A New Direction…

I’d got a bunch of stuff to share with you today…

So grab a coffee and let’s jump right in:

 

A NEW Business Name

Firstly, you may have noticed the name change. Yep, after a whole ton of thought …I’ve changed the name of my business from “Cogent Industries” to “Magnus” (how big-headed and egotistical is that?!).

Truthfully, there are a few reasons for this – but one of the main ones is that for years I’ve had people mis-pronouncing the word “cogent”. The ‘g’ is meant to be like the ‘g’ in the word “gentleman” …but people keep saying the ‘g’ as “goose”. So they end up with “cog-ent”. It was wearing thin.

Interestingly, whenever I meet new people and tell them my name… so many times they will say “wow, ‘Magnus’, that’s cool name”.

 

It’s those two things that have partly brought about the change.

Now, you may notice that the domain name is MagnusX.com. If you know anything about website domain names you will know that pretty much all the common names are taken. I thought MagnusX.com was nice and clean and simple.

 

New Online Store

When you next order something from my website you may notice the order process is a little different (simpler, cleaner, faster, etc.).

For those of you interested in the “little details”…

I was with WooCommerce (which is a Plugin for WordPress …and, out of interest, WordPress is the platform my whole website runs on).

But, after a couple of years with WooCommerce, it’s time to move to Shopify. There are a whole load of reasons for moving which I won’t go into detail about here …but basically it’s simpler, easier, faster for both you as a Customer and for me on the back end. 🙂

 

A “New” Design

A long time ago I showed a design for a titanium “cache” (essentially a small storage container) I called the TiVault – it looked like this:

 

There was a flurry of comments from followers of this blog DEMANDING I make these …but, shamefully, I let other projects take priority and never did anything about the TiVault.

The TiVault is a SECURE storage container …and by secure I mean it’s pretty much impossibly for others to get into it without physically destroying it (i.e. they would need to try and cut it open or drill into the lid).

The great news about delaying this project is …well, there are a few things:

I have larger titanium round bar in stock and so can offer larger sizes than I could before.

The other thing is that, my design skills have improved a lot and I’ve been able to both simplify the design and make it even more secure (read: harder for others to get into!).

I will make another blog post soon with the new, improved design and what I might offer. Most likely this will be another Kickstarter project.

 

Fidget Spinner are dead!

It seems the whole “fidget spinner” fad is over – which is kind of true.

However, it’s not really the whole truth…

While the mainstream, cheap-and-nasty plastic spinners are no longer in the media or such …there is still a die-hard bunch of people who were interested in spinner more than two years ago.

The main place to go to for news and such on spinners (if that’s you’re thing) is Fabian Botero’s group on Facebook call Spin Space you can check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/spinspace/

The thing is, in my not very humble opinion, spinners are going to be going strong for a very long time yet (particularly high-end, high-quality and high-performance ones!).

And, because of this, I have joined the whole fidget spinner thing with a couple of designs of my own.

The first is the “Ego” spinner (which you can pre-order by clicking here).

And the second is the “Air” spinner which is currently LIVE on Kickstarter (and you can check it out here: http://kck.st/2tIQ3P3 )

 

What I Do

You know it’s fun,

I’m very much still trying to figure out what exactly it is I do in terms of designing, making and selling products.

Whenever someone asks I typically just say something like, “I make things out of titanium like pens, tweezers and things like that”.

But, when I think about it, it’s really so much more than that…

There is a whole load I can talk about – but I think I’ll mention just one of the things.

I’m purposefully not like the 99% of businesses (well, manufacturers really) who seem to want to make products as cheap as they can, so they can sell as may as they can to the biggest number of people.

Everything seems to be compromised in the product.

Functionality seems to be a very vague goal for most of these manufacturers …and “quality” is something that really doesn’t even seem to factor into it. And as for the product lasting… I’m pretty confident that if it last any length of time for the buyer, then that’s just luck!

And this pretty much is the opposite of everything I do:

  • Very rarely (if ever) do I compromise on anything …especially design, functionality and longevity of the product
  • Every product I have designed and made so far will, at minimum, last a few generations …and more likely last hundreds or thousands of years (and likely a LOT longer to be fair)
  • “Quality” is never even a word that comes up …because it’s so deeply engrained in everything I do. From using the best material (typically titanium!) …all the way to the precision cnc-machining done right here in New Zealand by myself and my machinist

I could go on …but I’m sure you get the idea.

Is there a downside to this?

