My FR pack basket leather harness…finally finished! (pic heavy)

Discussion in 'Self-made Gear' started by jstalljon, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. jstalljon

    jstalljon Woods Wanderer Supporter Bushclass I

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    First off, thanks to KA-BAR USMC and Croatoan for their inspiration behind this project. As soon as I purchased a pack basket from Frost River, not only to accompany my Timber Cruiser Jr. but also to carry solo on many occasions, I knew the harness system that came with the basket needed a personal touch.


    Here is how it looked right out of the box from Frost River:


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    Since I was going to put my own spin on the harness, I decided to customize the color and finish of the basket as well. A few coats of miniwax wood finish, and finished with several applications of satin polyurethane.


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    I intentionally left the stain sit a bit longer on the rim of the basket just to set it apart a bit, and was pleased with the outcome:


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    It was then time to address the harness…10 oz veggie tanned leather would fit the bill nicely and should stand the rigors that woods carry will bring. I have a gentleman that sells me longer scraps for a very reasonable price. These longer pieces are great for sheaths, belts, and other projects that may require a bit of length. So after a call to him, I had just what I needed and ordered the hardware:


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    Having CAD definitely is an invaluable tool for projects like this. I can print out templates to scale and simply cut out and trace on the leather, as well as have a very specific location for punched areas and holes:


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  2. jstalljon

    jstalljon Woods Wanderer Supporter Bushclass I

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    Everything cut and trimmed, marked and ready for tooling and stamping.


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    I’m not very adept at basket weave or tri weave stamping, but really thought it would look good on this project. So I started the arduous task of laying it out and jumped in with both feet. What a chore…each strap took around 40-45 minutes, by far not an excellent job of consistency, but I was content enough with the results. A little look at stamp station central:


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    So after several late nights of pounding, cutting, stamping, punching, gouging, etc… all the components were ready for rough assembly / test fit, I was also starting to test dye colors to see exactly what color I wanted to go with:


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    A closer look at some of the tooling and stamp work. Don’t look too close and pinpoint my errors! The main strap as well as the shoulder straps themselves are adjustable for wearing with different amounts of layered clothing. The wider shoulder strap should definitely aid in comfort when hauling full loads:


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    A few tweaks here and there were needed on the test fitting, but all said and done it went together fairly easily without the need for any major rework. The campfire emblem you can roughly see in this picture is a design I came up with a while ago and have incorporated in a few other items I’ve made. If you look closely, a few of the main center flames form a “J.S.” which happens to be my initials. A subtle way to incorporate some personality and ownership into the project:


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    Last edited: Nov 24, 2013
  3. jstalljon

    jstalljon Woods Wanderer Supporter Bushclass I

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    Comfortable with the test fit, it was time to pin down a dye color. I didn’t want the leather to be too dark a color as I wanted this piece to stand out on its own, yet not clash with the color of the basket. So after much deliberation I opted with a light saddle tan, I set to taking all the hardware back off and getting it all stained:


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    After 2 coats of dye and ample drying time, each piece was heated with a hair dryer and then sno-seal was vigorously rubbed into the leather to ensure this harness would remain flexible, as well as stand up to the changing elements. So here is the harness finished, with hardware ready to be installed back on the basket:


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    And the harness installed:


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    Last edited: Nov 24, 2013
  4. jstalljon

    jstalljon Woods Wanderer Supporter Bushclass I

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    A few of the finer detail and personal elements… The main carry strap is waxed sinew I braided with whitetail antler tine tips from past hunts of mine as well as a bear claw gifted to me by Croatoan from a memorable hunt of his. I was extremely humbled to receive this and could think of no better way to showcase such a prize:


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    The other 2 auxiliary carry straps are leather pieces. One adorned with grouse feet, and the other with moose teeth…again, both gifted to me from Croatoan. Thank you again my friend! Both of the items have been whipped to the straps.


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    The last portion of this build is the basket cover. Upon first glance, it may seem rather eclectic, or you may think it doesn’t quite fit in with the overall theme of the project, but I thought what better way to personalize this challenging yet meaningful project. I used a wood burner to etch into a softer piece of leather my family crest. I think it is a very regal and fitting symbol atop the pack basket cover. The cover was also treated with several coats of sno-seal to battle the weather and shed water.


    [​IMG]



    The tie system for the cover is braided jute twine that could always be used as tinder in a pinch. These are adorned with a few turkey spurs from a bird I shot with a bow 2 years ago. This ties off to a whitetail pedicle from an antler I had found when first walking our new property back in March. Again, a lot of elements and features that have deep personal meaning to me.


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    Last edited: Nov 24, 2013
  5. jstalljon

    jstalljon Woods Wanderer Supporter Bushclass I

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    This has been a very long project in the making, thick with personal history, past hunts, and friends made here on BCUSA. I’ll leave you with a few more picture of the pack and some other pieces I’ve made (I can’t take credit for the kuksa, more on that in a different write up soon), as well as a few in the field and on my ugly mug. This project has been about 3-4 months in the making so it’s nice to finally have it completed and the chance to get it in the field…thanks for looking!


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    Last edited: Nov 24, 2013
  6. TheDoctorWho

    TheDoctorWho Scout

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    Oh I can't wait to see how this turns out! Looks good so far, only gonna get better!
     
  7. Road King

    Road King Scout

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    Truly great work!
     
  8. CTwoodsman

    CTwoodsman Scout

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    Looks great. A harness you can be proud of.
     
  9. DeadwoodJim

    DeadwoodJim Scout Bushclass II

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    Outstanding work!
     
  10. Exy

    Exy Supporter Supporter

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    SO damn cool man,

    You got serious talent.
     
  11. Mr.LCV

    Mr.LCV Knife Snob Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Wow,that is stunning! Great Job!
     
