Do you remember the TiVault™ (Secure Titanium Storage Cache) I mentioned on the blog previously?
Well ...it's going to be made soon.
But, before I get into that, I'd like to take a minute to mention a Kickstarter project to you. My friend Steph from www.KohiPoint.com (she's the one who makes the various leather pouches for my products) ...has just launched another Kickstarter project.
It's a minimalist Slim Leather Wallet made from a single piece of leather (I think I might have given her the idea ...I honestly can't remember ...but I better not take credit in case it was actually her idea :-P).
I've been carrying this wallet for a couple of weeks now ...and it's been working damn well.
Althought, to be honest, I've not used the front pocket for paper-money because here in New Zealand not many people carry cash (it's pretty much all cards here). I've only used it for cards.
One more thing before we get to the TiVault™...
We have some (well, 9 to be precise) bead-blast finish Nerve™ Titanium Spinners available.
The reason we have them available is because they were colored either red, blue or black ...but the buttons were a slightly different tone ...which kind of bugged me to be honest.
So, long story short:
I've bead-blasted them so the bodies and buttons work well together in terms of looks.
Here's what they look like:
Like I said, I only have 9 available so I'm pretty sure they will sell fast (especially since I've knocked the price down to just $99).
Okay, so finally we can talk about the TiVault™!
The TiVault™ is 100% happening. The final prototype should be finished this coming Thursday/Friday.
We've almost finished the final "key" for the TiVault™. Just have the tumbling process to go and it's done (but I wanted to update you right now ...so I never waited until the tumbling was done :-D).
Here's some of the process of the making of the key...
The water-jet cut blank:
CNC milling of the water-jet blank into the part:
Before and after of the milling of the key.
The underside of the key (that triangle at the front "slots" into the the cap of the TiVault™).
The topside of the key:
So a couple of things about the "key:
#1 - I've designed it so it will fit onto your keychain along with your regular keys - it's 53mm (around 2") long.
#2 - I've given it a little bit more of a design "flair" than I typically do on products. Usually I keep things super-simple ...but, in this case, it's just come together really well.
Like I said, the final prototype of the main TiVault™ body + cap is being done right now ...and should be finished at the end of the week.
Now, the tricky bit...
I'm going to have to do a self-hosted crowdfund (or at least a pre-order) for the TiVault™ ...because, honestly, the material to make these is a tough one to carry in stock.
Not only is it fairly costly for the material ...but I don't make any other products with 2" diameter titanium bar - so I need to know exactly how much material to order to make these.
Luckily I have a couple of fairly fast and reliable suppliers for titanium round bar ...so, once the pre-order is done, then it only takes two to three weeks to get the bar (although, I think Christmas might extend this a bit).
One last (important) thing...
The window to order your TiVault™ will only be open for something like 48 or 72 hours - and then I will close it (probably until next year ...but, hey, maybe never again ...because that has happened with some products in the past).
The reason for limiting it is because I'm going to buy exactly the amount of 2" that is required - don't want to hold any extra in stock.
So, yeah, keep an eye out for an email in the next few days for the TiVault™. 🙂
I have THREE things for you today...
We've put together a bunch of special deals for BLACK FRIDAY for you.
Some of them will be pre-order ...but quite a lot of them are IN STOCK and will ship immediately.
I will warn you now that we have a whole page of discounted products (many of which we've not had in stock for a while) ...but there are only one or two of each of them on average.
Some people will be disappointed - and I am sorry in advance if you miss it. There is always next year (but I doubt that's much consolation to you :-/).
Man, this is something I've wanted to do for a long time!
In fact, I had a go at making some around 2.5 years ago (which I had just bought the CNC machine and was trying to get the hang of it).
I made a video of me trying (and FAILING!) to make them and put it on my YouTube channel. And, amazingly, if you Google "titanium dominoes", then my video is the first result to pop up ...and it's called "Domino DISASTER!" 🙂
Long story short...
The business has evolved since then. We've grown. We now have two CNC machines and two machinists.
And so I've finally been able to have another go at the dominoes - and they've turned out pretty cool.
