First up today ...a video!
It's been a long time since I did any kind of video - so over the weekend I thought I'd do a "How It's Made" for the new CandyCan™.
The video is just machining (with some music thrown in for good measure) - none of me talking this time! 😀
Oh, and I don't show the tumbling/finishing process in this video - just the cnc-machining part.
Also, the CandyCan™ can be found for sale here (it will likely be sold out - but please do enter your name and email on the page to be notified before everyone else when I next have some available).
Very soon (as early as 24 hours from right now as I type this) the NEW Titanium Twist Pen will be launching on Kickstarter.
Die-hard fans have already been emailing me trying to find out exactly when the launch is - so, hopefully, this should be a somewhat popular project. If you're on my email list, then you will received an email when it goes live.
The thing about workshops is ...air is almost as important as electricity.
Not just any old air. But air that is ...clean ...dry ...and, of course, plentiful!
For the last year we've been struggling along with a very small air compressor that we were sure was going to give up any day. And, today, it finally gave up and died a semi-peaceful death (although it did make a weird metal clanging sound as as it passed away and started making it's journey to air compressor heaven).
Anyway, as a mind-boggling coincidence...
We were offered a good deal on a used compressor last Friday and we agreed to pick it up this morning ...and that was before our current compressor died. How amazing was that timing!
Here's the beast:
Never thought I'd be this excited about air! 😀
This compressor produces a LOT more volume that our previous one AND it's quieter to boot (oh, and it didn't cost near the $10k I thought we were going to have to spend initially). So, yeah, it's been a good day.
And I think that's all I have for you today. Thank you for reading. 🙂
A few things to share with you today...
First up - I'm going to be launching a new Titanium Pen at the start of this coming week.
I'm going to make the Kickstarter price quite a bit lower than the website price will be (I typically do this with projects because there is a wait for Backers ...plus I'm also making more in one go ...which can bring costs down).
The pen is a "Twist" action. The overall design is almost the same as the famous "click" pen - but the internals are completely different.
Here are some sneak-peak photos for you:
The internal mechanism for pushing out the refill is custom designed and made in-house (and is made out of titanium of course!).
I'll see if I can get more details/photos of the mechanism to you here on the blog again before launch day on Kickstarter next week. Stay tuned...
In my last email to you I launched the CandyCan™.
And get this...
They all sold out in under 7 minutes ...yes, 7 minutes. My mind was blown (and, actually, so was my email inbox ...with emails from people who had missed out on buying one).
Now, the problem is...
I only have so much machining capacity right now (couple of other projects being made on the cnc milling maching right now) ...and I only have so much titanium left.
I'm considering (and it's only a consideration at this point) doing some sort of crowdfund/pre-order thing for these CandyCans™.
The upside to this is that you will be able to guarantee you get your CandyCan™ (and within a reasonable timeframe).
The downside is that I will end up making more than a few dozen and will have to buy in new titanium sheet as soon as possible because I don't have much left in stock (and so this is what will cause a bit of a delay in production).
Truthfully, I'm really not sure what to do right now on them - so if you have any thoughts I am happy to listen to you on this. 🙂
(NOTE: In saying that, I am making some more right now as I type this. However, they are going to be offered to people who signed-up to the private notification list at the bottom of the main CandyCan™ page here.
Woohoo, after 11 years of wanting my "Holy Grail" leather bag...
(it was funded within a few minutes - which is kinda exciting)
It is now *LIVE* on Kickstarter. I talked a little about this bag a couple of blog posts ago.
The bag is a collaboration between Steph at Kohi Point (who does the leather pouches for my various titanium products) and myself.
Apart from the custom, minimalist design and the unbelievable high quality build of the bag - one of the most unique feature of the bag is the all-titanium hardware:
Here's a quick photo of production of the blade for the Flixx™ - Friction Folder Knife I'm making right now.
This is not the final colours of the blades - they ultimately end up with a brighter finish.
A lot of people who order from the website are surprised to discover their product is being shipping from New Zealand.
So, yeah, in case there is any confusion ...I live in New Zealand (moved here to be part of my son's life - he's 9 now). Everything is made in my workshop (or in my machinist's workshop depending on the product) from raw materials. We import everything here.
