All Posts by Magnus

Titanium Update (SlideClicks, Sliders, …etc.)

Mostly Caught Up, SlideClicks In Stock, Sliders, etc...

It's been a while!

Let's get some updates on late projects out the way first ...and then talk about some other things.

The only late projects we have left now (excluding the knives) are the Fountain Pen and the Skulls.

The fountain pens are now fully finished machining (well, that's actually not 100% true, we have six more pocket-clips to go!). We're going to start sanding and tumbling them over the next few days ...and then shipping shortly after that.

The Titanium Skulls are finally about to be machined (after a few false starts as we re-did the CNC fixturing four times). We should get the first one off the CNC by the end of the week ...and then they should be coming off thick-and-fast after we confirm they're machining like we expect..

Other than the above - we are now fully caught-up on products/projects (it's been a challenging few years of this lateness ...and, again, my apologies to everyone who had to experience this. I am sorry. :-|).

SlideClicks (In Stock)

We have finally made some more SlideClick Utility Blade Knives after being out of stock for 6 months or so. Unfortunately I've not had time to make many of them ...so there are only a dozen or so on the site just now.

CLICK HERE to check out the SlideClick - Titanium Utility Blade Knife.

Sliders *IN STOCK*

There are some Titanium Toad sliders and Titanium Ripple sliders in stock right now.

This is a new-ish type of product ...but they've been very popular (which has helped us catch up on the late projects).

CLICK HERE to go to the main Fidget Slider page to check them out.

Titanium Pens

We've been out of stock of Titanium Pens for quite some time.

We're hoping to have some pens available in the next few weeks. The original bolt-action pen (the Bolty) is not going to be made again ...but, on the plus side, we've designed a NEW Titanium Bolt-aciton pen.

This new pen is only being prototyped now ...so it's probably going to be a week until I have anything to show you. 🙂

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

P.S. One last thing... we've started working with Zirconium. Here's a short video of what the Zirconium chips from CNC machine can do with a little heat:

NEW Sliders (Titanium, Zirc, …etc.)

NEW Sliders (Titanium, Zirc, ...etc.)

Okay, let's talk sliders!

It's been quite some time since the last blog post - but we're both here now. 🙂

In today's post I'm going to show you a "coming soon" slider ...as well as a few sliders that are in stock right now (some are limited and others are not so limited).

Crab Slider (Coming Soon)

I posted a video about this on Facebook a couple of days ago and the response was fairly impressive (which, to be honest, I'm quite excited about).

I designed and prototyped this slider a number of weeks ago and I honestly could not put it down for the first couple of weeks.

I'll have plenty to say about it in a few more days. But, in the meantime, here are some photos and a video:

Zirconium Rail Slider

I have a few (literally less than a handful) of Zirconium Rail sliders I machined towards the end of last week.

Finally finished these a little while ago and just put them up on the website. If you see "SOLD OUT", then my apologies in advance (Zirconium has proven to be VERY popular).

CLICK HERE to check them out on the main Fidget Slider page.

*IN STOCK*

There are some Titanium Toad sliders and Titanium Ripple sliders in stock right now.

I've had a hard time keeping these in stock - but I've made more than my usual run this time.

CLICK HERE to go to the main Fidget Slider page to check them out.

Upcoming...

In the next few days we're going to have some Zirconium Toads made and back in stock (the last run sold out in a few minutes).

We're also going to start offering Zirconium inserts as an upgrade option on sliders. In fact... I started machining these today.

Zirconium is not too hard to machine ...BUT ...it does have an interesting feature I've never seen on any other metal - take a look at this video:

New Sliders And Designs

New Sliders And Designs

Let's talk about Sliders today!

I'll be honest here - this is not going to be a long post. Just a bit of me talking about sliders ...and then I'll point you in the direction of some new sliders you can buy ...and then we can both get on with our day. 🙂

NEW Slider "Tech"

I've been using brass plates with "dimples" on sliders for the last couple of months. It's working really well. Smooth and quiet.

I've just ordered some Aluminium-Bronze ...which should be here in the next few days.

