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Unipacking last training ride

One last hill climb before I head out to the Arizona Trail!


Unipacking: Designing Panniers for a Unicycle: Prototypes

After a bunch of research, and making a new handlebar, I decided to start up on some prototype unicycle panniers and bags. First I just strapped my tent under the front bar; this was a quick hack:       It won’t work at all as it rubbed way too much on my legs. Next came some cardboard prototypes:       This allowed me to get a general feel for what sizes would work.  What material should I use to make the bags? At first I went to a local Beverley’s Fabric store, but this left me empty handed.... [read more]


Unipacking: Designing Panniers for a Unicycle: Research

In April 2017 I’m planning on riding the Arizona Trail via my unicycle. This will involve unipacking: carrying all my supplies for a self supported off road adventure over the course of hundreds of miles. First I needed a better custom handlebar that is more comfortable for long distance muni riding. In “Creating a Custom Unicycle Handlebar Part 1” I talk about my goals for the handlebar and compare it to some old designs. In Part 2, Fabrication I have a video of me fabricating the new handlebar. Definitely watch that if you are interested in creating your own designs. I... [read more]


Unipacking: Custom unicycle handlebar, part 2

In my last post, I talked about the setup and why I want to make a new handle bar for my KH26 geared mountain unicycle. Here’s a video detailing the construction of it:  


Unicycle handlebar evolution over time

Here’s a few pictures that go with my last video and post: My previous KH26 handlebar that I had made:   Older handlebars:     Post modifications, and experimenting with strapping a tent under it:         The tent here doesn’t work; it is too large and rubs on my legs. Continue on to newer posts that will talk about a custom bag I’m making!


Unipacking: Creating a custom unicycle handlebar, part 1

I’ve been making custom unicycle handlebars for over 10 years. I’ve refined the shape quite a bit over the years and I always have been tending to go wider and wider, and more mountain bike in style. Some of my original designs include the “Unibar”, which I fabricated from old bicycle handlebars: The old bike handlebars were really strong, but the metal base plate added a lot of weight to the overall design. I also didn’t really like the angle very much. Check out a few more pictures and the Sketchup 3D file: http://www.corbinstreehouse.com/blog/2007/12/unibar-version-3-sketchup/ Some other experiments I’ve done (this isn’t... [read more]


The Arizona Trail on Unicycle

I’m in the process of preparing for my next big trip: The Arizona Trail on Unicycle. The Arizona Trail splits the state almost in half with an 800 mile vertical line from Mexico all the way to the top of Arizona. My friend, Jamey Mossengren, spearheaded the idea to do the trail. I’ve always loved doing adventures, and this sounded absolutely epic.  I’m going to coin a new term: unipacking. Unicycle + Backpacking = Unipacking. Biker’s already have a similar term: Bicycle + Backpacking = Bikepacking.  This differs from bike touring in that it is all offload, and the setup is... [read more]


Photography: Nepal Wares

I took this picture back in April of 2015 when I was in Nepal on a unicycle tour through the Annapurna mountain range.  Vendors with portable shops would setup their items to sell alongside the main pathway in the little villages. The night before it had snowed a ton, and we had to turn around and head back down the pass instead of completing the entire circuit. I remember the morning in great detail as it was my birthday. This picture was taken on the way back down to lower elevation.  I hope to go back one day to finish the... [read more]


Adventures of Corbin: Japan, Starring Lexi

Late last year, Lexi told me that she wanted to go to Japan. I’ve always wanted to go to Japan and I figured this would be an awesome opportunity for me to go check out the country. I imagined I would eventually go with a my friends Nathan and Grace, who have a strong connection to the country and would love to do some type of cycling adventure (particularly, uni!). But that hasn’t panned out, and this was a great time to go. Lexi had images of skiing in super light powder in Hokkaido, and that was her primary goal.... [read more]


Plug Bug: Crash update.

Back in October 2016 my electric VW bug was rear ended: http://www.corbinstreehouse.com/blog/2016/10/plug-bug-the-bug-is-squished-i-was-rear-ended/ I was super sad, and I’ve had to deal with the insurance side of things. In the end, the bug has been declared “totaled”, but I was able to buy it back for a small amount of money. I’m hoping to fix it up and get it running again – but the rain in California needs to let up before I can do any work.


