Logo 1 #topThe Poor Man's Fix-it shop.[not for the proficient craftsman] . . . .Logo 2


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    I'm not a sportsman by any stretch of the imagination. But I have had periods of time my tendency to collect and participate has crossed the road into the realm of the sportsman. As per usual, I wasn't satisfied to have a few of what I collected, nor to leave it as it is. I have to get my hands on whatever I have and alter it so it becomes something unique. I suspect part of this attitude comes from my teenage years when I owned a pea-green 1950 sloping-back Buick that I was very ashamed of. I tried to paint it and customize it to look like anything but what it was.

    The rifle above is an Ithaca single-action .22 that I reworked and reshaped the stock, and the lever, and engraved the chamber area.


Gun Shotgun thm.jpg    One of my favorite weapons was a Hopkin and Allen double-barrel shotgun smiler to the one in the picture to the left. One of the hammers (the spring) was broken and didn't work. I also had a Smith and Wesson revolver like the cowboys used to us, all chromed and looking so nice with its pearl handles. But it was really nothing but a Saturday Night special. It was so poorly constructed that when fired, the flash out the side could (and did, because I tried it) tear paper placed alongside the cylinder. 
gun 7.7 thm.jpg     I bought a Japanese 7.7 Arasaka like the one in the picture. I took it apart, cut the barrel down to a decent length with a pipe cutter, sweated on a Williams peep sight and a beaded front sight, blued the barrel and carved and installed a Bishop stock. Then I reshaped the bolt so it didn't stick straight but bent along side the chamber. I had so much doubt as to this rifle firing properly without blowing the breach that tied it to a tire and fastened a lanyard (rope) to the trigger, and hid behind a rock and fired the rifle remotely. The rifle worked perfectly. It became my favorite weapon. I joined the local gun range and found that with this rifle I could hit a 2 foot square sheet of metal hung 240 yards, beyond the firing range, in the offhand position (standing). This may not sound like so much to the expert shot, but for a person who had to be sent back a second time to qualify with an M1, that is saying something.
    Fencing is my sport. I used to have duplicate weapons in each of the classes such as foil, epee and saber, but epee is my forte. The weapons you see here are some I made from aluminum rods, some steel sheeting, and in the case of the epee a steel bowl for a guard. These were just for the purpose of practicing. I stuck the epee into a PVC pipe about the length of a person's arm and attached it to a post. Then I wrapped the pipe with rags as if it was an arm, and tied a padded board to the pillar representing the body of a fencer. This I used for my practice sessions. This setup worked surprisingly well.
   I don't have pictures of my fishing rods since these along with my guns were being "cared for" by a friend who decided he needed them worse than I do.
   I was a lousy fishermen, catching far more limbs in the trees and logs in the water than fish. I think fish liked to see me coming because they got such a laugh watching my attempts to catch them. I can count on my right hand the number of fish I caught.
   What I enjoyed was winding the rods, putting together sets of rods ranging from the ultra light rods to fly fishing rods, to heavy-duty trolling rods. I would wind these so they all matched. I would lay on the sofa with the thread running through my toes for tension.
   The blanks I used were called Silaflex, and I was able to purchase anything from ultralights to deep sea rods for $5 each. Then Browning bought out the company, and the blanks were priced out of sight.
   You fishermen, if you want to have a really nice set of rods, try winding your own. Lots of resources as to how to do this on the web. It's a whole lot more expensive to make your own rods now than in the past, but the rewards are still present.


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