Overnight trip. 10 mile hike in and out Late September, Chicago 'burbs

Water bottle carrier as the 'backpack'.
* Water bottle
* SOL 2 person space blanket
* .7mil plastic sheeting
* Airline wool blend blanket
* Stainless camp cup
* Mason cord
* Rain coat

I quick overnighter to a place a buddy has access to. Crazy lightweight, but I know the area, so I know there are cattails nearby to make a sleeping mat. Rained much of the night, I stayed dry. Mosquitoes where the worst part.

The 10 mile walk in was good, if a bit warm. The 10 mile hike out was brutal. Got badly dehydrated. Water bottle is too small at 32 oz.

I made a shoe rack for behind the front door

I bought a bundle of fifteen 1x2s for $12. There are some pretty twisted, gnarly looking boards in the bundle. My dad taught me how to selectively cut with the twists and kinks in mind so the project turns out in the end. I've only 1 wonky spot I am not happy about. I used 3/4 of the bundle of wood with only a dozen of so 6 inch scraps left over.

It's built with tools my wife has gotten me over the last couple of birthdays. I love tools.

In album Shoe rack

The shoe rack is designed to fit behind the door. I’ve notched it to fit around the baseboard. It’s extended across the heat register to dry gloves and is rounded so I don’t bang my lag on the corner.

The inner space worked out to be perfectly square. Not sure how that happened, but I will pretend it’s planned.

The door opens flush against the table.

The lower shelf is angled so big shoes can fit toes towards the back.

Gloves, hats, shoes, & boots all fit on the little table. I think I like it.

A couple of weeks ago I found a packable down jacket at walmart…

A couple of weeks ago I found a ''packable down jacket'' at walmart for $29. Couldn't really afford it, but couldn't really afford to not get it. Royal Falcon is the brand. I've found references on forums it's sold under a couple of names. 14oz even for the extra large. I've been using it as a second liner for my Columbia ski jacket. Very warm combo. Too warm, really. It sticks to my arms really bad if I sweat in it, so I don't think its very breathable.

I was thinking that it being a packable coat, it would make a good sleep coat.

Today I decided to put it through its paces while shoveling Chicago's 8 inches of snow. I put on a long sleeve polyester shirt i got on clearance for $5 this spring. Essentially an under armour knock off and delightfully ugly. My insulated pants, bomber hat, some good gloves and my hiking shoes I wear every day with some freshly patched wool blend socks.

4 to 6:30. Shoveled out my driveway. Then I spent half an hour standing under the hood of a car futzing with a battery cable. Then after dark I fired up the grill for some steaks and cleared the deck while the temps dropped down to 7 degrees.

Near the end I was no longer warm, standing around waiting on the steaks. Not cold, but not warm – about the same feeling as a tshirt in my basement.

I am actually amazed by how well it worked. I dressed lightly knowing all that snow was going to be work. I paced myself so I wouldn't sweat up bad, but did a little. I expected to freeze while wrenching on the car. I didn't. The gloves are good, warm hands even though the wrenches would freeze to them. Standing out in the wind in a foot of snow, still not cold.

Seven Degrees.

It's amazing what the right combination of light weight gear can do.

I remember as a kid bundling up in layers and layers and still getting cold.

In album

This is my ‘ugly’ shirt. I’ve several different prints. The pants are my FAVORITE pair. Insulated. My folks gave them to me. They are starting to get holes in them. Time to patch them. I am thinking leather patches. In the shape of leaves.

The little one was outside with me, making sure I was piling the snow up right.

The down jacket I just got. Love this thing! The hat is a replacement for the one I lost in the house fire. I love it, my wife hates it. The gloves have some sort of plastic bag liner inside of them so the fleece is water proof. Works well, but they take DAYS to dry out.

I gave my wife her birthday present early (I just couldn't wait to play with…

I gave my wife her birthday present early (I just couldn't wait to play with the one I got for myself too). 

I got her a Qi wireless phone charger. Well, several, actually. Phones and tablets got the receivers, and there are a couple of spots that the phone routinely gets set down, so each of those spots got a charger. More charger bases will be coming, now that I know the things actually work decently.

Mine didn't survive more than a couple of hours before a teardown. These things are actually pretty small. I think I want to make some housings other than the plastic that they come with. 