Here's some photos of the making of them:
I'm going to offer these during the BLACK FRIDAY sale. While they will technically be a pre-order ...it's only because we're going to make them to order (so that will take a couple of days to do before shipping).
The plan is to offer them individually and you can choose the numbers (or "dots" more accurately) on each end. We will then machine your domino once the order is placed.
I might offer a whole set (undecided at this point) ...but, honestly, there is a lot of work in these (believe it or not there are two separate machining and tumbling sessions for each piece ...which results in something like 5 x CNC operations ...and 3 x tumbling cycles).
The reason I mention the work involved in them is because if a whole 28-piece set is offered, then it could very well be over a thousand dollars.
If you've been following me for a while (and I'm talking about 4 or 5 years here)...
...then you'll be familiar with the "TiVault".
The TiVault was a concept I initially talked about many years ago. It's essentially a titanium cylinder with an end-cap ...but the main feature is that the end-cap can only be opened with a special "key".
The reason I say it is "infamous" is because I've talked about a few times (and I get asked for it a lot) ...but I've never really taken the time to launch it.
The last iteration of the TiVault looked like this:
The reason this time is different...
I've actually made the final design and prototyping should (hopefully) start next week.
There is some "bad news":
I'm planning to keep it really simple and only offer one standard-sized TiVault. I'm not sure if I'll make other sizes in the future.
Here's what the current design looks like (just in terms of proportions):
We've not finalized the key design so that's missing in the above drawing.
The dimensions will be 45mm (1.8") external diameter and 74mm (2.9") external length.
And that's all I have for you today. 🙂
Let's get the shameless self-promotion out the way first...
We're going to be offering some Black Friday deals for sure (because, let's face it, everyone loves a bargain ...especially if it's titanium! :-P).
One quick thing...
You're probably already aware that we do a lot of pre-order type stuff when we offer products for sale.
We still have some of those going - but, for Black Friday, we've made a special point of having a range of products IN STOCK and that will ship right away. We don't have a lot of them... but they are in stock and they will have a ROCK SOLID discount.
Long story short:
Keep an eye out for a Black Friday email from me (which, because I'm in New Zealand, you may receive on a Thursday evening ...because that's our Friday morning!).
Just launched this recently (in case you missed it) - the brand new Titanium Bolt-Action Pen (which I call Bolty™):
And with a MokutTi/Timascus pocket-clip option:
I won't go into the details here because you can find everything you need to know about this new bolt-action pen by clicking here.
A couple of things you may want to know though:
-- 100% Grade 5 Titanium (including the spring)
-- Machined entirely in-house
-- Super-smooth action (actually, make that ultra-smooth)
-- Slim and minimalist design (not 'chunky' like most other bolt-action pens)
We've been experimenting with making a pocket-size fixed-blade knife.
The idea (hopefully) is that it's both a 'neck knife' as well as a knife you can clip on the edge of your pocket ...or possibly even your belt. But, mostly, the plan is for it to be a Neck Knife.
Before I continue...
If you're not familiar with what a Neck Knife is ...it's a fairly small knife that you carry around your neck. Typically it has some sort of holder that it clips in and out of.
We're hoping to make the holder out of titanium (yeah, I know, just can't let it go!).
Here's some of the prototype blanks we started with:
We've still got a bit of work to do on both the holder for the knife ...as well as the main bevel.
We started out going the route of a typical knife (i.e. hand-grinding the main bevel) ...but decided we wanted to cnc-machine the bevel and (ideally) leave machining lines in there.
Here's a look at where we're at with it (ignore the bevel ...that's very much a work-in-progress):
My hands are not that big (but the small knife makes it look like they are).
The dimensions of the knife are...
Blade Length: 47mm (1.85")
Overall Length: 118mm (4.65")
...and I think that's it for today.
A bunch of stuff for you today...
First up, found some titanium prybars! So let's talk about those.
These pry-bars were made a long time ago and I thought I had sold them all. Turns out there were some in a drawer in the store-room.
The "bad" about these is that they have the old business name on them (i.e. "Cogent") ...and not the new business name (i.e. "Magnus"). But not a big deal ...especially if you like bargains. 😀
We've not made prybars in a long time ...and I'm not sure if we're going to make any more - so I'd like to shift these.
