Wednesday, June 29, 2016

SportWrench #4: The Prying Game

Hi Everyone,

We're having some nice warm weather here this week, but we could really use some of that rain they're getting down south. The drought is making my lawn look a little more like it does in August than what we normally see in June. Too bad the humidity has finally arrived though to spoil the comfortable evenings...

Well, much has been happening here lately and as usual numerous projects are underway. I have another batch of the Ragman hooks coming up later this week... I just sent a large batch of CPM 154 steel Tombstones to heat treat yesterday so look for those in about two weeks...and I'm about to start the grinding on a big batch of 3v steel P12 Mini Prybabies. Also there is a sizable batch of K3 Keytons in krinkle textured titanium that is well underway for mid to late July.

And that's just the tools. Also coming is the next round of Multi Grip beads and then a new bead design later this summer. Also, small tool fans rejoice because another tiny gem, the Bermuda Mini, in both steel and ti versions will be coming in July.

Today I have finished the fourth design in the ever evolving SportWrench series. This wearable wrist tool features a small 1/4-1/2" SAE wrench set, a dedicated 1/4" hex opening, oxygen wrench opening, and a 5/16 open wrench which doubles as a cap lifter. And, at the 3 o'clock position, where you would expect to see a watch crown , there is a large pry tip/screwdriver. On this model I angled the lugs a bit to make the tool more streamlined and give it an alternate look.

I know I will be asked this question so I will address it now. No, the pry tip does not dig into the back of my hand or my wrist. I have been wearing one of these for two months totally without issue. Now, if you wear your watch on your left wrist and you wear it close to your hand and the band is usually tight so that a normal watch crowns dig into your hand then yes, you may experience that with this tool. However, I recommend wearing it looser so that it is further back on your wrist and there will be no problem. Or wear it on your dominant hand like I usually do. Or, turn the tool "upside down" in the "Destro" style and that also will eliminate any possible issue.    

The SportWrenches #4 with pry tip will run $115 plus shipping and the link to purchase is below. It's a one per customer limit on them again, but this batch is a bit larger than the previous ones so I have more available this time. Thanks again for stopping by today and stay cool this week wherever you are!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Ultralight Titanium Shutterbugs

Happy Friday Everyone!

Well, we're gearing up for a busy and warm weekend here in western MA. Thought I would slip one more little sale in before I turn my attention elsewhere for a couple of days.

Here's a little tool for you that is well suited to warmer weather, when you might feel like traveling a little lighter. The Ultralight Titanium Shutterbugs have the identical footprint to their steel counterparts that I released last year. But they are a simple flat tool, made of .060 thick titanium with a well tumbled finish. These are non anodized users. Even relatively thin, they're still plenty strong enough to open a paint can, carry a 1/4 hex tool bit, thin enough to fit a coin slot battery cover, perform simple scraping tasks and pop a beer. And they are truly feather light.

Ultralight Shutterbugs will run $60 plus shipping and the link to purchase is below. One per customer on them as usual. Thanks again and have a fantastic weekend ahead folks!

These are gone for today, thanks again everyone!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Polished Ragman!

Howdy Folks and Happy Independence Day Weekend!

Thanks to everyone for the very kind words lately about all my recent creations, it's much appreciated.

Spooky cool weather yesterday, reminded me of's going to get pretty hot this week though. Still not more than a drop of rain lately and everything is looking a little parched outside.

Today I have the remaining plain krinkle textured titanium Ragman tools done. These have a bright, slightly polished finish to them and they feel buttery smooth. I think this is my favorite batch yet and I'll be exploring this new finish a lot more and not just on ti tools.

The Ragman is great to carry a rag, pocket hanky or wiping cloth. Or if you just want to use them on your key ring, they are terrific for getting your keys off the bottom of your pocket. Makes a key ring so much more comfortable for EDC, especially with the way you guys load them up! :)

The plain Ragman hooks plus included Atwood Rag will run $60 plus shipping and the link is below. Thanks again everyone and have a super relaxing rest of the weekend!

Gone for now, thanks everyone!

Monday, June 13, 2016


Hiya Folks,

Gosh, another gray and gloomy day here in western MA. It's a weird spring for sure...

Well, whatever else you might say about me, I have not been resting on my laurels lately! This is what happens when I start dozens of projects in the spring, they all have to be finished. And some of these things have been sitting since last year even, so I'm making a big push to try to get some things done. Then who knows, maybe I'll take some days off when the hot weather gets here...IF the hot weather ever gets here that is...

