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Tool Time

M&U Co. Gets Down With Metal

Tool Time BY alisha prakash 08/25/2014

“Every well-dressed or aesthetically conscious man these days has some awesome wallet or a nice pocket handkerchief, but then he has this ugly jumbled mess of keys,” says Hunter Craighill of M&U Co. “We want to elevate the things you have in your pocket every day.” Thing is, crafting a key ring and a money clip from brass is a whole lot different than creating in leather, the material at the foundation of the line Hunter’s partner-in-crime Nathan Gryszowka founded. Here’s what it takes to make their two streamlined—but not-so-simple—new pieces.

Money Clip

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46 m u co.
"Its such a beatiful and calming haven and I am addicted to their waterlemon juice at breakfast. They also have Marmite, which I have a weakness for."
of M&U Co.

 

 

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“We use this custom bending rig that we designed and had our machinist make to get the bends accurate for the money clip. It’s a beautiful object itself that we’re proud of. It has two steel bars—one is mounted and one can rotate while the other revolves around it. It performs one job—to create the bend where you put your money.”

 

 

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“We went through a dozen samples with different detailing and radiuses on the angles and shapes before we honed in on the final design. We tested them for a couple of months. It seems like such a simple product, but so much effort and time and sampling went into it.”

 

Key Ring

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“This image shows the key ring in the open position, where the keys can be added or removed. The hexagonal closure screws onto the threaded end of the bent wire on the left side to close. The entire hex piece is hollow, so it can slide freely up and down the right-hand of the wire.”

 

 

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“The hex piece is made by our guy in Brooklyn—the same machinist who does the money clips. This is one of the hex pieces being drilled out so it can go up and down on the wire. What always blows my mind about the lathe is that if you’re familiar with a power drill, you know it spins quickly with a bit in it—so you can drill out into your wall or a piece of wood. But the object you’re drilling is already spinning on a lathe, so essentially you’re just pushing a stationary drill bit into it and because the object is already spinning, it still cuts out. That drill bit is slowly moving into the spinning hex piece. The hexagonal closure is drilled, chamfered, and threaded on the lathe.”

 

 

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“If you’re working with a power drill, the thing that holds the bit in place is called a chuck. The machinist’s name is Chuck, too. He does a lot of work for us—he’s a very well-versed and skilled machinist, an all-around metalworker, and a good friend of ours. We work with him on almost every project, even if just to pick his brain. Here, there’s a tray of what looks like little gold rocks. As the lathe is spinning, you’re essentially cutting away pieces of metal, so those are all falling into that bed that looks like a cookie sheet. That’s all the refuse from making tons of threaded hex pieces.”

 

 

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“The wire for the key ring is hand-bent on this custom steel rig, which is in a D-shape. You clamp the wire to one face of it, and you slowly wrap it around the D-shaped block. Once we get our hex pieces made, we put them on the bent wire.”

 

 

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“Because of how they’re bent and how they’re threaded, the only way to engrave them is facing upwards. We have to mark one-by-one which face has to be engraved before we send them to the laser engraver. This shows each face marked.”

 

 

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“Lastly, we assemble, tumble, and polish them. It seems like a crazy amount of work for such a simple object, but this is in your pocket and in your hand everyday—you should be thinking about this just as much as you think about where you put your credit cards and money. This is what gives you access to the world and your life.”

 

Muco keyringmoneyclip 037
Russet Money Clip & Key Ring Set
50 OF A KIND .
SOLD OUT
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