Well, I finally reached my goal of purchasing a new laser engraver. I am currently in the process of getting acquainted with the operation of it, and so far the results have been excellent! It did take me quite some time to get it all set up, but I survived it. Once the machine was set up, the software was simple to install and I’ve already started marking things up.
I will be introducing engraving, or personalization as some like to call it, as an option in my Etsy shop just in time for the big shopping surge. I will also share some photos and video of the machine soon, but I wanted to make sure I had some experience with it before trying to talk about it!
So far, the engraver has been a really fun addition to the shop. As you can see in the photo above, I will not only be using it for engraving sale items, but I will be using it for my own personal branding. The photo above shows the handmade pen tube that I include in most of my hand made pen orders. I’ve wanted to add my logo to it for a long time now but had no good way of adding it. The laser does a wonderful job.
In the future, I hope to add even more tasks that the laser will do including custom artwork on pens and other products, as well as signs. Lasers engrave and etch acrylic very well; so I have some ideas about how to incorporate that to my offerings. Lasers also cut exceptionally well, and I may be able to use it to create parts for certain things. I keep coming up with new ideas every day.
Did I mention I’ve been busy? Well, if the laser wasn’t enough to keep me occupied, I have also been working on some of the new products that I have mentioned in my newsletter. First on the list is actually not a new product, but new materials. I recently made a trip to the lumber yard and picked up a couple new exotic wood species that I’m really excited about: Zebrawood and Lacewood. I had some zebrawood in the shop already, but it was thin stock. The new boards that I purchased are thick enough to make ring boxes out of, and I’ve already completed one of each.
Shaving Razors & Brushes
I’ve also been working on perfecting my razor handle process to ensure that they will hold up in a wet environment. I want to ensure that they are fully sealed. I found a supplier of exceptionally well made hardware, and through many attempts and tests, I’ve finally nailed the design as well as finishing process.
To help ensure success, I will utilizing materials that are made to last in wet environments. Of course, the acrylics that I make some of my pens out of will definitely hold up to water, but I will also be using exotic wood species that grow in damp environments and can hold up to water very well.
Cocobolo, for instance, is one such wood. It has natural oils within the wood that help protect against damp environments. I’ve even added buffalo horn to the list, which will hold up and look great too! Even without super woods, the finish and sealing process that I’ve come up with will provide enough of a barrier to eliminate any issues.
Also on the list is shaving cream brushes, which I am currently working on. They will be made from the finest badger hair I can find. With the sealing/finishing problems solved, the brushes only require some testing of the processes used to create them.
I plan to sell both the razors and brushes individually, as well as in a set. The sets will also come with a metal stand to hold both the razor and brush. Also, there will be a choice of razor head styles, the picture above shows a double edge safety razor style head, which is a classic style using standard razor blade. You can also opt for a the Gillette Mach 3 razor head, and I’m working on finding a source of the Gillette Fusion style razor heads as well.
I’m currently working on a box design for the desk sets, which will include a matching wood or acrylic pen and letter opener. I’m really excited to add the letter openers to the list of products, now I just need to nail down the design and process to create a nice box that will hold them. They will be available in nearly all the different wood and acrylics that I offer, including the sagebrush, mountain mahogany, and manzanita.
As soon as I can get the box ready to go, they will be added to the Etsy shop.
I’ve been thinking about offering some of the turning blanks that I make for sale in my Etsy shop for some time, and I’ve finally decided to start selling them. Although casting your own acrylics isn’t necessarily difficult, some woodturners just don’t want to bother with it. After getting a request to buy some of the sagebrush blanks, I finally decided to add them to my shop.
Although it is nice to be able to say that I’m the only person making sagebrush pens, I think it will be even more fun to be able to share them with other wood turners. We can have our own little sagebrush club! I’ll be offering blanks for pens, bottle stoppers, and bangles off the bat. I may even venture into other types of blanks in the future.
Well, there’s probably more on the list that I can talk about, but I could go on for days about what I’m working on and thinking about. Thanks for stopping by, and don’t forget to check out my Etsy shop to see all the new products rolling out. Also, if you want to get notified when the new products arrive (plus an every day 15% discount in my Etsy shop), you can sign up at the top right side of most pages on my site, or below.