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Make Your Own Gear - A Titanium Potty Trowel
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Dave .
(Ramapo) - F
Make Your Own Gear - A Titanium Potty Trowel on 09/30/2009 18:31:55 MDT Print View

I don't understand the negativity in the comments here either. But it seems to be smoothing over now.

For the record, Roger's articles were the main reason I decided to renew my membership to BPL. They're always informative and they bypass so much of the mindless consumerism that underlies a lot of this site.

Given the above (and the fact that I can't find a reasonably light 4 season tent that is long enough to fit me), I think it's high time you (Roger) spill the beans on how to make a Caffin tent. ;)

Eric Binder

Locale: New England
MYOG Ti Shovel on 09/30/2009 18:57:34 MDT Print View

I'm glad to know that I pay money to be a member of a group that's populated by Children.

He made a FREAKIN shovel! Lighten up people!

If you made a different shovel, and did not like his, then take it and go home.

Nice work Roger! Please keep up the great creative inspirations for others to ponder on, and use to create their own designs.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Make Your Own Gear - A Titanium Potty Trowel on 09/30/2009 19:10:51 MDT Print View

Roger's tents...
In case you have not been paying attention, the "problem" with Roger's tents is that they are not easy (economically viable...) to manufacture, however they could be a great DIY if you have the time and the skills . I have plenty of time and no skills neither the patience to learn.
But here are enough pictures, drawings and comments to get you started.
Maybe Roger will accept donations for his efforts....

BTW, there is a winter tent link there too as well as many other DIY projects in the other pages.

Or start here

Tranina Glover
(panamint) - MLife
Titanium Trowel Instructions on 09/30/2009 22:51:25 MDT Print View

I appreciate your instructions with clamps and vice grips and painting the item.

I probably will never make my own trowel. I just found a sea and ski collapsible trowel that weighs barely nothing and digs a hole fast. I was amazed. I'd like to see a review of it in backpacking light. It's really a working tool. It doesn't hurt my hands and the handle folds back into the blade. It's about four inches folded and maybe 2.5 inches across. At the bottom of the handle is a latch. Inside the handle, opening the latch storage is available for tissue and a lighter to burn trash. Cool.

Craig Price
(skeets) - MLife

Locale: Melbourne, Australia
Ti trowel on 09/30/2009 22:52:40 MDT Print View

I don't mean to be a wet blanket all the time, but one of those orange plastic trowels they've been selling for over 20 years (mine are 25 y.o.) only weighs in at under 65g.

David Wood
(RedYeti) - MLife

Locale: South Eastern UK
Re: Tough Crowd on 10/01/2009 03:16:26 MDT Print View

> Tough crowd in this thread

Sure was - I hear Roger's next MYOG article will be how to install one of those chicken-wire screens in front of your machine to stop the incoming beer bottles... ;)

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
RE: Tough Crowd on 10/01/2009 06:11:28 MDT Print View

It better be titanium chicken wire.

Frank Deland

Locale: On the AT in VA
titanium source? on 10/01/2009 08:30:05 MDT Print View

Thru-hiker does not have titanium any more. What is a source for small quantities of sheet Ti?

WV Hiker

Locale: West Virginia
Get a Montbell on 10/01/2009 08:30:48 MDT Print View

As another poster said - get a Montbell Ti trowel. Only .45 oz. heavier and a much cleaner design.

Tohru Ohnuki
(erdferkel) - F

Locale: S. California
Re: titanium source? on 10/01/2009 09:58:09 MDT Print View

I've been getting titanium rod/sheet from sellers on ebay..

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Make Your Own Gear - A Titanium Potty Trowel on 10/01/2009 15:09:25 MDT Print View

I have an old, very sturdy semi-circular aluminum stake (left over from some long-since-discarded junky tent) which works just fine as a potty trowel. Weighs the same as the Ti trowel here and is also an extra tent stake just in case (needed it on my last trip when I lost a stake, even though the latter was painted blaze orange). It's just the right size that I can roll up my stove windscreen (inside a plastic bag, of course) inside the curve of the stake for the windscreen's protection.

