Friday, September 27, 2013

Just in Time for Fall: Swimming Pool Green is Back!

Finished the first new run of WilkinsGRIP BMG X2 grips mahined from Swimming Pool Green G11 yesterday. These are ready for sale today.
This G11 is really tough to machine and hard on the cutters!
Pic is an older one, all gripsets now ship with all black stainless screws, if you prefer natural stainless, let me know when you order.

Price per Set: €142.80 for EU orders (€120 for non-EU orders)
plus shipping: €7 inside Germany; €10 to most other destinations
Price does not include the knife!

Shop Move Update
I am looking at places and calling... looked at one place this week which I had to turn down because the ceilings are too low. They have been doing auto body work in the space and there was a 1960 Ferrari 2 seat converable still in the back all torn down. I did tell the owner that if I were to take the space, he could just leave that old "junk car" parked back there and I'd tow it off for free. I like to help when I can... ;-)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

My Workshop Lease has been Terminated

I received the final written termination notice on the lease for my workshop in Saturday's mail. The property was sold last year and the new owners have refused to negotiate new leases. It's not about paying a higher rent and staying. The new owners want to totally renovate the old building and turn it into luxury offices.

So not only will I have to go, but also everybody else. A sheet metal fabricating company, a cabinetmaker and his employees, a company who make transport belts for assembly lines and vocational school, among others. Some of my neighbors have been in the space over 30 years. I have been there almost 10 years.

We initially thought this was going to happen right after the building sold, but it took an extra year for the new owners to finalize their construction plans. Or whatever.

My lease ends 31. January 2014. The new owners have indicated verbally that they will not be starting construction before early Spring and it would be possible to stay several months after my lease ends if necessary. I don't have that in writing but I hope they will keep their word.

I have already been searching like mad for a new location, however it is not easy to find a small space where I can install heavy machinery. Rents are also high. I cannot pay €2000 and more per month for a space. I also cannot drive 100 kilometers every day. Although I have used the last year to get my operation in shape as best as I can, there is a limited amount of money to be made in this business.

I have talked things over with my accountant and I cannot let myself fall into the trap of Going Broke in Installments. Either I find a new location that is viable, where I have a chance to make a living, or I have to sell off the machines and shut it down. At least if I do that, I will have the money from the sale of the assets to give me some time to figure out my next move. If I spend every cent I have moving into a space I cannot hope to pay for, I will end up ruined. And out of business.

I am also searching for spaces suitable to share with one or more of my neighbors – all of whom have multiple employees and much larger space requirements. Maybe something will work out there? The real estate situation in Berlin is very difficult to say the least.

So, I do not expect to introduce any new products until I have this situation sorted out. No new long-term projects. Certainly no more new knife models or custom orders.

I will continue to produce WilkinsGRIPs in batches I can complete and have ready for sale. I have the largest stock of grips on hand right now that I have ever offered. I also have a fairly good stock of knives. If you have been thinking about buying something from me, the next few months would be the time to do so. If I am able to find a new space, the move will cost a good €10,000. That money has to come from product sales.

So if anybody knows of workshop space in Berlin, I need 80-120 square meters or 300-600+ square meters that could be divided and shared, drop me a line ... and keep those orders coming!

Kevin Wilkins

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wednesday Update

Working in the office today, my desk looks like the paper recycling bin only some of the stuff on my desk is important! I forgot which ones are the important ones. Oh well...

Big News: I finally managed to get some more Swimming Pool Green G11 and will start turning it into WilkinsGRIPs in the coming weeks. This stuff has really gotten expensive! I expect to do WilkinsGRIP BMG X2 grips first, them BMG minis and some D4s. I am working on a run of mini spacers right now. Doesn't make sense to do grips for which I have no spacers.

Starting next week, buyers of WilkinsGRIP D4 grips for the Spyderco Delica 4 will have a choice of colored spacers. These should be done next week and I will have the following colors from which to choose:

  • Black G10
  • Toxic Green G10
  • Military Olive Drab G10
  • Orange & Black layered G10
  • Sky Blue G10

Pics asap.

Reduced Prices: I have further reduced the price of the Mini Thorn Classic to €99 for the knife alone or €120 for the knife and a hand made leather sheath. 

That's the final reduction and as low as I can go. (European Union Buyers will have to add 19% VAT to those prices and all buyers will have to add shipping) See my website for full specs on these little knives. They are Carbon Tool steel and hand ground!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Spec-ops Combat Master Mini Sheaths have Arrived!

A lot of planning and effort went into getting these sheaths but the wait was worth it.

Now every Basic Military Field Knife sold will include a Spec-ops Combat Master Mini sheath in your choice of Black or Coyote Cordura. I will no longer be selling the knives without a sheath.

