Writing The Second Draft

Documenting the Journey as I become who I want to be.

Archive for the tag “diy”

Axe Sheath pt 1

At the end of this month is a very important date. The Teacher’s wedding.  Because of certain circumstances I will be one of the groomsmen (which I’m quite happy about). The theme is sort of a fantasy/medieval styled thing and so many of the groomsmen will be wearing a sword or other weapon as well.

Personally, I don’t have any medieval style swords, but I do have a neat looking axe that I purchased at the Michigan Renaissance Festival.

Axe
(Forgive the poor quality picture, I’ll replace it later)

It’s beautiful and would be perfect! Except that it’s sharp and the frog I have places it uncomfortably close (and the bottom part (not pictured) scraped up my ankle pretty bad). So, Solution? Make a sheath of course! I grabbed some tools and some leather off of amazon and planned it out with my brother!

Sketch

After the leather finally arrived I still wasn’t quite sure but now I’m in something of a time crunch so i need to get everything cut out so I can ship the axe down to The Teacher in time for the wedding!  My brother recently had his own wedding a few days ago so he won’t be able to help for this part of it however he did let me know I could use some of his old sewing supplies.  So I dug into that and gathered all the tools I figured I could use!

Tools

Here are all of the tools I’m planning to use, some mine some his. The ruler, pencil, awl, rotary cutter, stitching spacer, and needles are mine. Whereas the L-Square, big scissors, and soapstone are my bro’s. I haven’t used all of these tools yet, and I may add more but this is the list right now haha.

So I measured out the designs and started by cutting out a square that was around half an inch bigger than what I needed. Then I traced the shape of the blade onto the leather with the soapstone.  Once I had that I guestimated about an additional centimeter and drew freehanded the cutting lines. I checked it on the axe and started cutting!

Curves with the rotary cutter aren’t as easy as I’d hoped, but they’re a lot easier than using a box cutter like I did when I made my wallet. It didn’t seem to stretch out the leather at all and with a careful hand I ended up with my first piece ready!

First part

As you can see, I also added an additional part for the axe to cut into so it won’t cut through my stitches later on!

I took this cut out, flipped it over and traced it to get the second piece! Which was a little tougher to cut out, and i’m pretty sure it’s nto completely even as of yet but it was starting to get dark so I wanted to get another rough part done before I tried to do any fine work. It’s much easier to see things under natural light than the kitchen light so after I finished the first part for the second bit of my axe I called it a night.

pt1 Finish!

So next time I just have to fine tune some of the parts and make the final cutout for the second bit!  I still have some work to do with making a cover for the bottom weight but I feel pretty accomplished! After that I just have to figure out if I’m going to stitch it up with fake sinew, or waxed thread!Threads.jpg

I’ve never used either so i’m not sure what to pick…

So if you’ve got any insights please comment below! Have you ever had a project to make something like this? Medieval styling or otherwise? Feel free to post any other questions or comments, I’d love to hear from you!

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Almost a Year of Updates!!

Holy shit you guys, so much has happened since I last wrote I’ll try to quickly update y’all here.

In April The Translator (my girlfriend) came up and visited me for a week so I took the week off of work. It was fantastic, we went all over the place and saw an exhibit on Samurai at the DIA. We also marathoned all of the avengers movies and Agents of Shield before seeing Winter Soldier in theaters The Projectionist (Brother #3) was able to get us in for free haha. Naturally I was sad when she left but we had a great time.

May I tried to do some pallet projects but holy shit I do not have the tools for that. All I had was a few hammers and a mini crowbar. It took me an hour to remove 2 planks. Yeah not gonna happen. So eventually those got tossed, maybe someday when I have better tools. (like a fullsized crowbar or better yet a pallet-pal )  yeah yeah ‘shoddy workman blames his tools’ but man this shit isn’t gonna fly lol I need a better way.

June was pretty uneventful as far as I remember, I’d wanted to go camping during the summer but suffice to say it just plain didn’t happen.  Pops kinda doesn’t know where his camping stuff is and well, life gets a little hectic haha.  I was looking for an apartment but the only one in the right price range that wasn’t a complete dump was full so :T

July I went out to california to visit my family! There were good parts (like my mom buying me men’s clothing!!!) and bad parts (like having to exit my sister’s car at a stoplight because she was yelling at me so much) but overall it was good I think.  I got to hang out with my friends, go to the pier and beach, play with my niece, and I even got to go see The Translator again. We met up at Little Tokyo and it was a great time.

