The Weirdness of Cogent Industries

I originally wrote this a few weeks ago…

BUT, I never sent it for a couple of reasons:

#1 – I’ve had stomach issues for the last three weeks and unable to do much (it’s almost gone now though… hallelujah!)


#2 – My website hosting was so slow that if I sent out an email to customers …the whole thing would crash like Windows Vista! (Which, by the way, is why I’ve been not been able to send out email updates recently – don’t worry, I hadn’t forgotten about you :-D)

Anywhere, where was I?

Oh yes…

I’m a severely flawed person. Seriously.

For example… today… it’s 11:34am as I write this. And, so far today I’ve done the following:

  • Replied to a load of customer support emails
  • Been interviewed for a local magazine
  • Organized two phone calls for later this week (one for an interview with a Scottish business interested in my crowdfunding exploits… and the other to try and sort out the nightmare shipping delays I’ve been experiencing — or, should I say, my customers have been experiencing!)
  • Had 6 cups of coffee (I really need to stop this!)
  • Posted another cool photo to Instagram
  • Spent a load of time trying to troubleshoot some website issues

But here’s the thing…

Throughout all of the above I was continuously thinking to myself, “Magnus, what are you doing?”. And I’m not talking about drinking to much coffee… nope. I’m talking about very deep and real philosophical and existential musings.

It started last night…

Instead of working into the evening (which is what I try to do)… I kind of just floundered around and wasted time and had this overall feeling of… um… maybe ‘despondent’ might be the word. Or perhaps ‘pointlessness’ might be the word.

It’s not anything in particular. It’s not Cogent Industries. It’s not my life. It’s not anything really.

But here’s the cool thing about this:

It happens every so often. And I’m so familiar with it now that I know it will pass (usually fairly quickly). Years ago I would have let it stop me dead in my tracks. But not now. When it happens now I do my best to acknowledge it and keep going. And this morning is a good example… I kept doing all the things that needed to be done – even though, underlying it, I had (and actually still have it as I write this) a feeling of “What on earth am I doing?”.

But, tomorrow, I’ll probably (almost certainly) be back to my 110%, full-on, take-no-prisoners hardcore titanium design and make mindset. I’ll know exactly what I’m doing, why I’m doing it and how I’m going to get it done! But right now… there’s just nothing there. Weird.

So, yeah, I’m pretty flawed. 🙂

Okay, let’s end the point-and-laugh-at-Magnus-and-his-major-flaws-and-personality-defects section of this post and move on. Let’s talk about what’s happened the last few weeks:


I bought a new camera and started making videos (click here to check out my YouTube Channel):


Next up…

The tumbler I use for getting that all-important surface finish on titanium spat a couple of bolts across the workshop at me:


The bolts had sheared:


And the last few days…

I’ve been spending longer-than-usual amounts of time in the workshop cutting titanium like this:


Oh, and, because there is a lot of waiting when waterjet-cutting… I have plenty of time to do computer work while the water-jet cutter is running (who says guys can’t “multi-task”? Hah!). Like this:


I launched my latest product… Mr Pry. You can click here to check it out if you missed it.



I’ve been doing a lot of tumbling too. Here’s some of the media I use in my tumbling processes:


And here’s a photo of one of the new “bottomless extensions” for the PillPots (they’re not ready for sale yet – but will be soon):



And that’s pretty much it.

Oh, actually, one last thing…

Shipping! AAAAARGGGH!!

Even though it’s the last thing I’m mentioning here – I’ve been giving it top priority for a few weeks now …and been frantically looking for alternative methods to get products to you more reliably (faster shipping, or using a distributor, etc…).

I’ve got to be honest here:

The last 3 months have been absolute hell for both me and, more seriously, for my customers. I’ve been experiencing shipping delays that I’ve never had in the year or two I’ve been doing this. And, frustratingly, I can’t find where the delay is occurring.

So, yeah, I’m going to be changing shipping significantly very soon. Not finalized it yet – but getting close.


Right, that’s me done. Hope that’s given you an insight into the weirdness that is my life and mind. 🙂

I’ve got to head down to the workshop (although I actually call it “The Unit” in real life) and do some more tumbling of titanium.


P.S. Since I wrote the above a few weeks ago there have been a few changes…

#1 – I just spent the entire weekend migrating my website to a new (bigger, better, faster) web-hosting company …it was ugly, messy and frustrating …but, from what I can tell, it’s worked (which, for you, means the website should load lot faster)

#2 – I think I’ve finally solved the shipping issues. Unfortunately I’m going to have to start charging for shipping. The crazy thing is… I won’t be charging the full shipping price of what it costs me …just asking for a percentage towards it (because it’s fairly costly). But the unbelievable thing is that it’s a 3 to 5 day anywhere-in-the-world service. Wow!

