Titanium Pens And Knives

Titanium Pens And Knives (and a 50% OFF Deal!)

​A TON of stuff to cover today - so let's jump right in...

Titanium Utility Knife Production

​If you somehow missed out on the Titanium SlideClick™, then you can still get it here right now.

Production has been going really well for that Kickstarter project. Here are some photos of the making of the fixture plates for production:

FOUR aluminium plates machined and ready to be attached to the Kitamura CNC

Plates attached to the CNC.

This is the fixture for Operation #1 of the main body of the SlideClick™.

This is one of the fixtures for the machining of the "slider" part of the SlideClick™

Titanium "V2" Capped Pen (almost 50% OFF - be quick!)

I'll be honest here...

​​On the original version of this Titanium Pen we had issues with some of the caps becoming loose over time (this was a problem we could never quite resolve fully in production ...because it seem to happen in random fashion over a period of months of the life of the pen - but we did always replace or refund whenever a Customer contacted us).

Long story short:

​We created essentially a "V2" version of this pen by milling a groove into the tip and fitted an o-ring ...and it has been working flawlessly since.

Here's what it looks like:

​We had some of the old-style tips (without the o-ring groove) and, because we've just got the new CNC Lathe up and running, we did some quick machining on them so they could be fitted with an o-ring.

These are fresh of the machine this afternoon:

​We're just waiting for the Mont Blanc refills to arrive (yes, we provide only a high quality refill when you order!).

These Titanium Capped Pens are finished and ready to ship once the refills arrive. They should be here this week and so ​we're opening up the ability to order right now. (It's almost 50% off only right now!)

​Magnatron™ Flipper Knives ​In Production

​Made a ton of progress on the Magnatron™ Knife these last two weeks by putting in solid 15 hour days (but the CNC machine has been running up to 20 hours per day ...so it totally outperforms me! 😀 ).

​There is a chance they start shipping tomorrow (oh, and I'll show you ​what we're shipping them in a future post/video ...and you'll be like, "That's awesome - how come no one has done THAT before?!".

Here's some photos of the progress (will provide a video soon):

Part-way through milling (but still a dozen hours to go...)

After milling (the top and right scales are finished ...but the middle and left still have second operation to go)

Many, MANY hours of machining here (quite a few of them overnight on the machine while I wasn't there ...which is very exciting indeed!)

Will talk more about these pocket clips and backspacers and how they're machined in a future post/video).

Scales popped out of the frames and ready to be hand-sanded (there is a ton of hand-sanding in these ...and I'm kind of thinking I didn't charge enough for them).

I currently have a load of parts sanded and ready for tumbling and assembly.

​Quick confession:

I totally did not charge enough for the Magnatron™ Knife as I had no idea how much hand-sanding was involved in each one. I definitely don't regret it ...quite the opposite actually ...I'm super-excited that everyone (hopefully) is going to be VERY pleased with what they receive. 🙂

One last thing...

​I WILL be increasing the price of the Magnatron™ Knife once I get these pre-orders ​finished and shipped (just can't justify the current price when it takes so much machining, sanding, finishing, etc.).

So now is your absolute last chance to get your Magnatron™ for the current low price by clicking here ​RIGHT NOW.

​​​Updates And Magnatron™ Knife Progress

​​Updates And Magnatron™ Knife Progress

​​I'm aiming to email every week with update for various projects I'm running late on.

​Although this whole COVID-19 thing has held us back 5 to 6 weeks here in New Zealand in terms of production ...we were already late as it was (so full blame, of course, lies with me).

​Pens Update

​We've had a lot of ​customers asking for a specific date for when the Bolty™ - Bolt Action Pen will be shipping (and, also the pencil and click pen).

Truthfully, I'm not able to give a specific date yet ...but I promise I will post one as soon as I know. The reason is we're waiting to get the new CNC Lathe up and running (we thought it would be yesterday/today ...but it looks like it will be the beginning of next week).

​Once we get the machine up and running then I'll get a date to you. Right now I'd be totally guessing. If you can hold on just a bit longer (maybe next week or the week after and I'll let you know).

I really appreciate your patience!

The Magnatron™ Knife (Progress)

​Rock solid progress on these ...finally!

Scales, Pocket-Clips and Backspacers coming off nicely on the Magnatron™ Flipper Knife.

​I'm doing a few tweaks to how I'm maching the blade while these are running. So an update on the blade soon.

​Here's ​some shots of the various stages of production...

First up, the water-jet cutting of the "blanks" from 6mm thick titanium sheet:

​A couple of the blanks on the fixtures:

​How the left and right scales look after machining first side machining (or "op 1" as we call it ...short for "operation 1"):

​And here's how they look after op 2:

​And here's a couple of shots of the pocket-clips and backspacers (I only just finished re-designing the layout and machining of them this afternoon ...after screwing-up yesterday and having to throw a bunch away). These turned out as planned though.

