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    We're in the wild west of digital technology as engineers keep innovating, which is why this test shoot for the upcoming RED Weapon 8K camera decided to focus its lens on some stunning old techniques. created at: 03/20/2016Watch as accomplished bladesmith Tony Swatton forges his modern take on a Roman gladius using a 93 layer damascus technique, one of his last creations in his old workshop.

    created at: 03/20/2016

    The twist grip of the sword's handle is quite a creation as well. 

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    Mason & Dixon by Thomas Pynchon
    Welcome to What's Good, ManMade's monthly Show and Tell day, where we let you know what we've been reading, watching, and listening to (and where you can share with us too!). We're going to be doing this series once a month throughout 2016, and I'm really excited about it! No more vacantly staring at Netflix wondering what to press play on; we'll all have a bunch of good recommendations to pick from... 

    Here we go!



    I just finished "Geek Love" by Katherine Dunn. It's a (sorta) Oregon novel by a Portland-based author, and I finally decided to settle down with it this winter. I was into it for the first 60%, but admit to rushing through the final chapters. Glad I spent time with it, but struggled to keep my interest toward the end.

    Now, I'm reading the latest edition of Lennard Zinn's "Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance" as research for an upcoming series on ManMade. It's a reference book, sure, but I have no problem going at it from cover to cover. It's the best. 



    Mason and Dixon, by Thomas Pynchon

    It’s 784 pages, and I only understand about a third of what I read, but somehow I keep wanting to pick it up. Clearly brilliant, even if a lot of it goes over my head. Do I recommend it? Yes! In the same way that I recommend a really tough workout; it's hard, and painful, but kind of awesome too. 

    Mason & Dixon - if you can figure out what's happening, you're smarter than me.



    I'm deep diving into some short stories actually. Working my way through Hemingway's Complete Short Stories, and I just finished Norman Maclean's A River Runs Through It and Other Stories. Lots of nature and white doors.



    I'm reading The Organized Mind. It’s a technical read on how we think, store memories, and what that means for the way our brains actually work. Reading about how my mind works is both fascinating and overwhelming.

    I’m also reading A Path Between Two Seas. It’s a story about the Panama Canal and the incredible people that it took to make it happen. There’s a big dose of Teddy Roosevelt in there which also helps make it an incredible story.




    All the big year-end releases are now hitting our favorite second-run arthouse theater, so we've been catching up on the awards-buzzy films. Carol, Room, and Spotlight were good enough, but I found Hail, Caesar frustratingly disappointing.

    I just signed up for a free trial of HBO Now, so I finally have access to that catalog for the first time. We've been binging on standup specials (Tig Notaro, Amy Schumer, etc.) and the first seasons of Silicon Valley, Togetherness, and Girls.


    I finished Deadwood and season two of Transparent last month and still haven’t found something great to get into. Suggestions welcome!


    Nothing at the moment! I'm shooting a new movie for the month in Charleston and I'm purposely using my downtime for other recreations. I'm watching the neighbors sit in rocking chairs on their porch mostly. [Ed. -  If you didn't catch it last year, check out Justin in the critically-acclaimed Dear White People]


    House of Cards


    House of Cards Season 4! This series gives a sordid, twisted, but equally strategic and candid look at the rise of a cunning politician from the lower echelons to the President. It’s the sweeping strategy that feels real enough to be believable that really makes it a fun watch.




    The last record I bought was Chris Staples' "American Soft" which came out a year and a half ago, but I just got around to. Whenever I buy something on vinyl, I tend to play it for several weeks straight, mostly because I want to familiarize myself with it before it gets lost on the record shelf. I think it's lovely, and really nice for this time of year.

    created at: 03/23/2016

    While working on projects, I've been delving into the archives of Fine Woodworking's podcast "Shop Talk Live" I worried an hour's worth of audio-only woodworking content would be too much, but it's turned into a good friend as we've been setting and fixing up our new house. I eventually just went back to episode one and started the whole way through. 



    Waiting (PAL Remix), by Alice Boman 

    This was stuck on repeat as we drove through the snowy north woods of Minnesota. Puts me in a mood I can’t quite describe; like when I wake up from a perfect nap. 

