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!