  12. Mr. Tettnanger

    Mr. Tettnanger Supporter Supporter

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    Awesome......simply awesome!

    Well done, thank you for sharing!
     
  13. xRangerx

    xRangerx Woods wandering bird nerd Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    That is awesome! I will take one! ;) seriously amazing job. I can definitely see all the time you put in and the attention to details! Love your Henry too! What caliber is it?
     
  14. MJDavis

    MJDavis Unworthy Field Participant Supporter Bushclass I

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    Jon,

    You are a very talented man. Nice work all around.
     
  15. Further

    Further Banned Member Banned

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    That turned out fantastic! Wow you have some serious talent brother!
     
  16. OutdoorEnvy

    OutdoorEnvy Guide

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    Awesome! I love it. Great job!
     
  17. Pastor Chris

    Pastor Chris Hardwoodsman Hobbyist Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass II

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    That is beautiful, meaningful, and so well done. Just fantastic.
     
  18. backwoodsamerican

    backwoodsamerican Supporter Supporter

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    That is so cool! Thats it, im getting one!

    Sent from my C771 using Tapatalk 2
     
  19. akakesler

    akakesler Supporter Supporter

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    Great Work!! Thanks for sharing!!
     
  20. Chameleon_sk

    Chameleon_sk Tracker

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    Oh man...this is something. :dblthumb:
     
  21. b.dubya

    b.dubya Scout

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    Wow! Very impressive. Never thought about a basket, but you've sure got my gears turning. Thanks.

    -BW
     
  22. Iz

    Iz MEMBER of a BANNED Bushclass I Bushclass Instructor

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    That looks fantastic, bro. Great job!
     
  23. Steven Long

    Steven Long Guide Vendor

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    You are one talented and gifted man. Everything about it is just perfect. Amazing work.

    I want to know more about that sheath!
     
  24. kyporter

    kyporter Supporter Supporter

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    That is amazing!!!! It turned out great. One more thing that I need to add to my wishlist now.

    Good choice with the rifle in the pics, I think only a lever gun would be appropriate in the pictures with it.
     
  25. Mr.Black

    Mr.Black WILDEROXEN Tracker Pack #1 Supporter Bushclass I Bushclass Instructor

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    Years ago I heard a Man Named Cliffie Stone RIP Say "if your Gonna write songs write them to the Wall use existing subject matter and write it to the wall"...You wrote this through the wall Sir!
     
  26. Smokey Radley

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    Absolutely gorgeous! Thought out and executed well all the way from the basics to the finishing touches. Quite a show piece.
     
  27. MLarson

    MLarson Scout

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    Incredible job! It's beautiful.
     
  28. Brownie

    Brownie Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    My god man! That is beautiful!

    Can't hide it inside the TC Jr. now ;)

    Have you carried it in the TC Jr.? How did you like it?
     
  29. Hale

    Hale Guide

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    I'm seriously impressed, great job!!!
     
  30. bluetip84

    bluetip84 Tracker

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    Dude that is fantastic! I love all the details.
     
  31. Czech

    Czech Scout

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    Impressive work. Thanks for sharing. Czech
     
  32. SRruck1

    SRruck1 Tracker

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    WOW, awesome craftsmanship put to work here!
     
  33. Chris367

    Chris367 Supporter Supporter

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    That is sweet, lot of talent involved there!
     
  34. Kile

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    Very very nice!
     
  35. onthewater2181

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    Sometimes you come across a piece of gear that leaves you speechless............I am specchless.
     
  36. KA-BAR USMC

    KA-BAR USMC Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass II

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    You knocked that out of ball park Jon!!! Outstanding!!!
    Awesome work!!!!
     
  37. schechr

    schechr Wizard

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  38. Cro

    Cro American Grouch Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I Bushclass Instructor

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    Wow Jon, well executed doesn't say enough.

    I really like the way you incorporated the pieces and the whole set up in general.

    Just exceptional in every way, I hope you enjoy using it as much as I do mine.

    Well done friend!
     
  39. Ol' Dave

    Ol' Dave Scout Bushclass I

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    Absolutely gorgeous! Very inspiring craftsmanship.
     
  40. Lerch

    Lerch Bushmaster Bushclass I

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    That is fantastic. I think you did great on the leather tooling. That is something I have been hesitant to tackle. The basket and straps turned out excellent. Great work!
     
  41. pickin_grinnin

    pickin_grinnin Scout

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    That's beautiful work!!!
     
  42. jstalljon

    jstalljon Woods Wanderer Supporter Bushclass I

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    Thank you all for the kind words. It's nice to have this project completed, but somewhat bittersweet as this was quite a fun and memorable project.

    Now for some outings and small game hunting with it! I need to introduce it to the future cabin site as well.

    Again, a heart felt thank you!
     
  43. BigDaddyHoss

    BigDaddyHoss Supporter Supporter Bushclass II

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    I'll take a 4xl tall. Thanks :4: Beautiful work
     
  44. TcTx

    TcTx Scout

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    Good lord that looks awesome...nice job.
     
  45. Chet Punisher

    Chet Punisher Guide

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    That is some serious work invested. Great job.
     
  46. Mahoney67

    Mahoney67 Tracker

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    Very Nice Setup!
     
  47. Brazito

    Brazito Supporter Supporter

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    I am completely in awe. It's truly a thing of beauty.
     
  48. VaughnT

    VaughnT Banned Member Banned

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    That's some serious craftsmanship! All the little details really make the basket shine. Good job, hoss.
     
  49. ImladrisToad

    ImladrisToad Scout

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    Best in class.
     
  50. Mtnfolk Mike

    Mtnfolk Mike Supporter Supporter

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    man.. that came out great.. I Love Everything About It !! very nice work... I have wanted a pack basket for years, and this makes me want one even more..
     

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