I live near the beach and right now, while everyone in the northern hemisphere seems to be fighting bitter cold, we're enjoying a very prolonged heat wave! 😀
(below is a photo outside my house near the beach - my son climbing on top of me - happy days...)
Okay, here's the Good News:
The Bad News:
They take a long time to make and I've only got 16 available right now (yeah, I know, we often do runs of hundreds on products) ...and so, unfortunately, only a lucky few are going to get in on this first run.
The Not-So-Bad News is that if you land on the CandyCan™ order page and it is sold out ...then I have set up an email sign-up where you can enter your firstname and email so you get priority notification when I make the next batch.
Very soon (within a week and possibly a few days) I'm going to be launching a brand new pen.
Yes, it will be Titanium.
Yes, it will be fully machined in house.
Yes, it will still be the usual minimalist design you've come to expect from me.
The design is similar to my previous (and somewhat famous) Titanium Click Pen - but now has a custom-designed twisting action to extend and retract the refill.
This new "Twist" pen will almost certainly be a Kickstarter project.
While we are able to use some of the previous components of the original Click Pen (i.e. the spring and tip) ...pretty much everything else is either newly developed or modified. So we really need to make a minimum number to make it worthwhile.
The good news about that is that I can make the Kickstarter prices lower then website prices - woohoo!
As you may remember...
We've been experimenting with different colours using the Cerakote process.
The above Orange + White was actually an accident. We were meant to make an orange knife and a white knife ...but there was a little mix-up and we ended up doing two left-side scales in orange and two right-side scales in white. Turned out pretty cool though!
We are not offering colours (yet!) ...but you can get the classic Flixx Friction Folder here.
Two blog posts in the same week - a new record! 🙂
Right, a few things today - let's get to it...
Have only done a small run and so do expect them to sell out fairly fast.
If you have ever missed out on a product I've offered on my website, then here's what I'm going to do to help you...
Instead of seeing just a "SOLD OUT" button on the product you're looking at ...you will see a box where you can enter your name and email.
This will put you on the PRIORITY list ...and YOU will be notified first when that product is back in stock.
I have not activated this yet - but should be setup next week.
In my last blog post I showed you the scales (handles) of the friction folder knife we make ...and the "little details" we put in.
That project has been going very well on the cnc-machining side (have been learning to maching products myself ...in addition to working with my machinist).
The next knife project I'm tackling is something I've been wanting to do for many years. You've probably already received an email from me about it already - but it never hurts to mention it again for blatant self-promotional reasons! 😀
The project is called "Project ZERO" ...and I call it a project as it's not just a high-end 'flipper' knife. We're going to take the knife from concept all the way through to 'Holy Grail' knife with photos, videos and blogs.
We've started experimenting with coating some of our titanium products with Cerakote®. This is a ceramic coating that we apply in house.
We've spent a very painful and frustrating 6 months learning this process. Actually, it has been Nathan here who has had the frustration and "learning experiences" (another phrase for 'failures').
Long story short:
The main issue Nathan faced was having tiny 'specks' or 'dots' on the surface of the parts. We tweaked everything from the gun settings all the way through to building a custom clear acrylic box (see below):
Eventually, we managed to fine tune the process and are now planning to offer some one-off titanium pens shortly.
Note sure when these will be released - but here's what I'm talking about:
So, yeah, fairly different from my famous "Matte" finish for sure.
Actually, we did some all black recently and they were hugely popular.
In my last blog post I show you part of the process of what goes into making the Flixx Friction Folder Knife.
What's interesting was that a flurry of sales for the Flixx came in from that - which was kind of cool if I'm being honest with you! 🙂
Some people are obviously interested in the progress of that knife - and so here are a couple more photos of the Flixx being made.
The "blanks" for the scales being water-jet cut:
The 3D CAD/CAM modelling for maching of the parts on the cnc machine:
Blade "blanks" (Nitro-V stainless steel used for these) setup and ready for machining - this will run for 5.5 hours without requiring anyone to be there:
Here is the CAM (that's Computer Aided Machining) for the inside of the scales:
And here's what the insides of the scales look like once they have been machined:
Wow! It’s been a LONG time since I last wrote a blog post.
But I’m doing one now …and that’s what matters, right? Cool.
