Tools Require Skill

By Noah Graff

Last Friday, I visited George Breiwa at his company DynaVap, in Deforest, Wisconsin, right next to my alma mater, University of Wisconsin Madison. I had interviewed George on Swarfcast twice already, and he had invited me to visit his company for a tour several times in the past. It took an opportunity to broker a very interesting machine to finally get me off my butt and take the three hour drive.

I know some people might be wondering what that machine is, but I’m not at liberty to say at the moment. I’ll just say it’s what I’d call a very sexy and expensive screw machine. Some machines, often the ones that Graff-Pinkert sells, I would characterize as “sexy ugly,” but this machine is just damn sexy. 

But I digress. This blog and video are about a different type of machine that is also elegant, innovative, and with a bit of a learning curve, DynaVap’s signature product, the VapCap. I’d define the VapCap as a vape pen used to consume a product that conventionally is smoked. It is unique because it functions with no electrical components, only using an external heat source such as a lighter. VapCaps are constructed of precision machined components, primarily produced on Citizen and Ganesh Swiss machines.

George was a great guide. He took me around the company’s machine shop and also showed me the set where his company shoots its own video content. DynaVap puts out new professionally shot videos online regularly, demonstrating its newest products and teaching customers how to get the most out of them. George never seems to get tired of explaining his products that seem to give him immense purpose.

Two years ago, after interviewing George the first time, he was nice enough to send me my own VapCap. It was beautifully crafted and unique. I tried it out a few times and it did what it was supposed to do, however, I kept running into trouble. Whenever I wanted to reload it, it seemed to take forever for the cap to cool off enough to touch it, and I constantly burned myself. I decided to take advantage of my visit and get my issue addressed. 

As we toured the shop, I asked George why he makes a product that isn’t easier to use. He told me he likens using the VapCap to a skill such as riding a bike. He brought up that most great tools require the user to learn a skill and practice. He’s proud that the VapCap shares that characteristic because it works well once you get the hang of it.

After my tour, George enthusiastically gave me a private tutorial on using his product, some of which I have included in the video accompanying this blog.

Question: What’s your favorite tool?

 

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2 thoughts on “Tools Require Skill

  1. Andy B

    Noah
    I suppose I really don’t have one that I would call a favorite. I have enough common tools and special tools to repair anything from a toaster oven to a mid size bulldozer. But quite honestly when you need a very certain tool for a very certain job, nothing works like having the right tool for the job. So I suppose that is my favorite- whatever gets the job done when its needed.

     
    1. Noah+Graff

      Hi Andy,

      That makes sense. The one that works for what you need at that very moment is the one that’s your favorite.

      George, in the video, extended the definition of tool to be just about anything, such as a bike, or his thermo extraction device.

      That makes it a lot more open ended.

      I need to reflect a little more on what mine is.

      Also, there is the question of useful vs favorite.

      Probably the most useful tool for me is my phone. But I don’t know if it’s my favorite.

      It’s like the “best movie” vs “favorite” movie question. Often very different choices.

       

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