I love having a 3D printer in the house

A new hobby is botany. So I made up a leather tool roll and bought some tools. A self closing tweezers is on the list, but I would need to order one. I thought I could print a decent one.

I was right.

Nothing available to download on the thing sites yet, so I designed something in OpenScad. It took 2 ten minute prints to get it right. Cost is a quarter each set.

The two halves are "rivited" together with a bit of plastic filament.

I love the future.

In album 6/28/15

My botany books and my botany tool roll. And the kids playing in the yard while I work up this catnip plant ( I got for mosquito repellant for the kids ) in both the books.

I designed and 3D printed this self closing tweezers to hold plants so I can look at them with the loupe.

It was a bit difficult reading through the books with the kids interrupting me with new plants to look up about every 90 seconds. Luckily I know a good portion of what’s in the yard so I could quickly send them off, looking for more.

The tweezers are the expensive bit – from the eyebrow-plucking section in Walmart. The Loupe and ‘microscope’ loupe are out of China on Ebay. Cost less than one of the eyebrow tweezers. Crazyness.

My 3d printed self closing tweezers are the most awesome, of course, but that is just me thinking highly of them.

Anybody else try the SOL Escape Bivy? I found one on clearance for $35 shipped and…

Anybody else try the SOL Escape Bivy? I found one on clearance for $35 shipped and thought I'd give it a try. $50 is too rich for my blood given the mixed reviews and stories how it's a tight fit. Only been wanting one for 2 years.

The features I liked in the ads are the unobtrusive green color, heat reflective construction, and waterproof while being breathable.

I ran it through it's paces as best as I can with the temps running around 0 outside.

Initial test. I filled the stuff sack with water. The sack is made of the same material, without the nicer seams. The water poured out the seems, but no seeping on the main material. Sticking your hand in the bag, you do feel the 'space blanket' effect with nearly instantly warmer hands.

First night I climbed in it in bed, and tossed my usual quilt and wool blanket over me and the bag. I felt decidedly warmer than usual even with lots of skin contact to the bag. In the morning there was no clamminess so the breath-ability claim is substantiated in my book. If it didn't breath, I should have been swimming like a fish.

For the 2nd night, I decided to 'camp out' in my basement with my oldest 2 girls. The basement runs mid 60s during the winter. I rigged up a pair of hammocks for my girls out of bed sheets and lots of blankets. 
I slept in a hammock and the bivy wearing sweatpants and a tshirt. I froze! My trip out in 3 degree weather and strong winds in  down bags had me less chilled (although much colder in spots) than 65 degrees with this bivy. 3 am, I folded and grabbed my light down jacket and wool hat. Covering my torso and arms and I slept great the rest of the night.

This again confirms what I've known for a while. Space blankets need space in order to work. This bag is SO tight on me that I doubt I can get my summer weight down bag and myself stuffed inside. Warm thin clothes is the best I can hope for.

I think I may modify the bag by adding a heavy space blanket diamond to the bottom. Slit the bag about 3 feet and tape in a diamond shaped patch maybe 6 inches wide. I am going to try to seal the stuff sack with some Gorilla brand clear repair tape to see how well it sticks and durability before I cut the bag.

This isn't a down bag, for sure. I don't foresee any use for this in cold weather. It is also not a comfortable bag. Given the size and weight, it will be my ultralight summer setup. I will be using this bag a lot I expect simply because it's so svelte. Cowboy camping in my future in this bag for sure!

Anybody else try this bag?

In album 2015-02-22

244 grams for a waterproof bivy/sleeping bag seems like a great way to go ultralight.

Shiny on the inside. Supposed to reflect radiant heat back at you. As long as you don’t touch it.

Overnight in the hammock hung in the basement, 63-65f, and I froze wearing sweatpants and a tshirt. 3am I had to get my down jacket and a wool hat, and then I was good the rest of the night.

Some nice details such as nice finished seems on the inside, and a dart at the end of the 1/4 length zipper. Six foot four 235lbs for 2 nights really pushes out on the bag and the seems only settled a little bit.