Here's after op 1:

​And here's after op 2:

​And that's really all I have for you today.

I gave updates for the other products we are producing in last week's blog post - and so I won't repeat them again here and nothing has changed on those.

Titanium Updates And A Random Personal Project

​Titanium ​Updates And A Random Personal Project

​A few things today...

First up, we are back up and running here at the workshop.

The lockdown here in New Zealand lasted for 5 weeks in total and the country is slowly coming out of it.

Luckily, since we are not customer-facing, we can now get stuck back into production (many businesses are still closed).

​We had some products that were late before this lockdown. And now, of course, 5 weeks on and they are even more late. But, like I said, we're ramping up production again as I type this (actually, we started a few days ago).

​First products I'll cover are the TiVault™ Secure Titanium Cache​, Bolty™ Titanium Pen​ and Titanium PillPots™...

Round Titanium Parts

​The TiVault™, Bolty™ and PillPots™ are all round parts.

​After many years of having my machinist make these parts at his workshop we're able to bring these in-house (like the other ​CNC machining work we do).

We just took delivery of a new CNC lathe on Friday (which has something we've been ​working on for many months).

​In the next few days we should have it up and running and starting to make the first parts.

Here are a couple of photos of getting the machine in and putting it in place:

​The PillPots™, TiVault™ and Bolty™ will mostly be made on this machine.

However, there are some parts of each of these that will be done on the milling machine (i.e. the "key" for the TiVault™, the pocket-clip for the Bolty™, etc.).

Will update again soon on this once we get it up-and-running and making parts!

Knives

​The two knives (Magnatron™ / Fliptility™ and Project ZERO™) we're working on will ​be back up and running with starting tomorrow.

I'll give an update on these at the start of next week once we are closer to getting the first parts off the CNC.

Other Projects

​Although we couldn't run production during lockdown ...we still ran a couple of crowdfunding projects.

​One was for a new "V2" version of the TiWallet™ on IndieGoGo​:

​We also launched a Kickstarter project for a new Utility Blade Knife I called the SlideClick™:

The project did amazingly well and shipping is in July. If you missed this project then you can still pre-order here: Titanium SlideClick™ Utility Blade Knife

​​A Non-Titanium Project (...or "How To Get Stuff Done!")

​I'd like to share a personal project with you.

It has nothing to do with titanium or anything like that (so feel free to skip this!).

It's not something I'm working on right now (catching up with late projects is the priority right now) ...but this is something I had made last year.

Basically, it's a journal/notebook that helps you get stuff done. Actually, it doesn't really help you ...it kind of forces you. And, honestly, it is the best thing I've used.

I've seen and tried different journals in the past - but I just could never get them to work for me. Some are to get you "organized" (I don't want to be organized ...I just want to get the stuff done that needs to be done!).

​The layout of it is fairly simple and has developed over time (it's not something I sat down and came up with ...it's evolved over a few years). Over the years I've tried various things. Some worked. Some didn't work. This journal is a combination of things I found that actually worked.

Here's an example of a couple of the pages (there are a few different ones that together make up the journal as a whole):

Now, I'm going to be totally honest here...

I don't use it all the time. Why? Because I am an idiot.

​When I start using it I end up getting a few days worth of work done in about half a day and think, "Man, I can't believe I don't use this every day!!".

​I then use the journal for a few days in a row (sometimes up to a couple of weeks in a row) ...and then I get overconfident and feel like I'm this getting-stuff-done-machine ...and that I don't need the journal any more.

And then, a few weeks later, I'll find myself struggling to get past procrastination and generally being hugely inefficient yet again. And I will again find I'm putting off the "grind work" that I know NEEDS to be done.

I then start using the journal and the whole cycle starts over again.

So, yeah, I'm a totally imperfect human for sure. If I can continue to keep training myself to use what I call the "Grind Journal", then amazing progress is made every day. It already works incredibly well ...I just need to do more of it. 🙂

​Here's the design I made for the outside cover (excuse the slightly beat-up nature of it ...I've been using it a lot :-D)

​I thought I'd share this with you in case it's something you struggle with as well.

Do you struggle with this stuff?

​If there is enough interest I can probably get more made (I crudely printed one myself ...and then had three made as sort of prototypes based on that one).

​They would maybe sell in packs of 3 or 5 or 10 or something like that as the minimum amount is something like 300 of 500 or such (because I only printed three initially ...they were $60 EACH!!). Need to do more numbers to bring that down.

If you're interested I can make a separate blog post and explain how it works (it's really brain-dead simple and nothing "fancy" ...but it's the only thing like this I've used that actually works!).

​Just to be clear...