I have a few things for you – so let’s crack into it…
I have a handful of these Titanium Salt and Peppers shakers left going for 50% OFF (they were almost $200 and now are only $99). They are in stock right now and ready to ship.
Click here to take check them out.
I have no plans to ever make these again (these are the last of them) – because we are focusing on different products now. My loss is your gain 🙂
In the next week or two I’m going to be doing my first ever collaboration.
If you’ve been following me for a while, then you’ll know we occasionally offer leather products in the form of pouches/cases for my various products (i.e. pen pouches, tweezer pouches, etc.).
I have had my friend Steph (her company is Kohi Point) do this over the last couple of years. She is highly skilled and professional and I have been working with her for a couple of years now.
Now, here’s the funny thing…
For around 11 years I’ve been looking for a particular style of leather bag (I know it was 11 years ago because I saw the style in Wellington, New Zealand when I first travelled there from Scotland).
In all these 11 years I have never been able to find one that was exactly the style I recall seeing (and I don’t even recall where exactly I saw the bag).
There were a few features I knew really made the bag close to perfect for me:
#1 – It was big enough to hold a standard A4 pad of paper …but no bigger (i.e. it is NOT a laptop bag)
#2 – There were no clips or magnets …just a large, simple flap that help itself closed with gravity
#3 – A clean and simple overall design
But here’s the crazy thing:
A few things have happened in the time I’ve been looking for this “holy grail” of bags.
Firstly, I’ve become somewhat proficient in designing things over the last few years – this has allowed me to design the bag I’ve always wanted.
Secondly, I have someone who can do high-end, custom leather work – and therefore bring my bag to life.
Thirdly, I’m “the titanium guy” …and so it is a no-brainer to design and make ALL the titanium “hardware” for my dream bag (which, to be honest, is incredibly exciting).
Okay, enough hype. Here’s the bag along with the custom-made titanium hardware:
Finally, after 11 years, not only is it the “holy grail” …but all the hardware is titanium to boot!
Here’s a shot of making the buckles for it:
Now, one more thing on the bag…
As far I am aware (and I could be wrong on this) no one out there seems to make high-end, hand-stitched leather bags with titanium hardware.
With this in mind — and the fact that I’ve had to design and make this specific bag because I could not find one in the 11 years I searched — my friend Steph and I are going to do a collaboration on Kickstarter for this bag with fully titanium hardware.
I’ll provide you with more details on this soon – but, hopefully, they should be launching in a week or two. Also, there will be at least two different colour options (possibly three). Oh, and we import the leather directly from Italy ourselves.
Designed this while I was driving to pick up my son last Friday (and did the cnc machining over the weekend):
It’s a small, square(ish) container designed to fit into that “little square pocket” everyone seems to have on their jeans or pants.
I’ve been carrying it for a few days and it’s working even better than I thought it would.
It is, of course, titanium and the lid is kept on with a pure friction-fit. I’ve been testing it to death (and by this I mean putting the lid on and off hundreds, possibly thousands, of times).
If there is enough interest in this, then I will make it (so, yeah, let me know in the comments!).
Also, the dimensions are around 43mm (1.7″) x 25mm (1.0″) internal length and width.
I think that’s all I have for you today (well, I do have a lot more… but I’ll try and get another blog post out to you later in the week – trying my best to start keeping you more updated!).
Oh, one more thing actually…
Take a look at this:
We’re currently in full production mode on the Flixx Knife.
The above photo shows some of the “hidden details” of the pocketing of the scales (handles) of the knife. Yeah, I know, I could have just left the inside plain because no one will ever see it – but it’s just one of those this I felt the need to make look good. Maybe I’m odd though 😀
We’re about to start shipping these in the next couple of weeks so if you want to grab yours then click here right now.
If you have any thoughts or comments, then fire away below (I WILL reply! :-D)
Yes, the rumours are true...
I'm just about to launch a NEW knife - here's a little video I just uploaded on it:
In the video above I mention a new website I've created specifically to launch this NEW knife. The website is: www.EpicMake.com
One more thing (before I get into some details on this knife):
The reason for mentioning this new EpicMake website is because I want to keep this knife separate to my main MagnusX.com website ...because I have a feeling I'll be making more knives.
