Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Quick Update

I'm sick as a dog today with a cold. No energy, although my nose isn't as bad as it was yesterday. So probably this week will be a little slower than the past week...

On a positive note, next group of BigShots are heading to the passivators today and so probably by the end of the week I will resume going down the list and sending out emails. They will be running more BigShots all this week so I expect the wave to continue through next week. Hopefully we will make substantial progress in getting through the list.

Some of the SuperBugs will be ready later this week.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Plain Ti Rulers

Alright folks, got a few of the plain Titanium Rulers ready to go. As I mentioned in the post below, these have a light glass bead finish on them. It was originally my intention to have a much larger batch than this but half of the rulers never even made it to the marking stage and then there was some loss in the final finishing stage. So we are left with a few dozen pieces that are saleable.

And before anyone else asks, no, I will not be releasing seconds of these. I would rather instead do a second batch. Now that I understand the areas where there were problems with the first bunch I am confident I can avoid pretty much all of it and get another group made within a few weeks. I plan to obtain the material on Monday and get that next batch going so no worries if you miss out on this batch, there will be a lot more coming and it should not take very long to make it happen.

Price on these is $45 plus shipping and I have to keep it at one per customer this time around. These are plain finish only, no anodized pieces in this group.

Sold Out! Thank you!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

No Release Today

Sorry guys, I'm still working on rulers....tomorrow for sure though.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Good News (hopefully)

I spoke with the shop this morning and they have gotten their BigShot tooling straightened out and dialed in. They are estimating that they could have most of my total order filled by a week from Monday. If so that would be absolutely awesome as I was fearing this could drag on for many weeks with a lot of starts and stops. It still has that potential of course but right now it's looking good that most folks on the list will be seeing a BigShot in their hand within two-three weeks or so. :)

I had a meeting today that took up my afternoon so was out of the shop... I'll be messing around with ti rulers over the weekend and hopefully knock out the finish work so I can have a sale. Maybe tomorrow afternoon or Sunday...supposed to be rainy anyway so nothing to do but stay in and work. :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ti Rulers Coming Soon

They are back from marking and I'm quite pleased. These have been such a long time in coming for what they are and it's been kinda nuts. Basically it was one of those little projects where everything that could go wrong did go wrong. But I'm finally beyond all that and if I do these again or at least some variation of them I will know exactly what to do next time.

Anyway, I was able to rescue about half of the batch. A lot of these do have minor surface blems, blips and small scratches so do be forewarned. I'll be sorting them out over the next few days and will save what I can. Because of uneven finishes from tumbling I will have to bead blast these with a fine glass bead media but that is not all bad since it gives them a nice frosted look. I'll be anodizing some and leaving some plain...we'll see what happens with them when I get fully underway with the finishing.

Note the cool way that the laser marked scales develop complementary colors to the main color of each piece. It's a really neat effect. Green gets gold marks, gold gets UV, UV gets green and (not shown) blue gets silver. Plain just looks dark gray or black.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Few MicroSpuds

Hi Folks,

When it rains it pours! :)

I have a few of the CPM 3V MicroSpuds done. These nifty 5 inch mini tools are loosely based on the gigantic old fashioned irons worker's tools. The MicroSpuds feature a bottle opener and 7/16 wrench opening, pry tip with V notch, 1/4 hex opening and tapered tail end used for aligning objects before bolting them together. They are not sharp enough to act as a marlin spike...these have a bright stonewashed finish. They are running $70 each plus the shipping. Link to purchase is here:

Sold Out for now! Thanks folks, I really appreciate it.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

BigShot Update

Hi Folks,

First of all, the BigShots that are coming back from the passivators where they have been acid dipped and cleaned are absolutely GORGEOUS! Wow...Just a super nice bright finish on them and I'm overjoyed with the results. I think you will be too. ;)

OK, here's how it will work: I will be going down the list in the order that people signed up. As I get these done and as your name comes up on the list I'll send an email to you with a buy now link. I think that's a simple low stress way to do it and also it's fair.

