Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Knife Sheath

I just finished making a sheath for the Mora Belt Knife that I made a couple of months ago. I first made a paper pattern then traced it onto the back side of the leather. After cutting the piece out I wrapped it around the knife using small clamps to keep it in place. Wrapping leather around a knife is a bit trickier than I originally thought. You have to take into account the transition from the flat blade to the wider and rounded handle. When I was satisfied with how it looked I used contact cement to glue a third piece of leather in between the outer cover, along the edge where the stitches were to go. This extra piece will protect the stitches from being cut by the blade. The whole thing was stitched together then Sno-Seal finish was applied at the very end.

I used Sno-Seal to water proof the leather. Sno-Seal is made from bees wax and is nontoxic.

I used 4 - 5 oz leather, a heavier leather could have been used but I wanted to keep it as light as possible.

The snap closure in the front allows the sheath to be added to a belt without having to remove the belt in order to thread the sheath on.

Here you can see how the leather conforms to the handle with some heat and firm pressure.

The Sno-Seal changes the color quite dramatically. On the left is a left over piece of leather. Personally I like the color of the leather after treatment.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Zoe's hot tent

I realize it has been a while since my last post, school work has kept me busy but I have managed to make a hot tent for winter camping. After the stupid "F"ing cold of our New Years Eve trip last year Zoe informed me that she requires a tent with a wood stove. Well, I made her one. A tent that is, it’s based on some photos that I found on the internet. I didn’t have any plans or drawings to work from so, drawing on my experience as a graphic designer I made up my own plans using Corel Draw. Before I begin many of my projects I design them first on the computer. After making many, many, many small paper models I made a 1:25 scale model from an old bed sheet to be sure of all the dimensions. Some of the design features are the silicon stove jack, zippered vents front and back with no-seeum netting, 12 inch snow flaps, large zippered door, and many guyline anchor points. I had thought about more neutral colors like green, blue or tan but bright colors can lift a person’s mood on the days that we are forced to stay inside for hours on end due to blizzard conditions. It has many inside tie loops for hanging mittens to dry or to hang a candle lantern. The front pole is made of metal and is adjustable; in the future I intend to make a carbon fibre pole which should save some weight. The rear pole is an adjustable hiking pole. The first time we set it up nothing seemed to fit properly, none of the panels were taught and some of the snow flaps didn't even touch the ground. I thought I had screwed up but after about 45 minutes of adjusting and head scratching, it finally looked like a tent. I’m happy to say that it now only takes about 10 minutes or less to set up.

I choose to use 7.5 oz coated rip stop nylon rather than the traditional cotton canvas for a number of reasons.

Nylon pros:

· Water resistant for use in spring and fall damp weather conditions

· Shouldn’t leak when snow melts on the warmed material

· Wind proof

· Rot resistant


· Doesn’t breath so condensation may be an issue

· Melts

· Spark holes

Cotton canvas pros:

· Breaths

· Less condensation

· Bright color

· Spark resistant


· May leak when snow melts on the warmed material

· Rots


Length 139”

Width 113”

Height 80” (front pole)

31” (rear pole)

Weight not sure yet, haven’t weighed it

View of the large door

One of the many guyline anchor points. (13 all together)

Front view, Zoe is standing near the back of the tent. This image shows the stove jack cover in place.

Side view, shows the modified tipi design

The front vent has no-seeum netting and zippered closure from the inside.

The silicon stove jack with the cover rolled up and secured with velcro. Now all we need is a stove.