Every week I'll be bringing you something new.
I was just out in the shop on the lathe stewing over some snarky comments on Instagram. This is just one of the many reasons I'm not a fan of social media but I'll leave that for a later discussion. Generally speaking, I don't read comments because I don't want to dwell on negative feedback (it stings) but I also miss out on mostly positive as well as questions about the product so decided to scroll through. There's a particular attitude about the coins that has been brought up multiple times and I just can't get past it (specifically the O2 Worry Coin). The comment has been about the cost and why Copper or Bronze is so expensive. This thinking never ceases to amaze me. I suppose the thought process is that since a pound of Copper is only around $7, why would the coin be $35? I assume that the majority knows that material cost is just one aspect of the product that dictates the final retail cost but this is for the minority. Rather than break down the costs and bore you, just know that the material is the least of the costs involved in getting a product to market.
Part two of this equation is about perceived value. Does any of this minority actually believe that the "leather" in a Louis Vitton bag is worth thousands? I'll bring it down way lower...what about the material cost of those Nike's you're wearing? All of us can walk into a thrift store and fill our entire wardrobe for about $100 but I'm guessing most of us don't unless we have to. We buy products we like without giving the production cost of said product much thought but we scoff at products we don't like and try to tear down the makers.
Admittedly, I'm guilty of this as well but it doesn't come from a place of sincerity, it comes from ego, cynicism and insecurity. I'm going to work on that.
Around 8 or 9 years ago, my dad made this little slide box. From a machining point of view, it's not all that impressive. Don't get me wrong, it blew my mind back then because I knew less than zero about machining, but it's just a chunk of aluminum milled out to fit inside a piece of steel tubing. Machining aside, what amazed me the most is that my dad just made it for no reason. He did this all of the time. He would just be sitting around the shop, see a piece of tubing (in this case), and decide to turn it into a slide box. This is one of the many characteristics of my dad that I miss the most. He didn't need a reason to make something, he just got inspired and made it. I have pieces of his similar to this all over my shop now. He once bought a Dremel scroll saw on a whim, made a couple of funky wood pieces (photo to come at a later date) and never touched the saw again. All of my life I considered my dad an old school machinist but recently I've come to realize that he was a craftsman/maker. The sad part is that I don't think he ever realized this which is part of why he rarely shared anything he made until I essentially made him do it. Ten years ago, I thought I was just starting a side thing with my pop in an effort to help him make some money. A year later, I talked him into teaching me some basics so I could help out. I had no idea what this would turn into and never expected to discover that my true passion is also in being a maker of goods. I'm not a master of this craft by any means but I'm continuing to hone my skills and can't thank you enough for going along this journey with me.
Years ago, maybe 20 or so, an old timer approached my dad about a project. It turns out that this unassuming gentleman from somewhere in the desert was way ahead of his time. You see, he brought my dad plans to a perpetual motion machine that was going to change the world as we know it....obviously.