Since I started this slider journey a few months ago I've always wanted to try Aluminium-Bronze. The reason for not doing it so far is that it's been hard to get hold of this material!

Here's the three main reasons I want to try Aluminium-Bronze on the slider plates:

#1 - It's a bit harder than brass and so I think (but could be totally wrong here!) the plates should be even smoother. Just a theory of course.

#2 - As far as I know... Aluminium-Bronze does not make your fingers dirty or black like brass does (again, have not personally tried this yet).

#3 - There is no lead content. Typically there is 2% to 3% lead in brass. This puts some people off ...they don't like to touch anything with lead in it. Truthfully, it does not bother me at such a low percentage - but everyone has their comfort level. Still, it would be cool not to have any lead in the plates anyway.

So nothing to report yet ...but, hopfeully, next week I'll have made a few plates and tested them.

NEW Sliders

First up... the Toad slider in Brass and Copper. I've been asked for these a LOT recently (especially since the Titanium Toads started shipping and people started receiving them).

While not a new design ...they are a new material. 🙂

I don't have too many of each of the copper and brass - but they are ready now and will ship the next working day.

CLICK HERE to check out both the Copper and Brass Toad Sliders
(they are near the bottom of the page)

I made three prototype sliders recently. All somewhat similar in dimensions and overall shape ...but only have one of them available so far (the other two still need some tweaking).

This new Titanium Slider is called the Grid (CLICK HERE to check it out):

Now, I will confess:

This Slider is priced quite a bit higher than previous sliders. And the reason for this is that it takes around 50% long to make than the others.

How come it takes 50% longer you may ask ...considering it's such a simple design? The answer is the slight curve across the length and width of the slider body. Without going into the "nitty gritty" it's currently taking 30 minutes just to do this curve on one body -- that's not even to mention the machining of the grid pattern!

So, yeah, I'm not sure if I'm going to make any more of these to be honest (I would prefer to makes sliders that don't take as long to make so I can get more of them into more people hands!).

I have around 11 or so made and ready to ship - CLICK HERE to learn more about the Grid slider.

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

​​Titanium Updates, KeyHolders and Sliders

Updates And Titanium Stuff...

It's been FIVE WEEKS since the last blog post ...so let's not muck around. Let's just jump straight in!

A few Updates first on the last remaining late projects...

The PillPots are nearly finished - here's what they're looking like now (just a few more days CNC and then tumbling and they are ready to ship):

The Skull is still ongoing. The last few days we've been re-designing the CNC fixture  ...and over the next few days (and into the start of next week) the fixture will be made. Production will finally start in earnest.

The CNC machining of the Fountain pen, like the skull, has just been re-done for production to start. Production will start at the end of next week (should not take too long as we have not sold too many of them ...kind of a niche product).

In Stock Products...

Because we've been playing catch-up quite intensely - there has not really been any new products (which is probably good news to those who are waiting on late products ...but a bit boring for those who are not!).

We were waiting on the custom-made washers for the CoolKey™ Titanium Key Holder. They finally arrived and we can finally offer these again (we made them a long time ago ...but ran out of the custom washers).

I have a handful of each of the different sizes (4-key, 6-key, 8-key and Full Set) ready to ship immediately:

NOTE: I only have just 10 of the "Loop" Add-on available to go with these ...so if you're wanting one of those along with your CoolKey™, then you have to act fast!

(More) Magnetic Fidget "Sliders"...

I've been making a few more of the Magnetic Fidget sliders here and there in the background.

Without sounding all big-headed and such - they have taken the fidget community by storm. The demand has been crazy - and, unfortunately, it's not really possible to meet this demand while we're still working away getting caught up on other products.

I thought I'd still show you them here anyway (since there is not really any new titanium products for you right now) ...there are a few of these in stock though.

Here are a few photos from a little while ago of the making of them:

Most people reading this blog post are, I think, more interested in the other titanium products I design and make.

But I do know that a few of you are into these - so I think it's worth sharing with you here. If these are your kind of thing, then I have some left and they are ready to ship next day.