Chesapeake 16LT Kayak: It hits the water

In October 2016 I got a wooden kayak kit. In February 2017 it finally hit the water! It took a little longer than I expected, but I’m happy with the result! Here I am taking it in the water for the first time. I worked from home this day and quickly left for the Santa Cruz harbor as soon as I was done. It was a dark and stormy day, but I still wanted to try paddling in it. Lexi gave me a hand getting it in the water, and I took off. The kayak handles awesome. This is the... [read more]


Chesapeake 16LT Kayak: Part 14 – Finished.

Happy days are here! Actually, most all my days are happy days, but the kayak is done! I installed the seat and hatch straps. The seat is just some foam glued in, and in the picture below you can see a brick holding it down while it dries:   Later I added some elastic tie downs; I left things a little long so I can later tweak it a bit. The next problem I had was where to keep it. I fabricated some quick brackets out of old 2x4s and screwed them to my wall. I then topped it with... [read more]


Chesapeake 16LT Kayak: Part 13: Wet sanding

I did some wet sanding on the kayak after the first coat. The directions say to use 400 grit, but I wet sanded the first two coats with 320, and then switched to 400 for the next two coats. I grabbed my Go Pro Hero 5 Black and set it up to do a time lapse while I sanded. I edited the footage using my 27″ iMac using Final Cut Pro X. It chugged a bit, as there were a TON of pictures to process, but it wasn’t too hard to create a short little video. Griffin Hammond has created... [read more]


Chesapeake 16LT Kayak Part 12: Starting the finishing process

I was gone for a few weeks in Japan, so progress on the kayak has been slow. I’m back to doing some work on it. First I had to sand it a ton. 80 grit, 100, 120, 150, 220. I touched up some thin areas with a little more epoxy and then sanded some more. My plan was to spray it with my HVLP instead of brushing on the finish. I wanted to do it all in one shot, so I suspended it in the air: I just attached the webbing to the ceiling with a few screws and washers... [read more]


Photography: Speckles the horse.

More horse photos! This photo was also taken when I was going through Spain heading from Barcelona up to San Sebastian with a few friends last summer. We touched through France, and I’m pretty sure I snapped this picture while we were on the France side of the world. It is another HDR combined from five difference exposures using Photomatix — the program is awesome for creating HDRs. Download it from Amazon using my link!   


Photography: Horse eating grass in France

I ran around with my tripod taking tons of pictures of the horses on a windy hilltop in France last summer. I used  Photomatix to generate this picture by combining five different exposures.     Use Photomatix! I highly recommend it. Below shows some of my workflow; the image at the left is one of the original exposures. The ones at the right are experiments with color correction to give the photo different feelings and moods.


Photography: Redwoods in Yosemite

I used to not really like hiking. There seemed to be no purpose to it; you followed a trail for no real rhyme or reason and usually ended up back where you started. I never sought out hiking as an activity, but I always have been a hiker, it is just that I  never considered what I was doing as actual hiking. As a kid I would wonder around in the trees following deer trails simply to see where they went. As an adult, I would hike miles to go climb some rocks or see some fantastic waterfall. I never... [read more]


Chesapeake Kayak: Almost done (video)

   


Building the Chesapeake 16LT Kayak: Part 11 – Mark and Cut Holes

Okay! Progress is happening when I have spare time. I glued on the cowling around the opening, cut it to fit and sanded it smooth. The glue-up was a bit tricky…I didn’t have quite enough small clamps and had to use a bunch of big ones. I thought I took a picture, but I can’t find it! Then the hatch openings were marked and cut out:


Photography: Half Dome Side

 


Building the Chesapeake 16LT Kayak: Part 10 – Top Coat

I used 4oz fiberglass on top, per the instructions in the kit. I was afraid I was going to run out of epoxy hardener, so I only glassed half of the boat at first. This is fine..since the glass is done in two pieces. I jumped over to West Marine in Santa Cruz and got some more of their epoxy that has a “clear” finish (i.e.: non-blushing). I got home and cut open my container to utilize the last bit, and managed to get enough out from the original MAS bottle to do the rest of my kayak’s first coat:... [read more]


Building the Chesapeake 16LT Kayak: Part 9 – Rounding the top and sanding

I’ve been busy having fun doing other things, so the kayak progress isn’t too fast. Yesterday I finished rounding off the corners of the top, and sanded through all the grits from 80 on up to 220. It is ready for some fiberglassing!


