One of the great joys of completing any quality woodworking project is that final moment when you get to put your own unique stamp on the finished piece. That "stamp" can range anywhere from tiny engraved initials to a bookplate-sized brand, and it's how you show the artist's link between a variety of different projects. And if you don't have your own branding iron, then here are two great ways to make your own -- one very high quality, and one down and dirty solution (made out of a disposable lighter).
Matt Pierce came up with this tough and rugged design for a DIY archery quiver. Created from long lasting materials like leather, canvas, and cooper, this guy is all kinds of durable and all kinds of stylish.
Leather opens up all kinds of creativity, but it can be an intimidating material to for beginners. It requires a different sort of tool kit than regular sewing projects, and many guys don't even know how to use a sewing machine in the first place...though ManMade does its best to remedy that.
The solution? Don't sew anything!
Taking your lunch to work doesn't mean you have to look like you're brown bagging it. Here are a few durable and classic lunch bags that will keep your grub safe all the way to noon.
There's no better way to introduce this blog post than to say: I think it's a really, really good idea. The look is classic, and it helps protect your tools edges and handles by encasing them in soft, sturdy material, and it helps protect your hands by keeping the business ends covered. And, since you're making it from scratch, you can create custom slots and pockets to hold exactly what you want, and keep things where they need to be. And did we mention it looks great? Yes? Okay, great. Let's make one.
This video blew me away. It's a two minute super-wrap-up showing you everything that goes into making a book from scratch, and then there are longer videos guiding you through each step in the whole process. Now when we say "from scratch" we mean entirely from scratch. If this guy needs a brush to use when binding his pages, he chops off some horse hairs and shapes a twig to tie with sinew from a deer he shot in order to make a brush. It's nuts.
This time of year, footwear choices can be a gamble. Overthink it, and you're stuck in snow or hiking boots all day. Under-prepare, and your socks and feet stay wet, cold, and covered in road salt.
The answer, of course, is to opt for the middle, and choose a natural weather-resistant material that's stylish no matter what the season: leather.
Here at ManMade, "value" is all about getting a product which has a quality you're comfortable with at a price that you're comfortable paying. For us, that means we're rarely recommending
Look, I'm about to admit a deep, dark secret, so if you're not into that, you may want to move along. I am terrible at giving gifts. Maybe it's because I didn't get a ton of them when I was growing up, or maybe I'm just a cheapskate at heart and don't want to admit it. But when faced with investing in a gift of truly high quality, somehow my brain falls back to, "Wouldn't you rather have three or four of these crappy, cheaper things?"
No. Nobody wants those crappy, cheap things. One hundred gifts from the dollar store might be good for a few laughs, but they are - at the end of the day - just a hundred little pieces of junk. So, here are some ideas for gifts you can give (or, if you're lucky, receive) that are timeless, extremely well-made, and will have an impact no quantity of worthless chotchkies could ever have.
Bole Tannery has been making their own reindeer (!) and cattle leather goods from vegetable tanned leather in their Swedish workshop for generations. Take a look at what it means to create vegetable tanned leather goods from hide to final rucksack.
If you're more of a minimalist with your daily carry items, and prefer to keep everything in one front or jacket pocket, check out this leather smartphone flip wallet project
It happens to me regularly. I'll be cruising down the aisles of a secondhand shop or antique market, and I'll stumble across a great pair of warm and worn cowboy boots. I'll do the mental exercise in my head... "Can I actually pull off a cowboy boot? And would I even wear them if I bought them?" I'll shuffle around a bit, and then commit to at least trying them on, and usually
Each week in 2015, ManMade is sharing our picks for the essential tools we think every creative guy and DIYer needs. We've selected useful, long-lasting tools to help you accomplish a variety of projects, solve problems, and live a hands on lifestyle that allows you to interact with and make the things you use every day.
Love the thought of making useful and beautiful pieces out of leather? Here are the first few steps to get started down the path of making your own essential carry pieces and everyday items from that timeless and durable material.
This inspiring video walks us through the making of a smooth leather cover for the Moleskine notebook. Watch as a simple piece of leather becomes a classy cover for all those world-changing thoughts.
“It is totally impossible to be well-dressed in cheap shoes.” – Hardy Amies
Handmade shoes are one of those things. The "once you try it, you'll never look back kinda thing..." And, yeah, they're a bigger initial investment. But they'll probably last for the rest of your life with proper care and maintenance.
Saville Row shoemakers Foster and Son were recently featured in The Victoria and Albert Museum‘s, How Was It Made? video series. This entry, The Art of Shoe Making, chronicles a cobbler at Foster and Son creating a pair of brogues from scratch...and its crazy fascinating.
I once ran into a dude at the leathercraft supply shop, who was talking to his friend about all his big ideas, and telling his buddy what to get. He threw a wood handled stitching awl into the basket, and stated, "Oh, yeah, man. You definitely need this. It's like a handheld sewing machine." Not quite, overzealous and under-qualified craftsplainer.