Prepping Bow Staves

After you have carefully selected the tree, cut it down, and (hopefully) had time to age the wood it is time to prep the bow staves.  Prepping bow staves is a fair amount of work but made easier with the right tools and a little experience.  The examples below aged for nearly seven years in … Continue reading Prepping Bow Staves

Making a Stitching Pony; Video Tutorial

Stitching Pony, Leather Worker's Clamp, or Saddler's Clam... Whatever you call it, it is a handy device to own if you sew any leather.  These are simple devices that just about anyone can make with little time or money invested.  Although there are many varieties and models, the one shown in this tutorial by Harry … Continue reading Making a Stitching Pony; Video Tutorial

More Wallets

Maybe this is a little mundane but I've been using the cold and snowy weather as an excuse to do some cutting and sewing of leather.  I completed a passport wallet and finished up another minimalist wallet design.  I got the pattern for the larger travel wallet from Tony, the owner/designer at DieselpunkRo.  He sells … Continue reading More Wallets

Bread Recipe

Someone asked for the recipe I used to make the artisan-style Dutch oven bread I posted a few days ago.  This loaf is a crusty, chewy, large air-hole artisan-style bread that is great with soups or for hearty sandwiches. There are many recipes out there and I'm not sure I'm the qualified baker to speak … Continue reading Bread Recipe

Making a Minimalist Wallet

I try to live by the creed of learning and making something good every day. As we have been pondering the holiday season it seemed a good time to get a jump on some leatherworking projects I've had in mind the past few months.  This morning, before getting to work on other chores, I decided … Continue reading Making a Minimalist Wallet

The Chart of Hand Tools

I rarely (I mean almost never) go out of my way to endorse a product of any kind but while considering the upcoming holidays I came across this link I saved a while back.  I think it would be perfect for the workshop and is a work of art in its own right. I can … Continue reading The Chart of Hand Tools

Dép lốp or “Ho Chi Min” Sandals

I was looking up a link for someone and rediscovered the video today showing how to make tough and durable sandals from discarded tires.  This style is well-known in Southeast Asia, particularly in poorer areas. If you are interested in sandal-making, you can hardly go wrong with this design if you have access to old … Continue reading Dép lốp or “Ho Chi Min” Sandals

A Guest Vardo

I always appreciate getting mail and comments on the blog; especially when someone is able to take information away and create something of their own.  I recently received some fine photos from Kevin with his own Vardo build.  I emailed back for more information but haven't heard anything yet. The wagon is a lovely and … Continue reading A Guest Vardo

A Quick Update…

A beautiful, dark, wintery day spent in the Vardo, getting things in shape and spending some quality time reading led me to thinking about shooting a few photos. The place is a bit unkempt but I think it shows how the space is used in real life.   Save Save

Detailed to the Last Dollar

Not a pretty little Victorian-style caravan here today but a sturdy, well-thought-out modern living accommodation for someone looking to escape the mortgage anchor most of us have felt. Here is an extremely well-documented van conversion into a very frugal but comfortable micro house created in 38 days from 2014-2015.  Sean (the builder) has done a … Continue reading Detailed to the Last Dollar

Bookcase-Progress 1-Design

As usual, Greg Merritt at BY MY OWN HANDS has again shared a great project with his beautiful drawings to illustrate the work. Check out this nice little bookcase below.

HILLBILLY DAIKU

As we continue the never-ending unpacking of boxes and putting away of stuff, it has become apparent that the Hillbilly household is in immediate need of a bookcase.  This of course means that the nightstands have been bumped from the top of the list to the #2 position.  In either case, neither of these projects can be started until I have the new shop space up and running.  I’m getting close on that front and might even post about it as early as tomorrow.  Anyway, back to the bookcase.

We currently have a standard, tall bookcase that was purchased many years and holds quite a few books.  That piece now resides in my office and holds all of my woodworking and craft related tomes.  It’s full.  Additionally, there are a few built-in shelves in the new house and they hold several books.  They too are full.  We own a lot…

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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!

