Duwamish River Festical (this Saturday in Seattle)

Rita's first trip with her Aeronaut

One of the things we appreciate most about our new location in the Georgetown district of Seattle is our proximity to the Lower Duwamish River. We can grab tacos from a truck and head over to a park overlooking the river for lunch to see osprey, otters, and herons. The Duwamish River does need our help: in 2001, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) listed the Lower Duwamish River as a federal Superfund site. That’s where the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition comes in. And this Saturday, the DRCC will host the Duwamish River Festival, a multilingual educational festival focused on the health of the river and its surrounding communities. Enjoy a walk-bike-paddle event, music and dance performances, food, kids’ art activities, kayak and boat rides, amongst other cool stuff.

Will we see you (Seattle folk) there? We hope so. It should be lots of fun.

In stock: the Brain Bag backpack

The Brain Bag backpack is now in-stock in all colors: Black, Steel, Olive, Navy, and Universal Camouflage.

In stock: the Brain Bag backpack

In stock: the Brain Bag backpack

Chris Gullebeau: How To Do The Right Thing

Chris Gullebeau: How To Do The Right Thing
Chris Guillebeau quotes Tom in his latest post on the Art of Non-ConformityHow To Do The Right Thing. Read it here.

Design Features Explained: Aeronaut main compartment zippered flap

“The main zippered flap on the Aeronaut is specifically situated so that it unzips as it does. After you flop/set/toss your packed Aeronaut onto a bed, chest of drawers or luggage rack, the inverted “U” shaped opening naturally unzips and folds *towards* you so you can access the mesh pocket sewn into the flap. You needn’t set the Aeronaut down and then turn it around. We thought you might appreciate this.”
— Tom

Design Features Explained: Aeronaut main compartment zippered flap

In stock: Kit, ID, Little Swift, Buzz, Super Ego, Ristretto for iPad, more

Thanks to our awesome Seattle factory crew, the following bags are back in-stock and shipping within one business day:

Snake Charmer in all colors, including Sapphire and Crimson
In stock: Kit, ID, Little Swift, Buzz, Super Ego, Ristretto for iPad, more

Buzz
Kit in all colors, including Cardinal, Forest, and Navy
ID in all colors, including Cardinal, Forest, and Navy
Super Ego in Black/Cardinal/Steel and Black/Forest/Cayenne
Little Swift in Vulcana Hemp/Recycled Rubber
Cache for iPad 2
All
Yarn Stuff Sacks
The Ristretto for iPad/iPad 2 in all colors, including Linen/Olive and Navy/Cayenne
All Western Flyer Packing Cubes
All Aeronaut Packing Cubes
Side Effect in Olive, Plum, and Steel
Imago in all colors, including Navy/Cork/Wasabi and Cardinal/Hemp/Steel

In stock: Kit, ID, Little Swift, Buzz, Super Ego, Ristretto for iPad, more

CB’s Peanuts in every order! (Until they run out.)

CB's Peanuts in every order! (Until they run out.)

We’re including a bag of CB’s peanuts (fresh roasted in Kingston, WA on Monday) in every order placed today through this weekend — until they run out. If you think you like peanuts, just wait until you try CB’s — these are, by far, the best we’ve ever tasted, which is why we wanted to share them with you guys.

In stock: Clear Quarter Packing Cube, Cache for Apple Wireless Keyboard

The Clear Quarter Packing Cube is now shipping in all colors: Solar, Ultraviolet, Steel, and Iberian.
In stock: Clear Quarter Packing Cube, Cache for Apple Wireless Keyboard

In stock: Clear Quarter Packing Cube, Cache for Apple Wireless Keyboard

The Cache for Apple Wireless Keyboard is also now shipping.
The TOM BIHN Cache for Apple Wireless Keyboard

Video: Tom’s friend Robert’s Kinetic Sculpture

This is a kinetic sculpture build by Tom’s very talented friend Robert Swarner. Robert came into Tom’s shop in Santa Cruz in the early 90′s wanting to learn about sewing so he could build his own climbing equipment. They’ve been friends ever since. For a brief period of time Robert sewed for Tom, but they found drinking margaritas together was more fun. For fun, Robert has been an artist, a machinist, a sky diver and a big-wall climber in Yosemite, and for a living flies helicopters.

