Sometimes love just ain’t enough.
Wave goodbye to the crucible improved pattern dividers.
Today at 5 p.m., I’m going to start up something I’ve never had before. I’m adding a simple shopping cart system to my website. And while it wasn’t planned this way, there is a sort of symmetry (or is it irony?) embodied in the first batch of tools offered for sale through the site – which is likely the last-ever batch of improved pattern dividers we designed for Crucible Tool back in 2016.
This design — which is loosely based on a pattern made by blacksmiths a century or two ago — is easily my favorite divider pattern, bar none. The ergonomics, the weight in the hand, the easy adjustability of tension in the pivot joint — all these features contribute to making them one of my favorite tools ever, full stop. Furthermore, in the 18 or so months we were actively making and selling them, I don’t believe we ever managed to keep a single unit “in stock” for more than about 120 minutes, despite the fact that we were forced to increase the price by about 75 percent from when we started until we pulled the plug.
All of which begs the question: why, then, did we stop making them?
That’s easy. Because no matter how much appreciation they might generate, they’re simply a nightmare to make. And therein lies the hard lesson for me, the fool who tried like hell to find a way to keep them alive far too long. At the end of the day, they’re lightyears too finicky and demanding to make a whit of sense as a mass-production product — but with not nearly enough character or hand work to justify survival as a bespoke, custom offering — there just isn’t a place for this tool in the world we live in today. And no amount of love or tilting at windmills was ever going to change that. And so over the past several weeks, I’ve been assembling and tuning the last few dozen of these leftover from our last production run. And to be clear, there aren’t a lot. A few dozen at best. So if you’ve ever wanted one, now is the time.
Here’s the link.
— Raney Nelson