Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Why No Bends?

People keep asking me for XL bends and so I thought I better explain it here rather than keep on telling one person after another what the problem is. In my current designs with thumb scallops and hex cutout shapes it is not possible to do XL bends. Oh, I can do it, it's just that I end up having to fix half of them. The problem comes in anytime you have an edge that is not perfectly straight and one that has not been completely deburred and rounded over. What happens is, you get tiny stress cracks forming inside these edge features. They probably aren't a big deal in normal use and would not break but they look unsightly to anyone who is studying the piece and so they undermine confidence in the integrity of the tool. At least, that's my feeling when I look at them.

So, in order to make XL bends in any of my tools, I would have to go back to the original boring straight shapes which, to be honest, I have made tons of them over the years and I'd like to keep moving on with my current designs. Plus, they require an extensive tumbling BEFORE I make the bends because the sharp edge of a freshly sanded bar of steel is also susceptible to these tiny cracks. You need rounded corners to avoid the problem. My currently production flow does not include a pre tumble and so that would add another step and two weeks more time to get it done.

So that's why I haven't been making anything with XL bends in a while. ;) Who knows though, maybe I will get around to it at some point...I am planning to revisit some older designs this year like I did last year with the mini Prybabies and Perfbabies, just haven't decided which tools yet.

17 comments:

enki said...

Hi Peter!

The MSOPT is the one I would like to see reappear...

Why don't you make a poll to see what the others want? :D

Steve said...

Just so you don't forget. I'm still dreaming of a wedgie. Haha :D Thanks for the explanation on XL bends. While I haven't been wondering where they went, it is cool to hear about the process.

vegassprky said...

Thanks for the pic and keeping us in the loop! Grind on!!!! Gary :>)

garlandmeyer said...

Thanks for the explaination, Peter. Your pieces look so simple and elegant it is easy to forget how many steps there are in the making and how one process can effect another.

Peter Atwood said...

Exactly, many steps are involved even though it all looks simple. I'm really happy with the way I have things going now it's just getting stuff cut and then through the various processes that always seems to take forever. And then it all goes so quick and I'm back to square one. All I can do is keep going. :)

Mr. Whippy said...

That's very interesting!

I thought they were bent in the same way farriers bend a shoe--heat to red hot, make the bend then quench.

I didn't realize it took a different process--then again, horseshoes are high carbon steel, and the only stonewash finish they get is when the horses walk in the creek ;o)

Peter Atwood said...

Yes, this is the same process, heat to orange and bend. But this is high carbon tool steel which is not the same as soft steel used in horshoes.

Mr. Whippy said...

Not so soft when they step on you :p

Camera said...

FINE WITH ME! The XL bends mean the tool doesn't lie flat on the keychain, and any minor leverage advantage is more than made up by the more compact "regular" version.

For the record...I like the 'original boring straight shapes' as you call them. Give me function over form any day. Much as I like your tools, never liked the scallops on my GasBaby...just hurts your thumb to use it hard...wish it was 'boring and straight.'

But it's your business and nobody does it better...so keep on truckin' Peter!

spitfire8898 said...

"I am planning to revisit some older designs this year like I did last year with the mini Prybabies and Perfbabies, just haven't decided which tools yet."

UFO?

(grins big while raising eyebrows up and down)

QVolve said...

Thanks for the explanation Peter.

You said you were thinking about revisiting some older tools. Does this mean you might be revisiting some Sign Up Sales or Drawings for limited pieces?

It's great to have such availability, but the excitement of seeing if you could win a drawing was a lot of fun!

Matt said...

Thanks for the explaination Peter. I love these posts about the various processes that you and your tools go through from start to finish.

captnslow said...

im hoping for mini son of prything, i would LOVE to own one of those

Brian said...

Peter, thank you very much for the recent updates and explanations. It's great to get the extra insight into the process, and adds a new level of appreciation for the tools we already own. I've always been curious about how many hits your site gets a day. Is that a figure you have to share?
Enjoy, Brian

Morris said...

The Bends was a great Radiohead album... i think you should give it another try!

keep up the good work - always looking forward to your new work.

asleep said...

Yes, yes, yes! I would LOVE to see another run of MSOPTs!! PLEEEAASSSEE!!!

DB said...

Well heck, I guess that means I better hang on to the couple of XL items I have then... ;)

Can't wait to see all the new and exciting stuff coming this year!