Yes, I’d say there is. Only people who truly appreciate functionality, design and quality are willing to buy my products. These are typically the same people who understand that spending $200 is, in the long term, a damn good deal (because you’re getting something that will still be functional for decades to come).

But, I’m never going to be able to sell to “the masses”. But I’m okay with that because…

I know I’m designing the best products I can …in the best way I can …using the best materials I can …and doing my best to provide damn good customer support. Compromising on almost nothing.

What are YOUR experiences with quality (or poor quality) products?

What are YOUR views on this?

I really am curious…

The Terrible Truth…

Yes, I know, this is the first blog post in a very long time. SHAME ON ME!

I have no excuses for not posting – I simply kept saying to myself, “I’ll do it next week…”. And, well, I’ve said that for months now. Disgraceful.

So, here’s what I’m going to do for you…

As of right now I’m going to start writing a blog post EVERY WEEK. And to kick things of I’m going to do a bit of a run-down of some of the things I’ve been doing over the last few months…

 

Moving In (to the new workshop)

It’s been a long time coming – but I’m getting very close to moving into the NEW workshop.

It was over a year ago I started renting this new workshop …and only now am I ready to “bite the bullet” and move the remaining equipment over.

I’m not moving right now because there is a lot of tumbling to be done with the vibratory tumbler at the old workshop. I want to get that out the way so I’m not in a mad rush (because I’ve got to find a new house to rent at the same time!)

I don’t have any photos right now (but in the videos below you will see what the new workshop is looking like).

 

New Machine (It’s CNC!)

Yes, it finally happened…

I bought a cnc milling machine. Woohoo!

 

This is something I’ve wanted for a very long time (I’m talking 20+ years here).

I’ve been learning it slowly (as time has allowed) and made a few cool things:

Titanium Fidget Spinner

Random Titanium Object

Titanium Play Button

Titanium Playing Card Case

 

Fidget Spinners (and my take on them)

You know that “Fidget Spinner” trend that’s been gaining massive momentum over the last few weeks and months? (well, if you don’t, ask the nearest teenager and they’ll tell you)

Well, around the beginning of this year — before fidget spinners REALLY took off — I started prototype some titanium fidget spinners (of course titanium!).

For the last 2 months I’ve been saying I’m going to have one or two designs ready “in 2 or 3 weeks” …and, truthfully, for various reasons I’ve not prioritized it enough. I do hope to have two designs ready soon though (I’m not making any predictions in terms of when anymore though).

If you’re not familiar with fidget spinners – then watch this video:

 

Also, if you’re familiar with how I design and make things …you’ll already KNOW my intention is to make THE BEST spinners available. Currently I’m waiting for some full-ceramic bearings to arrive from the USA to me here in New Zealand (yes, I paid $80 for ONE little bearing… but, like I said, aiming for the best here).

 

 

Daily YouTube Videos

I’m still making daily YouTube videos.

And, in fact, just celebrated 365 days of filming and uplodaing a video every day without missing a day (which may have you thinking: “Magnus, you have been uploading a video every day …yet you don’t write a blog post for months?!!!”. Yes, like I said, shame on me)

Here’s the video of what I did to celebrate the 365 days of videos…

 

I have a few more things to share with you – but I will share those for the next blog post I think.

Oh, and one last thing:

I will be increasing the price of every product on my website. It’s something I am honestly reluctant to do …but it’s unavoidable unfortunately. When I crunch the numbers on my business (the sales coming in and the expenses going out) I must increase prices to make this business viable and sustainable.

Basically this is a little nudge if you’re “sitting on the fence” thinking of ordering anything from my website. Now is probably the time because I’m about to bump up prices across the board.

 

Right, it is 11:44pm as I write this and I need to head back into the workshop to check the tumbling process on some titanium 🙂

To impossible high standards,

Magnus

 

Titanium “Fidget” Toy

If you’ve not hear of “fidget spinners”, then take a look at the short video below:

 

Click Here to get on the EXCLUSIVE “Launch List”

( http://www.magnusx.com/spinner/ )

 

And here’s a few photos of the spinner I talk about in the above video (possibly the greatest “fidget” toy soon to be available 🙂 )

titanium-spinner-polished-1

titanium-spinner-polished-2

titanium-spinner-polished-3

titanium-spinner-polished-4

 

Again, click here to sign-up to my “Launch List” to get early-bird access and “behind the scenes” stuff that everyone else will be missing out on.

