Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Bermuda Triangles with Hexi Edge

Hi Everyone,

Looks like a very reasonable week ahead here in New England...temperatures should be in the 40's and even the 50's so hopefully we will get rid of a lot more of that pesky white stuff. I'm looking forward to some warmer days, especially in the next week or two so I can catch up on some long neglected house and shop maintenance. Winter has taken its toll and the shop is long overdue for a good cleaning.

I'm getting much closer on the first batch of CPM 154 steel Prybabies. Those will be going out the door and headed to heat treat by the end of this week. The second batch of CPM 3V Prybabies is also already well underway and if I can just keep my nose to the grindstone those should be following sometime next week. After that I will be grinding more steel tools...GripCoins are getting closer too as well as something heavy, round and unexpected.

Today I have a small batch of 5/32" thick Titanium Bermuda Triangles with fine stonewashed finish. I've been doing a lot of anodizing lately so I thought I'd slip in a few ti pieces for the Vanilla Crowd...there's no shame in that btw, just ask my wife: when presented with 24 flavors of ice cream I usually pick vanilla!

Anyway, this batch has a different edge shape than the previous Fractal Edge series. I'm calling this one the Hexi Edge version and it features my familiar hex shaped grip edge. I think they have a terrific elegant look to them and combined with a long slow tumble they have a soft feel in the hand.

The Hexi Edge Bermuda Triangles will run $65 plus shipping and the link is below. Thanks for stopping by and have a great week ahead!

Plain Hexi Triangles are gone but anodized ones are coming soon. Thank you!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Hatchling: It's a Roid, It's a Roid!

Happy Spring Everyone!

It can't get here too soon in my opinion, still pretty cold here in the Northeast.

I can't remember where I first saw little openers in this style. It might have been at a backyard keg party in college or maybe it was at someone's house during a March Madness basketball game. But for a while it seemed like they were everywhere. Usually they were made of aluminum but then over the years I have even seen them in hard plastic with a metal insert.

The one thing that has been a constant is that I always found them lacking in one way or another. Sure, they open bottles just fine but the lanyard hole is always too small and they just don't have much else going for them aesthetically. Lately I have seen some that were much thicker than the old ones as if thickness alone would fix the poor overall design decisions...although why making something so thick that it crowds out your keys is beyond me and besides, what if you don't have a huge keyring?

Anyway, for several years I have thought about making a new tool that would take this simple design to the next level. I wanted to add a little more function to it and up the ante on the overall aesthetics of the piece. This is a first attempt at doing just that.

The Hatchling is a cute little thing, and I think you will agree that his arrival is just right for the season. Even though he is small, at only 2.5 inches long, his massive .260 inch thickness certainly qualifies him to be a member of the Roid Family of tools. The hungry little mouth is a 5/16 hex wrench and of course he is very thirsty too. The tiny egg from which he came is a 3/8 hex wrench. And if you turn him on his side his nose becomes a screwdriver which doubles as a Mini XL Pry Bar.

Even though I consulted my Sibley's Guide to North American Pocket Tools, I'm still not sure just what species the Hatchling is, but he comes in a wide variety of colorful plumage. There are some solids, color fades, rainbows, and even some unexpected effects. Where possible I have tried to preserve some of the texture of the thick titanium plate stock to add character. Some of the resulting textures and color combos are very interesting and unusual.

And for those of you wanting a plainer and heavier piece, I have a big batch of these coming in 1/4" CPM 154 steel in a month or so.

The Hatchlings will run $65 plus shipping. I'll make it one per customer on them and, as usual on these mixed up color batches, I will send you what I send you so no color choice. As proud new parents though, I think everyone will be delighted and get along fine with the new arrival!

Thanks for stopping by everyone and hope your weekend is a relaxing one.

Hatchlings are gone for now but more are coming soon, thank you!

Friday, March 13, 2015

R25: Ti Rulers Return!

Howdy Folks,

We are finally getting some melting here this week! A minor ice dam caused us a little leaky roof trouble this past weekend but thankfully now seems to have healed itself...I continue to climb up into the attic and monitor it every day though just in case. Pain in the butt and I will be happy to see the end of this tough winter.

