Friday, September 22, 2017

Titanium Wrunts

Hi Everyone,

Hope everyone is surviving all the weather calamities around the world. It's just relentlessly awful  lately, and in so many different places...tough year for so many people!

I've been steadily chipping away at all sorts of stuff this past week, but slower to finish things than I would like. I recently ran out of fine grinding belts and discovered that the one box that I thought was full turned out to contain some coarser grit belts that I am no longer using. Will be another week or two before Norton makes me the ones I need by special order. In the meantime I will try to continue to make progress on some of the other neglected projects over the coming weeks...As far as tools that needed cleanup grinding are concerned, I do have some more R37 Rulers in super thick 1/4" inch Krinkle ti coming up and those are well on their way to completion. Other tool projects will have to wait a week or so before work can resume...

Today I have the first wave of Wrunts finished. The Wrunts are redesigned for 2017 and these first ones are made of lightly textured Krinkle Titanium. Upcoming batches will be in two different steels and some will be metric, but this batch is entirely "SAE",  meaning American wrench sizes only. The wrench set includes sizes 1/4-1/2", and there is also an improved cap lifter and a stout pry tip. The material is almost 1/4" thick so they are quite beefy indeed and overall this tool feels far more robust than the older Wrunts I made years ago.

The new Wrunts are just a little bit longer (OAL is 2.8") than the originals so that I could get the geometry of the pry tip into a more manageable angle. Also, the thumb grip area features my old "tiki grind" shape which is not only very cool looking but also provides a welcome tactile feel and sure grip. I elected to keep the grinds simple on these so there is not much variation in that department. However, these are anodized in a very wide variety of colors, both solid colors and many types of color fades and color "splash" looks. There are some plain non ano ones too, available upon request, as well as a few lefties in the batch.

The Titanium Wrunt17s will run $65 plus shipping and the link to order is below. It's not a huge batch so it will be one per customer on them please. Thank you as always for stopping by, and I do hope everyone is staying safe and dry!


All gone for today, thank you so much everyone!





Friday, September 08, 2017

Steel Superbugs!

Hi Folks,

Hope you're having a great week. I have been working my brains out this past week on projects and before that took a few days off to enjoy a little bit of summer vacation. But I am back and working hard to get some stuff done.

Obviously things are a bit of a mess down South, to put it mildly, and by the looks of things it's about to get worse with hurricane Irma bearing down on Florida. Thoughts, prayers and love are with our friends in the southern states this week! As a small contribution I am setting aside some funds today for the Food Bank of Houston...could be doing the same next week for Miami. :(

Well, there is a lot of stuff in play at the moment. It's been a crazy hive of activity here as I move projects along and a few are even hitting the finish line. Finally! Steel Wrunts are about to receive their final grinds, and titanium Wrunts are in the tumblers right now before getting some ano lovin'...I have a new wroidy spinning steel tool in progress called the Juggernaut and those are heading for the tumblers next before their final touches, and then they will be headed to heat treat. The next two waves of ti rulers are in the beginning stages of work, still a few weeks away on those.

Today I have most of the steel Superbug17s ready to go. I say "most" because these darn things gave me fits! It seems that when I applied the name stamp I had repositioned the tools in the stamp press in a different way than normal. When stamping I failed to notice that a small burr on the anvil was imprinting into the back side of the tool on every hammer strike. I never noticed a thing until the final polish tumbling step after heat treat when a mysterious mark appeared on the back side. Grrrrrrrr. Luckily I was able to sort them out and most of the tools turned out to be perfectly acceptable although you might spot a faint shadow mark in certain lights. The remaining pieces that had actual dents had to be sanded down and refinished over the past several days, and so the batch has now been pretty much rescued. This past week just underscores how something can go wrong anywhere in the making process and getting to the finish line is always a perpetual balancing act. 

The CPM 154 Steel Superbug17 offers a cool update to the old Superbug series. They are just shy of 3 inches long and the material is nearly 3/16" thick. I have given them a more effective screwdriver/XL pry tip/wrench/cap lifter arrangement for the nose. They have a cool new curved, ergonomic middle section, plus my usual captive bit system and a rear pry tip with Area 51 style grinds. The batch is quite uniform so there are no grind variations on these and no decorative stamps at all on this batch. There are a few lefties though...     