Today I have the first wave of titanium Ragmen completed. These are all anodized and I have some left over which I will put up later this week in plain finish. I have to give kudos to Tom Krein as he is the first one I saw do a printed shop rag which I thought was a terrific idea. My understanding is a few other makers have put out their own printed rags.... I wanted to do something printed as well, not necessarily a rag but something or other...recently, while wrenching on my antique Harley and musing on a recent sale, it suddenly came to me. I will not reveal what is on the rag, you'll have to see it for yourselves, but I thought it was kinda funny and I think diehard Toolbookers will appreciate it. ;)

Obviously, this tool can be used like the first two tools in the series, the Hangmen. Use it on your keys, or slip it on a belt loop and hang your shop rag, polishing cloth or whatever you want through the large hole. 

Anyhow, the Ragmen are anodized in a wide variety of solid colors and color combos, my usual bright finishes. I'll send you whatever I send you but they are all lovely I think. Ragmen will run $60 plus shipping and the link is below. Hope your week is starting off great!

Anodized ones are gone for today, plains coming up in a few days. Thank you VERY much everyone! :)




Sunday, June 12, 2016

Plain SportWrulers

Hi Everyone,

Well, how about a little evening sale for once?

I have a couple dozen of the SportWrench #3s left, the plain version of the ones I put up yesterday. They look great without anodizing too... :)

These plain ones will run $110 plus shipping and the link, as always, is right below. Have a great evening folks and stay tuned, I have more cool stuff coming this week.

Plain ones are gone, thanks once again, much appreciated!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

#3: SportWrench Rules!

Hi Everyone,

Crazy week here so I'm just finally getting a chance to squeeze another sale in. The weather is threatening to thunderstorm this afternoon so I figure it's now or never before I need to unplug the computer...

Today I have ready the third version of the SportWrench series. These have a deeply milled 1 inch ruler scale on them and I have elected to do the first wave of them with a fancy two tone Contrast Anodizing. There have a variety of colors but mostly rainbows, UV and blue... also a few gold ones in the mix. The idea here was to make a strong contrast with the ruler scale if possible and also to make some unique pieces...not that the tool isn't already unique enough as it is, but I know how you guys think. :)

 The batch is tiny and I cannot do color requests, I will send you what I send you, but rest assured these are all spectacular!

These ruler SportWrenches are a bit more expensive to make and much more time consuming especially for these fancy two tone ones, so they will run a bit more than the first two in the series. These Contrast Anodized tools are $125 plus shipping and it's obviously a strict one per customer sale. The purchase link is below...thank you as always for stopping in and I hope you are having a great weekend!

Anodized are gone! Thank you very much folks, really appreciated!

Sunday, June 05, 2016

SportWrench #2: The Metrics

Hi Folks,

Thank you for the enormous and enthusiastic response to the initial batch of SAE SportWrenches! They are indeed a very cool item and I have quite a few ideas for more innovations with them down the road.

There are two more variations coming up over the next week or two. SportWrench #3 has the SAE wrench set but will lose the 1/4" hex and O2 wrenches and instead feature a deeply milled 1 inch ruler scale along the right side edge. I am toying with finishes on them and may decide to make most of those with fancy anodized colors. We'll see how they shape up as I start finishing them...

SportWrench #4 is another SAE version very similar to SW #1 but will feature a slightly different lug shape and has an additional large Pry Tip at the 3 o'clock "crown" location. Still working on them and waiting on the straps which will be arriving in about a week or so.

Anyway, today I have SportWrench #2, the metric version finished. These little beauties have a 8-12mm metric wrench set instead of the SAE wrench set. Otherwise they are identical to SportWrench #1 in the writeup below.

Once again, this is a tiny batch so one per customer on them...they will run $95 plus shipping and the link is below to order. As always, my huge thanks for stopping in and for your continued support for my crazy ideas and projects!

Metrics are gone, thank you everyone! :)


Friday, June 03, 2016

SportWrench #1

Hi Folks!

Even though the calendar says it's still spring we are definitely enjoying summer weather here in New England. It's all rather pleasant though and I would take a little heat and humidity over cold and snow any day.

