Friday, April 20, 2018

Fancy Titanium BedBugs

Hi Folks,

Well, it's another below freezing morning up here in "paradise"! Will Spring ever arrive? Apparently next week we'll see some warmer days (and maybe even some days without snow flurries!) but we are all a bit skeptical until we see it for ourselves.

Things are starting to move along a little bit at last. I'll be getting some tools ready for heat treat next week but will also mix in some sale days hopefully. I'm not sure yet how it will go, but things are finally starting to fall into place and I should be getting quite busy this spring.

Today I have the other half of the Titanium BedBug batch ready to go. I spent a few days on these tools giving them plenty of extra grinds and also stamps, so they are much more ornate than the previous release. The grinds and stamps vary tremendously so there is everything from pure A51 style to some crazier asymmetrical looks. Fun stuff and many cool combinations!

The fancy ti BedBugs will run $70 plus shipping and the link to purchase is just above the pictures  below. There are some lefties available too. As always thanks for stopping by and here's hoping you have a great weekend everyone!

Sold out, thank you so much folks!



Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Basic Titanium BedBugs!

Hi Everyone,

Wow, Old Man Winter just won't give up here in New England! We woke up yesterday morning to a couple of inches of heavy wet snow. It's pretty much gone from the roads and driveway this morning but is still clinging stubbornly to the yard. This is the latest I have ever seen more than a flurry or two, so yesterday's icy blast was a little surprising. Needless to say, we are all quite disgusted up here and more than ready for some warmer spring weather. 

Well I'm finally starting to get some stuff finished. It's been maddeningly slow on every front lately, with delay after delay on each project that I attempt to start. Honestly it was beginning to get kind of funny because no matter what I did this last month I knew it wouldn't get too far before some monkey wrench or another would get thrown into the works. Anyway, the worst delays appear to be behind me now so I think I can FINALLY get back to a more steady schedule going forward. I certainly hope so anyway. Now, if the nagging tendonitis in my index finger that has plagued me all winter would just calm down all would be right in the world again.

Today I actually have the first wave of new Titanium BedBugs finished! This is an updated design that I have been thinking about for several years but couldn't quite figure out how I wanted to do it. At 2.5 inches long including the bit, they are only 1/2 inch longer than the original BedBug design, but with the advantage that the bit is always instantly available for use. The hefty 3/16 thick titanium is the thickest stock that I can use in this type of captive bit design tool in order to hold onto the tool bit securely. Much thicker and the bit just flops around loosely in the slot.

It was a challenge to get it all working the way I wanted it to but after considerable trial and error I finally dialed it in. These little guys work exactly as I had envisioned. The bit has some flex to it so is able to reach into places that a conventional screwdriver could not reach while still delivering plenty of torque. If more torque is desired then it is easy to remove the bit and place it perpendicularly in the rear of the bit slot which now has a hex shaped end for the bit to nestle into. All bit slots in any future captive bit tools will probably have this nifty new feature which allows for the elimination of a separate dedicated 1/4 hex opening. 

Obviously one of the big advantages to my o-ring based captive bit design is the interchangeable bit aspect. With this new configuration though only a narrow neck shaped bit will fit. Most #1 phillips bits will fit but I found that manufacturers can vary quite a lot. So some bits are too thick to fit through the neck slot area, especially if they are #2 or larger. I was able to find some slim neck Irwin #2 phillips bits that fit though and that's what I will supply with these. If you were to lose the bit however, most hardware stores will have a #1 replacement readily available that will fit.

Other features to these new BedBugs include a rear screwdriver/pry tip. So I kind of combined the old BugBite concept with the original BedBug to come up with this hybrid multi function tool. I needed a lanyard opening as well of course, and a plain round hole wasn't quite exciting enough, nor was an O2 wrench. A hex opening seemed like a good choice that would be in harmony with the overall design. Then I realized that by increasing the hex to a larger 7/16 size and flaring the sides to create a subtle "wings" shape it would give you a little more leverage for turning the bit. The difference seems rather small on paper but it was actually huge in effect. An aggressive edge grip texture finishes the design nicely.

So anyway, there you have it. These Basic BedBugs will run $60 plus shipping and it will be a two per customer limit on them. There are a couple of lefties among them too. I have a second batch with extra grinds and stamps that are in the finish tumbler now so they will be coming later this week...also coming very shortly are Zr and copper mini 5 flute beads. Thanks for your endless patience everyone and hope your spring has been warmer and sunnier than ours so far! 


