M&U Co. Gets Down With Metal

Lifting up your EDC.

“Every well-dressed or aesthetically conscious man these days has some awesome wallet or a nice pocket handkerchief, but then he has this ugly jumbled mess of keys,” says Hunter Craighill of M&U Co. “We want to elevate the things you have in your pocket every day.” Thing is, crafting a key ring and a money clip from brass is a whole lot different than creating in leather, the material at the foundation of the line Hunter’s partner-in-crime Nathan Gryszowka founded. Here’s what it takes to make their two streamlined—but not-so-simple—new pieces. —alisha prakash

Money Clip

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“We start with a 1/16-inch-thick piece of brass. It’s digitally cut by a high-powered laser. If you look at our wallets, on the interior, the opening for the cards has these slightly tapered angles, and we used those angles on the money clip. It comes out a little rough, so we tumble it. Then we get it to our machinist in Brooklyn to do the bending.”

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“We use this custom bending rig that we designed and had our machinist make to get the bends accurate for the money clip. It’s a beautiful object itself that we’re proud of. It has two steel bars—one is mounted and one can rotate while the other revolves around it. It performs one job—to create the bend where you put your money.”

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“We went through a dozen samples with different detailing and radiuses on the angles and shapes before we honed in on the final design. We tested them for a couple of months. It seems like such a simple product, but so much effort and time and sampling went into it.”

Key Ring

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“This image shows the key ring in the open position, where the keys can be added or removed. The hexagonal closure screws onto the threaded end of the bent wire on the left side to close. The entire hex piece is hollow, so it can slide freely up and down the right-hand of the wire.”

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“The hex piece is made by our guy in Brooklyn—the same machinist who does the money clips. This is one of the hex pieces being drilled out so it can go up and down on the wire. What always blows my mind about the lathe is that if you’re familiar with a power drill, you know it spins quickly with a bit in it—so you can drill out into your wall or a piece of wood. But the object you’re drilling is already spinning on a lathe, so essentially you’re just pushing a stationary drill bit into it and because the object is already spinning, it still cuts out. That drill bit is slowly moving into the spinning hex piece. The hexagonal closure is drilled, chamfered, and threaded on the lathe.”

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“If you’re working with a power drill, the thing that holds the bit in place is called a chuck. The machinist’s name is Chuck, too. He does a lot of work for us—he’s a very well-versed and skilled machinist, an all-around metalworker, and a good friend of ours. We work with him on almost every project, even if just to pick his brain. Here, there’s a tray of what looks like little gold rocks. As the lathe is spinning, you’re essentially cutting away pieces of metal, so those are all falling into that bed that looks like a cookie sheet. That’s all the refuse from making tons of threaded hex pieces.”

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“The wire for the key ring is hand-bent on this custom steel rig, which is in a D-shape. You clamp the wire to one face of it, and you slowly wrap it around the D-shaped block. Once we get our hex pieces made, we put them on the bent wire.”

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“Because of how they’re bent and how they’re threaded, the only way to engrave them is facing upwards. We have to mark one-by-one which face has to be engraved before we send them to the laser engraver. This shows each face marked.”

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“Lastly, we assemble, tumble, and polish them. It seems like a crazy amount of work for such a simple object, but this is in your pocket and in your hand everyday—you should be thinking about this just as much as you think about where you put your credit cards and money. This is what gives you access to the world and your life.”

The guys did some awesome stuff with leather for tomorrow’s edition—stop back to check it out!

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So Fresh and So Clean: Learn How to Take Care of Your Jewelry—It’s Time

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Owning big-girl jewelry feels a whole lot less special when your favorite cuff gets tarnished, a clasp on your go-to necklace breaks, or a stone on a stunner of a ring loses its luster. Here’s how to keep your pieces lookin’ all shiny and new. —erica

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Brass with sass, c/o K/LLER. GET IT.

