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Pop's Tops

Memory is a funny thing. It's rarely 100% accurate although you'd swear on your life that it was. My vivid memory of my dad's first batch of tops took place in December of 2012 because it was for that holiday season. When combing through the photos, I discovered that it was late August that they arrived. What I do remember clearly is being blown away and calling him immediately... Continue reading

Be an Eagle

Ten years ago this month, I started a thing with my dad. It wasn't a big thing, just a cool way to spend some time and make him some extra money. In short, if it weren't for my dad, this business would have never been. Six and a half years later, he got hit with cancer of multiple types. Eight months after that, he was gone. Those of you that have been around already know this story but I figure it's worth repeating on the ten year anniversary of J. L. L.... Continue reading

Lawson Ceramics...

A few years before my dad died, I was out at the shop in Joshua Tree doing my thing when I ran across this 70's green vase. I'd seen it many times but it was one of those things that you see but don't see. Sort of like the junk on your coffee table that accumulates and one day you really see it and can't believe you didn't sooner. On this day, for whatever reason, I decided to pick up the vase for an inspection. I guess my thinking was "why the hell is this random green vase born from the time of bellbottoms, The Doobie Brothers and myself floating around the shop?". So I pick this beauty up and on the bottom of the vase I see...LAWSONS...huh?... Continue reading


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