Friday, May 22, 2015

GripCoins!

Hi Folks,

We're headed into the holiday weekend and the weather is simply glorious, albeit a bit dry. We could use some rain here soon or the farmers are going to be suffering.

At any rate, the projects are moving full steam ahead. P13 Prybabies are at heat treat and should be coming back in a week or so. I am almost done with Mini FunnyBones and hope to get them sent out in a couple of days...The little T-Wrex Roid tools that I posted on the ToolBook will be on deck for grinding right after FunnyBones. And two new Prybaby designs got added to the queue just this week as well as another updated older item.

Coming up around the end of next week will be Carbon Fiber RubRats. These are a slick little keychain spacer item to help prevent your fancy pocket tools from getting scratched up by your other keychain items...like keys for instance. :)

Also coming are Chilly Beans. These are my stainless steel version of the "whiskey stone" and are a turned item. Basically a Giant Super Mega Bead.

Also on the way are ultralight black delrin 5 flute beads...and also white delrin 5 flutes. These are turning right now and I will be tying a lot of cord this weekend in preparation for them.

Today I have the long promised GripCoins finished. What exactly is a GripCoin you ask? Well, this is an interesting concept that I have been thinking about for quite some time. On older cameras especially, the ergonomics are such that using one for any length of time can result in severe hand fatigue. And hand fatigue means you may miss the shot. If you study the evolution of camera design you will see that the big manufacturers began to incorporate better grips starting in the 1980's. Very aggressive grip designs have appeared in the more recent cameras of the past decade or so, often making them quite bulky. Some notable exceptions are Leica which apparently will not relate to this issue whatsoever. If you look around you will see add on items meant to address the problem such as the Thumbs Up or leather half cases with a thumb bump built into it.

Anyhow, the minimalist design ethos absolutely predominates in today's smaller point and shoots and in other electronic devices such as cell phones and tablets. Manufacturers are looking for the simplest and cheapest method of production and ergonomics for the user appear to be an afterthought. Instead they rely on more and more complicated software features to keep us mesmerized and distracted from physical design. They make these devices so darned slippery that it's a wonder anyone can hold them....so I set out to find a simple solution.   

Enter the GripCoin, a concave stainless steel disc with a low profile and 3/4 inch diameter. The inside of the GripCoin is stepped to provide both a visually appealing and a positive grip surface for fingertips. The outside is knurled to create a second way to grip the disc, by wrapping fingers or thumbs AROUND it. The round shape means that this becomes a 360 degree custom grip point that can be added to virtually any clean flat surface.

To adhere GripCoins to devices I turned to specialty adhesives. It turns out that our friends at 3M have the solution, a special high tack thin film adhesive called 300 LSE. This stuff is available in precut discs which work perfectly for this application. It's slightly expensive but well worth it. The adhesive is very sticky and can even take considerable side pressure without coming off. But, if you want to remove it and reposition the GripCoin it is very simple, just warm it slightly with a hair dryer and carefully pry it up with fingernail or pry tool. (You do have pry tools available right? :D) Any tiny amount of remaining residue will easily come off by rubbing with a finger....

GripCoins are definitely repositionable but I recommend that you try a piece of doubled up painter's tape or Scotch tape first to get a firm idea where you want the grip to be, then go ahead and use the provided adhesive disc for permanent positioning. I will be including two discs of adhesive with each GripCoin so there will be a backup if you mess up or exhaust the sticky surface of the first one. And I can provide additional adhesive discs for a small cost. 

One word of warning, the adhesive appears to be totally safe for most surfaces but does have the potential to damage delicate leathers if you lift up at a sharp angle. So you are on your own if you stick them onto older cameras with fine leather coverings. Use some common sense!

The difference in ergonomics that this tool makes is often dramatic and is instantly apparent. Stick them onto fine film and digital cameras, pocket point and shoots, sporting goods, large flat folding knife handles and the backs of cell phones and tablets. I think there may even be some applications in some sporting goods and perhaps certain firearm grips. I leave it up to the creative and inventive EDC community to find ways to use these that I may not even have thought of...and if you have no grippy use for them then they also make neat little "worry stones" for your pocket.

The GripCoins will run $25 each plus shipping and the link is below. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a relaxing weekend ahead!

GripCoins are sold out for now, thank you very much everyone!







3 comments:

David said...

Thanks, Peter, these look great! Can't wait to see all the creative places people find to put them!

Zag96 said...

These seem awesome. Nice work Peter, useful as a grip and I also like the idea
Of a worry stone (that way the Atwood stamp isn't forever hidden stuck against the thing you stick it to).

Charles Blithfield said...

Make en mass in quality plastic. Sell for $1 each plus adhesive = gold mine
You are a very inventive person whose designs might be enjoyed by more people.