The Superbug 17s will run $70 plus shipping and it's a one per customer sale on them please...if you need more than one just drop me a line as I do have more of these on the way over the next few days as I continue to finish them up....stay safe everyone, especially you folks who are in the path of the storms, and thanks so much for dropping by today.

Superbugs are gone for today, thank you!






    

Saturday, August 19, 2017

R37 Ruler Tools!

Hi Everyone,

Wow, we are hurtling along through August at Mach 1. Hard to believe the summer is almost gone...

Not too much to report on projects, but hopefully Superbugs will be back from heat treat around the end of next week. I have a bunch of grinding in front of me too, so it's always a never ending challenge to juggle production and sales. We'll see how it goes.

Today I have the first wave of titanium R37 Rulers done. A number of people asked for plain ones, so I decided to do one full release with totally plain finish, with no stamping and no color anodizing. The second and third batches are already scheduled to cut next week and so stamped rulers and fancy color anodized ones will be coming in subsequent releases. But these today are all simple and very clean looking, and I will not be coloring any of these or adding stamps.

The R37 Rulers are made from the same robust 5/32 6al4v titanium stock as the older R25 series. They feature a 1/4 hex opening, 5/16 open wrench which doubles as a cap lifter, a 8,9,10mm metric wrench set and a center opening which is reamed to accept Scott McCoskery's nifty 3/8" spin cores. The 3 inch ruler scale is permanently marked (thanks to Kenn Jordan for a fantastic job on the deep CNC milling!) and there is a 70mm scale on the reverse side. All in all, this is a gorgeous heirloom quality tool with quite a variety of functions. I am sure your great grand kids and generations beyond will love it as much as you do!

R37 ti Rulers will run $75 plus shipping, and it is one per customer on these please. As I said, plenty more of these ruler tools are coming so no worries if you miss today, will be many chances to score them up the road. Thanks for dropping by this morning everyone, and I hope your weekend is great.


R37 Rulers are gone for now, more coming up the road, Thanks so much everyone!




Monday, August 14, 2017

Titanium Mini 5 Flutes!

Hi Everyone,

Happy Monday! It's shaping up to be a lovely mid August week here in the northeast, although there has already been a tinge of fall in the air. This really has been the coolest and wettest summer in recent memory and I hope it doesn't mean we are in for another very long and cold winter.

Well the projects are in full swing right now. The steel Superbugs are at heat treat and should be back very soon. I have the new titanium R37 Rulers Tools close to done so those will be coming along hopefully around the end of the week, with a second batch already tentatively planned. Once these two projects are done I will be moving along to both steel and titanium Wrunts, and also Zr KingPins for early September. There is a ton of work ahead but I am taking my time and trying to enjoy the little bit of summer we have remaining.

Well today I finally have the first wave of titanium Mini 5 Flute beads done. I decided to leave these with a neutral stonewashed finish and they are on a variety of cord colors. I still have more in process down in the shop and so a future release will probably be color anodized. I'm not planning on making any stainless steel Minis so these will probably be the only ones for those of you who want a bare "silver" metal color choice.

The Titanium Mini 5 Flutes will run $30 each plus shipping and there is a four per customer limit on them. Thanks as always for dropping by today and hope your week is productive one!

These are all gone for today, thank you so much!


Thursday, July 27, 2017

Bronze Mini 5 Flutes

Hi Everyone,

Happy Thursday! It's a cool one here in the northeast, and in fact it's been a bit chilly and almost fall like this week. Crazy summer so far...

Well, I'm picking away at stuff this week but not too much to report. I will be taking a few days off next week so things won't really be picking up until mid August it looks like. However, lots of tools are in progress and so much is on the way.

Today I have a great big batch of red bronze Mini 5 Flute beads done. They have a warm red patina started on them and a crisp finish. These new Minis have quickly become my new favorite bead size and I'm really enjoying them on my camera bag zippers and pocket tools. Plain titanium Minis will be coming very soon too!

The red bronze Mini 5 Flutes will run $30 as usual and it's a fairly big batch so a limit of 4 per customer on them please...link to purchase is below. Thank you so much for stopping by today and I hope your weekend ahead is a great one.