My personal biggest issue is just getting the "grind work" done every day.

This "Grind Journal" does not organize my life. No lists. Not prioritizing of stuff. No "bullets". None of that stuff has ever worked for me.

It does ONLY TWO THINGS and that's it. What it does is it...

#1 - Forces you to do the work you know needs to be done ...or, in other words, the grind!

#2 - Get ​immediate feedback on any inefficiencies at getting stuff done​ ...and eliminate them ​right away (I routinely learn of an inefficiency one day ...and implement a change the next day so it does not happen again)

​”V2″ Titanium Wallet And NEW Hobby-Blade Knife

​"V2" Titanium Wallet And NEW Hobby-Blade Knife

​A ​few things for you today...

NEW "V2" Titanium Wallet

​This "V2" version is mostly the same as the one we made last year ...expect it functions a lot better (particularly when inserting card back in).

The CNC machining is also a LOT better too.

Oh, and the biggest "complaint" we had about the first version was that, for each wallet size, it could actually hold at least one extra card (i.e. the 9-card wallet could hold at least 10 cards).

It turns out...

Customers generally did not like that (I totally called it wrong here ...because I knew I was designing-in a "little extra room" ...but it was not something people liked about it).

Long story short:

This new Titanium Wallet comes in 4-card, 6-card and 9-card versions ...and they hold exactly that. You will almost certainly not be able to hold any more cards in each wallet than the stated amount.

CLICK HERE to check it out right now.

New Zealand COVID-19 Update

​In the last blog post I talked about how, here in New Zealand, we are in "full lockdown" because of Covid-19.

Time has felt like it's has passed really slowly because it's only been just over 2 weeks of a (minimum) 4-week lockdown for us here.

So, just to confirm... we are not an "essential business" and so we are unable to operate production during this time (online stuff like writing this blog post right now is fine though :-D).

The more I learn and read about this Covid-19 thing... I think most of the world (well, their governments) have had too much of a knee-jerk reaction without thinking enough about the consequences (both short and long-term).

But ...that's not a rabbit-hole I'm going to go down right now. 🙂

​Hobby-Blade Knife

​Here's a new product we've designed... (it's only a CAD model at this stage - but I'm looking for feedback)

​It's an ultra-compact, key-chain size knife which uses a standard #11 hobby blade:​​​

You'll notice it has a sort-of "cap" on it.

This ​cap is not technically necessary as the blade holds itself in.

But the great thing about it is that you can attached either of the two loops to your keychain for totally flexibility in how you use the knife (either attached the knife and pull the cap out ...or attached the cap and pull the main body out).

Also, by enclosing the blade entirely ...it hides the fact that there is any sort of blade in there. Makes it a lot more subtle.

​These are just computer renders ...so we obviously still have have to prototype and test.

​​However, at this stage, I find it can be very useful to ask you for feedback (I've aborted many concepts over the years because of lack of interest in CAD models ...it really is a great time-saver for ALL of us!).

Thoughts?

Knives, PillPots and Flashlights

​Knives, PillPots and Flashlights

​Okay, let's get the shameless self-promotion out the way first...

3 Days Left (Titanium "SlideClick™" Knife)

​The SlideClick™ - Utility Blade Knife project on Kickstarter continues to do VERY well.

It will be ending just ​two days from now - so I recommend you check out the project right now (most likely won't be available at the low Kickstarter price again).

​Here's a quick video of one of the Updates I did for the project: (I show you how it works and one of the changes Backers have requested I make...)

Backers are really excited about the mechanism - which I'm excited about too! 😀

The above video shows the mechanism in action.

​To check the project out, then click here right now:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/epicmake/titanium-utility-blade-knife/

PillPots™ (BIG DISCOUNT)

​The Titanium PillPots™ -- particularly the larger ones -- have been selling like hotcakes in the last week since I offered them for sale.

​If you've not yet checked them out, then click here to do so.

​Oh, and these are on with a fairly BIG DISCOUNT as well ...which I'll be removing shortly (so make the most of it!).

Knife Blade (CNC Machining)

​The Magnatron™ Flipper Knife is going well.

​I've proven out almost everything - just wrestling with the blade surface finish.

I'm really against using a traditional knife-grinder. I believe CNC machining can do a superior job ...but, honestly, it is proving trickier than I thought.

Here's inside the machine I'm using:

​Out of interest... this cnc is called a horizontal because -- as you can probably guess -- the spindle is positioned horizontally (as opposed to the more conventional vertical).

Here's the blade progress:

​The clamping is a little rough - but it's just temporary while get this dialed-in.

​The steel being used is RWL34 (I upgraded the steel for ​customers - I was going to go Nitro-V initially).

CLICK HERE to learn more about this knife.

​Is It Time For a Titanium Flashlight?