    Come Pick Me Up, by Ryan Adams

    I did this one for a karaoke night with friends a few weeks back. Adele and Miley Cyrus were tough acts to follow, but I think I held my own.



    I'm currently listening to American Gods by Neil Gaiman on audiobook and loving it. The version I have is read by a full cast and includes 12,000 extra words as the author's preferred edition. It's being turned into a show for Starz and you should definitely check it out if you haven't.



    I'm loving Griffin House, an indie folk band that's great for Sunday morning breakfast, driving, or wherever you want a beat and some layers of eclectic sound that will stick in your head. I’m also loving the new Google Play moods, where playlists are suggested based on what you’re up to.


    That's What's Good this month on ManMade! Let us know what you think of this new series, what you're digging on, or what we totally got wrong. 


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    created at: 03/24/2016

    We're huge fans of workwear, gear, and tool purveyors Hand-Eye Supply, and we regularly cruise their online shop whenever we're in the market for some new goodies. (And if you're ever in Portland, OR, their brick-and-mortar shop is full of inspiration. Also, if you're ever in Portland, OR, come say hi to me!)

    From now until the end of March (or while supplies last), Hand-Eye Supply is offering a great bundle deal on their signature shop aprons and classic safety glasses combo.    

    created at: 03/24/2016

    Here's the deal: 

    We'll do more than throw you a (herring)bone. We'll throw in safety specs, too. It's spring, and we're in the mood.

    This work apron features cross-back straps, big pockets, tough stitching, and thicker than normal fabric. Pair that (like we have) with specs that boast a strong, comfortable frame, a just-in-case wire cage, and sleek style, and you're in business. All good work takes a combination of things, and well, we took it upon ourselves to simplify a few for you.

    If you're more the waist apron type, we got you covered (but not on your upper body, you know). 

    Choose one apron style to pair with your specs. Offer is specific to the Herringbone work and waist apron and the clear safety spectacles. 
    created at: 03/24/2016

    Get your combo in their online shop:


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    Wet JacketEven as spring starts to bloom, there's still a bit of rain left in the sky. Grab a jacket that can hold up to the weather without letting you down. Here are a few things to look for in your spring shell.   One of my favorite smells is the distintive scent after a rain. It's known as Petrichor and it's amazing. I have been places where that smell is overwhelming and memorable, but missed it thanks to a soaked shirt and soggy spirit. After braving a particularly fierce spring thunderstorm a few years back and coming out fully saturated I vowed to get a jacket that would hold up to the elements without slowing me down. After some research, here are the options when looking for a good shell that's easy to pack and holds up well to the world at it's worst:


    Light Materials

    1. Go for lightweight

    It's no good for you if the jacket is fully waterproof but too bulky to take along on the adventure. Opt for a waterproof breathable coating with taped seams which will keep the weight down and make it small enough to take wherever the day may go. The most common coating is DWR, and it's durable enough to stay waterproof for plenty of adventures. The coating gets broken down by washing it, so try to keep it clean and never ever toss it in the dryer.Taped Seams

    2. Quality goes a long way

    When grabbing something that will hold up against that spring burst, I've never regretted a bit more quality (price). Brands like Patagonia, REI, The North Face or Arc'Teryx ($$) make excellent jackets that will be around for years and look great along the way.Layers

    3. Learn to layer

    Light jackets are just that. Simple shells that fend off the elements but don't provide much in the way of insulation. Plan ahead and wear some nice layers that can be used to hold in warmth during the squall.

    4. Take care of your gear

    Just like only having to brush the teeth you want to keep, take care of your gear and it will treat you right for years to come. Always dry it out before storing, hand wash, and use as little soap as necessary. Re-seal seams every spring, and keep it out of the sun whenever possible.

    With a bit of planning, you'll be facing the next storm like a champ, and enjoying the sweet smell of petrichor high and dry.


