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! :)

Friday, February 20, 2015

An EDC pocket knife paracord lanyard/fob...

Haven't been tying much lately with my hands bothering me, but I managed making a lanyard/fob this morning for my favorite Spyderco EDC pocket knife(Salt I).

I had a scrap length of gutted olive drab paracord to work with, tying a gaucho knot first around a Nitecore T0 flashlight.  But, it seemed a little too bulky to me for such a small light, so I slid the knot off the light and inserted a wooden lanyard bead into the knot, then tightened it up around the bead.

A separate length of black paracord was pulled through the knife's lanyard hole, then both ends pushed/pulled through the bead(small hemostats help), and finished with a two-strand stopper knot.

I left enough room in the loop between the bead and the knife for my little finger to fit when holding the knife(so as not to drop it), but you can make your own longer for a wrist lanyard or shorter to suit your needs.  A knot could be tied above the bead as well as below, to secure it in place along the loop length, otherwise it can slide up/down the loop core, which can be handy with a wrist lanyard.

Mochibrand has a new referral program, so check it out for savings on a new VENOM mochi drawstring backpack. :)

Friday, January 23, 2015

A Knotters Tool

Towards the end of last month I received a Knotters Tool from Russell at the Jig Pro Shop.  I've since had a chance to use it and add a little knot work to it.  Example pic shows the tool being used to tighten a monkey's fist knot.

The knurled and anodized aluminum tool is a marlinspike/fid/kubaton with a removable pocket clip, and has a hollow interior, which can be accessed by unscrewing the top cap that has a lanyard hole, or the opposite pointed end.  The one I received came with three different sized threaded stainless steel lacing/stitching needles stored inside.

I tied a few gaucho knots around a couple of the grooves with orange and navy blue 1.4mm cord, and had a short leftover strand of gutted paracord to add to the lanyard hole along with a Schmuckatelli Co. Mini Cyber Skull bead in between a few two-strand wall knots.

The Knotters Tool is larger than some of the other marlinspikes/fids and improvised tools that I have, as shown in one of the photos in this blog post, but it worked just fine with paracord as I tried it with both tightening and loosening some knots.

For those curious about the other tools shown, there are a couple from Rhino Ropework, one from BayouBug's Knots & Tools, along with a titanium dabbing tool, leather awl/fid, and a clay stylus.

Titan Paracord also sent me a package that arrived at the same time, with a nice t-shirt and a 100 foot hank of their paracord to try out.  I have an upcoming project in mind from the 'to do' list for this cord, so stay tuned... ;)

The VENOM mochi by Stormdrane drawstring backpack is still available, and make sure to take advantage of the Mochibrand Refer-a-Friend Program. ;)

Monday, January 19, 2015

Sailor's Cross Knot tie tack/lapel/hat pin...

I can scratch this one off the 'to do' list, adding a blank tie tack/lapel/hat pin to a Sailor's Cross Knot, giving it another way to be worn/carried besides as a lanyard/fob/keychain pendant.

The orange one was tied and tightened with 1.4mm cord, then super glued to one pin, since that's the adhesive I had handy.  The blue cross was loosely tied, just enough so I could insert a blank pin inside the knot, and then tightened up around the pin.

I gave Ma first choice of the two I tied and she picked the blue one, so Pa got the orange.  I don't know how well the super glued one will stay attached to the smooth flat surface of the pin or if another adhesive might work better, but I reckon Pa will let me know if it up and disappears on him, lol.

The blue one may have issues with securing it through thicker garments/material, since you lose some of the pin length with the cord tied around the backside, so there is a possible tradeoff on that.

The Frayed Knot Arts website has a nice example of a mini star knot tied around a longer style button hole lapel pin.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Monday, December 29, 2014

Leather Spanish Ring Knots

Using the same 3/32" leather lace as with the previous ringbolt hitching project, I tied Spanish/woven ring knots, first around improvised mandrels similar in size to the pendant and coin, then tightened them around the Shields of Strength Battle Shield pendant and a Armor of God coin.

Although the knots are tightened and shaped around the edges of the coin and pendant, they can still be worked off with force, so maybe a glue or some coating could be added to harden the leather and make it more permanent...

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Friday, December 26, 2014

Leather lace and ringbolt hitching...

A current project I've been working on is doing some ringbolt hitching with leather lace around a steel ring.

I've watched this YouTube video for the tying process. I haven't finished it yet, having a bit of trouble with the leather breaking on me a few times, because I'd accidentally punctured/tore it with a small sharp leather awl/fid (a gift from my friend, Manny) that I'm using along with a small Perma-Lok lacing needle.

Finishing up with joining the end to the start has been giving me fits with another break in the cord, interfering with a completed seamless look. I may start over and try another with some 'Type I' paracord or other small diameter line which shouldn't have the breakage issues.

This hitching is more elaborate than some others I've done in the past, like alternate & continuous ring hitching, or a simpler ringbolt hitching version.

Bruce Grant's 'Encyclopedia of Rawhide and Leather Braiding' has a few different examples of hitching around rings and belt buckles.

If you got cash for Christmas and you're looking for something to spend it on, a new drawstring backpack could come in handy for 2015 edc(everyday carry duty).  The Limited Edition VENOM mochi is still available. ;)