Titanium Pen With “G2” Refills? (I need your help)

I need your help (yes, really!)

It’s about pen refills – take a look at the short video below:

 

What I’m basically asking in this video is…

“What exactly do you mean by a ‘G2’ refill?”

It was not clear to me from the comments in yesterday’s blog post what you (and there were many, MANY of you!) meant when you said ‘G2’.

One last thing…

I REALLY appreciate your complete honesty in your comments yesterday and that you did not hold anything back. It was brutal and I loved it …it’s that kind of no-nonsense communication that speeds things up, saves time and money …and ultimately results in better products for YOU. 🙂 Thank you.

 

NEW Titanium “Click” Pen

Yes, the rumors are true…

The titanium “click” pen I’ve been working on is finally launching.

Here’s a little sneak preview of the pen (before it goes live on Kickstarter in a couple of days):

new-titanium-click-pen-1

new-titanium-click-pen-2

new-titanium-click-pen-3

 

Before I continue…

You need to know that this click-style pen is different to most (and possibly ALL) other click pens.

While there have been titanium click pens before — hell, I’ve bought a few in my time — this is probably the first click pen that is 100% Grade 5 Titanium. Yes, you got it, there is not a single plastic part to be found on the pen.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “But Magnus, what about the spring, surely THAT has got to be a steel spring?”

Sorry to disappoint – but even the spring is a precision cnc-machined component that’s unlike anything you’ve seen before (I won’t reveal the spring yet …but I promise you’re going to love it).

Here’s the other cool thing…

I’ve designed this pen to look virtually identical the Titanium Mechanical Pencil I made last year – take a look:

new-titanium-click-pen-4

 

Oh, one more thing:

The pen will use only one type of refill… Fisher Space Pen. Yes, this is the refill that can write upside down, underwater, in ultra-low temperatures and ultra-high temperatures.

In other words, this combination of the Fisher refill and the 100% Titanium pen creates a pen that is built to handle anything and everything you can throw at it. From writing at the top of Mount Everest …all the way down to bottom of the seabed …this pen going to function.

And here’s the crazy thing – it does it without looking “rugged” or “clucky”. It’s still a minimalist and ultra-elegant pen you can take to business meetings.

Any comments? I’d love to hear them.

P.S. This will be launching on Kickstarter in the next couple of days

New Prototypes: Which of THESE Do You Prefer?

Okay, so today I’d love to here YOUR opinion on something…

I’ve just finished the final prototypes of the new, larger titanium PillPots.

Here’s what they look like:

Some of the new, larger titanium PillPots (yes, they are damn BIG!)

Some of the new, larger titanium PillPots (yes, they are damn BIG!)

 

And, as if that’s not enough, here’s a video too (skip to 4:45 to see the part about these PillPots :-)…

 

So, here’s the thing…

There are two sizes: 36mm (1.4″) diameter and 45mm (1.8″) diameter

The reason for making these is that I’ve been asked for larger PillPots by many people over a long period of time. So I’ve finally given in and made them.

These will be launched as a Kickstarter project in the next week or so.

(Note: If these PillPots are not your thing …no problem. They are being made and launched regardless as I’ve had so many people ask for these) 🙂

Oh, and I have no indicative prices yet because my machinist still has to get back to me with tooling-up and machining costs.

However…

I can confirm that the Kickstarter project, as always, will be the BEST DEAL before I sell them at a later date on my website.

 

(LEFT) 45mm version ...and (RIGHT) 36mm version

(LEFT) 45mm version …and (RIGHT) 36mm version

Here’s my question to you:

Are you more likely to use the 36mm (1.4″) or the 45mm (1.8″) version (or both)?

NOTE: The above are just example combinations …I will, of course, be offering a range of component options – like this:

Various combinations will be available on the Kickstarter project!

Various combinations will be available on the Kickstarter project!

Titanium Wallet (Help Wanted!)

I need YOUR help on this titanium + carbon-fiber wallet… (please watch the video below)

 

Okay, so you’ve watched the video above… great!

 

As I mentioned in the video – I’m now at a stage where I need figure out exactly what others want (because I already know what I personally want in this wallet).

I won’t be able to make everyone happy. But I’m confident this will be the wallet where a number of people go, “Finally, THIS is the wallet I’ve been looking for…”.

 

So, to recap on the questions from the video…

 

What is the minimum number of cards YOU need to carry?

How many cards do YOU ideally want “quick access” to?

