I expected to trip up a few times during the three-month-long sprint of taking the Gatsby from sketch to metal. There was a hurdle here and there, neatly jumped without too much worry, but Murphy’s Law has unfortunately come into play just as we’re reaching the final stretch.
Assembly of the first few Gatsbys went beautifully! I assumed the rest would follow similarly, and under the influence of holiday spirit, I announced the drop dates. I think you can guess where this is going. Jordy is a great machinist and all the spinners I received looked gorgeous, but many also had a penchant for swaying to the side like they’d had a bit too much eggnog. Flutter on the spinners was just noticeable with a two-handed spin. So I am sending them back to FocusWorks, where they’ll be set straight. Ultimately, I don’t want to send out an “almost perfect” product, and I hope you’ll understand.
Good news is you’ll have more time to save for the drop when the final final date is announced. And next time, I promise I’ll be sure before I say anything. So as of now, drop dates are TBD. Thank you all for your patience.
Hello, all. I hope you’ve had a wonderful holiday season. Merry Christmas Eve to those who celebrate, happy Tuesday to those who don’t 🙂 It’s not much, but for everyone who has been following the Making of the Gatsby, I have something small for you. I hope you’ll like it.
One week from now – on December 31st, at 3 PM UTC / 7 AM PST / 10 AM EST / 3 PM GMT / 11 PM CST – we will have the first Gatsby drop. The second will be on January 1st, at 3 AM UTC/ 7 PM PST / 10 PM EST / 3 AM GMT / 11 AM CST.
The release will be split into two drops for consideration of those in different timezones. Plus, if you don’t score on the first drop, you’ll have a second chance 12 hours later! Limit one per customer, please.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you all for following along.
For the night owls… Ol’ Saint Nick came by and dropped these off for me. Just kidding, it was DHL.
I snuck in some time before work to start assembly and my personal quality checks, though I’m sure they’ll all be faultless, coming from Jordy. So far, so good! They spin like a silky dream with HC3Zs installed. Combined with the polished finish and the radiant spin effect, it’s basically a personal light show that also feels like a smooth cloud. So I guess a thunderstorm?
When you have the time, take a gander at the latest piece of media featuring the Gatsby. This is a video about first impressions, presented by Average Singaporean, winner of the 2018 Spinnie Awards’ Best Reviewer. Thank you, Ben!
And since we’re all here anyway, let me squeeze in a little update. All finishing touches on the Gatsby were finished last Saturday and the entire run will be shipping to me today or tomorrow! From there, it’s just a matter of mixing sugar, spice, and everything nice. I will have exact drop dates and pricing for you once I’m certain, but my estimate right now is New Year’s and a bit under $150 USD, respectively. Thank you for bearing with me, I’m just loathe to make promises I can’t keep. And, of course, thank you for following along.
Hello, hope your Saturday is going well. As you may know, machining started a couple days ago and I thought I’d share some pictures with you. If you’d like, follow on Instagram, @everecarre . I post pictures of progress there, too, but most will likely end up on this blog anyway, so no pressure.
Everything is right on schedule. I can’t promise a drop date of New Year’s Day, but that would be cool, wouldn’t it?
If you celebrated Thanksgiving, hope you had a great one! And if you didn’t, hope you had a great Thursday! It’s been raining cats and dogs here in the Bay Area, but I’ve been kept afloat by the festivities of the holiday season. Plus, machining of the Gatsby has started.
I’m pleased to announce that the Gatsby will be machined in British Columbia by the talented Jordy Wallace of FocusWorks EDC. If you’re not familiar with his work already, here are a couple examples:
Jordy has also been machining spinners for a little over three years now and tops for over four. As you can see, he is no stranger to tough projects and I have complete faith in him when it comes to machining the Gatsby. Production will be done in 2-4 weeks. Here’s an in-progress picture for you:
And if that wasn’t enough to make you want one, I’ll also be getting bearings from a mainstay of the spinner community – FZEssentials. Each Gatsby will be using a hybrid ceramic stainless steel r188 bearing – the HC3z. Its sister bearing, the HC3, was used by the Guinness world record holder for longest spin time while balanced on one finger!