SHINING UP BRASS, BRONZE, AND COPPER

+ “For brass, bronze, and copper, this Noxon polish is the best stuff I have used to polish up jewelry and objects back to their shiny state” —Alyson Fox

+ “If my bronze gets too dark, I use this lemon juice and baking soda mix.” —Astrid Chastka of Metalepsis Projects

+ “To get rid of tarnish, take a slice of lemon, sprinkle it with salt, and then rub that little lemon gently onto your jewelry. If you want to polish your piece to restore shine and luster, you can use lint-free fabric and some elbow grease or, to speed up the process, add some toothpaste or a paste made with baking soda and water to your elbow grease.” —Jeet Sohal of Bare

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A Bande des Quatres ring that makes a very strong case for silver jewelry. GET IT.

POLISHING SILVER

+ “Silver gets tarnished easily. The best way to clean it is with Tarn-X. Dip a soft-bristled toothbrush in it, and brush it on jewelry. Use rubber gloves when you use it—the product is corrosive—and immediately wash the piece with water and gentle dish soap.” —Erin Wahed of Bande des Quatres

+ “Clean it with toothpaste and an old toothbrush—it will get clean and shiny again. To keep your sterling silver pieces from tarnishing, store them in Ziploc bags.” —Nina Egli of Toujours Toi Family Affairs

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In the market for studs that stand-out? Hortense says go fish. GET ‘EM.

CLEANING SOLID GOLD

+ “Hot water and dish soap—it works perfectly.” —Hortense Bonneau of Hortense Jewelry

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Ah, Mociun does mismatched in the best of ways. GET ‘EM.

CARING FOR STONES

+ “We recommend having the tightness of the stones checked regularly by a professional. Depending on the wear the piece receives, they should be checked every four to six months. Stones should also be checked more often at home using a simple pin. And, if using a steam machine to clean your piece, be aware that small pieces of dirt may be holding a loose stone in place, so when this dirt is cleaned away, the stone may fall out. Always check the tightness of stones after steam-cleaning!” —Caitlin Mociun of Mociun

+ “Diamonds in open settings tend to get dirty quickly, so clean them a few times a year. Use a small tea cup or shallow container, fill with hot water, and add a drop of mild hand soap along with a little bit of ammonia (like Windex or a similar glass cleaner). Immerse the ring in the bath and let the ring rest for about 5 minutes. Swish it around a little bit in the bath before removing and rinsing with plain water. Tap it dry with a cotton cloth. Keep in mind that this is only for diamonds and not to be done with emeralds or rubies.” Blanca Monrós Gómez

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Wood can be way chic, and Sophie Monet knows it. GET IT.

RESTORING WOOD

+ “To get the natural luster back, rub olive oil all over it. Make sure to fill in the nooks and crannies. Let stand for a few minutes, and then buff and wipe with a paper towel.” —Sophie Okulick of Sophie Monet

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Even the closure on this Collette Ishiyama necklace is a stunner. GET IT.

DOING MINOR REPAIRS

+ “Everyone I know has a stash of jewelry that they cant wear because it’s broken, but with a few tools, it’s so easy to fix jump-rings or turn a lone earring into a necklace pendant with the help of a plier set like this or this.” —Astrid Chastka of Metalepsis Projects

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Can’t stop staring at this Stanmore cuff—seriously cannot. GET IT.

STORING AND WEARING

+ “Never shower with jewelry on! Water in major cities is very harsh and highly corrosive.” —Tere Artigas of Gabriela Artigas

+ “Put your jewelry on only after applying any makeup, oils, or sprays. Never spray perfume or hairspray directly onto jewelry. Also, jewelry should never be worn in a swimming poo or hot tub. Chlorinated water can cause a chemical reaction with the metal in your jewelry, potentially changing the color.” —Caitlin Mociun of Mociun

+ “Don’t store your jewelry in the bathroom! It’s tempting if that’s where you get ready, but the humidity will cause metal to tarnish quickly.” —Collette Ishiyama

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