Sold out for today, more coming soon, thank you!










Friday, March 30, 2018

Spring Updates

Hi Everybody,

Happy Spring! We're still due for a few more weeks of cold weather up here in New England, but the overall trend is starting to warm up. We keep hearing rumors that there is a large yellow ball up in the sky which gives us light and warmth...maybe we will even get to see it someday, haha.

Well, it's been mighty slow going around here lately. Many delays and little setbacks but things are slowly starting to come around. One of the great things about a slow production period is that it gives me time to work on new drawings. I'm happy to report that I have some awesome new stuff in the works, some of which is already underway.

So, coming Spring 2018:

3v steel Metric Crawdaddies (finally!)



CPM 154 RingBabies


17-4ph SS HangMan



Also, a brand new Count Sporkula design is finalized and about to be cut, steel R37 Rulers are on deck for milling, ti Small Fry tools without opener also now ready for milling. New beads including copper, white delrin and Zr mini 5 flute beads are actually running this week so are coming very soon.

And finally, a double batch of new ti BedBugs are also about to be milled and will be on the way in a week or two:

 





Have a great Easter weekend everyone and stay tuned!




Friday, March 09, 2018

Tellurium Copper Multi Grips

Hi Folks,

Another frosty day out there today but the heavy wet snow we got yesterday won't be around for long hopefully. Spring really is right around the corner and daylight savings time starts this weekend. Time is flying!

Not too much to report as far as updates go. I'm hoping maybe to get started on the grinding and finish work of the new BedBugs next week. If not those then some other tools...We'll see how it goes but no doubt I will be spending several days next week making metal dust.

Today I have a batch of tellurium copper Multi Grip beads finished. The hour glass shape and rifle knurling on these makes them a great choice for zipper pulls on jackets and bags, as well as lanyard beads for knives and flashlights. The copper will develop a rich patina over time.

Copper Multi Grips will run $30 plus shipping and the link for them is below. Thank you as always for stopping by today and have a great weekend everyone!

Sold out, thank you so much!



Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Titanium SeedNeedles

Hi Everyone,

It's a damp and dark day here today with what could be a sizable early March snowstorm bearing down on us. We're supposed to get up to a foot of wet heavy snow over the next 24 hours so there will be a mess to clean up tomorrow. At least this time of year it doesn't tend to hang around too long, and truth be told, we really need it as the relatively light snow fall this winter might be setting us up for a bit of drought in the spring. We'll see what happens.

Speaking of spring...my absolute favorite time of year! This year I will be planting a variety of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, lettuces and other vegetables. It's actually time to start some seeds right now and continue throughout the next month so I can get an early start on the gardens. Planning ahead is important for successful gardens and that's what got me thinking last fall about making a small batch of today's nifty tool, the sleek and elegant SeedNeedle.

The SeedNeedle is a mini planting tool for planting seeds consistently at their recommended depths. It's loosely based on a very ancient tool, the dibble or dibber as they are sometimes called, which are traditionally made of wood and often have scribed depth lines. My pocket sized version is made of titanium and features a deeply milled 2 inch depth scale with 1/4 inch increments on one side and a 5cm depth gauge on the reverse side.

The SeedNeedles are all further embellished with my huge collection of antique and contemporary blacksmith stamps, especially those with botanical or nature themes of which there are many. The tools have been anodized and then most of the anodized color removed except for the measuring lines and marks. The final finishing allows the tool to be used freely without worrying about messing up the anodizing. Although these are designed with seed planting in mind you can certainly use them for estimating the depth of anything shallow or simply as a quick and handy measuring tool.

SeedNeedles will run $65 plus shipping and there is a limit of two on them please. Happy gardening this year!

All gone for now, thank you as always!









Thursday, March 01, 2018

Stainless Steel Mini 5 Flutes

Hi Folks,

It's another lovely day here in what has been a stellar week of relative warmth and sun for this time of year. We still have a little snow and ice in our yard but everywhere else it's mostly gone for now. Will we have an early spring? Could be...

Well I don't have any more progress updates since the other day. I generally don't get much done in the shop if I'm doing sales, so it's kind of a "one or the other" situation. I did want to mention those steel R37 rulers though, they are still in the works and coming this spring. Also titanium KingPins will be coming with stamped heads once I get around to grinding the pins and assembling them.

Well today I have the last batch of Mini 5 Flute beads done. These are 303 stainless steel with a smooth bright tumbled finish on them. They have a satisfying weight to them and a soft feel in the hand.

