So I have already shown you photos of a skatedeck I woodburned images into (HERE) and the experiment continues. The other side of the deck is now burned with Native American/Southwestern sorta stuff that’s a nice contrast to the cowboy/gambler sorta stuff on the topside.
Here are the photos:
The next step is to mix up a two part Epoxy Resin and try to clearcoat this thing. It’s the test run before I go on to finish the next skate deck I have…
I’ll show photos when I have the chance, but the next skatedeck is very different from this one. So far, it’s matte black all over, with a semi-gloss metalflake black logo for HUBRIS across it.
The paint’s done, and I’ll post photos before I go on to the following step, which is to resin the surface, adding sand to the topside to create a grip surface. Cross your fingers and wish me luck. The next step after that is to put black trucks and black wheels onto it. It’ll be sort of a Batskateboard, I guess. Or a Black Ops sort of thing… if secret underground government enforcers were to use skateboards, which they might, if some of the younger conspiracy theorists are allowed to speculate freely.
I had this idea a while back, and of course it was overblown in its initial state. I would enlist the help of the two people I know who have the know-how and the elaborate woodshops that would enable me to lay up some custom skate decks. Then, I would woodburn cool custom designs into the decks for the sheer pleasure of having a really nice custom deck. Then, I would cover the deck with a clear resin finish with some quartz sand mixed in for grip, and vóila! A really expensive, jaw-droppingly cool skate deck for me. I say for me because you can see how such a thing could be well outside the perceived value/price range of your average skater. The kinds of people who would WANT such a thing are the kinds of people that skate so good and so hard that they regularly break decks. You don’t want to smash a two-month old $300 custom deck do you? No. Nobody’s that frivolous.
But overlarge good ideas can be whittled down to something manageable. I started tinkering around. Why build custom decks out of handpicked hardwood ply when you can go online and buy a half-dozen blank decks and piddle around all you like on them? So I did that. And that whole Resin finish thing? The wiser heads at the skate shop said “Why not use clear grip tape? Zap. Done. So all that remained was the woodburning of the art. That’s what I was mostly interested in. I like woodburning, and I like the idea of the art on the top of the deck, so I went for it.
It took me three months to finally clear a day in my schedule, and there wasn’t time to really finalize the cool Hubris art that I wanted to do, so I decided the first deck would be total practice- a throwaway if necessary. So I laid out an area to work in, transferred some art to a deck fresh out of the box and sanded bare of finish, and grabbed my woodburning tool. Turns out, I needed all three of my woodburning tools to make this thing work. There were some effects and line weights that insisted on various kinds of burn.
There are big fat lines from a tool that’s pretty much a soldering iron, a lot of tiny feathery lines that come off a tool I bought at a specialty wood shop years ago, and some patterning in the background that comes off a hot twist of wire in the end of a handle on a thing my father got from a woodworking buddy- it’s a tool that started life as a charger for a car battery and now does duty as a custom branding iron.
There you have it. Niiiiice skate deck. I took some photos and ran to the skate shop to get that clear grip tape put on it. That didn’t work out so well – waaay too milky and opaque, so we’re on to phase two. I do the art on the bottom of the deck and go get some resin.
Thursday I mentioned that I burned my arm doing a photoshoot.
It was pretty alarming, though thankfully not ‘disarming’. Ha.
Here’s a photo of my injury, proving that I’m Hubris in real life.
How does it prove that I’m Hubris-like? Well, there were also two children and a grown woman who were engaged in the selfsame activity, and they sure didn’t get hurt. In fact, until this happened, we were pretty amazed at how safe the operation seemed to be.
You put a bit of steel wool in a wire whisk. You put the whisk on the end of a foot or two of rope. Hold a flame to the steel wool, and it starts to smolder. Whirl the whole mess around at arms length in front of you.
If you do this in the dark, with a camera trained on you, you get a neat effect. If you stand just to one side of the camera’s view, you get a neater effect: glowing rain. The tiny bits of smoldering steel fly out of the whisk and if you’re using long exposure times on the camera, you get a neat shower of sparks. With a little practice, you can even direct the height of the fall and the general direction.
