Wednesday, October 1, 2008

here's what the on deck line-up's got goin' on: (click the pic for close-up)
(from left to right) 1. chad nichols "calipso" damascus with upside-down clips. 2. sakmar random pattern mokume-gane, upside-down clips. 3. the a.c. metsala "sine wave" pattern...still haven't gotten to it. 4. another a.c. metsala "aztec snow" pair coming up. 5. this is a pair of shaders that jimmy from lucky's is extorting out of me...i NEVER take any direct orders from ANYONE, but i owe him some enormous favors he's cashing in all at once. 6. devin thomas "vines and roses" pair. this is my all-time favorite damascus pattern. 7. that copper pair is still waiting patiently. 8. devin thomas "raindrop" pattern mokume-gane. kind of an angular j-frame. i'm thinking simple, maybe beveled, then a bit of small scale meched out junk in a couple areas. 9. the meteorite pair is still waiting for love also.

make sure to compare last post's "on deck" pic with the finished machines beneath.

getting closer! you'll know when...i'll be posting a pair on ebay, as well as an announcement here.

stainless "scrambled eggs" damascus by chad nichols.

"iguana" 1095/pure-nickel damascus by chad nichols. this was the super thick stock that let me do the piercing with the spikes. super fun!

sakmar "slow twist" 2 color mokume-gane boltie pair.

chad nichols damascus. etched, polished and blued, with upside down clips.

devin thomas "raindrop" mokume meched the F out.

have a look at the completed listings for lots of pics of the machines that sold this last month.

the restructuring recess for workhorse irons is going GREAT! looks like WHI will be back in business, better, stronger and faster than everyone thought at first. i got the samples back for the new frames this week, and they are going to be AWESOME! i have learned a lot since i did the roundback and the bottle-opener, and these are going to blow them away...not just looks, but geometry and function are hands-down the best i have made to date. keep your eyes open!!!

looks like the show is amazing! if anyone got to go see it, i'd love to hear about it. they have some pics on their myspace page. i didn't see any pics of my stuff, i'd love to know how they hung it. it runs until december, so go check it out!

i wish that i had some news on the iraq project, but i've been way too busy to do any charity work right now, and henry still has not heard anything from the iraqi tattooer. if anything develops, i'll letcha'll know.

haven't had an time to fool around with the new press. when i do, i will be posting about it for sure!

repairs are all long gone, but the new class is starting to trickle in. this lifetime guarantee thing is going to be the end of me!!! hopefully it makes my customers happy.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

here's what's on deck:
(from left to right) 1. muonionalusta meteorite pair that's been on deck for the longest. 2. devin thomas "raindrop" pattern mokume-gane. very mechy, kinda like the copper pair from last week. 3. new pattern by chad nichols, this stock is super thick, so i'll be doing pierced silver inserts like some of the stuff i did a few years back. 4. a.c. metsala "sine wave" pattern. i'm thinking pretty simple, maybe with some deep grooves. 5. another copper pair...they are the second longest wait on deck. i really liked the detail work on the last copper pair, so i'm thinking i'll be getting to these soon to revisit the technique. 6. the new, original, official rollomatic, i'll be doing a dozen of these ltd brass, meched out, with jimmy from lucky supply.

should be a lot of fun for me and a lot of neat stuff for y'all.

they are here. this limited edition of 250 will be almost complete after this new batch of frames. as soon as they ship to lucky's, i'll post a pair on ebay and post here to announce that they're ready to go. please don't harass them over there. please be patient...i WILL make an announcement when they ship. it will be AT LEAST 4-6 weeks from now.

the press showed up. it's in the workshop, but i have a few things that i absolutely have to get done before i install it (like the super late repairs). can't wait! it is going to be a ton of fun and i'm super excitied to bring bio-mech imagry into damascus and mokume.


enitre frame and a-bar fabricated out of "wormwood" damascus with 0-1 core. SUPER SICK! mokume-gane binders, $10 dollar bill coil covers, killer heat color.
they're up on ebay right now. lots more pictures on the listings...they're worth checking out!**aaroncain**

i shipped a batch to them earlier this week and will be shipping more tomorrow.

still not done. i am going to be sending patience gifts out with them when they ship....
my apologies again. dealing with reapairs is by far my least favorite part of being a machine builder. i understand that you guys miss your machines, and i will make sure that your wait is worth your while. thanks again for the continued patience and understanding.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

at long last, i am able to sit down and post some of the things that have been it is:

special thanks to Jason Copeman and Mike Schweigert for supporting the "tattooing to save babies" charity by placing the winning bids on the damascus bolties. i hope that the machines that they bought will bring them a lifetime of good karma and their good intentions (and cash) will save lots of babies. extra special thanks to ken and colleen motter for organizing the guys are awesome. we need more like you!