I have had a tremendous response to the BigShots so it is going to take a while to get them all made and to get through the list. I think for the first pass I will limit it to two per person just so we can get through everyone who wants one as quickly as possible. The shop that I am working with has said that they will make as many pieces as I want so if people want more than two I think that it will not be a problem to get them to you but it's going to take a little time.

Now, these will be getting done in waves. The first wave has already started and over the next few days I'll finish the name stamps and get more of these out. My buddies at the shop had to bump me for another job last week so we lost a week of production. They will start turning more BigShots tomorrow however and will give me another week or so of machine time. Then I'll probably be getting bumped again for a few days and this will continue like this for as long as it takes to get all the pieces made that I want. When I do get done with the list I will no doubt have extras made and probably do some general release sales.

So, bear with me if you will and I'll get everyone hooked up as fast as I can. Thanks for your interest and your patience! :)

Friday, March 13, 2009

More Shiners!

Well, by a small miracle I finally have some stuff ready to go. Shiners came back from heat treat yesterday and my fingers are sore today from all the O rings and lanyard tying. But I have about half of them ready to go right now. :)

Shiners are made of CPM S30v steel, 5/32 thick, 3.25" OAL. These simple little keyfob tools feature a screwdriver tip, bottle opener, 1/4" hex drive opening and thick rubber O rings for a secure grip. They run $45 each plus shipping.

Sold Out, thanks.

Shot Glass Update

Hi Folks,

First of all, response to the BigShots has been enormous! Thank you all for the interest and enthusiasm for these. I thought they were cool as hell but I never know what others will think of thise stuff and you all have made it plain that you like them too. So thanks for that. :)

They are running shot glasses right now and they should have a pretty good pile of them for me on Monday or Tuesday. However, as always seems to happen, the shop is bumping me on Tuesday to run another small job which has a deadline attached. Supposedly they will resume running shot glasses the following week and you can be sure I'll be on top of it holding their feet to the fire. I'm really hoping they will finish the run completely in the second phase but we shall see...

So what I will probably do is go down the list in the order that people signed up and email them a buy now link. Seems like the best and most fair way to do it. Not sure yet if the release will be on Tuesday because we are also evaluating if we want to do a passivation step or not and the samples by which I will determine that will be back to the shop on Monday. Passivation is a process where the part is cleaned and then dipped in acid to remove any free iron particles on the surface of the metal leaving only chromium, nickel and other trace elements. It's not mandatory but it seems like it might be a good idea as long as the cost is minimal which it is supposed to be.

Saturday, March 07, 2009


Well this project has been a long time in the making. I first thought about making these about two years ago and it has been a very long road indeed. After a lot of pestering of my machine shop buddy and fiddling around I finally managed to get a proto done last year but it turned out to be a dissapointment. The shape wasn't quite right and the piece was incredibly heavy and a little tippy. I also wasn't happy with the way the knurl was going to be done.

So, back to the drawing board I went. After a good bit of deliberation I decided to go with my whistles as the basis for the design and make it a simple cylinder with beautiful knurling. Well this week I spent several days at the shop watching the machine set up and tweaking the final shape and design. The result is super clean and functional and I'm extremely happy with the proto that was finished yesterday.

BigShots are made of solid 2 inch diameter 303 stainless steel bar stock. Absolutely massive yet we also managed to give them a decent sense of balance in the hand. The capacity of the finished cup is 3 fl oz (85ml) (same size as a brewpub sampler glass) and they weigh in at a hefty 7.5 ozs (213g). LOL, this is a drinking cup that will put muscle in your forearm... just big enough for an ice cube or two and a splash of your favorite libation. Use it as a juice glass, an office paperweight or the manliest bathroom cup ever. :p :D

One thing is for sure, I absolutely guarantee that you will never break it and it will indeed last forever. These babies are truly monolithic!