The two models I have right now are:

The Toad Slider (CLICK HERE)

and

The Ripple Slider (CLICK HERE)

The Ripple Slider above actually has a few Brass and Copper versions available.

And that's it...

That's all I have for you today. 🙂

I think this is the longest I've not posted in a while - but it is probably also the most productive we've been in terms of getting caught up on late projects.

There really is only a few to go now - the countdown has begun!

Hopefully I'll be able to get back to designing and making NEW titanium stuff very soon.

Titanium Fidgets and Updates

Titanium Fidgets and Updates

Well, it's been a few weeks ...so let's get straight into it!

First, we'll discuss late projects:

This last few weeks we've been cranking out the ClickShift Titanium pens (for website orders ...not for Kickstarter). All website orders are shipped (as well as most of the Kickstarter Rewards for this pen).

We've also been working on the PillPots (slower than expected - but that's because it's the first time we've made them in-house). Shipping should start this week ...and then carry on over the next couple of weeks.

The Fountain Pen will start as soon as the PillPots are finished (while not technically late ... this project is dragging on a bit).

The Titanium Skull is almost up-and-running again. We had started it - but encountered issues on how we held the skull for the second part of the machining operation. We started making it the second time and found we had tweak the fixture (and by "tweak the fixture" I really mean start again from scratch!). I think we have it solved now and skulls should be coming off the machine smoothly by the end of this week.

I will discuss the knives that are late in a separate update.

The Titanium "Toad"...

While we get caught up with late projects I also MUST keep some new things going out the door (to ensure workshop rent, machine loans, etc. all get paid).

The Titanium "Toad" magnetic fidget slider has been HUGELY popular - here's a couple of photos:

If you're still not sure how this fidget thing works, then there is a video on THIS PAGE.

The Titanium "Ridge"...

With the popularity of the "Toad" slider ... I continued along this concept and came up with the Titanium "Ridge" slider:

Fidget spinners may have more mass appeal ...but these magnetic sliders win hands-down for shear fidgetability and addictiveness.

I play with these a LOT more than I ever did with spinners.

Titanium Fidget Things

Titanium "Fidget" Things

Some cool stuff today...

BUT first, I'll cover some of the remaining late projects.

'Slow and steady...' is probably the best description of the late projects right now. The Pillpots are mostly programmed, dialled-in and have started coming off the CNC (we used to work with another machinist to get these done ...and this is the first time we've done them in-house ...so we essentially had to start from scratch).

The Titanium Skull had a bit of a set-back (and is now officially late) because the way I was holding them on the CNC was not rigid enough. We have had to start again ...but it's now going a lot smoother (literally!) ...and we're able to run them faster.

The ClickShift Titanium Pens are right on the edge of shipping (all parts are made and finished ...and most parts are tumbled). They will all be shipped by the end of next week (possibly even sooner).

Update coming soon for customers specifically waiting for knives.

New "Fidget" Invention
Since we're getting caught up on projects... I've been spending a little more time thinking about -- and designing -- some new things.


What I'm going  to show you now is something that was technically a "failed" project.

Long story short:

I had a concept for a carabiner a few weekends ago. I was really struggling to get the design drawn in the CAD program. I had managed to draw the overall body shape of the carabiner ...but hit a brick wall with the rest of it.

While I was staring blankly at the screen I thought, "hey, what if I put a bearing and a couple of buttons in that body...".

I spent some of my weekend making a prototype and posted the result on one of the Facebook "Fidget" Groups and the feedback was overwhelming!

Since then I've made and sold a few dozen of them (and they seem to sell out within a few hours).

Here's one of the designs:

I call this fidget thing... The "Floop".

So far I've made three different models (one of them in Brass and Copper).

(And another...) New "Fidget" Invention

Here's another one I'm working on... I call it "The Toad":

This one is the second prototype. The main body is made from copper. The plates on the inside that rub against one another are made from brass. Behind those plates are six magnets (12 x magnets in total).

Hopefully will make a titanium one shortly.

