Why we made Queen-P

Why we made Queen-P

Queen P is me and Eric's fourth product - or rather, our fourth consumer product since the work that's done at the workshop typically serves industry and business clients. But every year or two, when there's some down time, we like to design something we'd personally find use for and put it out on Kickstarter to see if anyone else does too.

There are only 3 rules we follow for these products:

  1. They must be useful to us
    (so that if the crowdfunding campaign fails, at least we both got something functional and delightful out of it)
  2. They must be made to be "forever-items"
    (meaning the highest quality, materials, and manufacturing tolerances we can manage - if we're going to add "stuff" into the world, we want it to be the opposite of junk)
  3. They must be within a certain size and weight
    (Canada, being so big and having such a small population for its size, means that we have the absolute most expensive outbound shipping costs on planet earth, so keeping things within a certain size and weight means they'll be as affordable as possible to ship)

So why Queen P?

Queen P on a shelf with chess-related items

I learned chess when I was in the fourth grade, and although I never took it very seriously, it was a constant with random visits with my late uncle (who was obsessed with chess), and a few friends in different stages of my life who also knew how to play, including Eric, when we met back in 2007.

Then, during the pandemic, chess saw an explosion in popularity and both mine and Eric's interest in the game got reinvigorated and we started playing both at the workshop and through Chess.com.

The idea for Queen P came in one particular over-the-board game at the workshop where Eric had a mad-dash to promote one of his pawns to a queen in the end-game and didn't have an extra Queen to reflect that change.

Typically, of course, most folks just flip a previously captured rook upside down and we did that as well, but we got it into our heads to try and just make a pair of extra chess queens out of aluminum anyways.

But then...

Queen P shown with vitamins and supplements stored inside

Around that time, I had also started taking supplements - you know, multivitamins and the like, and really didn't have a nice solution to store my 3 capsules I'd take around lunchtime so one thing lead to another, and we decided to make the original fun project of making a pair of promotion queens 10X more challenging with a threaded removable crown and a drilled center column.

So many uses...

Queen P with toothpicks inside

So many things fit perfectly in Queen P's secret stash:

  • rolled up emergency cash as shown in the main image at the top
  • toothpicks directly above (which is what Eric keeps in his)
  • as you saw, most multivitamins and supplements
  • a few spare Q-Tips
  • and now, what I store in mine, a spare Lamy fountain pen ink cartridge

However, the problem is...

Queen P - CAD Blueprint

Queen P is so difficult to make to our exacting standards. Machined individually from aircraft-grade aluminum to very tight tolerances, deburred, then dipped into an acid-bath prior to anodizing for gorgeous matte silver and matte black exterior finishes, these pieces take forever to make. And with our client work occupying our lives most of the year, there just isn't time to keep consistently churning out Queen P.

That's why we shared the design blueprint above for anyone with a lathe who wants to give it a go... but if you're interested in picking up a Queen P, we plan on making two very limited batches each year and if any are available, you can buy one by clicking here!

If they're sold out and you want to know the moment we release one of our bi-annual limited drops, you can sign-up to get notified through my e-mail list at the very very very bottom of this page.

I'm curious: do you have an idea for a product you plan on crowdfunding on Kickstarter or Indiegogo?

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