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Last week I read a little article from an old Popular Mechanics magazine. The article explained how a person with limited tools and a kitchen stove could fashion a knife from an old file. I was half way through the article before I had started digging through my collection of bastard files to find one that I could part with.

I softened the metal as per the instructions over a stove (in this case, I used and old Coleman stove running “white gas”) until it was just past “blue” in color, and let it air cool.

I then drew out my design with a Sharpie, and cut it into shape with a 4-1/2” angle grinder. I chose a modified version of a tanto blade for several reasons, but that’s just my preference…

After cutting out its shape, I switched to a 120 grit flap wheel on the grinder, and did all the rest of the grinding with that (including the “glass breaker” on the tip of the tang).

Once everything was as it should be, I made up my own version of a paracord wrap for the handle, and then put the final edges on all three sharp sides.

At this point, I needed a way to transport and store the knife, and the article said nothing of what to use in that endeavour… So, after considering all the options of things and of materials I had in my shop, I came up with a patch of leather and got to work. By the way, this was my first leather project! After stitching it all up, and wet formed the sheath, and then grabbed my grommet kit and found a problem… All I had were bright brass grommets! I went back to my Coleman stove, and heated them up and quenched them in used motor oil, and then reheated them on the stove one last time to give them a nice “old” look. Let me note that the wet forming of the leather gave the sheath a VERY positive retention aspect, that made a retention strap/snap obsolete. 

When I got done trying not to cut myself playing with my new toy, I realized that the top stitches were vulnerable to the knife’s edge… This brings me to my last detail. I got out some copper wire, and gave the first stitch 6-8 laps, and now it’s done!

This project was super fun, and was actually free! I used only things that I had on-hand, and only pretty basic hand tools (an angle grinder is basic, right?). I am dying to make a few more now, and already know several things I would do different/ to improve the project.

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We needed a few things to knock over at the range… The bottle cap on the left is for scale (it’s 5-6” tall).
Two pigs, and six chickens!
Chickens are placed at 200 meters, and pigs are at 300 meters. We generally shoot with iron sights, and show-up the guys with big $ optics.

We needed a few things to knock over at the range… The bottle cap on the left is for scale (it’s 5-6” tall).

Two pigs, and six chickens!

Chickens are placed at 200 meters, and pigs are at 300 meters. We generally shoot with iron sights, and show-up the guys with big $ optics.

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I was asked to make “pipe clamps” and “collars” for 8 16” OD pipes.

I designed the “pipe clamps” (1st picture) like a shaft collar with a compression fit. These are to stop the 3000 lb. pipes from sliding into a hole when placed upright.

The “collars” (2nd picture, and on the right), I used the same fastening system as above, but these guys have a different purpose… They are meant to clamp on the top of the pipe, and to attach 3 legs at 120 degrees of each other for “plumbing up”.

Then, they asked me to go ahead and design feet (3rd picture) for the “plumbing up” legs, and produce them as well.

That’s;

8- sets of “pipe clamps” for the bases,

8- sets of “plumbing up” collars,

24- feet for the legs

and I plasma cut all 278 pieces it took to make all 40 finished parts.

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It looks crappy, but it’s a ladder that I built to match a set of beds that I recently made. It’s all aluminum, properly angled, and has the rungs at the correct intervals. Now, its cleaned up and painted white to coincide with the finish of the two beds that it rests with. One of these days, I hope to get over to the house that it’s installed in and get a few pics of the whole setup…

It looks crappy, but it’s a ladder that I built to match a set of beds that I recently made. It’s all aluminum, properly angled, and has the rungs at the correct intervals. Now, its cleaned up and painted white to coincide with the finish of the two beds that it rests with. One of these days, I hope to get over to the house that it’s installed in and get a few pics of the whole setup…

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This is a little night stand lamp I made for my wife for Christmas. It consists of two pieces of .125” aluminum scrap, four rubber grommets and a lamp cord. No welding, all hand bent…

This is a little night stand lamp I made for my wife for Christmas. It consists of two pieces of .125” aluminum scrap, four rubber grommets and a lamp cord. No welding, all hand bent…

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For Osiflandia!

For Osiflandia!

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I made a quick coat/pants rack for my closet… A few mess ups in the cutting, but otherwise hard as H@!!…

I made a quick coat/pants rack for my closet… A few mess ups in the cutting, but otherwise hard as H@!!…

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Name plaques for a finished product.

Name plaques for a finished product.