..well, henry got all of the stuff. i sent SIX big boxes of tattoo gear, books, shirts, flash...damn near a full shop for the iraqi tattooer dude. come to find out, he went "home on vacation" and never came back! i really appreciate everyone who sent magazines and other junk to send over there, and henry is over there for a good while longer, so we're all keeping our fingers crossed in hopes that he'll turn up again.

more special thanks to bob/jimmy whitlock and graham martin for their support by placing the winning bid on the iraq specials. the Special Operations Warrior Foundation received $1,170.00 on your behalf. so shines a good deed in a weary world.

the dude who made that sick poster of
the iraq machines, tony ezzell, sent me some pieces of steel plate that he cut off of a decomissioned iraqi tank from a tank graveyard over there. they are super cool...there's about 20 different khaki color layers of paint on em. they are going to make SICK bolt together machines. he also sent some coin and currency to dress them in. when i get a chance to make them, they'll go up for auction, with all of the money going to

make sure you check back for those. even if they aren't your favorite flavor, they'll still be super cool and have incredible prominence. for sure an heirloom with story of the time.

click on the picture to see the "war trophy registration" and the tank plates up close.


i bought a hydraulic press to start making my own damascus steel and mokume gane! i've forged my own damascus in the past with my little air powered hammer, but with this new tool and all of the help that i've been getting from chad nichols and a.c. metsala, the possiblities are endless. i have BIG ideas, and hopefully i'll get the results i'm looking for. i am determined to find a way to bring my usual bag of tricks into play.

i've been completely consumed by metal working for a long, long time, and this will take it to a new level. if i ever get the rest of my tools from storage in maryland, everything is going to change.

the press is on the truck and on it's way! STOKED.

i've still got PLENTY of stuff in my materials drawer to keep me busy while i am learning the subtleties of this new medium.

i have a lot of both devin thomas and sakmar mokume-gane, as well as a ton of eggerling, nichols, metsala, thomas and norris damascus steel in lots of different patterns, some brand new, some tried and true. i'm learning more and more as time goes by, and i am striving to make each project better than the last.

gallery/museum show with some super cool tattoo art. check out their myspace page for more info.
i sent 2 pairs of sick boltie machines for the show, as well as one of the all-damascus machines that i made for the workshop section on the TLC show "tattoo wars." for anyone who'd like to check out some of my newer machines in person, this would be the time to do it if you are in the area. i also loaned 2 of my shawn barber paintings to the show, and there will be lots of his other stuff there, too.

this is a sculpture that i made for the show. it has 50 zekonah frames, all set-up in a spiral fashion on a 24" tube with a 25-1/2", 11 magnum needle. these pictures were taken before it was finished, so the top machine had not been built yet. ironically, it ended up being one of my nicest running machines ever. i made it with ten dollar-bill coil covers and a fast, long, strong stroke. even with the efficiency of this machine, the extra weight of the HUGE needle bar, makes it sound like a mack truck with a bad clutch trying to get up to 60.

it will be hung in the gallery, with power supplied, so it will run all day, every day! stand back and keep your kids away, because this is a live exhibit with actual needles!

hopefully i will get pictures of this thing installed at the show soon, and when i do, i will update this section. worth the price of admission just to see this monstrositiy!


i've been trying to get the latest batch of production machines out the door forever! they are 99% finished and just need to be signed and numbered. this is the best batch of ACJ's yet, and they have the new rear binding posts that were part of the original design. the older models had rear binders that were tight together. they will get them early next week for sure.

i've go t a big bin of zekonah shaders right behind...2-3 weeks at the most.


this pair has polished, bio-meched and patinaed copper sideplates and hardware with brown heat-colored baseplates and spring-shelves. green sparkle over dollar-bill coil-covers seal the deal.

this pair has blued, metsala "aztec snow" mosaic damascus sideplates, armature bars and binding posts.


this machine was another tribute to Paul Rogers. it has some super cool metsala damascus.

thanks to rich duenas for his support for the PAUL ROGERS TATTOO RESEARCH CENTER. $100 of the sale of this machine was donated to the PRTRC.

this pair was made out of the test cuts from the vector program for the "production damascus" bolt-together machines. a couple things were changed before the first run, and then i decided that i wouldn't be doing any more.

welded, sculpted, polished, mech-etched, heat-colored steel.

"MOKUME & BLACK" pair. scuplted
devin thomas "raindrop" mokume-gane.

carved bronze workhorse irons "roundback" pair. only 6 of these blanks were cast in bronze.

i apologize to those who have been waiting patiently for their repair/retunes. they are my going to be shipping out early next week. i've got 23 ill machines that will be better than new on return, in house.

if anyone reading this is considering making the switch to at&t just to get an iphone...DON'T DO IT! absolutely horrible, non-flexible corporate policy. they don't give a f*ck about you. and as part of apple's exclusivity agreement with them,apple doesn't give a f*ck about you either.

i made the switch to get my iphone, paid my $300, i had to wait a week to get it. when i picked it up and signed my 2 year contract for way more than i was paying with my other provider, i went ahead and ordered another iphone for my wife. 2 days later, had to jump into a swimming pool to save my 1-1/2 year old, gibson, with the phone in my pocket.

