Saturday, January 26, 2008
Friday, January 18, 2008
Big Friggin deal. It's Michigan, yeah I expect that.
I see a new trend happening here. Anything bad happens, well the news wants to make sure their ass is covered. "Hey we let you know first, it's not our fault you had to shovel two inches of snow."
I signed up for weather alerts by email from the local news stations weather dept. I swear, the National Weather Service became a bunch of tools after Katrina. Any little hickup in the weather, it's a bloody alert. And of course the News station sends it on.
It started to get cold around 7PM last night.
The stupid ALERT came out THE DAY BEFORE!
The is the next step after 911 and the rolling news feed at the bottom of CNN. Every other day I turn on the TV and if the weather punk hasn't interupted to show us the radar, there's a little map of all the warnings on the bottom of the screen obscuring what's being already broadcast.
Can't switch to my digital recorder fast enough. Gawd, I love that thing.
Here's Lewis Black talking about the news feeds ON CNN btw.
It's supposed to be cold and snow a bunch in the next couple of days.
I guess there's only one thing to do.
Fire up the new sled
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Thursday, January 3, 2008
Jeff Finder makes some beautiful stuff, by hand but the attention to detail and finish is superb. http://www.stickman-escrima.com/Products/Kalis_Seka.htm
Bill Bednarick is another one. Great stuff, a bit more automated (for a reason) and very usable. Great balance, ect. I've got his talibong trainer.
Me? I'll make my own thank-you. As Bobbe loves to remind me, Ja I'm Dutch.
I'd absolutely love to get one of Jeff's new ones but the Dutch in me says nah, you can make your own.
I'm in the process of making my own Moro Kris.
Why you might ask? Well, it seems my son Cole and I will once again be making the journey and signing up to compete in the WEKAF US Nationals, February in LA.
Now, I still can't fight competitively due to the continual recovery but I could do Sayaw. Spirit is willing but common sense overrules thank goodness. Just not ready to do that kind of conditioning right now either.
I'll be doing a Moro Kris and Scabbard form. Should be interesting to say the least.
Cole on the other hand hates forms, drilling and anything else repetitious. He just wants to get it on.
When I asked if he wanted to go he said "OK, sure". Not any trepidation or second thoughts. That's my boy.
I thought I'd detail my low tech approach to practice sword making.
First procure the Aluminum. Me, any scrap will do. I can always make another. Hardened aluminum is great if you're not Dutch. I've been working off the same huge slab I procured when they were throwing it away at the factory I worked in years ago.
Design is probably the hardest part. If it doesn't float your boat feel wise, what a waste. I know Bill has modeled his right off some from Buzz's gorgeous collection. Can't go wrong there.
In this case, I had a blade shape I liked and a handle shape I liked so I combined them in a drawing
The top one was a gift from Bobbe. I love the blade but our Moro style has more downward curve to the handle that changes some of the movements. The second one is the Ash practice sword made by Mushtaq. It smarts when you get hit in the temple by the way. And dig the handle wrap.
If I'm not certain how a particular design will feel, I'll often make it our of 3/4" plywood first.
Once you draw it out and trace it to the Aluminum, do a rough cut with the sabre saw and a metal blade. WEAR GLASSES!
After the initial cut, it's much easier to handle for the more detailed cuts. Clamp that sucker to the bench and start cutting. Always cut the inside curves big and unless your certain of your handle, cut that oversize as well. It will take some trial and error removing more and more till you get the feel where you want. Feel is critical before moving on.
Here's the finished blank. I get the final shape through a combination of various hand files and more recently added a cheap belt sander. Boy that saves time. I usually sand out any bad scratches with 220, then 600 grit, finishing with a 3M scratch pad.
After that a nice polish with Mother's Aluminum Mag wheel polish. Best thing I've found for Aluminum. NevRdull is good but Mother's leaves a better coating.
Next find blanks of a prefered wood. I prefer Mahogany. Zebrawood is nice too though.
Mahogany has a nice tight grain yet isn't so hard that it takes forever to work.
Glue the handle blanks on with a two part epoxy and let them sit overnight. Then use the belt sander to match the wood exactly to the metal handle shape profile.
Next start shaping the handle. Best to use a hand file at this point. Easier to take more off than put it back.
Of special significance on this particular blade is the kewl guard wrap applied by Mushtaq. After wrapping I applied a light coating of 5min epoxy with a cheap brush, working it in until the epoxy set.
The finished work!!!!!
And a few more of my previous stuff.
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
Had to be treacherous for the fools leaving the bar at 2am.
The dogs certainly thought it was a winter playland.
This spectacular sight is why we live out here!
We got another 6" inches overnight (in 2 hours). More fun with the snowmobile.!
Cole and I sparred last week but he hadn't sparred in about 18 mos either so that was a bad example to gauge Mariah by.
I admittedly made instructor mistake #1 when sparring, underestimating your opponent.
I went in light and easy planning to shake off the cobwebs, probably even subconsciously expected to play a little.
Then this happens (watch for the nice left hand trap/glove strip/counter). And Damn! she hits hard now.
The hoot in the background at the end is my student Chris, one of the top Commando Krav Maga instructors in the US.