Sold out for today, thank so much!



Friday, July 21, 2017

Stamped Zirconium Keytons

Hi Everyone,

Happy Friday! I know much of the nation is sizzling today with the high temps but I hope all is well and you're gearing up for a relaxing weekend ahead.

Well I've been rather quiet lately, but I have certainly not been idle. I've been grinding my brains out and trying to move projects along. The belts have been turning madly and the tumblers have been running almost continuously for the past two weeks. And I have taken a few hours to fix up and clean my dusty and slightly disorganized shop, critically important work that has been long overdue. I'm planning on upgrading some of my lighting soon as well. All these changes are going to make it a lot more efficient and a healthier place to work.

I still haven't gotten the steel pins ground for the zirconium KingPins, but they are one of the next tasks in line. The Wroidy steel Wrunts are still languishing as well...however, steel Superbugs are well along towards finishing and just need a little more grinding before they are ready for heat treat. The titanium R37 Ruler tools are definitely happening and have just been cut, really looking forward to these... Krinkle titanium SAE Wrunts have also just been cut. I am waiting for some special stainless steel Wrunts to be cut next as well as a new steel Wroid thickness tool.

Beads are moving along nicely. I will be tying up and packaging titanium Mini 5 Flutes and then the bronze Mini 5 Flutes over the next few days. I also have anodized titanium Bermuda Beads with grinds completed and nearly ready to go. I also got the next spin coins prepped out further and they are waiting for stamps and other treatments.

Today I finally have the Zirconium K4 Keytons done! These have been sitting around for several months and it took a huge effort this week to get them through the many many steps to completion. Lots of grinding, tumbling, stamping, more tumbling, individual heat coloring and finally applying an oil finish. Ridiculously complicated and time consuming...It does feel good to get them finished at last and they look awesome.

These have a wide variety of grinds and stamps. They will run $95 plus shipping and it's a one per customer sale even though the batch is large, so that many folks will have a chance at them.

Thanks as always for stopping in today and I hope you all are staying cool this week!

Sold out for now, thank you so much folks!




 


Thursday, July 06, 2017

Antique Brass Mini 5 Flutes

Hi Everyone,

Hope you all had a great holiday weekend. It was a difficult one here with a variety of annoying petty health issues and one major family crisis which is still ongoing. Fingers crossed on that last part...

Well, not much has been getting done lately here, but I continue to limp along, picking away at things every day. Wrunts are still on the bench awaiting their finish grinds, Zr Kingpins still await their ground pins which are residing cozily next to the Wrunts. A bright spot is the steel Superbug17s which I did a bunch of prep work on yesterday. My goal is to get these three projects finished by the end of the month, and in the case of Wrunts and Superbugs, out to heat treat at least.

In other news, I continue to explore the R37 ruler series and it's looking like that project may go forward finally, but I'm still finalizing details and costs. I do have a final drawing though and I'm very pleased, so if all works out as I hope that will be a great project for the fall.

Today I finally have the first wave of "SlimFlutes", all new Mini 5 Flute beads, ready to go. Old timers may remember the original 5 flute beads which were quite small and had very shallow fluting. While I love the current 5 Flute design, they are fairly large beads and I was missing the older version, especially on zipper pulls. So this spring I worked up a revised design and dialed in the proportions to produce what I am now regarding as my own personal favorite fluted bead design.

The new Mini 5 Flutes are made of brass, bronze and titanium for now. I am waiting for the mill to produce more 1/2" Zr stock this summer and so hopefully can add those to the lineup at some point as well. There are no variations on these, all just straight up 5 flute beads. First up are the brass Minis and these have a cool antique finish on them.

Antique Brass Mini 5 Flutes will run $30 each and shipping is the usual $5-7 depending on how many you want. The batch is good sized so it's a limit of three per customer. Thanks for stopping by and I hope your summer is shaping up to be a great one!


