Kilt Belt Loop Repair

My latest kilt is going on 3 years old and has an issue with one of its belt loops. The center one in the very back is hanging on by a thread. This kilt is a few sizes smaller than my previous ones, and I have noticed that smaller pants/kilts tend to come with fewer belt loops. It may be the fewer loops, it may be the design changes utilikilt made, but for whatever reason, I need a new loop.

About 10 minutes after snapping the above picture I put the kilt on, sat down, and broke the last threads. Good thing I have an old kilt that I kept around. I figured I could cut some material out, sew it up into a belt loop, then sew that on. Turns out one of the loops on the old kilt was in really good shape.

I went after the old kilt with a thread ripper and managed to free the loop. The way they fold it over and under there ended up being a lot of material to work with. Good thing I am a hopeless hoarder!

I bought a basic sewing machine not long after college. I used it to make a few things early on, but never really picked it up as a hobby. Every year or so I break it out to fix something and completely forget how it all works. I need to make a photo guide. To make things worse I think it needs oiling.

I picked up the old kilt and sewed a few straight lines to make sure I had the stitch settings the way I wanted. When I got done I realized my mad sewing was done in the kilt I was trying to repair, not the spare parts kilt. Oops. More time spent with the thread ripper. Thankfully it wasn’t in a highly visible spot and the final damage was minimal.

With the settings all worked out I went ahead and started tacking the repair loop down. The sewing machine had a lot of issues with the thickness and I ended up with a broken needle for my troubles. I switched out the needle and was able to finish. It looks a little ugly, but feels sturdy. I went wild with the sewing and managed to sew down the tag. Oh well, no real harm done.

Once I trimmed up all the spare strings it looks nice. I need a little darker thread next time, but this will definitely keep my belt in place for another 6 months or year. I like to get 4 years out of a utilikilt if I can.

Vise Rebuild

I recently inherited my great grandfather’s vise. It isn’t some magnificent old pre-WW2 piece of hardware that shows they really knew how to build them. It was purchased in the 70s and has an old green paint that looks like a faded version of what harbor freight uses today.

Still, no reason to get snoody about it. It is a really beefy looking vise compared to my little red one, it appears quite serviceable, is kind of an heirloom, and why toss something when you can fix it! It isn’t in horrible shape, but I wanted to do something before the rust moved in any further.

Everything came apart easily with the exception of the jaw pads. Their screws were in very poor shape and took some coaxing to get out. Looks like someone tried and failed earlier. I will replace these with something that accepts a hex key.

All the other minor screws and smaller hardware looked to be in good enough shape to keep. I put it all through a hot ultrasonic bath with a rust remover/inhibitor.

With the small parts taken care of I took an angle grinder powered wire brush to the main body parts of the vise. A flap wheel was used on the non-painted parts. They shined up a bit, but with all those deep gouges it will never look like new. Not sure if that means it is a soft casting or saw very heavy use. Everything remaining got a heavy coat of rust preventing primer.

I wanted to gussy up the dreary green, so I broke out the vibrant red paint. It kind of looks like my smaller vise now. Big red and little red. Everything that moves got oil and I bolted it down to the new heavy duty workbench. Everything else below the bench is mobile, but this is going to see some heavy use, so permanent fixing is justified. Its first job is coming just around the corner.

Pre-Shave Oil

A while back I made a few batches of pre-shave oil.  It went over well and has served my skin nicely since.  It is time to make more!  After having used both numerous times I think the menthol was not a great choice.  It has too much of a cooling effect which is not what you want in a warm shave.  This time will be sandalwood only.

Step 1: Gather up some brown bottles, measuring and mixing supplies, and the oils.

DSC_0774

Step 2: Mix 2 parts castor oil, 1 part olive oil, and a generous dash of your favorite essential oils for aroma.  The two oils have quite a different shade of yellow at first.  They get almost cloudy when mixed until they mix completely, then it is all clear again.

DSC_0775

Step 3: Bottle with a tiny funnel and put a zazzy logo on them.  I wanted to use the phrase “For a shine that is hard to beat… and look directly into”, but it didn’t fit on the label.

DSC_0776

January 2017 3D Prints

My newly resurrected frankenstein is doing reasonably well.  Months without a printer has left me a bit of a back log.  Here are some of the things I was able to create now that I could print again.


Plugfones Clip

I use plugfones liberate when mowing.  Basically rated sound isolation plus bluetooth tunes connected to my phone.  The body is pretty light, but tugs at the ear buds a tiny bit every time you turn your head.  I printed a clip that they slide into snugly, and that clips to my sweat band.  Now when I turn my head, the body moves with me and the ear buds don’t get slowly tugged out.  Thingiverse link to my design.


