Spookier Update Post

Two updates in one day?! The monkeys banging on the typewriters have been hard at work. This will be a quick one though, since minimal changes were made.

I spoke to one of my machinist friends, Wes Treihaft of AlumaFX EDC, about the Gatsby model and he advised to push the middle section on the spinner body back. This allows for tool clearance while machining and makes everyone’s lives easier, which I am all for. I wasn’t expecting this change to have a huge impact on aesthetics, but it actually looks great like this! Dare I say, even better than the original. And, like the last change of making the middle section wider, throws weight even more outwards. So here it is, the new and improved Gatsby:

All other things remain the same. See you at the drop! 😉

Spooky Update Post

Happy Halloween! Hope you all give out lots of treats and don’t fall for too many tricks. There’s a little parade going on downtown today that I’ll be going to. Before that happens though, I thought I’d write an update post.

The changes we talked about last time were made and as long as all goes well, this will be the final product. It’s been about a month in the making and quite a long journey, but we have arrived at Gatsby station. Final dimensions: 45mm length, 20mm width, and 12mm height. The buttons are 20mm in diameter. Planning for an initial run in CuSn8 bronze with a very limited number. I’m currently talking to USA-based machinists from the spinner community that we all know and love. Nothing wrong with manufacturing in China, of course, but I trust the work of machinists that I’m already familiar with most.

Let’s get in-depth about the changes. Obviously, buttons. I ended up going with my original plan of 2 steps down and 3 flats, mirroring the design of the body. I think it looks quite good together! And ergonomically, they should be a trick – er, I mean, treat.

Next, length. The original model from the last post was 42mm. I’ve increased it to 45mm, which is still pretty “mini” relative to other designs on the market, but still a decent length for comfortable spinning. Plus, the vertical lines on the body will make it look longer anyway 😉 For reference, the Torqbar from SCAM Designs (the first spinner ever made, in case you’re not familiar) is 57mm long, and the mini Torqbar is 40mm long.

And the last change I talked about in my previous post: the orientation of the outside curves. These now match all the others, and I think it helped the aesthetic the most out of all the changes made.

Now a change that I wasn’t anticipating: width of the sections. As Eli and I were talking back and forth about the design, tweaking it here and there, he had the idea to add just a millimeter or so to the middle section. See, once my original design was rendered, there was this optical illusion that made the middle section seem skinnier than all the others despite being the same width. Adding a little bit to the middle, and then re-centering everything, ended up looking really good. It also throws more weight outwards, so it’s a win-win situation in terms of form and function.

Now that I’ve made you read through all that, here are some pictures:

TL;DR
Material: CuSn8 bronze
Dimensions: 45mm x 20mm x 12mm
Manufacture: USA (hopefully)
Release date: TBA
Price: TBA

The release will be a drop. Once it’s ready, I’ll post here with more info. It will be a very limited number. And I’m not just saying that to create false rarity, it actually will be. If things look good on the drop, other materials could be in the works.

Thanks for reading!

Vogue

Hello, hope all is well with you and yours. It’s been a little somber in SF with the power outages and forest fires, but heart-warming to see people come together in times of need. Here’s a link to charities you can donate to if you’re able: click here.

And speaking of coming together, things are going well at Everecarre R&D. Eli Smith, owner of Dark EDC, is helping me with my CAD software models so I can eventually get the Gatsby machined via CNC. Eli and I have been good friends for awhile – in fact, he was one of the very first people I ever talked to when I joined the spin community two years ago. Since then, he has spent a year mastering CAD and released a spinner of his own in 2019, to much success. His expertise will surely make for smoother sailing here. The Gatsby is one step closer to production, folks!

A few changes to be made: buttons, orientation of the outside curves to match the others, and length. There’s going to be a lot of experimenting with different dimensions to find the best fit for the design and ergonomics; renders are definitely a lot better for stuff like that than my back-of-the-napkin drawings. More updates to come. ‘Til next time!

Buttons and grips and pads, oh my!

