Saturday, February 26, 2011

Paddling Themed Nook Case

A while back I posted a writeup about the Nook eReader I purchased. It's been a fantastic way to read some classic literature and canoe related adventures. My intention is to take this lightweight device on some paddling trips for those rainy / lazy days where you want to read in camp.

As a winter project, thought I would try my hand at creating a leather case that would serve to protect the device in a basic way (although it would certainly be stored in a waterproof drybag during trips). With some leather scraps I had on hand, ended up using a vertical flip top style case that seems to work nicely.

A piece of leather was wet molded around the Nook and then stitched to a sturdy backing. I made a slight measurement error so the front piece isn't perfectly symmetrical and my handstitching is sloppy too but this isn't meant to be a masterpiece.

Molded leather front; Pieces stitched together

Along with some rivets in the corners, I used a mystery braid technique to make a piece that runs across the top of the device. Another scrap piece of suede was reused by glueing it to the back and this allows the Nook to slide in nicely will protecting the back from scuffs. In addition, I cemented a scrap piece of open cell foam that came from some packaging a while back...nice to reuse this stuff instead of just throwing it away. With the cover folded down, the foam protects the screen adequately.

Suede and foam inserts; Device in the case

The fun part was deciding on how to decorate the cover. Of course it had to be a canoeing theme and I decided to replicate one of the illustrations from Thomas Sedgwick Steele's 1882 classic, Paddle and Portage. The image is entitled "Sunrise on Echo Lake" and it seemed to be the perfect one to try and burn with pyrography. I modified the original a bit by foregoing the image of the rifle (don't paddle with firearms) and added some lashings to the gunwales as well as some gummed seams to the hull so that it somewhat resembled my own birchbark canoe.

Burning the image

I tried my hand at tooling by wetting the leather a bit and attempted to bring out the image by stamping some of the image to create "waves" on the lake. Didn't turn out to well and frankly, I don't like the constant pounding needed for leather tooling...not relaxing at all. To secure the cover flap, some remnant latigo lace was woven into a 3-ply braid and secured in a figure 8 pattern. All I need to do is gently pull the knotted ends outwards and it holds the flap in place nicely

Completed Canoe Case

Might seemed odd that I ended up making a totally rustic case for a modern electronic device, but when you're desperate to go canoeing, you come up with some wonky ideas.

1 comment:

Lee said...

thats darn cool!

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