Of blasters, and droids. (a work in progress)

My Pocket Loadout (EDC)

You Can Tell a Lot about a Man by What He Carries in His Pockets

First let me start by saying that the internet needs more EDC sites/posts about as much as it needs more food blogs and cat pictures. That being said, I am much more interested in this than cats or food, so I will anyway.

EDC is an interwebs acronym standing for Every Day Carry. If you didn’t know that you are about to get either:

A) Very Bored B) Very Excited

If you are in catogory A, leave. (we don’t serve your kind!) If you are more of a catagory B kind of guy (or girl) then you should probably check these out after reading my super exciting blog post.



Epic Backstory (Skip/Skim at Your Leisure)

As a kid, I was always galavanting around my huge backyard with my siblings. We had many adventures, we had epic duels, built a treehouse, and founded a small nation in a tree (amoung other things). To be prepared for whatever I might find myself needing out in the woods, I carried a lot of stuff when we played. No one wanted to go back to the house simply becuase you needed a rubber band or a bit of twine.

Knowing this, my awesome parents bought me a utility belt. Seriously. Like the one batman has. I remember it vividly (although I can’t find it on the interwebs). It was National Geographic brand, and had all kinds of pouches and loops to hold all my gadgets and bits. This gift started a lifelong trend of awesomeness.

Since then I have changed what I carry a lot. The kids utility belt is far to small these days, and my needs (and budget) have changed a lot from when I was eight.

My Pocket Loadout

I had never heard the phrase “EDC” until I started reaserching purchases on the internet (then I saw it everywhere). I always referred to my EDC as my “Pocket Loadout” Loadout meaning “(originally military) The set of objects to be carried into battle; all that one needs for a specific purpose” (yay wiktionary!) It seemed a fitting phrase (and way more romantic than “EDC”, right?)

##Shut up and Tell Me What You Carry Dude!

I never stopped loving that utility belt, but my waistline has gotten bigger. Enter the Grab-it-Pack-it Holster I bought mine off Thinkgeek, because a) Thinkgeek is cool, b) It’s cheaper there.

Holster FTW

I freaken love this thing. It can hold all the things. It fits my (cheapo) 7” tablet like it was made for it. Also, that tablet pocket (on the deluxe) is big enough to comfortably fit my tablet and my Nook Simple Touch, which is always nice to have for reading on the go.

The smaller pocket fits most smartphones, and (more importantly) an Altoids Tin! I normally carry my phone in another pocket anyway. So in that pocket I carry my Altoids Tin, which as some of my readers may have guessed, does not contain Altoids. (More on my fancy Altoids tin in another post)


In the top long skinny pocket I carry a SOG Powerlock

Multitools Yay!

This Multitool has it’s pros and cons. The tools are pretty average and the locking (on my model) is pretty average-lame. Where the SOG Powerlock really shines is the pliers. These are the best pliers on any multitool I have ever used ever. Period. The “Compound Leverage Technology” (read: gears on top) make it easy to do all sorts of things. I can cut through a penny or twelve gauge wire with very little pressure whatsoever. They also have a crimper in the bottom (for blasting caps or whatever). And the plier bits do whatever you would expect in the plier department. Other notable goodies on the tools are the V-cutter, excellent for cutting paracord, twine, zip-ties, ect. and the 1/4 inch drive. It is like having a full socket set! (provided you have the bits to put on.) Buy this one elsewhere (amazon) if you want a good deal.

Lastly for the holster, clipped on the back of the belt so it hangs into my back right jeans pocket, is my trusty knife. Most recently I have been carrying the Kershaw Blur

I love this knife, tanto for box/letter opening, Serrations for cutting rope and minor sawing, assisted ofen for rapid one handed opening. Also, wicked sharp. This particular model comes in all styles and colors too! Drop point, with or without serrations, go check the site. All that being said, I would carry a different knife every day of the week if I could afford it!

My latest addition, snuggled up against the Altoids tin is the Fenix E12.

Many Lumens. Very Wow.

I needed a more practical (and brighter) light than my last favorite. This light had good reviews so I went for it. I like the size and the brightness, I also love having different modes for battery savings. The fact that it can stand on end is cool, and standard batteries (AA) is always a plus. What don’t I like? I am not a fan of the switch. It is a soft rubber switch, reccesed in the base/lanyard attatchment. I would kill to have this with a solid clickyer button. I can’t seem to dissasemble that part either. That being said, it’s not that bad, and much better than my past lights.