Yes, it's happening...
We've started working on a titanium bolt action pen.
The concept is for it to be the same minimalist -- and somewhat slim -- design as the titanium "click" pen we make.
We're starting with the trickiest parts first ...which, from my estimate, is the "button" that attaches to the main bolt mechanism.
The final prototype part has just come off the cnc machine a few hours ago. It's tricky to get a decent photo of it because it's so small.
The photos below give you some idea of what it's like though (oh, and that piece of wire going through the center is a paperclip! :-P)
NOTE: The machining was done on our non-production machine ...so the finish is rougher than it will be during production. Plus, this is RAW off the cnc machine (not tumbled yet).
Here's what it will look like with the 2-56 titanium machine screw in it (this is what will hold it onto the bolt inside the pen body):
Oh, one more thing...
Unlike a lot of other designs/prototypes where I ask for feedback - this bolt-action pen is getting made (regardless of feedback). Yeah, I know, this sounds arrogant.
But hear me out:
I own titanium bolt-action pens. I don't own every one on the market - but I'm familiar with them all. Most of these pens are pretty damn chunky ...some are so chunky that it's actually like trying to write with a bolt-action rifle!
As you can probably tell ...I am not a fan of chunky. Slim and minimalist is what I like. But I do like bolt-action pens.
I like bolt-action pens for three reasons...
#1 - Very simple and almost nothing to "go wrong" with the mechanism
#2 - The industrial look of the pen
#3 - Damn fun to fidget with (helps the brain when thinking about stuff)
So I decided I finally want my own one ...exactly how I want it. 🙂
I'm hoping to be able to use essentially the same body as the other pens I've made in the past - and so this is basically the bolt-action version of these.
In the last blog post I showed you a Friction Folder knife prototype we were working on.
I asked for feedback and, oh boy, did I get feedback. It was tremendous to receive so many comments.
There was, however, a very strong theme across the comments (almost every comment in fact) - see if you can spot it:
So yeah, YOU told me what you want ...and I have to listen to you. 🙂
We've stopped development of that friction folder knife based purely on your comments. I really appreciate the feedback - thank you!
Truthfully, I'm not sure if we're going to continue with that knife (and make it a full-on frame-lock) ...or re-design a NEW framelock knife.
We've definitely not "wasted" the development of this knife. We learned a lot with the cnc machining of the blade - we will use what we learned there for the next knife.
A framelock knife is not a quick-and-easy product. We can do it - but it's going to take a little time to develop it.
And I think that's about it for today.
I'll confess now...
This is a long-ish post. Not only that, but it's 100% about a new friction folder knife we're working on.
I'm going to take you from the initial concept ...all the way through to the first crude (and admittedly barely functional) prototype.
First, a challenge for you:
Go and search google and see what you can find in the way of modern-looking friction folder knives.
You may be lucky and find something. Or, quite possibly, you'll find exactly what I found ...which is to say ...NOTHING.
I looked on Instagram, YouTube, Google, ...everything. I found plenty of friction folder knives but they all seemed to be either a "classic" look or an "traditional" look. That kind of look just isn't my thing.
Time to roll up my sleeves (or, more accurately, power-up the milling machine!)
So, as with almost everything I make, I'm doing it because I can't find the thing I want. No big deal - it's what I do.
The concept for this knife, if you've not picked up on it already, is a:
-- Friction folder
-- Modern/non-traditional looking
-- Fully cnc-machined
It's a fairly simple criteria. So let's get started...
We actually started with the blade first.
We did this because we initially were designing a different knife ...but the scales (that's the handle part of the knife if you're unfamiliar with the terminology) were something we were having a problem with. it was a combination of a design problem as well as how it looked. We decided to give up on that particular knife.
But here's the thing...
The blade was really a great design (practical and a nice shape to look at as well) - it had a fairly aggressive look to it ...which is was we were after for this friction folder.
