Thursday, June 7, 2012

So make one that does...

I have a problem with gear- mostly that I don't like a lot of it. I'm very lean for my height, so clothes are tricky to fit. It seems like every piece of work or personal gear I own is ALMOST perfect, and I like things to be just so. This, more than anything, drives my impulse to personalize and modify equipment.

There is one other major factor- cost. Custom, especially in the realm of gear and guns, is expensive. So I find things that are close to perfect, and modify them as I see fit.

This brings me to my latest project, my shirtslicker. I have a dilemma; I live in Oregon, and I work outdoors, and I hate raincoats. They're clammy, they rustle (I prefer the option of stealth, although I talk loud enough to negate it), and they cling to me, and annoy me. So I stand in the rain and get wet, which is less than ideal. Today, I lit upon a solution. I took a regular long sleeve cotton shirt and waxed it.

It turns out, oilcloth is really just cotton canvas treated with linseed oil and wax. For the cost of a few bucks in boot wax, and the knowledge that I can never wash this shirt again, I have a rain resistant piece if outerwear that meets all my criteria. Its as simple as applying a thick, even coating of boot wax (I prefer Obenauf's LP, but could only find Sno-Seal), rubbing it in, then hitting it with a hair dryer to push it into the cotton. I may need to put an additional coat on, but I'll try it tomorrow and see how it works.

So it really is as simple as that. If you can't find the item that works, just make one that does. If you can't do that, well, I'd advise learning.

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