I rigged up a pair of bedsheet hammocks for the girls, tied off the treadmill. They enjoyed it OK. Not a fan of the hammock yet. Practicing camping with them so they do better when we go for real.

I ordered a copy of the POCKET REF 4th edition by Thomas J

Glover. The book truly is a small book. I decided that I needed to make a case for it to keep it nice as I intend to haul it around with me.

A sharp knife, some scrap leather and an hour, and I have a handy little reference that should stay nice for a long time and not need to be recharged!

In album POCKET REF Leather Cover

The finished book cover. I decided not to dye it black. It took me an hour to make, start to finish.

Flipping through my new favorite book! The case opens up so I can take the book out. Should keep the cover nicer, longer.

Well, the book fits, but I think I can do better than this.

The bits and pieces I need for making a cover for my Pocket Ref. A piece of leather out of a ‘scrap leather’ bag from a hobby store, a sharp knife, a cutting mat, Neatsfoot Oil and Dye.

The leather was an assortment grab bag. I was lucky I had a piece that was big enough I could make something work. There was another piece with a color I liked better, but I couldn’t get something I liked cut out of it.

Works this way…

And it works this way…

I used the cutting mat to mark the cut lines. Just slide it along on the edge. Visible marks on the suede side of the leather. I also oiled  the finished side at this point so the oil has a chance to soak in before I dye it.

Measure twice, cut once. Cut isn’t perfectly straight, but it’s good enough for me.

I cut a belt and a belt loop out of the short side fold overs.

The book just sits in this case for safe carrying.

Fold and mark the tie strap locations. The little triangle is from whatever this was to be originally. Alignment marks or something.

Some strips from trimming the edges to fit better are tied on the inside.

A tidy wrap for a tiny book.

Today I learned how to start a fire by rubbing sticks together

I had a small hatchet, a small knife, and a bit of string. I spent 6 hours or so preparing for about 6 minutes to get a fire started I let burn for about 3 minutes.

Fire by friction is hard. Building a bow drill set is fussy, exacting work with a hatchet. My aim is much better than it used to be thanks to my blacksmithing practice. The knife I had with me is much to small for this type of work.

I got a fire lit! There should be a video posted soon by the guy who was teaching me today.

In album Bow Drill Fire

Fire is so pretty.

You really learn to appreciate fire when you make it by rubbing sticks together.

You really appreciate a lighter after spending 6 hours to make a fire.

This is the fire set. It’s designed to have the tinder bundle placed down inside at the bottom, and the whole thing goes WHOOSH when you get the fire going. This is a bit spindly, but it worked great!

My hand-crafted bow drill set. I did most of the work with a small hatchet.

On our way out, after dark, I saw something glowing on the ground. When the camera flash went off for this photo, we saw it was some rotten wood. Luminescent Fungus! Stuff you read about in books, it actually exists!

This is my setup to build a fire with a bow drill. The parts are on the left side, the fire set is in the middle, and taking a shoe off helps tremendously!

This is the tinder bundle. It holds the coal and produces the flame. It’s dried bark bits, grass, and some cattail fluff.

This isn’t me. He is showing me how to seat the parts. There is a lot of doing this.

New Book Shelf Shelves

A long time ago, I had made some book shelf shelves out of cardboard so I could see more books on a shelf than normal. Today, I was cleaning up the garage and found some scrap wood so I made some more out of wood this time. No lights on this batch, but that can come later.

Old and new Bookshelf risers
Old and new Bookshelf risers

The first two I made was out of a junk MDF board.

junk wood shelf
junk wood shelf

The next one I made was from a much nicer scrap. I made this one a bit shorter as the shelf it went on was one peg shorter than the rest of the shelves.

A nice bookshelf shelf with center support to prevent sagging.
A nice bookshelf shelf with center support to prevent sagging.

I even went so far as counter-sinking the screws so the books don’t snag on screw heads.

When in doubt, glue it and screw it!
When in doubt, glue it and screw it!
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