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Kill, Maim, Slay. Vol. 1 - I'm Seeing Red

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the company's site is:


I only ordered from them once, but they shipped super fast.
Here is what I  bought so far:

2 (two)   1lb bags of of the 70d Cut Spike Nails;
2 (two)   1lb bags of of the 60d Cut spike Nails; 
1 (one)  1lb bag of of the 60d Foundry nails.

I will warn you, you will probably find these nails easy to bend; as the steel feels softer then both the CRS and the drill rod I have bent before.  
That said, I am not grip mutant, so these nails were fun for me.  

Before I tried one --i must confess-- they looked a little gnarly;,
but  that steel melted in may hands.
Well...  at least they felt relatively easy for their size.

This first two I tried were in single IMPs.  While I was not able to bend them centered, they went down easy enough double overhand.  Those two bends were shown is that previous post.

Each nail looks a little different from each other and some show light rust.  I am cool with that, as they at made using vintage machines to stamp these nails. 

I bought their Foundry nails as they looked to be the same as the Cut Spikes only they were cheaper as they have no "head" on the nail. [$11.52 vs $7.79 per pound]
Also the company website said you get about 11 Foundry nails per pound versus just 8 Cut Spikes per pound, so I was looking at that as additional money saving.

In my shipment, I got 7 of the 70d per pound as advertised, but in the case of the 60d Cut Spaikes and the 60d Foundry Nails I actually got more then their estimate.  I got 10 nails per pound in the 60d Cut Spikes and 13 nails per pound in the 60d Foundry Nails.  That could be total luck, or their estimates might be based off their 5lb and 50b containers...
so I paid about $1.15 per 60d Cut Spike versus about 60 cents per 60d Foundry nail.
I need to buy one of those digital caliper tools as I think the Foundry nails are actually a little narrower then the Cut Spikes...


anyhoot, here are some photos. The first is the 70d Cut Spike,

then the 60d Cut Spike

then the 60d Foundry Nails




Edited by richcottrell
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KMS Vol. 1 – I’m Seeing Red The time has come to set a goal. Any goal. One goal? My goal!  I have been here on the gripboard sense 2013 [you can find my first gripboard post on page

The time has come... it is time to get the fire burning again. Nate Brous, while he dropped off the gripboard for a while, is alive and last weekend he hosted another small tristate  “grip togeth

Injury Report: None Weight: 168lbs Did my first bending in ages at The Ambassador's house yesterday.  I was very sad to see Nate get rid of 92% of his Grip Gear over the past few years

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Got to get ready for winter, so its time to squirrel away.

Project Time:
Fall 2017

Re-design my basement office/workshop/gym.

I have already been in this house for almost 5 years and "my space" needs some serious  love.  
It is currently a disaster area and it is time I put some work into organizing it and making better use of my space.  I have many grip and fitness toys, but the space is always soooo messy; I rarely train with the stuff I already have but that "mess" is an easy excuse that needs to be killed ASAP.  
Going to try to channel some of Nate Brous' energy and attack this basement over then next two months.  Time to get a little OCD and more importantly time to get it done.

The current plan is to build some shelving into one wall, so my books can move to the back and I can open up a 2x4 foot area of prime real estate in the "exercise area".  [currently being used by a pair of Ikea book shelves in the main "gym" area of my room].  Unfortunately this space will not be for a keg.

Eventually this house of strength needs:
Squat stands or Squat rack [$$$- $$$$]
Place to do pullups [$ or less]
Punching bag for a 6 year old boy with an real anger problem [$$]
Wall storage for all GripTops and toys [already own the peg board]

Other ideas for fitness family fun:
Speed bag? [$]
Country Shutters for the three windows?  [$$$$$]
Roll out wrestling/BJJ matts [$$$]
Better weight storage [$]


anyway, the ideas have been in my head... but I am going to try to put some on paper and make them happen...  
To parafrase some military general:   
   "A partial plan-- violently executed TODAY-- is still better then the perfect plan, executed TOMORROW."