##What? There is More?

Well yeah. There is a whole nother pocket on the left side of my jeans!

I carry a Fisher bullet style Space Pen, as my EDC pen. I love felt tip pens, but The FSP is more reliable and can write underwater, in oil, at crazy temeratures, wierd angles, and even in Space! Also, this model is very small when collapsed, but full sized when open.

It can write in Space!

I decided to get it without the clip after reading bad reviews about the one with a clip, but quickly realized that I need a clip on my pens. It is how I like carrying it (clipped on a pocket) and I was worried I would lose it with it slipping and rolling around erveywhere. Seeing as I had no desire to pay ~5$ for the “official” clip, I began to look for an alternative. In my pen/pencil cup I had a silver Pentech Syntech .7mm mechanical pencil. (top one)

So I pried the clip off and slid it on the FSP. I think I scratched the finish a little (under the clip) but I’m not planning on removing it anytime soon. It seems to be staying on really well with friction alone. I also think it looks more elegant, and less “tactical” than the black clip. (A lot of my EDC looks way to “Tactical”) I used a Dremel attatchment to remove the logo on the clip, and cleaned it up with some fine grit steel wool.

Brush that Chrome!

I think the finished product is pretty sexy. Just saying.



I never leave my house without a spork. Seem weird? Well I am. If you haver never used a spork outside of a yogurt shop, you are mising out. Those cheap plastic ones are too shallow for a spoon and not pointy enough for a fork. Goes to show that not all sporks are created equal. I carry this with me always.

Two Birds. One Spork.

Deep enough for soup, but pointy enough for meat or pasta. I absoulutely cannot recomend this highly enough. So choice. Mine is from Thinkgeek, maybe you can find it cheaper elsewhere, I have never checked.

I also carry a boring, non picure worthy cell phone and set of earbuds in that pocket. Moving on!

The back left pocket is home to my Duck Tape wallet. I actually need to make a new (picture worthy) version. I have been carrying it for 5 years, and I love it. I highly recomend you DIY’ers out there try this at home! If you put a layer of Aluminum foil in between the Duck Tape it will even be RFID blocking, so no one can skim your cards. Mine is a simple billfold with a clear ID pocket and a card pocket.

I will continue this mini-series with a followup post about what is in the magical Altoids tin, and maybe a tutorial on how to make an RFID blocking, Duck Tape wallet (If there is interest in that)

Comment it you enjoyed this! I realize it got a bit long, but I carry a lot!

Scrapping Hard Drives

One Mans Trash…

As the followers of my blog, (cough…nobody…cough) undoubtedly know, I have been spending quite some time smelting aluminum in my (patent pending) Easy-Blast Furnace. It’s like an Easy-Bake oven, but for boys! Or something…

Anyway, back on topic! As a part of this endeavor, I obviously need aluminum. Up until recently I have been using aluminum soda cans, however, those are pretty cheap aluminum and the printed image makes for lots of dross. So I thought to myself, what could I use that would be more pure, and I can get easily? After briefly glancing around my bedroom I noticed that I have a disgusting amount of spare hard drives lying around all with the word “BAD” lovingly Sharpied across the top.

Accidentally All The HDD!

Seeing as I didn’t have anything better to do until 3AM, I set to work. Disassembly is surprisingly easy. All you really need is one screwdriver from a precision screwdriver kit, specifically the T-8 bit. My cheap Harbor Freight kit had one. Unscrew every screw on the back and pop off the logic board.


Flip it over and get the screws on the front, usually about 6, with a 7th under the label.


Pop off the front cover and set it aside.


Oh Dear! That looks complicated! Well, not really to be honest. Just remove any screws you see with that same bit, and pry out the two neodymium magnets (top and bottom of the complicated bit),


the magnets usually hold themselves in place (with magic magnetness). Take out all the remaining screws and it should break down into individual pieces. You have your platinum platted aluminum platter(s) (and little ring bits),


Stepper motor (sometimes on newer HDD’s they do not screw out)


and drive head,

Pile of Heads

once you have done this way to many times, your table looks something like this!

Messy Table is Messy

There are lots of fun bits inside of old hardrives. I have been told that you can recycle the logic boards and get some money from the gold in the wiring. Or you could play with the crazy strong magnets!