If you can prove to Robert you understand what this thing does, we’ll send you a Friend of Tom pouch. Submit your summary in 45 words or less to: darcy@tombihn.com

Click Read More to read Robert’s explanation of the sculpture.


“This is a mobile. The rotating part is on a nut that spins down that screw
under gravity. The computer watches its position on the screw and when it
gets to the bottom, it turns on the motor, spinning the screw to return the
nut back to the top, ad infinitum.

I wanted to know if I could propel the nut that way using only its momentum
to push against. Usually if you’re moving a nut by turning a screw, you
restrain the nut against rotation. Here I’m just turning against momentum.
I also wanted to see the sinusoid motion of a rotor reacting to wind, and
the reaction of a Delta 3 hinge in a system that is slow enough to watch.

The system is unstable without the rotor bit, and the aerodynamic drag that
goes with it. When I ran it without the rotor attached, the nut accelerated
down the screw, the motor came on, and further accelerated the rotation of
the nut, and something bad would have happened if I hadn’t turned it off.
Because of aerodynamic drag, the nut decelerates to its terminal speed while
it’s descending. Even though it accelerates while the motor is turning, it
reaches a stability in its RPM during the descent. This made me really
happy we don’t live in a vacuum. Aside from being short of breath, it would
be terrifying to move things around without drag.

The hinge that I mentioned is common in tail rotor designs. The problem
with rotor systems moving on edge like a Frisbee is that the airfoil sees a
headwind half of the time, and a tailwind the other half. This is why a
Frisbee always rolls to the retreating side.

The Delta 3 hinge allows the blade to flap as this is happening, only in
this case the flapping axis is 45 degrees from the axis of the rotor. If
the airfoil flaps away from the centered position, the blade is forced to
pitch back toward that centerline, and it is self-stabilizing. You can see
the rotor reacting to gusts of wind, and sailing up and down. The hinge
helps to stabilize it back into a flat orbit.

The airfoil is a cut section of an Agusta helicopter main rotor blade.
Everything but the lead screw, the nut, and the blade section was
manufactured by me.”
— Robert

Just in: Ballistic Nylon Organizer Pouches, Storm+Sapphire Color Key Straps

Just in: Ballistic Nylon Organizer Pouches, Storm+Sapphire Color Key Straps

Our Seattle factory just finished making all colors of Ballistic Nylon Organizer Pouches, Storm and Sapphire Color Key Straps, and Pen/Pencil Clear Organizer Pouches in Linen. They’re in-stock and ready to ship now.

Just in: Ballistic Nylon Organizer Pouches, Storm+Sapphire Color Key Straps

Just in: Ballistic Nylon Organizer Pouches, Storm+Sapphire Color Key Straps

Orders over $20: Complimentary Fourth of July Small Organizer Pouch

Orders over $20: Complimentary Fourth of July Small Organizer Pouch

We came up with a limited edition Organizer Pouch to celebrate the Fourth of July: the Fourth of July Small Organizer Pouch. It’s made out of our new Navy U.S. 1050d ballistic nylon and features contrasting red trim and white stitching on the zipper. And we added a “Made in USA” label just to remind everyone where all TOM BIHN bags are made. Place an over $20 order now through Tuesday, July 5th at 12:30pm Pacific Time, put “Fourth of July” in the comments box during checkout, and we’ll include a complimentary Fourth of July Small Organizer Pouch in your order. This applies to pre-orders or backorders too: we’ll include the Fourth of July Pouch in your order whenever your order ships.

Ballistic nylon was originally developed to be used 20 or more layers thick to make bullet-proof jackets. One layer thick, it makes great travel bags; however, it is not bullet-proof or even fireworks-proof. The good news is that it is pretty quiet and won’t scare kids or cats or dogs.

(Remember that the colors red, white and blue are also the national colors of Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, the Czech Republic, France, Iceland, Liberia, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, the Philippines, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Thailand, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom. So even if you don’t live in the U.S., you might still like this pouch.)

Orders over $20: Complimentary Fourth of July Small Organizer Pouch