Posts Tagged leather

Posted on crafting

A Kindle cover, made quite poorly

Have you ever fallen asleep with your kindle in your hand, only to be shocked awake when it clatters to the floor? No? Well, me neither, but I’m given to understand that it’s something that happens to certain people with some regularity.

So I got to thinking, and thinking always leads to drawing up some professional-quality diagrams. Wait. Schematics. Yeah, schematics. That sounds fancier.

Super clear and professional design schematics

I considered 3D printing the part that connects to the Kindle, but worried it would be too brittle and eventually settled on ordering a very basic case from Amazon.

As I’m sure you immediately noticed, the cover flap hinges from the side, while the schematics very clearly require it to hinge from the top. So I broke out the trusty exacto knife and soon it hinged from nowhere at all.

The next step, as per the schematics, was to add the hand-straps to the back of the flap. So, you know, I kind of did that. Not well, but… I mean they’re there.

Then I attached the safety line, for, you know, safety.

Why yes, that is duct tape over cardboard.

And I placed magnets in both sides to hold it together when it’s open. I should have formed a channel with them (this was the original plan), but instead I didn’t do that and the end product is all the worse for it. It’s all tradeoffs, you know?

Hand holders and a safety strap? Ingenious!

But there was no way to know if it would work…

I guess it works

I know it looks awkward, and believe me, it is, but my hand is also larger than necessary. This is what we in the engineering game call “something about tolerances”. Also, please note that I am not, in fact, an engineer. However, as I’m sure engineers often say: it was good enough. Except, I guess, for the painter’s tape forming the hinge. That certainly wasn’t going to hold up, so I did a very bad job wrapping the whole thing in leather.

And then I also quite a poor job staining it.

And there you have it!

Is it nice? No. Is it functional? No. Okay, I guess it is. Is it safe? Sure, if used correctly.

Posted on crafting

I made a cat toy

Why, you ask? Well, it was Christmas time, you see. Yes, I know that’s how these stories always start, but that’s the way it happened. Everyone was watching football and there were cats everywhere. A dog too, but was outnumbered and he knew it.

This isn’t all of the cats that were there.

By sheer happenstance, in an adjacent room, rolls of leather rested against one wall, and right next to them were basic leatherworking tools. Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking: Brad, that’s a normal thing. All of these are normal things. Why are you wasting my time with this? Well, sure, maybe it’s normal—I have not once claimed to be an authority on what’s normal and what’s not—but at the very least I would content that I have little to no control over your time. That’s on you, my friend. Now, if I can please get back to my story? Thank you.

Well, I guess I made a quick cat toy. Out of leather. That’s pretty much it.

This is a cat toy, I guess.

As I mentioned quite recently it is made out of leather. I shaped the two halves over a little wooden ball (which was part of another cat toy), and then stitched them together. I stuffed the whole thing with some… I dunno, stuffing? Whatever the stuff you put into things is called… And added some catnip.

I would have liked trap a bell inside, but I didn’t have one handy.

It’s very light and irregular in shape, so when a cat hits it it moves easily and in a manner difficult to predict. All of which was very intentional; definitely not a product of its poor production.

I am tempted to make another though, this time with a bell in it.

Posted on crafting

A new handle on knife

See what I did there? You’re welcome.

The handle on one of my mother’s kitchen knives was deteriorating so I decided to “fix” it.

See? Deteriorating. Why didn’t you just believe me?

So I took some measurements…

Just look at those scribbles. Those are some quality measurements.

And using those measurements I made a 3D model in Fusion 360.


Which I printed a bunch of times on my SnapMaker 2.0! With adjustments here and there until I was satisfied with the fit.

Don’t mind the teeth or circuitry in the background. Focus instead on all the knife scales. Can you tell which ones are 3d printed?
Here’s the knife without its scales. It looks so naked.
The 3D print worked pretty well! If only I wasn’t worried about.. you know, thermo plastic being near heat sources and a perfect surface area for bacteria growth.

Once I was happy with the model, I CNCed it out, also using my SnapMaker 2.0, on a piece of test wood. Yeah it does CNC and 3D printing, so what? (Also laser cutting.)

The SnapMaker 2.0 is pretty cool.
They seemed fine.

They the test CNCing went pretty well, so I did it again – but this time from using some black walnut from a tree that grew on her childhood home.

The brass rods fit! I taped up the knife blade for “safety”, he said trying to distract from how dull the blade actually is.

Then I cut the brass rods down to size with a hacksaw, and started peening them. Oh also, I glued them in (and the scales to tang) with some resin.

Peening has begun.

It turned out pretty alright, I think! I did some sanding and used some wood filler to plug a gap, which… I should have used a different colour, but I happened to have one on-hand.

Also I made a quick leather sleeve for it because I started to feel embarrassed by the painters tape.

Here’s the pointy end!
Here’s the stubby end.