Sunday, March 30, 2014

The O'Dell Studios Front Pocket Wallet is Born

micarta card holder o'dell studios
UPDATE: Get the first one on etsy today! Update to the update, this one is gone too. Sorry folks.
This whole Micarta project I've been on was bound to evolve and for some time I've wanted to produce some kind of everyday carry product of my own. Somewhere along the way, those two met in the tangled network I call a brain and the front pocket wallet was conceived. Everyone is in on the minimalist or front pocket wallet concept right now and of course they really always have been. I think the difference is, places like etsy and kickstarter have given regular people a place to put the generic slim wallet from the store to rest and turn it into what it's always wanted to be; a more personal handcrafted statement. For a long time I carried nothing more than a money clip with everything jammed in it. Over time though the edges of cards got worn and beaten. I switched to a simple leather card holder intended to be hung on a lanyard or key ring (in the pictures), but I used it in my front pocket. It's served me well ever since. But let's face it, you spend about five minutes on etsy and you've got five different versions of the same concept that you'd love to have. It's just like knives and flashlights - pretty soon you've got a collection. However, I haven't seen anything made of Micarta. And not just Micarta - DIY Micarta. Sure a couple pieces of some material cut by machine with an elastic band is cool and usable for $15. But what about something truly handmade. I could buy Micarta but I want to craft something and I think that's what it's all about.

homemade micarta jeans paper micarta front pocket wallet

So here they are, my first prototypes. I don't especially care for jean Micarta for knives. I don't know why exactly. But once I sanded this stuff I realized it's great for this project. It has a great distressed look and works with a million different spacer colors. Of course I will be doing canvas and black and whatever else I can get my hands on. These are going to go on etsy as they are made and we'll just see how it goes. Once I have my etsy page running I will do an update.

edc bill fold
One of my favorite things about Micarta is how it develops patina over time. In many ways it wears in like leather does and takes more character with time, yet at the same time is tough as nails. Here you're seeing brass inserts on the back plate. You will notices the center screw to the right is offset. This secures the internal retention which prevents cards from falling out.

o'dell studios wallet
I could fit 7 cards in this one but everyone will be unique. I am shooting for roughly 1/4 inch of space inside and the overall width of the wallet is just under 1/2 inch.

The unit on the right is my first prototype. Each one I product will have its own character and look - no two will ever be alike. I am experimenting with the pocket clips. The little one is very low profile while the larger one holds more. I can see different people wanting different set-ups so I will probably do a variety.

The paper I used for the spacers is a sort of faded green color.

This shot demonstrates the size a little better. It holds all the things I carried in my leather wallet, but in a thinner and smaller overall package.

Another look at the thickness. Of course for those who want super slim I have other plans and even this style could be made to hold fewer cards.
blue jean micarta wallet minimalist wallet
And the whole thing just looks right in one's EDC rotation.
So there it is folks. Every weekend I get, I will be cranking out more in all colors and combinations. I learned a lot making these two and will only get better and faster with time. Stay tuned as they begin to go up for sale.

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