Thursday, November 15, 2018

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

last chips

Celebrate your sobriety.  I have a limited quantity of freshly cast one troy ounce sterling silver AA desire chips ready if anyone is interested (this batch about to get polished and tumbled).  Contact me via email if you want one and I will send you purchasing details.  54,62,25,0,B

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Upcoming Project

Getting back into the construction game it seems.  Going to build a small house I designed for a friend of mine in the coming months.  Used the free version of Sketchup to do these renderings.  Overall footprint (roof area) is 572 sq ft.  Enclosed space is 304 sq ft.  45,59,28,0,B

Monday, November 12, 2018

Sunday, November 11, 2018


Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.    

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Friday, November 9, 2018

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Let the bidding begin...

For Sale:  Western Diamondback Rattlesnake skin.  40" long.  64,72,55,0,B

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

cast venting...

Cast a few more AA desire chips today (video Friday).  If there is enough interest, I will put them up for sale on the blog - they will be $65.  They are cast in sterling silver, are twice the thickness of a standard chip, and come in at about one troy ounce.  (It should be noted that a skinny half ounce machine made silver AA chip available from internet retailers costs $55)   81,87,48,0,C

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

the super cookie...

Baked a batch of Field Lab Solar Oven Super Cookies for my friend Terry Burger who is in town for a couple of days.  She was the one that sent me butt medicine for Ben's "condition" six months ago (Ben's butt is fine now).  As long as I was at it - I decided to calculate how many calories are in a Super Cookie.  Each one weighs just over 1/3 of a pound and has approximately 700 yummy calories!  80,87,47,0,C

Monday, November 5, 2018

Sunday, November 4, 2018


Back in early September, I got an email from a blog follower asking if I could possibly cast an AA desire chip in silver and that he would like to order 10.  I told him that I doubted I could get good detail with the casting process and that minted silver chips were available online.  He replied that he had seen them, but...

"...if you didn't produce a super detailed and sharp coin, I think I and others might like it more, since the more rustic casting after polishing might just look like a coin long carried.  Also, I'd like to know the coin was handcrafted from mold to cast.
And, I'd rather have a solo man long in the desert, who I have witnessed have a spiritual awakening by following his blog, cast my desire chip.  I'm guessing others like me would appreciate the provenance as well.  I'd like to give them to old timers and others to carry.  It would mean a lot to me and I think to them.  I owe them a debt.  I've been sober since 4.13.14 and it saved and revolutionized my life.  I'm not in a hurry to get it done.  Let me know if you have any interest."

I told him I would give it a shot and now here we are almost 2 months (and a lot of trial and error) later and God granted me the serenity, courage, and wisdom to accomplish the task.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Rainwater Inventory

Looks like we are heading into the dry season.  Checked my tanks and out of a total capacity of 20,100 gallons - I have 17,150 gallons on tap.  69,77,47,0,B

Friday, November 2, 2018

Thursday, November 1, 2018

taming the beast...

Got my new mold frame today and gave vertical casting a try.  Success!  Video tomorrow.  65,70,43,0,B

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

the beast...

I have found the AA desire chip to be a real beast to cast consistently well.  Only 12 good ones so far.  I have lost count of how many duds I've had.  Unless you have had a lot of experience casting precious metals - please don't offer any suggestions.  I have gotten good casts and duds using the exact same methods.  This is a very complex issue that I have yet to figure out - and I have already tried countless numbers of variations.  62,78,59,T,W

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Monday, October 29, 2018

a monday matinee...

Now that my road is dry, all cross orders will ship by Wednesday.  A couple of people have ordered some AA coins.  They won't ship till next week.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

self sufficiency?

2 Corinthians 3: Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you? 2 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: 3 Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. 4 And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: 5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; 6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Rattler Rascal...

First rattlesnake I have seen in over a year at TFL...and the biggest at almost 4' long (he is a lot shorter without his body).  76,82,49,0,C

Friday, October 26, 2018

Thursday, October 25, 2018

took a walk...

My road is officially a mess.  Had a time sensitive package today for USPS and had to walk almost all the way out to meet him (was able to get my truck about a mile from TFL).  A friend met me at the mailboxes and took me to the store to stock up on a few things.  Another friend powered out through the mud in her 4WD truck to get me back to mine.  Lots of sunny days coming up and I should be able to get my truck all the way out by Sunday.  Life off the beaten path... 70,79,55,0,C

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

that stupid hurricane

Hurricane Willa off the Pacific coast of southern Mexico has been swirling clouds and moisture over TFL long enough.  Looks like I am in for one more good rain event tonight before the skies start to clear out.  The bad news is...I won't be able to start shipping out cross orders until probably Friday.  The good news is...I have plenty of food for me and my critters.