Titanium Updates, Skulls and other things…

Titanium Updates, Skulls and other things...

Let's talk about the "updates on late projects" first...

Titanium PillPots are being made right now:

The PillPots are CRAZY-late. I don't have a shipping date yet - but I will give one as we work through them.

The ClickShift Titanium Pen parts are all fully finished and I'm tumbling the various parts right now. Both the tumbling and assembly takes a surprising amount of time. Shipping of them WILL start tomorrow and I will updates again soon-ish as they come to the end of shipping (or when they are done).

The Founty™ - Fountain Pen is still late (this is a fairly exclusive project and so I typically provide Updates directly to Customers and not here on the blog).

A handful of people are waiting for the Bolty™ - Titanium Bolt-Action Pen. These have started shipping and should all be shipped in the next couple of days.

Some IN STOCK Products

As you are probably aware...

I've had a hard time keeping products in stock. Not just the last few months ...but YEARS.

Because we're close to catching up on the various late projects we can spend a little more time trying to get products in stock.

Here are a few products that are either in-stock right now (or at least will be ready in the next two days):

The Bolty™ - Titanium Bolt-Action Pen:

The CoolKey™ - Titanium KeyHolder. We've had a lot of people asking about this for many months ...and it's nice to finally have a few extra in stock and ready to go!

The SlideCache™ - Titanium Utility Blade Cache (stores up to 5 x blades):

...and I think that might be about it (but, hey, at least it's something).

Titanium Skulls

Production has started on the one-of-a-kind (and definitely never-before-seen) Titanium Skulls...

Progress is slow-and-steady on these because they take a significant amount of time to make (which is why, although it is only a single component, it is priced on the higher side ...I simply have no choice).

Since the initial prototype I've "upgraded" the teeth on the Titanium Skull. I've used a very small endmill specifically to CNC just the teeth so as to attain more detail (you should be able to notice the teeth on the two skulls on the right are more detailed than the skull on the left). There have been a few other little tweaks as well.

Believe it or not... the actual CNC machining of the Titanium Skull was not the hardest part. The trickiest part is actually how to hold it so that we can do the machining. I go into a little detail on this in on the main product page.

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

Mini Titanium Skull (…and other things)

Mini Titanium Skull (...and other things)

Before we get into the main post I'll just mentioned some quick Updates on projects/products...

We have a ton of parts machined and sanded on late projects. Right now the tumbling is the bottle-neck. I'll do a more product specific update soon (after the end of this week because we're going to be shipping a load of stuff this week and then I'll know where we are).

This week I'm hoping to have the SlideCache, SlideClick, CoolKey and (hopefully) the Dice fully shipped (there might be a little spill-over into next week).

If you're waiting on Titanium Dominoes ...then I have to confess I made an amateur error on the positioning of the layout on the #7 "dots".

Here's what I mean:

So, in keeping with my "impossibly high standards", I'm going to re-do all the "#7" dominoes in the sets I've made (and was just about to ship). So, if you're waiting for yours, then my apologies for the additional delay.


Titanium Skull (well, almost)

A quick confession:

What I'm about to show you is an aluminium version (because it is a lot more forgiving compared to titanium when trying something totally new for the first time).

Actually, before we jump right in...

The reason for making this "mini skull" is because we have a bunch of off-cuts of titanium from a previous project. They are around 50mm (2") in diameter and of various lengths.

The first thing I had to do was make a sort of conversion plate so we could hold the round bar vertically on the tombstone. Here's some of the making of this large, nut-shaped plate:

Next I had to skim down the end of the 50mm bar to 20mm so it was small enough to clamp vertically in the collet on the top of the tombstone.

Here's what the round blank looks like on the tombstone. It's now ready for milling.