I don't have the tools or the skill to make this trowel and am quite satisfied with my old tent stake!

The standard plastic trowel, IMHO, is useless as well as heavy. During the Northwest's dry season (yes, we do have one!) it won't even scratch the surface of the ground, much less dig a hole.

Edited by hikinggranny on 10/01/2009 15:12:23 MDT.

Milton Koenigsberger
(funmilton) - F
yeah tough crowd on 10/01/2009 18:20:51 MDT Print View

Never did like Hummers

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
trowel on 10/02/2009 18:00:49 MDT Print View

interesting design for the handle - makes sense when you see a shovel next to it

also picked up a few tips working w/ titanium (the stuff is tough to work w/ for anyone who hasn't tried)- thank you

I'd guess Roger's trowel could also double for a stake, my pvc one did the trick for me when I inadvertently left one stake at home


Ryan Hutchins
(ryan_hutchins) - F

Locale: Somewhere out there
tp? on 10/04/2009 23:01:02 MDT Print View

I like that there are ideas being shared to MYOG. Will I run out and replace my MontBell trowel with a sheet of titanium and a hammer to build my own? Probably not right away, but it is nice for people who don't think through engineering to see how to build something that should hold up. Thanks for sharing Roger (and Bill and others who have MYOG)

Now, what's up with the TP? between that and the huge fires in recent trip reports, I'm starting to wonder if anyone on BPL has heard of the LNT priciples (I'll assume Roger packs out his TP though!)

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: tp? on 10/05/2009 05:33:08 MDT Print View

> if anyone on BPL has heard of the LNT priciples (I'll assume Roger packs out his TP though!)

A risky assumption!
The whole point of the trowel is to be able to dig a hole to bury one's doings. So the TP goes in the hole as well.

However, I would defy you to be able to see where we have dug a hole when we have finished. The hole gets filled, flattened and the mulch (leaves etc) or whatever gets replaced.

The only way you would know where I have been is the crossed sticks over the filled hole. But sticks get overlaid in the bush anyhow. So we make them into a rather obvious small cross.


Devin Montgomery
(dsmontgomery) - MLife

Locale: one snowball away from big trouble
Re: Get a Montbell on 10/05/2009 08:33:12 MDT Print View

>As another poster said - get a Montbell Ti trowel. Only .45 oz. heavier and a much cleaner design.

.45 oz may not break one's back, but from a engineering perspective, that makes the Montbell 50% heavier than the MYO. Besides, MYOG is only partially about saving weight and money; it's also about the pride of designing and crafting your own gear.

Peter Glaskowsky
(pglaskowsky) - MLife
Don't heat galvanized steel on 03/25/2010 23:16:05 MDT Print View

Just a quick comment. It occurred to me that someone might follow the suggestion to do a dry run with a piece of galvanized steel, and practice with the gas torch at the same time.

That would be bad.

Heating galvanized steel or some other coated metals releases poisonous vapors that can cause a potentially fatal illness known as "metal fume fever."

I think it might be a good idea to add a warning to the article itself for the benefit of those who might not read the comments.

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Rusty Conover
(rconover) - M
Re: Get a Montbell on 06/28/2012 15:29:12 MDT Print View

The montbell Handy scoop is made of Stainless steel. Not titanium.

matt brisbin
(firestarter01) - F

Locale: Bay Area
working with Ti on 03/13/2013 18:35:34 MDT Print View

For being such a great community I'm a bit surprised to see the negative comments. Regardless if it's been done before I find it fun to tinker around and design my own gear. I just got some Ti in the other day and have been playing with it, really tricky stuff.

If anyone has tips/pointers and such regarding the hot forming of 6AI-4v feel free to PM me.

Thanks for the write-up Roger.