I was restoring a small steam locomotive, and needed a wire brush to get in hard to reach places. I tried different things, and finally used a piece of steel cable, also known as wire rope. It worked well, so I decided to make and sell them. Here’s a link to one for sale on Ebay:
Part of the delay in getting stuff for sale online has been shipping. Things get shipped very fast these days, and I’ve been learning the fastest and cheapest ways to ship things. Also, I want the the customer’s experience to be top rate; part of that is the appearance of the envelope or box.
I was thinking about putting a wood grain look on the cardboard boxes and paper envelopes, but then I thought of something better. I’ve made these historic stickers to apply. The source I use for some of my public domain and copyright free pictures is Wikimedia. That site is HERE.
This site is to inform people of our activities, details of our products, and acquaint them with our family. So, with that in mind, here’s a more recent family picture. A few of the guys aren’t part of the immediate family. The cowboy in the middle married my oldest daughter, and the tall guy fourth from the left is a nephew of mine. The rest are all our bunch.
Next, I wanted to tell readers about our Etsy store. We will be selling direct from this site; but first we’ll use other sites like Etsy and Ebay. The Etsy store still needs things added to the profile and homepage, but I have 16 items listed for sale. They’re just a certain type of clip art known as a vector file, but I’ll be adding more tangible items in the future. Here’s a picture of one of the files; this isn’t the actual file itself:
I decided to make the header artwork at the ebay store resemble the line drawings from an old Sears and Roebuck catalog. I have some inventory ready to sell, but it’s not listed yet, so the store isn’t open. Of course, when I install a shopping cart or payment system, we’ll sell from this site also. Here’s a link:
This is the roof of a RR coach. It was previously painted with the silver colored roof coating, which has caused problems for subsequent layers of paint. I’ve encountered flaking paint like this often; and wanted to make a multi directional scraper. Most scrapers only work one or two directions, I wanted one that can work in any direction.
I realized it needed a round blade. the first one was only a handle and blade. It worked well, but reaching down a curved surface was a little bit of a hazard. So I made it bigger, and added a shaft. This is the Lightning Scraper 2, and it works very well. The scraped area in the picture was done in about 4 minutes. There has been a slight modification since these pictures were taken, but I’ll show that when I display this model of tool for sale.
On the home front, my son got some firewood that smells like oak when split, but is very difficult to split. I drove a steel wedge all the way down in it, but it still wouldn’t come apart. So I went and got the Hickory wood maul, and several Dogwood gluts. In the picture, the steel wedge is sunk in the wood, to the right of the wood wedge, which is called a glut. Behind the piece of wood is the Hickory maul, it looks like a cave man club. We’ll be selling both of these wood tools.
I’m wondering if I should do some of my pictures in black and white.
Please note, this post will be ‘sticky’ for awhile; new posts will appear below it.
For years I’ve had ideas of things I wanted to make and sell. For each one, there was an uncertainty of how to market them. Once I shifted my thinking from being a guy who could make a few things, to being a company that sells things, regardless of who made them, the direction was clear. The theme, the marketing, the products, it was all clear; and fun. Most of the things I’ve been involved in for the last 30 years or more, will be part of the Quill & Blade Country Store and Trading Post.
I set up this site, and an Ebay store, and wrote down lots of advertising plans. Then it was time to get the inventory. I’ve been developing some items for awhile, but now they’re moving into production. A little faster than I expected. I’m quite accustomed to unexpected delays, changes of plans, regulation hurdles and other slowdowns. Lately though, I’ve been getting some green lights. Here are some of them, bear in mind that these items aren’t finished, but the tools, jigs, and materials are in place.
Below are large examples of “Gluts”, a wood wedge made of Dogwood. They’re used with a wood maul, a thing that looks like an oversized baseball bat. They’re for splitting Cedar fence rails. I’ve also used them for splitting firewood, when I needed extra width in the gap. We’ll be selling these shortly.
The breakthrough here was getting a clear understanding of wood quarantine regulations. I can’t just move wood about, as I please, that could transport very destructive pests and diseases. The Department of Forestry guy also recommended heat treating the wood. I have some metal parts to make a steam wood bender, but have been putting it off. I plan to make it very retro looking, it will be a fun project. And shoot, now I’ll just have to move it to the front burner. They even have a cost sharing program, that will pay for half of it, if I get it up and running. I’m very wary of taking government money, besides, I’ll probably only need old timey square head bolts. The benefit will be in using language like “State Department of Forestry Approved . . .”
When I was restoring the Mississippi locomotive, I had to invent a long narrow wire brush to get in difficult places. Below are the first 5 units of “Restoration Wire Brush #1”. They’re not quite finished, but close. These ones have the copper handle crimped on with the crimp tool I made. The copper has been polished and clear coated. There will also be a smaller model available.
One of the goals at Quill & Blade is to make items as affordable as possible, to that end we’ll sell complete units, as well as kits and parts. Our wood wheelbarrow will have the option of a steel wheel, or a wood wheel. The wheels will also be available separately. I just received the first 5 steel loops, pictured is one. Below that is the prototype of the wheelbarrow.
Finally, here’s the first wood wheel barrow wheel. I’ve had one on a hand truck for years, and it has held up very well. It doesn’t even get stored inside. This is made from pressure treated wood, and will be painted. we will also offer a natural Cedar wheel, stained and clear coated.
One of the items we plan to make and sell are wood tool boxes. I’ve already made one for my own use, and it works well. That was probably two years ago; and as often happens over time, designs improve. The new ones will have features that allow a man to do more work; or will look great as a decor piece, all at a reasonable price. We plan to have them finished in our own period paints and varnish. All the hardware will be from a bygone era. Here’s a sketch, without all the features.
The tomatoes are getting ripe, and now they’re available to the public. These are grown without pesticides or herbicides. These tomatoes are an heirloom variety, so you can save the seeds, and grow your own. I did put iron supplement on the soil to counter some yellow leaves. they will be available for the next several weeks, if they last that long. The garden is very near the stand so you can see where they’re grown.