Here's the blade blank (Nitro-V steel) fresh off the water-jet cutter:
And, after a bunch of machining - it's looking something like this:
The blades you see above were us proving-out the concept of the machined bevels to see how they would look and function.
Next we tackled the scales:
While we're discussing Friction Folder knives...
After not having any in stock for quite some time (they usually sell out fairly quick) the Flixx™ - Titanium Friction Folder knife is back in stock:
The Flixx™ is our super-successful friction folder (and the first friction folder we made) - we continue to refine it. We're hoping to try and keep more in stock - but, with other products being developed and made, it's proving difficult.
If you've not grabbed one yet, then now is your chance. Click Here RIGHT NOW!
Before the blade and scales were put together it was obvious the bladed needed a slight tweak.
This was because the plunge-line was a little too vertical (and didn't look nice with the rest of the knife). We re-designed the plunge-line and it really transformed the look.
Here's the before:
...and here is the after:
(note: ignore the pivot hole and stop-pin slider differences ...they are not finalized. And also ignore the quality of the finish on the blade - it was an experiment)
We still have a bunch of tweaks to go - but, overall, the knife is done.
It feels excellent in the hand and is a fairly compact size (which was one criteria I wanted to hit). I think we've managed to make a fairly non-traditional looking friction folder knife.
Here are a few shots:
I posted a few of these photos on Instagram a few hours ago ...and some of the responses were that it would be better if it was a locking knife (as opposed to it being a friction folder).
So either a liner-lock or a frame-lock knife. Do you share this view?
If there is not much interest in the knife as a friction folder, then perhaps there is more interest if it was a frame-lock.
Would appreciate any feedback or such you might have...
Right, let's get the bargains out of the way first (and then we'll get into the prototype stuff)...
A quick "explanation" of the products I'm about to show you:
I'm a bit of an all-or-nothing kinda guy. If I get interested in something ...then it typically becomes an obsession. No middle ground in pretty much everything. I know, totally flawed character traits - but it is what it is.
Now, because of this all-or-nothing tendency...
I really don't like to have a little of something in stock. Having titanium products fully in stock is good ...and having no stock is good too (although I'd rather have stock).
But having just a little stock of something ...no. Don't like it.
Long story short:
The products below are almost out of stock - and so I kind of want them fully gone right now (some of these we won't make again ...some we will).
So, onto the sell-off bargains...
We will make these again - I just don't know when.
I've taken 33% OFF the price of these because I'm almost out.
Here are the specific sets that are available right now (any other sets you see on the page are sold out unfortunately):
Long Loop (both 22mm and 28mm available ...around 6x of each)
Short Loop (both 22mm and 28mm available ...around 5x of each)
Long Flat (just 22mm available ...6x available)
It's unlikely we make these again ...because they are VERY difficult to make.
Also, let's address the discount on these. 50% off is huge. There is a reason for this. These letter openers have a small "machining issue". It's minor ...and it seems such a waste to have these sitting on the shelf.
Here's the issue (see arrow):
It's a fairly small mark (where the two machining toolpaths don't line-up).
While it's not "impossibly high standards" ...it's also fairly insignificant at the same time. I'm kind of on-the-fence about these ...and so I think 50% off is a fair price (which is probably around cost price I think).
Click here to grab yours (just 15 of these available).
Oh, and I have 10 custom-made leather pouches for these left ...and so the first 10 people to grab one of these will get one of these pouches included FREE!
As I write this there are around two or three of these left (of the 50 Limited Edition that are available).
These are not being "sold off" like the two products above - but there is still a MASSIVE DISCOUNT on them:
Okay, that's the hot deals out the way - let's talk up-coming products...
We're still at the blade stage of this knife.
The concept is a modern-looking friction folder. I'm hoping to have these available in the next few weeks ...but maybe that's a bit optimistic.
Here how the blade is looking this afternoon (just took this photo 10 minutes ago):
We're experimenting with the main bevels of the the blade having the machining lines.
The above looks fairly "aggressive" I will admit. The line-spacing here is 0.75mm (0.03"). Right now, as I type this, the mill is running again on the blade ...but with a 0.5mm spacing (0.02").
