Handmade Sandals

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

ProtoStoga

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

A New Sled in Time for Winter!

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!

Arrows from Planks

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

Bamboo Arrow Construction

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

Bread – Some Thoughts from Cobbett

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

A Fine Old Sheepherder Wagon

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

Making the Possibles Bag

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

Medieval Turnshoes

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

Yet Another Sheepherder…

(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…

Build a New Sled in Time for Christmas!

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!

Huaraches!

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!

Upcycled Sweater Shoes

UncommonCate

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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.

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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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Update from the vault: Vardo and Sheepherder Links

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

Maya Pedal, upcycling bicycles in Guatemala

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

21st Century Sea Chest

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

A Fancier Base for a 6-board Chest

Lost Art Press

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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.

98-01I 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 to the Rescue

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

Jay Nelson’s Constructs

In searching for home-built campers, there were very few images on the web just a few years ago.  Jay Nelson came up a few times over the years due to his ingenious building of structures onto existing vehicles, compact car, scooter, boat, and now a truck. It's my kind of work.  Low budget, simple, and … Continue reading Jay Nelson’s Constructs

Craft Fetishism or A Return to Craft Values?

74 FOOTWEAR DESIGN CONSULTING

There’s been a noticeable increase in crafted products over the last 5 years.

From Artisan Bread, Chocolate and Beer to handcrafted bicycles, bags and belts. Crafts have been celebrated in books, documentaries and Design fairs. Artists like Joana Vasconcelos have adopted crafts such as crochet and lace for their chosen media, and even graffiti has taken a crafted turn with new techniques in stenciling and knit-bombing. With significant developments in progressive crafts such as digicraft, many industrial designers are also turning to craft values instead of the traditional industrial ones.

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But why is it that in today’s increasingly technological culture is there also such a strong crafts vibe?

A successful exhibition titled POWER OF MAKING  at the V&A in London recently celebrated this craft resurgence and presented some reasons for it. A few of the exhibiting artists, designers and craftspeople like Ji Yong-Ho and Demakersvan have already…

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This Stool is Brown, Waxy, a Bit Oily and Sticky

I gotta make a couple of these.

Lost Art Press

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Sticky? Yes. It’s made from three sticks. So it’s quite “sticky.”

ROUBO212PrI just finished up this campaign stool based (loosely) on A.J. Roubo’s model shown in “L’Art du Menuisier.” I turned round legs, whereas Roubo shows legs that are pie-shaped in section. When those legs fold together, they make a cylinder. Clever.

I know how to make legs like this, but I have to come up with a way to do this that doesn’t waste a lot of wood.

As I explained in an earlier post, the pivoting hardware is made using an eye bolt, all-thread rod, washers and acorn nuts. It looks OK, but I’m going to use different hardware for the next version to make it look bad-asser.

The leather, oiled latigo from the saddle industry, is great. Ty Black finished hand-stitching the seat last night. I attached the seat to the legs using No 10 x 1-1/4”…

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Hal’s Little Vardo

Hal in Oregon sent me some photos of his stick-built vardo.  It is sheathed in house wrap and wood-sided with a metal roof.  Sturdy looking simple design.  So far, he's spent about two weeks on it and the shell appears to be nearly complete.  This is a link to the album with more photos but … Continue reading Hal’s Little Vardo

Ultra Uber Lightweight Vardo

Here is an excellent example of minimalist housing design.  A bicycle pulled miniature vardo that can collapse into a low-profile trailer for the road if needed. It's an admirable design that appears to have gone through a couple design changes from two wheeled to four wheeled.  It could be a very inexpensive shelter that is … Continue reading Ultra Uber Lightweight Vardo

The Shoemaker

A real treat from the Sifting the Past blog.  It is worth checking out if you are interested in researching the past through images of the period just prior to mass industrialization.  The Townsend's have a couple excellent websites including an interesting 18th century cooking blog with videos.  There is so much in this painting … Continue reading The Shoemaker

Huaraches!

There are Huaraches north of old Mexico. As a craftsman of sorts, I understand that making a "one-off" of something does not imply expertise and replication builds a real understanding of the object being produced. However, this is certainly not my first leather working or shoemaking project but a major improvement on a theme.  The … Continue reading Huaraches!