Wednesday, April 23, 2014

DIY Micarta Card Wallet Black and Neon Green

card wallet, money clip, EDC wallet, every day carry
I made my press in such a way that if I make two sheets I can make 3 wallets. So some day when I'm not experimenting and wasting part of those sheets you will probably see the wallets happen in batches of 3. At any rate, I used more of the black and neon green paper micarta that I made for the last unit. This time I started snooping around, always looking for ways to make them as nice or nicer, faster. Blasting micarta is pretty common in the knife world and I started thinking, how hard could it be to make a blasting cabinet? Eventually the only cost would be media - and I had no idea what the cost involved there might be - but it would be worth the time it would save and the quality it would add. So I plugged into the Matrix to learn something new and came across DIY soda blasting. Baking soda is dirt cheap, easy to get, and doesn't carry any health hazards - or at least none that can't be avoided with a respirator if there are any. No need for a cabinet right away (if ever) because it takes very little media to finish up the wallet plates, it's cheap, and possibly not even reusable. Like anything I put virtually no effort into the initial trial and while it wasn't amazing, it does work. I gave it a couple days to ferment in my mind and I was convinced that I could improve the technique. I got a nice plastic food storage container, drilled a hole, spent $2.00 on some plastic fittings to attach my hose down toward the bottom, and BAM, I was all set up with a gravity fed hopper of sorts. I adapted the fittings down to an eighth inch opening but my hose - in order to fit onto my compressor nozzle, is 3/8 inner diameter. What happens is, no matter how small the opening is to bring in media, it still fills the hose up with the same amount of media so I'm not actually conserving any. However, I have realized that my hose is long enough - or some other kind of science that I can't articulate in writing is happening - that I can regulate the flow with gravity by spraying at different angles. The closer to level, the less media that flows. I'd love to take credit for this ... so I will. It was totally planned. I shot a couple pounds of baking soda all over my yard getting it figured out, but spent essentially nothing and got satisfactory results. Youtube can tell you all about it if you want to set yourself up. My issue with blasting is that I was not seeking some special texture or finish that might typically be desired. I didn't want to remove material. I just wanted a way to achieve an EVEN finish. I don't have the equipment to sand the plates in an even way other than by hand, and even then it's difficult to really get it nice without spending an enormous amount of time. So at first I sought out the gentlest media available. Well let me say that soda is mild. It works quickly, but doesn't blow material away faster than I can control. In fact, now I can quickly sand the surface down to remove the imperfections, then blast it smooth. It came out nice, and in much less time.
If you dig it, go grab it on etsy today!

DIY micarta, everyday carry card wallet, minimalist wallet, card holder
Got some black oxide screws just for a different look and left off the pocket/money clip. My original design didn't have the clip and after making several with one, I thought it was time to see what it was like without.
handmade minimalist wallet
Neon Green pin stripes and black paper, beveled by hand.
As always, 1/4 inch of interior space accommodates 7 cards or so.
Brass on the back, openings at the bottom to let pocket debris pass through.