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About GRod

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    Central IL

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  1. GRod

    Making a maul - question?

    I would have assumed exactly the same thing. I'm surprised it didn't work out that way. This also surprises me. Thanks for sharing these notes. I am fascinated by the idea of melting and molding (moulding? ) waste plastic into useful stuff. Since I don't have ready access to a lathe I am looking out for a suitable drinking vessel or tumbler like @heydox used for his mold. I figure if I can get close I can fine-tune it on my drill press. I also found a US plastics dealer, a small shop by the looks of things, who deals in all kinds of shapes & sizes of all kinds plastics. He offers 'rods' made of Delrin (acetal?) and HDPE particularly, which are 12" (30ish cm?) by 2.5" - 3" (6 - 8 cm). I'm guessing that Delrin is a name-brand formulation of something more generically known as acetal. Something like that would be a nice jump start to a maul, but it does reduce the cost-effectiveness of a DIY solution. Besides, a 3" diameter piece of Delrin is really expensive... at least in this format. Regular old acetal and HDPE are pretty affordable, and I would bet one could create three or four mauls from a single 12" stick of the stuff. But I really want to melt down my own scrap. Because... well... fire & metal and all that.
  2. GRod


    I started down the path just over a year ago, I guess. I was at 220 lbs/100 kilos and felt generally miserable. I'm down to 185 lbs / 84 kilos and life is generally so much better. Clothes are more comfortable, my knees don't bother me anymore and I even sleep better. Didn't join a gym, but I did buy a secondhand dip/pull-up tower in an effort to firm up the details. It was all diet, though I'm pledging to be more active now that the weather in my hemisphere is starting to warm up. No photo evidence of my transition, I'm afraid. I shun the camera's eye at all times. Good on you, @JLSleather. Make it happen. "Decide what to be, and go be it" as the Avett Brothers say in their song. @bikermutt07, MERCY SAKES ALIVE! (as my grandma used to say) No contest, amigo. You win.
  3. GRod

    Making a maul - question?

    Aaaaand, another beauty! You casting your own brass weight from reclaimed pistol cartridges, yes? That's a really great idea! Did you do the same (with a different metal, obviously ) for the first maul as well?
  4. GRod

    Making a maul - question?

    Absolutely fantastic! I'm not sure where on the globe you are, and like Fred, I also know them as 'acorn nuts'. One of the big-box home centers near me (Menards - it's like Home Depot/Lowes, but a midwest regional chain) carries a selection of chrome plated acorn nuts that would finish that off nicely. If that maul works half as well as it looks, you're going to appreciate it for a lifetime. Nice, nice, nice work.
  5. GRod

    What's your favorite skiving tool?

    I already own something similar for my wood chisels, but i'm not convinced it can hold my skiving knife blade as securely as needed. This is similar to what I have, but significantly more worn: My head is already so full of new leather knowledge that I can't even sort out the sharpening tools. Brands, grits, materials... ugh. It will sting when I actually spend the money, though I know I'll be glad once I do. That much I already know.
  6. GRod

    What's your favorite skiving tool?

    That's a good idea for a guide. I don't trust myself to keep the same bevel on the edge, so I'll have to look around at what I have available to see if I can devise something helpful. I think my knife is nearly sharp enough, but not quite so , because I feel like it takes just *a little* too much effort to skive (but it does cut leather to shape & size quite nicely - hence my fear of messing up a good thing). Stropping alone doesn't seem to be getting me where I want to be, but I only have up to 800 grit wet/dry paper on hand. I need to find some finer grit. I will move on to a set of diamond stones at some point, but I feel like I need to learn how to sharpen my stuff before I drop real money on something like that.
  7. GRod

    What's your favorite skiving tool?

    I recently received my skiving knife from GoodsJapan. I've been practicing and getting very mixed results with it. However, I have no illusions about the source of my problems. It's all on me. It arrived nicely sharp, but I spent a fair bit of time stropping. It could be sharper, but I've been afraid to take the sandpaper to it because I don't want to screw up what's already a pretty good edge.
  8. GRod

    Making a maul - question?