    ManMade Recommends:

    1. Arc'Teryx Atom $120

    2. Patagonia Adze $90

    3. The North Face $90

    4. Mountain Hardware Plasmic Ion $90

    5. Outdoor Research Helium II $110

    These aren't the cheapest jackets out there, but they're a good value for the solid materials and quality construction. I've had most of them over the years, and drooled over the rest as my friends and I hunkered down during spring thunder cells.

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    created at: 03/24/2016

    When it comes to serious woodworking, a marking knife beats a pencil for most layout tasks. And here's why: 1) The knife's edge is finer and flat on one side, allowing you to truly scribe a line along a straight edge, not just next to it. 2) The knife cuts the wood grain on the surface, so that when you go back to make a through cut with a chisel, saw, router bit, etc, the fibers will stay clean and crisp along the surface. 3) The knife's indentation gives you a place to register your tools, ensuring accurate and gap-free cuts.

    Don't own one yet? Don't like yours and want to improve it? Want to multiply your arsenal so you can keep one in every corner of your shop? Well then... it's time to roll your own.    Lee Valley, makers of awesome, modern woodworking tools recently shared this tutorial in their March newsletter. The cutter is sourced from a Swann-Morton® scalpel, which includes the handle and fifty (!) blades for about $20. The author uses some advanced hand tools, like a router plane, but you could easy create this which whatever cutting tools you have and a bit of sandpaper. 

    Of course, if you're going to do the setup, you might as well make a whole handful at once. What do to with the whole batch? Author Charles Mak asks, "Did you just make a batch of fine layout tools or a bunch of box cutters? It depends, of course, on whether you are giving the knife to a woodworker or someone who knows little about precision tools!"

    Indeed, Charles. Get his full how-to from Lee Valley: Make Your Own Marking Knife


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    created at: 03/20/2016As any quality chef will tell you, presentation is of vital importance. And it's no less true when it comes to the pairing of cocktails and glassware. Each glass has its own connotations of class and style, completely aside from its own functionality, and so here's a little history behind it all.   

    Mike Rugnetta of PBS Idea Channel visits with an old friend and Brooklyn bar owner as they talk through the glassware options facing bartenders, how they make them, and what each glass has come to mean in modern culture. Check out the video below:

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    created at: 03/25/2016

    What would it look like to create a bow and arrow from scratch? Not from seasoned, dried wood from the lumberyard and woven string and a shop full of tools, but really from scratch - from only what you can find in the woods?   

    Primitive Technology, a YouTube channel from Northern Australia, sought to find out. 

    Here's a truncated description in the author's own words:

    I made a bow and arrows in the wild using only natural materials and primitive tools I’d made previously from scratch (as usual). The tools used were a celt stone hatchet, a stone chisel, various stone blades and fire sticks. The stave began as a small tree about 5 cm (2 inches) in diameter which I cut to a length of 1.25 m (50 inches) using a celt hatchet...I then split the stave in two using a stone chisel and mallet. Selecting one stave, I began shaping the bow.... I made the string for the bow using the bark from a fast growing tree that grows in disturbed rain-forest clearings... The next day I twisted the thin strips of fiber into cordage...For the arrows I used small saplings between 6 and 8 mm in diameter and cut to a length of 60 cm....The tip of the arrow was charred in a fire and sharpened against a rock. The fire hardens the wood and makes it easier to sharpen as charred wood scrapes off with ease. The fletching was made from the feathers of a bush turkey picked up from the ground (no turkeys were harmed in the making of this video). 

    No fooling around, right? Check out the full process in the video below, and read the narrative description at their site:

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    Standing DeskDo you spend much time behind a desk during the day? Here's a healthier way to clock the hours with a few standing desk projects you can do this weekend.  

    When I'm not working out in the shop, I spend most of my time sitting behind a screen. After a long day, my back gets sore, and I'm tired enough to feel like the day has won. To fend off the pain, I started standing more often. And, buddy, what a change.

    A standing desk is essentially just a normal work-surface, but it's raised to allow for working height while standing. The desk top can be made from a cheap wood like pine, to which you could add a writing pad, self-healing mat, or desktop blotter. 

