A couple of years ago, I assembled a steampunk styled belt http://mike.creuzer.com/2013/11/i-have-had-a-belt-for-over-10-years.html…

A couple of years ago, I assembled a steampunk styled belt http://mike.creuzer.com/2013/11/i-have-had-a-belt-for-over-10-years.html and I have been using a blank belt buckle with it. Today, I made a custom steampunk/blacksmith styled belt buckle. A bit of leather work, a bit of computer work, and my 3d printer. So much fun!

In album Raised Leather Belt Buckle

It only took a minute to print, but a long time to design and layout. It’s my Initials MJC arranged so the shapes look like “Me”.

I scaled the file, but forgot it was radius and not diameter, so the first print came out too big. A bit of scaling in Slic3r fixed that quickly enough.

Glued up the belt with contact cement.

A few minutes ‘clamped’ curved the printed emblem.

I think the emblem under the leather works.

I cut a bunch of darts into the leather so I can fold the leather over.

I love binder clips. They are great for clamping stuff.

The finished buckle, waiting for the contact cement to finish drying or whatever it does.

I like the raised effect on the leather.

The finished belt buckle. It’s a ‘kids’ buckle and not a full size one. I am not big on huge buckles. So it pinches the belt a bit. Steampunk styled belt, with a custom belt buckle to suite.

My personalized belt buckle.

I made a custom leather belt case for my custom wireless charging flip cased Galaxy…

I made a custom leather belt case for my custom wireless charging flip cased Galaxy Note Edge. It's been a fairly drawn out project getting the two cases made – from March until now. But the results are worth the effort.

The main design goal was to not bend my phone when I sit on it in my pocket as it is HUGE I also wanted to show off the nifty 'edge' feature.

I bought all the materials for both aspects of the case at the same time. I will also be making a matching Leatherman holster as well as a 2nd iteration of my home made wallet – http://mike.creuzer.com/2014/07/i-made-a-new-wallet-last-night.html. There will me more scrap leather after that, so I am sure some more projects will come of that 1 piece of leather.

The Wireless Charging Flip Case details are at http://mike.creuzer.com/2015/08/i-few-months-back-i-bought-a-galaxy-note-edge-on-ebay.html

I had made a phone case for a different phone with details found at http://mike.creuzer.com/2014/01/i-made-a-phone-belt-case.html This other case has a built in solar charger which is pretty darn cool. That feature didn't make it into this case as it's not really worth the effort as the solar panel that small takes 3 days to charge and gets me 30 minutes of usage.

Lots of pictures to look at with descriptions for each image with this project.

In album Note Edge belt case

The finished product. The case is designed to make the edge display visible on my phone while it is in the belt case.

A little bit of planning. The black leather is very stiff so I have a strong back to attach the belt clip to.

A bought belt clip and leather, and a pair of 3D printed sides. There are holes in the printed parts so I can sew through them to sew the leather onto the ends.

I drilled holes in the heavy leather for sewing and punched holes for the belt clip. The big hole in the printed plastic is for a hinge for a retaining strap which I don’t think I will need.

The green leather is bonded to the heavy leather. Glue it and sew it. I find my stitching looks neater if I am not fighting the pieces moving while I am trying to sew.

Riveted the belt clip on. I like the fancier rivets.

My rivet job is less than perfect. The flap of green leather on the right is folded over to protect the phone from the rivet bits seen here.

Phone is now protected from the rivets!

Yeah, I make stuff using trash. The green plastic is a bit of Mt. Dew 2 liter soda bottle. When the curve seen here is flattened, it wants to curve 90 degrees off of the main curve. I glued it on so the curve tips the top front out so it’s easier to get the phone in.

You can see how the plastic wants to curve. Big Binder clips are the best assembly tool ever!

2 needles, 6 foot of thread on each side. I really need to make a stitching horse. You can see here how the phone case matches my phone case.

I sharpen my glover’s needles on my diamond sharpener. You can see I have 1 side stitched up. Looks pretty good!

The Galaxy Note Edge in the custom flip case, next to the the custom belt case.

It slides right in, like it was designed for it! Oh, wait, I did design it to do this!

This was my desired end result. Being able to see the ‘edge’ on my phone and the data that it can display.

I have a trip on the calendar for the 4th of July for a trip with a buddy (who isn't…

I have a trip on the calendar for the 4th of July for a trip with a buddy (who isn't a ULer). My wife sent me to Aldi's for some ground beef, and I saw a few things I just had to have. A 40oz stainless water bottle and the Adventuridge Lightweight Foldable Backpack.

The backpack really reminded me of a small version of the G4 DIY ultralight bag. I've been meaning to make that bag for a few whiles. Just no time and a lack of ambition.

This bag is $10 and folds into itself. The back is padded, and the straps are double layer, but not padded. I figure I can rip open the seam, add my own padding, and sew it back up as good as new. Suggestions on a padded shoulder strap material?

There was also a black and red version. I picked this bright (like bright blue car bright) blue and silver one because I have some 'twilight grey' fabric dye I like to use to tone down bright articles. It should match my Kelty Hip Bag I posted here a few months ago.

I stuck it on the scale and it comes in at under 11oz or a touch over 300 grams. It claims 7.9 gallons which is 30 liters or 1825 cubic inches. A kids bag in size, really, but I suffer from fill-er-up-itis so a small bag is just what I need. I also have kids… so when I start going with them, they will have a bag to use as well.

I do plan on mating it to my Kelty hip bag with some clips so they function as a single bag. The Kelty is a great hip bag and will do the load bearing bit. This new bag is for the lighter stuff like the sleeping bag, hammock and such.

In album Aldi’s Ultralight backpack

This photo is pretty close to the true color of the light blue. It’s actually brighter yet to the eye than to the camera.

10 3/4 oz for a 7.9 gallon backpack. The best part? $10!

306 grams (including the cardboard tags). It folds up into itself nicely as well.

Turn it over, and you see it’s a backpack that really looks like that DIY G4 backpack I’ve seen plans for online. And it folds into itself so I can stash it nicely when I am not using it.

The outside is nice and simple. The over-flap has a zipper pocket like is very common. The color is very bright. Florescent lighting doesn’t really capture it.

The back is padded, but the straps aren’t really padded. I figure I can open up a seam, add some padding, and re-sew the seam on the straps.

I gave the brand new bag in a dye-dunk to try to tone the brightness down and make it more closely match my Kelty Oriele bag. The gray is a tad purplish, but this dye does that. I think a second round and I may have it tinted quite nicely to match. Also check out that big 40oz stainless water bottle for $5 at Aldi’s as well.

The hip pack has clips for shoulder straps. I plan on clipping the new bag onto the hip pack and using the hip pack like the waist belt. The heavy stuff can go into the lower bag, the light, bulky stuff can go in the new bag.

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 built an Altoids tin multi-fuel backpacking stove

I spent an hour or two on Youtube the other night, coming up with ideas for this. So, none of the ideas are original to me, but I didn't see a multi-fuel setup or a capillary action alcohol stove out of a Altoids tin. 

97 grams as it currently sits. It will gain a little bit of weight as I add a small fero rod and jigsaw blade, wind screen and protective wrap. The tin will be the handle for the small saw. I am also going to add a leather wrap around the tin. The wrap is to contain the parts and also be used for a base for keeping tinder dry when making a campfire. The leather thong will be long enough for a bow-drill.

The capillary stove is pretty cool. The fuel wicks up inside the metal wick by capillary action. The metal gets hot, vaporizes the fuel, and it burns. The X shape of the wick is to increase the amount of flame area while providing good air flow to the flame. The X is a slice of a soda can, folded down to the shape.
Currently, I have a problem with boiling of the fuel before it can vaporize, so the stove will spit little fire balls nearly a foot away! It needs work yet.

In album 2015-02-11

Capillary action alcohol stove burning. The fluid wicks up between the thin gap in the soda can wick. The hot metal vaporizes the alcohol, which then burns well. This will burn like this for 5 minutes on 6ml of denatured alcohol and then burn out in a matter of seconds.

All packed up. Everything fits into a regular Altoids tin.

This is in liquid fuel mode. The burner sits inside the tin which has the bolt stand offs to hold the pot. The mesh grate isn’t used in this form.

Wood burning mode. Small sticks can be placed between the pot stand posts. The grate allows air to get under the fire for better burning.

The pot stand is sized to work with metal water bottles.