In the next blog post I hope to have more on this blade for you ...and well as something to show you on the scales.
So this is exciting!
In case you've missed it ...I started the 'Magnus Newsletter' (a PDF you can download) ...and it already had 349 people sign-up to receive the first issue:
This is the first issue (and so there is a whole load more room for improvement) - but here's the kind of stuff you'll find in it...
To receive the 'Magnus Newsletter' just enter your name and email below:
Currently we're in producing the Titanium Folding Tweezers:
If you've ordered these folding tweezers already and are still waiting ...then they are not far away and will be with you soon!
They are going well and coming off the CNC machine nicely (just a little later than I'd hoped ...so my apologies for that).
And I think that's about it for now. 🙂
So here's another idea I'm toying with...
Well ...um ...yeah, I did!
But bear with me here:
What I'm proposing here is something simpler and, ideally, available at a lower price to you (because many people just can't justify $99 for tweezers - which I understand).
I'm thinking of just a super-small set of titanium tweezers (still fully made in house, cnc-machined,...all that good stuff) ...but perhaps in a pouch or something like that.
Basically, the concept is a pair of very small tweezers that can fit on your keychain - it really is that simple.
The Folding Tweezers we are making are a similar size - but it costs a lot to manufacture because it's essentially three products in one (the main tweezers and then two "scales" that press together as the main housing).
The tweezers I'm proposing here are basically a cross between the latest-and-greatest tips we have developed ...but small like mini TiTweezers we made around 5 years ago when I first started in the whacky world of titanium. 😀
I'm thinking the tweezers will be something around the size of these on the right below (next to the leather pouch):
The tweezers on the left above are form the Folding Tweezers (to give you an idea of the scale).
Here's how they would look in the pouch (the pouch is just a rough concept)...
The idea with these is to make two different tip versions:
Tip #1: Very pointy (like the current tips on the Folding and "V4" Tweezers) ...best for pulling out splinters.
Tip #2: A slight angle ...best for tweezing hairs.
One more thing...
In the last blog post from me I showed you a Hobby Blade Knife prototype and asked for your feedback. You gave me load of feedback in the comments and I REALLY appreciate that - thank you!
At this stage I'm not 100% sure I'll go any further with the Hobby Blade Knife ...as the response was average. Don't get me wrong ...I am happy about this ...because I don't want to waste time on a product that few people will buy - because there is always an opportunity cost (i.e. making an unpopular product costs the opportunity of making a popular product).
I've replied to almost all the comments from that last post.
So, these tweezers ...do I continue with them ...or ditch them and move onto the next product?
So I launched a NEW Kickstarter project yesterday evening...
...and I cancelled it this morning.
Because, well, I didn't listen to you (yes, YOU .....the person reading this blog right now!).
I offered up the Double-Ended Titanium Carabiner here on this blog ...and only a handful of people ordered one (which was lucky because I only had 10 available).
Here's the kicker:
I should have paid attention to those sales (or lack of them) ...because it told me that there was just not enough interest in that product to continue.
I did, however, continue with it and launched a Kickstarter last night - which, by the morning, had just 18 Backers. Don't get me wrong, I REALLY appreciate the support from these Backers ...but sometimes a product/project is just not viable.
A good Kickstarter project would have had something like 50 or 100 Backers by the morning ...not just 18. So, regretfully, I pulled-the-plug on it and cancelled the project (I am in contact with these Backers to help them get the "Double Dangle" Carabiner though).
Long story short...
I'm going to listen to YOU more (and, hopefully, I get more feedback from you ...good or bad).
So, starting RIGHT NOW, I'm going to show more projects ...and at an earlier stage too (usually I'm kinda reluctant to show you the ugly and crude early stages - but I think I need to!).
To kick this off - let's talk about the...
This design is around 60% complete (hell, I screwed-up the machining and it won't go together with a blade in it).
I'll show you what I have so far ...and, depending on the comments (if any), this will help decide if I pursue this ...or move onto the next project.
Like I said, it doesn't go together in its current stage - but the photos below should give you an idea of what I'm trying to do :-D...
A lot of the products I've made (perhaps even most) were done because I received solid interest from you.