of course, i didn't care at all about having to replace my phone, as i was able to save my brainer! so i call the at&t store the next day to see if i had to wait another week to buy a new phone for $300, or if they had any sort of "hero" expidition program so i could get it sooner. "well, mr. cain, we actually have them in stock now, but you will have to pay full price." FULL PRICE?! so now they want me to pay $500, to replace a $300 phone that i had for two days. there was no option for insurance, they do not repair "water damage," and when i told them that i just wanted to exercise my 30 day "buyer's remorse" to cancel my contract, they told me that i would have to pay the $175 early termination fee because the phone was damaged and i wasn't able to return it. so...bottom line, over $650 for TWO DAYS of phone service!

i was NOT looking for anything for free, i was NOT looking for a deal. i just wanted to replace the wet $300 phone with a dry $300 phone. i spent the better part of 2 days on the phone with close to a dozen "customer service" reps from both at&t and apple, and they were passing the buck back and forth like they were playing hot potato. not one of them was sympathetic, not one of them could do a thing for me.

i would jump in the pool a million times over to save my son and never once think about what was in my pocket, but i will never sign another contract with at&t, and i am even starting to consinder going back to PC on my next computer, even though i love my mac.

welcome to corporate america. take a number. get in line. bend over.

and on that note...
hopefully i'll be able to post more soon. i'm sure there is some stuff that i left out. it's been a CRAZY month. i don't remember ever being busier...or ever believing that i could've been any busier than i've been in the past!

thanks y'all!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

wow. i am so overwhelmed right now. i have been saying that i will be updating with all of the cool stuff that is going on right now, but i just haven't been able to steal the time.

there have been a lot of super neat machines coming out of the workshop and a neat sculpture for an art show in arizona. i will do my best to post pics on my flickr page as well as news here, this week.


i have to push out a batch of stuff for lucky's that is 99% finished, just needs to be signed and numbered. they will have acanthajones liners and shaders, as well as zekonah shaders by monday. sorry for the delay for those who have been waiting on repairs and those who have been waiting on lucky's inventory to be replenished. their inventory usually flies off of the shelf, so if you are interested, monday should be the day. repairs will be hammered out this week, for sure.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


krooked ken motter's "tattooing to save babies" charity event is coming up on august 2nd. i won't be tattooing on that day (surprise, surprise!), so i've made a pair of damascus bolties to auction off for the fundraiser. check em out on ebay.
it is for a great cause and everyone is encouraged to participate. you'll not only feel better about yourself, but you will be awarded good karma points by the tattoo gods. if you can't afford to donate an entire day's earnings, you can just toss a few bucks into the pot...every dime counts. GET INVOLVED!!! pass it on.

workhorse irons is officially shut down for the restructure. the last few stragglers that didn't sell over the closing weekend are up on ebay with "buy it now" listings at the usual WHI selling price of $260. this is truly the last time these will be offered for sale.


got some awesome new material from A.C.Metsala and made a neat little pair of bio-meched "explosion" pattern damascus machines. they are up on ebay right now...check em! he made me another billet that's even cooler that i'm gonna mess around with next week.

coming soon: i'll be doing a pair of Devin Thomas Mokume-Gane bolties in the next few days, i've got a run of the new genesis of true-lineage rollomatics in brass that i'll be carving up in collaboration with jimmy from lucky supply, i've also got a few other new things on deck, so check back often.

that's about all for right now. i'll be updating if anything else goes down.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

SOME WORKSHOP PICShere's my "on deck" area. i keep em right at eye level where i do all of the assembly and tuning so i can think about what i want to do with them when i am working on other stuff. right now i've got a pair of bronze W.H.I. roundbacks, a couple pairs of copper bolties, a muonionalusta meteorite pair, a damascus pair for krooked ken motter's "tattooing to save babies" charity project, and a pair of plain steel from the prototyping stage of the bolties that will be welded and carved.

this is my carving station, where all the magic happens! i've put in a lot of hours here.
a big huge 400lb anvil i got from a local guy. unfortunately, all of my sweet, sweet, sweet anvils are still back in mayrland in storage with the rest of my smithy. i'm gonna get that stuff soon, i got a lead o a good moving company that would be just right for the job.

some of the art in the shop. the two flash pieces were something that i did for the video game "rock band," that didn't pan out. the silver boards on the top are the molds from the foundry for the workhorse bottle-opener and roundback. the skateboards were for a children's charity in new zealand, they made 5 of each, i think, and auctioned them off. center piece is by fat ram, it's a cool gigery type thing that has green and red pinstriping and is meant to be viewed with 3d, cool. bunch of other stuff too.

super cool new watercolor that julio avila did as a benefit for a friend with breast cancer, then auctioned it off. click here to see the pics on ebay. only a couple people bid on it and i feel like i stole it! it's not just a beautiful piece of art, it was and beautiful gesture by julio. also on this wall is a bug girl by tom strom, a sketch by shawn barber of the damascus skull machine that i made for him, and a few other things.

guy aitchison (top) and phil holt (bottom) paintings.

bunch of stuff that i did. 95, 98, 02, 07

rachel rice, josh visher, ian morriscory norris, dan gilsdorf, michele wortman, jason minaurosome junk