Contact Solution Bottle Pry

We both have contacts and often carry small travel size bottles of the contact lens solution around.  Instead of buying a new tiny bottle every time we run out I just pry the top off and refill from the big bottles.  They aren’t really designed for this, and the bottle tops are hard to get off.  Enter a custom wedge/pry tool that is perfect for getting under the lid.  Thingiverse

20170128_152838

 


Battery Terminal Wrench

Marine deep cycle batteries use a 5/16″ stud and nut.  I have a battery system around in case of hurricanes, and thought a dedicated wrench to include in the kit would be handy.  It is small to fit inside the tight space, has a through hole so the post can pass through the wrench, and even comes with a small custom holding bracket for storage close by.  Thingiverse


Propane Tank Valve Wrench

I get all my propane tanks through a gas cylinder exchange we have in the area.  Sometimes the new tanks come with the valves screwed way too tight.  This wrench gives you a lot of extra surface to grip with.  Magnets in the back keep it stuck to the grill close by.  Thingiverse


DnD Cultist

Many of my friends play DnD, but live far enough away that it is hard for me to join regularly.  Add a busy schedule in and I never play with them.  But, one GM had the great idea of me coming in as a one time special character.  I got to be a twisted cultist in a Lovecraft style otherworldly dungeon crawl.

I found a model that was split in half from top to bottom.  This kept me from using support but resulted in a big seam down the length.  Lots of spraying with rustoleum sandable filler helped with all the printer layers, but didn’t fill the gap between the two halves completely.  Next time I will use something else on that.  Still, a bit of thick primer and paint made it turn out well.

Changing Of The Guard

It is time for a changing of the guard.  My dad bought me my first Dewalt drill when I was still in school.  It is has been almost 10 years and the drill served me well.  I replaced the motor over a year ago, but the gearbox and chuck were starting to give me issues.  I was ok with nursing it along until a bit of a deal came my way.  Lowes was getting rid of a brushless 20V hammer drill with batteries.  It was a display model and lacks accessories and a charger, but was still a complete steal!  My hammer drill wasn’t in bad shape, but the cost was less than I could buy the batteries alone for.  I had to do it!

dsc_0577

After a few weeks of using the new drill I was hooked.  Fast, light and very powerful!  It is like when you make a clean spot, then realize you need to clean everything.  I had to replace my ailing drill/driver, but seeing the capability of the new tools meant I really wanted a new impact driver too.  Black Friday swept through and provided me with a reasonably opportunity for both.

dsc_0573

dsc_0574

I am in building DIY heaven!  Now that I have a complete set of new everything running on 20V, lets zip through the various plusses and new features.

Weight

The tools feel incredibly light and well balanced compared to the old ones.  This is surprising considering that with the exception of the hammer drill (it lost 10 ounces), they weigh within an ounce of the old ones.  Mostly that comes from the batteries.  They go from over 2 pounds each to 3/4 of a pound per.  Despite the weight loss they have a similar energy capacity to the old XRP batteries.  That should go further with the brushless motors.

More Plastic?

Without opening them up it is hard to say if they have traded a lot of metal for plastic.  The chuck for the drill/driver got more compact and went all metal which is good.  The hammer drill auxiliary handle went all plastic.  Not great, but I don’t use it often.  If they got smaller, but kept the same weight, then it would seem they are denser.  Maybe they have denser packaging or the motors are heavier.  Hard to say unless you took both sets apparent and compared, but they certainly don’t feel cheaper.

New Features

Aside from the brushless motors, everything got nice lighting.  The drill driver even has brightness options and a 20 minute light timer if desired.  Good for working in dark tight spots.  They all have heavy rubber pads on their sides.  When you lay them down they sit on these pads.  Good for when they get knocked over, and to prevent scratches and sliding.  Each one also has a built in belt hook clip.  They go well on belts or pants pockets.  Very handy when climbing ladders and such.  The chucks have a small hexed section for tightening/un-tightening with a wrench.  Last but not least, the impact driver now has 3 speed/torque settings.  You can gently install or remove screws from soft delicate structures, or really punch home a long bolt.


Enough gushing about my new toys, they still are going to spend a lot of their life sitting around.  As it turns out, they fit perfectly in the hanging rack where my old ones went.

dsc_0578

dsc_0580


Most of the old tools and batteries are going to friends and family.  The drill isn’t much use to anyone, and I wanted to keep it.  My dad gave it to me, and it was kind of my first real tool.  I hot glued some magnetic stripping across the back and used some other magnetic brackets to prop it up in my toolbox lid.  Kind of a trophy or memorial to a great tool.  I did a lot of work with that thing!  Maybe I will get around to mounting it on a real plaque someday.

dsc_0583