Building the Chesapeake 16LT Kayak: Part 8 – Gluing the top on

The next big step in the kayak was to glue the top on. First you put a coat of unthickened epoxy on the bottom side of the top piece, and then use thickened (cab-o-sil) epoxy to glue it down to the top part. Using straps to secure it down in place helps form the curve while you nail it on. An action shot of me! Flip it upside down so the glue drips into the gaps, and fill in the edge gaps (there were quite a few…):     The next day it was dry. I flipped it right side up... [read more]


Photography: Half Dome from Cloud’s Rest, Yosemite, California

Half Dome from Cloud’s Rest, Yosemite, California     A grueling 9 mile hike from Yosemite Valley that is relentlessly straight up!   


Chesapeake 16 LT Kayak: Part 7: Planing the end clamps

The next step in my kayak building journey was to plane the end clamps. These need a specific radius that changes depending on where you are along the top of the boat. The kit includes two guides to assist with this. The fore deck of the boat has a 16” radius. The aft deck has….well, I’m not sure! The instructions say the 16LT should have a 60” radius, but the kit included a 49” radius. I emailed Chesapeake Light Craft and John H. got back to me quickly and said “it original was 24” in the demo boat, and then... [read more]


Building the Chesapeake 16LT Kayak: Part 6 – The bottom side glassing!

The next big step is to glass the hull bottom. I sanded down the putty with 80 grit, and then went through all the grades all over the kayak: 100/120/150/220.   You then cover it with the fiberglass and smooth it out by hand. The directions said you could smooth it out over the bow (the front — away from you in the picture below) of the boat without cutting it; I was a bit skeptical about this, but sure enough…you can pretty easily get it to smooth over the front of it.     The next part was smoothing over... [read more]


Photography: Cloud’s Rest Panoramic, Yosemite, CA

Cloud’s Rest in Yosemite, California. You hike from the Valley floor at just shy of 4,000’ up to 9,931’.       


Building the Chesapeake 16LT Kayak: Part 5 – The bottom side

The kayak is still moving along! I’ve been a bit busy enjoying the outdoors: mountain biking (yeah on two wheels!), camping, and rock climbing.  The next part was to glass the interior middle section; there is some heavy duty fiberglass added to re-enforce the passenger area:   This area had two coats applied, just like the front and back sections. Then the boat was flipped over:   I cut off all the spikes pretty closely with wire cutters and used a dremel to grind them down a bit. They said you could just sand them down..but I figured that would... [read more]


Plug Bug: The bug is squished… I was rear ended!

It’s a sad day in electric-ville. I was driving the electric bug to work at about 6:45 am on Highway 85, trying to enjoy my morning commute by working on learning some Japanese words for an upcoming trip. Listing to to language stuff on audio is awesome, and I really enjoy learning new things. Now at this time there was already quite a bit of traffic, which I consider the plague of silicon valley, and it slowly came to a stop in the #2 lane. Yeah, that is CHP speak for the second lane from the left. Then I saw... [read more]


Building the Chesapeake 16LT Kayak: Part 4 – Leveling and Gluing Together

The kayak is starting to look like a real boat! First you have to level it, propped up on some sticks/sawhorses:   Then install the bulkheads:      And finally, start gluing it together with some epoxy/wood filler mix.    Things I’m learning as I go: I should have put the stitch holes a little closer together; this would have allowed me to use less filler; a smaller filler line (closer to ¾” wide instead of bigger than 1”) would weigh less.  Using tape to create smooth lines is pretty nice to do. The directions recommend this…but I practiced with... [read more]



(c) 2008-2017 Corbin Dunn

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