August was busy busy! Early in August The Artist and I went to Detroit’s Pagan Pride! It was super cool, we both got Tarot Readings (She was fantastic) it was hilarious because she would say something so spot on and The Artist and I would just look at each other and try not to laugh. I also finally picked up a Thor’s Hammer pendant for regular wear and another set of runes ahaha. It’s a problem. In any case The Artist had a great time as well and is slowly getting more interested in these kinds of things.   Towards the end of the month I took some vacation time and went down to Georgia to visit one of my best friends The Teacher. We also met up with a bunch of internet friends from a forum we were both on, unfortunately the forum died shortly before the visit. We also were going to DragonCon but I got sick :T  by the time the Convention rolled around I was super sick and couldn’t go.  Friends brought me back some souvenirs though so honestly my wallet was more upset about it than my heart haha.  I also discovered that I am absolutely in LOVE with Georgia.  The Teacher had mentioned before that I should move down there (Honestly idk if she was mostly joking or not) but after that visit I decided fuckyeah.

Now, I’d been considering moving for at least a few weeks before this but I HAVE SO MANY OPTIONS.  California, Wisconsin, Georgia or Japan if I was going to move, OR staying in Michigan.  Well, that’s too many options for a flake such as myself so I consulted my good friend The Witch. She did a massive Tarot reading for me that basically said I’d be cool anywhere except Cali (which honestly isn’t surprising at all).  But she said that if this were a reading done for her. She would absolutely pick Georgia.  I was still a little bit of a flake though until The Translator also got a reading and hers sounded like anywhere would be kinda rough. Except Georgia!  And then after going and having such a great time (Despite getting a terrible cold) IT WAS DECIDED!

September I was back in Michigan and ready to go to the Renaissance Festival! I met up with The Artist and her Fiance (who is also an artist) for the last weekend of the Michigan RenFest! We introduced her Fiance to Korean BBQ (which everyone loved) and then I did my first long driving excursion out to the Ren Fest on saturday!  We got only a little lost but The Artist said that my driving is getting better haha.  We had a great time and spent entirely too much money hahaha. I bought a $200 Axe and frog to carry it with.  Actually I also bought a small frog call too though come to think of it I don’t know where that is at… In any case it was a lot of fun and I’ll have to put some pictures up of that here at some point.  Also the truck I had been driving had become officially mine!  Pops and step-mom gave it to me 8D although since i plan to drive down to Georgia I knew I’d need a new one that could handle the drive.

October was pretty cool.  The weather started getting colder and since the truck was mine I felt more comfortable about using it all the time. The month itself was pretty uneventful but the weekend before halloween The Artist and her Fiance came up to my house and we were going to watch scary movies and go to a haunted house and everything.  So we went out on Saturday, introduced the Artist’s fiance to the BEST sushi. I mean, I lived in Southern California for like 3 years and this was THE BEST sushi I’ve ever eaten.  It’s this little hole in the wall sandwich place in downtown Mount Clemens, MI called Chantels Jailhouse Deli. Honestly I’ve only ever had their sushi but haha, it is delicious.  After that we walked around downtown there and there were the remnants of a little halloween festival going on. Kids were dressed up and trick or treating at the shops it was super cute.

Then we went to Gibraltar, for those who haven’t been it’s sort of like a giant fleamarket but all indoors.  Every so often they have special events such as gun and knife show, baseball cards, etc.  This weekend it happened to be the holistic Health Festival which was filled with stone vendors. It was a ton of fun and we even got Aura Chakra reports done which were really accurate and really interesting!  You put your hand on a thing where it takes your biometrics and the computer prints out a report and they talk to you about your aura and chakras and what it means and all that it was super cool.  One of the guys looks at it and comes up to me and is all “Looks like you’ve probably got a sore throat.”  and holy shit though haha I was complaining about it earlier that day.  So then we went out to go to the haunted house and… all three of us chickened out haha.  Since they were getting kinda worked up about it inside, I got kinda worked up about it too, and when The Artist and I turned to her fiance for  a final yes or no he was just kind of “Well, I’m not really feelin it.”  and it was kind of a big relief so we all went back to my house and watched the Conjuring instead lolol.

The next weekend for Halloween I got to drive down to The Artist’s house and stay there for the weekend! It was a LOT of fun and since she recently got kittens there was much cuddling haha. Actually it was because of the kittens that I went over there instead of having them come to my house for a 2nd weekend in a row, so they wouldn’t have to leave the kittens alone again. And also because I wanted to see them haha.  They had an extra bed they set up for me and we got to hang and talk a lot and drink a lot, it was a great time haha.

