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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.


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The Slide Box

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.

Check out my little homage to my dad's slide box here.

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Just over two years ago, I was told that it takes about a year to get over the loss of a parent but I'm not sure "get over" is the proper terminology. Can you really ever get over the loss of a loved one? Of course not. The right way to phrase this... Continue reading

The Inventor and The Machine...

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.

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Just a little something...

A few days ago, my 17 year old step-daughter was on her phone (as per usual) and suddenly said, "I need to get my credit card!" Please note that this is her debit card to her own bank account that is money that she has earned at her hostess job. Being the cynical step pop that I am, I said, "what are you buying?" and she replied... Continue reading

A $57 top?! A public response to a 1 star review.

I received an interesting product review the other day. You won't find it under the $57 EDC Top because it wasn't written by a customer. That's correct...he wrote a 1 star review about a product that he doesn't own. That said, I'd be remiss if I didn't share his scathing review with you. Here you go... Continue reading


A year ago today, the co-founder of this little business and my father, died of cancer. I never understood when others would talk about death anniversaries (for lack of a better term) but I get it now. A year has gone but I still find myself wanting to give him a call and ask a question or share the latest. That thing in your brain that denies the loss of someone passed months ago but just sucks... Continue reading


Yesterday, I had the pleasure of driving to my grandmothers house to find that it had been ransacked by no integrity morons. For those of you that don't know, my grandparents moved out to Joshua Tree in the 70's. The garage for this little house became my grandfathers new shop which also turned into my dad's shop when he moved out there in the 80's... Continue reading

Spinning tops are dead?

I recently had a customer write me to let me know that spinning tops are dead and that I should figure out a new product idea. Admittedly, I was a touch offended when I first read it but, after some thought, came to the conclusion that this email was well intended. We've had email correspondence before and it was always positive so why would this be any different?

That's when some reflection kicked in. The reality is that my dad didn't start making spinning tops in order to sell them or follow some fad. He'd been making them here and there for years. He enjoyed them and, more importantly, enjoyed giving them to my niece for Christmas. Years later, when we started this business, I thought they would sell like hotcakes if we made them out of brass (instead of Aluminum). At this time, machined spinning tops couldn't be found in this vast treasure trove of online goodies (at least Google couldn't find any) so I figured that it would grab the attention of some folks. It did indeed. I sold every top my dad could make within minutes of adding them to the website. This is when I realized we really had something and I was going to have to start machining if we were going to keep up. I'll never forget my dad saying "you know, it's only a matter of time before other machinists start making these." and my response was "why would a machinist ever waste his time making spinning tops?". Within a couple of years, they were everywhere I looked (slight exaggeration) and the spinning top business was booming. So much so, that the majority of our other products got pushed to the side so we could keep up. This is the fad part that my customer was speaking of and I do agree that the fad has cooled a bit, but here's the deal...

I love making spinning tops. Not only that, spinning tops are a timeless toy that has been around for thousands of years! Not hundreds, thousands! That's about as timeless as it gets in my book. Yes, this recent boom of machined spinning tops might be categorized differently and it could be considered a fad but I never looked at spinning tops as a quick buck and on to the next product. It isn't a fad to me but something I love to do, that my dad taught me to do and hope that you folks collect them as timeless pieces to enjoy and pass along.

There's this guy that makes these folding brass star thingy's. I can't for the life of me remember what they are called or what his name is but he's been making these things since the 60's I believe. I stumbled across this guy in the first year that I started making tops and thought, that's what I want this to be. I want to be 70 years old and still out in that shop turning tops (and other goods of course). Hopefully you'll take that ride with me.


p.s. I'm finally getting good at these things. Can't quit now!

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