As usual - a few things for you today...
A few weeks ago I mentioned collaborating in a Kickstarter project with my friend Steph from Kohi Point.
The project was for a handmade leather bag with titanium buckles. The project was successfully funded and we are now producing the bags.
Steph received the leather direct from Italy and has started cutting the various leather pieces before starting to stitch the bags together. It was then upon me to make the titanium buckles.
Now, here's the crazy thing:
I made the buckles during the last weekend and ....nothing went wrong.
Yeah, I know, don't be so pessimistic Magnus, right? Well, stuff just goes wrong all the time. Issues, problems, etc. Things usually do go wrong - so it's nice for that not to happen for a change. 🙂
Here's a photo of what the buckles look like when they come off the water-jet cutter:
The Titanium Buckles for the bag went incredibly smoothly. From the initial water-jet cutting ...to the machining ...to the engraving ...and, finally, the polishing. It's so nice when things go well sometimes.
In fact, things were going so well, I made a video of the making of the titanium buckles:
It's been a while since we had the titanium tweezers in stock - but we're doing another run of them again (that are literally in the tumbler having the surface finish done as I type this).
If you missed them last time...
They will be ready in a couple of days - so click here to check them out.
Oh, and I've still got a *SPECIAL OFFER* going on with them.
We are making the TiWallet™ right now and, just like the bag buckles I mentioned above, they are going fairly well (although, in all fairness, the initial setup and tweaking has been tough).
I don't have a video for you yet - but I do have some photos in the meantime...
Here is a photo of the 12.5mm (1/2") thick piece of titanium plate we water-jet cut the wallet "blanks" from:
Here are the titanium blanks:
And, finally, here are the blanks in the over for heat treatment:
Yeah, I know what you're thinking...
You've never heard me talk about putting titanium in the oven before, right? Well, truthfully, I've never had to do it before.
Long story short...
Metals typically have different stresses in them - especially when they have not be "stress relieved". When you start with a chunk of metal and machine areas of it away ...then these stresses show themselves and the result is that the metal part your machining will bend and warp in various ways.
The issues I was finding with the Titanium Wallet was that the "bridge" that connects the two sides was arching (kind of like how you arch your back when you stretch) as I machined it.
Turns out the titanium had not been stress-relieved at the mill where it was produced.
It's a fairly easy fix...
Put it in the oven for three hours at 600-degrees and then let it cool slowly in the over (typically we leave it overnight). And that's it!
Next up, I've got a quick deal on a handful of knives...
During the initial production of the Flixx™ knife I made some blades that were slightly too large (yeah, bit of a long story on that one).
Since the blades are not cheap to make ...I decided to make some one-off scales for these blades. I have just finished them and am selling these one-off knifes at a decent discount.
These are not seconds or rejects or anything like that. In fact, if anything, these are somewhat limited edition because the scales are different to the original Flixx™ knife scales - and they have also been Cerakoted Matte Black.
NOTE: the finish on these is very Matte (i.e. the surface looks and feels like a chalkboard) - and so has a very nice, "grippy" feel to it
I've purposely left the hardware the natural titanium colour (yes, all the hardware is titanium as well :-D) as I really think it look great in contrast to the black.
I've only made 6 of these and they will be ready to ship at the end of this week. I may make more of these ...I may not ...not sure at this stage.
I think that's all I have for you today 🙂
The Titanium "CandyCan" project has a couple of days left until it ends on Kickstarter.
One of the Rewards on there is a *Kickstarter Exclusive* (which is a damn good deal and includes getting a CandyCan for FREE) ...and it will NOT be offered again - so I urge you to check out the project right now.
It has been a long time coming - but production should be fairly quick because I spent a long time coming up with a solid way to hold the titanium "blanks" while I machine the wallet out of them (in other words... there should be almost no "issues" in production going forward).
Here's a quick look at a couple of "blanks" on the mill about to be machined:
...and, skipping forward a whole bunch of steps, here is a finished wallet:
The wallet above still needs to have the surface finishing done though.
Now, I know I missed out all the "little details" with the above photos - but, right now, that is all I have for you.
However, I'm going to see if I can get a video done for you very soon. Stay tuned!
Also, you can click here to check out the TiWallet™ (it is still on sale as an *INTRODUCTORY OFFER* while it is on pre-order ...but prices will go up very soon!)
We've pretty much stopped selling Fidget Spinners now.
If you recall...
We launched a few titanium spinners that were a big hit. We keep coming up with new products all the time ...and so spinners are something we went away from.
I did find some raw Titanium 'Ego' Spinners yesterday (i.e. they still had to be surface finished). I have just finished tumbling and assembling them now.
These are probably the last spinners we will do (unless I find some more hidden on the shelf somewhere).
Actually, I'll give you a little "behind the scenes" look at how the Ego spinner is made...
Firstly, we start with the round bar:
The round bars are then machined down on the cnc lathe to result in "discs":
After this they are then put on the milling machine to give them their shape:
I've missed out a lot of the process here because these are some photos from a year or so ago.
It is unlikely we're going to make any more of these - so unfortunately I don't have any videos or anything else I can show you about these.
And that's all I have for you today 🙂
A strange title for a blog post, right?
"SOLD OUT In 7 Minutes"
Well, I'm referring to the new titanium CandyCan™ design. The first run of them sold out in 7 minutes (I sat and watched the statistics of my online store in disbelief as the sales flooded in).
I did another run of these soon after and they all sold out almost as quick. I received a lot of emails from fairly unhappy people who had missed the CandyCan™.