The Spec-ops Combat Master series has been setting the standard for lined Cordura tactical sheaths from the very beginning. This smaller version was developed by Spec-ops with my Basic Military Field Knife in mind and I have received the first production run. The sheath incorporates the same winning features found on both larger Combat Master Sheaths, including:

  • Split-Loop hanger fits a wide variety of belts comfortably and stays put
  • Adjustable front pouch holds a pistol mag, multi-tool or any small gear
  • Fits most modular web gear systems with a variety of tie-down options
  • Adjustable keeper holds the knife securely
  • Kydex liner prevents injury to the wearer
  • Durable 1000D Cordura fabric
  • 100% Made in the USA quality

Price for Basic Military Field Knife with Spec-ops Sheath:
for orders shipping inside the European Union (includes 19% VAT)
€199 for orders shipping outside the European Union
Shipping Extra! €7 inside Germany via DHL; €10 to Most of the rest of the World via insured Airmail

Here are a variety of pics showing knives and sheaths, see my website for more info and detailed specs on the Basic Military Field Knife!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

NEW WilkinsGRIP BMG X2 Gripsets in Stock

Here are the newest WilkinsGRIP BMG X2 Gripsets for all large Griptilian® folders. These are in stock and ready to ship.

The Pale Green grips are made from high strength G11 and are semi-translucent. That means you can kinda see through them and they let light through. They are a real pain to photograph! These look great with a Hunter Green spacer but you have your choice of Hunter Green, Blood Red, Intense Blue or Hardcoat Black anodized Alu. I don't sell extra spacers, they are too expensive.

The other grips machined from standard G10 FR4 and I tried a few new tricks making these.

New Colors are:
  • Pale Green G11 (your choice of spacer, Hunter Green, Blood Red, Intense Blue or Hardcoat Black)
  • Aircraft Grey & Black Layered (the grey is slightly transparent and the color varies according to the layering, each set is slightly different)
  • Desert Tan & Black Layered (there are 2 variations to choose from, standard and subdued)
  • Lizard Green & Black Layered (these do look wild, should be worn with faux Leopard Skin pants)
  • Black & Lizard Green (2 variations to choose from, Mostly Black with Lizard highlights or Sick Lizard ... both are also on The Wild Side)
Each Gripset includes the grips, one spacer, 5 black stainless screws and (while supplies last) a USA-Made Allen wrench to fit the 3 clip screws. Knife not included.

Price per Gripset:
€142.80 for orders shipping inside the European Union (includes 19% VAT)
€120 for orders shipping outside the European Union
Shipping extra, €7 Germany, €10 to Most of the rest of the World

Drop me a line if you'd like to purchase a set!

Pale Green G11 – these have been a favorite from the very beginning, now back in stock

Aircraft Grey & Black Layered – this color combo is new to me!

Desert Tan & Black Layered –  Versions to choose from, top pic: Standard, bottom pic: Subdued

Lizard Green & Black layered – faux Leopard Skin pants are a Must

Black & Lizard Layered – again, 2 Versions, Mostly Black (top pic) and Sick Lizard (bottom pic)

WilkinsGRIP D4 Titanium in Stock

Finally got these finished! I'm offering the same 3 finish options as on the BMG mini Ti grips:
  • Natural Titanium (slightly stone washed, all sharp edges softened)
  • Fire Anodized (same as Natural, with added Color!)
  • Grey Ghost (bead blasted and stone washed for a durable, matt finish)
Each D4 gripset includes a Black G10 spacer with steel cross pin, 7 slot head stainless screws, a RECA Norm screwdriver & a WilkinsGRIP Glowing Logo soft PVC Velcro Patch.

Price per D4 Gripset:
€148.75 for orders shipping within the European Union (includes 19% VAT)
€125 for orders shipping outside the European Union
Shipping charges extra, €7 Germany, €10 to Most of the Rest of the World

Let me know if you'd like to buy a set!
Most buyers may re-use the original Torz screws from their Delica4 if desired – with the exception of the 3 clip screws. The originals are too short.

I will be putting the final finish on these as ordered, they're all natural titanium now. So it will take a day or two for me to ship. This way I don't don't do too many Fire Anodized when suddedly everybody wants Grey Ghost, etc.

Grey Ghost below (shown installed, knife not included)

Fire Anodized (pic shows only the grips, you will receive the entire kit)

Natural Titanium (pic shows only the grips, you will receive the entire kit)

Each D4 Gripset order includes a RECA Norm screwdriver free – at least as long as my supply lasts.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tuesday Update

Fall seems to have arrived in Berlin, time to dig out those fleece jackets!

I am moving along with the new BMG X2 grips mentioned in my last post. I finished the first set yesterday and will be milling on the remaining ones todays as I proceed with hand finishing and assembly.

The D4 Titanium grips are also about done, I just have to take care of some final details there and shoot pics.

A good deal of time and energy are going into looking at commercial space where I can relocate my shop. This is frustrating but a couple of locations are looking very promising. Whatever happens, my rent will double. This will naturally increase the financial pressure each month but my only other alternative is the liquidation of my business. I may have to expand or die. Now I know how the Universe feels! ;-)