Is not having RFID-blocking a deal-breaker for YOU?

 

Please add any other thoughts, concern, feedback, etc. you have …and feel free to provide feedback that’s as hard and brutal as you like (I just ask that you are honest with your feedback :-).

Thank you.

BIG Titanium Containers

Before I continue…

I must mention to you that I have not forgotten about the “Man Tray” I posted last week here.

I’ve made a lot of progress on it and really took a lot from YOUR feedback. I will post an update on that project soon.

In the meantime:

I’d love it if you could provide some feedback on this (see short video below)…

 

So, yeah, I’m making some large, titanium containers (like the PillPots here but a LOT bigger).

I don’t plan to make them “stackable” …but if enough people wanted that then I could do it.

Actually I did a “quick and dirty” 10-minute mock-up of what I have in mind. The proportions and “grip grooves” are not how the final one would be – but these should give you an idea:

big-titanium-containers-1

big-titanium-containers-2

 

So, before I run off and have them machined next week, I’d love to hear if there is anything specific YOU would like on them …or done to them …or anything really.

I’m kind of fixed on what I’m doing – but I like to keep an open mind…

If you have no feedback, then, of course, that is cool too. 🙂

 

A Titanium “Man Tray” (Tell Me What YOU Want…)

Ever heard of a “Man Tray”?

Until last year I had no idea a “Man Tray” was a thing.

Someone bought a “Man Tray” for me.

But, fairly quickly, I discovered it was too small to put my daily carry into it when I come home at the end of the day.

So, after putting it off for a long time – I’m finally going to make a honest-to-goodness, no-holds-barred REAL “Man Tray”!

In fact, I just did a video on this (skip to 01:10 minutes as that where I start the “Man Tray” talk…):

 

If you didn’t watch the above video …then here’s what you need to know:

I’m making a “Man Tray” for holding all your stuff (wallet, phone, keys, etc.) instead of it laying around on your worktop (or bench, or desk, or whatever…).

It’s going to be carbon fiber and, either, titanium or aluminum.

I’m wonder how YOU would use such a thing?

What size would you need it to be?

Do you need separate compartments?

Are there any extra “features” you would like (i.e. a “cable tidy” or “rubber feet”, etc.)?

 

So, yeah, tell me your thoughts by commenting below.

I will likely start making this soon …because, damn it …I need one myself!

 

Weird Videos and a Titanium Tripod

It’s been a while since my last blog post…

Truthfully, I’m trying to do two or three blog posts a week (but I’m obviously failing miserably at this!).

Regardless, we’re both here now, let’s continue:

In case you’ve missed it – I’ve been doing a whole boat-load of stuff on YouTube recently.

Basically, I’ve been uploading at least one, short video a day. I’ll admit that the videos were really not that great in the beginning – but they are getting better (not my words …but the words of my Subscribers! :-D).

Click Here to check out my channel and the latest video (and subscribe so you don’t miss any more :-D).

Now, it actually gets even more interesting…

I’ve started another YouTube Channel as well …but this one if WEIRD (in a good way of course).

The other channel is called “EpicMake” and I do a whole bunch of stuff… particularly cutting random objects in half – like this:

 

Now, I’ve had many requests asking to see more “behind the scenes” in the workshop.

Honestly, it’s kind of difficult the way my workshop is setup. It’s a really small workshop and so a lot of stuff is tucked away in plastic tubs (which we take out when required)… and the place generally looks kind of untidy because of the lack of bench space.

Nevertheless – here’s a video for you on how the waterjet cutting machine works:

 

Progress in the Titanium Mechanical Pencils for the Kickstarter project Rewards in going well.

Only a few weeks away from shipping I estimate.

Here’s a couple of shots of the progress:

They look like deadly titanium spears, but they really are pencils …I promise. 🙂

Giving the pencils a rest on a soft towel in between the finishing process …only the BEST for my babies!

 

Because I’ve been recording so much video recently I need (yes, NEED) to make my own hand-held tripod.

I’m on my third hand-held tripod/handle and it’s just not working for me.

I’ll likely make it out of titanium and, because I’m really starting to like it, carbon fiber.

Here’s a couple of initial sketches of what I was thinking for this camera handle (remember, the main function of it is for pointing the camera at myself and talking into the lens).

tripod-1

 

P.S. I’m also working on a titanium (and possibly carbon fiber) clipboard …the office-type thing that holds paper.

Got any other “wild dreams” of things you’d like to see be made?

I’m listening…

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