I chose the Hc3z in particular because of its spin feedback, tight tolerances, and because it’s known to reduce the judder in bar spinners when they rotate out of their plane. Since the Gatsby’s design throws weight outwards and therefore would increase judder, the HC3 series is a perfect complement for its spin. The “z” variant uses white ZrO2 ball bearings rather than the black Si3N4 ball bearings used in the standard HC3. I chose to use the HC3z because in my experience, ZrO2 bearings provide smooth feedback that is akin to an electrical hum. In comparison, Si3N4 bearings are more rumbly and a bit longer spinning. In both functionality and looks, I think the Hc3z suits Gatsby best.
I hope you’re all as excited to see this come together as I am. As always, thanks for following along.
Specifications Material: 655 Silicon Bronze Dimensions: 45mm x 20mm x 12mm Button height: 13.75mm Button diameter: 20mm Bearing: R188 HC3z
Hello, all. How are you? Regrettably, I picked up a night shift the other day and was up from 7 PM to 7 AM. But, I did have some good company. A little while ago, I received the prototypes of the Gatsby.
Seeing the design in person after staring at it on a computer screen for weeks was a funny experience. The prototype Gatsby felt smaller than I expected. Maybe because of how streamlined the design is, because I’ve only ever seen it digitally blown up, or perhaps because it feels like it spins faster than other spinners of the same size. Anyway, if there were a time to change the dimensions, this would be it. But after awhile, I found that I would not have liked it to be any bigger or smaller. As it is, it’s small enough to be discreet, but large enough to have a satisfying spin.
The spin itself is very fast, yet has a lot of inertia behind it. That makes sense since the majority of the spinner starts at 4.75 mm in height and then gets thicker towards the ends. If you’ve ever spun something with removable weights in the arms, it feels something like that, except here it’s to a lesser degree since the “weights” are integrated into the body of the spinner and made of the same metal. And also like those types of spinners, the Gatsby gets a pretty decent spin time. On a cleaned bearing, held vertically by hand, and with a two-handed pull, I got 6 minutes and 5 seconds on a first attempt.
(Note: this spin time test was done on a prototype CuSn8 Gatsby, and the 655 silicon bronze production version will be slightly lighter. More on that later. Also, this test was done using a generic hybrid ceramic – the production version will come with HC2zs, which will likely increase spin time.)
For those who are less interested in spin time and more interested in fidget factor, I have good news for you, too! Because of the stepped design, almost every surface on the Gatsby is primed for a pull or flick. This includes the top, sides, front, back, what have you. Seriously, I designed the thing and even I was surprised by how well the steps work. While testing the prototypes, I found that they actually feel a lot like diagonal flats and give great leverage for hard pulls. The filleted edges have also proven their worth here – not a single area feels anywhere near sharp or out of place. Everything truly flows. This is a spinner that could stay with you 24/7 and never give you so much as a callous. The rounded ends are a dream to pull on, as well. And for people who like slow spins or feeling the momentum of a spinner, the middle layer (also the thickest layer) is an excellent place to be.
All in all, my extremely biased opinion is that I think the Gatsby could find its way into my small and selective collection and stay there. It’s got a good spin time, the design is my cup of tea (hopefully yours too!), its fidget factor is very good, and it’s speedy yet weighty at the same time. The Gatsby will really shine for those that like feeling the resistance of inertia when they spin.
The Gatsby also passes the “hand a spinner to someone who’s never had one before and see how they like it” test, which I just made up. An officer where I work couldn’t put it down after he tried it out. So rest assured you don’t have to be a spin pro to “get” the Gatsby, it just works. But wait, there’s more!
A few changes to note after testing the prototypes: Material: 655 silicon bronze, changed from CuSn8 bronze. Button depth: I found the steps a bit too shallow on the protos, so they’re deepened by 0.5 mm on the final model.
Thanks for following along. Next post will be made in a couple days when production starts.
Long time no talk. Been a little busy starting a new job, forgive me. But I’ve been thinking of making this post for awhile, so don’t think I’ve forgotten you folks! Today, I want to share some things about the little details in Gatsby’s design. I owe a lot of these things to brainstorming with Dark EDC, and their experience in spinner design has been invaluable. I hope you’ll appreciate the insight and a peek behind the curtain.