In bending news, I can not say much.  
Once again I have a bruised finger due to beer induced lazy bending.  I should specifically say due to lazy wrapping as i figured to try one of those Tremont Cut nails.  They were originally  easy to bend so  i casually rolled one into a single IMP wrap and bent it.  The next day that Right Hand ring finger from last year is in pain... again.  and now in two places.
STUPID.  again

In extra cool bending news, I did get a nice package/ gift in the mail from Bill LePage with two of his machined pieces of bending stock.  
While I know he would be sending them eventually it was fun to open the mail that day.  I asked Bill to only mail his "easy" stock as I am far... far away from the RED GOAL.    They are probably the same as the size of a blue nail but the ends and turned down with a lathe or similar matchine to make the ends very nicely finished.  I bent one piece in a single set of art store leathers. [Leather wraps because I am lazy and my finger bruise still hurts.]

I will try to post a picture later but while this "United Machining" bar is very nicely finished; and  it did bend easy enough; I have to say the arc of the bend seemed different then what I remember the arc of a blue nail being...


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Left to right:

Iron Mind blue nai; FBBc nail; Bill's new bar stock

notice the bend.   Not complaining just observing....


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Thanks for the great nail information.

As someone with a small workshop/gym, I would recommend looking for a half rack with plate storage. It's very versatile with a small foot print. I have a standard power rack and a plate tree and they take up way too much space and offer no advantage in my space. Stalk Craig's list. Often times people dump racks and cages for cheap. I got mine, rack, tree, barbell, 2 x35s for $150. 

Send pictures and drawing of your space maybe there are ideas you haven't thought of.

For the bruise, contrast baths while awake, tiger balm and gloves while asleep. You got this!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Taking you up on this offer:




Edited by richcottrell
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IMG_3120.JPGThis first picture is looking at space "A"

the second picture was taken from the doorway looking at space "A" and into the Office area space "B"

Edited by richcottrell
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Your Trash is My Stuff

It is amazing how much stuff I have been able to hang onto and accumulate.  Some things are big, and some things small.  
Some things have sentimental value, and other things are for "future projects".
Some things are worth money, but  as Mr. George Carlin would describe, most of my stuff is TRASH.

Been spending way too many hours [and Beers] continuing my attempt to clean out this basement Office/gym.  Like BJJ, I am trying to "make space."

I managed to painfully get rid of a bid box of books, and I  finally let myself get ride of some scrap lumber.  Also managed to shred about three trashcans full of old Tax papers, crew sheets and paper work.
At one point I took almost every fitness DVD i owned and got rid of the plastic cases and put the DVD's into multi CD type containers.  That was another brown paper bag of space gained.

Some of this "object removal" is easy, and other times it is and emotional battle.  I am no hoarder, but I can see how it could be easy to become one. 

I purchased a wooden tool peg board with an assortment of metal hangers.   The plan for that is to hang the many grip toys on the wall like many guys have done before.  I just have to pick a place to hang it.
(Actually, I might have become a bit of a hoarder of grip toys.  In time, I might sell off some of the stuff I am not truly using.)

I am still currently still thinking I want a squat rack or squat stands.  Been thinking about that for a few years actually.   But for now, if I do not pull the trigger on that big item in the next 30 days, I will alerts put an eye bolt into the ceiling so I can hang my center mount pullup bar or my home built suspension trainer.

I have not given up on bending, as a matter of fact I finally got a digital fractional caliper.  It is a cheap brand [iGaging] so we will see how it holds up.  One guy who used to frequent the board loaned me his analog caliper about a year ago.  I will be honest, I got too confused trying to read that one.  I was never good at measurement.
I think after Christmas I will slowly ease back into the nail bending.

Thats all to report for now.  The weather is too nice not to do some fall yard clean up.

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I like to hoard materials, scrap metal, lumber, paper/cardboard, rags, etc.