And without much practice at all, a whole chunk of molten steel can somehow get out of the stupid whisk and land smack on your arm. Your first instinct will be to brush it off with your other hand. Bad instinct, bad! The resulting blisters on your other hand will hurt a LOT worse than the ruination on your arm… mostly because those nerve endings in your arm have seen their OWN end. Them li’l suckers are cauterized, and you don’t have to worry about them anymore.
What you DO have to do is get some of those soothing gel pads from your local pharmacy and stick one to your arm, and some high-grade aloe product for your hand. The hand will be fine in a day or two, though you might suspect there’s a tiny piece of charred steel where there had been a couple of blisters. Cool. The arm, on the other hand… oh, the arm. Still no pain, so you start showing it off, leaving the bandage off after a couple of days, and letting a big ol’ scab form. Except that if you’re not careful enough, that scab gets awfully wet in the shower and sloughs off, and then you’re back to square one with the gel pads and the bandages. Putting the bandages back on is good. Because as your friend, who tore his face off in a mountain bike wreck, will tell you, you don’t want open sunshine on your wound, ’cause the scars turn an unmistakeable red and everyone says, “OOoogh. Nasty scar, there.” On the arm, that might be okay, but he wanted his face to heal up proper and so he didn’t go outside for, like, two months or something.
I was told all this after spending a couple of hours at the skatepark thinking a little sun would do my wound good, since it was fresh out of the gel pad and I didn’t like it looking all wet and gooey.
And before you ask- no, the fire didn’t burn all the hair away from the wound. I hadda shave my wooly arm to keep the bandages from sticking to the hairs and making removal some kind of wax-job joke.
Y’all be careful out there. But if you’re not, send photos.
I’ve said in the past that I would try not to degenerate into crotch-area humor. But this is a product review, not a cartoon.
The subject of The Camp Shuffle comes up on long outdoors trips. Going down the Grand Canyon for a couple of weeks, say. Or taking your kids to Scout Camp. They warn the kids and warn them good, but you know somebody in the group will neglect to take proper showers or change his underwear or not take the proper precautions in the sweaty days of Summer camp.
I feel bad for them. Because I’ve gotten the Camp Shuffle. I’ve staggered along like the crippled sidekick in an old Western, wishing I could quit the hike, go back to camp and let my tenders heal. It happened this past June. I was miserable. I could have been MORE miserable, but another scout leader told a funny story about a buddy of his that got the Camp Shuffle. The guy had gotten some powder, figuring that would fix it all up. But, the story went, he bought MENTHOLATED powder. Everyone laughed, and I felt better. My drawers were uncomfortable in the extreme, but at least I hadn’t dropped menthol down in ’em. Ha. Hilarious.
This gave me a good idea, though. While the scouts were being taught or tested or whatever the heck during their Camp class, I’d step over to the trading post and see if they had anything for Camp Shuffle. I figured that if it was standard practice to lecture the kids about it during our first few moments at camp, surely the trading post would keep powder or something on hand. And they DID. They had two different kinds of Gold Bond powder. Regular, of which they had a dozen containers, and Extra Strength, of which they had two containers.
It hadn’t been that long since I’d heard the story about the idiot who dropped Menthol down his pants, so I looked over both bottles carefully. ‘Extra Strength’, the one bottle said. ‘Healing’, it said. ‘Triple Action Relief’ it said. ‘Cooling, Absorbing, Itch Relieving’ so far so good, and I’d exhausted the front of the bottle. No mention of ‘Mentholated’. The directions on the back say, ‘Apply freely up to 3 or 4 times a day’. It also says, under ‘Uses’: temporarily relieves the pain and itch associated with: minor cuts, sunburn, insect bites, scrapes, prickly heat (!) minor burns, rashes (also “!”) and minor skin irritations. The ‘Warnings’ say it’s for external use only (good. I had no plans to eat it.) and to keep it out of my eyes. (also, no problems. I’ve never powdered my eyes and couldn’t see a reason to start.) There was some ‘ingredients’ list at the bottom. It didn’t mention ‘menthol’, though it did say ‘methyl salicylate’, which worried me since I had no earthly idea what the heck it might be or if I wanted it on my tenders. But I figured that there were only a few ‘Extra Strength’ bottles left because that was the kind everyone bought. And I bought the Extra Strength.