A couple of years ago I briefly discussed on this blog doing a titanium flashlight.

​Truthfully, I'm not sure what happened to that line of thought - likely just sidetracked with other projects.

But here's the thing...

I think it's time to re-visit this idea for ​three reasons:

#1 - We should (hopefully) be getting a CNC Lathe soon (a must-have machine for doing a flashlight for sure!)

#2 - We're finally getting into a better position in the business (I talked about the issues we've had over the last year or so - ​it's under the heading "Why I've Been Screwing Up So Much"​​ ​).

#3 - ​I want to make a titanium flashlight (yes, purely selfish as always - I just want one!)

​I don't really know much about flashlights and so I'm going to start learning what goes into making one.

The mechanical/titanium bit should not pose any issues ...but it's building out the rest of it that's going to be all new territory.

Long story short:

If you're into flashlights, then I would love to hear any thoughts you have on what is good... bad... ridiculous... must-have... mustn't-have ...nice-to-have ...you get the idea. 🙂

And I think that's all I have for you today.

Titanium + COVID-19 Lockdown

​Titanium ​and ​COVID-19 Lockdown

A few things to cover today...

First up, COVID-19 has become an issue for us - and here's why:

​COVID-19 Update

​Yes, this is yet another COVID-19 update you're hearing (I'm sure you'​re up to your eyeballs with updates from others!).

​​I'll get straight to it:

​Here in New Zealand the entire country ​has just gone into lock down​. Only "essential businesses" can remain open ...which, unfortunately, does not include us. :-/

​All four of us here at Magnus Industries will be self-isolating (along with ​almost the entire country) for what looks like about 4 weeks at this stage.

Essentially this is like hitting a big PAUSE BUTTON for us in terms of production. Sky, who does the customer support, will continue to work from home - so we'll still be answering emails and such.

​We should still be able to ship products if it's something you've ordered and we have in stock (we only have a few products in stock right now - carabiners, HookUp Clips, and one or two other things). Shipping is with DHL Express as usual. ​Packages are arriving as fast as they usually ​do (as far as I can tell at least).

Apart from not being able to run production it will kind of be business-as-usual ​in terms of blog posts and such. We'​ve been prototyping here and there and had ​actually planned to launch one or two Kickstarter projects before we knew about the lock down.

So far we've been able to continue with at least of one these (it launched a few hours ago) - I'll give you a link in just a ​minute.

I hope, whichever country you are in, that you and your family and friends a​re safe and well. This is a fairly unique situation humanity finds itself in. Not so much the virus ...but that such a virus is occurring at a time when everything, on average, has been the best it's ever been (communications, connectivity, medical care, computing power, etc.).

We are very lucky.

Business Continues (well, mostly)

​I briefly mentioned above that I've just launched a Kickstarter a few hours ago.

Strange timing. But thankfully, because of the nature of a Kickstarter, it gets fulfilled once the project ends. So, in a weird sort of way, a Kickstarter is a great thing to be running right now.

​So, the project...

​Like I said the project has just launched and has kind of gone ballistic already!

Usually projects do well - but this ​one was well over 150+ Backers in less than 24 hours...

​The project is for a re-designed Titanium Utility Blade Knife.  I designed and made one last year. A lot of people loved it ...but we also received some "constructive criticism" about it. Not that much - but enough for me to take notice.

This new utility blade knife is essentially re-designed from the ground up (with YOUR feedback in mind). And, so far, it's proving VERY popular - which, honestly, is exciting. 🙂

I've written about all the features on the Titanium Utility Blade Knife project page (CLICK HERE to check it out).

​Although this design is quite similar looking to the knife I designed last year ...it's actually fairly different in terms of how is functions. Again, best to go to the Project Page to learn more about it.

​The PillPots

​Another shameless plug for the Titanium PillPots...

I sent out an email last week for the heavily discounted PillPots (so this is just another heads-up really).

​I'm offering the standard 22mm and 28mm sizes ...but, for the first time in a couple of years, I'm also offering the 36mm and 45mm as well. These are tricky to keep in stock (cost of material and cost to produce are high) and hence these are all pre-order so I can buy the material and make them specifically for you. 🙂

Here's ​a reminder of what the larger (36mm and 45mm) PillPots look like:

​...and I think that's all I have for you today.

​Oh, one last thing...

​I'll probably be doing a few more blogs posts and things like that over the next few weeks because of the lock-down (usually I'm spending time catching up with projects - but there is not too much I can do just now).

Magnatron™ Knife Update And Titanium Belt Buckle

​Magnatron™ Knife Update And Titanium Belt Buckle

​A few things to talk about today (some product updates, a new product and a popular product back in stock).

First up are some Updates:

Project ZERO

Project ZERO is a knife I launched as a pre-order around a year ago now.

It was meant to be a few months to make it. I was absolutely, totally and utterly an idiot in this regard (no surprise there).

I did not realize how difficult it was to make a flipper knife. I have already made a fixed-blade knife and a friction-folder knife (so I was fairly confident). It has been challenging - but I'm almost there.

I've been toiling away in the background - almost every day since the end of last year. We have two machinists here (not including me as I'm not a machinist - but I can get done what I need to get done) ...so they've been working on other projects.

​So there are actually a couple of knives I'm working on at the same time... Project ZERO and the Magnatron™ (I talk more about the Magnatron™ below).

​The blade of project ZERO as well as the internal mechanism and backspacer are very similar to the Magnatron™ knife. I'm kind of working on everything at the same time on both knives.

So, yeah, project ZERO is long-overdue for an Update. I will have one out soon specifically for Project ZERO ...but, in the meantime, the Update below on the Magnatron™ pretty much covers the blade and backspacer of Project ZERO...

Magnatron™ Knife Update

​Yes, the Magnatron™ Knife is late (was meant to be the 12th of February and it's now almost the 12th of March!).

I'll be totally honest with you... the blades have caused me real problems. Way more difficult to make then I had anticipated. The real issue was getting a good finish on the main bevel.

The GOOD news is that I now have it sorted (which is why you're getting an update today).

Unfortunately I used up ALL the Nitro-V material trying to get the blades right. Dozens of blades I went through to get it right!

Actually, I'll mention here that although the Magnatron™ is late and you've not received any updates from me ...I have worked on the Magnatron™ and Project ZERO literally every single day as far back as I can remember (sometime in January without a day where I was not milling).

I wasn't just working on the blade during that time. I took the time to dial-in the scales (a lot easier than the blades). I also designed and milled the backspacer (again, easier than the blade).

I made a couple of pocket-clips ...but they did not turn out as I had hoped (the way I held the part down for the second milling cycle caused them to "lift" and not machine correctly). So that is the last thing I have to do - I worked Sunday getting the CAD/CAM sorted on the pocket clip. I should be able to mill it tomorrow.

So, yeah, running late but almost there on this knife (as well as the Project ZERO knife).

Oh, almost forgot! Remember how I said I used up all the Nitro-V steel during the testing?

Well, the good news about that is I ordered new steel for the Magnatron™ knives (which arrived a couple of weeks ago) ...and I ordered RWL34!

So, yeah, ​the knife is being upgraded to RWL34 steel (it costs a lot more than Nitro-V ...but that's the least I do for ​since this project is so late!).

Here's some photos from this morning:

​Here's a little thing for you to know...

​Although the knife is late in delivering - I'm can honestly say you will be getting a much better knife because of this. While I have been working on the blades ...I have also been tweaking little things here and there across the rest of the knife.

​A few good things to come out of the problems I've encountered along the way (these are things where something went wrong initially ...and the solution was an improvement ​to the knife):

-- RWL34 Steel - I already mentioned this - but I thought it worth highlighting again 🙂

-- The opening mechanism uses a "Floating Detent" (i.e. the ceramic ball is pressed into the blades instead of the lockbar insert). I have found this to be smoother than the traditional way ...and gives a nice, single "click" when the knife is open instead of the double click you hear on other knives

-- The plunge-line has a unique "V" shape (ended up doing this because it looked so much better than the original design)

-- Pocket-clip function (I tried to make the pocket-clip super-thin and it just ended up not functioning very well - I made it a bit thicker and it performs a LOT better!)

​Hopefully this Update helps show you where the Magnatron™ knife is at. Not too far away. 🙂

NEW Titanium Belt Buckle (IN STOCK)

​I'll keep this short...

​I've just put some of these brand new Titanium Belt Buckles up on the website (click here to check them out).

​This buckle is something I've had in my head for years ...but only now taken the time out to finalize the design and make it.

I'm not doing a pre-order on this - just what is available on the website. So when they're gone ...they're gone!

CLICK HERE to check it out.

​Hook-Up Clips

​It's been some time since I last had these in stock:

We have finally done a run of these Titanium HookUp Clips and they are in stock and shipping right now.

...and I think that's all I have for you today. 🙂

Titanium Knife, Belt Buckle and Coronavirus

​Titanium ​Knife, Belt Buckle and Coronavirus

​A whole bunch of stuff for you today... ​

We're going to talk about:

-- The coronavirus
-- Why I've been late on almost every project/product
-- Updates on projects
-- A NEW knife design
-- A NEW Titanium Belt Buckle

Coronavirus Issues (yeah, really!)

​You've probably heard a lot about this ​coronavirus thing on the news. And, I know, you probably don't want to hear any more about it ...but just give me a couple of seconds.