Well, I am still fighting this R25 Ruler batch but am making great headway and I finally have enough done to do a sale. Originally I had hoped to split the batch in half and do one sale for plain ones and one sale for anodized but for a variety of reasons I decided to just do one batch of anodized pieces for now. I'm afraid those who wanted plain will have to wait until I can get to a batch of the 3 inch stainless or bronze ones. Hopefully those will be forthcoming at some point this spring or summer. However I will have to get a handle on production costs because I can't believe what these ended up costing me to make, let alone all the time I poured into the finishing.

At any rate, I am so pleased with how these tiny ruler tools have turned out. They are made of .160 titanium so are quite hefty for the size, sort of like a little ti nugget. They feature a simple 2 inch scale on the front side and a 5cm scale on the obverse. Hence the name R-Two-Five which stands for "Ruler: Two Inch, 5 Centimeter". The marks are CNC engraved rather than laser marked so they are deep, V shaped for accuracy and will be quite permanent. An O2 wrench, 1/4 hex opening and cap lifter complete the tool.

Although the R25 could be carried on a keyring I had originally envisioned them to be used as a pendant so they are drilled with two small holes to accept the included length of bead chain. They are anodized in a wide variety of solid colors, simple rainbows and color fades. Sorry, I can't give a color choice, I will send you whatever I send you, but rest assured they are all gorgeous!

The R25s will run $65 each plus shipping. The batch is a bit smaller than I had originally hoped for so I will have to make it one per customer please. The purchase link is below. Thanks for stopping in and here's to warmer days just ahead!

Rulers are gone for now, thank you so much!

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Roll Bars Militare

Happy Weekend Everyone!

We're finally getting a tiny break from the bitter cold and that should get the maple sap starting to run finally, albeit a week or two later than usual for sugaring. Maybe if we're lucky we might even see the edges of the enormous piles of snow and ice start to melt just a little bit this week. Of course more snow is on the way tonight.

So much neat stuff is on the drawing board that I'm just about bursting at the seams to tell you about it.

Progress is once again being made on the little R25 ti rulers and they are coming along nicely. The engraving will be done in a few days and then I can start finishing them up. I posted some teaser pics on the Toolbook group for any of you who aren't on FB already. Hopefully I will have the R25s ready by end of next week.

In other news, several new Prybabies are on the way. The first batch of CPM 154 pieces is now ground and I'm just waiting on some carbide drills and new diamond files to get the prep work finished so they can be sent to heat treat. The second batch is CPM 3v and those have had the first steps of prep work completed but I still need to grind them, etc. so they are a ways off. The third batch is titanium and they are about to get milled. The fourth batch is metric and in CPM 3v. They are still on deck for cutting.

Then I have a bunch of other projects drawn up, some of which are already underway. I'm really excited about the Wheelman (in both steel and ti), the 80's Classic Roid (steel and ti), R37 Ruler Tools, GripCoins, Qubes, Wrants, more Tombstones, updated Mini FunnyBones, the Small Fry, StrapOns, the Lobsterman and a few others. Yes, I have been very VERY busy this winter thinking about new designs, improving older designs and playing with new EDC ideas. I can't wait to start getting some of these done so I can get them into my own pockets.

Today I finally have the HA III Aluminum Roll Bars completed. These are made of 7075 Aluminum, very similar to the grade that they make M16 receivers and extension tubes from. It's incredibly strong for an aluminum alloy and also featherlight. I have given these a fine bead blast finish and then sent them for Natural Finish Hard Anodizing so they have a tough, low light, military look and feel to them. The black o-ring and hardware really complete the package. Throw some matte black gaffer tape (find it at Amazon) on there and you will be ready for wherever the action takes you.

The AL Roll Bars will run $45 each plus shipping and the link is below. I'll make it open quantities as the batch is generous in size. Thanks for stopping in folks and for continuing to support me in my efforts to explore new designs, materials and ideas. As always, I'm extremely grateful!

First wave of these are gone for now, thank you so much! 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Bermuda Triangles Revisited

Hi Everyone,

Bitter cold here this week (-10F this morning!) and the snow has been unbelievable so far this year. The piles are getting higher and higher with no real melting in sight. I sink nearly to my crotch in the yard so this is about as deep as I've seen it in a long time. I would think that the flooding on the Connecticut River this spring will be spectacular.

