Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Can Lightning Really Strike Twice? :D

Mwuaaahhahhhhaaa, you bet it can! How about a Round Two for the second half of the batch? Here are the rest of the lucky winners:

17 Joe
50 hax
66 MW
133 aricaric
140 Bryan Cooper
158 Jason S
162 Imnotascoolasu 
180 Toan Nguyen
187 MrCrypto
210 Mruhland31
220 Hamish
267 ag_nyc
273 Scott
330 brian
339 Richieyoo
378 poundtown
398 Brian
405 Glad I don\'t have a VW diesel.
423 DKirby 
434 Silverfox 
473 JB in SC
486 Glenn Batterley
502 KII
563 Bi bop boop beep boop

Thanks again everyone! And fear not, there will be one more project using Zr in the near future. ;)

And the Drum Roll Please...

Wow, remarkable turnout, thank you so much for all the interest everyone!

OK, here is the list of winning entries. Please check your email shortly for the purchase link and be sure to check your spam filter if you see your name here and do not get an email:

41 kylekthompson
44 MGlista21
52 TyFlyer21
84 hrbrt
101 AndrewWarm
110 Fuzillade
148 Joe Chang
178 Zirc bandit 
191 Feel the Bern
209 bburns09
256 Eskerbillion 
264 Brock
324 JohnnieBlade
342 Fnjimmy
346 Ted Reyes
364 roberthrose
368 Sandy
387 rhart00
407 aggie
413 GiveMeZircOrGiveMeDeath
509 jonnyfishstix
519 Dave Sloman
564 Trick carey
479 Murpharoo 

Thanks again folks! :)

Zirconium P15 Sign Up Sale!

Hi Everyone,

It's downright chilly this morning here in Massachusetts! It's getting to be time to put away the shorts and break out the light jackets. I always hate to see the summer go but I do enjoy the fall, at least the early part, before that dreadful white stuff arrives. And I wouldn't even mind a short visit of the white stuff except it always wants to overstay it's welcome. 

Today I have some truly exotic P15 Prybabies to offer you. These are made of 702 Zirconium! I was recently offered a small piece of this material so I could not resist trying a few tools with it. We go from 1/4 inch Roid thickness back to 1/8 inch Summer Weight on these but they are still way cool... The strength appears to be just fine for a light duty tool but I would use some common sense before taking a hammer to it or a "cheater" bar.

Zirconium is described in the literature as having a high affinity for oxygen and man oh man, is that ever the truth! Titanium is hardly easy to work with either but this Zr stuff is just plain nasty to grind. It requires very slow speeds and that is why I am so grateful to have a good speed controller on my KMG grinder as I can get it down to a crawl. Pre-milling the large bevel before finish grinding is a must to avoid conflagration. The sparks from titanium are very flammable too but this Zr is downright hazardous. You have to keep an eagle eye on the dust and keep the dust collection bucket flooded with water. But, once you are past that delicate stage it's not so bad with the rest of the finishing steps.

Speaking of finishes, I had a little fun with these...Anyone could have made them dull black by simply heating with a torch and rubbing them with oil. I decided to try a variety of techniques though to see what else I could come up with. Don't ask me to repeat it because I'm not exactly sure at this point what all I did but there were multiple steps involved including heat, electricity, tumbling, blasting and hand rubbing to arrive at what I think are some very unusual and subtle looks ranging from rusty warm browns to light color tones.

The Zirconium P15 Prybabies will run $125 each plus shipping and this is a Sign Up Sale, so one entry per customer please! I have 24 of these.

The SUSale will begin at 2PM eastern time and end one hour later at 3PM at which point I will sort through the entries and then randomly draw the winners. Good luck and as always, thank you so much for stopping by!

Woohoo! Sign up phase is over and I will go through the entries and announce the winners of the drawing shortly. Thanks everyone! :)

Entrant List

Sign Up Sale Rules, Please Read!


Friday, September 18, 2015

P15 Raw Bar Roids!

Hi Everyone,

Well, it's been another chaotic and hectic week here. I really need for things to settle down for a few days so I can relax for a change. Maybe I'll take a few days off in the next week or two and try to do something that is neither house renovation or business related. With any luck we should be getting some fall foliage pretty soon and that will provide a few good excuses for a mini vacation I'm sure.

There has been a lot going on here with projects. I'm almost done with the first wave of textured titanium Mini P15 Prybabies. These are going to be little gems and I'm trying to decide how I want to finish them. I may make some plain ones and then do some with anodizing, we shall see how they go... And I need to spend a couple of days grinding new steel tools so I can get more into the heat treat pipeline. I have more CPM 154 P15 Roid Prybabies (surface ground), Mini 3V Wedgies and Tombstones already prepped out and ready to grind, just gotta make the time to get them going.

Today I have a batch of P15 Roid Prybabies done. For this design I wanted to revisit one of my old favorites, the G5 Prybaby, and make some improvements. I gave these deeper hexi grips, added the deep sine wave style lower grip and increased the overall width of the tool slightly to give the whole package a beefier profile. I love the resulting shape and it feel terrific in the hand.