Well, today I have a brand new item to present. This project actually started nearly a decade ago and over the years I have mulled it over in my mind many times. My early attempts were kind of clumsy and I was never satisfied with the product, nor could I see a way to make it happen. So it was one of those things that ended up on the back burner and I kept thinking that someday I would get it working. Well, that day has finally arrived!

First I should say that I am a watch guy. I have been involved with the hobby for many years and I adore mechanical wrist watches of many types, especially those from the many great German and Swiss makers. Being as obsessed as I am with them, I wanted to create a wearable tool that would feel comfortable on the wrist, offer a variety of simple functions, have an interesting fiddle factor and allow for simple personalization. I wanted a tool that would be more like a refined and easy wearing wrist watch rather than a bizarre mega bracelet for Conan the Barbarian or Amazonian Women from Venus. Of course such a tool also needs to look cool. Furthermore, as a diehard mechanical wristwatch fan, I am not going to stop wearing my favorite timepieces, therefore having a smaller and less obtrusive design means I can comfortably wear my SportWrench on my other, dominate wrist. This combination of conflicting factors and competing needs presents quite an interesting puzzle and it's been a lot of fun making an attempt at the challenge.

Today I have the first of the SportWrench series to offer you. The tool is relatively small, about 1.75" long by 1.2" wide. That translates to roughly 30mm wide by 45.5mm lug to lug for all you watch nerds.  The finished effect is very much like a thin tonneau shaped dress watch. 

The fixed bar style lug width is 22mm and you can endlessly personalize this tool with any standard 22mm Nato or Zulu style strap of which there are literally hundreds out there to choose from. I will provide a high quality nylon 3 ring Zulu style strap with your SportWrench, sourced from Europe. But if you go to Nato Strap Company, Worn and Wound, Crown and Buckle, Panatime, or any other of the great suppliers out there you can find other colors and styles to play around with if you wish to change up the look. And changing the look is half the fun of the hobby in my opinion, as changing straps is like getting a new pair of shoes for your watch.     

Anyhow, the SportWrench tools are made of my exclusive .200" thick Krinkle Texture Titanium so they have a bit of unique character built right into the material. Features include a 1/4 hex opening, a 1/4-1/2" SAE wrench set, an O2 wrench for medical/first responders, a cap lifter and dedicated 5/16" wrench. The cap lifter is short so there is not a tremendous amount of leverage, therefore it is a "two popper" rather than a single pop lifter. I do recommend removing the tool from your wrist before opening a beverage because otherwise you might cut yourself on a sharp bottle cap edge, ask me how I found that out!

A few words about nylon Zulu straps for the newbies...for years I couldn't seem to make them fit correctly on my wrist. But one day I started fiddling around and I discovered that there is a sweet spot on the strap. Once you find that, the watch (or tool) will feel just right. Suddenly even very large and surprisingly heavy watches can be a pleasure to wear and the whole package will look and feel perfectly balanced. With that in mind I have set these tools up so they are close to where they should be on the strap but you may need to nudge them along in one direction or another to find your personal sweet spot...easy to do as the ribbed texture on these straps allows for simple micro adjustment.

Also, you may find the strap to be slightly itchy to the underside of your wrist at first. When they make these straps the strips of material are cut off the roll with a hot knife, sewn with a tough nylon thread and the holes are laser drilled. Usually the itchy area is at the sewn or cutoff parts near the buckle end. If you spend a few minutes investigating with your finger you will always find a tiny sharp edge or stiff thread knot that is poking out and that is your culprit. Take a simple Bic lighter and, using the edge of the flame, very slowly and gently melt the offending sharp bit (it doesn't take much) and then immediately smooth it over with your finger. Or you can take a little sandpaper and smooth the sharp edge off but generally I find the flame smoothing method to be best. And don't worry, you won't burn your finger! Now, I have gone over most of these straps already so you don't have to but I mention it because you might find a few that need further touchup.

Oh yeah, SportWrench tools are completely waterproof to 12,000 meters, hehe...

The SportWrench tools will start at $95 plus shipping for these most basic ones. The batch is quite small so it's obviously going to be a one per customer sale please. Up the road I may have more complicated models and finishes and the prices will adjust accordingly...also, an 8-12mm metric version of this same configuration will be done in a day or two so you might want to keep that in mind if you are an international customer...thanks for stopping in today everyone and have a great weekend!

First wave is gone, metrics coming soon, thank you everyone! :)