Then I went to the car. It was very close and mostly, no one goes to the parking lot during the day, so the lot was empty. I opened both doors on one side, stepped between them, and discreetly medicated my nether regions.
Which is to say I set my own crotch on fire.
Fire. fire fire fire fire fire fire fire fire fire fire fire fire fire fire fire fire fire fire!
While I am trying to hold still and wondering if I should, maybe, run around or call for help or die or something, my son comes up from the trading post. He said… something that didn’t have to do with testicle fires, so I don’t recall what it might have been.
Nerve endings, says my wife who was a burn nurse for many years, die. They burn up and the victims of fires no longer feel the pain- not until they begin to heal, that is. I decided, while standing there sweating, panting, gasping and trying to answer my son (I thought, I’ll tell him I’m okay. Everything’s okay and I love him very much. Those would be good last words.) that I would just wait until there was enough nerve damage that I could get on with the day.
Finally, things changed. The fire didn’t go out, you understand, it just started oscillations between nuclear fire and nuclear winter.
fire ice fire ice fire ice fire ice fire ice fire ice fire ice fire ice fire ice fire ice fire ice fire ice fire ice fire ice fire ice fire ice fire ice fire ice fire ice fire ice
I had never thought that I’d be happy to have my gonads light up and freeze over and over again, but I assumed that any change in blinding furious pain was a good thing. Maybe someday I could live like normal people again, and this was the beginning of it.
Okay, that was about as funny as this story gets. Eventually, the pain turned into a confused discomfort that I was able to see through and deal with. It was probably only a couple of minutes that I had flop sweat, agonizing fire and ice and a sincere concern that I had crippled myself to the point of needing hospitalization. It seemed like longer, but you know how that is.
I finished the day and got back to our campsite. Another Den Leader with us had Johnson and Johnson’s Baby Powder. I used it that night and the next day, and didn’t have another minute’s discomfort.
So here’s the conclusion: If you have Camp Shuffle DO NOT put Gold Bond Extra Strength powder in your shorts. Even if you DO NOT have Camp Shuffle, do not put Gold Bond Extra Strength powder in your shorts. If you have a bitter, bitter enemy for whom you have nothing but a seething hell-born hate, and you find that you have an opportunity to put Gold Bond Extra Strength powder in his shorts, DO NOT do it. It’s and evil thing to do, and you’re not that evil. No one is that evil.
You have some poison ivy rash on your arm or leg? It’s itching like crazy? Use Gold Bond Extra Strength powder. Use it. It’s fine. It feels good. It even smells kinda nice. Need something on your pits before you go out on a long hike? Go for the powder. Back of your neck a little sunburnt? Use it according to instructions. It’s good stuff.
But DO NOT put it on your genitals. Ever. Under any circumstances.
Last thing- I must have been in a desperate hurry to get relief. The label on the back of the bottle? Yeah, at the bottom there’s those ingredients listed? They’re ‘Inactive’ ingredients. Up at the top, Right under ‘Drug Facts’? THERE’s the ‘Active Ingredients’ and the first thing listed is ‘Menthol’ 0.8%. You might want reading glasses to see it, but it’s there. Oh, it’s there, my friends. On the label and in the bottle. It’s THERE.
On an only semi-related note… in this video they are using the non-mentholated Gold Bond:
By the way, THIS is the stuff I’m using next trip. Mostly cause ‘MonkeyButt’ is just too funny not to have on some kind of packaging around here. Click on the bottle if you’d like to buy some too: