About this project
The Problem: Spinning top collection haphazardly strewn about your desk right along with your unsightly glass/mirror spin plate.
The Solution: The Spin Tray! Finally, the perfect display/storage solution for top collectors.
Check out The Spin Tray in action! Swinging the tray and listening to the magical "click" is almost as addicting as spinning tops.
Base: 5" x 5" x 1" CNC machined 6061 Aluminum bead blasted and anodized
Tray: 5" x 5" x .75" CNC machined Walnut or Maple hand finished & coated with Tung oil.
Spin Plate: 75mm 50cm focal length glass lens.
Tray Liner: 100% Wool felt custom die cut
other features: Hidden magnetic closure, precision machined steel pin with roller bearings for perfect swing action, addicting click when closing.
I've been working on this concept for quite awhile now but between the lathe and keeping the business in line my new product design time has been limited. In the meantime, my desk gets more and more cluttered with tops and I can't stand looking at that glass spin plate when it's not in use. The only solution was to bring my good friend/designer Jason Burton (more on J.B. below) in on the project. I gave him an embarrassing rough sketch (next image) and freedom to do his thing. I expected a refined version of what I sent him but what we ended up with was far beyond that! What he also gave me was a healthy lesson in product design methodology. I'm admittedly not a designer by trade but a photographer with a decent eye for design and expanding my machining skills daily. Jason introduced me to the importance of the following and the art behind it.
Research and Definition - The first stage of any design challenge is to understand the constraints, which once defined clearly become opportunities. During this phase the designers role is to be an expert listener, especially since J. L. Lawson & Co. has such a strong identity, focused product line and close relationship with their audience.
Ideation/ Schematic design - The main goal of the ideation phase is to give Anthony a wide range of options for solving the problem he has defined. A designer in this case can then serve as a sounding board for narrowing to the best possible solution. Ideation deliverables have a visual quality that is fast, loose and does not show commitment to any one idea.
Design Development - Once Anthony has selected a direction it’s time to refine all aspects of the design and make the piece real. Detailed drawings and models are used as tools to investigate the relationships between materials. Both the visual and functional elements of the spin tray must work in complete harmony and express the potential of the manufacturing process.
Some of you may not be on board with J. L. Lawson & Co. diving into the world of CNC machining but hear me out. There are just some products/designs that will never lend themselves to the manual machining process and I didn't want to limit this project. I will always stick with manually machining spinning tops, games and other limited edition or one of a kind goods but with something like this I wanted a specific design that can be offered at a reasonable price. That said...I couldn't let a campaign go by without some manual machining involved so...
LIMITED EDITION KICKSTARTER EXCLUSIVE!
Not ready to commit to The Spin Tray? Add to your collection or start one with this exclusive Kickstarter design! Every top is manually machined, filed and sanded from solid 360 brass and has a tungsten carbide tip for long spin times and long wear. The 1" diameter spinning top has a diamond knurl for perfect grip and a 3/32" Tungsten Carbide ball tip.
I can't express the importance of a proper spinning surface for your tops. It's the only way to get long spins and the best surface that we've found, by far, is glass (or a mirror). I've been using a slightly concave shaving mirror for quite awhile but when Jason was doing research for the Tray he discovered the perfect glass lens. Its 75mm in diameter and 50cm focal length. No surface will last forever but the beauty of the Spin Tray is that the glass is easily replaceable and will be available for around $6 (cheaper then Amazon) if, in the future, you need to replace yours.
A word about the rewards.
The spinning top is limited to 500 (that's all I can make before losing my mind) so I spread the edition out over the reward levels. I will move the quantities around depending on popularity of each level. i.e. if few are interested in the solo spinning top I will move some of the quantity into a Spin Tray level.
Early Backers...this is a little over a break even price (believe it or not) so I had to keep the number reasonable. There will undoubtedly be folks that don't get in on time and I apologize in advance for that...don't be mad.
I've written enough about my dad and I in the first two campaigns but here's a bit about Jason:
Jason Burton is an Environmental Designer and full time Assistant Professor at Otis College of Art and Design where he teaches 2-D and 3-D design in the Product Design and Foundation departments. Burton’s art and design work shows a strong commitment to the fundamental principles of design which bridge the gap between aesthetics and functionality. His experience has evolved from a wide range of disciplines. Beginning his education in graphic design and illustration at Palomar College, he went on to study architecture at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SciArc) in Los Angeles and received a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Environmental Arts from Otis. His art, sculpture and furniture designs have been featured in various publications including Architectural Digest, and he has been a designer for R&D Architects in Venice, California since 2003. Jason grew up straddling both urban and rural America, attending school in the city of San Diego but spending his summers working on a farm and tree nursery in Wisconsin. His love for both worlds has developed into a passion for creating relationships between natural beauty and the needs of the built environment.
Chris Lawson - video and music - Chris is available for all of your Kickstarter video/music needs. clawsonhaus.com
Michael Rahban - cnc prototyping and production
Lisa, because you not only inspire and support but are the reason for everything.
Pops, for sharing a fraction of your machining knowledge of which I attain a smaller fraction of.
Mom, for the last 42+ years and keeping the books straight.
Chris, for forcing me out of my comfort zone and all of the effort...thanks cuz.
Jason, for all of the hard work, brilliant design and sharing your process.
Michael, for your patience with all of our prototype tweaks and your amazing work ethic.
Brad, for 3d modeling kid!
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge, obviously, is jumping into CNC machining and letting the work leave our shop. I've never been comfortable with this which is why we machine all of our goods manually. I'm confident, however, in the shop we've chosen to do the work. The quality is there but, more importantly, the work ethic is equal to ours. Another challenge will be assembly. Every base needs a press fit pin with roller bearings which requires a bit of accuracy and time for each. This is just a matter of spending the time on each and ensuring the quality of the fit. The final challenge is fulfillment...as always. This is consistently underestimated by not only myself but other creators. It's just difficult to predict but, this being my third campaign, I feel like I'm getting a solid grip on the process.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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