Right, onto the good stuff...
The knife below is the final prototype of something I've been working on in the background for a little while.
I should be launching it on Kickstarter in the next day or so (yes, that soon!). The project has been approved by Kickstarter - and so I now just need to buckle down and put the project page together.
The knife is a friction folder and has some cool features - including:
Here's a little bit of the "behind the scenes" of the making of the knife (prototyping, etc.):
And that's all I have for you today I think.
This knife is something I personally wanted for myself ...and so, selfishly, it's made exactly how I want it (how arrogant is that! :-P).
In saying that, from past experience of other products I've designed, there is a good chance others will like this design also ...hence the Kickstarter launch for it. And, well, I've REALLY been wanting to make a folding knife for a long time now.
If you have any comments or such then fire away.
Some time ago (well, three years ago ago!) …there was some discussion on a blog post I did about a design for a secure titanium “storage cache”.
I called it the “Ti-Vault” (not sure if this is going to be the final name though). If you were around back then you may remember this photo (I also talked about this in August 2017 as well):
Now, truthfully… this is the third time I’m revisiting it and I’m planning not to disappoint you this time (which usually happened by letting myself get sidetracked by other projects).
So, what I’d like to ask you is…
If you are someone who would use this, then do you have a size preference(s)?
What I have already done is spent some time thinking and size-testing the Ti-Vault concept …and I’ve come up with a range of FOUR initial sizes which I think will cover the majority of uses (I think!).
Here are some photos of the final design (you can see the security “key” has changed since the original):
NOTE: These are crude mock-ups and the final design will be a little more refined
Now, here are the sizes I’m proposing:
Some important things for you:
#1 – The plan is that every model will be double-ended (unless my machinist has some solid reasons for not doing this). You will be able to open either end of the Vault this way …yes, I know, it seems a little redundant (but I have a couple of good reasons for it …which I’ll get into later)
#2 – The wall-thickness is going to be around 4 or 5mm thick (which for a small titanium container like this is a little overkill – but a little bit of over-engineering never hurt anyone :-P)
#3 – Oh, almost forgot one of the most important things… the Vault will be 100% water and air tight. It will use a standard Nitrile o-ring where the cap fits on to achieve this
I think that’s it.
Also, it’s not going to be cheap to produce these …because we’re starting with solid Grade 5 Titanium round bar …and machining it away to produce the Vault. And, of course, this is somewhat of a niche product – I am aware of this.
If the Vault is not your kind of thing – no problem (more products coming soon!)
If the Vault is your kind of thing …then what are your thoughts on sizes? What would you use? …or is there some other improvement you’re thinking of?
Open to anything and everything!
P.S. Remember… as the diameter of the design gets larger then the price will increase somewhat exponentially (because not only does the weight of the titanium we start with increase …but we have to spend even more time machining it away)
This is a long post (best to go and grab a coffee …or a beer).
In this update I’m going to show you some prototypes I’ve been working on …as well as talk a little about business and what’s been going on this last six months or so (and why you’ve not really been hearing from me!).
So, first up…
As you may know – I like to “pitch” stuff to you. I make no apologies for it. And, more often than not, I like to do it relatively shamelessly (but only because I believe in what I’m pitching 100%).
So before we start getting elbow-deep in prototypes and such …I’m going to highlight a Kickstarter project for you to check out. It’s my machinist’s latest titanium offering.
It launched a few days ago and is already massively overfunded (I knew it was going to do well – but it’s doing even better than I thought).
Here’s the kicker though…
Don’t tell anyone, but, because I’m registered with Kickstarter as a “Collaborator” on his project (i.e. I can make changes to the project page and such) I can see the behind-the-scenes dashboard. And the dashboard is telling me that a very high percentage of people pledging for his new, Fine Titanium Grater also backed his original grater project.
In other words, Backers were so blown-away by the original titanium cheese grater …they are absolutely jumping on board this new “fine” grating version.
Here’s what this new titanium grater looks like:
To check it out click here: http://kck.st/2JUrJOR
Again, full disclosure, I’m part of the manufacturing of this project. I will be doing the initial water-jet cutting as well as the final tumbling and surface finishing.
Okay, next up…
I’m going to reveal to you an incredibly crude prototype titanium letter opener.