3d printed & leather 'saddlebags' for the trucklet's center console so I can drop a phone in by a knee to charge.

Wooden blocks instead of the plastic blocks.

I think the LaBOREtory needs one done up in clear resin so everyone can see what they consist of.

My mind is just racing…

I made a phone belt case

I printed some parts, sewed some leather onto the parts, hit it with a hammer a few times, and voila! Total Awesomesauce!

I recently picked up a Galaxy SIII because my EVO 3d starting to get a wiggy touch screen.  My brother in law gave me a BodyGlove case for it. One of the crazy tough ones – you know, HUGE!  I can’t find a belt clip case that fits it. I’ve tried.  This thing won’t fit into most cases the wrong way. Did I mention it was rather large?

So, I decided to make one.

With a solar panel.

The openscad source file is on my github, but you can preview the stl at https://github.com/creuzerm/openscad-projects/blob/master/CellPhoneCaseSide.stl It is shaped for the phone case and has holes in it to sew the leather onto.

I have a solar charger battery pack that I incorporated into the case. There is a vinyl window for the solar panel. The charger doesn’t so much charge the phone as give me an additional half an hour of talk time. It’s a nice to have item in a pinch. It’s also a flashlight.

So I guess you can say I have a phone case for my phone case with a built in solar powered flashlight.

Seems absurd when I think about it that way.

So I won’t.

In album Phone Case

This is the finished phone case sitting on a table. I think I actually like it.

Measuring and laying out the leather and my 3d  printed ends. You can see the holes in the red ends for sewing them to the leather.

Most of the case will be double layered to protect the phone from the metal fasteners on the outside of the case.

Some duct tape to help hold pieces while assembling the case.

The hole with the piece of vinyl is for a solar charger for the phone.

The belt loop clip is rivited on with most of it on the inside and the clip outside. The hole for the clip is punched on either end and then slit. Hopefully this will keep the leather from tearing.

The window is stitched in. The magnetic latch is attached.

This is the inside. The duct tape area will be the future bottom inside of the phone case.

The small gap is deep down inside the case and isn’t visible when completed.

The red plastic 3d printed ends are sewn into place. This will form the case around the phone.

Sewing these on with a harness needle. Each spot needs to be punched with an awl. The eye of the needle is just a smidgen too big, I kept crushing it and breaking the needles.  At a nearly buck a needle, this is irritating.

The case ended up being pretty floppy. So it needed some reinforcing.  This plastic tray from the last time I spent a week in the hospital with one of my girls is perfect. Soft, strong, bendy plastic that cuts with a scissors. Sometimes it’s good to keep ‘trash’ like this.

The case isn’t finished, so I can slip the plastic pieces in. It firmed the case up very nicely. Makes it from an utter disappointment to a ‘meh’ project.

Tandy was having an end of the year sale, so I bought a snap set kit so I don’t smash the daylights out of the rivets and snaps anymore. The metal ‘Anvil’ with the bowls for the snap heads is what I was interested in, it would be the hardest part for me to make on my own.

The right tools makes the job SO much nicer. One of the other things I bought was glovers needles. I broke about 8 of the harness needles I was using for the first half of the project. The glovers needles went through my leather without needing to punch holes first.

These snap sets aren’t the right tools for what I was doing. But they are SO much better than what I had before. The washer is an adapter for the mag-snap. I didn’t deform the snaps horribly this time.

The space for the solar charger is defined by the rivets and the larger mag-snap. The window was made bigger by about a quarter of an inch  – rip the old window out, make a new one. The Binder clips are to hold the shape while I start sewing the edges.

The solar charger can slip out of the case as needed. The cable for the charger is also stored in this spot, down towards the end. It actually works quite nice in there.

The glossyness to the leather is from an application of neatsfoot oil.

You can see the curves to the printed parts here. This enforces that the phone can go into the case with the screen facing in so it’s less likely to get damaged.

The phone case slips down into the belt case just about perfectly. The curve of the 3d printed pieces matches the curve of the phone case.

The case is rather large on my belt. A buddy keeps telling me “Nice purse”, but I don’t care.

It turned out pretty well for my first mixed-material leatherworking project. (I started my moccasins after I started this, but finished them first. < http://mike.creuzer.com/2013/11/i-caught-the-bug-and-decided-to-make-my-own-moccasins.html >)