I began version one of my Vardo Caravan eleven years ago this month. As I published updates and details along the way people have for a detailed "how to" for building a vardo. Since everyone's needs, skills, and resources are different, I will leave the task to others. My suggestions are this. Decide on your … Continue reading Building Your Own Vardo
Sandals in progress... If you have ever taken a class with me you might know that all the intimidating sewing isn't as bad as it looks. The sole is three layers thick but the use of a good, sharp awl makes the double needle sewing go quickly. A lot more work goes into these than … Continue reading Handmade Sandals
I want to re-share this camper I posted about back in 2010. I would still like to know more about it but love what I've seen so far. I see some definite similarities to my own concept of a vardo but I really like to metal sheathing as a modern, low maintenance exterior. Also, the … Continue reading ProtoStoga
I collect old plans for projects I never seem to get around to making. With winter here, maybe someone would want to build this fine sled. This comes from an old Delta Tool company publication and the procedure is about as simple as can be. I lived on the flat Plains for quite some time … Continue reading A New Sled in Time for Winter!
Dowel Cutter - A useful tool for large-scale production A version of this post appeared here in 2012 but here is an update as prelude to a coming post. I've been using a Veritas dowel and tenon cutter to rough out arrow shafts from planks. Quite a while ago I posted about the jig I … Continue reading Arrows from Planks
Several years ago I starting documenting some of the arrow-making I do. I wrote the original version of this piece in 2012 but as it always draws a lot of interest I have re-edited it and am posting it again. Arrows have been much on my mind after seeing how ratty some of mine have … Continue reading Bamboo Arrow Construction
Every woman, high or low, ought to know how to make bread. If she do not, she is unworthy of trust and confidence; and, indeed, a mere burden upon the community. -William Cobbett Today this should probably read "Every homemaker" instead of "Every woman" but, as Cobbett composed this treatise in 1821, he assumed that the … Continue reading Bread – Some Thoughts from Cobbett
I love these the old sheepherder camps. I've seen quite a few parked on ranches from Colorado to Idaho and even a few in Arizona. I know they aren't highway capable but it seems they could provide a real housing alternative for low-income minimalists who have access to land. Far better than a housing complex … Continue reading A Fine Old Sheepherder Wagon
Several years ago, I made a shoulder bag that I still often carry today. It is the perfect size for a small field bag or hunting pouch. It was a lot fun looking at various designs, mostly from the 18th century to try and come up with something that would fit my needs. When I … Continue reading Making the Possibles Bag
I'm re-sharing an older post of some experimental turnshoes I made quite a few years ago. These were based on some Scandinavian examples from the archaeological record. They came out pretty good for a first try. My only modification would be to tighten the width through the arch and lengthen the toe area slightly. I … Continue reading Medieval Turnshoes
(from the Paleotool vault) I love these things. I saw quite a few parked on ranches from Colorado to Idaho last week. I know they aren't highway capable but it seems they could provide a real housing alternative for low-income minimalists. Way better than a housing complex or apartment for sure. The photos link to … Continue reading Yet Another Sheepherder…
With the holiday season just around the corner, it's time to start making those gifts for friends and family. I collect old plans for projects I never seem to get around to making but here's a quickie that might be on the table soon. Maybe you know some youngster that will need a sled this … Continue reading Build a New Sled in Time for Christmas!
There are still Huaraches north of old Mexico. As I prepare to resole my huaraches I thought it might be good to look back on them as a very viable hand-made shoe. For a long time while searching for huarache construction techniques, I could only find the simplest tire sandals and many links to "barefoot" … Continue reading Huaraches!
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Lovely warm and soft, these shoes (or perhaps slippers) began as an accidentally shrunken wool sweater. These poor, shrunken, often high quality wool sweaters end up in thrift and consignment stores on a regular basis. They also tend to cost next to nothing, so all in all they make perfect material candidates for any felt related project. These shoes are a quick and fairly simple project.
I began with two wool sweaters that had been washed in a washing machine until they were fully felted. Both were good and thick which makes for a warmer and more durable material.
The Pattern: The mid-sole is simply a tracing of a foot. The front upper is made by laying a piece of paper over the foot and tracing around the edges. I cut the sole out of the slightly thicker of the two sweaters because the sole gets more wear, and then…
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Just a note to those wishing to replicate some of the projects here... I am working up some projects for the Instructables library and hope to continue this. I find it to be a wonderful site and you can really find almost anything there. I encourage Makers to post their stuff there as well as … Continue reading Instructables
After several requests for information, here is my short list of inspirational sites found on the web. Culling the web for Vardo style so you don't have to. I will try to morph this into it's own page soon as a place to add more links as they become available. Romany and Traditional Style Sheepherder … Continue reading Update from the vault: Vardo and Sheepherder Links
An excellent project and a good cause. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2agir3xepuQ From the Makers: In 1997, in San Andrés Itzapa in Guatemala, Maya Pedal Association began recycling scraps of bicycles into Bicimáquinas. Bicimáquinas are pedal-powered blenders, washing machines and threshing machines, eliminating the need for fuel and electricity. Pumps are also possible, and are capable of extracting 30 … Continue reading Maya Pedal, upcycling bicycles in Guatemala
This is not furniture worthy of the great builders like Peter Follansbee, Chris Schwartz, or Chris Hall. However, it is a piece of functional furniture created from nearly all recycled materials and will hopefully be with me for the rest of my life. I've wanted a sea chest for about as long as I've known … Continue reading 21st Century Sea Chest
While the six-board chest is a simple form, there are some variants that make the chest look more high-style, like it might have a fancy bracket-foot base.
Today I decided to convert the chest I built for the Alabama Woodworkers Guild into one of these fancier chests. I removed the moulding that returned down the sides of the chest (see the video here), and made some base pieces to fit under the moulding.
I also removed the crappy hinges I installed in Alabama. One leaf of each hinge was entirely too long. Today I installed iron Lee Valley unequal strap hinges, which look better. Unfortunately, I have some work ahead of me to hide the screw holes from the earlier hinge set.
I also installed a vintage crab/grab lock, which I picked up on eBay for $30 (gloat).
So far, I like the enclosed base, but I don’t…
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Makers, Dreamers, Builders, and Inventors, Unite: reflections on saving our world “Perpetual devotion to what a man calls his business, is only to be sustained by perpetual neglect of many other things. And it is by no means certain that a man’s business is the most important thing that he has to do” Robert Louis … Continue reading Makers to the Rescue