Hello, folks. Power outages in California have led to a lot of thinking time, especially about my latest project, Gatsby. Let’s talk about what I’ve been pondering for the last week: buttons.

To me, buttons are like the unsung heroes of spinners. Their importance cannot be overstated – after all, they are the only place where your hand maintains constant contact while spinning. Despite this, their design usually takes a backseat to the design of the spinner body. This could also be because buttons are hard to get wrong, but also challenging to get right. You can put any two pieces of metal on top of a bearing and get a good enough grip, but making it comfortable and aesthetically pleasing is a completely different story. As such, I tried my best to address the various nuances of good button design in this post.

There’s the height, for one. You can’t have too little clearance between the button and the body, or else you run the risk of hitting your finger on the spinner every time you go to flick it and ergonomics suffer. You can’t have too much clearance, because then you’re putting more distance between your fingers and the center of balance on the spinner, giving you less feedback from the bearing and more violent judder when the spinner moves out of its plane. The Gatsby is already a thick spinner, and therefore will have thick buttons by most standards. However, my goal is to minimize the button height as much as possible in order to maximize the feedback from the bearing and spinner, while still providing enough clearance for comfortable spinning. With the experiences I’ve had and the plethora of spinners I’ve had the privilege to try, I’ve found that 1.5mm of clearance above the body on each side will likely be ideal in terms of ergonomics and feel.

Next, diameter. The spinner community has generally trended towards these sizes: 20, 22, 23, and 24.5mm. There are a few oddballs at 16, 18, 19, and 21mm, but these suffer in compatibility with other designs. Personally, I am not a fan of “overhang,” so the button diameter on Gatsby will most likely be equal to the width of the spinner body, which is 20mm. 20mm is on the smaller side of what’s popular these days, but I find it provides adequate surface area for grip and is most compatible with all other spinners. Since you can always put 20mm buttons on a spinner that came with 23mm buttons, but vice versa will not always work. Plus, any larger and the buttons might overwhelm the design of the body. Buttons shouldn’t take a backseat to the spinner, but at the same time, they should work with the spinner to create an overall aesthetically pleasing package. “Perfectly balanced, as all things should be.” 😉

Then you have to think about comfort and grip. We naturally like concave surfaces that fit into the convex of our thumbs – take worry stones, for instance. There are a couple ways to achieve that, with steps down or a smooth bowl shape. In keeping with the art deco theme of symmetry, I’d like to mirror the design of the spinner in the buttons using steps. So the buttons will have three flat surfaces and two steps down, just like the layers on the body itself.

There is so much more to think about when it comes to buttons, like chamfers, the undersides, the posts for the screw, and various little adjustments for comfort; but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. The design will most likely be finalized when it comes time to model, since it was hard enough for me to draw the spinner in 3D on paper, much less concave surfaces. I’ll have more to share with you soon!

The Beginning

Hi, folks. It’s about a month into Fall today, and I thought I’d start documenting the process of my newest project. I recently took a trip to Chicago and went on a river boat tour of the architecture surrounding the Chicago River. If you ever find yourself in the area, I definitely recommend it. The amazing thing about it is how many decades of architecture you can find just on the banks of the River. Some of my favorite buildings were from the Art Deco era in the 1920s, and they inspired the design of my project – a hand spinner. I’m going to call it the Gatsby.

Here’s a sketch I did when I came back from the trip:

The hallmarks of art deco design are symmetry, geometry, and opulence. Buildings will often have long, unbroken vertical lines to draw the eye to the top and make them seem much bigger than they are. The “Gatsby” takes that motif and applies it to a pocket-sized spinner. To compensate for how the body gets thinner as the stepwise layers end, I made them thicker as they advance towards the vertical middle. So layer 1 is the shortest and thinnest, layer 2 is a few millimeters thicker and longer, and layer 3 is the thickest and longest. In theory, this adds towards the feeling of never-ending centrifugal motion and spin time by throwing the weight of the spinner outwards as much as possible. My goal here is to keep both form and function in balance – hopefully making a piece that is easy on the eyes and a kick to spin 🙂

Next on the to do list: buttons.