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!


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Steel Mini Triangles!

Hi Everyone,

Man oh man, the calendar says spring but the thermometer begs to differ. It is very cold here today with a blustery bitter wind. I think this is one arm wrestling contest that sunny spring is bound to win sooner or later though and will send nasty old man winter packing.

Well, I apologize for the endless delays in getting to this sale, but I had urgent business to attend to, and the last two days were time extremely well spent. You will be happy to know that the upcoming Spin Coin project is well underway and parts are turning as I type. Endless tweaks have been made to the design and I am finally satisfied with the current version. Teaser pics coming very soon, and I should have the first completed pieces available by early next week. It's going to be a fun project and one that I am certainly looking forward to as well.

Forgot to mention...I am changing international shipping to first class. The cost for Priority Mail has gotten so ridiculous that it's just not worth it for lesser priced items. For certain sales in the future I may use Priority but it seems like first class is quite adequate for most stuff. We'll see how it works out. 

Coins are not the only thing spinning around here. I finally completed the 3v Steel Mini Triangles. These poor things have been sitting around on the bench completely neglected since they were cut about a year ago, and now I'm very glad that I procrastinated for so long. One of the Toolbook guys (thank you Maurice) suggested I drill these out to accept Scott McCoskery's nifty little spin buttons. The timing worked out perfectly and I was able to drill and ream them out before they went off to heat treat. The resulting tool are extremely fun indeed and I have been playing with them for several days now. Spinning is totally addictive as I am now finding!

OK, so the 3v steel Mini Triangles are already drilled to accept Scott 's 3/8" buttons. They are cool little tools on their own and make great pulls for a zipper, or can be worn on bead chain, etc. I will supply a small black clip for them. I have done a variety of grinds on these and I think they look very cool indeed.

The Triangles came back from heat treat with fantastic dark tempering colors which I of course elected to preserve rather than tumble or bead blast away. You can deepen this Instant Patina further by applying oil such as WD-40 or any other type of oil finish.


The Spinner buttons ARE NOT INCLUDED however. If you want a button for them you will have to purchase separately from Scott. It looks like he may be out of stock currently but he assures me that he is working like a madman to get more finished so they should be back in stock again shortly. The purchase link for the buttons is here:

Scott McCoskery's 3/8" Spinner Buttons 


Alrighty then, back to Mini Triangles...the 3v Steel Mini Triangles will run $55 plus shipping. The batch is large so I will put a limit of two on them. As always, I thank you for stopping by and hope your week is warmer than ours!

These are now all sold out! Thanks again everyone. 


Monday, March 13, 2017

Stainless Steel 5 Flutes!

Hi Everyone,

Hope you all had a great weekend. It was a good one here although a bit on the chilly side with overnight lows in the single digits. And we are forecast to have a blizzard tomorrow with 12 inches or more of snow, so more ugly winter lies ahead...

Not much to report on the project front was slow slow slow progress last week. We'll see how this week shapes up though.

Today I have the last wave of 5 flute beads done. These are made of 303 stainless steel with a long tumbled buttery smooth finish. This is the first time I've used stainless in a 5 flute bead and it's an attractive weighty material. Certainly a nice addition to the 5 flute lineup.

The Stainless 5 Flutes will run $30 plus shipping and the link to purchase is below. Thanks for stopping in today and have a great week.

Sold out for now, thank you so much!

Saturday, March 04, 2017

I'd Rather Be in Bermuda!

Hi Folks,

Wow, it's a bitter cold day here in New England. The thermometer only reads about 20 F but there is an icy wind that is making it very unpleasant to be outside for more than a few minutes. This cold snap will only be here for a couple days though and then thankfully it is supposed to be warming back up again next week.

Things have been moving along very nicely these past few days. The steel Mini Bermuda Triangles went out to heat treat so those will be done in about two weeks. And I made significant strides towards several new projects including something brand spanking new called the Disko...also I revived an older idea called the PieceMaker and those are well into production now. Details and teaser pics will be up on the Toolbook very soon. I have a feeling you all are going to be quite intrigued with the offerings as the year goes on.

Today I managed to get about half of the little Bermuda Beads done. These are plain finished and made of krinkle textured titanium. The rest of the batch will get anodizing over the next few days. The Bermuda Beads are the latest in my Tool Bead Series and I think they're pretty nifty. Tie them onto lanyards, clip them onto zippers, or string them onto bead chain and wear around the neck. Carry singly or stack them up with other beads, they offer versatility plus a cool new shape and can be used as a 1/4 inch thumb driver in a pinch.

The Bermuda Beads will run $30 each plus shipping and I'll make it a limit of 3 on this medium sized batch. The link to purchase is below. Have a great weekend everyone, and hope you are staying warm!

These are sold out for now, more coming soon. Thanks so much everyone! And just a note, paypal seems to be having notification issues today so might be slow to send out shipping emails. Thanks!


Friday, February 24, 2017

More Brass 5 Flutes

Hi Everyone,

Hope your week has been great and a big Happy Friday to you all! We're really having a treat here this week with temps near 60 degrees F which has got the snowbanks melting nicely. I'll be happy to see it off my roof so we don't end up with ice dams should it turn colder in the weeks ahead.

Much is going on this week. I have finalized some nifty new designs which I will reveal as soon as they actually are in production, but suffice to say that we are in for some really fun and VERY different stuff over this next month!

In other news, the 3v steel Mini Bermuda Triangles are bored out to accept Scott's cool spinner buttons. I will be grinding the finish bevels soon and finally getting them out to heat treat maybe next week. Also in the works are some titanium Bermuda Beads which I showed a teaser on the FB group recently and those are just about ready to go. More copper Multi Grips are finished and are coming soon too as well as stainless steel 5 Flutes.

Today I have the rest of the Brass 5 Flute beads done. Identical to the first batch a few weeks back, these have a lovely patina and are so very handy. I tie them onto zipper pulls on all my jackets and bags and of course most of my personal knives, tools and flashlights have various Lanslide beads tied on them.

The Brass 5 Flutes run $30 plus shipping and the link is below. Hope you all have a marvelous weekend and thank you for stopping by today!

Most of the brass are sold out, but more Lanslides coming next week! Thanks so much everyone. :)