 5-6oz veg-tan leather, cut and dyed. I used Fiebang’s British Tan if anyone’s wondering… I bought a full pint of it for the apron project and used very little, but since have fallen in love with the color.

Well, anyway, with a few straps and snaps I got the thing attached to my arm.

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I used a 1/2 inch strapping for a buckle connection at the forearm. I have a muscular arm and didn’t want it sliding off. I used snaps at the wrist for ease though.

Next up was the copper circuitry and application of my actual antique screw driver set. Its one that holds 3 smaller sizes inside itself. Super old school, super useful, absolutely beautiful.

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Now I’m looking at this thinking, I need to be able to measure my time distortion!

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The time gauge was then  constructed using a very inexpensive pressure gauge from harbor freight, a brass fitting kit too. I then put some of the fittings on my lathe and turned the openings up to 1/4inch to accept my copper tubing. I finished by attaching it again with a strap and some rivets. The screw driver also got a closure strap, but its got a snap so I can pull it out on the fly. and my connection wire came from some CAT6 cable. The twisted pairs are nice and colorful.

Steampunk Goggles

With Halloween closing in, I decided that this year was a steam-powered year!

Over about a week or so I think I went into the hardware store every day looking for parts.

 

First up – The eye cups!

I needed a rigid material to really work it all together, so I went brass. I found some brass end caps for 1 1/2″ water pipe. I gave it a shot and chucked them up to my lathe. They turned out to be a really hard brass alloy, I’m used to working with soft brass. But with a little time I was able to find my way through it and come up with a really cool threaded set as a base.

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The next step in the eye cups was the actual cup part.

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This was some left over 5-6oz veg-tan that I had from my apron build that I cut and press fit in to test the shape. I was feeling pretty good at this point.

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I then lined the leather with some black suede, stitched it together and dyed the veg-tan. I was really feeling good at this point!

Then I realized that there was no way to join the two eyes together. I scrounged around in my scrap stock and found some 1/16th hard brass plate and cut a nose bridge, shaped it on my anvil and riveted it with a few brass nails. — In hind sight, It should have been screwed together. as everything else was.

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Once I had the eyes as one piece it was cake from there.

imag0504I attached the leather to the brass with some #4-40 screws, drilling and tapping as I was going. I did end up going through about 3 taps because #4 is just so delicate and I can be a bit of a brute when I’m excited. I screwed in from the inside and used some cap nuts to give a nice finished look.

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The next step was the strap. The leather was very easy. 1/2 inch 5oz veg-tan with a suede liner. dead simple. Coming up with the attachment though — that was the challenge. I decided to use a plate again with screws. The plate is a 1/16th inch thick brass plated aluminum from kick plate on a door – not my favorite material, but it worked and polished nicely.

imag0507 Last step was to fit some Lexan circles into the eye cups for my lenses. I went with Lexan because its a lot stronger than acrylic and easier to work with in my opinion.

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Overall, I thought they turned out nice, and it was a fun series of problem solving!

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Smithing Apron

As October rolled in I realized that I was spending a lot of time in my workshop and doing messier and messier projects. So I decided to build a nice apron that could be used for blacksmithing too.

I went out to a leather store in Indiana and got a beautiful double shoulder to start with.

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The whole shoulder is a pretty consistent 5-6 oz. Its pretty heavy, but, still quite flexible.

I cut it to shape and lined the top.

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Next was to come up with some nice tooling to really set it apart.

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I started with some celtic dragons, I though, blacksmithing, fire, dragons. safe bet.

Then I went for a custom free hand design where I melded a celtic cross with Mjolnir.

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Add some dye

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Then add some strap reinforcements

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Finally, Add some criss-cross straps and its good to go!

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This was a fun project, probably the most in-depth leatherwork I’ve ever done too. Turned out well and I wear it now all the time in the workshop!

Sheaths for a local knife maker

A local knife maker decided he needed some local sheaths made for his work and contacted me to do the work.