In other news...I reached a breakthrough today trying to cast an AA desire chip.  After 9 tries tweaking the pouring method without much success, I decided to give some sterling silver casting grain a stab at it instead of 999 fine silver.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out sterling silver is a champ when it comes to capturing fine detail.  This beefy chip comes in at one troy ounce and is twice the thickness of the aluminum chips they give out.  55,62,55, .10", B  

Monday, October 22, 2018

Sunday, October 21, 2018

A project guided by The Holy Spirit

Cross #100
Romans 8: There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. 12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

Saturday, October 20, 2018


Last batch of 50 more silver crosses ready for finishing and immediate shipping (weather permitting).  Due to high demand, I suggest you order soon.  I won't be making any more this year.  54,63,59, .55",B

Friday, October 19, 2018

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Heating Season

Broke out the Mr. Heater a couple of days ago. Discovered right away that it had some issues. The pilot light flame was too small to heat the sensor enough to fire up much less keep it running. A couple of YouTube videos later and the problem was fixed. Had to crack it open (there are a lot of screws to find) and disconnect this line to the pilot light and blow it out with compressed air. Ordered a back up heater just in case...I really don't like the cold. 52,55,47, .08",C 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018


Super crappy weather this week so I have my rainy days project to work on.  Doing some tests for a possible commission for some AA "desire chips" cast in fine silver.  Had 3 failed attempts but I am getting there.  Just need to tweak the pour so I can get a little more detail and everything is legible.  40,48,38, .15", C

Monday, October 15, 2018

Sunday, October 14, 2018

striving together

Philippians 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel

Saturday, October 13, 2018

The Friendly Skies...

My Mavic found a friend today... 80,89,59,0,B

Friday, October 12, 2018

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

the story of the cross: update

So I finally tracked down my nurse (found her on Facebook) and sending a cross to her tomorrow.  I think she remembered me because I gave all my nurses this postcard of me and Ben.  She left this comment on my story of the cross post after I sent her the link.

John. Thank you! I feel that God put me as a nurse for a reason and He crosses our paths for a reason. I pray pretty much everday that God will make me holey (full of holes) so that His light shines through those holes. Thank you for reaching out and sharing!

Nurse Jodi

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

New Silver

Working on some new rounds.  Crosses will be available to purchase again by the end of the week.  72,78,53,0,B

Monday, October 8, 2018

Sunday, October 7, 2018


Hebrews 13:2  Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.  3  Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

3 oz crucifix....

Crucifix pour by my new friend MrZeke.  He is one of the YouTubers that helped me figure out how to cast the shekel coin.  75,84,67, .08",B

Friday, October 5, 2018

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Wednesday, October 3, 2018


Everything was going so well today until I headed out to the store to buy some milk for a batch of croissants.  Just before I got to the highway, my truck died and a puff of smoke came out from under the hood.  (Puffs of smoke are never good because it means some of the magic has been released.) Luckily I found a friend at the mailboxes who was willing to drive me home to get some tools.  The problem was just as I suspected - some of the wiring for my winch decided to weld itself to the chassis, shorting out my battery and completely frying the ground wire.  Removed the offending wiring and patched in a new ground wire and I was good to go.  Just glad it was what I thought it was because I am pretty clueless otherwise when it come to internal combustion engines... 87,92,65,0,B  

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

back in production...

Stocking up on silver crosses for the holiday season.  

Monday, October 1, 2018

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Love not the world...

1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

I can't believe I ate the whole thing...

Found this rather bloated Trans Pecos Rat Snake hanging out this morning at the end of one of my greenhouse trusses.  Perhaps he is why I haven't seen any baby rabbits this year - or responsible for the recent disappearance of dove hatchlings and eggs....Video next Friday.  82,88,69,0,B

Friday, September 28, 2018

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

cross mojo

I seem to have lost it...had 8 duds in a row with an air pocket right in the middle that leaves a big hole.  This has been happening throughout all the cross casting but usually only 1 out of every 6 or 7.  Still using the same technique but I must be doing something - and have yet to figure out what subtle difference causes this to happen.  It's all magic as far as I'm concerned anyway... 67,78,70,T,B  UPDATE:  Problem solved - see the comments.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Monday, September 24, 2018

Sunday, September 23, 2018

the story of the cross

When I was in the hospital with my broken leg, I had one nurse that became my favorite.  What I liked most about her was the fact that she had a small crocheted cross on her cart.  The two weeks I was there, we never spoke of our faith but I still found it to be a great comfort.  When I got home, I started working on casting a silver cross that I could give to her someday - this was my first attempt from years ago but I decided it was too small.  By the time I got it figured out, she had moved on to another hospital and I have yet to be able to track her down.