Before I show you the photos – I’d like to reiterate that this letter opener is the result of me learning how to use my cnc-milling machine. All my products are designed by me …but I work with my machinist to bring them to life. This titanium letter opener prototype is entirely me though this time.
Here’s a couple of photos of it fresh off the cnc machine:
Out of interest… those six holes are how I hold the initial piece of titanium down.
Once the machining was done I then snapped-off the six fixing points and then hand-ground around the edges. Once this was done I then tumbled and the result was this:
Don’t look too closely at it because you’re going to see the various machining “issues”.
The main thing I was aiming for was to make sure it functions 100% (if you know me by now then you know I prioritise functionality above everything else …and only then start ensuring the aesthetics of the design is going to work).
Long story short, the design worked very well (although, truthfully, it could do with a little bit more of an edge).
Right now I’m waiting for more tools for the milling machine to arrive so I can continue with improving the machining of it – hopefully it will be ready in a few weeks.
Let’s talk business…
In the past I’ve usually been fairly frequent in my emails and blog posts to you (as well as updates to Kickstarter projects).
But, over the last six months (actually, it’s probably a lot longer than that), I all but disappeared.
Truthfully, it wasn’t intentional… it just sort happened. From what I can tell (doing a post-mortem of sorts) I think I just got a little overwhelmed by business and the projects I had taken on.
At one point I had five (yes, FIVE!) projects I had to fulfill and deliver to customers (this was a combination of three kickstarter projects, one website pre-order and a product for my machinist’s Kickstarter project). Totalling literally thousands of individual products to be tumbled, assembled and shipped.
The workload peaked late last year just before Nathan — my first full-time employee — came on board …and only now (this week) are we getting the last of those projects out the door.
Here’s the thing…
I don’t think it’s coincidence that, for the first time in months, we’ve finally caught up with the projects …and I’m also sitting here writing this long, detailed blog post about everything that’s currently going on (and really enjoying it too! :-P).
I can confirm there has been a LOT of stress and such (but not as much as you’d think perhaps). The real “killer” is that this is a manufacturing business with monthly expenses and having such a massive backlog of projects to fulfill stopped us producing any new projects …and the knock-on effect of that was no money coming into the business. Now that gets a little stressful for sure.
I might do a more in-depth post or video on this another day (if you’re interested of course) …but, for now, let’s just say I was a little “overwhelmed” for the last few months …but things are back on track now. Happy days. 😀
Now, coming soon…
Yes, it’s been some time since I launched a Kickstarter project – but the next one is not too far away.
The project is for a titanium carabiner. What makes this carabiner unique is, as you will see, the gate mechanism (some people may call this the “spring” or “lever”).
This design is one I initially prototyped a couple of years ago …but let myself get side-tracked by various other projects. In hindsight this is a good thing because the quality standards of what I produce has gone up since then (as well as my design skills to a degree). The result is something I’m fairly exciting to share with you if I’m honest.
Here’s a couple of photos:
There have been a bunch of very good titanium carabiners on Kickstarter over the last few years (I’ve backed most of them I think). And out of those there have been some very minimalist ones …with great aesthetics. However, of the ones I pledged for and received, almost all of these had a crazy amount of “side play” on the gate.
So while these carabiners looked like they would function well in a photo …the gate turned out not just to go forwards a backward …but also side-to-side …which is crazy because it compromises the entire functionality of the carabiner.
Long story short:
This new gate mechanism I’ve designed has no side-play whatsoever (oh and it’s buttery smooth too!).
Okay, enough of a “pitch” on that carabiner – I’ll let you know when it’s launched.
Earlier this year I designed and made my first product where I did the cnc-machining myself (this was the Tank Bottle Opener).
I’m bang in the middle of the production run of my second in-house cnc-project …the “Bruiser” Titanium Pry-bar.
Truth be told I’m actually taking a little bit of a hands-off approach to this one and having my employee Nathan tackle the production of this. He’s never done CNC before (but he does have experience with designing on CAD software …so, for Nathan, it’s now about learning to physically machine products).
Yes, I know, I barely know cnc-machining myself …yet here I am “teaching” someone else to do it. I only know a little more than Nathan ….and, hopefully, he’ll blaze past me in terms of knowledge and ability in the coming weeks and months (so I can focus more on designing and writing blogs posts like this! :-D).
