Monday, January 29, 2018

2018 Update

Ok fella's. Here's how it stands. I'm tired. Of making stuff.

Kidding. I'm never tired of building stuff.

Actually, i'm tired of making and posting tutorials on 3 platforms. For the past few months, I have posted a full website tutorial, as well as a YouTube video, and a tutorial on, for just about every project i've worked on. And i've put a new project out almost every single week. 

That is a LOT of work. I don't think many people appreciate the sheer amount of work that goes into something like this. Let me give you an idea:

First, I have to find time outside of regular life, schoolwork, and work, to get out into the shop and build something. You guys know that isn't always easy. I then have to film that project. Which, contrary to popular opinion, is NOT as simple as just turning on a camera and continuing work as normal. It takes time to come up with things to say. Figuring out what I want the video to look like. Adjusting camera settings. Setting up the best camera angle. Multiple takes. In short, to properly document a project, everything takes at least 25% longer. After finishing the project, I then must transfer to editing the video. My most recent video took about 11 hours to edit.

11 Hours. Yep.

Then, to get the pictures for a website post, I go through the edited video and take screenshots. That takes a long time. Then I edit the screenshots, cropping, adjusting quality, etc. That takes a couple hours as well. THEN I upload the pictures to the website and to instructables.

Oh, and guess what? Then I must write a tutorial in the traditional Jake Makes style. Twice. (1 for the website, 1 for Instructables) Oh, and I need to make thumbnails. For YouTube, website, and Instructables. Then I assemble the tutorial. Stick pictures in the correct order. Take out unnecessary ones. Etc.

Upload video to YouTube.

Think up and add keywords. Titles. The marketing side of the whole deal.

Post everything.

Repeat every week.

In case you haven't realized by now, that is a stinking truckload of work. I found that in trying to get all this done to meet my once a week project goal (insane idiot Jake), the quality of everything suffered. My videos weren't very high quality. The tutorials were lacking. The project were, well, lame. In trying to get a project done a week, I naturally gravitated towards projects that were simple and easy, as they took less time to do, and I might possibly be able to get them done on time.

Basically, i've been short changing myself. And all of you following me. Not only am I working way too hard, but I'm not letting myself work on any of the truly awesome projects I really want to be working on, because they take too much time.

To be quite honest as well, I doubt anyone is even following this blog. Besides you two awesome dudes of course, Brokk and Jaden.

So I decided, for now at least, I'm gonna be taking a break from the website, (and ease back on Instructables), to focus my attention on YouTube and building really amazing projects. I won't be putting out content as often, but every project I do put out will be much better.

So go subscribe to my YouTube channel. (link in top bar)

See ya there. Jake out.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

2 Bushcraft Knives

I've kept myself busy this Christmas season. I made three knives for three family members as Christmas gifts. For those of you who can count, yes, there are only two knives shown in this post. A full post with tutorial will be coming out on the third in about a week.

The blades are ground out of 01 tool steel. I used a simple bevel jig for the edge grind, which I was very happy with. Turned out better than any of my other bevels. Handle materials were layered green and black G10 (nasty stuff, that), and black canvas micarta. Nickel silver pins. The design of the knives I came up with myself.

Not to brag or anything, but I think I just scored brother of the year :)

Friday, December 15, 2017

What happened to the Trash Gun

It done up and blew. 

I'd explain in writing, but then I'd have wasted the completely lame and super unnecessarily long video.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Building Sawblade BattleAxes

This is what happens when three fellows are left to their own devices on thanksgiving morning. 

They were bored. And hungry. And they made battle axes. 

Friday, December 1, 2017

Restoring an Antique Hatchet

Our family runs a salsa/dip mix company.

Just a random piece of information.

To enliven your day. Wake up your mind. Transform your life. Knock off the shackles of boredom. Oblivion.



At one of the flea markets we go to every year, there's a fellow who sells overpriced old junk (some people call them "antiques"). All the regular stuff: old metal signs, broken draw knives, a random tin basin, some cheap wall hanger swords ("originals", of course), cheese grater from the 30s, some odd metal pieces of questionable usage (no one knows what they are), a Buck 110 that's been to hell and back (five times what a new one costs, a true steal if you could figure out how to put the handle back together), three meat hooks, a windowframe with three cracked panes, a washboard, an original Coca-Cola sign someone cut in half, ten Schrade sharpfinger knockoffs, and of course half a dozen "antique" hatchets (without handles affixed).

I was sold.

What can I say? No way I could pass up an overpriced old broken hatchet. It followed me home, and as a matter of course sat in my closet for two years. I hear that aging things make them better. Fine cheeses. Wine. Leather. Jeans. Figure the same ought to go for hatchets, right?

I'll just get on to the building. 


The angle grinder is the best tool I have found for roughly rough shaping the rough shapes of things. 

Bench grinders and belt sanders are great for making less rough the rough shapes of roughly shaped things. 

Higher grit belt on the 4 x (I can't remember the other number) belt sander. Adding new grind lines, makin' it shiny. 

Hand sanding the sides of the head. 

Lookin purty.

Ugh, red. 

Me. No. like.

Making the handle more interesting. Propane torch. 

Polishin de' handel.

Putting two and two together. 

The eye of this handle wasn't in too bad of shape, so all I did was cut a wedge out of a piece of scrap steel, and drove that down into the wood. Solid as a rock. 

And I got me a good as new hatchet. 

Which is ironic, actually. I can't stand hatchets. I'm much more of a machete type of guy. 

What's wrong with a hatchet you ask? Well, for starters, the blade is too short. The handle is too long. They are terribly balanced. Front heavy. Awkwardly shaped. They weigh too much. I mean, it's a wedge on a stick. With a hammer on the back. 

Basically, they are simply not machete-like enough to be useful. Unless you want to cut a tree in half or something.

In which case I'd use a chainsaw.