Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Stamped Minis

Hi Everyone,

Wow, I was not expecting quite the tremendous response to the raw bar minis yesterday. I ran out well before I was able to respond to the nearly 100 emails I received. So I am sorry I was not able to hook everyone up who wanted one.

You know, I never know how many to make on any given project. Sometimes I have made a large batch of tools and I end up with dozens left over. I still have a dozen or two of the titanium Mini P15 Prybabies for instance, also a couple of steel Mini P15s, and this is almost two years after they were released!

So this year I am making smaller batches on some of these tools. And that means some tools may be harder to score...don't know of any other solution and I am not about to set up lists or anything like that (I tried that years ago) because that will make me totally crazy and I will have to give this all up and retire. Haha, yeah right, ok maybe not retire, but lists are waaaay too inefficient for one guy to handle...And so, here we are. :) Anyhow,  I do my best and I am IMMENSELY grateful for you patience and continued support!

So, today I have another small batch of the Mini Prybabies done. This is the end of them btw...these are surface ground so they are slightly thinner than the raw bar ones from yesterday. They are all stamped! They also have a similar light bead blast finish so I recommend oiling them if you wish to prevent rust from forming on the CPM 3v tool steel.

No lefties remain....sorry about that. I hooked every one up yesterday as best as I could.

Stamped Mini P17s will run $75 plus shipping and it is of course a one per customer limit on them. Hopefully a few folks who couldn't catch the two minute sale yesterday and can score one of these...



Sold out, thank you everyone!


Monday, May 22, 2017

P17 Mini Prybabies

Hi Folks,

Happy rainy Monday. It's a cool one here, dark and dreary again. We're having quite a crazy spring so far...mostly cold and wet.

I've been fairly quiet again lately, but it's not because I've been languishing in a comfy hot tub down in some fancy vacation resort listening to Jimmy Buffet. No, instead I've been slaving away in front of a dusty belt grinder and fighting with cantankerous finishing equipment. Hmm, hot tub vs. belt grinder...maybe I need to rethink this gig! Just kidding.

All is well on the project front. I am about to start finishing up a bunch of stuff so hopefully I can get some sales rolling finally. I have some super cool pin tool pokers coming up shortly, The KingPin series. Those will be in bronze, Zr and titanium with hand ground hardened steel pins, pics coming shortly. Also coming is a dedicated, non tool, fidget spinner toy that will accept Scott's 3/8 spinner cores. The steel Wrunts are on deck for grinding so I will be starting on those probably next week. And there are some more 5 Flutes coming too. New drawings are completed for a steel Ghost reissue for late summer/early fall time frame and I hope to have a sample to evaluate soon.

Today I finally have the first wave of CPM 3v Mini Prybabies completed. Officially this is the P17 Mini Prybaby. They are short, only 2.6" long, but quite robust at 3/16" thick. The finish was a long struggle but I finally gave up trying all last week to get them evenly shiny and instead went for a light glass bead blast finish. They look sleek and clean but you will want to oil these when you get them if you want to prevent surface rust from forming. CPM 3v is a wonderful tough material but it is definitely not stainless and even less so when it retains the "raw bar" mill scale as these do. 

These little tools have a great old school vibe to them, with stepped edge grips. I used to call this type of edge look a "deckle edge" after an old 1960's special baseball card series that I had as a kid. Recent research on that name though revealed that a deckle edge is actually that torn paper look that you sometimes see on certain hard bound literary works, so it's not a uniform or geometric shape. I decided to borrow instead a term from the automotive world and I'm calling this effect a StepSide edge.

These P17 StepSide Prybabies feature a V notch pry tip, simple cap lifter, rear pry/screwdriver tip, O2 wrench lanyard opening and a central pivot point opening which is reamed to accept Scott's cool 3/8 spinner cores. When I first designed this tool back in the fall I wasn't focused on spinner tools, so I didn't bother trying to make the central opening exactly centered on the tool as far as weight distribution is concerned. However, the slight imbalance turns out to be an asset, because it allows you to work the tool one handed and get it spinning. It's all quite fun.

The P17 Prybabies with light raw finish will run $70 plus shipping. It is regrettably a rather small batch so one per customer please. The surface ground ones will follow shortly in a day or two so if you miss out today there is another small batch coming. Thanks as always for stopping by today and for your great patience!
  
Wow, gone in a flash, thanks so much everyone!   









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Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Zirconium Five Flutes!

Hi Everyone,

Hope you're all having a great spring so far. It's been rather cold and rainy here these past weeks but it's supposed to finally start warming up for us in a few days. I can't wait!

Well, there is so much going on that it is hard to know quite where to begin. Same old story, the days come and go, I get tons and tons and tons of stuff done but nothing quite gets finished. At least the projects keep rolling along and eventually they will all come to a happy completion. I hope. :)

For tools, the new Mini Prybabies in steel are at heat treat right now. They should be back and ready to go in about two weeks or less...Thick steel Wrunts are next in line and I will be grinding those very soon, followed by Superbugs and metric Crawdaddies. Also, I have K4 Keytons in zirconium coming later this spring or early summer.