And, likewise, I've continued on and made a few products where there was not much interest on this blog ...and, predictably, not many of them sold.
So I'm here now, trying to learn from my mistakes, and to listen more to YOU and your feedback. 🙂
It's blog time again!
A quick heads-up...
The final prototyping and "test production" of the "Double Dangle" titanium carabiner has gone very well.
We're hoping to do a larger number of these (which will require a new fixture on the cnc milling machine) - and so that's why we're launching a Kickstarter next week.
Here's what the "Double Dangle" looks like tumbled and finished (I think you may have seen these already):
We've had the original McDangle™ "Mini" Carabiners on pre-order for a while and we will be finished shipping all of those in the next 2 to 3 days - which is good timing for the launching of these NEW "Double Dangles" on Kickstarter.
You'll get another one or two reminders from me before the launch of the Kickstarter - but you'll have to be fairly quick because the project will only be live for somewhere between 48 and 72 hours.
I've just given a few of these Titanium Capped Pens a new finish - which I am calling "Gunmetal Grey".
The finish is similar to the textured bead-blast finish we offered a long time ago ...but this one is smoother.
It's hard to get across in the photos the texture - although the colour is fairly accurate. I've just done a few of these (and at a HUGE discount to get them out the door as these are the last pens like this) - CLICK HERE to learn more (you'll need to scroll down to near the bottom of the page)
I uploaded a video to YouTube a couple of days ago - here it is below in case you missed it.
Truthfully, it's 13 minutes of me talking about where the business is at now and what we're planning going forward. So, yeah, no titanium stuff ....just me talking 😀
In the last blog post I mentioned the Titanium "Click" Pens are available again...
They've been selling very well (which is awesome!).
The first couple of runs of these we did a year or two ago were "challenging" - various issues encountered that were frustrating.
However, we have these fairly dialed-in now and so the final result of each pen is a reliable and predictable click mechanism and functioning. Some products are more difficult to get right than others ...and this one was DIFFICULT!
By the end of this week we're hoping to have some of the NEW "V4" TiTweezers™ ready to ship.
I recently showed you some prototypes of these:
The design has changed a little bit since the above photo was taken - mostly the large chamfers near the front ...because the tweezers would "roll" when you squeezed them together (that's the last thing you want tweezers to do!). We have now fixed this and they are working well.
Still a few more tweaks to go - but there is a chance we have a handful for sale by the end of this week (hopefully!).
And that's all I have for you today.
Oh, actually, one more thing... I'm hoping to have a handful of McDangle "Mini" Carabiners in the "Gunmetal Grey" blast finish tomorrow. Not made them yet ...but I'm thinking they are going to turn out well. Will see how it goes.
A whole range of things to cover today...
We're about to start another run of Titanium Click Pens.
The not-so-good news: They will be shipping in December
The good news: You can order pre-order right now (it's been many months since these were last available)
We're planning to run these as a Kickstarter project because the feedback has been pretty solid - which is always good.
As I mentioned in the previous blog post ...we've started a new "workflow" when doing Kickstarter projects. Instead of taking products just to the final prototype stage ...we are doing a "mini" production run.
This should help catch potential production issues early on - and, so far, it seems to be working - woohoo!
I have a few ready to go right now if you want to beat everyone else and get a pre-production version (note: these are exactly the same as the final production version ...it's just they are made on a temporary fixture on the cnc machine)...
Here's the prototype fixture (yeah, I know, kinda crude looking - but it does what it needs to do :-D):
Earlier this year I collaborated with Kohi Point and made some leather bags (it was a Kickstarter project).
I had wanted a specific leather bag for myself (and even made my own titanium buckles for it). The bag came out so good we ended up launching a Kickstarter project.
Well, the first few bags that were made before the Kickstarter, so they could be used for photos, were put aside (because each bag on the Kickstarter was made-to-order essentially).
Long story short:
We have four of these high-end leather bags - each one a little different. They are also discounted by a decent amount.
It's easier to offer these for sale on a separate page - so CLICK HERE to check out these four bags.
And ...I think that's all I have for you today. 🙂