Here’s the CAD progress we made today:
The red block above is the “fixture” that the prybar blanks will be fixed to for machining. As you can see we have simulated the prybars on there.
We made more progress than we thought we would get done today and managed to get some machining of the actual prybars done – here is a shot of the raw water-jet cut blanks:
And here are a couple of shots after the first machining operation (part of the outside has been machined as well as the keyring hole):
We’re hoping to have a lot of these Bruiser titanium prybars fully cnc-machined by the end of the week and shipped next week (they are on pre-order on the website and you can still get them here right now).
I think that’s all I have for you today.
Any comments or such? Then fire away below…
(Note: Recently the blog comments were not working – but you should be able to post fine now!)
I have two things for you today…
#1 – Recent Shipping Issues
If you’ve ordered from me within the last couple of months and you’re one of the few who have not received your order (or confirmation of it being shipped), then your package may possibly be lost (or possibly just really, REALLY slow) …and, of course, I will re-ship to you again.
I trialled a new shipping method for a while and it’s not reliable (mainly in terms of speed …but sometimes packages simply did not arrive). I am no longer using that method and have since gone back to using DHL Express (which continues to prove itself as fast and reliable).
Also, I am still somewhat behind on answering emails as my customer support person moved on and have been doing it myself again (but, if I’m honest, having a tough time keeping up with it while keeping the rest of the business running as well). Getting there slowly and steadily though.
If you’ve not contacted me yet (or if you have already contacted me and I’ve still not managed to get to your email …and you want to give me a “nudge”) – then you can contact me here.
(Also, if you’re a Backer of one of my Kickstarter projects and are still waiting for your shipment to arrive then also do contact me)
#2 – New, Heavy-Duty Titanium Pry-Bar
I’ve just put a new titanium pry-bar deign up on my online store here: https://store.magnusx.com/pages/bruiser
This new, chunky pry-bar is made entirely in-house – machined on our own CNC mill (which we’re trying to use more and more).
For more information head to this link here.
So a few things for you today…
In the next month or so I will be launching a new titanium project – which will likely be a set of tweezers. I’ll talk more about them soon …but, for now, I’ll just mention that they will be very “pocket friendly”.
Before I talk about the new spinner I’d like to mention the shipping of various products (well, the products/projects that are running late):
#1 – Titanium “Click” Pen from Kickstarter –> This will start shipping towards the end of this current week (all the shipping labels are now printed and it will take at least a few days to pack the 1000+ pens and pencils)
#2 – Titanium “Air” Spinner from Kickstarter –> Will start shipping out two days from now (again, the shipping labels are all printed and just the final packing to be done)
#3 – Titanium PillPots from Kickstarter –> These are now fully finished and will be starting to do final quality control and fitting o-rings next. We still have some lids to sand (because there was a problem with the cnc-process). A few more days and sanding will be done on those.
Oh, one more thing…
The ‘Ego’ Fidget Spinner project shipped a few weeks ago. Most people have been receiving theirs around the world – and I think it will be another week or two until pretty much everyone has received theirs. If you’ve not received it yet …then please give it a little longer. Thank you.
Now, I’m going to be honest here (as I always am)…
Part of the reason for launching a pre-order for another titanium fidget spinner is purely demand from previous customers of the ‘Ego’ fidget spinner.
As you know, this is a business (as well as being a way to design and make whatever crazy titanium product my heart so desires!), and so if I have a whole load of people demanding and pleading I make something …well, it just makes sound business sense to make it, right?
Take a quick look at this video from almost a year ago:
The spinner in the video above is the basis of the new spinner I’m about to launch …hopefully in the next 48 hours or so.
The spinner will be a pre-order (because I don’t have the titanium material on hand right now and, as you know, I have to import EVERYTHING here in New Zealand). The pre-order will allow me to gauge numbers better and, also, give you an “early bird” discount because I don’t have to hold these in stock (they will be made to order).
Here’s a couple of screenshots of the above spinner but further-developed and closer to what the final design will be:
Right, I think that’s all I have for you today.
If you have any thoughts or comments then please do fire away below.