Bring a picture of the Boony Doon press to the welder to show how it
looks. Having been the person that created the Bonny Doon press, I
have followed its path after I sold the company to Phil Poirier.
For some reason, there are always way too many people that cannot
think on their own, but can always copy someone else’s original
thinking. Can you say “knock off”? I can hear the screams loud and
clear if someone copies your original piece of artwork, but if it is
"just a tool", it is fair game to Bring a picture of the Boony Doon
press to the welder to show how it looks.
There is every bit as much creative energy, thought and effort that
goes into the creation of a well designed tool as any of the art
pieces that flow through this digest. The tools that we make not only
have to be appealing to the eye, they also have to work!
The Bonny Doon press became the standard against which all others
have tried to meet. It is the epitome of simplicity, economy of
materials, and no compromises have been made in its construction.
After its introduction in 1990 at the San Francisco SNAG conference,
the name became the generic term for hydraulic presses used in
forming jewelry. The bolt pattern in the top platen for attaching
tooling that I established with the first presses has never been
changed, and all of the copiers continually refer to “Bonny Doon
Most of you that are here on Orchid use Apple vs. Microsoft. Why?
Possibly because it is a unified well thought out design with
extremely tight control over its features. It does not allow just
anybody to create a gizmo and market it without going through Apple
first. You are provided with a product that works, not something
that is an assemblage of a frame here, a jack there, tooling
somewhere else, etc…etc. There is no “plug and pray” in the Apple
A welder can put together a frame from a picture, but do they
understand the forces involved? They might make one frame, and never
see another one. It is almost impossible for someone not involved in
the field to take your ideas and picture of the Bonny Doon press and
hit a home run. Machine shops (and welders) usually don’t want to
see “weekend inventors”. Businesses are in business to make a
profit, and off the wall jobs that walk in typically are a money
Safety for the operator is most important! The design that I created
(and still used today) places the upright post between you and the
part. Stuff happens, and you need something between you and the bad
stuff. The springs are inside the uprights because springs can
break. When they do, they fly off at great speed, and you just might
be in the way.
Phil Poirier has taken the press and tooling way beyond where it was
when I sold the company to him. He is a jeweler, and understands the
needs of the metal worker much better than I do, and has developed
innumerable tools that vastly extend the capabilities of the press
beyond where I left it.
I am “country folk” and adhere to the adage that “you dance with the
person that brought you to the party”. Folks…I owe support to Mark
Paisen and Susan Kingsley for the idea of a hydraulic press for
forming jewelry. I did not copy anything that they offered, but
instead created a totally unique version that has become the world
standard. It seems to me that all of the versions that are out there
now are simply copies of my idea.
When I decided to make a saw, I had several hundred years of
offerings that I could have copied. Making a “me too” saw would not
have created the Knew Concepts Saw. Why copy someone else’s idea when
it is so much more gratifying to create your own? Because the saw
ventures into totally new territory with the bridge truss design,
and I wanted to prevent knock-off copiers, I patented it.
Lee (the saw guy)