Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Zirconium Mini 5 Flute Beads!

Hi Everyone,

Well, spring is getting a late start here as I mentioned before, but it's better late than never. It's finally starting to warm up a little and this morning when I look out the window at the light April rain I can see lots of buds getting ready to pop on the bushes and trees in the yard. We'll have delicate pale green "squirrel ear" leaves on the trees by next week I'm sure. It's always my favorite time of year, bar least until the black flies arrive that is. Unfortunately I think they are scheduled to hatch next week, haha.

I've been grinding tools for a few days and the upcoming steel Hangman hooks are nearly ready to send to heat treat. Ringbabies are coming along well too and those will be ready to go to heat treat next week, followed closely by the metric Crawdaddies. I predict much dust and noise in my future. Also coming up will be copper mini 5 Flute beads, and a special small batch of titanium 6 Flute MEGA Lanslides.

Today I have the Zirconium Mini 5 Flute Lanslides done. I took my time on them and made sure they have a particularly nice buttery finish on them. They're on premium black 550 cord which gives them that great stealth look. So nice that I already snagged a few for myself!

The Zr Mini 5 Flutes will run $55 plus shipping and it's a sizable batch so I will make it a 4 per customer limit on them. Thanks for dropping by today and hope you're enjoying the lovely weather this week.

All gone, thank you everyone!



Friday, April 20, 2018

Fancy Titanium BedBugs

Hi Folks,

Well, it's another below freezing morning up here in "paradise"! Will Spring ever arrive? Apparently next week we'll see some warmer days (and maybe even some days without snow flurries!) but we are all a bit skeptical until we see it for ourselves.

Things are starting to move along a little bit at last. I'll be getting some tools ready for heat treat next week but will also mix in some sale days hopefully. I'm not sure yet how it will go, but things are finally starting to fall into place and I should be getting quite busy this spring.

Today I have the other half of the Titanium BedBug batch ready to go. I spent a few days on these tools giving them plenty of extra grinds and also stamps, so they are much more ornate than the previous release. The grinds and stamps vary tremendously so there is everything from pure A51 style to some crazier asymmetrical looks. Fun stuff and many cool combinations!

The fancy ti BedBugs will run $70 plus shipping and the link to purchase is just above the pictures  below. There are some lefties available too. As always thanks for stopping by and here's hoping you have a great weekend everyone!

Sold out, thank you so much folks!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Basic Titanium BedBugs!

Hi Everyone,

Wow, Old Man Winter just won't give up here in New England! We woke up yesterday morning to a couple of inches of heavy wet snow. It's pretty much gone from the roads and driveway this morning but is still clinging stubbornly to the yard. This is the latest I have ever seen more than a flurry or two, so yesterday's icy blast was a little surprising. Needless to say, we are all quite disgusted up here and more than ready for some warmer spring weather. 

Well I'm finally starting to get some stuff finished. It's been maddeningly slow on every front lately, with delay after delay on each project that I attempt to start. Honestly it was beginning to get kind of funny because no matter what I did this last month I knew it wouldn't get too far before some monkey wrench or another would get thrown into the works. Anyway, the worst delays appear to be behind me now so I think I can FINALLY get back to a more steady schedule going forward. I certainly hope so anyway. Now, if the nagging tendonitis in my index finger that has plagued me all winter would just calm down all would be right in the world again.

Today I actually have the first wave of new Titanium BedBugs finished! This is an updated design that I have been thinking about for several years but couldn't quite figure out how I wanted to do it. At 2.5 inches long including the bit, they are only 1/2 inch longer than the original BedBug design, but with the advantage that the bit is always instantly available for use. The hefty 3/16 thick titanium is the thickest stock that I can use in this type of captive bit design tool in order to hold onto the tool bit securely. Much thicker and the bit just flops around loosely in the slot.

It was a challenge to get it all working the way I wanted it to but after considerable trial and error I finally dialed it in. These little guys work exactly as I had envisioned. The bit has some flex to it so is able to reach into places that a conventional screwdriver could not reach while still delivering plenty of torque. If more torque is desired then it is easy to remove the bit and place it perpendicularly in the rear of the bit slot which now has a hex shaped end for the bit to nestle into. All bit slots in any future captive bit tools will probably have this nifty new feature which allows for the elimination of a separate dedicated 1/4 hex opening. 

Obviously one of the big advantages to my o-ring based captive bit design is the interchangeable bit aspect. With this new configuration though only a narrow neck shaped bit will fit. Most #1 phillips bits will fit but I found that manufacturers can vary quite a lot. So some bits are too thick to fit through the neck slot area, especially if they are #2 or larger. I was able to find some slim neck Irwin #2 phillips bits that fit though and that's what I will supply with these. If you were to lose the bit however, most hardware stores will have a #1 replacement readily available that will fit.

Other features to these new BedBugs include a rear screwdriver/pry tip. So I kind of combined the old BugBite concept with the original BedBug to come up with this hybrid multi function tool. I needed a lanyard opening as well of course, and a plain round hole wasn't quite exciting enough, nor was an O2 wrench. A hex opening seemed like a good choice that would be in harmony with the overall design. Then I realized that by increasing the hex to a larger 7/16 size and flaring the sides to create a subtle "wings" shape it would give you a little more leverage for turning the bit. The difference seems rather small on paper but it was actually huge in effect. An aggressive edge grip texture finishes the design nicely.