    Wanna make one? Here are five ideas.

    standing desk

    1. DIY Black Pipe Standing Desk - This project is a pretty simple setup made with black pipe and a flat wooden top. Simply figure out the lengths and screw together the pieces. It's a bit simple in looks, and I would likely put a front on to feel a bit more enclosed.

    Wall Mounted Desk

    2. Wall-Mounted Standing Desk - While this is still a simple project, the approach is a bit different. A few shelf mounts and a flat top is all it takes. You can mount this desk on just about any wall at exactly the height you need to work right.


    Adjustable Standing Desk3. Metal Adjustable Cranking Standing Desk - Probably the most complex project, this metal frame has bike parts, welding, plenty of measurements, but a pretty amazing final result. Take a look.


    Sawhorse Desk

    4. Sawhorses Standing Desk - I've made plenty of impromptu tables in the shop with sawhorses, but this one is a bit more stable, and a lot better looking. Set the height by measuring the leg length properly, and be sure to account for the angles on the legs when measuring.


    5. 5 Second Standing Desk - This is the solution Chris uses in MM office. It's a simple box lift that he places on his normal desk for working from his feet. When the day is done, the box goes back on the shelf. 

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    created at: 03/28/2016

    Looking for a bit of privacy in a large open space, Sarah went to the hardware store to purchase a sliding door. When she found nothing but funny looks from the employees, she knew it was time to whip up a customized DIY version.    

    So, she built a basic frame from 2x2s, added some masonite to the structure to create a door, attached casters on the bottom to help it slide, and created a galvanized pipe runner to register the motion and keep the door vertical. 

    If you've a space that needs a bit of separation, get the technique a try! If you have one, you could use the same hardware setup to mount an existing door.

    Find the full build process at Apartment Therapy - DIY Home Decor: How To Make a Sliding Door for Under $40


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    Belt Driven BikeOne of the worst parts of a bike is the chain. It's loud, greasy and has ruined quite a few pairs of my jeans. If you're looking for a better way, try a belt driven bike.   I found a great new Kickstarter a few days ago from a great company called priority coast bikes. Their new Beach cruiser is built for the sand and punishment of the coast, and it's already about 3x over the funding goal. That's likely because it's priced below $400, and if you live in an area where cruisers play then there are plenty of reasons to get in on the campaign. But the thing that I really noticed was the belt driven system. The belt looks a lot like what you see under the hood of your car, and it's a lot quieter than the average bike. Here's a look:Belt Driven

    If you want to upgrade your current ride to the belt driven side of the world, I've heard great things about Gates - Carbon Drive Systems, take a look and see if they carry a system for you. They're not too cheap, but if you love your current bike, it could really be worth the upgrade.

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    This ManMade guest post was written by Jay Howard
    Building a wardrobe can be a bit confusing for the fellas out there, especially when it comes to the most expensive items in your closet: your shoes.
     created at: 03/28/2016
    You want to have some great options to wear with different outfit styles, but you also don’t want to drop thousands of dollars on two dozen pairs of shoes. Here’s the secret: you don’t need every shoe variation in the book to be able to adequately match your outfits. You just need the right shoes in your closet to make it work.
    The key is to pick the shoes that are the most versatile, and give you the most bang for your buck. On that topic, You can check out my blog for a free PDF that lists every piece of bang-for-your-buck clothing a man can get. You’ll love it.
    But, onward! Below, I’ve described the 6 essential pairs of shoes every man should have in his closet. Pick em’ up this weekend and you’re well on your way to becoming a style icon. 
    1. Work boots (pictured at top)
    This is a place to invest and not skimp on quality. The more beat up they get, the more legit you look. They look great with dark wash jeans + basically any other shirt in your closet. They’re a classic choice that will never go out of style, so find a sturdy pair of brown leather boots and keep em’ for decades. 


