Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Making Of Captain Hook, Halloween 2008

First you get a wooden cutlass from and then you modify it so it looks a little more realistic.

The first step was to paint the wooden cutlasses. Sorry, I did not document the painting. I first painted the handle using a metallic gold spray paint. I then painted the blade with a brushed nickle spray paint.

The painted cutlass then needed to be aged. So I took and old shoe brush and some hardened black shoe wax and daubed it on sparingly. I then buffed it with the shoe brush followed by a rag. I think the cutlasses aged nicely.

I used some black felt, cut in strips, to wind around the grip. The grip was sprayed with an adhesive to hold the felt in place.

As a final touch I wound some rawhide lacing around the grips to simulate the wire that was used on original cutlasses.

In the mean time, The Blushing Bride, with the assistance of her cat, is working on my Captain Hook costume. My grandson Ise decided that this year, he would be Peter Pan; The Blushing Bride will be Smee, his sister The Newbie (7 months old) would be Tinker Bell and I would be Captain Hook. Anyhoo, we will see how it all works out.

A good pirate also needs a brace of pistols to carry. So I got these at the Wal-Mart supply store. A couple sprays of burnished nickel spray paint and the "Brady Bunch" ridiculous bright orange end is covered.

These are pistols Captain Hook would like to cry. I purchased these in Spain on my first "Med" trip in 1963. They are replica pistols, I've never fired them because I know nothing of their ancestry. But I won't carry them on Halloween. As a retired LEO, I would never put a fellow officer in danger by causing him or her to respond to a citizen's "man with gun" call.

Another gratuitous shot of The Blushing Bride still working on Hook's outfit. This picture was taken a few hours after the first picture and she is still hard at work.

A trial fitting of the coat. The Blushing Bride still has much to do, so I better go fix her supper.


While building Captain Hook's cutlass I realized that Peter Pan would also need some armament. Peter Pan carried a dagger, so I located a "Wooden Medieval Knight Dagger" sold by: Sword Demon through

This is the dagger, as you can see it has been lightly sanded and the handle has been painted metallic gold in color.

At this point the handle is metallic gold and the blade is brushed nickel. Again they are a little to bright even though I did not pick the brightest colors available.

Before adding the felt the dagger was covered with black shoe polish. I used the Miyagi Method, wipe on, wipe off. This takes the shine off the new paint while making the dagger look used or distressed. I used green felt on the handle as Peter Pan wears a lot of green, at least as I know him. The felt had a sticky side so I just wrapped it around the handle twice and it is stuck in place. The felt on the cutlasses was added using a felt strip approximently an inch wide wrapped multiple times around the handle.

And a final shot of the completed dagger for Peter Pan. I put some leather lacing, also rubbed with black shoe polish, to soften and darken the lacing. The lacing is to help keep the felt from peeling off and to decorate the dagger.

Update, 01 November, 2008:

Captain Hook in all of his glory on Halloween.

Peter Pan his own self on Halloween. Ready to do battle with Captain Hook.

The great Captain Hook with Smee, Peter Pan and Tinker Bell on Halloween.

A great time was had by all.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Things I Got My Eye On, Well Actually Both Eyes

The Katy Bar is found at:

This Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Compact Macro AutoFocus Lens - USA is available at:

This Tipton Gun Cradle is available at:

This Stack On Wall Safe is available at:

This Homak In-The-Wall gun container is available at:

This 1909 Argentine Carbine is available at:

This Short Magazine Lee Enfield Tee Shirt is available at:

This Garman Nuvi 200W is available at:
All over the Internet they are on sale

This book, The American Krag Rifle and Carbine is available at:

This book, The Model 1903 Springfield Rifle is available at:

This book, The M1 Garand 1936-1957 is available at:

The Old Town Cayuga 146 can be found at:
Brasington's Adventure Outfitters, Gainesville, FL

This book, Shipmates can be found at:
Second printing.

This book, The LEE-ENFIELD’ by Ian Skennerton can be found at:

These Mossberg detachable sling swivels can be found at:

This Mossberg 22 Target Peep sight, can be found at:

The Acorn Pistol Holster 5 Pack, can be found at:

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Oh Yes He Did! That's Freakin Awesome!