After the last bead sale a few folks asked about white Delrin Mini 5 Flutes...I will make a small batch next time I run beads, which will probably be this spring. I also want to do a few tellurium copper beads and perhaps Zr as well. In addition, I am mulling a bead related project and will certainly let you know if it works out.

The stainless Mini 5 Flutes will run $30 plus shipping and I will put a limit of 4 on them please... Link to purchase is below and I hope your week is going great so far. It's almost the weekend!


Stainless are sold out, thank so much everyone!




Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Small Fry

Hi Everyone,

We've been having some freaky weather here these past two weeks. It's been in the 50's for a couple of days and will continue with warm temps for much of this week. The snow piles are rapidly disappearing and everywhere you go people have big smiles on their faces. I'll certainly take it but would not be surprised to see a big snow storm next week.

I have some updates for you today. There is a super cool little project called the SeedNeedle Planting Stick underway and those are nearly ready to go, just in time for spring gardening season. Also underway are new titanium BedBugs and the first of those should be completed in a couple of weeks. A newly designed steel Prybaby project is scheduled for cutting next week. Steel metric Crawdaddies are now sitting next to the grinder, so I have run out of excuses and will be making myself finish up the prep work and figure out what I want to do for grinding on those very shortly, but they are still weeks and weeks away from completion.

Also, the stainless mini 5 flute beads are finished and I will be tying up strings this week for them. There are two or three other projects going on as well so plenty of nifty new items are coming to keep us all amused this spring!

Today I have the textured titanium Small Fry tools done. These are very fun and I have been testing one daily for the past couple of weeks. The tool is small, only 2.5 inches in length, but very stocky at .210 in thickness, so just under 1/4" thick. Features include a 7/16 12 point wrench, broad pry tip, 5/16 wrench/cap lifter and StepSide grips. The angled corner on the pry tip has a small bevel grind which, although not particular sharp, is just pointy enough to use as a quick access tape popper on shipping boxes. A second wave of slightly different Small Fry tools without cap lifter is also already cut and underway, to be completed in the month ahead.

The Small Fries are plain finished without color anodizing. I figure people don't want to be wiping sticky glue off of the colored ones if they get used for box duty. If there is a big call for them I may make a few steel ones down the road as well, we shall see...also, forgot to mention, the grinds vary a bit on these and there are a few lefties too.

So these Small Fry tools will run $65 plus shipping and it's a sizable batch so I will make it a two per customer limit on them please. As always, I thank you very much for dropping by today and hope you have a great week ahead!

These are completely sold out, thank you!


Friday, February 16, 2018

Black Delrin Mini 5 Flutes

Howdy All,

It's a gray and gloomy one here today and it looks like we have some "weather" headed our way. But predictions are for two days next week hitting 65 degrees which would be amazing for this time of year. I'll definitely take it.

Well, there's some good news on the project front...the first wave of Small Fry tools are almost done so I will have those coming up very soon. Also a titanium measuring tool project is nearing completion. And I spent some time this week working on the nifty new ti BedBugs and so those will be coming up in the next couple of weeks as well. Progress! 

Today I have the Mini 5 Flute beads in Black Delrin finished. These are great for those times when you want something very light in weight and stealthy, permanent black in color. It's also nice to be able to toss a fine pocket knife or flashlight in your pocket and not worry that a metal bead might scratch up the nice finish.

Anyhow, the Black Delrin mini 5 Flutes will run $30 plus shipping and the link to purchase is below. The batch is fairly modest in size but I will limit it to four per customer please, and it is possible I might do another small round of these next bead run. Thanks for stopping by today, as always, and hope you all have a great weekend.

Sold Out, thank you so much!





 


Monday, February 12, 2018

Zirconium Mini Triangles

Hi Everyone,

Well, it's a dark and chilly day out there today. Typical gloomy February weather but we're supposed to see some intermittent sunshine and a bit warmer temps coming up this week. I'm looking forward to seeing some of this snow and ice melting!

Well, things have been slowly coming along these past two weeks. Much grinding has been happening and there is a big pile of worn out belts sitting down in the shop right now. I put a huge effort into prepping out some new batches of tools and many are awaiting milling this week. There have been some delays with milling the various ruler projects due to this horrific flu illness that is going around...my best wishes and hopes for speedy recoveries to everyone who has been sick.

Anyway, at some point we will be seeing some steel rulers and a nifty new ti measuring tool. Also in the works is that cute little Small Fry tool in titanium that I had posted a drawing of last month. And there is a second related version of the Small Fry coming that lacks the cap lifter and includes a V notch.