    created at: 03/28/2016
    2. White sneakers
    Look for a clean, crisp, simple pair of white sneakers. I have the Adidas Stan Smith’s and wear em' multiple times a week. I love them because I can wear them with anything: shorts and a tank top? Good to go. Dark wash jeans and a v-neck? Yep. Khaki chinos and a casual button down? Go for it. Shoot, GQ stylists will even pair them with a suit sometimes. They’re insanely versatile! Just be sure to keep those bad boys clean.
     created at: 03/28/2016
    3. Chukka boots
    If you’re like me, most days you’re probably wearing some sort of denim. In my opinion, no shoe looks better with blue denim than some brown chukka boots. I like them because you can keep them casual with a v-neck or henley, or dress them up with a nice button up shirt and jacket. They can be whatever you need them to be. Clark’s Desert Boot is kinda the standard here, but other brands might have them for cheaper if you’re up for some research. 
     created at: 03/28/2016
    4. Brown oxford dress shoes
    You’re out of college, dressing professionally for work, and going to the occasional weekend wedding. It’s time to step up your game and get some legit dress shoes. Toss those terrible square-toed, faux-leather shoes you got in the 9th grade and grab a quality pair of brown oxford dress shoes. They look great with a navy suit for more formal occasions, and they can be your go-to daily shoes to wear at the office. You could even pull off a pair with dark wash jeans, a nice shirt and a blazer. Don’t skimp on price here; invest in some high quality shoes and you’ll have them for years to come. I picked up a pair of JCrew’s Ludlow Semi-Brogue Oxfords at their factory store a while back for a few hundred bucks. 
    created at: 03/28/2016 
    5. Athletic Shoes 
    1) If you don’t exercise a couple of days a week, you should. 2) If you don’t have a stylish pair of athletic sneakers to work out in, you also should. Keep it simple and get a pair of cross-trainers or running shoes in a basic color: black, white or grey. I’d head to the outlet mall to as you can almost always find some good ones on sale. Here’s a little secret: if you have some fitted jeans, you can sport a cool pair of Nike Frees and a simple tee shirt and look great for sort of a sporty-casual look. 
    created at: 03/28/2016 
    6. One pair of bold head-turners 
    Every man needs a piece of clothing that can turn some heads. So keep your eyes open for some shoes that might do just that. Look for something bold! Yeah, you might have to walk with a little bit of extra swagger and confidence, but hey, being unique never hurt anybody, right? Probably I have some purple high top Stefan Jankoswki Nikes and I get compliments every time I wear them.  
    Jay Howard is a Southern California based lifestyle blogger and digital influencer. His blog focuses on helping men in the Millennial generation learn to live and love better, with content focusing on relationships, confidence/charisma, career, health, style and personal development for the modern man. You can follow him on YouTubeTwitter and Instagram.

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    created at: 03/29/2016

    One time, in an interview, I was asked, "What's the connection between all the styles of crafts and projects you feature on ManMade? What makes them of a kind?" After thinking for a second, it occurred to me that most of the things I'm interested in involve a similar process: take some materials, cut them up into different shapes and sizes, and then put them together in a more interesting way. Sometimes we do that with joinery, or hardware, or a sauce, but often, that work involves the magical power of.... adhesives.

    When you're working with a single medium, the decision (more or less) made for you. Working wood? Use wood glue. Attaching leather? Opt for contact cement designed for just that task. But what happens when you start to mix your media?

    Our friends at Makezine have come up with this exhaustive and super handy chart that will help you adhere almost anything to anything. James Burke says,

    For years I wondered why all my beautiful small-scale models kept falling apart. I underestimated the most important factor: adhesive. You can glue almost everything with super glue — but some materials just won’t stay together. Is it possible to glue rubber to glass? Will plastic stick to wood? Once you mix several different materials, it can get really confusing. For those moments it’s convenient to have a handy table that gives a quick overview.

    Handy and quick, indeed. Print it out and hang it over your bench and get back to making. 