Unfortunately when I was driving back home it felt like the truck was really low compared to normal… and so on monday we took my truck in to the mechanic. All 4 springs/couplings were either cracked, broken, or gone!  That, paired with the muffler I needed to fix, and the transmission that was no good… well… it would have been a hefty bill.  I’m still looking for a car but it’s kind of rough. I only know some vague things that I’m looking for, and despite offering help once  my pops hasn’t really come through on that.  I don’t even know what budget I should aim for what kind of loan to get from the bank and ugh it’s a mess really.

So November has been full of that kind of stress. Thanksgiving wasn’t so bad as I got to see my grandmother and some relatives on my dad’s side.  Everyone liked my haircut that I was so nervous about haha.  I finally got a more masculine haircut so I was scared that they would make a big deal about it. But everyone just said it was cute on me so I’m really happy about that.  And that’s all that really happened last month.

And so we’ll see what happens in December!

I’ve got some other little projects in the works that I’ll hopefully get posts out about soon haha.

Road to Building a Tiny House!

Over the past couple months I’ve been feeling like it’s really time for me to move out. But… there’s several reasons that’s not gonna happen quite yet :T. Mostly I don’t get paid enough wages to make it living on my own yet. And I probably won’t have enough saved up for a year or two.

This is really disappointing. And then I suddenly remembered Tiny Houses! A few years ago or so I’d read about the Tiny House movement, found a layout I fell in love with and so on. Then as time went on I promptly forgot all about it, it wasn’t practical for me anymore as I had other plans! Well, time kept on keepin’ on and those plans fell through. And eventually I found myself sitting here in my small room, wishing I could afford my own place. And a new plan was hatched!

If I save my pennies through the winter, I might just have enough to get a properly-sized trailer and some lumber to start with, and i could very well build my own tiny trailer house throughout the summer!

Now, I’m under no illusions about finishing said tinyhouse during the summer, in fact I don’t know if I’ll even be able to afford things as I would like to. But that’s not keeping me from plotting and dreaming and mocking things up! In fact here’s what I’ve got so far:

tinyhouselayout

I left a space for the door,  dotted lines are windows, dashes are counters/desk space.  the dotted dash is a storage chest/couch situation and the grey’d area is where the woodburning stove would go(The stove is 1’x2′ (with “accessories” that make it more 3’x2′) but the grey would be the heat-proof’d areas)  The small room in the upper left is the bathroom/shower, and that little corner hall would have the kitchen sink and counterspace and storage and so on.  The scale here is that one square is 1’sq  so the trailer would be 18ft long and 8ft wide!

So far so good yeah? I haven’t quite gotten everything figured out yet, and if necessary I can expand it to 20′ for extra utilities space.  In the next few weeks I plan to mock it out full size in the backyard in the snow (nobody’s been back there yet =u=)  and kind of go through and make sure there’s enough room. I made this purely on assumptions so it’s very possible I’m completely wrong haha.

I have low experience in building things but I have my older brother who knows a LOT and if he had the funds could probably build it in a summer haha. But he’s far away so it’s up to me! I assisted in leveling my sister’s cabinets,  rewiring her kitchen, demo-ing her bathroom, re-drywalling her bathroom, finishing bro’s gf’s room (molding and spackle) and things like that.  I’ve measured and cut lumber, spraypainted various items, and so on.

I’ve never made something entirely by myself before though. And I’ve never really like, built a wall or built anything substantial so… There’s a learning curve I’m sure but I’m mechanically minded so I’m sure I can do it! I am a little worried about the plumbing more than the electrical. Electrical I’ve been getting a good grasp on lately (also one of my friends went to school to be an electrician. She shifted and became The Teacher, but I’m sure she still knows a lot of it haha.) But Plumbing… I mean, I’m sure I can get it, I just have absolute zero experience with that. At least with electrical I helped re-wire my sister’s kitchen (and hearing my bro bitch about the other construction guys and… well… if I’ve only learned one thing it’s to do the electrical before putting up any drywall! xD)

Pops has the tools, and probably some skills as well. And Bro’s got the skills I don’t so I’m sure he can give me some guidance! Although if any of y’all have any relevant experiences or resources to share I would love to hear what you’ve got to say!

Wallet-Making Take 2

So, I didn’t have enough left of that nice thick dark leather that I was planning to make my billfold wallet out of. But I do have this lighter, thinner leather that I think would make a nice minimalist pocket style wallet.

Something like the Journeyman offered by Tanner Goods [Here] would be ideal.

Seriously go take a look at that fancy shit, it’s beautiful. Now obviously I’m not expecting mine to come out so nicely. After all this is my first time doing any sort of leatherwork really. You can’t expect to paint a masterpiece the first time you pick up a brush :U  In any case I decided to base my design off of this since it looks easy enough, and being mechanically minded as I am I figured how it’s put together pretty easily.