The past two weeks has been a very creative period for me and I'm happy to announce that out of the various drawings I selected an updated BedBug tool which will be coming very soon. I'm quite excited about this little guy as it will bring some interesting new design directions to the table.

Also on the way are the remaining batches of Mini 5 Flute beads and I am looking at some possible bead related designs as well. Fun stuff ahead for 2018!

Well today I finally have the long awaited Zirconium Mini Bermuda Triangles finished. These are similar to the previous version but I decided to give them a hexi edge design for great grip. They are slightly thicker than previous Mini Triangles so that meant that I had to make the pry bevel a bit higher in order to maintain a usable geometry. As a consequence there was no room for a name stamp on the front side of the tool, so I elected to put it on the back side instead. There is very little real estate on these so I did not make any tools with my decorative stamps. However, there is a wide variety of extra grinds on them!

The only bummer on these is that the center reamer was a little worn and so the 3/8 opening is just a tad loose for the spin cores resulting in a slip fit rather than a press fit. So if you are looking to use one of the MD Engineering spin cores (tall ones only due to the thickness, available from MD Engineering website) for these they will have to be glued in place. No biggie though, I used a super tiny wipe of Gorilla Glue applied with a q-tip on the example below, set it on the heater to dry for a few hours and it was a very easy install. The key is to use a very very very thin wipe of glue, let it set up for a few minutes to get tacky, slide the bearing in carefully and center it. After it is dried then you can use an exacto blade to remove any excess glue that was pushed forward by the bearing, then screw the button ends back on. Don't try to shove the whole assembly in there or you will simply glue the whole thing in place and it won't spin.

The Zr Mini Bermuda Triangles will run $65 each plus shipping. The batch is generous in size so it will be a limit of two per customer on them please. Thanks so much for stopping by today and I hope you all are washing your hands frequently and staying healthy this winter! 

Sold Out for now, few more coming shortly, thank you so much!




 












Friday, January 26, 2018

Red Mini 5 Flute Beads!

Happy Friday Folks!

I don't know about you all but I'm certainly looking forward to the weekend. We're supposed to have some reasonable temperatures and no precipitation so that will be very nice indeed.

I've started to get some stuff done these past few days. I need to take several days next week however to grind some tools and get those projects moving along, so I might go quiet for a few days. But stuff is starting to happen finally. If I can just buckle myself down and spend a few productive days in the shop (in front of the grinder!) it will set up a great month ahead.

Well today I have some more Mini 5 Flute beads for you. These are aluminum with a slightly matte finish and they are anodized a deep dark red. Absolutely stunning. I can never resist red myself...it's one of those amazing colors that can go with almost anything and is very satisfying, like a beautiful ripe fruit.

Anyhow, the Red Aluminum Mini 5 Flutes will run $30 each plus shipping. It's not a super huge batch so I will make it a limit of 4 per customer please. Thanks as always for dropping by and I hope you have a nice relaxing weekend ahead.

All gone for today, thank you!



Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Postal Rate Increases 2018

Surprise surprise, the US Post Office raised it's rates this week with nary a word of warning...Grrrrr. 

US Priority Mail will now be $6.55 for a flat rate envelope and $7.05 for small flat rate box.

Internationally, First Class Package is the only allowable option to send merchandise in a cost effective way. Paypal software now rejects anything besides documents for regular First Class Mail which is how I have been shipping for the past year.

New Rates:
 
Canada First Class Mail Package $10
International First Class Mail Package $14

I don't even know what Priority Mail International will run but I suspect they tacked on a lot of money. It's at least $30 to Asia and probably a lot more elsewhere.

My ancient shopping cart software is primitive and I'm not about to ask Jenny to change it right now... I am making multiple item orders flat rate by adding only $.01 to additional items so hopefully that helps.

Anyhow, that's the story. I'm doing the best I can, thanks everyone! 

Anodized Ti Mini 5 Flutes

Hi Everyone!

Winter continues here in the northeast but at least we're catching a break this week with some more moderate and normal temperatures finally. My driveway is actually ice free this morning for the first time in a week and we are looking forward to a bit more thawing in the days ahead.

Not much to report on projects at the moment. I have been busy working on beads these past few days and can only do one thing at a time...

Today I have a sizable batch of titanium Mini 5 Flute beads done. These are anodized in a wide variety of solid and also multi colors.