The struggle between having things you might need and the space you might need to use them in is constant.

Sometimes organization is not the key. Sometimes having something "out" with no place to put it forces you to make progress with it. 

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Get the squat rack! https://www.roguefitness.com/echo-squat-stand?prod_id=51837&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI1onDgoba1gIVCBppCh38QwFhEAYYAyABEgIUQfD_BwE - its definitely one of the best pieces of equipment I ever bought - Squats, overhead press, bench press, rack pulls, lockouts, wrist rollers, wrist thingy, acrobatic attempts - all way less accessible without a rack - and I'd say put in where your table with the kettle bells are, move the kettle bell table to where the tall book shelves are, and burn the bookshelves in your back yard jersey bbq style

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Progress report:



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One small step for man


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One giant leap for grip guy



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apparently I got that George Carlin line wrong:
 Most of my stuff is JUNK

not trash!

 But yesterday it was fun to actually work out in my "new" space for the first time!

That all said, When I got rig of one of those book shelves I rediscovered something....  
Having the two shelves C-Clamped together gave those cheap Ikea shelves extra support.  Now, with just one shelf it feels very weak.  [weaker  even then my sissy grip],

With that structural integrity comprimized,  I have continued to try to get even some more books off that shelf to lesson the load.
And now I am forced to get rid of a few that I have held onto for too long.  load under pressure   The pressure to unload that is...

As part of this home purging, I will eventually be getting rid of some grip stuff.  I do not want to become a gripgoard profiteer, but I also realize some of this stiff [or junk?] is worth something to other grip guys, so I will eventually mention some of this stuff here first before posting it in the sales section of the grip board.  Maybe this grip stuff is intended for "friendly nations" first.

I have a few grippers that are so far away from being a goal gripper they are foolish to own, and a few other things that probably would have better value in my kids college funds then my grip toy/tool arsenal.


As for now, I say this:

On Jan 1st, I will start bending again.  I will  start with nails.  The plan is to return to DO but I might start doing some Reverse style (thank you SJ4) and/or some DU.  Either way, I will get back on track to put this KMS "I am Seeing Red" back on the radar.

Also planned:
On the opening  day of Phillies baseball  (next season) I plan to start hitting the horseshoes again.  
That would be April 5th.  
It is a 3:05 game against Miami.

If for some reason I have to work that day, the phillies have "off" on the 6th, but I will not!


Edited by richcottrell
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Glad to hear your planed come back rich - and are any of those foolish grippers a cpw 155-7?? Also see you at AOBS!

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks to The Bressemer Process —Out with the old, in with the new—

took advantage of Black Friday and cyber Monday... new stuff is on the way to make my basement gym Squatable... I just hope my hips can hold out...

Too late to get strong for Gripmas, but trying to get a real plan for exercise and grip.  Time to make myself serious and get accountable.

the basement is coming along with one new challenge... we just adopted two kittens!

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Monday morning Gripmas press conference...

Injury Reports:
Nothing.  [that sounds like music to my ears]

*Slight soreness in the lower palm [karate chop side] probably from the sledge event.
*Right elbow hurts [I should have gotten a higher platform to stand on for the Sledge event, as my elbow being in that slightly hyper extended position aggravated an old injury]

Performance Report:
Considering I have not been doing ANY of my homework – meaning training – I really can not complain about my performance at Gripmas.  I am most proud of the fact that I got more items in the Medley this year, but I should be ashamed that I weighed at almost 10lbs heavier then last year. 

Progress Report:
At my first Gripmas in 2015, I literally could not pick up one single item in the Medley.  I somehow squeaked out 1 point that year.  At Gripmas 2016 I got 5 points.  This year I got 11 points.  That is progress.

One of those points was for the Key Pinch, which I actually just missed that last year.  Thanks to Chris Rice, I did play with that lift a little in my training, so I was happy I got it this year.  Stupidly, I did not even try the 2 point Key Pinch in the medley. I tried it about 30min after my medley, and was able to get that Key Pinch as well. I am pretty sure I could have gotten that lift during my 4min run.  I will have to wait till next year to prove it. 