For beads I have more 5 Flute style ones in the works, both stainless and red bronze coming up. And I have a nifty new bead related tool design that is now finalized and turning as we speak. Oh so nifty, you will not believe this little jewel!

For spin toys I have a new fidget toy coming up, and those were just cut last week so I'll be working on them very soon. I have more Spin Coins/GameKoins coming as well and I just need a day of shop time to get the next wave of those in motion. Never enough hours it seems...

Today I have the first wave of 5 Flute beads done, these are zirconium! The original batch of Zr 5 Flutes was very small indeed, about 4 dozen is all I made. Many many people have asked for them so I made another batch, not huge by any means, but enough to get some more out there and give more people a chance to get some.

These have a buttery smooth finish and feel great in the hand. The burnished and individually hand flamed surface finish makes them look almost like black glass or ceramic in the right light. I am putting them on a variety of cord colors and they look great on everything.

The Zirconium 5 Flute Beads will run $55 plus shipping and it is going to be a two per customer limit on them so that everyone has a chance at them. (Newbies: The link to purchase is right above the pictures and if you don't see the link there that means they are sold out and you missed the sale.)

 Thanks so much for dropping by today folks, and I hope your week is not too hectic!

Sold out, thank you!










Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Antique Brass GameKoins

Hi Folks,

Hope you're all having a great spring so far. We're having some warmer days here lately, lots of showers this week and the leaves are just about to pop on the trees and bushes. I'll probably be mowing the lawn for the first time this season by the end of next week.

I've been busy the past few days with steel Mini Prybabies. Another day of grinding should have them ready to go into the tumblers and then off to heat treat. I also started prepping thick steel Wrunts and those will be on deck for grinding next, followed by the steel SuperBug17 tools. So it looks like the steel train will start rolling again very soon, bringing us a nice load of tools for the middle of May and into June.

In other news, I am about to make another short run of 5 flute beads so you can expect a few more stainless, more red bronze and possibly some more Zr ones too. And while we are on the subject of lathe turning, I am experimenting with a few other brand new ideas so we'll see where they lead. Sometimes experiments pan out and sometimes not, but it sure is fun to play around with new ideas and see where they go.

Today I have more GameKoins for you. These are made of brass with an antique finish, so they are very similar in appearance to the bronze ones, just a little yellower in color. The two metals are actually easy to tell apart because the brass makes a higher pitched "ping" sound when the edge hits the table, rather than the duller "thunk" sound of the bronze. Otherwise, they feature the same wide ranging variety of stamps and leathers. I haven't timed any spin tests with the brass but I imagine they are about the same as the bronze. 

The Brass GameKoins will run $85 plus shipping and, as before, it's not a huge batch so it will be one per customer on them. Thanks for dropping by today and have a great week!


Brass ones are gone for now. Thank you everyone!











Thursday, April 13, 2017

Game Time!

Hi Everyone,

Spring is in full swing here finally. What a treat to be able to go outside in a T shirt, and the flowers are starting to come up around the yard. Always my favorite time of year.

Well today I have something very special to bring you. This whole spin coin project began earlier this winter, with something totally unrelated. I was not thinking about any sort of spinning tops. I had gone out on Ebay looking for small advertising trays from the early 1900's and discovered that there is a category called Tip Trays. Because everyone backed in those days smoked, I believe they originated as giveaway trays so that people had a place to "tip their ashes" and at the same time they would see a reminder of the company and it's products. Typically the subject matter is beer brewing, shipping lines, home appliances, farm implements and the like. Some of these trays are very colorful and feature fabulous graphics or pretty ladies.

Well, I was buying a few of these for a display in my office and I noticed one that had a car race game printed around the rim. The ad was for Jenney Gasoline, the colors and graphics were awesome and most importantly, it was a spinning game! As soon as I saw it I started thinking about the GripCoin project and I began thinking, wouldn't it be cool if? A lot of my projects start that way: wouldn't it be cool if? LOL...

So, I found some more over the winter months and promptly acquired them. Most of them have horse race themes:



Now, the exact rules of Tip Tray spinner games can only be guessed at, but I imagine it went something like this: Each player picked their horse or car and then they would spin the tray. Whatever rim ends up touching the table when it stops turning is the "winner" and would then have to pay the bar tab. Or perhaps you could settle a bet with it, or maybe that person is the one who has pulled the short straw. Whatever the rules, those are a good place to start and perhaps you can make up your own as circumstance dictate.

There are two type of these Game Koins. Type 1 is a simple three stamp version where each stamp is different and each player picks their stamp. Type 2 is a 1,2,3 game where I have used either one, two or three stamps in each section. There are more of the 1,2,3s than the other version for this first wave. At any rate, the rules would be the same for either type of coin, so it would either be pick your stamp or pick a number 1,2,3.


This first wave of GameKoins are made of silicon bronze, alloy 655. I have given these a rich patina so they have a wonderful aged look. I also have brass GameKoins underway as well as some other bronze versions, so more red metals will be coming.

