When setting up shop it is important to set your tools and surfaces to the optimal working height. Here is some advice for setting up your mechanic's vise for best use. Now, get to work...
I'm calling this one the Ranger Bag - It takes a lot of work to prototype a new bag design. To get just the right shape and proportion, find the right materials, and choose the appropriate construction technique is a big deal; especially if it's going to be done well. I wanted something that looked … Continue reading Prototyping a New Belt Pouch
There was a time when Britannia accidentally ruled the world through commerce... Other European nations partook of the colonization of vulnerable lands with massive resources as well, tying the world together, for good or ill, and shaping the modern world as we know it. It was common for young men to begin their careers by … Continue reading Colony Exports
Once again, I am producing some large, traveler's wallets. While some are waiting their finishing touches, here's the first of six. They are all of the same general size and design but each has some variation in shape and closure type. I think my dying is improving. Having read more on the subject, I've been … Continue reading Traveler’s Wallet
I spend far too much time sifting through on-line art galleries and images. We have unprecedented access to these things as never before in history. I recommend, for your sanity, take a little time to use these resources and exit from the world of sensational news and other half-cocked garbage spewed out by the electronic … Continue reading Interior with Fisherwives
The Battle of New Orleans, 8 January 1815 - "On January 8, 1815, Major General Andrew Jackson led a small, poorly-equipped army to victory against eight thousand British troops at the Battle of New Orleans. The victory made Jackson a national hero. Although the American victory was a big morale boost for the young nation, … Continue reading Eighth of January
An old look at the life of man - Seven years to childhood's sport and play, Seven years in school from day to day, Seven years at Trade or College life, Seven years to find a Virtuous Wife. Seven years to pleasure's follies given, Seven years to labour hardly driven, Seven years for some a … Continue reading Seven Years at a Time…
I have always liked this image. It speaks to me... From the description of the Walters Art Museum: "In this work, the artist depicts the figure in such a way that most of his face is obscured, creating a sense of mystery. Everything we know about the character of this man is expressed though his … Continue reading Present Mood, Introspective
Despite how much I like this photo, I have held off posting this image here because I couldn't find any attribution or further information about this gentleman and his fine bicycle. I came across it several years ago and stuck it in my image files until I could find out more; alas, I have not. … Continue reading Bike Trekker – Allen Hastings Fry
I have stared at this painting for quite some time. There is a lot to unpack from this one if you have any interest in hand tools. This image is of a very organized workshop of a master craftsman plying his trade in the early 19th century. I feel he is consulting with a client … Continue reading Interior of a Mechanic’s Workshop
A painting by the Scottish artist John Burr (1831-1893). Tinkers were originally tinsmiths or "tinners". One of many itinerant jobs pursued by a class of casual laborers. These were mostly skilled and specialized crafts like basket making, shoe repair, leather work, and metal work but many poorer workers were migrant farm labor picking hops and … Continue reading “The Travelling Tinker” by John Burr
By Léon François Comerre, French Academic School. I think this familiar looking instrument comes from Africa via the Arabic world and is generally called a tanbūr. A sort of distant uncle to the modern banjo, America's African instrument. The only thing missing is the drone string.
Thanks to Survival Sherpa for posting this look at making a pack frame. Making a quick, three stick pack frame is a valuable bit of knowledge. How serendipitous that this came up (seems to be a lot of convergent thinking around my world lately) as I am beginning to tweak my own wooden pack frame … Continue reading How to Improvise and Use a Three Stick Roycroft Pack Frame
Ah Vincent. Beauty in the mundane.
As usual, an interesting old find posted on the Lost Arts Press. It’s worth a read.
“It is doubtless the timidity of woman which restrains her mending instincts. She dreads the saw and the chisel as treacherous tools that inevitably inflict wounds on the user… Moreover, she can never grasp the difference between a nail and a screw, and regards the latter as an absurd variety of nail which can not be driven with a hammer unless the wielder of the hammer has the muscles of a man.”
The woman who indulges in carpenter-work seldom does much harm. She contents herself with trying to drive nails into the wall, and with experiments with mucilage. She drives her nails with great caution, and when she has loosened an inch or two of plaster she becomes alarmed, and resolves to let her husband assume the responsibility of inflicting further injury on the wall.
She has a profound faith in the value of mucilage as a substitute for glue, and hopefully attempts to mend china and furniture with it; but mucilage is as harmless as it is inefficient, and it is only on the rare occasions when it is used to mend the wheels of the clock that it does any permanent injury to anything.
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Getting back to our theme of traveler's, caravans, and other wanderers of the world... a few images from Pascal Dagnan-Bouveret a French Naturalist Painter of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I believe I would enjoy siting around this campfire. Once a common scene, now virtually lost in an era of loud, fume-belching machinery. … Continue reading Traveler’s Life
A ridiculous, yet somehow attractive machine. Slightly less ridiculous for the average person than a unicycle.
Late 19th century style.