    Get the full resolution version at Makezine. And don't forget this DIY classic, which I'm happy to see is still up and totally unchanged since I first discovered it more than ten years ago:

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    spring lookbook

    Hibernation season is officially officially over and it's time to transition into the warmer months of the year. So, we've gathered a few essentials that will help you feel like yourself while staying cool. After all, spring is all about renewal of life..and looks! Oh, and allergies...but at least your look sharp. 

    created at: 05/07/2014

    1. A stepped-up t-shirt: For those times when you need to keep cool, but when the three-to-a-shrink-pack options won't do, even in solid. Look for something simple and cotton, with a finer knit. Neutrals work well as layers, and appear dressier than your standard crayon-colored shirt. This one's the Field Knit Tee from J.Crew. 

    created at: 05/07/2014

    2. Neutral Fitted Pants: by "fitting" we don't mean skinny and tight, we mean that should be YOUR SIZE. Lots of guys tend to buy pants that are a size or two larger (for some odd reason) thinking they'll be more comfy they end up looking puffy and it's actually super uncomfortable considering they'd be falling down all the time. Find a nice pair of neutral cotton pants, which you can wear casually with a t-shirt OR a bit more formal with a jacket or light sweater. This pair is from Bonobos. 


    spring look

    3. A Smart Looking Sweater/Jersey: time to put away the parka! Get a slim-shape sweater for cooler mornings and nights. By keeping the color and pattern classic you can mix and match with different pieces without clashing styles. This one is from Mr. Porter


    4. Versatile Shoes: get a pair of shoes that can be worn in different situations. This pair of Vans are the perfect example; you can wear them to the beach, to work, and with dressy pants you can wear them for dinner. Different looks, one pair. You can find them at Zappos.


    5. A hat with a brim: If you're a hat guy, now's the time. it might not be 1000 degrees outside yet, the sun can get a bit intense during the day. Baseball cap, broad brim, whatever works for your head. Get a grown up cap that you can carry around to wear whenever needed. Just avoid any shiny/bedazzled stuff, fedoras, and anything with a flat brim. Unless you're a fifteen year old kid with a skateboard, in which case, welcome to ManMade, youngster! Hat by Clay and Bros

    spring style

    6. Appropriate Fitness Wear: While it may be OK to lounge around in your PJs, it's definitely not OK to work out or run about wearing heavy fabric pants that will make you sweat like a pig. Get a pair of loose cotton shorts that can be worn in the house and also for running errands. Make sure to choose something without pattern so you can mix and match with all your t-shirts. This shorts are found here


    obey windbreaker

    7. Windbreaker or Lightweight Rain Coat: April showers don't stop on May 1. Whether you're heading to the bookstore or the hiking trail, get a windbreaker.. They're light and will work as a great shell to protect you from chilly wind and rain. This one is from Obey

    Don't be afraid to try something new! 'Tis the season for new things, dude. 


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    created at: 03/29/2016

    How many of us pack a lunch for work? Most of my friends with office jobs have some sort of Tupperware / plastic bag combination, which if you consider that you carry that stuff everyday, likely isn't in keeping with your general lifestyle goals. So here's a simple and classic lunchbox design that keeps everything contained and is the perfect weekend project.  

    It's classic, masculine, and a humble way to show off your more rugged and practical woodworking skills should anyone ask. 

    Click here to view the instructions from FlahertyS at 

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    Wooden TubIf you're going to take a soak, it might as well be in an amazing tub. Check out these amazing veneered wooden tubs that would gold plate just about any bathroom.   When I remodeled my bathroom a few years ago, I remember being really disappointed with the boring, standard fiberglass offerings. We settled on a mix between tile and glass, but I wish this would have been something I knew about back then.Wooden Tub

    Alegna makes amazing wood veneered tubs and sinks that are so eye-catching they would be at home as an art gallery centerpiece. The company started off building pieces for custom yacht installations, so their comfort with wood and water make for a perfect combination when designing and building these custom pieces. You can even add in jets for an even more amazing experience. So, now wander into your bathroom and take a moment to dream about installing one of these in there.Wooden Sink

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    A few years ago, the bacon craze hit the cocktail scene, and we saw everything from bacon fat washes to candied bacon garnishes on sticks to all sorts of meat-y infusions and even full-on strips of protein floating in glasses.

    We're okay with that trend dying down a bit, though we can't deny the fact that the smoky sweetness of bacon really does happen to complement the flavors of certain spirits, particularly whisky, quite well. So, instead of taking the bacon flavor to the whisky, let's take the whisky... to... the bacon.     

