Recently I got really into the ancient arts of leatherwork, blacksmithing, and woodwork.  I think it had something to do with the Renaissance Festival. Anyway, I had made a pair of bracers a while back out of an old pair of my dad’s work boots.  And yes, he told me I could.  They turned out alright, but I didn’t do much after that.

Just before the RenFest opening weekend, I got the idea to build some sort of backpack to hold my cloak, mugs, extra water, basically anything I wouldn’t want to carry on a belt.  So I went down to Tandy Leather, spent a long time talking with the shop owners, and ended up with a large shoulder of thick leather.

Long story short, I made a pretty beastly backpack.  Held up pretty well the first day.  Second day I went, one of the rivets holding the straps on came out so it was uncomfortable to wear.  Easy fix, and it taught me a bit about what not to do.

After that, I got the idea to build a forge in the bonfire pit.  Took some bricks and laid out a basic rectangular area which I covered with a plate of thick steel.  Got a nice fire going, plenty of coals, and was actually able to get an old crowbar hot enough to straighten out.  We used our leaf blower as a bellows, which made an awesome fire display.

We just got our water heater replaced today, so I am going to try and take the internal steel drum out of the old one and make a proper forge out of that.  My dad seems to think the fan from an old computer will work as well as a leaf blower.  Right then.

Other than that, I got an idea during the dice scene from Pirates of the Caribbean 2.  I took a rectangular piece of scrap leather and sewed it into a can shape, then cut out a circle for the bottom.  Laced it all together and added a removable top.  Then I chopped a few pieces of firewood into rough cubes and sanded them down into almost identical-sized dice.  Cut a few pips, inked them black, and the end result is my own set of Liar’s Dice.

There’s something very satisfying about making your own gear.  Sure you can buy it from a store and it will be 10 times better, but where’s the fun in that?  Blisters, burns, and cuts are all part of the creative process.  And yes, I have gotten all three.

Pics when I get around to them.


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