​We get some titanium from China​ and some from the USA. Unfortunately, we're having issues getting titanium from China right now because of the coronavirus ...and so it's affecting production for some of our projects (but is certainly not the main reason projects are late).

I'll keep you updated on this - but hopefully it's a short-term thing. Not a huge deal as I continue to buy from the USA (also have a supplier in Singapore if we need it).

UPDATE: China seems to be back up and moving a gain in terms of titanium supply (certainly for us at least).

​Why I've Been Screwing Up So Much

​While the coronavirus is the cause of a little bit of lateness from me - it certainly does not explain why I've been perpetually late on projects for so long.

I'd like to talk about that now... (maybe strap yourself in ...could be a bit of a bumpy ride!)

Over the the last few months (possibly even a year or more) I've had many customers annoyed that I keep releasing new products ...when previous products/projects are late.

I'd like to discuss that here (there is a good chance, if you're reading this, you are someone who has been on the receiving end of late products/projects from me).

Firstly, customers are absolutely 100% correct to be annoyed. I've failed to deliver in time (again and again). And, secondly, not only am I late ...but I release other products before delivering the late project.

My short answer to this is:

I've screwed up. Not just that, but I've screwed-up many times (many late projects).

My longer (and it is quite a bit longer) answer to this is:

If I had focused 100% on delivering the late projects (and not released any new products), then I would not be in business today. I would have gone bankrupt most likely.

Getting late on a project is a double-whammy. Money coming into the business does not match the expenses going out of the business. It's like "quick-sand" ...you lift one foot to get out ...and the other foot goes even deeper into the sand!

I'll be honest here...

​I have alienated a lot of Customers over the last year or two with late projects. I hate that they (and, quite likely, YOU reading this right now) have had such an awful experience.

Getting late on a couple of projects some time ago has had a domino-like effect to cause subsequent projects to be late. Here are a couple of examples of projects that really caused us problems:

-- Getting a few samples done of a black coating on titanium pens. The samples were great. We then sold 150 pens (on a Kickstarter) and the production black coatings were not acceptable. It took us something like 6 weeks, all day every day, to figuring out the process ourselves and coat our own pens. LESSON: I should have had more samples done at least - or not offered a Kickstarter product with a coating/finish we had never done before!

-- We used a new shipping method to ship 1500+ pens (a big Kickstarter project). We used a new shipping method because our previous courier suddenly stopped the service with a 3-day warning. The new service ended up losing a double-digit percentage of packages ...literally hundreds of packaged never arrived to Customers. I had to re-make hundreds of pens and ship them again. This cost somewhere between $50,000 and $100,000 to fix (which I didn't have and had to go into debt over). LESSON: Have a "Plan B" and a "Plan C" for all sort of things that could potentially happen!

​-- Had to make around 150 blades for a folding knife project. We made 100+ blades and discovered that the tumbling process caused small "pits" in the surface of the blades. We were not doing small "batches" back then like we do now and so they all had to be scrapped and started again. Many, many weeks of work wasted. LESSON: Prove out a process 100% before jumping in and making 100+ of something. Do small batches (i.e. around 20) all the way through to completion - it's less efficient but will catch any issues almost right away​!

There are quite a few stories like this over the last couple of years​. It's depressing. I'm getting better at mitigating these things and trying to plan for things going wrong. The thing I'm trying to highlight is that, when something goes wrong, it's very difficult to just drop everything and only fix that specific thing ...because ​the bills start mounting up and ​paying them becomes difficult. It is critical to keep money coming into the business (i.e. continue to develop and launch new products) even while ​there are projects that are falling behind because of unexpected issues.

The silver-lining is that, over the last two years, we've gone from it just being me in the business ...to being four of us in total. The mistakes are becoming less frequent as we discuss previous mistakes and potential new problems - but we're still playing "catch up".

There are a number of things we do now that help us steer clear of potential trouble. Here are some of them:

-- We CNC machine and surface-finish products in small batches. This is less efficient - but it helps us catch any issues very quickly.

-- We spend a lot more time costing a project/product than we used to - this helps us offer products for the lowest price we can (without going as far as losing money on them). I've made a few product where, after crunching the numbers, we're losing money for every one we make.

-- We have reduced the number of different products we design and sell ...because there was too much time spent in developing a new product only to quickly move onto the next one. We are now doing more complex products (knives and pens for example) ...but we aim to continue to sell each design for a longer period of time rather than drop it fast like we used to.

-- Buying more machines. Yeah, I know, crazy right? But it's really working well. We bought a new milling machine last year ...which has helped a lot. And we're in the process of (hopefully) buying another right now. The economics of business is such that... you're already paying rent, insurance, etc. ...and so the additional cost of a machine is small-ish compared to the monthly expenses of the business. So going from one machine to two machines to produce products makes a HUGE difference.