I did release these same beads already in plain finish several months ago and so this batch is the newly finished anodized ones. I know some folks prefer them without coloring and so I left a portion of the batch plain. If you need plain ones just drop me an email and I will do my best to hook you up.

As I said, it's a good sized batch and there is no number limit on them. They will run the usual $30 plus flat rate shipping. Thanks for stopping by today and hope your week is going great!


Sold out for today, thanks again folks!



 

Friday, January 19, 2018

Bronze Mini 5 Flutes

Hi Folks,

Happy Friday! It's still very wintery here with snow stubbornly clinging to the trees and a good foot or more of white stuff on the ground. Hopefully we will get some slightly more moderate temperatures for the next few weeks though as that last cold spell was positively brutal.

I don't know what it is about this time of year but for some reason it's always good for coming up with new ideas. I've had a few new ones lately and hopefully at least two or three of those will actually pan out. A little more research is in order I think and every year I buy tons of product samples, materials and various supplies in order to explore and test the possibilities.

The fun thing about making drawings is that I might sit down with one idea in mind but then the hours slip by. I might make 4 or 5 versions before finally ending up with something completely different from the original idea. And if I do come up with something that I like I will usually print it out and set it aside. Then the next day or two might see considerable revisions as I continue to think about the tool and make small tweaks to it. One thing I have learned though is that no matter how much I might be smitten with the first versions, they usually look crude to me by the time I settle on the final version. It's often very subtle stuff.

Example: Working name Small Fry but I might end up calling it a Clawbaby, we'll see.

Version 1 which sat for two days: 

Version 2- Final this morning:




Anyhow, today I have the remaining Bronze Mini 5 Flute Lanslides finished. These have a rich chocolate colored patina started on them already and the highlights will continue to develop the more they are handled. Probably my personal favorite bead material of all as I love the warm coppery tone of the bronze.

The Mini 5 Flutes are $30 plus flat rate shipping and there is no limit on quantity. Thanks so much everyone and hope you all have a great weekend ahead!


All gone, thanks again everyone!






Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Bubble Glow Game Coins

Hi Folks,

Happy New Year to you all! Wishing everyone the very best for 2018.

I'm sorry I've been so scarce lately but the whole family has been sick for the past three weeks with the nasty flu that's going around, and we're STILL not completely over with it yet. Crazy how this thing lingers forever, and countless people around here seem to have it also. And yes, I did get the flu shot this year, but to no avail...Anyhow, it's made for a very slow start to the year for me. I'm just now starting to get my energy back and have been fiddling around in the shop over these past few days. So hopefully I can put the coughing, snorfing and hacking behind me and start to get things rolling again now. Sheesh! :)

There is much on the schedule ahead for this winter. I wasn't able to finish everything I had going last year so a ton of projects are spilling into the new year. I still have a few Spin Coin variations to finish. Also several versions of the mini 5 flute beads including anodized titanium, bronze, red aluminum, black delrin and stainless steel. So those are all coming over the next couple of weeks as well as the Zr Mini Triangles which are sitting on the bench waiting for me to do the grinding and finish work.

For steel tools, the long promised metric 3v Crawdaddies remain in progress, hopefully heading for completion later this winter. Another tool that has already been cut, surface ground and is waiting for me to start working on them are some nifty steel R37 rulers with pry tips!

There is a brand new titanium tool on the drawing board and that one is a definite go. A simple and elegant item designed primarily for gardeners, it will also have some crossover appeal as well. A freshly designed new mini pry tool in ti or steel is also pending and I will be cutting a small batch soon.

More KingPins are coming. I have titanium ones started and the heads are already stamped with decorative stamps. I do not have the pins ground yet though so they will be a little while before I can finish them. Also, I will be making copper KingPins with stamped heads but they may prove a bit trickier as the stamping needs to happen after mounting the pins so as not to collapse the pinhole.

There are several other previously mentioned projects underway that need to be finished including TightWads and PieceMakers. I'm really going to make an effort to get these done this year. More info on them once I have cleared the decks a bit.

Well today I have a few more Antique Brass Spin Coins with Glow Centers done. These are Game Coins, and on this group I decided to do them with my slow drying glue that makes the bubbles underneath the glass. Many people expressed a preference for this cool 3d bubble effect so I did up a few dozen more of them over the holidays.

Bubble Game Coins will run $90 plus shipping and the link is below. Thanks for stopping by today everyone and I hope you all are staying warm and healthy this winter!

All gone, thank you so much everyone!