Unfortuntely, we are flat-out making the Flixx™ Knife right now and we also don't have much raw titanium material to make many CandyCans™.
So the solution was to launch a NEW Kickstarter project - which I have just done.
And oh boy!
What a launch it has been - here's what the page looked like about a day or so after launch:
So, yes, it seems to have been worthwhile for both Backers and myself to launch the Titanium CandyCan™ project on Kickstarter.
Oh, also, not only is it a fairly short project - but there are a couple of Rewards that are a damn good deal for you.
Here's a super short video of part of how we heat-treat blades for the Flixx™ Knife...
The above video is only a little bit of the heat-treating process - but, for now, it's working very well. We're tweaking and adjusting things all the time though.
We have found the oil quench (Canola Oil) to work better than metal plates for the blades we've done so far. But, in saying that, these are somewhat "chunky" blades.
Had a bit of an "issue" yesterday while assembling the Flixx™ knife...
Just as a reminder - this is what the Flixx knife™ looks like:
I was opening and closing the blades during testing and was finding that some of the blades would be a little tight at certain points as they opened and closed ...and a little loose at other points.
It was not something I really wanted on them. I'm really after something smoother than this.
After lots of assembling, disassembling and re-assembling...
I figured out that the phosphor-bronze washers are not working the way I expected - they seem to be "sticking" for some reason.
Long story short:
I figured out that adding an extra washer on each side gives it the buttery-smooth and consistent opening-and-closing I had with the initial prototypes.
So the issue here is that I've machined the scales to allow for one washer on each side - but I'm now going to fit two per side.
What I'm going to do is machine in a recess into each scale so I can fit the additional 0.40mm (0.016") thick washer on each side.
Here's what the scales look like currently:
And here is the change I'm going to be making on the scales...
The "bad news" (not for you but for me)...
...is that I've already machined most of the scales (I think around 140 or something like that so far). And so I'm going to have to make a fixture on the milling machine to modify these. No big deal.
The lesson here:
I should have taken more time at the earlier production stages to test the functioning of the knife all the way through to the moving of the blade (and not just assembly only).
Now, here's what the inside of the scales are looking like with the new pocket machined out to fit the extra washer:
The scales above are not finished (still have to be tumbled) - but I've been testing them as they come off the milling machine and the new "Double Washer" solution is working very well.
And I think that's it for today.
I've done a poor job of replying to comments in the last two blog posts - I am sorry. I will do my utmost to respond to comments if there are any this time!
A bunch of cool stuff to cover today...
We've just had a few Titanium Click Pens and HangKeys "Titanium Nitride" coated.
This coating is a gold colour and fairly hard wearing (in day-to-day use it will not come off ...but if you, say, scraped it again a brick wall - then it's going to come off).
Note: We purposely gave these a bit of a Matte-Gold finish rather than a Polished-Gold finish.
We've only made 4 x sets of these for now - and you can check it out by clicking here.
Oh, and out of interest...
We have to send these out of the country to get the coating done. (crazy as it may sound there used to be just one place in New Zealand that could do this coating - and they were within walking distance of our workshop! But they no longer offer this service unfortunately).
It is all about "spindle time"...
Now, you may ask, "Magnus, what on earth is this 'spindle time' you speak of?"
Glad you asked!
The spindle is part of the milling machine that spins and does the cutting. So, when the spindle is running (and thus machining titanium into the parts we want), products are being produced.
Over the last couple of days we have been running the cnc milling machine hard and getting a lot of spindle time for the Flixx™ Knife - which means production!
The video above is of the progress of production.
The video below is of some of the machining process of the scales of the Flixx™ knife...
Yes, I know...
In the first 60 seconds of the above video the cutting leaves a big, ugly burr on all the scales. But, to be honest, it was cutting fine and within tolerance - so no big deal. 🙂
Titanium PillPots have been out of stock for a while - but we've just put some together again now.
Not all of them are available - but you can take a look and see if there is anything you're requiring by clicking here.
At the start of the week I launched the "Twist" pen on Kickstarter.
I cancelled that project within 12 or so hours due to lack of interest. This is the first time it has happened (out of 18 or so Kickstarter projects).
Here's the thing:
We did get up to almost 70 Backers in that first 12 hours. But the project really needed to be doing a lot better than that to make it viable.
So, yeah, the Twist pen is not happening in the near future at least.
I would like to apologise again to everyone who did support the project. I am sorry. I really appreciate the support.
The weird thing is...
The Titanium "Click" Pen is very popular - and so I assumed a twist pen would be as well. Turns out this is not the case. A learning exercise at least.
You remember the CandyCan™, right? This thing...
We've been hugely busy producing the Flixx knife for a while now - and so have had very little time to make any CandyCans™.
The CandyCans™ have been very popular (to the point where quite a few people have been getting annoyed that we were selling out so fast - which is fair enough).
Here's the thing...
I don't have a lot of material left for making these right now ...plus, like I said, we're still making Flixx friction folder knives.
So what I'm thinking is:
Because the "Twist" pen project was something of a failure ...I could run the CandyCan™ as a Kickstarter project instead. The big upside to this is that everyone will have a chance to get a CandyCan™.
So, yeah, do you have any thoughts on this?
Oh, and the delivery time on the CandyCans™ for a Kickstarter would be within a reasonable timeframe (a month or two I think) ...because, with the higher numbers of a Kickstarter, my machinist can produce them (and he is a lot faster than me!).
If you're interested in getting a CandyCan™, then please fill in the form below (if you have not done so already).
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.