Brass ones are gone, thanks folks! :)

 

Copper Multi Grip, Original Mini 5 Flute in teflon, new Mini 5 Flute and current Mega 5 Flute for size comparison:

   

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Red Bronze 5 Flutes

Hi Everyone,

Hope you all are having a great summer so far. It's already shaping up to be a stellar one here, although it does look like it's going to continue to be a wet one. At least there is no chance of drought anymore.

Well, things are moving along positively in every way here at Atwood Studios. I am halfway through grinding the steel Wrunts so those will be heading to heat treat very soon. Still dragging my heels on other grinding but maybe I'll push the Zr Keytons into the on deck position...also I just got done flaming all the Zr KingPins over the weekend, so now I have to grind all the pins and put them together. Soon on those, and I guess now that I think about it, they will have to be up before the Zr Keytons...Do you see how this goes? This is how projects keep getting pushed back endlessly. :D

I have a couple of other small projects done as well so I'm going to try to string a few sales together in the coming days. I finally got around to cutting and tying enough cord to get the bead projects rolling along. A big thank you to Brian Colby for helping me tie an enormous pile of knots this weekend! The new Mini 5 Flutes and some cute little ti Bermuda Beads with accent grinds will be coming soon as a result.

Today I have the Red Bronze 5 Flute Mega beads done. These are the regular size 5 Flutes. They are made of my usual 655 silicon bronze which develops a gorgeous color after several long slow tumbles in various media. An instant patina which will continue to deepen and evolve over time as they are handled and develop wear on the high points.

The Red Bronze 5 Flutes are $30 plus shipping and I'll put a 3 per customer limit on them. More beads are coming up over the next few days as well so please stay tuned. In meantime, hope you're staying cool and dry this week!

Bronze ones are gone, thank you so much!



Saturday, June 17, 2017

Red Bronze KingPins

Hi Everyone,

Happy Father's Day weekend to you! After a week of beautiful weather we are getting some mixed skies and on and off rain again for the foreseeable future. At least it's finally warming up.

The Fidget Spinners were a big hit and thanks so much again for the huge and enthusiastic response. I am looking into possibly making more but I'm still not sure. I will keep you posted if it works out...In the meantime many other things are in the works and I am rapidly finishing projects up.

Today I have a small batch of Red Bronze KingPin tools ready. You'll notice that the heads have a very familiar 5 flute shape, but in a slimmer diameter (1/2") and longer length than the 5/8" diameter 5 flute Mega beads. The heads are tapered and drilled on one end to accept an 1/8" diameter pin and the exposed pin length is generous at just over 2 inches long. OAL of the tool is about 3 inches or so with the sheath. The pins are slip fit into the pin heads using green 680 Loctite so they are permanently set in place unless you were to heat it up with a torch.
 
The 5 Flute design works great for these tools as it provides well defined grip surfaces, and unlike other pin tools, these are totally anti roll so you can set it down and it absolutely will stay put. There is nothing more annoying than setting a small tool down for a moment and having it roll off the work surface.

The pins themselves are made of hardened steel which I have hand ground to a sharp point. Don't ask me what grade of steel it is as these are standard extra long dowel pins and the makers do not specify exact material, but they are definitely high carbon steel. Keep them wiped down and clean as they will probably rust. A few swipes with a worn green scotchbrite pad once in a while will make them as good as new though if rust spots do show up. And they are easily resharpened on a belt sander or grinding stone.

The KingPins come with a simple slip sheath of vinyl tubing. Once in the sheath they are perfectly safe to carry in a pocket or anywhere else. Keep the pin in the sheath at all times when you are not using it though as these are quite sharp and it would be very easy to puncture yourself. By all means, use common sense while using these and please, KEEP AWAY FROM CHILDREN!

I have been carrying mine for a few weeks and showing it around to see people's reaction. You can always tell which folks lack imagination when you see the uncertain look and blank expression followed by "What would you use that for?" Haha....a much better question would be "What wouldn't you use it for?"

I use mine all the time for mixing and applying two part epoxy. The pin performs perfectly and it is so easy to wipe clean. I have used it to mix a small jar of model paint for some touchups I needed to do. The pins excel at cord and knot work of course. Use them for all sorts of poking, prying and scraping tasks as well as cleaning duty to get into tight corners. They are great for helping to remove small bits of stuck on masking tape. I was using one just yesterday to pry a nasty old o-ring out of a groove. Leather people, woodworkers and craftsmen of all stripes will find endless and obvious uses for these tools. And, if you happen to have a balloon popping fetish, boy are you in luck! :)

I'll also be making more of these this summer in Zr, Titanium and Copper. Maybe a better fixture holder will allow for decorative hand stamps but for now these are ONLY available with the standard Atwood name stamp.

