Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Scrape belt project in progress

Details of the latest project - the belt portion of a tool belt destined for the derby sessions of one Scrape Myrtle. Pre-dyeing, pre-stitching, but it allows you to see the carving and tooling in all its glory.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Accomplishment level - high

Work has continued on the latest project, an Australian stock whip, and even though a nasty thumb laceration slowed things down I'm finally finished. Note to self - working too quickly with a straightedge and a utility knife usually results in sutures. I posted a pic of the thong in a previous post, and above is the oak dowel handle with an eight strand plait. Below is after the excess was trimmed flush with the handle, and a strip of leather was tacked to the handle, then taken to the belt sander to build up a knob for the butt of the handle.

Second attempt at the turks head knot. This is before tightening, and this arrangement still had too many gaps near the rest of the handle.

The finished turks head, after adding a third strand to the knot where it was closest to the handle plaiting.

The keeper lashed into place.

The finished stock whip. It measures nine feet from the butt of the handle to the end of the cracker (white nylon string at the very end) and is surprisingly easy to control. I worried that the attachment of the thong to the handle would be too loose and would leave things too floppy, but it turns out that my fears were unfounded. It might have helped that I cut the slit in the end of the thong just big enough to accommodate the keeper, and kept the keeper tight too, but as this is my first whip I really have no idea if this affects it or not.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Works in progress (for you to covet)

Last week was the four year anniversary of Arts and Drafts, and like all of our celebrations we had a white elephant gift exchange. The guidelines are to either give crafting supplies or something handmade, and considering the number of extremely talented ladies (and a few men!) the gifts can be pretty amazing. This was my contribution to the proceedings - a simple leather pouch that's large enough to carry cash, checks or whatever else strikes your fancy:

But not all of my projects lately have been leather related. My girlfriend is in the process of classing up Persimmon, her mixte, and recently purchased some Velo-Orange fluted metal fenders. I've put a pair of VO fenders on my own commuter bike before, and that was a frustrating, multiple hour and beer affair, so I was able to take that experience and make this installation a much smoother and shorter job:

Velo-Orange metal fenders are designed to work with multiple styles and geometries of bike frames, and in order to accomplish this you have to do some drilling, cutting and modifying. And maybe some hair pulling, and hand wringing, and sometimes cursing. Also, some of their stock mounting hardware, while classy, leaves a lot to be desired in the "keeping things quiet" department. I figured out a modification that keeps them from rattling but still keeps things simple and hopefully clean looking.

In progress right now is a ninja-themed belt:

Also in progress is my first attempt at making a whip. It's a basic four strand Australian stock whip with one belly. The leather used is from an oily utility hide and so far the whip itself is about six feet long.