Brothers and Knives

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I don’t usually go sentimental or philosophical on here, but this post will surely graze those grounds. It’s like a review, but with a somewhat softer center.

A couple conversations with friends had me thinking lately. The first was a post my friend Ben wrote about pocket knives. After chatting with Ben, I was on the lookout for a nice knife – since the last meaningful knife I’d carried was a tiny Swiss Army that my brother and I got as matching Christmas gifts as kids. The second conversation was with Robert about traditions among fathers and sons, and it steered me to think about the traditions of my youth, and those matching knives my brother and I once had.

I’d previously picked up a Case Copperlock and really loved it. Top quality, beautiful finish, and really slim. One blade makes it amazingly simple, and just what I was looking for. Once I looked around more at other Case knives, I found a small series that commemorated the Case Brothers who started that little knife company back in 1900. This was the perfect excuse to pick up one for my brother and me to carry as matching knife buddies again.

After finally tracking down a couple and receiving them (they were a limited series from 2010), I now have one in my pocket, and the other is currently en route to my brother.

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Folding Tripod Camp Stool

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You’ll need some tools:
  • Sander
  • Center-finder (optional, but helps)
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Small socket wrench to fit acorn nuts
  • Rags
  • Knife
You’ll need a few materials:
  • Three 1 1/8” Birch hardwood dowels - enough for three 24” pieces
  • One steel 2.75” bolt - UPDATED, the brass is too soft for structural stress
  • One 1.5” eyehole bolt
  • Two brass acorn nuts
  • Three brass washers
  • Three brass finishing washers
  • Three brass 1” wood screws (big enough not to slip through the finishing washer)
  • Finish - I used Osmo PolyX-Oil
  • Leather or other heavy material for seat

In honor of this month’s Design*Sponge theme of the outdoors, how about we build an old-fashioned camping stool? First of all, have you seen modern folding tripod stools? They are ugly as sin and your grandpa would be ASHAMED if you bought one. With the help of some hefty dowels, a little hardware and a piece of leather or heavy canvas – you’ll be sitting by the campfire in style. Also, the materials will only set you back about $25.

In addition, I’ve got to give proper respect to the super creative Kate Pruitt at Design*Sponge for sparking this idea… It’s great to work with her and the D*S crew.

Instructions:

1. Start by cutting your dowels to 24” or closest to that. I bought two 48” dowels, so each leg is about 23 7/8 after the saw blade’s share. Drill a hole completely through each one, 10.5” from the top of each leg. Find the center of each leg’s top, and drill a small pilot hole for your seat mounting screws. You’ll need this pilot hole to prevent your legs from splitting. Sand each of the legs smooth, and a little around the edge of the tops, and a good amount on each bottom to round it out more. It doesn’t have to be perfect, just make sure you don’t shorten any leg with too much rounding.

2. After the legs are cut, drilled and sanded, apply your choice of finish and set aside to dry. As they are drying, you can work on the seat material. I’m including a downloadable template for you to create your seat with. I chose leather because I have plenty of it around, but you could sew up a heavy canvas seat or any number of materials. Make sure it’s heavy and sufficiently reinforced since there will be a good amount of stress on each corner.

On one corner of the seat, I left a tab for the carry strap, but this is optional. Mine’s attached to a closure strap, which I recommend having regardless of a carry strap. It’ll keep your stool from popping open in storage or carrying. I edged my leather pieces and treated the smooth surfaces with carnauba wax.

3. Once the legs are dry, assemble the structure assembly by threading two of the legs together with the bolt, with the eyehole bolt in the middle. Use washers on both ends, and attach the acorn nut. I actually cut my bolt down a little bit with a hacksaw, so it fit close. You’ll need a little play in the assembly to move, but it shouldn’t be gaping. Once those two legs are secure, feed the eyehole bolt (which I cut down a little too) into the third leg and attach with a washer and acorn nut. Tighten both acorns securely with a socket wrench.

4. After the base is complete, attach your seat to each leg using a large finishing washer and the wood screw. Don’t over-tighten and strip out your holes, for you’ll need all the strength on these mounting points. After everything is secure, you can take a seat. The main bolt might bend a little to the stress, but that’s fine, it keep its bend permanently and that shape will aid in the folding-up state. Now you’re ready for your next campfire sitting in distinguished comfort.

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Belt Progress

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Hey everyone, I wanted to check in on the belt project and let everyone know when you’ll be receiving your product. I had hoped to have them all finished over the President’s Day holiday, but on Monday I clamped down on my hole puncher and no kidding – it exploded.

Earlier in the weekend, I’d bent the frame with my BRUTAL HAND STRENGTH. It had gotten weary from punching through the insanely heavy leather, and on Monday, it took it’s final punch – the top housing bent apart and hole-punch bits flew everywhere.

After the leather store opened on Tuesday, I got some REAL punches and am now poised to finish up. I’m sorry it’s taken so long! I’ll document the process, and probably bitch about it a little on my next post after they deliver.

So, with new punches and final bits of hardware, I’m confident that all belts will be done this weekend and shipping on Monday. Thanks for hanging in there with me, and I’m anxious to get them to you!

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