Making, Crafting, Creating... aka Whatcha workin' on?


3/4 of a duct-tape suit:


That’s one roll, 50 yards x 1.88", or 23.5 square feet. Hat, tie, belt, shoes and pocket square will be made of black gaff tape


Almost ready for some prehistoric schenanigans…


Love that dopey yet startled look on the tiny-brained stegosaurus. It looks like one of my chickens – which are dinosaurs, after all.


Oooooh, boiled peanuts, yum!

Just an idea.


I went a little nuts on the back:

(In the style of George Jones’ “White Lightning” Nudie suit.)


Patching yet another fractured rim.


Are you deliberately using wood with knots and flaws? I can see that would be both a challenge and aesthetically pleasing, but certainly more difficult to accomplish.


The central pith section is often a bit unstable…but it has the nicest colours and features. The rim breakages are always when a section of the pith flies loose.

Camphor laurel is particularly prone to this; it’s fairly soft wood, and tends to have crumbly pith.


And now the repair has blown.

Fuck it, I’ll make a dish.





Yay! I liked that one especially.


I finished the knife sander, and the forge is working. I still need to put another door and a tool rest on the forge.

So today, I plan to finish the forge, and make a hollow grinding fixture for the sander.


Love the forge! Are those gas grill burners? Are you using acetylene for fuel? How is it aspirated?


The burners run on propane, and allow air in at the top. I will have to allow an exhaust opening on the primary door to preserve proper flow. I have not yet done the math to figure the required opening size.
The body of the forge is 3/4" thick steel, made of two pieces of square tubing welded together. All the tubing and valves and the doors are stainless steel, which I use whenever possible. The insulation is 2" of ceramic fiber, with firebrick on the bottom.
The only reason I used such heavy materials is that I already had them on hand. Basically the only thing I bought especially for this project was the ceramic fiber and the burner tubes. The rectangular stainless plate the burners are attached to can be replaced fairly easily if my burner arrangement needs improvement or upgrade. I probably did not need the heat shield for the valves, but it seemed sensible.
This is my first gas forge, either to make or to own. I have had an old fashioned coal forge for years, but it is too small to make swords, and sort of awkward to use with any precision. We also have a big commercial kiln, which is technically capable of the same general temperature ranges, but heats up very slowly, and is also not suitable for our plans. But it is great for precise heat treating. we also have some glassworking stuff, and pretty good welding gear. So lots of opportunities to get burnt or otherwise injured in the shop.
I have a nice industrial temperature controller and a thermocouple that can work in the desired temperature ranges. I was thinking about using those with electric solenoids so I could have precise temperature control. But that would be getting ahead of my skill level, as far as forging goes.
I have some antique files that I am going to try to turn into knives in the next few days. Once I get comfortable with my abilities, I have some broken pieces of 18th century Japanese swords, which have great potential.
But the whole thing is inspired by my oldest kid, who wants to make swords. That gave me the excuse to do what I have been thinking about for years.


Today’s pot:

Camphor laurel, waxed. Had to drown the base in glue in order to get the pith stable enough to cut and sand.


And a dish.


Me too! Even better than Seattle’s dopey yet sad stegosaur.

@ArchStanton, your sander is dead gorgeous. Rare to see somebody work one up in such massive plate, but with that kind of equipment more mass = less vibration = better results, in my experience. I am impressed!

@Otherbrother, I’m just going to give up trying to make novel Samoween costumes now, you’ve kicked the damn cap off. Mad props.

@Wanderfound, I find that the differential shrinkage of wood can make knots and pith crack out of turned pieces as they age, depending on how dry it was when turned and what the tangential/radial shrinkage ratio for the species is. Some woodworkers soak their work in PEG to eliminate shrinkage, others use hard non-porous finishes on well dryed wood (I generally use clear grained wood so I won’t have to learn what to do about it).

This is the best BBS topic.


Retired now and having fun making flea market-sourced junk into instruments.

I showed 31 of them in public a few weeks ago.
Both kids and adults had fun playing them.

Made with basic hand tools plus a Dremel tool and drill.