None of what I've said above excuses any of my screw-ups (and there are a lot of them!). The fact many of you are still sticking by me and continuing to buy the new products we're designing and making ...is absolutely amazing and I appreciate it so much.

I am very VERY aware of the lateness of every single project and and every product. Far from ignoring it ...it's at the forefront of my mind all the time.

I do hope that the above "behind the scenes" of the running of this business explains why I continue to release new products while some other projects are already late. It's not that I've moved onto the next "shiny new thing" ...it's because I need to keep the business moving along (i.e. developing new products and offering them for sale) or bills don't get paid and we have to close the doors!

Okay, I definitely think I've rambled enough now. Thank you for listening.

Updates (On Current Projects)

​Here's where we are with current projects...

​​Pocket Tweezers - Finishing off the last of these. The last of these are being machined right now as a I type this (and we will be fully finished machining tomorrow morning) ​...and another day or two surface finishing and assembly. Also, these are no longer for sale for the time being.

Magnatron™ Knife - This one has been affected by the coronovirus (waiting for material for the remaining scales). I​f you've pre-ordered this knife, then you're going to receive an email from me soon with an update I think you'll find interesting (note: you're going to be  getting a bit of an upgrade on part of the knife).

TiVault™ - This project is not late - but I am getting questions about what stage it is at. Still on schedule (may​ end up being a little late because we do not yet have the titanium round bar in stock for it).

Bolty™ - Bolt Action Pen - Again, not late, but as with the TiVault™ above I'm getting questions about where it is at. We have the material on hand - just prioritizing other projects right now.

Prototype Knife

I know this knife will, for sure, have only limited appeal (i.e. it's definitely not for everyone). But, for those who like it, it's definitely going to be a MUST HAVE knife.

​It's a high-end titanium flipper knife ...BUT, with a utility blade instead of a typical knife blade.

Here's what it looks like:

The blade can be changed without any tools and has a double-locking mechanism so it's 100% secure.

​​I was going to hold-off to offer this until I had made some - but the people who want it ...REALLY seem to want it (and banging my door down to get it!). So what I've done is setup the pre-order page so you can secure yours now.

CLICK HERE to check it out >>> https://store.magnusx.com/pages/fliptility

​Titanium Belt Buckle

The buckle I'm about to show you is the first prototype ...so it is fairly unfinished.

​We're currently making the second prototype right now. There is a fairly significant different on the rear-side ...but, overall, it looks like the buckle below.

I'll just throw a few photos down here ​for your:

The above buckle was the first prototype.

​We made a bunch of tweaks and here's the second prototype:

​As you can see... we remove a LOT of material from the billet of titanium to make this buckle.

Actually, the starting weight is around 252 grams (8.9oz) and it's ending up around 39 grams (1.4oz) ...that's around 85% of the titanium machined away.

​Also, something that I almost never do (perhaps only once) is leave lines from the machining in. I specifically want to do this as I really think it works on this buckle (mainly on the rear side).

Going forward we'll likely experiment with different designs/variations on the front side. I think the first version for sale will have obvious (and somewhat aggressive) machining lines on the front (not smooth like in the second prototype above).

​I'm thinking we may offer a belt with this (i.e. you tell us your size and we'll cut and attach the belt to the buckle so it's ready to go ...is this something you would like ...or would you just want the buckle?).

Also, I've been wearing one of the prototypes this last weekend and it's been absolutely awesome because it's so slim and light. I've wanted to make a buckle like this for years (which is why the 3D model design did not take me too long because the design has been floating around in my head for a long time).

And I think that's all I have for you today.

Titanium TiBricks, TiVault and Knives

Titanium Lego and Knives

A whole bunch of interesting stuff for you today (since it's been so long since the last blog post)...

​I kinda screwed-up and "oversold" a few TiBricks™ I didn't have in stock ...and so now I have to make those. But that's good news for you because...

Since I now have to make more I may as well open them up to you (since I've had a lot of requests for them since I stopped selling them last year).

​You can grab your TiBrick™ by clicking here right now.

TiVault™ Available (24 Hours Only)

​We are soon going to be starting production of the TiVault™ Secure Titanium Storage Cache:

​This one-of-a-kind and never-before-seen storage cache has been incredibly popular (sold over twice as many as I thought I would - which I really appreciate!).

​​CLICK HERE to grab your right now (ONLY FOR THE NEXT 24 HOURS).

Making Knives With CNC

​Over the last few weeks I've been focusing on knives.

The key word here is I (as in me). The reason I say this is because we have a couple of products on pre-order ...and a couple of products that are late in shipping.

​The rest of the cnc team (well, okay, ​​there are only two of them - Yngvar and Quentin) continue to catch-up with this other work.