    Scotch Trooper, the blog of "a Star Wars loving Whisky Enthusiast living dangerously close to where they film The Walking Dead south of Atlanta. When I am not sitting behind the computer as a Web Developer I am sipping whisky, taking photos and building/selling lamps. Not at the same time, of course," recently published a recipe for "Laphroaig Bacon." He figured out how to match the smoky peat flavors of Islay scotch with the richness of cured pork belly in a way that, while we haven't yet tried it, seems hard to mess up.

    He says "One word of caution, it’s addictive. The combination of smoke, sweetness and salt is a perfect breakfast treat. It has become one of the most requested breakfast item by the whole family. So be careful. It may dip into your whisky shelf. But it’s so worth it."

    Get the full technique at Laphroaig Bacon



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    created at: 04/09/2014

    Any time of year, gin is a favorite spirit. It mixes well while retaining its character, and its aromatics complement a great range of flavors. But there's something so special, so obvious, about gin and springtime. If flavors had colors, gin's would be green, and it's a perfect chance to start putting ice back in our cocktails because the external temperatures are finally bearable.   

    Martinis are good. Gin and tonics? Great. But this guy can do much more than those standards. So, here are ten essential gin drinks and cocktails for springtime that any guy will enjoy...provided that you like gin. Which you do, right?


    1. The Gibson: For the classier side of things (it's Mad Men's Roger Sterling's go-to), give this simple twist on the Martini a shot - 

    • 2 oz. London dry gin
    • 3/4 oz. dry vermouth
    • 3-4 cocktail onions, skewered

    Shake gin and vermouth with plenty of ice, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with cocktail onions.


    2. Cucumber Rosemary Gimlet: Everything I love about spring (and summer) in a glass. Also, if you've a lady to impress, make her this one.

    • 2 oz. London dry gin
    • 1 oz. cucumber juice (peel cucumbers, puree, then sieve)
    • 3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
    • 1/2 oz. simple syrup
    • 2 sprigs rosemary

    Add one sprig rosemary to mixing glass and muddle with the simple syrup. Add remaining ingredients and ice, and shake. Pour into an iced rocks glass and garnish with additional rosemary.


    3. The Fancy Gin Cocktail: You might know this better with whiskey as an Old Fashioned, but the simple sugar and Angostura bitters combo works wonderfully with the brightness of gin. 

    • 1 sugar cube
    • 3-4 dashes Angostura bitters
    • 2 oz. dry gin
    • 1 lemon zest/thin strip of peel

    Rub lemon peel around rim of glass, and drop in. Place sugar cube in glass and saturate with bitters. Add gin and 2-3 ice cubes, and allow to come together for a minute or two. Stir and enjoy.

    4. The gin and tonic: Nothing wrong with this classic, provided you build it right. From the ManMade guide to the ultimate gin and tonic: "A gin and tonic is a really basic drink with two distinctive and bold components, So, don't skimp on the tonic, which makes up more than half the highball. You don't have to go for the pricier, artisanal brands exclusively, but make sure you're using a tonic you love. A great tonic can turn an affordable $17.50 bottle like Beefeater or Boodles into something pretty special."

    • 2 oz. Hendrick's gin 
    • 2 oz. Fever Tree Mediterranean-style tonic water
    • 2 oz. club soda
    • 2 dashes Fee Brothers orange bitters 
    • Garnish: cucumber slice

    For the complete how-to, check out: How to: The Simple, Easy Trick to Improve Your Gin and Tonic


    5. Gin Rickey: Simple, perfect. You can start at 9:00a and drink all day, and still not be bored by 9:00p.

    • 1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
    • 1/2 oz. simple syrup
    • 2 oz. gin
    • 6-8 oz. club soda

    Stir lime juice, simple syrup, and gin together in a tall glass. Top with lots of ice, and fill with soda water. This makes a good cocktail to test out various flavors of bitters and tinctures, particularly citrus and fruit-based ones. 


    6. The Tom Collins: the ideal drink for patio sipping. Ignore those mixes and customize your own balance of flavors with real ingredients. That said, this is basically a sparkling lemonade spiked with gin, so have at it. 

