NC/SC Railroad spike bottle openers

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm related items' started by thecarman, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. thecarman

    thecarman Space Unicorn soaring thru the stars Charter Member Vendor

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    0ACBB2FC-D01F-4698-A720-516EFDB481C6.jpeg
    Hey all! I'm not new here, but I'm new to being a vendor. I'll follow this post with more detail about my small business. This first thing I'm listing is something we just recently started making. Stay tuned as I post more items over time.
    View attachment 31346

    We make these bottle openers by hand from real used railroad spikes, at our small family business in NC. We machine a bottle opener slot. Then for "cleaned" spikes (pictured above) we spend a lot of time to clean it off and make it look nice, and put liquid floor wax on it to keep it from rusting.

    These work great as bottle openers, and look cool. The cleaned spikes are very smooth and have a solid feel.

    FTF pricing:
    Cleaned spike: $13 each for paid members, $15 otherwise.
    "Raw" spike (bottle opener slot is machined, but spike is still rusty, not cleaned off): $8 each for paid members, $10 otherwise.

    These are also included in the December paid member giveaway - see the thread below. If you can't access it, become a paid member. :)
    https://www.carolinafirearmsforum.c...ener-giveaway-post-here-to-be-included.19439/

    Up to 6 of these will fit in a small flat rate box for $7.15 shipping. So any quantity 1-6 is $7.15 to ship.

    Most weekends I work in Kernersville near Parks Chevrolet, so you can buy from me at the foundry, or I can meet you in the area, or while I'm driving there/home. During the week I live in Apex, work in RTP, pick up the kids from school near Chapel Hill, and spend Mon, Tues, Weds in Cary near Crossroads/Beaver Creek, so there are lots of opportunities to see these in person if you'd like.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
  2. thecarman

    thecarman Space Unicorn soaring thru the stars Charter Member Vendor

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    More detail:
    Since the spikes are used, they are all unique. They were pounded into a railroad tie and they held down track for varying lengths of time, then were pulled out by rail workers during maintenance. They were weathered for unknown years. So they have varying levels of wear, pits, hammer marks, and gouges.

    Cleaned spikes our wire brushed, then Tom Board, then wire brushed again before being machine. They come out with silver areas of bare metal and darker areas of patina. To me, this makes them look cooler and more interesting than sandblasting or sanding to bare metal. Some are more worn than others.

    Cleaned spikes will slowly rust again over time if left bare, so we coat them with Liquid floor wax. By request, can use Ballistol instead, or leave the spike bare with nothing applied after cleaning

    If you'd like a cheaper spike with the "natural" look, either because you just like the way it looks, or don’t want to worry if you get it wet, or want to leave it outdoors, we offer raw spikes - we just wire-brush off the loose rust before machining the slot.

    The opener slot is smooth, but shows some tooling marks which I think make it match the "worn" character of the spike itself.

    If you buy in person, you can pick your favorite from the batch. If I'm shipping to you, I can try to pick one to suit your preference - older and more worn looking, or one with fewer pits/gouges.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
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  3. HMP

    HMP Well-Known Member

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    Very cool item you have!
    Always good to see small folks having some fun and trying new things
     
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  4. kcult

    kcult Make Forums Great Again Charter Member Supporting Member

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    But will they open a bottle?
     
  5. thecarman

    thecarman Space Unicorn soaring thru the stars Charter Member Vendor

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    Yes. :)

    My wife asked me the same thing when I made the first one. I was like "wth would I make a bottle opener that didn't work?" :)

    They open bottles easily, including twist offs that you don't want to twist. I test fit each one on a bottle as I make them

    I was going to test *opening* a bottle with each one as I make them, but that got expensive and the quality of my work started to vary after a few bottles. :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
  6. thecarman

    thecarman Space Unicorn soaring thru the stars Charter Member Vendor

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    About the business:
    I've been working weekends over the past 2 years to take over our small family business. My parents have run it since 1993, but are aging out of it.