I first had to do three passes on the top of the skull with the 8mm ball endmill so I had the clearance to start machining down the full outside of it. Here's what that initial milling resulted in... (oh, and this is just a roughing pass, so it's fairly crude and you can see not only the milling lines but also each individual cut from the endmill)

Here's the best video I have just now of the machining. I can do better in the future - but this will have to do for now:

Here's what the skull looks like after the first pass:

A couple of things:

-- This is aluminium (which, I don't think looks as nice as titanium)

-- The above images are of the ROUGH version of the skull. I started the finishing passes (which improve the skull dramatically and give it a lot more detail) but broke the tool I was using. By that time it was the end of the weekend and I had to get back to our typical milling work

-- If I make this, then the round column below the skull (which looks like it's "neck") will not be there - that was just a crude place-holder for this initial trial cut

Question for you...

I'd love to make some of these - but only if there is enough interest. If you're interested in one of these in titanium, then please do let me know (either in comments below or via email).

P.S. I'd also love to make much larger versions of these - but that would be another project for another time I think 🙂

P.P.S. Imagine a LIFE-SIZE titanium skull sitting on your desk!

Massive Progress and “Behind The Scenes”

Massive Progress and "Behind The Scenes"

The various blog posts I've done over the last few months (and probably even longer than that actually) have mainly been about how late we are on projects and, often, a new product here or there.

I'll get to the main content in just a second - but first I'd like to selfishly share some thoughts with you. 🙂

We are really catching up right now and somewhat on the home straight. This might not seem a big deal. And, fair enough, it probably isn't. But for the four of us here at Magnus Industries ...tucked away in far-away New Zealand ...we have been living in "lateness" for few couple of years.

Long story short:

I started falling behind on projects around four years ago ...but did not really realize it was happening for many, many months (I actually had no employees back then).

The longest-serving employee has been with us for around two and a half years. What this means is that everyone who works here has only ever experienced "lateness", "catching up", etc. etc.

The "business model" has been that we are routinely making products to fulfill orders that have already been placed  ...but, more often than not, we would end up late on many of these. We've had almost nothing in stock for years. We've had some significant cashflow challenges in the business (not that you want to know all the "dirty details" behind the business ...but, hey, that's the reality :-P).

Everyone here works REALLY hard and they are VERY good at what they do. So when I say we are nearly "caught up" ...this is really a big deal for everyone here.

It will be nice for our machinists to make products that can then go on the shelf as "in stock" ...because they've never done that here before (it's always been, "quick, we need to get this out the door ...it's already late!").

It will also be nice for Sky (our kick-ass customer service superstar) to spend less time replying to emails from customers wanting to know where their late products are (don't get me wrong, it is with great shame that I have put Customers in this position by getting the business into this position ...but I do have to think about the people who work here as well :-D).

Oh, and one more thing...

Every single one of us here (machinists included) read the feedback from you (yes YOU). We all like to keep on top of what YOU are saying to us. Whether it's, "you should consider making one of these" or "there is a design flaw in this product" or "why are you making this new product when you have not fulfilled my LATE product".

Whether it is positive feedback or negative feedback ...we are ALL acutely aware of what YOU are all saying all the time. We know we're late ...but, as you can hopefully gauge by the last couple of blog posts, we're FINALLY near the end of catching up!

And so, in that regard, let's show some progress...

Projects Almost Finished...

As I mentioned above, we are close to catching up ...BUT we are still late-ish on a number of projects.

However, with most of these projects, it's just sanding and tumbling left to go and they're done.

Here's a bunch of photos of some projects (some late and some not) to show you that we're almost there!

First up, the CoolKey Titanium Key Holder:

Here are the plates at various stages of hand sanding...

Here are the "drivers" for the key-holder (this is the custom titanium tool we include with each keyholder)...

...and here are some of the custom-made titanium screws we produce for each key-holder:

Here are the custom titanium springs for the ClickShift Titanium Pen:

This next photo is one I took today of the second-last cycle on the milling machine of the SlideCache 5 x Utility Blade Holder (only one more cycle to go and these are finished):

Here's some of hugely popular Titanium Dice I offered recently (obviously still have the "dots" and chamfering to go):

This next one is a little different...

The photo below is of the titanium "feet" of the custom case we make for the Titanium Domino Set:

And here are some of the new "9 x 9" Double-Nine Titanium Domino Set having just come fresh off the machine:

What Should I Make With This?