    • 1.5 oz. fresh lemon juice
    • 1 oz. simple syrup
    • 2 oz. gin
    • Club soda
    • Garnish: orange slice or cocktail cherry (or both)

    Shake lemon juice, simple syrup, and gin with ice, then pour into an iced tall glass. Top with club soda and garnish.

    7. Salt and Pepper Martini: Here, the spicy flavors of bitters balance the strong pomegranate and salt for an almost savory drink. A great before-dinner drink to enjoy with small bites. 

    • 1 1/2 oz. gin
    • 3/4 oz. lemon juice
    • 3/4 oz. grenadine
    • 3 oz. fresh grapefruit juice
    • pinch of kosher salt
    • 5 dashes angostura or orange bitters

    Shake the ingredients and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. You can rim half with salt (like a margarita) if you really want to amp the savory flavors


    8. St. Christopher - To guide you on all your travels or adventures. 

    • 2 oz. gin (Hendrick's recommended here)
    • 1 oz. Aperol 
    • 1/2 oz. cucumber juice  (peel cucumbers, puree, then sieve)
    • 1 dash orange bitters

    Shake all ingredients with ice, and pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon or orange twist.

    9. Extra Special Pimm's Cup: The Pimm's Cup is a U.K. classic, and the official drink of Wimbledon. I add a bit of gin to make it worthwhile. 

    • 2 oz. Pimm's No. 1 (gin-based)
    • 1 oz. dry gin
    • 4 oz. ginger ale
    • Garnish: lots of (clean) lemon slices and cucumber wheels

    Muddle 1 slice cucumber and lemon in a highball glass, and then stir in Pimm's and gin. Add lots of ice, and top with ginger ale, and additional lemon and cucumber. 

    10. Negroni - For me, no list of gin cocktails is complete without a Negroni. It is, by far, my favorite way to enjoy gin. And Campari. And Vermouth. I've never claimed a favorite classic cocktail, but if I did, this might be it. 

    • 1 oz. dry gin
    • 1 oz. Campari
    • 1 oz. sweet vermouth

    Stir ingredients with ice (don't shake), and strain into either a cocktail or rocks glass, your preference. 




    Oh, and here's a fun social media-friendy image with type and such. Feel free to Pin it to your favorite boards.

    created at: 04/09/2014

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    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 project comes from Elmars, a maker in Latvia who is getting into leather crafting. This project emerged as a great way to practice his skills, and get his growing tool collection organized.

    He began by laying things out to get the ideal placement, then just used additional tabs and some Scotch tape to determine the pockets and brackets. I love the "making things to fit" way of thinking, rather than "this tab should be 1/2" and this one X measurement," etc... This leather was soft enough to use a standard sewing machine, which made quick work of the stitches, though you could easily hand sew the seams if you'd like. 

    The whole thing rolls up into a tight bundle, nestling a surprising amount of tools in a neat little package. Can't beat that.

    Watch the full process unfold at Leather Tool Roll



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    There's a good deal of crossover in the DIY and rock n roll aesthetic, and it's never been more apparent than in this guide and process video turning a shovel into an electric guitar. I first noticed this DIY level of janky guitar-making in the trailer for the 2008 documentary It Might Get Loud in which Jack White plays a homemade slide guitar that he constructed from an old board, nails, a string, and a Coke bottle.   The instructional process video below from I Like to Make Stuffshows you how to construct a killer musical instrument, and then his buddy shows you how good it can sound

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  • 03/31/16--09:00: Now This Is a Whiskey Glass
  • Bulletproof WhiskeyJust when I thought the wonderful world of whiskey couldn't get any better, I found this amazing glass to drink it out of. Complete with a real bullet.   This killer piece (ha) is handmade with a real, unused bullet imbedded in the side of the cup. The bullet (either a 0.308 rifle or 0.45 acp handgun lead-free round) locked in well enough to survive the dishwasher and maybe even a few rowdy drinking buddies. The collection also has a matching shot glass so all your drinks can be kicked up a notch.bulletproof shot glass

    Now that you've seen the best, there really is no excuse to drink out of anything else. So head over there and pick up a set for your home bar.

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