    We are one of only a few remaining low-volume production sand casting foundries in the US.

    It's just me, my mom, and sometimes my kids and wife. We don't make a lot, but we make some things that I think are pretty cool, so I've paid to be a vendor here and list things for sale. Isn't it funny that the first thing posted is *not* something we cast. :)

    We have a (very old, very basic) web page at http://triadfoundry.com . I need to get more current pics there of stuff we've made.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
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  7. Zbizzle911

    Zbizzle911 Charter Freedom Lover Charter Member Supporting Member

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    That’s pretty cool. I might have to get a few as Christmas presents


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  8. ripv2

    ripv2 Rooster Bullets Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    I see some really good Christmas gifts on your website. What is the pricing?
     
  9. thecarman

    thecarman Space Unicorn soaring thru the stars Charter Member Vendor

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    I need to get that updated. I had to remove the pricing because my parents were not even breaking even before I started working with them, and they didn't regularly keep things in stock. Let me know what you're interested in, and I'll check price and if we have some (or if I can add them to a production run with some other parts we're making). This is part of the reason I've held off becoming a vendor - as I only work there on weekends, I want to make sure I can keep up with orders.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
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  10. ripv2

    ripv2 Rooster Bullets Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    I pm'ed you.
     
  11. Carolinatlc

    Carolinatlc Member Charter Member Supporting Member

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    PM sent. I want to get several of these and could probably pick up extra for those in the Charlotte area.
     
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  12. thecarman

    thecarman Space Unicorn soaring thru the stars Charter Member Vendor

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    Raw (dirty, rusty, uncleaned, cheaper) spikes. The dark areas are oil from machining. IMG_5959.JPG
     
  13. thecarman

    thecarman Space Unicorn soaring thru the stars Charter Member Vendor

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    Cleaned spikes. The one on top is much more worn than the one on the bottom.
    IMG_5961.JPG IMG_5960.JPG IMG_5962.JPG
     
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  14. JimB

    JimB Picking it up slowly. Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    I like it! Two questions:

    If you mill the slot in the opposite direction wouldn’t you then open the bottle by pushing down? Seems like it might be easier and unique.

    How to buy?
     
  15. thecarman

    thecarman Space Unicorn soaring thru the stars Charter Member Vendor

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    Making the slot in reverse is an interesting idea. I can see how it might work. I'll see if I can try one that way this weekend. Need to see how it works and how it looks. Thanks!

    For buying (only slots in the usual direction at this time) I take cash in person, personal checks only from members, money orders, and PayPal. PM me for orders and I'll give you my address/info.
     
  16. Scari

    Scari .... Charter Member Supporting Member

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    Have 2 raw ones left? Send me a pm with payment info shipping cost if so.
     
  17. thecarman

    thecarman Space Unicorn soaring thru the stars Charter Member Vendor

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    Yes. Sending you PM. Thanks!
     
  18. Burt Gummer

    Burt Gummer Comfortably Numb Staff Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    Bout time to move home Richard and start working here full time
     
  19. thecarman

    thecarman Space Unicorn soaring thru the stars Charter Member Vendor

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    I'll be in Kernersville Friday evening thru Sunday afternoon working on more of these.
    Looks like up to 6 of these will fit in a small flat rate shipping box, for $7.15 shipping.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
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  20. NCLivingBrit

    NCLivingBrit Clueless Protoplasm Supporting Member

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    If anyone wants to pick these up in Kernersville but can't do weekends, I am right around the corner from Park Chevrolet and carman's shop and will gladly provide holding facilities and a weekday meeting in Kernersville.

    You'll have to arrange payment between y'all but I can pick up and hold them for you.

    I'm done with work by 10am most days and free for much of the day.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
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  21. Scari

    Scari .... Charter Member Supporting Member

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    received mine they work fine, very unique make good gifts if know someone who likes trains or whatever
     
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  22. thecarman

    thecarman Space Unicorn soaring thru the stars Charter Member Vendor

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    Glad you like them! Thanks for posting. I made some more this weekend and am shipping some out to other members today.
     