​I use the machines in the evening and weekends to develop the knives (yes, plural, more than one) ...and actually start the production of them.

Actaully, on that note, I managed to run this knife scale overnight ...which was kind of exciting to be honest. I hit "cycle start" at around 10pm ...switched off the lights ...and left the workshop.

Came in to a nicely machined scale:​

​The next stage for the scale above is to snap the tags of that are holding it into the frame.

I'll then sand the tags down on the knife grinding machine ...and then sand both sides of the scales.

What I've been experimenting with is making a different left-side scale every time. Here are some of what I've done (some are screw-ups that I have to throw out ...and some are good and will be offered for sale soon):

Here's both the left and right scale:

​And here's what the knife is currently looking like (the blade is a work-in-progress obviously :-D)...

The "Floating Detent" Mechanism

​I accidentally invented a new opening/closing mechanism.

It might have been done before ...I don't know. I've certainly never seen or heard of it.

​Now, before I continue, a quick confession:

I've been holding out on you. I was working away in the background towards the end of last year on another website.

​I'm thinking I might keep the knives I'm working on somewhat separate to MagnusX.com. So what I've done is create a business just for knives (this seems like a good solution because, truthfully, the majority of previous customers are not interested in knives ...and so continuing to talk about knives here is probably putting them off).

​The website for knives is Cadanga.com (click here to go there now).

If you head over there there is nothing for you to buy yet. But there is quite a lot of photos of the CNC making of knives as well as some behind-the-scenes of the machines I'm using.

It is, of course, a work in progress - but I do continue to upload knife-related stuff.

​Back to the "Floating Detent"...

The reason I mention the Cadanga.com website is because I've just written a NEW blog post on the "Floating Detent" opening mechanism (if you're into knives I think you'll find it fairly interesting).

​Knife Availability

​Although I've shown you some knives above - they are still at the prototyping and testing stage.

I'm not sure when they will be available - still have more testing to do (not much - just a little).

However, I do have a made-to-order knife that will be shipping on February 12th called the Magnatron™:

I have a ton of information (including a video at the top of the page) on this knife. To find out more click here right now.

And I think that's all I have for you today.

Framelock Knife And Updates

​Fr​amelock Knife and Updates

First a couple of updates (and then I'll get onto the recent developments on the Magnatron™ flipper knife).

Pocket-Tweezers Update:

​The Pocket-Tweezers (if you're waiting on them) are almost finished. Yes, they are late as you are aware, but we're getting around 15 of them made every day right now and they are going very well. Around this time next week they should all be finished and shipped (or at east be ready to shipped).

The Writing Set Update:

​This project is almost there. The cases will be finished in the next couple of days. The buttons for the pens are finished. The springs are finished. The clips are finished. We are just waiting for bodies and tips only from my machinist. Once we receive them it is a fairly fast process to take them from raw to tumbled and then assembled. I don't have a timeframe yet as I'm waiting to hear back from my machinist.

​Onto the knife...

​The Magnatron™ Knife

​You​'ve probably seen this knife already (I believe I sent out an email about it over the holiday season).

​It was around 95% finished - but now it's at least 99% percent finished (just a small tweak or two on the CAD model before I make the first few ...which are already sold).

​Here's a NEW video showing the Floating Detent™ mechanism in action:

​​Yeah, I know, the Floating Detent™ thing sounds a little fancy - but it's kinda simple if I'm honest (although it works horribly well! :-D).

​Maybe it's been done before on a knife - but I've certainly never seen it over the years.

Here's what it is:

On a normal knife the detent ball is press-fit into the lockbar insert and that detent slides across the face of the blade​. And, when the blade is closed, the detent ball "falls" into a hole on the blade to keep the blade in.

Well, on the Floating Detent™​, the detent ball is pressed into the blade itself (where the hole would usually be). And, when the blade is closed, the detent ball "falls" into the hole in the lockbar insert​. There are a few other things I've done to allow this to work - but that's essentially it.

​It seems to work like a dream. Oh, and in case you're wondering, it's the hardened steel insert that slides along the blade with the Floating Detent™​ mechanism (yeah, I was a little skeptical of it ...but I just can't argue with the end result of how the knife performs!).

​The first ten (serial numbers #1 to#10) sold quickly and I have a few more left of the #11 to #20 serial numbers. CLICK HERE to check it out in detail.

​The above link has tons of information - but here's a few photos of the "behind the scenes" of the prototyping and development...

One more thing...

I'm still figuring the best way to machine the various parts of the Magnatron™ Knife. The above images are the latest version of how I'm making the knife - while, on the main product page for the knife here, most of the images are of the original method I was using to hold and machine the parts.

​Also on the main product page is how the pocket-clip is made (as well as a few other parts of the process of making of this knife).

Fire away with any questions or comments about the knife you may have. :-)​

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