Saturday, September 22, 2018


Ran into a couple of German tourists at The Little Burros Store and invited them out to meet Ben.  Ben approved of meeting Daniel and Dominik.  70,75,65,0,B

Friday, September 21, 2018

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Field Lab Demographic

When I first started TFL, I was sure that it would attract a lot of hot young hippy chicks.  Turns out I seem to only attract 55 to 75 year old men.  I'm not complaining though.  My demographic is pretty harmless and I have a feeling that hot young hippy chicks would be nothing but trouble...72,89,69, .08",B

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Monday, September 17, 2018

Sunday, September 16, 2018

afflictions of the gospel...

2 Timothy 1:7  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.  8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;  9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,  10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

Saturday, September 15, 2018


Checking the tracking, I see that the crosses are finding their new homes.  If you feel so inclined - send me a photo of you and your cross that I can post on the blog.  There is still heavy demand for them so I will keep melting and casting for the time being.  The next batch ships out Wednesday.  Cheers!  75,85,67,0,B

Friday, September 14, 2018

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Wednesday, September 12, 2018


I took a shower today... 81,86,62,0,B

Tuesday, September 11, 2018


The shipping envelopes finally arrived and the cross orders are going out.  All orders will be shipped by Friday.  You will receive email confirmation along with a tracking number once your shipping label is printed.  Thanks again...  78,84,63,0,B

Monday, September 10, 2018

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Thank You!

I have to say I was a bit overwhelmed by the response to the silver crosses.  I am just about done with all the casting and finishing (10 more crosses to go).  The crosses along with a few custom orders will all ship out starting next Tuesday in the order payment was received.  Thanks for supporting TFL!   73,78,66, .14",B

Friday, September 7, 2018

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Support TFL

Please help support The Field Lab.  1.26 pounds of hand made silver crosses ready for finishing and shipping.  85,90,67,0,B

Monday, September 3, 2018

Sunday, September 2, 2018


In Christianity, the cross is the intersection of God’s love and His justice. Jesus Christ is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. The reference to Jesus as the Lamb of God points back to the institution of the Jewish Passover. The Israelites were commanded to sacrifice an unblemished lamb and smear the blood of that lamb on the doorposts of their homes. The blood would be the sign for the Angel of Death to “pass over” that house, leaving those covered by blood in safety. When Jesus came to John to be baptized, John recognized Him and cried, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”, thereby identifying Him and God’s plan for Him to be sacrificed for sin.

One might ask why Jesus had to die in the first place. This is the over-arching message of the Bible—the story of redemption. God created the heavens and the earth, and He created man and woman in His image and placed them in the Garden of Eden to be His stewards on the earth. However, due to the temptations of Satan (the serpent), Adam and Eve sinned and fell from God’s grace. Furthermore, they have passed the curse of sin on to their children so that everyone inherits their sin and guilt. God the Father sent his one and only Son into the world to take on human flesh and to be the Savior of His people. Born of a virgin, Jesus avoided the curse of the fall that infects all other human beings. As the sinless Son of God, He could provide the unblemished sacrifice that God requires. God’s justice demanded judgment and punishment for sin; God’s love moved Him to send His one and only Son to be the propitiation for sin.

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24  Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:  25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;  

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Friday, August 31, 2018

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

That lion...

Wasn't planning on selling these 2 oz. lion medallions but ended up getting 11 orders so if anyone else is interested...for a limited time there is a buy now button for them on the home page of the blog.  93,98,75,0,B

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Aunt Linda...

Ben had a visit from his aunt Linda today - on the sixth anniversary of their first meeting.  Ben may go to live on her ranch in Fredericksburg, TX in the fall.  She has 125 fenced acres of grass and trees and streams...and 3 young longhorn steers.  We are trying to work out the logistics of getting him there.  As much as I would like to keep him, his feed is just too expensive and I think he would have a much better life there with some buddies to hang out with and lots of room to roam.  93,99,69,T,B  

Monday, August 27, 2018

Sunday, August 26, 2018


Romans 5 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:  By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;  And patience, experience; and experience, hope:  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

perfecting the lion...

A busy Saturday.   Baked 2 batches of Field Lab Solar Oven Super Cookies this morning, some local friends stopped by for a visit to pick up 2 skulls they ordered (they got a free super cookie with their skulls), prepped a batch of Chupa Bread to bake tomorrow, and did 3 silver casting tests.  I have a pending order for six of these 2 oz. lion "coins" so I tried out the delft clay with the lion push mold today.  It works much better than the (cheaper) petrobond clay.  The mold holds great detail even after 1800° silver has been poured into it.  95,100,77,0,B

Friday, August 24, 2018

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Buy a goof...

Another coin casting fail on my sixth try.  Everything went perfectly until I flinched during the pour (the moment of truth).  If anyone is interested, this goof is for sale as is - sprue and all.  36 grams of 999 fine silver fail.  Make me an offer in the comments.  The good news is my delft clay and smaller mold forms arrived today so I will give it another shot tomorrow.  91,97,72,0,B