#3 – I’ve not had a coffee in 3 weeks (longest I think I’ve ever gone without it in 10 years). This is because of my stomach “issues” …which is a pity because I kind of love the stuff!

#4 – I should have the first prototype of the titanium wallet in the next couple of weeks. I’m debating whether to show you or not …because I’ve put so much thought into it I’m pretty sure the design cannot be improved upon right now (how’s that for arrogance! :-P)

  • Aaron says:

    2 things – I tried adding something to my cart to see shipping fees and it said “dhl debug mode” was on? Also, have you thought of making cufflinks – I didn’t use mine for a year and they were all tarnished. That wouldn’t happen with titanium. There are some cufflink designs with no moving parts, like 2 buttons joined by a stem, that you could make on a lathe.

    • Ah, man, yeah… I forgot to take the debugging off (for testing the shipping module on the backend of the website). Thanks for that – have fixed it now.

      Yes, I’d love to make some titanium cufflinks for sure. There are some good ones out there already – but I have a few very cool ideas for some.

  • James says:

    Magnus, your bottomless extensions will make your titanium caches stand out even more from other cache designs that are available elsewhere (the fact that they are modular already made them stand out). With those extensions, your customers will be able to have more flexibility in how they can mix and match. I’ve been wanting such extensions to create longer caches, so I can’t wait for them to become available.

  • Peter Caldwell says:

    Good to hear you’re back after illness.

  • Peter Amsel says:

    Glad to hear you’re back! I just received my Mr. Pry and it is FANTASTIC – but – I have to say, I ordered it in early November and received it after Christmas … that’s a long wait. I’d have gladly paid a small amount for an expedited delivery of 3-5 days. Really pleased to hear you’ve worked this out, Magnus.

    As for the coffee … sorry to hear you’re off the Elixir of Life – I’d had stomach issues for a while, but changed my diet and they cleared up (the coffee stayed!).

    • Yeah, I’m really sorry about the shipping and your Mr Pry taking so long to arrive. The shipping has been incredibly frustrating. God know how many Customers will never order again because of it. This new method (should be up and running by this weekend) should completely transform things for both customers (and on my side too).

      Ha-haa. Yeah, that’s a good idea… focus more on eating better AND keep the coffee. I love it!

  • Vincent Goudreault says:

    Have you considered making replacement bolts for the tumbler out of titanium?

  • Robert Ferguson says:

    Magnus, I think your coffee issue might be solved by changing brands. You’re probably drinking a coffee with a high acid content.

    Have you considered making titanium amulets or pocket pieces just for the artistic and tactile sensations? Titanium feels great to hold. Maybe you could use Rune or Celtic symbols, or just come up with neat designs of your own.

    • Ah, yeah, I’ve heard that before about different types of coffee – had kind of forgotten about it.

      I have considered doing a pendant or jewellery type thing. Because I’d be machining the titanium then you can only get so far with the intricacy of it.

      What I’d like to do is a sort of high-end mens bracelet. Not a fixed type thing …but a one with lots of parts (kind of like the bracelet part of a metal watch).

      Not sure what the interest would be like on that though.

  • John Warren says:

    Magnus – the feeling that overcomes you is a well documented phenomenon. The French (typically) have a term for it: ennui …

  • Hiram Wells says:

    I like the idea of a bracelet. Those that I’ve seen are unimpressive in their construction. Flimsy, had one bicycle chain type fall apart on me for no real reason. With your construction standards and design sense, it could be one kick ass piece. especially if it was a bit complicated, something that made you want to fiddle with it.

  • William says:

    Hey Magnus. I’ve had my new Ti prybar for a couple weeks now and my appreciation for it has only gotten more profound with use. It really is able to handle everything I’ve thrown at it and everyone that has seen the prybar, either hanging on my keychain or while I’m using it, is utterly impressed. I’m not keen on advertising for many products that I’ve used but the quality of your bespoke titanium tools is incomparable and well deserving of whatever help my two cents can provide. Along with the Prymal I got from your K.S. campaign I also ordered one of your Ti tweezers direct from Cogent Industries. They are hands down the most precise tweezers I’ve ever used. I hope that you make a couple more incarnations of these tweezers that have different shaped tips, because when I need to use some of my other tweezers I now find it to be frustrating and tedious. I joined your new K.S. campaign for the click pen and the matching pencil from a prior campaign, and I’m looking forward to seeing what your mind comes up with down the road. Your driving passion for quality has me hooked!

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