Wednesday, May 13, 2015

'Heel Lock' or 'Lace Lock' your shoelaces...

I came across a Popular Mechanics article with a video tip showing how to prevent running shoe blisters with a "Heel Lock" or "Lace Lock".

With the huge variety of paracord colors and patterns available today, lots of folks have used it to personalize their footwear and replace weak and flimsy shoelaces with a much stronger and durable paracord option.

You might try some patterns from Ian's Shoelace Site, like shown in a previous blog post, and give the "Lace Lock" a try to finish up the top end of your sneakers.

Limited Edition VENOM mochi by Stormdrane drawstring backpacks are still available!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Glow in the Dark Powder and Epoxy Mod Projects

I uploaded a video tutorial for using glow-in-the-dark powder and epoxy as a project to modify some edc (everyday carry) type items, like paracord lanyard beads, keychain tools, knives, pens, flashlights, pendants, etc...

A Spyderco Delica with stainless steel handles that I received in a trade some years ago, without the pocket clip or screws, so I didn't mind filling the holes with some glow.

One of the titanium lanyard beads that I heat/flame colored in the previous blog post with glow/epoxy in the grooves.

And a couple of Schmuckatelli Co.'s new Spartan lanyard beads in pewter and black oxide, with glow mix I put in the eye sockets.

Limited Edition VENOM mochi by Stormdrane drawstring backpacks are still available!

Friday, April 03, 2015

Heat/Flame Anodizing Titanium Project for Paracord Applications...

County Comm recently sent me a couple of their new Titanium Pico Pulls, one plain and another that they had already anodized.

I figured I'd finally try a heat/flame anodizing (heat coloring/thermal oxidation) project with the plain titanium pill fob, and some other titanium paracord lanyard beads, I still have around, that I purchased a couple of years ago.  I've uploaded a video to YouTube for this project:

I used the butane torch that County Comm had sent me back in 2011.  I could probably have used my Zippo/Z-plus torch lighter, but the hands free torch seemed a little safer for my first attempt with this type project.  I first searched google to look for some anodizing info and watched a couple of YouTube videos others had shared before trying it myself.

The Waterproof Titanium Pico Pulls arrived in clear Twist Vaults with a bit of foam to keep them from rattlling around.  The small storage containers are good for storing EDC items, meds, and assorted whatnots. 

The 'shiny' bead on the left in one of my photos is before anodizing, the darker flat gray one is after having already cycled through the bronze, purple, and blue colors and didn't change any further, and the last two were where I stopped with mostly purple/blue tints with just a bit of bronze.

Anodizing titanium can also be done with chemical bath/electrical methods (electrolytic oxidation), which offers better control of the color results, and I may try that in the future...


And a couple of pics with the lanyard beads used with paracord zipper pulls on my Limited Edition VENOM mochi by Stormdrane drawstring backpack.

I went and dug my Light My Fire Titanium Spork out of the gadget drawer and heat/flamed it as well. The ends took some color, but the center section has a matte finish to it and that part didn't want to turn for the short bit of time I had the torch on it...

For folks interested in differences in thermal oxidation and electrolytic oxidation (anodizing), those terms can be googled and researched for more technical/scientific info in what's involved in those processes. ;)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Tax Time Hits Stormdrane Hard, Stuff Headed For ebay...

After doing my taxes, I've found that I owe quite a bit more than I thought I would, and my savings were dented by recent work I needed done on my 15 year old truck.  So, I've started digging items out of my collection/gadget drawer to sell on ebay, and hopefully dig myself out of this $ pit of woe before the gubmint deadline.

Many of the items have been shown with previous knotting projects posted on my blog, and others I'd put away to use as gifts for friends and family, or for my personal use and collection.  I started listing some items yesterday, and have added a few more today, all in auction format, starting at $0.99 and free shipping, just for the U.S. at this time.

Unfortunately the cost and delivery time frame of shipping international means I had to leave that selling option out.  Sorry, to my overseas friends and followers that would like to help.  I may be adding more items throughout the week, and if I end up having to borrow money to pay my bills, I may continue putting things up on ebay and include international and overseas buyers that may be interested.

My current concern is getting screwed with the shipping.  I plan to use USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes, that offer tracking and some insurance and usually faster delivery times(not always), and can be shipped from home without further spending on burning fuel and time going back and forth to the post office.  But, at a starting shipping rate of $5.95 for the small box, and ebay/paypal rates and fees, I could possibly end up not making anything on some items, or worse, lose money and have to pay out of pocket to make up the difference...

*I do get a small percentage of every VENOM mochi by Stormdrane drawstring backpack sold, with 'Stormdrane' logo, knotted zipper pull, and stitched paracord handle, so every sale on those helps too. 

Being an Amazon Associate, sales on Amazon generated through those links on my blog bring in a little bit, as well as the Google ads displayed at the top of the page and in the sidebar, and watching my YouTube videos provides support too.  I know I need to make some new ones as traffic has been on a decline.  

This year makes it a decade since I started my blog, so thanks to all those that stop by and share an interest in knotty things. ;)

Thursday, March 05, 2015

My current EDC flashlight...

Trying out a new EDC flashlight that I bought, the Acebeam L10 Mini(1AA), and added some knot work to it.  I'd mentioned the light a couple of days ago on another of my blogs, "Nothing to see here, move along."

I tied a 5 lead 4 bight Turk's head knot to start (the gaucho knot in the video starts off that way).  Then raised/expanded that knot a couple of times, expanded into a 7x6 TH knot and then raised again with same method into a 9x8 TH knot, although I do it without the mule, that's still a good way to learn.  And then I worked in the gaucho interweave, carefully trying to keep the knot neat as I tightened it up, working the slack out.

I had started with a previously cut six foot long length of cord, which I was thinking I could get a couple of knots out of, and used about three and a half feet in the finished knot, leaving a scrap that I'm sure to find a pen or pencil to victimize with.  I may add a paracord lanyard to the light if I don't end up keeping it clipped on my keychain...

*Winter is winding down, so why not Spring for a new Limited Edition VENOM mochi by Stormdrane drawstring backpack. Like and Follow Mochibrand and check out their referral program! :)