    The maul is looking very, very nice. I'm a little envious of the lathe, too.
  9. GRod

    Making a maul - question?

    I do a fair bit of woodworking @dikman, and I wish I had a lathe. I've even gone to look at a couple, but I'm at a critical juncture in my garage. Just one more stationary tool means a vehicle will have to move outdoors into the elements. And my rule is, first and foremost, my garage must always be a garage first, workshop second. it sounds like @heydox and I are similarly tooled. I have a drill press that I've been staring at and wondering if I could use it like a lathe for a few things (like sharpening round punches). I am also considering weight. I imagine a chunk of HDPE doesn't weigh that much and assume I'll need to add something to get the mass up. If I go to all the effort to make my own maul I want it to look nice. I was thinking of maybe hollowing out a cavity in the head into which I could put some BBs or lead shot or even fishing weights, but haven't been able to devise a solution to cap it off. I guess I need to just plan on a solid day of wandering each & every aisle of our home centers in town until I find something like heydox.
  10. GRod

    Making a maul - question?

    That's really nice work, heydox. I also have an idea to make my own maul and have been making notes about melting HDPE down to form the head. Did you mold your head into the taper shape? or did you turn it down on a lathe? I'm also keenly interested in the finish pieces atop and under the head. Are they brass? Did you make them also?
  11. GRod

    I must look stuped ...

    Back in 2004 I was trying to buy a Toyota Tacoma, and I had a policy of never, ever buying new vehicles. I was looking high & low, local & internet, but with what was available I was getting a much older and higher mileage truck than what I was comfortable with before I felt like I was saving anything. This had gone on for weeks and I was getting pretty frustrated, and then my wife said, "You keep vehicles forever. Why don't you just buy a new one?" Of course, this was an entirely different branch of research, and an entire weekend was consumed by trying to establish how much I *should* pay for a new truck. I walked into the dealership and found the salesman who arranged my test drive a week earlier. We sat down at his desk and I handed him my opening salvo: a spreadsheet printout detailing my desired out-the-door cost (which was a good 15% - 18% below sticker, if memory serves). He studied it briefly, slipped it into a clipboard, drew a line across the bottom with an 'x', and handed it back to me for my signature. I was floored. I was prepared for an hour and a half of haggling. Instead, I was driving home in my new truck about half an hour later. And then I traded it on a (used) F-150 six years later. Which I sold three years after that. An action which I immediately regretted and began laying the groundwork for another F-150. Which I finally bought in '15 (a used one. ). So much for keeping my vehicles forever.
  12. GRod

    Album cover bag

    NICELY done! What an ambitious design... I played that album practically to death many, many moons ago. "There behind the glass stands a real blade of grass. Be careful as you pass. Move along, move along" Can't remember what I had for lunch yesterday, but I can remember obscure, deep-track lyrics from 1973 (Karn Evil 9, 1st Impression, Part 2) [sigh]
  13. GRod

    Closing shop #2

    Russ, If $140+shipping is too rich for Rhale's blood on that burnisher, I'll take it for that. Greg
  14. GRod

    Dull Weaver Master Tools Round Knife

    Wait, wait, wait, wait... one... second... You mean I can get things functionally sharp with my belt sander? I have an older Jet combination model with a 1x42 belt and 8" disc; I bought it years ago when I had a small custom golf club operation - it's a huge help in finishing ferrules. I quit golf clubs long ago and have been eyeballing that thing and wondering if it was worth dedicating the space in my garage. Using it to sharpen tools never occurred to me! (As Forrest Gump once said, "I may not be a smart man...") I too am no *&^%$ good with a stone. I spent hours working on the swivel knife that came in my Tandy kit, and ended up finally getting a workable edge with sandpaper and a strop. I'm expecting my Japanese skiving knife and some pricking irons from GoodsJapan any day now and I've had more than a little anxiety about keeping things sharp. The thought of trying to sharpen a round knife with stones is about enough to give me night sweats. So is something like this enough to get me to town?