And of course, you are left over with a nice solid chunk of qualityish aluminum for your furnace, by melting the cases and the disks. (Yay!)


Adventures in Fire (part 2)

Since my last attempt to smelt aluminum, I have done a little more preparation. New crucible, actual plan for carrying hot crucibles, and my first attempt at making actual casts instead of buckets of sand. Unfortunately, I still have a cell phone as my camera, I’ll fix that by the next update.

Time to Turn Up the Heat

(Note: If you do this at night- be careful)


If you are anything like me, you can’t really justify spending lots of money on a silicon carbide crucible I would recommend a thick bottomed steel pot from your local thrift store/garage sale. Putting a bolt in each side and buying some cheap tongs to hook those with is easy, cheap, and safe. (Pictures Coming Soon)

###Sand Casting Attempt //#2

My sand cast turned out much better this time. I buried a cube of foam (Hey- I’m lazy) and dumped my molten Aluminum down the shaft I made

This is about to get HOT!

I did not have enough molten to cast the entire cube, but it is a pretty good ingot nonetheless.

That is a nice ingot!

Dat Metal

Fancy Plaster Molds!

I also attempted to make a plaster mold following this method Which turned out to be pretty hard/messy in the dark.

Trash Everywhere!

The general idea is to encase one half in soap covered (To stop sticking) Play-Doh

Soap and Play-doh, Yum!

and to pour plaster-of-paris on top to create the first half of the mold.


Once that has set, peal the Play-Doh off the bottom, and coat that in soap.

Second Half

Pour plaster on that, and Voila! Two part cast. I need to work on refining this process (preferably somewhere with good lighting) before I actually have a decent mold.

Complicating the Nook Simple Touch

Nook Simple Touch

I’m going to keep this one kinda brief, their is already a lot of specific information on this topic elsewhere.

Back Story (Feel Free to Skip)

I have owned two Nook Simple Touchs (NST) in the past several years. The first one died of natural causes (Read: Negligence) and I could never justify getting another one until I needed to spend some BestBuy Giftcards. What else are you going to get for 50$ at BestBuy? A very small TV?

Why The NST is Cool

The NST is pretty average as far as E-Readers go. In a lot of respects it is inferior to other big name E-Readers like the Kindle. However, it has a touchscreen instead of buttons and that opens some interesting doors. How you ask? Well, underneath all that Barnes and Noble crap, lies a beautiful install of Android 2.1 Éclair. Okay, fine, maybe that is a little out of date, but you can still do all sorts of fun stuff!

Essentially, after rooting and installing Google Apps you are left with a relatively capable E-Ink Tablet. A tablet with extremely long battery life, that can be read in direct sunlight, with no eye-strain, and that cost you less than a meal at a fancy restaurant.

Obviously you are never really going to play Angry Birds on it (Although you can if you really want to). But it is great for catching up on your RSS feeds or checking your email on the beach. ALso I suppose it goes without saying that it is an amazing E-Reader. There are a lot of E-Book apps you can try, Aldiko, Cool Reader, and with a little work, Google Play Books.

Any Questions?

If anyone out there stumbled across this looking for a more detailed guide, I left a lot out. Shoot me an email or leave a comment and I can give you a lot more tips, or even do a little write-up of the whole process. However as always, Google is your friend, and there is already a lot out there.

Adventures in Fire.

Aluminum Foundry Mark 1

For quite some time I have wanted an Aluminum foundry. I am limited by time and resources, but after spending many hours on backyardmetalcasting and random instructibles, I produced my very own ghettofabulous foundry.


###Tips If you too feel a burning desire to melt and cast stuff out of aluminum you may want to keep reading.

  • Technically you should line your bucket with refractory to make it last longer. I’m too cheap/lazy.
  • Hair driers with the “cool” button taped down make for a cheap and easy bellows/air source but melt a little if your connecting pipe is too short (like mine).
  • Soup cans are not a good canidate for crucibles. The internet said I could get away with it, if I only used it once, but the bottom corroded and formed a hole. Buy/make a real crucible.


In conclusion, this is honestly pretty cheap and easy. A bucket, a (metal) pipe, and a hairdrier, is all you need for the main foundry. Scrounge up some charcoal and a crucible and you are good to go!

Oh and of course–be safe. I would recomend:

  • Welding gloves
  • Cool Goggles
  • Tongs

Safety First