As you can see from the pics, I have also brought something else new to the table, leather inlays! For years I have been collecting scrap leather and intending to use it someday for an inlay project, but I kept envisioning it for a tool body such as a Prybaby. My tools always tend to be too small however so it just never happened. The GameKoin project suddenly offered the perfect opportunity to use it though and I'm so happy to finally be able to do it. The leather inlays used here are almost all embossed cow leather and the variety is nothing short of spectacular. They are so cool that I'm having trouble parting with them, haha...    

The Bronze GameKoins will run $85 plus shipping. The higher value and limited number of them makes me a little worried about international shipping which means Priority Mail International so that there is tracking...I will send these at random (sorry, no stamp choices) but as you can see the variety is crazy and every single one of them is unique.   

The batch is good sized but I want to make sure as many people as possible get a chance at them so it will be one per customer. I will have a lot more brass ones coming up so there will be plenty of chances to score these and other versions as we go forward this spring. Thanks for stopping by today and hope your week is a warm and sunny one.

Bronze ones are gone for today but more will be coming soon. Thank you so much!






The last time we'll ever see them all together!


     

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Titanium K4 Keytons

Hi Everyone,

Happy Weekend! It's shaping up to be a good one already, especially once the April showers have passed. We still have a tiny snowbank or two in the driveway left behind from the plow but otherwise we seem to finally be having some spring.

I've been working like mad all week, mostly on Spin Coins, and I will have some really cool and different bronze ones in a couple of days. In other projects, a new fidget spinner is underway which will accept the 3/8 spinner cores and I expect to have them done in a couple of weeks. I haven't done a thing this week to advance steel projects but I will be getting back to them very soon.

In the meantime, I did finish some of the new titanium K4 Keytons this week. This variation on the previous K3 design features a similar footprint, but I have replaced the thumb grip area with a different style and the lanyard opening is now a 12 point 7/16" wrench. The material is my favorite textured titanium with a hefty .200" thickness. A great looking and substantial tool that carries well on a keychain.

The grinds on this batch vary quite a bit but nothing too crazy. Still they add some fun visual interest. The colors vary widely as well and all in all I have tried to make these as different as I can. As usual, I will send you whatever I send you at random, but rest assured they are all very nice. Some plain non anodized ones are in reserve and I will try to do a second sale with plain ones if the stock holds up.

Titanium K4 Keytons will $70 plus shipping. It's a rather modest sized batch so I'll make it one per customer on them please. As always, I thank you so much for stopping by today and have a wonderful weekend ahead.

Anodized ones are all gone for today, thank you so much everyone!



Saturday, April 01, 2017

Stainless Steel Signal Coins

Happy Weekend Everyone!

We're still battling winter up here in the northeast. My driveway is a disgusting mess of ice and sleet but it won't be hanging around for long as 50F temps move in this week. Spring will not be denied for long.

Projects continue to barrel along at a terrific pace. I am developing a new spinner/fiddle item and that project is well underway for the middle or latter part of April. The upcoming K4 Keytons are actually close to ready, just need to do some more anodizing on them, but they will be next up. And there is a wide assortment of other things all happening at once. I need to get back to working on the next steel tools but unfortunately there is still just one of me, so progress at the grinder has been slow this past week.

In the meantime, my favorite new toys are rapidly evolving and some very cool stuff is on the way... starting today! And Spin Coins are no April Fool's joke I can assure you. Dang these things are so much fun, I literally cannot put them away. :)

The first Spin Coin offering is the Disko Signal Coin. These are the first of my SpinTool series which will include spinning coins, spin coin game pieces called RaceCoins, also ArtKoins and some new and different fiddle tools and fidget toys. Lots of busy fingers ahead for everyone I think!

These first batch of Disko Signal Coins are made of 303 stainless steel. Measuring in at 1.5 inches in diameter, same as a silver dollar, they are a full 1/4 inch thick, plus a little more added on for the foot. The deep rifle knurling makes for a positive grip and the coins spin smoothly, riding on a beautiful black 1/8 inch ball bearing made of silicon nitride.

The low center of gravity combined with the heavy 36grams/1.25oz weight provides a satisfying spin and the hollowed out bottom pushes the weight to the outside, further contributing to the stable gyroscopic effect. Any initial wobble will usually right itself quickly as it settles in, turning for a very long time. I have so far measured an amazing 8+ minutes on tempered glass in the best of my many spin tests. Not too shabby at all.

I have given these coins multiple steps of tumbling, etc and have arrived at what I feel is the optimal finish for resisting scratches. In addition, each Spin Coin comes with a small velvet pouch to help keep it safe from scratches in your pocket. I recommend these as perfect candidates for coin pocket carry.  

The mirrored center is mesmerizing as the reflected light causes it to wink and throb with every tiny wobble and bump. You will not be able to put these down for long, absolutely addictive... Of course, although tiny, they can also be used for closeup inspections of your face and as a signal mirror as part of a survival kit.

The Disko Signal Coins will run $70 plus shipping and I will offer first class mail for international orders again to help keep costs down for our friends around the world. The batch is limited in number and these are probably the only mirror coins that I will make for a while as I move to other variations, so I will make it a one per customer limit on them please. Thanks again for stopping in and hope your weekend is going great.

Sold out, thank you so much everyone!