Well, it's possible that the first ruler project might start moving forward again this week, we shall see. Once they finally get going with the CNC marking then the final finishing should go fairly quickly as I already have put many hours of preparation time into them.

The first wave of new Prybabies are moving along quickly and should be ready to go to heat treat in a week or so. I was able to put in two days on them this weekend and will be grinding them next on the schedule.

Hard Anodized AL Roll Bars are back from plating and I should have them ready shortly as well. They are feather light and look fantastic!

Well, I had mentioned that I was going to be revisiting some older designs this year and today I have the first of several of those designs ready to go. The Bermuda Triangles were first made probably 6 or 7 years ago or so, I really can't remember now. But I always loved the fiddle factor of them. Recently I was trying to find one of the old ones to play with amidst the chaos and clutter of the shop and office. I couldn't locate any after a brief search so I decided to simply take a look at the drawing and see about making an updated version. Sometimes it's really nice to be a maker!

Anyway, this is version 1 of the new Bermuda Triangle and a second version will also be forthcoming soon. These are cut from .160 titanium and feature a new edge treatment design I'm calling the Fractal Edge because it uses the same 120 degree angle as the main triangle shape, only smaller. I decided to ditch the cap lifter in favor of a closed edge shape and I think the design is much stronger now. The tool has 1/4 and 5/16 wrenches and O2 wrench in addition to the main 7/8 hex opening. The fiddle factor of these is off the charts...I tried to vary the anodizing on these as much as possible so they are as different as I can make them although there are a few repeats and some solid colors in the batch. I can't give a choice of colors, I will send you what I send you, but they are all really neat and the colors are vibrant.

The Bermuda Triangles will run $65 plus shipping, one per customer please, and the purchase link is below. Thanks for stopping by today folks, and stay warm this week!  

These are sold out for now, more on the way soon though. Thank you so much!


Friday, February 06, 2015

Zirconium 5 Flutes

Happy Friday Evening Everyone!

Today I have a teensy little batch of Lanslide beads to close out the week...these are made of the exotic and expensive material Zirconium. This was the first time I have worked with this metal and I gotta say, it's really weird stuff. Kind of reminds me of a very dense and heavy titanium in that you have to be careful sanding it because the dust is highly flammable. With Zr the fumes are also quite unhealthy and it requires heating with a torch to achieve the final blackened finish. So a good respirator and adequate ventilation are a must when working with it. It's interesting stuff and I'm glad I tried it finally after all these years of hearing about it, but not something I will probably bother with again. Cool finish and final look though.

Anyway, the Zirconium 5 Flute Beads are $45 plus shipping. It is a strict one per customer limit on them please since the batch is very small. Thanks for stopping in and have a great weekend!

Zr 5 Flutes are gone, thank you!

Thursday, February 05, 2015

Plain Titanium Roll Bars

Howdy Folks,

It's been cold and just a little snowy here lately as winter grinds on. Not much relief in sight either.

As much as I hate being cooped up in this type of weather I have to admit that it is probably good in the long run. Being bored at home removes a certain amount of distractions and it gives me a chance to work on new drawings. And I have sooooo much new stuff on the horizon both for this winter and well into the spring. I feel like a kid in a candy store and am just frustrated that it all can't happen at once. Better that it doesn't though because slowing things down gives me a chance to make sure that the ideas are really fleshed out to be all they should be.

Update on the rulers: The first one will be a tiny one and if all goes well on it I may have some finished in about a week or so. I have another ti tool in progress that I think will appear before the end of the month. For steel tools the progress has been much slower and I need to squeeze in some time for grinding. But there will be four brand new tools coming over the next three months and at least two reprises/updates to older designs. And possibly a couple more too depending on whether they perfect that cloning technology and make a few more of me. Hehe...

Well, today I have the remainder of the Titanium Roll Bars done. These are plain with no anodizing. The batch is very small so it will be one per customer on them please. The link to order is below. Thanks for stopping by today everyone and I hope your week is a warm and toasty one!

These are sold out, thank you so much everyone!