I also was able to get the two 25# York, which is cool because I think that is the first time I have officially done that mini feat of grip.
Actually, I just realized something.  In 2015, when I only got one point, I think that point came from the fingerwalk.  This year, I missed the fingerwalk because I ran out of time.

Besides doing better in the medley, when I look at my ISG numbers from 2015 to the 2017 Gripmas, I also see slight improvement.   I went from 137# two years ago, to 151# this year.  I just hope that improvement is in my Grip, and not from those Crush Monsters detuning the springs [or “seasoning them” as we say with TSGs].  I know people do not like this implement, but I personally plan on training with it a little over the years even if no one ever contests that Ivanko Super Gripper again.

I never did a double sledge lever before, but I did like that event and I was surprised I could do the 30lb set which all the other guys used.  I did 4 reps but one was disallowed so I only got credit for 3.  If I had video I would love to see how bad I was bouncing at the bottom.  I did not feel like I was bouncing too much.  Not to start a controversy, as I did like this event, but I will say it seemed like judging this event was difficult.  Either way, I was one of the first guys to go so I wonder how I would have done with some small tweaks to the platform height and my hand position. 

I can say with pride my hands were at the very bottom of the handles.  

While I do not think I will build a double sledge hammer cage setup anytime soon, I am thankful to Chris Rice for putting together that sledge safety cage and making that event.  It was fun to watch, and it did not take long to contest.  Also, the double hammer must train the my triceps as feel a little sore today there as well as sore in the palm on both hands.  While I might not plan on making a sledge cage like Chris did, down the road I will probably buy a second sledge and try to make a double sledge.  I have already thought of a simple way to make a simple arm platform work in my basement gym if I made this a seated exercise and just put on a hardhat.

Does anyone know if Slim the Hammerman was the first person to ever bolt together two sledgehammers?

For the 2HP, I guess it is time I say, “I need to put it on the map.” 
At some point I need to actually play around with the 2HP and actually work it into my training.  At Jedd’s leg of the Worlds Strongest Hands in 2015, I did 133#. 
At Gripmas 2015 I got 128.73#
At Gripmas 2016, I only got 118.38#. 
This year I got 131.67# so I am still hovering around the same number as the first time I ever touched the Euro.  For this years Gripmas we used Jedd’s Euro discs (but with Chris Rice’s spacers) so my Worlds Strongest Hands 2015 was on the same discs as my 2017 Gripmas.
With the 2HP being one of the major grip events, I guess I need to decide: Do I want to compete in grip or not.  If the answer is yes, I need to get pinching!

[While i did miss 141# three times this Gripmas, I was only 1" away on my last attempt, so for any Euro goal setting I am going to consider 140# at 46mm my current PR]

That about sums up my loose Gripmas Report, but looking at these numbers from previous contests, I discovered something...  I already knew about this, but now I have empirical data.  Two years ago I was at the low end of the 83kg weight class.  This year I was almost too heavy for it. 
ast year I weighed in at 169.9 for Gripmas.  This year I was almost 10 pounds heavier. 
That is not muscle gain. 
That is all beer gut.
I have seen myself in the background of some people’s Gripmas facebook posts, so you can literally see the boiler. [full disclosure, I had to "go up a size" this past summer and buy 34" jeans. ]

After Gripmas there were a few cases of beer we drank at Chris’, and then another case was enjoyed at the hotel.  Anyone who hung out at after the contest can attest, I surly added more size to that beer gut this weekend.

I am now in my 40’s, so some weight gain would be expected, but there is no reason I should be this out of shape.  Weight loss will have to be part of any fitness plans moving forward.

Over the next few weeks I am going to try to draw up some sort of a roadmap for myself.  I need to get some sort of plan together and get myself on real schedule, but for today I will take the next 30-45 min after I post this to go for a walk outside.

