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Finally!! The Portable Hand!

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 2:37 pm
by Candyman
Before the Worker and the Sharpmaker there was the Portable hand!

The Portable Hand!!! I can’t even begin to explain to you how friggin excited I am to receive this in the mail! To say I was stressing while this was in transit is a major understatement. I might have just drove 35 minutes home from work to grab this package off the porch, take a picture and then drive 35 minutes back to work. :) The person I got it from was clearing out an old clock shop and came across it. Said that it was used to hold the small parts of the clocks after they would clean them. The story that follows most of you know but I figured I’d add it for anyone that doesn’t!
Spyderco's history began in 1976 in Redding, California, when Sal invented the Portable Hand. This was a tool designed to hold small objects securely in place, which frees up a hand and aids in intricate tasks. The Portable Hand was a practical solution for people working on electronical components and many other uses, both in industry and at home. At the same time, Sal had an avid interest in high performance sports cars. He noticed that many car manufacturers in the 1970s used the term 'spider/spyder' or 'spydercars' to name their high-end sports cars. The Portable Hand's spider-like looks and the naming of high performance sports-cars, inspired Sal to name his company Spyderco.

(Sal)
The "Portable Hand" was an "invention pilot" that Gail and I wanted to go through. The project was; to invent an funtional tool, patent it, design it, build it ourselves, market and sell the product. We welded up the parts while on the road on campground benches and motel rooms. We sold them mail order and at shows. Our 2nd invention, the Sharpmaker, overpowered the portable hand and we didn't have enough time to do both, so we disco'd the portable hand.
I snagged this information from my good friends over at Spydiewiki and Sal himself off the forum.

Thanks, Rich


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Re: Finally!! The Portable Hand!

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 2:45 pm
by Larry_Mott
Congrats bro magnon!
You're well on your way to become custodian of the unofficial Spyderco museum :)

Re: Finally!! The Portable Hand!

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 3:18 pm
by The Meat man
Very cool find Rich!

Re: Finally!! The Portable Hand!

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 3:42 pm
by RustyIron



Interesting contraption.


Screen Shot 2020-04-27 at 2.37.17 PM.jpg

Re: Finally!! The Portable Hand!

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 3:44 pm
by DutchBlades
Nice score! Haven't seen one pop up online, so must've been hard to find!

Re: Finally!! The Portable Hand!

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 3:45 pm
by RustyIron
And following the patent trail leads to another interesting contraption.
What exactly is the significance of a "totem pole necklace?
Screen Shot 2020-04-27 at 2.40.51 PM.jpg

Re: Finally!! The Portable Hand!

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 3:47 pm
by Burton Knut
Would’ve “liked” this and said wow to myself, but since we don’t have said button...WOW! Nice find! I’ve never even thought to look for one of these. Color me jelly!

Re: Finally!! The Portable Hand!

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 4:38 pm
by JuPaul
My dad was a huge tinkerer and he would've loved a contraption like that! Very cool find.

Re: Finally!! The Portable Hand!

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 4:53 pm
by koenigsegg
Very cool, always wanted to see one. Sprint run! What steel to do first... Wonder how long sal has been wearing that necklace

Re: Finally!! The Portable Hand!

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 5:34 pm
by GarageBoy
RustyIron wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 3:45 pm
And following the patent trail leads to another interesting contraption.
What exactly is the significance of a "totem pole necklace?

Screen Shot 2020-04-27 at 2.40.51 PM.jpg
viewtopic.php?t=43184
Read that

Re: Finally!! The Portable Hand!

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 5:56 pm
by Mushroom
This is a great find Rich, congrats on scoring one. Such an incredible piece of Spyderco history! Thanks for sharing! :spyder:

Re: Finally!! The Portable Hand!

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 6:17 pm
by Cambertree
What a great find! It really does look useful.

I tend to use one of those stainless steel trays with powerful magnets underneath it when working with small steel parts, so I don’t lose any, but the Portable Hand is so much better.

I’m guessing that part 33 on the patent diagram is a magnifying screen?

I don’t have any experience with guided sharpening systems, but I wonder if a similar magnifier on a flexible arm would be a useful attachment for those types of setups?

Thanks for sharing this. :)

Re: Finally!! The Portable Hand!

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 6:34 pm
by curlyhairedboy
What a nice find!

Re: Finally!! The Portable Hand!

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 6:34 pm
by RustyIron
Thanks for the info on the totem pendant.

For those of you who are longing for the holding fixture and are not concerned with provenance, Harbor Freight has a similar thing for five bucks. I had one for many, many years, and finally threw it out after it was too beat up and corroded from soldering flux, spatter, etc. Go to their site and search for "helping hands."

Re: Finally!! The Portable Hand!

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 8:19 pm
by sal
Hi Rich, Nice find. 35 years old and our first mfg challenge. Thanx for the memories.

FYI, We (Happy Thoughts) make the Totems in Titanium, Jade, Gold, Silver, and a variety of G-10 colors. We're still trying to set up the web site, but things are moving slowly. We also make coffee mugs with the "Happy Brain" walking around the cup.

A work in progress

sal

Re: Finally!! The Portable Hand!

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 8:25 pm
by Donut
Maybe for the forum knife, do a sprint run of the portable hand. :P

Re: Finally!! The Portable Hand!

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 8:36 pm
by Woodpuppy
Huh. I thought it was part of a trainer blade, and it reminds me of a cross section through a turritella fossil:

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Re: Finally!! The Portable Hand!

Posted: Mon Apr 27, 2020 8:54 pm
by Monty
Always love the history. Reminds me a fly tying vise, a hobby I attempted but could never master the patience to really embrace.

Re: Finally!! The Portable Hand!

Posted: Tue Apr 28, 2020 5:36 pm
by ZrowsN1s
Very cool Rich :cool:

Re: Finally!! The Portable Hand!

Posted: Tue May 12, 2020 11:50 pm
by FeistyKat
We watched Big Fish last week.

I had forgotten about the Portable Hand until I saw your post.

I wonder if they got the idea for the Handi-Matic from the Portable Hand...

https://www.spotern.com/en/wanted/movie ... n-big-fish