So anyway, there you have it. These Basic BedBugs will run $60 plus shipping and it will be a two per customer limit on them. There are a couple of lefties among them too. I have a second batch with extra grinds and stamps that are in the finish tumbler now so they will be coming later this week...also coming very shortly are Zr and copper mini 5 flute beads. Thanks for your endless patience everyone and hope your spring has been warmer and sunnier than ours so far! 

Sold out for today, more coming soon, thank you!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Spring Updates

Hi Everybody,

Happy Spring! We're still due for a few more weeks of cold weather up here in New England, but the overall trend is starting to warm up. We keep hearing rumors that there is a large yellow ball up in the sky which gives us light and warmth...maybe we will even get to see it someday, haha.

Well, it's been mighty slow going around here lately. Many delays and little setbacks but things are slowly starting to come around. One of the great things about a slow production period is that it gives me time to work on new drawings. I'm happy to report that I have some awesome new stuff in the works, some of which is already underway.

So, coming Spring 2018:

3v steel Metric Crawdaddies (finally!)

CPM 154 RingBabies

17-4ph SS HangMan

Also, a brand new Count Sporkula design is finalized and about to be cut, steel R37 Rulers are on deck for milling, ti Small Fry tools without opener also now ready for milling. New beads including copper, white delrin and Zr mini 5 flute beads are actually running this week so are coming very soon.

And finally, a double batch of new ti BedBugs are also about to be milled and will be on the way in a week or two:


Have a great Easter weekend everyone and stay tuned!

Friday, March 09, 2018

Tellurium Copper Multi Grips

Hi Folks,

Another frosty day out there today but the heavy wet snow we got yesterday won't be around for long hopefully. Spring really is right around the corner and daylight savings time starts this weekend. Time is flying!

Not too much to report as far as updates go. I'm hoping maybe to get started on the grinding and finish work of the new BedBugs next week. If not those then some other tools...We'll see how it goes but no doubt I will be spending several days next week making metal dust.

Today I have a batch of tellurium copper Multi Grip beads finished. The hour glass shape and rifle knurling on these makes them a great choice for zipper pulls on jackets and bags, as well as lanyard beads for knives and flashlights. The copper will develop a rich patina over time.

Copper Multi Grips will run $30 plus shipping and the link for them is below. Thank you as always for stopping by today and have a great weekend everyone!

Sold out, thank you so much!

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Titanium SeedNeedles

Hi Everyone,

It's a damp and dark day here today with what could be a sizable early March snowstorm bearing down on us. We're supposed to get up to a foot of wet heavy snow over the next 24 hours so there will be a mess to clean up tomorrow. At least this time of year it doesn't tend to hang around too long, and truth be told, we really need it as the relatively light snow fall this winter might be setting us up for a bit of drought in the spring. We'll see what happens.

Speaking of absolute favorite time of year! This year I will be planting a variety of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, lettuces and other vegetables. It's actually time to start some seeds right now and continue throughout the next month so I can get an early start on the gardens. Planning ahead is important for successful gardens and that's what got me thinking last fall about making a small batch of today's nifty tool, the sleek and elegant SeedNeedle.

The SeedNeedle is a mini planting tool for planting seeds consistently at their recommended depths. It's loosely based on a very ancient tool, the dibble or dibber as they are sometimes called, which are traditionally made of wood and often have scribed depth lines. My pocket sized version is made of titanium and features a deeply milled 2 inch depth scale with 1/4 inch increments on one side and a 5cm depth gauge on the reverse side.

The SeedNeedles are all further embellished with my huge collection of antique and contemporary blacksmith stamps, especially those with botanical or nature themes of which there are many. The tools have been anodized and then most of the anodized color removed except for the measuring lines and marks. The final finishing allows the tool to be used freely without worrying about messing up the anodizing. Although these are designed with seed planting in mind you can certainly use them for estimating the depth of anything shallow or simply as a quick and handy measuring tool.

SeedNeedles will run $65 plus shipping and there is a limit of two on them please. Happy gardening this year!

All gone for now, thank you as always!

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Stainless Steel Mini 5 Flutes

Hi Folks,

It's another lovely day here in what has been a stellar week of relative warmth and sun for this time of year. We still have a little snow and ice in our yard but everywhere else it's mostly gone for now. Will we have an early spring? Could be...

Well I don't have any more progress updates since the other day. I generally don't get much done in the shop if I'm doing sales, so it's kind of a "one or the other" situation. I did want to mention those steel R37 rulers though, they are still in the works and coming this spring. Also titanium KingPins will be coming with stamped heads once I get around to grinding the pins and assembling them.

Well today I have the last batch of Mini 5 Flute beads done. These are 303 stainless steel with a smooth bright tumbled finish on them. They have a satisfying weight to them and a soft feel in the hand.

After the last bead sale a few folks asked about white Delrin Mini 5 Flutes...I will make a small batch next time I run beads, which will probably be this spring. I also want to do a few tellurium copper beads and perhaps Zr as well. In addition, I am mulling a bead related project and will certainly let you know if it works out.

The stainless Mini 5 Flutes will run $30 plus shipping and I will put a limit of 4 on them please... Link to purchase is below and I hope your week is going great so far. It's almost the weekend!

Stainless are sold out, thank so much everyone!