New Keyfob for new keys

Posted in Projects, Tips & Tricks on June 18th, 2020 by The Cyberwolfe

So, what with all the lockdown and craziness of 2020, I let my shoulder-devil have access to my wallet for a bit, and wouldn’t you know it, he talked me into buying a motorcycle.


Awful pretty, ain’t it? :)

As usual, things like this move me to make something related and while the saddlebags currently on there are vinyl crap, this is not about replacing those. (That will happen sometime in the future…) What I did this week is build a keyfob to hold the keys.

Since the ignition on this bike is just below the seat on the left-hand side, any keychain I have hanging there is going to be swinging back and forth and bouncing off the cylinder cooling fins, which is less than ideal. I also don’t like loose metal bits rattling around in my pockets while out-n-about, so I thought an old-school key wallet thingy might be appropriate.

Et Voila:

Keyfob Front Closed

Snazy concho there, wot?

Couldn’t be simpler, just a single piece of leather folded twice and snapped closed, with a small shackle to hold the bike key and a house key.

Key Fob Back closed

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Machete Scabbard

Posted in Projects on May 27th, 2020 by The Cyberwolfe

A while back a buddy came to me with a minor problem, his oldest boy had managed to lose the scabbard that came with his machete while using it to break trail on a recent hike. Normally no big deal, but this machete is more like a falchion or a scimitar, so the design had to take a bit of a turn.


The only way to get that fat part covered without having the skinny bit by the handle rattling around was to go with a slit sheath, open about 3/4 of the way down the spine.

For belt attachment, I went with a frog-style attachment so the scabbard can tie to the leg and flex with the leg rather than being stiffly attached to the belt. Being me, I also made it so the frog can flip down and you could just string it onto the belt.

For leather, it’s 4/5-oz veg tan as per usual. Here’s the halfway point, all the parts cut out and on the dye table.

Scabbard parts cut and dyed

On the front side, I tooled a couple of windows and then made a ‘frame’ out of some 2/3-oz veg tan as a way to attach a couple of snaps in such a way as they won’t rub on the blade.

Here we are about halfway through the assembly – I’ve got the tie-strap loops in place and the frog ring all set.

Scabbard partially assembled

So, several hours and some sore fingers later (I’m out of practice and my calluses have receded…) we have the finished piece. I added some rivets at the critical points, plus one along the edge to keep the blade from rubbing on the stitching.

Scabbard complete

New machete home

It’s a little bit snug right now, but it should loosen up with use – or a little judicious “persuasion” with a ruler or something.

Project Bowling Bag: Completed!

Posted in Projects on December 24th, 2017 by The Cyberwolfe

There’s a completed pic at the end of the Part III post, but a vast portion of my viewership insisted that there needs to be a definitive Part IV. Arguing doesn’t end well for me usually, so here you are :)

The Bag, Complete and in all its glory

Project: Bowling Bag Part III – The Stitchening

Posted in Projects on December 17th, 2017 by The Cyberwolfe

The sewing wasn’t really a big deal on this project, the gluing in place, however, was a royal pain in the ass. I’m working in the apartment workshop since it’s winter out (meaning cold and damp), so I needed a glue that wouldn’t gas out the whole apartment. I went with Tandy’s EcoWeld water-based contact adhesive, and I wasn’t really thrilled with the results. I ended up having to glue most of the seam together twice on each side before I got it stuck together well enough for sewing.

Remember that welt I was talking about in the last post? I took two lengths of light leather, dyed black, and then folded them in half lengthwise to get a pair of 3/8″ strips with a fold on one edge. To prepare for sewing, I then sanded about 1/4″ in from the edge so that the last 1/8″ on the folded side was un-sanded. I sanded the last 1/4″ of the edge around the perimeter of the facings, and also skived down those edges a bit to reduce the seam thickness.

Now with the edges all roughed up, I could begin gluing.

Here’s the obligatory leather bondage shot:

Stitching - Bondage

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Project: Bowling Ball Bag part II

Posted in Projects on November 21st, 2017 by The Cyberwolfe

This has been a boundaries-pushing project for me. I’ve spent hours going back-and-forth in my head about how to assemble it. The original plans call for lacing it together with a running stitch, but that always feels like cheating to me because it’s so easy – I mean, they went that route because this was supposed to be an easy kit, ya know? They even have all the holes marked on the pattern so it will line up.

I could do edge lacing, probably in a double-loop style but that’s never been my gig either – I don’t like the way the edges feel, and the couple of projects I’ve done that way weren’t as durable.