Gatsby is a complex design by spinner standards. It took about 50 hours of modeling, with constant tweaking and design changes, to get to where it is now. Let’s start with the least noticeable detail, something that I think we usually take for granted in the designs around us: symmetry.
Every layer is equidistant from one another. The distance from the base layer to the middle layer to the thickest layer is exactly the same. Everything is perfectly centered around the bearing down to the millimeter. This creates an effect that is not only visually pleasing, but also lends itself to a perfectly balanced spin. Here’s a picture that shows what I’m talking about:
Another thing you can see in that photo – all the edges are rounded. This design has three times the amount of edges there would be on other spinners just because of the number of layers. To make sure the spinner would remain ergonomic and not a pain in the…. finger… to spin, Gatsby’s edges are filleted. This introduces more challenges in machining because it requires a different type of tooling than the ones used for chamfers, but it’s well worth it.
And speaking of layers, the distance between each is not arbitrary. Gatsby is compact, but each step is long enough for you to get a decent pull or flick on. This is what I call “modular-adjacent,” where you can “choose” how long you want the spinner to be based on which length is most comfortable for you. It’s not modular in the sense of interchangeable parts, but it does have qualities that allow you to choose what kind of spin you want. In my opinion, the innermost layer would be best suited to flicks, while the outermost layer would be best suited for pulls. But, of course, it’s all up to you on how you want to approach it!
Next, buttons. If you’ve already read my entirely too lengthy and info-filled post about buttons, found here, then you know the reasoning behind the design already. But if you haven’t, a quick little summary is that the steps on the buttons mirror the steps on the body. That’s the outside. Now, here’s what’s under the hood:
There are a couple things of note here: the small indentation between the shoulder of the button (the tiny step on the underside) and the post (the cylinders where the screws go) and the chamfers on both posts. Basically, these are there to keep the spin as “pure” as possible. By “pure,” I mean unaffected by factors other than those from the bearing itself. R188 bearings are surprisingly sensitive and can be ruined by simple drops on the ground or from the hole being bored a nanometer too small into the spinner body. These small adjustments to the buttons would not make or break a spinner, but they do ensure that the pressure from the buttons’ fit into the bearing does as little as possible to affect the spin qualities.
In the same vein, we have this tiny detail here:
This is from an earlier model, but this part remains the same. In case you didn’t see it right away (which I don’t blame you for), I mean the tiny chamfer around the bearing hole. The bearing fits squarely (or round-ly) within the hole, which is the exact height of an R188, and the chamfer makes it easy for you to see when it’s perfectly level. While not strictly “necessary,” it adds a little elegant touch to the overall package. And the Gatsby is nothing if not opulent. 🙂
Thanks for tuning in to the latest segment on the Gatsby. Here’s an update on progress for you: prototypes are set to come in the next week, as long as no unexpected issues arise. If I’m satisfied with how it spins, I’ll move onto production of the full run. COAs and packaging have been ordered, but I’m keeping those a surprise for when you get them in the mail. It might be a little different than what you’re used to 🙂 I’ll probably make a post about them after the drop anyway, just because I like for you folks to know why I do things the way I do. Expect another post in about a week when the prototypes arrive!
Thank you, all, for the warm reception of Gatsby. I can’t wait to get it into your hands, pockets, hearts, etc. If it’s half as nice as the comments made on my announcement posts, we’ll have a fine spinner on our hands.
For the sake of documentation on this journey, I’d like to share some of my favorite comments from the posts:
From the maker of the first spinner himself, so obviously first on the list.
This is gorgeous — the most intriguing design I’ve seen in ages. Great job!
Thank you, Jeff! A lot of people commented similar sentiments, each of which I appreciate so much, but this would become too long of a read if I listed everybody here. I’m not quite yet trying to write the next great American novel, so here is just one, equally as meaningful to me as the next.
Reminds me a bit of a toy you would find in Bioshock.
Bioshock is one of my favorite video games, so this made me happy. Plus, Rapture’s environment has art deco influences which is exactly what I was trying to do with Gatsby.
Sean Vinh Pitetta
And last but not least, because sometimes less is more.