In 2015, when I crafted the original Tidashi from a rough piece of Titanium stock, I had felt the urge to step away from my computer and design something in a different way. With the use of basic tools, a simple design emerged from my hands. A small and tactile object that has proven to be more useful in everyday life than I had expected. Along with many of the original adopters, I still use this little cutting tool on a daily basis. It really has withstood the test of time.
The shape and name of the Tidashi is derived from a traditional Japanese utility knife, called Kiridashi-Kogatana; a design recognized by its long handle and short cutting edge. In Japan this tool is still relied upon for making accurate cuts or markings on wood.
Over the years, Tidashi users have provided me with feedback. A slight size increase has often been suggested, and I am glad to say that that is exactly what the Tidashi 2.0 is offering, resulting in a more confident grip when using the tool.
A redesigned and more substantial silicone sheath provides just the right amount of friction for securely holding and releasing the Tidashi. It also allows for the use of larger diameter paracord and keyrings, both of which are included. It is still made from the same long lasting silicone material which has held my personal original Tidashi for all these years.
True to its origins, the Tidashi 2.0 is cut from grade 5 titanium, known for its toughness and corrosion resistance. It is often used in diving knives, as it is lighter than steel and able to resist even the harsh environment of salt water. The fact that this particular alloy lends itself to easy sharpening is something that I have found useful, but not essential to the Tidashi design. It is not a tool for slicing tomatoes. The blade length is simply too short for that. Its forte lies in puncturing and shallow cuts, as done when opening packages. And of course its biggest strength, as with any tool, is the fact that its size allows you to have it on you when you need it.
In order to increase the manufacturing accuracy and consistency of this new iteration of the Tidashi, I have decided to have its basic shape cut by CNC. This will allow me to focus more on the final finish of the Tidashi, including a unique anodizing method for bringing out the amazing colors of the natural titanium oxide layer that covers any titanium object.
The decision to relinquish absolute control over the original Tidashi design by walking away from my computer, is also what guided me in developing a new coloring method for the Tidashi 2.0. I tried to put emphasis on naturally occurring patterns. By subtly controlling the flow of acid and electricity along the surface of the Tidashi, I was able to bring out some unique shapes and colors reminiscent of the cloudy skies over my home in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Although the process is repeatable, no two knives with this pattern will be exactly the same, just like the skies. I was also able to recreate the original color combinations such as Rainbow and Midnight for a total of ten unique versions for you to choose from. I am showing all ten variations here, but please scroll all the way down for some more info about the new storage pouch.
In the past I have often spent a lot of time and energy on the packaging of my designs. And although a custom box for your Tidashi would be nice, I was recently confronted with the sheer amount of waste I was producing by doing this. In response I have decided to package the Tidashi 2.0 in a more permanent and reusable zippered Cordura pouch. It is lined in a soft plush material to protect your Tidashi not only during shipping, but also if you should choose to store it. The design in not finalized yet, but it will most likely be just like in the picture below.
After having fulfilled several campaigns and having shipped thousands of rewards, I would consider myself a veteran Kickstarter creator. I very much consider the Kickstarter experience a shared one between myself and the backers, which is why I am always very open about the project in regular updates. I also try to answer any and all questions asked in messages and in the comment section. My backers and I have traveled this path from inception to completion several times, and we have seen the highs and lows along the route. The previous project has been especially hard, and it has shown me which pitfalls to avoid in future endeavors, including the project we are embarking on now. I hope you will join us, and make the Tidashi 2.0 project another successful one.
Risks and challenges
If there is one thing I have learned from my previous project, it is how the complexity of a design can exponentially increase the risk of something going wrong during production. It is the main reason why I chose to keep this design as simple as the original design. It is also why I chose to keep the anodizing process in house. It is a process too delicate to hand off.
The process of manufacturing the basic shape of the Tidashi 2.0 is done by an overseas manufacturer I have worked with in the past. They have been reliable and based on the samples they provided (which are in the pictures you see here) I believe they will provide an excellent product. As the project is going live we are discussing some final details about the cutting process and final finish of the shape. I plan to perform a thorough quality control on the initial small production runs, before increasing the production volume. And if for whatever reason the manufacturer cannot continue production, I can always fall back on the equipment I acquired for making the original Tidashi, and move production in house.
The mold used for creating the silicone sheath has already been made and paid for, because I wanted to show you the result in the pictures. This means that production of the sheaths should not be the bottle neck in this project.
The pouch design is based on an existing design, and the manufacturer has indicated that it is comfortable making it. If problems should arise with the manufacturing, I would not have a problem reverting to the exact design that the manufacturer already makes on a regular basis (the only difference is a slightly different size).
I will be shipping the Tidashis anywhere in the world from the US, and although the declared value of the average shipment will be below the duty threshold of most countries, there is a chance that you will have to pay some import duties, especially on larger shipments. If you have ever ordered anything from abroad, you are probably already aware of this, and know that I have no control over this, other than keeping the declared value to a minimum.
Although the cutting edge of the Tidashi is very short, I want every backer to be aware that there is always the possibility that the laws of your country do not allow you to carry it in public. As far as I am aware, it has never happened in the past.
In summary, I believe that the biggest risk would be delay in the expected delivery date. The reason for this is that definitive information about production quantities will not be available until after the campaign closes. This is a problem that is almost inherent to the Kickstarter system, and we'll work with it.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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