The only version available for now will be the one pictured below. This knurl looks the best of the three available to me. Up the road who knows but this is what we will do for now.

The BigShots are ready to start in production today or Monday. Not sure yet of their schedule at the shop but it looks like I will have finished pieces by the end of this week coming. I will just have to do a name stamp and run them through the dishwasher and they will be ready to go. The price will be $47 each plus shipping and it will be a general release sale, probably a couple of sales and I will have plenty of extras if people email me.

I can always do a second run later but I'd like to try to get the production number close the first time because these are costing me a small fortune to make. So if those of you who are interested would help me out by signing up below I'd really appreciate it and it will give me some idea of what to shoot for. Thanks. :)

BigShot List is Closed. Will be doing a general release once I make it through the current list. Probably will be in late May for a general release sale. Thanks folks!

What's Taking So Long?

Hehe, I'm glad you asked! :)

Sorry for the endless delays folks. I've been working my butt off these last few weeks and yet nothing ever seems to get to the completed stage. However, this week coming will see a raging torrent of activity as several projects come to a finish pretty much all at once.

Shiners will be back from heat treat any day now. I thought they might be on Friday's UPS delivery but they weren't. So maybe Monday in which case Tuesday would be the earliest release date since I have to clean them up and package them. But I have no way of knowing the actual day they will be back so that is just a guess.

The 3V MicroSpuds will also be coming back middle or end of this week coming. They looked fantastic after the first tumbling so after heat treat and a finish tumble I think these are going to be absolutely gorgeous. I'm really looking forward to adding one to my own collection. ;)

BigShot stainless steel shot glasses are finally coming up. I have been thinking about this project for two years now. We worked up a prototype last year but I was very dissatisfied with it. The design was too top heavy and unstable and I wouldn't be able to get my favorite knurling on it in a way that was pleasing me. So I went back to basics and totally redesigned the piece. I started pushing a couple of weeks ago to see if we could squeeze a run into the schedule (no small task) and lo and behold it is actually going to happen. I've spent the past several days scuttling back and forth to the shop and having a blast tweaking the design and watching the whole machine setup. I now have the final proto in my hot little hands and the actual run will start today or Monday. Should have some product by the end of the week. Pics of the proto and a sign up post so I can get a rough idea of how many to make will be coming later today.

SuperBugs are all ground and at the tumblers right now for the first stage of tumbling. I'll be getting them back this week for name stamping and then they will go out to the heat treaters. Two weeks or so away on those.

Fixer Knives are rough ground and all I need to do is the finish grinds and clean up the edges. Then they can go out to the first tumbling. So we're getting quite close on them and maybe have them ready by mid April.

Ti Rulers came back from tumble and half of them have burrs on them still. I can't tell you how pissed I am that this stupid little project which was supposed to be a very easy one has turned into a never ending nightmare. The hex openings were all cut undersized so I've had to ream them and then broach them by hand which took forever. Then we had endless problems with the drawing because we couldn't figure out how to get both Imperial and Metric scales on the same drawing. Finally resolved it by doing two drawings and I still have to find out if the laser marking place can deal with it. What a pain in the ass. I'm tempted to trash what I have and just start over but I really wanted to salvage enough to at least pay for the cutting and material. We'll see...

Ti Keyfobs came back from tumble yesterday and they look great. This is a very small batch of only 3 dozen. They will take a little while to decorate and do rivets. Most will probably go via the lottery and will be released in dribs and drabs as I get to it.

Cookie Wrench is coming! Got the second revised drawing finished for this yesterday and they will be cut next week. This is a titanium disc shaped wrench tool based on the old fashioned lantern wrenches. Really neat looking piece, almost like a iron cross or throwing star sort of a thing but no sharp edges of course. Kind of reminds me of the Bermuda Triangles a little bit but an entirely new tool. They will be done in 1/8" titanium for the first run.

A school of Shiners right before they headed out to heat treat last week: