Tag Archives: Crafts

Split hands, not bamboo

Earlier this week I finally wandered out into the woods to split bamboo for a basket or whatever I could think of. On the first stalk I cut my hand opened instead.

Find another way of securing bamboo besides holding it with a hand down-stalk. Bamboo, like most things that split, offers spots of resistance and ease. In this case it started out tough, so I applied pressure; then the split eased before I could dial down and drove the knife into my palm. You also don’t need that sharp of a knife, perhaps not even a knife and just wedged hardwood.

I wrapped my arm in my shirt and ran out of the woods and onto a road where everyone passed by. Fortunately I know my way around and ended up in a neighborhood where I asked a guy to call an ambulance, turned out we knew each other from elementary school, so yeah.

They want me to consult a surgeon though the knife did not hit tendon or muscle, just a nerve evidently because my hand’s numb on the outside. As long as the little finger works I am ok with the numbness, however.

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Hardtack and buttons homemade?

No posts for a while, I know. I haven’t done much of interest, no tag-worthy items for the greater wordpress audience to Like or Share or Follow on social media. I made some traditional hardtack yesterday. Ate a piece plain–not all that pleasant; left a piece in tea–softer, but it didn’t really pick up the flavor like I thought it would; fried it in olive oil with some garlic powder–the best out of the bunch, tasted like really cheap somewhat tough restaurant Italian bread. I’m hypothesizing that adding flavor would be better done while cooking as opposed to adding spices to the flour and water. The things take an hour to bake which may kill some flavor, but I’m not much of a cook so who knows.

Right now I’m waiting on buttons for my shorts. I considered sewing on a hodgepodge of ones from the tool box but thought that may turn people off because I may use these as the ‘display’ shorts … also considering making my own buttons out of 24 gauge copper–cutting squares, filing the edges, punching holes, and work hardening the copper with my ball-peen hammer and little jeweler’s anvil.

The pattern alterations

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After fiddling with the prototype in the previous post for hours, I put the alterations to paper. The blue lines on the left and right patterns indicate the cut for a more form-fitting tuxedo or a “two” button jacket. The blue line on the sleeve pattern–center–shows how much I cut from the original draft, over three inches at the elbow. I also enlarged the arm hole because I felt the original size would chafe at the armpit. Adding the alterations back to paper proved difficult because the fabric warped from wear, so I couldn’t just lay it back on and trace. Doing a decent job of it means measuring and double-checking as with anything else.

Junk sheaths

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I slapped these together in ~20 minutes, and I mainly write this to mention cheap hardware. Quick-set rivets–the rightmost three on the hatchet cover–are a pain. In my experience, if the shaft sticks out of the layers of leather the rivet will not set well or the shaft will bend. They work better in a rigid leather like veg tan. They work better if you own the $100+ rivet setter, too. But for a fairly fool-proof rivet I recommend solid copper, and I think solid brass exists also. The snaps used on the draw knife also suck. Using solid clasps or buckles might be a better option.

Faux-granite-countertop button test

I like buttons, and I like them even more when I can make them out of unusual materials. While rummaging in the patch of trees behind the neighborhood, I found part of a countertop … even remember the people who installed it 15 years ago or so. To start the process, I cut off a piece from the main counter and then cut that piece closer to button-depth. In the second picture you can see where the buttons came from. I roughed them out with a coping saw and then used the big piece and a clamp as a jig to perform more fine sawing (also second pic). I’ve scrapped these buttons, however, because they are too thick; a belt sander would shape quicker, but mine’s without a belt.

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Boring

Here’s the rough order of operations for making these jeans of mine:

1) Make pattern. 2) Cut fabric (with built-in waistband and fly/fly shield). 3) Zigzag edges. 4) Pockets–front then back. 5) Crotch and butt seam. 6) Zipper and fly junk. 7) Inseam, semi-flat-felled. 8) Outseams. 9) Waistband lining. 10) Button stuff. 11) Belt loops and rivets.

This would ideally be divided into 2 days which will not be easy because I don’t feel good.