Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Fidlock buckles

I just received a sample pack of super-cool magnetic buckles from Fidlock in Hannover, Germany. Stay tuned for an overview of what I received. Looking forward to testing these out.

Servo motor

I buy things on eBay every once in a while, and for the most part everything is just as it's describe. Though, sometimes items are a bit disappointing — like receiving a "new" DVD that's been re-wrapped or a softcover book that had been described as hardcover. But then there are times when the purchase has exceeded all expectations, like with this motor I (finally) bought for my Consew 104.
I thought I was ordering a plain-ass white servo motor with a 70mm pulley from Nick-O Sewing's eBay store. Now, I have like five white servo motors already (boring), and a 70mm pulley is bigger than I generally like, but this motor was so inexpensive it'd still be a helluva deal to buy it and a $10 2" pulley, so imagine my happy surprise when I opened the box to find a Darth Vader-black motor with a 55mm pulley. Thanks, Nick-O!

I like how the on/off switch is separate from the motor and can now be put at the edge of the table. Why the hell didn't they start doing that from the beginning!
Now to build that sewing machine table...

Monday, October 14, 2013

GT Cobra buckles

I just got some of the new GT Cobra buckles from ITW Nexus in the mail — exciting times! These are plastic versions of AustiAlpin's Cobra buckle, which you're seeing more 'n' more in the bagmaking world.
If you're looking for a heavy-duty, smash-proof buckle, here ya go.

Spring-loaded sliding bar to keep slippery webbing in place.
Available in 1.5", 1.75" & 2" (shown), male parts will mate with all sizes of female buckles, so you could have a 2" strap reduce to a 1.5" one. Pretty cool.
Super-smooth action...with no chance of getting pinched...for those who worry about such a thing.
I believe the original Cobras are primarily used as harness buckles (though, like I said, you see them a lot on gun belts and expensive bags these days) and they're great for this because they won't open under load. If you intend to use them as the shoulder strap buckle on a messenger bag these may or may not be what you're looking for. If you have a loaded pack you might have to use two hands to release it. Not a big deal, but something to think about.

As of this posting, these aren't available yet for small-quantities buying, but I imagine they will be real soon. Keep checking Mil-Spec Monkey.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Buckle samples

I just got some new buckles from ITW Nexus. These are from their GT series and feature a spring-loaded adjustment bar to keep the webbing where you want it. They should work great with seatbelt webbing. Looking forward to testing these out. Thanks, ITW!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Consew 104 (new machine!)

I've been wanting a chainstitch embroidery machine for quite a while now, ever since I saw Roy of Roy's Denim using one in this sweet video. I got tired of looking for the perfect one, so when this showed up on eBay last week I bought it.
It's a Consew 104, which I'm pretty sure is an exact copy of the Singer 114e103, which is a newer version of the 114w103, which was born around the turn of the century, I believe, and is itself inspired by the Cornely embroidery machines of France. The w-model was made in the good ol' US of A, while the e-model was made in Japan, like this Consew -- you can tell from a distance by their greenness. Consew still sells 104s (but not Singer), though I've heard the quality isn't the same these days.

It would be nice to have a beautiful old Singer 114w, but this Consew's gonna do the trick. It's in nice enough shape, and I know it sewed before it got here, and it looks like it survived the trip from Michigan to Missouri. Thanks for the great boxing job, Ray, and the tender care, USPS. It's always a drag when you get machines in the mail and their parts are sticking outta the box.

I don't have the table (too much to ship) and, besides, I'm outta space for tables. So I'll be making a cute li'l box for it ... like this.
Stay tuned (it'll be a while).

If you'd like to know more about these machines, there's an excellent yahoo group dedicated to chainstitch embroidery.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Leif Labs on the trail

Here's Jess sporting a small pack and bike beverage holder:

Hummingbird feeder moat

Got ants in your feeder? Make a li'l moat for it with a plastic bottle. Drill a hole in the cap and thread a bolt through it. (I used a 13/64 bit for a 1/4 bolt.) Attach wire hooks, add water. Done.
This was leaking a li'l bit initially, but stopped. You can seal the hole with a washer fashioned from a bit of bike tube (in between the cap and the nut), or hot glue.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Production sewing

I just made a bunch of croozies, copilots, solos ... whatever you wanna calling 'em.
I'll be dispensing them this Saturday on the MKT trail. Any leftovers will be at Maude Vintage, downtown CoMo.

Pyramid of awesomeness.

Boone Dawdle Bag 4

Looks like I'm averaging about 1.5 bags a year right now. I think I'd just about forgotten how to make bags ... fortunately there's the Boone Dawdle to keep me in shape. This Saturday is the fourth annual Dawdle and the fourth bag I've made for it. And a mighty nice one, if I do say so myself.
Cordura nylon, acrylic-coated poly liner. 19x12", 13x6" bottom. Applique'd.
 Expandable main compartment, zippered pocket.
 Split strap, adjustable shoulder pad, cross strap.
Floating liner, removable back pad.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Zippered hip-pack

Working on a zippered hip-pack for Jenny's dad. Not a bad start...

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Carving pouch

Just made a tool roll for my neighbor outta cotton canvas.
Above is the pouch he gave me to copy. The 1/2" cotton webbing on the original makes a nicer tie than the parachute cord I used. I'll have to get me some of that.

Keep those gouges cozy.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

LL in the wild

Somewhere in Colorado...
Thanks, Bill!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Leif Labs: in the wild

My friends' record store was just profiled in the local paper. The photo promenently features a Leif bag:

Grandma bag

Made this li'l purse-bag for my grandma. She provided the fabric.