For my wallet, just cut up two pieces and matched them up as best I could but uh… Now I know why the pros use a hydraulic press with a cutting mold, whereas I used a metal straightedge and a box cutter. So the mirror image isn’t exactly there, close enough though.  Next I cut up two more sheets to act as the outside ‘pockets’.  One I accidentally cut horribly short  and while I realized that I could totally flip it and make a sort of sideways pocket, I opted for the lazy/minimalist option and decided that one outside ‘pocket’ was good enough for me P:

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Next came the all important part of puncturing the leather for the needle and thread to get through!

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I pulled out my awl and mowed through the bottom edge of my first big piece, using only the awl and a whack with the palm of my hand. Now I know why the pros also have either strong ass sewing machines or a the very least rawhide mallets. Ow. So then I realized that I had to make sure somehow that these would line up right with the other pieces.

For the first line I just lined up the pieces as well as I could, inside out, and stuck my sewing needle through the holes in my first piece, to lightly puncture the second piece. I would use these little holes as a reference were to place the awl and punch through.

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You can see pretty good the difference in size of the awl holes and the needle marks. The next step was to pin the corners together using some thumbtacks pops had lying around and poke the rest of the holes to match the second piece, and then follow suit with the sides of the pockets that would get stitching.

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The thread I’m using is a durable heavyduty thread in a sort of steely silver that I’ve used in the past to stitch simple book bindings early last year (the books didn’t warrant such a thread but my mother was pretty adamant). And I think it’ll contrast nicely with the color of leather that I have. So after punching through the leather scraps, it was time to sew them together!

I did this by hand as I don’t have any kind of sewing machine at the moment, not to mention i don’t even know you can do this kind of thing with a sewing machine. The stitching may not be perfect but it’s more than strong enough to hold this thing together hopefully for a long time! Or at least long enough for me to purchase more leather and try again =D

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Now, unfortunately when I got to the ends I had no idea how to knot them up properly. So I just tried to wing it. But uh… That proved itself a bad idea pretty quick as one of the knots started coming undone immediately. So I resorted to supergluing the knots into place.  Next time I’ll put more research into that part =w=;;;.

It should hold for a good while though and I can re-stitch it if need be. The only thing I need to figure out now is sealing the outside edges together so they don’t pull up. I noticed when I put them in my pocket one of the layers on the corner likes to catch and pull up so I’ll have to figure out how that’s done.

But, a project  completed and I’m super pleased with the result!

 

Survival How-to: Fire Straws

The other day I was planning to have a little bonfire in the back yard but… nope. The weather was raining off and on all day so, bonfire for entertainment purposes not so good an idea. I was tempted to try anyways but I would be the only one out there and the firepit’s already been set up for family enjoyment. (one of my bros already set up logs and stuff. ) So instead, I did a little crafting inside, I made fire straws!

I first read about these a couple years ago, and it’s a really simple premise!  You take a plastic straw cut to whatever length you want,  melt one end shut, fill it with something, and melt the other end shut!

I’ve seen these used for things like a single dose of neosporin or toothpaste or other things too. But the use that interested me most was the ‘fire straw’ where it’s filled with some type of tinder. So here’s what I did, step-by-step so you can make some too!

You will need:

Plastic Straws
Needlenose Pliers

Cottonballs
Toothpick
Lighter (or other open-flame)

1.  Take your straw and cut it to your desired length mine were roughly an inch.
2.  Pinch one end with your pliers and hold it shut with a little bit overhanging the end of the pliers

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3.  Run your flame under  the overhanging bit to melt it together. While it’s still malleable you can pinch down the seal with your pliers to make it flat.

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4.  Take your cotton ball and pull it apart into more manageable strips of fluff.

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5.  Take the fluff and a toothpick and stuff your straw with the fluff!  Be careful not to use too much pressure or your toothpick could puncture a side, defeating the purpose of keeping your tinder waterproof!

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6.  Fill it up until you have just enough space to pinch down the end with your pliers with a bit of overhang once again.

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7.  Repeat step 3 on this other end and ta-da! You’ve got a fire straw!

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The purpose of firestraws is to keep a bit of tinder dry in your kit (I keep mine in my fire kit which I try to have waterproofed anyways, but they’re so small they can fit just about anywhere you want to stash ’em)  I made a total of 6 of these and have those in my kit right now.  One thing I have read is that some people will dip their cotton in petroleum jelly to make it burn longer and that kind of thing, but I haven’t tried that yet.

 

So why don’t you try and make your own firestraws and tell me how it goes! Or if you’ve made your own before or have other ideas of what to store in these mini-containers leave a comment!

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