Below are 50 x water-jet cut "blanks" for the titanium dominoes.

However, in a moment of true genius, I cut them out of 3.6mm thick sheet instead of 6.7mm thick sheet ...which, of course, means they are unusable as dominoes.

I'd like to not waste these and -- since we ARE catching up -- making something else out of them would be the ideal situation.

So far I'm thinking about an ultra-compact multi-tool (i.e. hex-bit driver, pry-bar and bottle-opener all in one compact package).

The maximum length, width and thickness of the product that could be made out of this is:

Length: 43mm
Width: 20mm
Thickness: 3.5mm

Open to any other thoughts you may have?

Titanium Dice, Dominoes, Pens, etc.

Titanium Dice, Dominoes, Pens, etc.

A TON of stuff in today's post/update...

First up, our most late project (the PillPots), is almost underway (we have the material for the smaller sizes ready to go ...and should receive the larger material soon). It's been beyond frustrating for Customers of these ...and I rightly deserve every single bit of flak I get for this.

Again, if you're someone waiting for these and don't want to wait any longer ...then a refund is always an option. But, if you can hold off a little longer, we're almost there.

In terms of overall progress of late projects ...we can probably count how far we are away from catching up in terms of weeks (rather than months). I've been trying to run as many of the machines for as long as possible every day for 5 or 6 weeks now and it's really paying off in terms of getting products shipped out.

In saying that, I'm still making mistakes and things are slipping here are there.

For example...

SlideCache Utility Blade Holder

This project is now officially late. My sincere apologies to anyone who is waiting on these.

I was making solid progress and fully finished around 30 or 40 of them (which was almost half) ...and then threw them all in the trash and started again.

Here's what the fixturing and machining looked like:

What happened?

Well, one of our machinists came to me and said he was playing with one of them, trying to use it and it just was not very good. In fact, he specifically said, "You need to re-design it."

He was absolutely correct. I was either ignorant or kidding myself (or both!) that the design was ready. This situation rarely happens (if anything it's the other way around where I am pushing for things to be better and better). But for whatever reason I totally dropped the ball on this Thankfully, our machinist gave me a kick on the pants on this and woke me up!

What was the issue that needed the re-design?

Well, CLICK HERE to take a look at the Titanium Utility Blade Holder page (in case you have not seen it before). The issues is that it was just not that easy to get the blades in and out of the blade holder. It was fiddly. Somehow I managed to convince myself that it was fine. Shame on me.

Luckily that initial design never made it to any customers.

I then spent the next few days testing and tweaking and testing and tweaking. I think nearly a DOZEN new prototypes later and it's finally dialled-in and functioning exceptionally well.

Not only that, but I'm using different fixturing this time which will speed up the machining hugely (which means we're only a week or so away from shipping).

This is a real lesson to learn from!

Titanium ClickShift Pens

If you recall... the last blog post I did was of a video of the Titanium ClickShift Pen managing 100,000 clicks and still going strong (and smooth!).

Production on these has been going well. Here are some photos:

We're just finishing the internal mechanism parts right now.

Again (and I sound like a broken old record when I say this) this is yet another late project - so definitely no celebrations or such on this.

Titanium Dominoes (NEW 55-Piece Set)

By popular demand (and by that I mean Customers DEMANDING it!)...

We've made a 55-Piece Titanium Domino Set.

Customers who bought the standard 28-piece 6 x 6 set wanted the "full monty" 55-piece 9 x 9 set.

My solution to this was to design the custom aluminium case so that the top layer was the 6 x 6 set ...and the lower layer is 27 more pieces to take it up to the full 9 x 9 set. This way you can play either domino game.

It's proven fairly popular already. Click here to check it out.

Titanium Dice

I'm making some titanium dice right now ...and they take way more work to make than I thought they would (unfortunately this means they have to be priced on the higher side).

BUT, they have come out really well:

Here's a little behind-the-scenes photo of the milling of the "dots" in the CNC machine...

CLICK HERE to check them out.


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

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