Tag Archives: crafts

A Weekend of Making and Doing

I spent the weekend making and doing all sorts of things I’ve been meaning to make and do.

First I made a 30/60/90 triangle out of 2×10 and painted it white. Why? Inclined bench press. I also installed a sump pump under the house, put a coat of paint on my all-wood-DIY can crusher, and for the martial arts club I made and painted a sign and put together a new membership scroll.  Pictures of everything except the sump pump below.

The way I see it, on my death bed I am not going to be lying there wishing I had spent more time watching TV. I am going to be wishing I did more, created more, shared more, gave more, and inspired more.

New roadside sign for the martial arts club.

Here’s the sign installed.

The new membership scroll.

Here’s the detail of the studs that attach the leather cover to the paper roll.  There’s one stud for each of the Five Vital Graces of Cabal Fang.

Closed view of the new membership scroll.

Closeup of the scroll’s knobs.

Close-up of the metal closure of the scroll.

Here’s the add-on I made for my weight bench so that I can do incline bench presses. It’s made from 2×10 stud wood and assembled with 3″ construction screws. The angle is 30 degrees.

My DIY can crusher. This thing works like a charm! It’s actually more of a can folder than a can crusher. Only problem is, it’s 100% wood, which means it needs to get a fresh coat of paint as soon as it starts so wear down.

Crafts: Scroll box and Incense Burner

<<If you came for the Cabal Fang workout of the day, it’s at the bottom!>>

Lately I’ve been inspired by Mr. Watt to get back into making stuff.  Since I’m a creature of habit, I’ve been setting aside Sunday afternoons.  When the yard work is done I do a little crafting.

Yesterday I had three things on the list, but I only go to two of them.  The first one was to put latches and a handle on the old box we use to hold the membership scroll at my martial arts club.  We used to just hold it shut with a leather strap.

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I used a rusty spike and some leather scraps for the handle and added some brass chest latches (our martial art has an Early American, Enlightenment era, ancient lodge sort of aesthetic).  While I was at it, I hot-glued some tan corduroy to the inside for padding and decoration.  At some point I’m going to go back and put dots of epoxy over the screw heads and paint them so that they look more rustic.†

My next project was to turn a wine bottle into an incense burner.  I’ve been wanting to try this for a long time.  Finally did some research and got it done.  Quite simple really.  All you do is drill a couple of 7 mm/.25″ holes in the side of the bottle about 6 cm/2.5″ up from the base.  Yeah right — did you ever try to drill a hole in a glass bottle?

I used this bit and this method.‡  It was so easy that I made another one for my daughter.  I burned some incense in mine during this morning’s contemplation session and it worked great.

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Now for the Cabal Fang WOD.

Calisthenics: 6 x 15 of Wide Push-ups, Front Lunges, Steam Engines, Knuckle Push-ups, Side Lunges.  If you can get it done faster than 19:54 with good form, well you got me beat.

†When I was a kid I fantasized about being a movie prop master.  I used to make all kinds of stuff — replicas of objects, weapons and spacecraft from my favorite sci-fi tv shows, scale models of rockets and planes, “ancient” books, and so forth.  I still play around a little.  Like when I made these Firefly ammo boxes and storage crates.

‡ The fellow in the video uses a yellow rubber guide.  I made one from a scrap of rigid leather.  I just drilled a hole in it the same diameter as the glass bit.  Worked like a charm.

Wine Bottle Guitar Slide

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Yesterday was a productive day. It had to be.  Because, before I could do the fun stuff, I had to get my chores done.

It was Sunday so, as usual, I slept in till 6:00 instead of getting up at 5:00. I got my writing quota done over coffee (a few hundred words on a booklet I’m going to be selling on PTDICE.COM that’ll be called “52 Fit-up: How-to Get Fit with an Ordinary Deck of Cards”).

Then I took the plunger upstairs and unplugged the sink in the main bathroom.  Didn’t know about the clog until my wife told me last night right before bed.  I always use the master bath.

imageNext I installed a fancy new sink sprayer in the kitchen.

Felt hungry, so I had breakfast and more coffee while watching some news on the boob-tube. I resolved a year ago not to watch TV news because it kills my creativity and its a waste of time, but sometimes I slip.

Went out, edged the yard and cut the grass. Threw the rechargeable weed-eater in the truck, zipped down to the park, and trimmed up the area where my martial arts club meets. They cut the grass out there once a month, but they never edge.

Chores done, I came home, drank water, and ate a bag of roasted peanuts. Now for the arts and crafts – making a guitar slide from the neck of a wine bottle!  The actual bottle I cut was clear glass.  For better visibility I used a blue bottle in the pictures below.

First I built a quik’n’dirty jig to hold the bottle and the glass cutter. Notice how I made the arm long enough to be able to put a big rubber band on the end. I figured that would approximate firm hand pressure.

The jig worked like a charm. The bottle projected out the back just enough for me to be able to turn it with my right hand while holding it down with my left. Turned it until it was scored to the depth of the cutter and all scritching sounds ceased.

Once it was scored, I heated the neck over a candle flame for thirty seconds and plunged it into a cup of ice water just like this guy did. As predicted, it cracked right along the scored area. One light tap and the neck fell right off. Emory paper took care of the nasty edges (a palm sander made this easier).

If you try this at home, wear eye protection.

All chores and crafts done by 2:00 pm.  Only one thing left to do — a nap in the recliner before dinner, of course.