Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Old School Slingshot Project

Slingshot project

Today, I finished up a quick little slingshot project that I started Saturday morning from storm debris. A heavy straight-line wind storm system hit on Friday and there were downed trees, branches and other random things all over town.

Slingshot project

I started by stripping the bark off with my Morakniv. Then, I cut the notches on the arms and nuked the Y in a series of 30 second bursts in the microwave to dry the wood out. After, I sanded the piece down with a couple of different grained sandpapers.

I masked off the parts that I wanted to paint with masking tape and painted some watered down acrylic onto the handle. After it dried, I hit it with some spray acrylic clear coat.

Slingshot project

Once everything was dry, I bought a tapered slingshot band and lashed it on with waxed thread that is similar to artificial sinew. And BOOM! A slingshot is born.

A slingshot is born.

It's a lot of fun. I shot at a box for a bit around lunch hour. It's a little too heavy of a pull for my daughter, so I'll likely make a second one for her with easier to pull flat bands.

As a side, I did a bit of whittling on some downed walnut branches last night and made this little stir-fry spatula. It was a test for bigger projects. I now know that I can make a passable. utensil with just my knife and some sand paper.

Some walnut limbs came down in a storm Friday.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Canoe Sailing Lake Springfield

The added outrigger certainly adds stability.

Saturday, I finally had a chance to head down to Lake Springfield for a few hours to test out the skin-on-frame canoe's outrigger that I recently fashioned from a 2x4, some off-cut bits of wood and a couple of old spars I shortened and reshaped into iakos/crossbeams. It added a lot of stability to the canoe. At just shy of 12 feet long and maybe 32-33 inches wide, it's never going to be a speedy sailing craft, but with 45 square feet of sail up, it was a little too white knuckled without the reaction time an outrigger gives you. I can even paddle on my knees, which is how I dumped the boat last summer, within the first five minutes of hitting the lake.

One thing I really like about the new setup, I can now easily drop the sail, spread it over the iakos and paddle in dead stretches of wind and under bridges or trees. I'd never tried to sail a thin river channel lake like this and it was more fun than I was anticipating. It took an otherwise plain stretch of water and made it into something more adventurously navigated.

Sailing canoe mods work. Added an outrigger.

Sailing canoe mods work. Added an outrigger.

Sailing canoe mods work. Added an outrigger.

Sailing canoe mods work. Added an outrigger.

Sailing canoe mods work. Added an outrigger.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Art Show - Phelps Grove's Art in the Garden

Yesterday, I was honored to participate in the Phelp's Grove neighborhood's Art in the Garden event. I had 20 pieces on display, in various different art mediums - watercolor, pastel pencil and pyrography wood burning.

My artwork, today, at Phelps Grove neighborhood's  Art in the Garden event.

I've been invited back next year and hope to have more work on display, as well as inexpensive art prints to sell. I got a lot of great feedback and managed to sell a few pieces. Just enough to maybe fund faze two in the construction of my daughter's backyard shed art studio project. It's currently a painted foundation. Hoping to pick up framing lumber this week.

Friday, June 9, 2017

My... dog... has... fleas...

I am about as musically inclined as a chimpanzee swinging a rock and a stick in his semi-opposable mitts. My daughter, however, has been taking voice and piano for a few years and just got into Drury Songbirds Girls Choir. (That's a brag post, son!)


Anywho, we had a garage sale last weekend and with her proceeds, she bought us matching Kala Waterman ukuleles. An absolutely sweet gesture and I'm super excited about them. I've been playing it non-stop since last Saturday. It's a lot of fun! I'm also excited about it's waterproofness and relative weather resistance. I can take the sucker camping! It's going to annoy everyone, woohoo!