Its provided a nice challenge and a fun way to make a little on the side.

The first knife I worked on was a small drop point skinning knife that would sit deep in a hip sheath. a little bit of tooling and a it turned out really nice.

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Next was a larger dagger, which needed a three piece construction that sit a little lower on the belt. More of a sword hanger height.

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After those two I went to work on a slightly larger dagger. Again similar design but it was requested to be a loop through.

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Most recently he had contracted me to work on a large survival knife. Not the sort of thing I would normally carry, but he wanted it to be full utility.

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So that guy is pretty multipurpose. It mounts either horizontally on the belt in the small of the back or vertically on the hip. It was a ton of work to figure out how to do that too.

They all turned out well and now I just have a large skinning knife with a gut hook to work on.

Shovel Sheath

For my mother last year on mother’s day I decided to make her a gardening kit. Well, ok, it was more just a garden shovel kit. I ran out of time. But I drew some inspiration for it from her college sorority days. She is a Kappa Alpha Theta and their flower is the pansy. So I carved a pansy for her.

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That was actually the first flower I ever carved into leather. Turned out nice and held its for well.

Gerber Multiplier Sheaths

Another quick little build for you — I use my Gerber multipliers a lot. Its a must on the jobsites that I work, you never know when you need a screwdriver or a plier for some hot light or a tripod or anything.

So what better way to carry one then on your belt?

The first version I made was very pretty and held a standard Gerber multiplier. It holds amazingly well, but its a bit too high. being a heavier set guy it jabs me when I bend over. Not the most comfortable sadly.

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The second version is made for a Gerber Flik Multi-Plier. In my opinion one of the best out there. Locking blades, Wire stripping needle nose pliers, and the tools are accessible from a closed tool. Its the ultimate in one handed use.  Well I made slightly deeper carry pocket for this guy. and man it just disappears on you. IMG_20150725_195453_nopm_

Ka-Bar Sheathing

A few years back I bought a Ka-Bar at an antique mall, Not thinking that it was a war model, but a civilian one. Its a Model 1207 for anyone interested. A little bit of research revealed it was a Veitnam era issued blade. Now was it issued? who knows. I lost the knife for a good long while, my father had taken it to a knife maker to have the handle worked on. A dog had used it as a chew bone. The knife maker does some amazing work, but being an older man and super busy, it got a bit lost for 4 years… Flash forward to present day and it was recovered and returned to me.

Sadly the sheath had rotted from a previous owner gluing either rabbit or deer fur to it. Not a good move for it.

Well I cleaned up the blade and ignored the mauled handle and made a new sheath for it. Its a basic single piece fold over style with a little bit of Sheridan carving on it. Its finished in a Briar Brown antique gel finish with a top coat of Fiebangs Super Sheen on it.

IMG_20160710_195853 IMG_20160710_195905 As a side note, sadly the leather was a little too wet when stitched my Tippmann Boss is amazing, but if the presser foot’s pressure is too much it eats the leather.

Vintage knife resheath

Many moons ago when my father was in boyscouts (the 1970s) his father, my grandfather, gave him a very nice knife. Stag handled with a polished aluminum pommel. Well, for many years its just say around on the top of my father’s dresser. When I first took up leather it was the first thing I did, make a sheath for it.

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yeah, I know nothing special. but It was the first project I ever did with leather. Its a two piece construction in a 10oz veg tanned leather with no dye or top coats. The tooling was done with a edge groover and a nail. yeah, high tech.

Well, a knife that is this pretty needed something new now that I have an actual understanding of what the hell I’m doing — and like 3 years of practice under my belt.

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So What kind of sheath do I do? how should it hang? How should it look?

Well I decided to do a horizontal hang with a sheridan carving.

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Everything about this project went right. I guess I found a good piece of leather — like a really nice oak tooling scrap. I hit just the right moisture content for the carving. The flowers and leaves were just the right size for my skill level. It all went really well. And the finished product was really great!

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Lets just recap that, first sheath ever and the rebuild years later:

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