Category Archives: Uncategorized

Alteration: Altoids Smalls Sewing Kit

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I sew and repair on a regular basis so have this kit with me every day. With the assistance of a number of 3/16″ rare earth magnets superglued down, the tin will hold itself open and attach to metal surfaces, and the only things to fall from it while open–even inverted–are the two extra [plastic] buttons. The contents of the kit include:

– 8 needles of varying size

– 25 steel pins

– 6 safety pins of varying size

– 1 steel thimble

– 2 steel spools of approx. 20ft of black nylon upholstery thread each

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Alteration: Hobby Lockpicks

Disclaimer: I enjoy lock picking as a hobby. It is great a pass-time, especially if you like puzzles, but should be used only for recreational purposes unless you are a locksmith. I do not encourage using lockpicking skills illegally. Additionally, be sure to check your local laws regarding carrying lockpicks. Also, this is not my original idea, just my take on it.

I live in a city where street-sweepers cruise down particular roads once a week on a schedule. These street sweepers’ brushes are comprised of many long, thin tines of a springy, high-carbon steel. Throughout their lifespans, these tines will break off and distribute themselves around town. I find them most often right along the curb next to the gutter.

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They are usually rusty and dark, so before turning them into picks, I’ll clean them up as shown by the tine at the bottom of the following picture.

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Then I’ll fold it in half back and forth until it snaps. They snap clean, and I use pliers to unbend the very end after snapping them.

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20 minutes with a Dremel and pliers (or muuuch longer with files and pliers) and I have two new lockpicks that also double as tension wrenches, as inspired by the Bagota Entry Toolset as seen on ITS Tactical. The first time I made them, I tried the twist and did not like it, so I keep it simple.

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The picks in the photos are still rough–I’ll be going back to thin out the working ends. I also store them in the manner seen on ITS Tactical:

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Lastly, we keep a plethora of locks at home to play with. Most of them I have not yet conquered.

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The End. Happy training!