  23. thecarman

    thecarman Space Unicorn soaring thru the stars Charter Member Vendor

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  24. JimB

    JimB Picking it up slowly. Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    Got mine, like it! Gonna text it on some adult beverage containers tomorrow.
     
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  25. nchunt101

    nchunt101 Member Charter Member

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    Really cool. Have you considered making oyster knives from the spikes? I would defintitly be interested in one if so.
     
  26. thecarman

    thecarman Space Unicorn soaring thru the stars Charter Member Vendor

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    Thanks for the suggestion! I will look into that in the new year, and you'll be the first one to know if I get them going
     
  27. nchunt101

    nchunt101 Member Charter Member

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    Awesome. I have seen them before but can't recall where. They were selling like hotcakes too.
     
  28. 49erRider

    49erRider Member

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    Got mine in and gave them out as gifts. Everyone was super pleased with them!
     
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  29. thecarman

    thecarman Space Unicorn soaring thru the stars Charter Member Vendor

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    Thanks @JimB and @49erRider for posting! I am making more today, and during next week.
     
  30. thecarman

    thecarman Space Unicorn soaring thru the stars Charter Member Vendor

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    @JimB here's a picture of the slot milled in the opposite direction so you push down to open the bottle. Thanks for the idea! Seems like it will work, but I won't get to actually use it to crack open a bottle until later tonight. :)
    If anybody wants the slot reversed like this, I can do them as special orders (same cost, I'm just not stocking them this way yet - will make them this way if people order them)

    IMG_5983.JPG
     
  31. JimB

    JimB Picking it up slowly. Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    I like the look, but being backwards I wonder if it will confuse people. The test will be opening the 4th and 5th bottle tonight!
     
  32. thecarman

    thecarman Space Unicorn soaring thru the stars Charter Member Vendor

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    I only had one bottle available tonight, and the reverse slot opened it with no problem. I still like it oriented in the regular direction, but if folks want the reverse slot, I can make them.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017
  33. thecarman

    thecarman Space Unicorn soaring thru the stars Charter Member Vendor

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    Got more openers completed today, and making more this week. My daughters and I will be at the Greensboro Science Center on Tuesday if anyone in that area is interested. I am then in Kernersville and Stokesdale until Friday, back in Apex on Saturday and Sunday, and then traveling up to the Boone area after Christmas
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
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  34. Hub

    Hub Member Charter Member Benefactor Supporting Member

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    If anyone in Winston Salem or a little further west wants one/some and can't make it to Kville on the weekends PM me. I can pick them up from thecarman and meet you during the week. I'm in Advance every weekday.
     
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  35. Scsmith42

    Scsmith42 Member Benefactor Charter Life Member Supporting Member

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    Folks, these things are way cool (and really work well). Highly recommend.
     
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  36. thecarman

    thecarman Space Unicorn soaring thru the stars Charter Member Vendor

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    Traveling from Stokesdale to Boone and Linville today and have a few of these with me. Will be in the Boone area until the morning of the 28th. Will be at the Asheville Pinball Museum the afternoon of the 28th, and heading home that evening with a stop in Lexington along the way. Let me know if you're along that route and would like to check them out!
     
  37. thecarman

    thecarman Space Unicorn soaring thru the stars Charter Member Vendor

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    Still making these. I need to get some better pics up. The finished ones look really good
     
  38. Chdamn

    Chdamn Dungeon Master Staff Member Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    Mine is awesome. I use it every single night.
     
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  39. thecarman

    thecarman Space Unicorn soaring thru the stars Charter Member Vendor

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    Bumping this back up in case folks want any for Christmas 2018. I haven’t made any in a while, but I am making a few today and tomorrow. I can also make some the few days right before Christmas Eve
     
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  40. Scsmith42

    Scsmith42 Member Benefactor Charter Life Member Supporting Member

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    These are really cool. I really like mine and have given several away as Christmas gifts.
     
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