Did I mention these are beefy? They vary a little bit but most are close to 1/4" in thickness so are very heavy duty indeed! The steel is CPM 154 and features include my standard SAE 1/4- 9/16 wrench set, a heavy duty pry tip with deep V, cap lifter and secondary 3/8 wrench opening. (I do plan a brand new  metric version of this tool and the also related Mini version but I am not quite there yet. Once some of the current projects are moved out I can think about cutting new designs but my cutting quota is already exceeded for the year and my bean counter is already giving me a hard time... :D)

In my recent home improvement activities I did some extensive testing of all the tool versions in this series and the deeper V is very effective in staple and small nail pulling. The tool excels in paint can opening, trim and molding prying and all sorts of other tasks. And yes, a few beers did get opened as well.     

The P15 Roids have a light Raw Bar finish and there hints of color left in the crevices and corners that look a little like rust but are actually tempering colors that I left on the tools. Expect to see nicks, scrapes, gouges, pinholes, heat shadows, surface marks, dings, scratches, waves, bumps and numerous other minor irregularities resulting from the rollers at the mill as the hot sheet was rolled out. This is a double batch and for this first wave I wanted to give you the maximum Roid thickness possible so I cut two sheets of this material and sorted out the best looking ones for the Raw Bar Batch. The second half of the batch is already underway but those pieces had really rough surfaces so they were all surface ground, thus losing a little bit in thickness but gaining in smoother cosmetic appearance.

Incidentally I asked the mill a few years back about heavy Raw Bar textures. They were cagey and a little defensive when I was asking for rougher textured sheets. The reply I got was that they have been trying hard to produce smoother sheets for some time by changing out old rollers more frequently because no other makers want rough surfaces. Most makers have to sand it all off to get to the "good" steel you see and they get complaints sometimes since steel is sold by weight... So it figures that I'm the only "weirdo" who actually finds heavy texture a plus. :)

Anyhow, these Raw Bar Roid P15 Prybabies will run $85 plus shipping and the purchase link is below. Thanks so much for stopping by everyone and hope you all have a great weekend ahead!

P15 Roids are gone for now, thank you!



Saturday, September 12, 2015

Titanium Chilly Beans!

Hi Folks,

Even though we've had some very warm days recently you can feel a little bit of fall in the air today. Birds are starting to gather in small flocks and the trees are covered in tired looking green leaves that are still only just thinking about changing. Hard to believe we are only three weeks away from what is usually peak leaf season. 

Thanks for the enthusiastic response for the T-Wrex pry bars! I don't know when I might make more of them but hopefully another batch will be in the cards somewhere down the road. That is, if the mill makes more of the thick 3V sheets....I bought up the last two sheets available for the T-Wrex and the forthcoming Mini Wedgies. And speaking of the Wedgies, I haven't started grinding them yet but I will try to get them started in a week or two.

Today I have a micro batch of special Chilly Bean beads done. These are the same large 1 inch diameter as the stainless ones but these are made of anodized titanium. They range from solid colors to multi colored finishes, no plain ones in this batch at all. They are pretty darned cool looking. :)

The ti Chilly Beans will run $85 each plus shipping. This is a one time run and the batch is quite small so one per customer on them please. The order link is below. Thanks for stopping by and hope everyone has a great weekend planned ahead!

Ti Chilly Beans are gone! Thanks so much and have a great weekend folks!

Sunday, September 06, 2015


Hi Folks,

Perfect summer days right now here in the Northeast. I have been working my brains out, but not as much on tools as I would like...we just had some home renovations done this past week and so I have been prepping like mad for them. Practically the entire house was painted, furniture moved, etc. I'm exhausted now but at least the house is clean and has brand new carpet throughout. And I'm finally going to get some new home office furniture this coming Friday which will be great. 

Yup, the long awaited T-Wrex has finally arrived! These little beasties are tiny yet absolutely massive. The thickness is well over 1/4" and the steel is CPM 3V with a slightly lower Rockwell hardness and tempering optimized for toughness. 

The features include a large pry tip with nail notch, a 90 degree smaller secondary pry/screwdriver and a mini hammer or striking surface. A 1/4" hex/lanyard opening is also included as well as an alternate lanyard opening if you wanted to hang this tool on your over sized key ring or gear bag to form a T handle.

I have given this T-Wrex batch a really cool dark vintage finish and each one of them is hand rubbed and oiled. 3V is a tool steel so if you want to avoid surface rust keep them oiled or, be like me: abuse this tool relentlessly and embrace the patina. :)

I wish this batch was much larger but perhaps I will make another run at some point. At any rate, these will be one per customer and they will run $85 plus shipping. The link to order is right below, if sold out then the link will be gone.

Thanks for stopping by everyone and hope your Labor Day Weekend has been a great one!

T-Wrex is sold out, thank you so much everyone!