The bronze KingPins will run $60 plus shipping and it's one per customer with this small first batch. Don't worry if you miss today as I have a ton more of these on the way in other metals. As always, thanks for stopping in and have a great weekend.


Sold out for today, thank you so much folks! :)



















       

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Titanium Fiddle Spinners!

Hi Everyone,

Well, what a crazy couple of weeks it has been. I've been scrambling to get various projects started, keep others going and get still other projects done. And in the meantime we have gone from freezing cold and rainy to blazing sun and temps in the 90's. It's already a year to remember and we're only half way through.

So I posted a little project update last week on the Toolbook group. I'm making great progress on all of these items including KingPins and the new skinny 5 flute beads. I'm also right in the middle of yet another variation on the Spin Coins and I think you guys will love what is coming down the pike...

Today I have some really cool little Fiddle Spinner toys for you. You would have to be living on Mars not to have seen all the spinner toys out there as it seems every kid in America now has at least one. So naturally I had to try my hand at them and see if I could come up with a design that ties in with my product line. And I wanted to see if I could improve on the fiddle factor a bit with something that has absolutely no utility functions whatsoever, just purely a play toy.

One thing I have noticed is that many of the current designs have propeller type arms coming off of them. While that design scheme certainly puts the weight out towards the edge and promotes centripetal force, it often tends to make the toy difficult to spin with one hand, as your drive finger will sometimes slip in between the blades instead of making contact with the blade end. So I set out to fix that contact issue...other designs I have seen are just a boring plain round shape and I couldn't see the play factor in them. 

The Atwood Fiddle Toy has a familiar hex shape with my signature edge scallop design. The weight is distributed towards the outside edge so even with a relatively thin material there is still plenty of weight to keep the spin going. The Hexi style edges provide a very satisfying and secure landing spot for your drive finger so you can spin or flick these very easily with just one hand if desired.

I opted for titanium of course, and went with some 5/32 material (.160) so they will work with the standard spin core length. These toys have a wide variety of finishes....it's a small batch however so I have mixed them up rather than break it down into small groups. All of them are cool I think. Almost all are anodized but I kept out a half dozen plain ones in case someone really can't stand color. No stamps or extra grinds whatsoever on this batch.

The center holes are reamed for Scott McCoskery's 3/8 spin cores. You will have to purchase a spin core separately from Scott and the link for them is here. I know he is busy making more so if you don't already have one perhaps an email to Scott will get you one...here's a handy tip by the way...take a standard hole punch and pop out some discs of self stick grip tape or skateboard tape. It really helps with those slippery spin cores!

Now, the center holes on these are tight, MUCH tighter than the previous offerings I have put out this year. You will have to gently tap the spin cores in and I recommend a plastic tip mallet for this. You could also use a regular hammer if you put a piece of wood or a thick cloth over the core before tapping. Place the fiddle toy over a pair of side by side wood blocks (or something non marring so as not to mess up the anodizing) so that you can tap the core through and get it lined up evenly on both sides. Go slow and make sure the core is lined up straight as you go! Keep checking for straightness as you GENTLY tap it in as sometimes these type of things can go crooked on you. If it goes crooked knock it out with a stick and start over! Definitely no Loctite or glue is required on these and they will certainly not be falling out once seated in place.

The Atwood Fiddle Toys will run $60 plus shipping. As I said, it is a fairly small batch so one per customer on them please. I am not sure if I will be able to make more of these as there were some odd production issues and my waterjet guy was quite unhappy. So this may be it on them. There will be one other micro sized batch of 3 dozen pieces coming in stainless steel when I get around to them, but other than those I probably will be moving on to my many other projects after these are gone...

So there you have it. Thanks for coming by today and I hope everyone is doing great and staying cool this week!

Sold out, thanks again everyone!










  

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!