Brad Sciullo of Uniontown, PA took 4 hours and 39 minutes to eat the Beer Barrel Belly Bruiser which weighed in at 20.2 pounds including lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, onions, mild banana peppers and a cup each of mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard and relish plus the bun.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Trading Movies And Fun In The Sun

Nana and Will pose on the patio swing. You gotta get these shots when you can. If Will thinks you are taking to many he will not turn his face towards you.

This is Newbie, he also dropped by the Old Homestead today with his brother Will and their mother.

Will again, his mother brought along some kind of chocolate chip, nut filled muffin cupcakes. Whatever they are technically, Will made sure he got his. He seldom passes up any food of this type. He may skip over his broccoli but not this stuff. It's probably a skill he got from his Nana called Dessert First.

All of the grand boys love balls. Any kind, super balls, tennis balls, soccer balls or just plain balls. It seems to be a literal part of their being. The only thing that distracted Newbie from his ball was his brother Will.

The entire time Will was playing on this ball, Newbie could not take his eyes off of him. Newbie was totally impressed, if he could only walk he would have had that ball. I tried to get a shot of Will bouncing off of the ball because his mom was sort of dribbling him.

Here we have Newbie driving the little plastic chair around on the patio. He is moving the chair but it only goes in little arcs because he has not figured out the "left foot, right foot, repeat" thing as of yet.

Newbie working on the indoor track. He is really still working on the "left knee, right knee, repeat" thing. We think our rug might not be as soft as his home rug but then again we have more rug than tile which is the opposite of his home.

Will is another movie person. Every time he comes for a visit he borrows some movies. Usually he also wants to watch a movie as soon as he gets here. But, since he likes to be outside so much he never watches the whole movie. Whenever he brings back the ones he has, he can check out some more. He also loves popcorn and a drink with his movie.

Last but not least we have a shot of one of Nana's orchids from the patio.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A .40 Caliber Mystery

Shown here from left to right are 9x19mm NATO, .40 S&W and .45 ACP cartridges.

This is a Blazer 40 S&W round which was fired in my Glock 22. The shot did not feel right so I unloaded and benched the pistol so I could track down my "brass." When I picked it up from the floor it looked strange but it took me a few seconds to figure out why. The first thing I noticed is the extraction groove does not exist anymore. T

Then I noticed that about 1/3 of the way along the case moving away from the primer was a small swelling. This is a 40 S&W round that was cycled through a .40 caliber Glock 22. It is not a 9mm round. It was a factory loaded aluminum cased Blazer round. The visible scratches on the case are most likely from carrying the case in my pocket.

Another shot of the case.

As you can see the extraction groove is gone. Fro this angle the sidewall of the case looks straight.

I inspected my Glock before reusing and I could find no problem with the pistol. The brass .40 caliber ammo I used afterwards all functioned normally. I will no longer use any aluminum cased ammunition in any of my Glocks.

If anyone has had any similar experiences, I would be interested to hear about it.

Updated on 10/22/08:

Some nice folks on the Gunboards Forum at:
were kind enough to suggest I contact Blazer with my pictures and questions. Here is their response:

The Old Salt: what you discovered was a rare incident of the case missing the "head-turn operation" during case making. In this instance it is not a matter of the extractor groove not "existing anymore", there never was an extractor groove on the case. Since the round was fired in a Glock and it has a rectangular firing pin, look to see if the bulge in the case matches with the feed-ramp in the barrel i.e. 6 o'clock or 12 o'clock when looking at the rectangular firing pin mark on the primer. That would be my guess as to the reason for the bulge. The disconnector on the Glock should keep it from firing when the slide is not "in-battery" a safety feature built into the gun.

Pressure and velocity from the round should equal that of the other rounds in the box as they would have all been loaded at the same time, no safety issue.

Since the cartridge headspaces on the case mouth it went into the chamber properly. What I find interesting is there must have been enough lip on the back of the case that the extractor was able to hook the case and extract it. Had that not happened, the next round would not have been able to feed as the case would have remained in the chamber blocking feeding of the next round.

Sorry for the problem, does that explain what and how it happened?

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