Leather Shop Apron

I finally got around to replacing my very old shop apron.  It was the standard issue split-leather welder style and over many hard years had amassed large quantities of wood glue, grease, metal grime, blood and membrane (from brain tanning), and other unidentifiable smudges over most of it's surface.  It went into the trash a … Continue reading Leather Shop Apron

Saw Bench Update

I worked on the bench a little more last weekend and have already put it to work over the last few evenings for some small projects.  I have found it's usefulness and it is a tool I know I won't regret owning. A second till shelf has been added to store saws, bench hook, etc. … Continue reading Saw Bench Update

Blast Off with this Homemade Atomic Age Rocket Camper

Home-built camper fans will probably really appreciate this remarkable future-retro monstrosity. Conceived, designed, and built by Bill Guernsey while recovering from a broken back, it took two years to complete. Follow the link below to the short write-up on the Makezine Blog or click here to straight to the Instructable: http://www.instructables.com/id/Rocket-Camper-Revealed/

Butcher block counter top.

Wise and thoughtful words for Makers.  It’s the thoughtfulness that a hand-craftsman puts into his project, not the speed or even cost that makes something worth making in the first place.

Woodworker Network

“If you remain insensitive to the individual characteristics of the material you are working with and cut regardless to a predetermined, exact measurement, then the finished piece will lack a certain wholeness and be little better than something you could have bought from a factory.” – Graham Blackburn

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Campaign Desk

Here's an interesting piece of "gone native" campaign furniture.  There was much bad about empire building (and still is) but the bringing together of foreign cultures often created new and interesting art and craft styles. While on the topic, if campaign furniture is of an interest, or if you want to even know what it … Continue reading Campaign Desk

Early Home Built Camper

From the Road to Glamperland Facebook page.   A very interesting all or mostly wooden home built camper trailer.  It has two simple slide-outs, a nice little kitchen set-up and I suspect the benches fold out to be the bed.  I really like the water tank on the roof.  I have been looking for a vintage … Continue reading Early Home Built Camper

Leather Dopp Kit

A small toiletries bag made from a wax-impregnated leather.  The design is essentially that of a very small 18th century portmanteau.  Included here are some of the basic tools-of-the-trade for scale and perspective.  I think leather work is appealing to me, in part, due to the honest simplicity and lack of power tools.  Most projects … Continue reading Leather Dopp Kit

Leather Laptop Case

I needed a new laptop case and had some nice shoulder leather left over from other projects.  It's a fairly minimalist design but serves to protect the little Mac.  A small brass button closure is the only hardware. After giving this some thought, I realize that a leather case like this should last at least … Continue reading Leather Laptop Case

Henry Miller, a fine young man

Definitely watch this if you believe in a real handcrafted lifestyle.  He has obviously been given the right encouragement and access to knowledge.  Many parents would scoff at these things or actively discourage some of these activities.  I'm glad to know there are other parents out there with an open mind and encouraging this thirst … Continue reading Henry Miller, a fine young man

Banjo redo

Last winter I had an important epiphany about myself as a musician.  I am under nor delusion that I will ever be more than a closet or campfire player.  For me, for now, that's going to have to be good enough.  Although I love the fiddle more than any other instrument, I went back to … Continue reading Banjo redo

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

Bucksaw Again

For this project I moved my little operation into the living room of the house.  Creating sawdust and wood chips for the dogs to track around in their boredom is a real bonus.  But, on to the show... Making a Bucksaw for carpentry, bushcraft, or just because they're cool. The little bucksaw I built last … Continue reading Bucksaw Again

Robin Wood, Traditional Craftsman

Here's another excellent video of Robin Wood, wood turner and traditional craftsman.  Visit his website to learn more about this remarkable man and his admirable career choice.  As he explains, his job is easy to describe while so many careers are just about impossible to explain what one does and we create fancy titles to … Continue reading Robin Wood, Traditional Craftsman