Since the pattern has all of those holes laid out I even considered riveting it for about 3 whole minutes. The nickel finish would certainly be flashy, and would go well with the Hot Rod styling, but again it comes down to being just too easy, and I want to be better than that.

So I’ll sew it. This is of course not an end to the options available, because now I must decide if I sew it normally, or inside-out and inverted. A test piece seemed to be in my future…

20-Sewing opts  21-Sewing opts inside

While a straight-forward edge seam as seen on the right side of the first pic wouldn’t be bad, I don’t think I like the way the edge would go all the way around the bag. Sewing it inside-out and inverting it, however, looks to be a better choice. If you look closely at it, you can see the stitches peeking out in the center of that seam. Can’t have that, now, can we?  Read more »

Project: The Bowling Ball Bag

Posted in Projects on September 30th, 2017 by The Cyberwolfe

Way back in 2000, my buddy’s office bowling team was a guy short, so they invited me to join them. Seemed like a decent way to get out of the house at least one night a week, so why not? We had some yucks and I came out the other end of it with my own bowling ball.

Mr. Sniffy is interested in the backpack

Mr. Sniffy is interested in the backpack

It spends most of it’s life in the closet now, contained in a ratty old backpack because I’ve always been too cheap to buy a proper carry bag for it. after making that lovely purse for the wife, however, I started getting… ideas. Read more »

She kept calling it ‘The Batbelt’…

Posted in Projects on March 28th, 2017 by The Cyberwolfe

…so I made it official.

The Batbelt

To everyone who has ever struggled to get a picture of a reflective surface without appearing in the picture, I feel ya.

Fiebing’s USMC Black dye mixed with Lexol leather conditioner for the color, then rubbed and saddle-soaped to get rid of the leftovers. Followed that up with Fiebing’s Leather Balm with Atom wax (handily it comes in a black variant), and finished with a couple coats of Acrylic Resolene (again from Fiebing’s).

Here’s a shot carved but not colored:

Batbelt - just carved

The toughest part of doing the arrowhead weave is getting your starting angle correct, followed closely by trying NOT to cramp your thumb from the vise-like clenching as you struggle to maintain that angle.

The belt blank for this belt and the two previous are all from Weaver Leather Supply. Very nice leather, it tools easily and they run it through an edger before shipping, so the final finish goes pretty slick.

‘Sabi Belt

Posted in Projects on February 7th, 2017 by The Cyberwolfe

See that wallet a few posts back? Well, the guy liked it so much he asked for a matching belt. My daughter had also requested a new belt, so I guessed the Universe was telling me to make belts.

Who am I to argue with the Universe?

Wasabi Belt

Black Belt

I got all insta-grammy with this pic. Lookit me bein’ all trendy-like.

The ‘Sabi Wallet

Posted in Projects on November 9th, 2016 by The Cyberwolfe

One of the wife’s work buddies was kind enough to hang out with our cats last time we went camping (because Wasabi is a Ravenous Gorph who will eat all the food at once…), and he took a real liking to our youngest cat Wasabi Six-Toes (or ‘Sabi to some). When our illustrious cat-sitter recently lost his wallet, I got an idea.

Several outlets sell an odd money-clip that’s a wavy hook attached to a spring-tensioned rod. The hook pivots out from the rod, allowing you to tuck that rod into a pocket-type space and then hook the crease of a bill folded in half. Fold a piece of leather in half around said spring rod, sew it in place, and you have a handy money clip. Add a couple of pockets, and you have a decent minimalist wallet for carrying s few important cards and a hook for your cash.

The Sabi Wallet

Dress it up with a nice basket weave stamp pattern and some mahogany gel antique for color, and then top it all off with the Pawprint O’ Quality!

Pawprint O' Quality

Like I said, the cat’s name is Wasabi Six-Toes. He’s a polydactyl mutant, and that’s a pretty close approximation of his actual print.



Watchband and cuff

Posted in Projects on September 16th, 2016 by The Cyberwolfe

Just a quick project for myself, based on an idea I totally hijacked from something I saw on Pinterest from this guy’s page.

Pass-thru Cuff

The cuff is two layers of light leather sewn back-to-back, with holes in the top layer to allow the watch straps to pass between the two layers.

On the inside, you can see something new I tried on this one. You know how you get wrinkles on the inside piece if you sew the two layers together flat and then wrap them around something? On this one I pre-empted this by making my own wrinkles with a bone folder.

Pass-thru cuff interior

Looks kinda like alligator belly.