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Rich, it was great meeting you!  Good luck with whatever roadmap you plan out.

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Mr. Cottrell, due to circumstances, I will be DO bending again. Do you want to get a friendly challenge going?

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On 12/11/2017 at 11:50 AM, JHenze646 said:

Mr. Cottrell, due to circumstances, I will be DO bending again. Do you want to get a friendly challenge going?

The plan was to take it very easy come Jan 1st and start bending again very slowly, but just today I was moving some really heavy  stuff and I felt that pain again in my stupid right ring finger.  This it still from that night of too much beer and a failed attempt to take an already bent 60penny nail and try to barehand bend it past parallel.

 Needless to say, it has been over a year... time to swallow my pride and visit a doctor.   I feel sad and mad.  I think it is also time to get a new family doctor.  My current doctor is still in the city so that is a 40min drive. This too will have to wait till Jan as I leave for family vacation in two nights.  I am off to Mexico for a week.  Sounds like a great way to spend some down time, but with flights and my three kids, I am dreading it.

While I am gone, I am going to try my best not to even think about Grip.  That will be tough, but I am going to try my best.  I think I will  not to visit the gripboard at all.  That should free up more brain cells to enjoy my trip and time with the wife.  Wish me luck...

In other news, tonight I did my first set of squats in years.  Got to do that set right here at home  in my finally assembled half rack.  Yaaa!  Had to borrow an angle grinder to cut it down about 4 inches.  While it is only a "half" rack, this thing is massive.  I better start hitting the weights hardcore or my wife is sure to kill me.  She wanted an elliptical.

After I get back I will get this finger sorted out.  I would like to get bending again.  And with the newly installed rack, I can do all the major strength work I might need to get the body into decent shape.  I got to just take it easier on the joints, and never drink and bend again.   From now on i will bend then drink... problem solved.

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Over and Out

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  • 5 weeks later...

“The hanging party”

A few day late,but more then the doctor ordered.

Well.... what more can i say then this — It did not happen.

“It” refers to my pledge to slowly start bending again starting on New Years Day.

On Jan 1st, I was supposed to start some bending, but i just chickened out.  

I had the day off, but I just kept thinking about my bruised finger so I let go of whatever might have been left of my pride, and I did not even touch the steel.  

Pathetic?  Yes.   But that is how I started my new year. 

Fast forward all week and besides a single day of using my squat rack i had NOT gotten down to this most pressing business of getting training again.  Certainly I did not bend a single thing...

Saturday was my real first day off sense New Years  but we had a different mission... get a TV mounted on the wall at home.

My wife had two of the guys from her work come over to help me hang this big TV.  It was something i really wanted to got done, as we bought the TV set before Black Friday and while we did unbox it to make sure it worked, we did not have time to install it before vacation.  

Due to my crazy children — especially my 6 year old tyrant of a son— it was unsafe to leave the television on the floor in our family room so it’s temp home became hidden away in my basement office gym.  

At a massive 65inches, it was a big -yet fragile- piece of equipment which was taking away from “my space”.  It was also continually frustrating because I have a few blu-ray DVDs that I have purposely never watched. These are movies that I heard about in film school; movies from the 50’s and 60’s that took me a while to track down, so I wanted a true cinematic experience to enjoy them with.

I also wanted that space back in the gym so I can use my new toys from FBBC and York.

While I wanted to get it out of that space, my stud finder was not playing nice, so my wife had her coworkers come over for brunch and to help me hang the tv.

The one coworker, Ryan, also brought his girlfriend so my wife put together a nice spread of Strada, bagels, smoked salmon, whitefish, pepperoni and cheese.

Anyway one of our helpers also happened to  be my wife’s boss, and good friend, Daryl.   As a matter of fact, both he and his wife have been friends with my wife (and in turn myself) for many years, even before my wife Lainie started working for his company.  So they were both coming over and they even brought over one of their sons for the “hanging party” —their 11th grader, Ben. 

Ben is 6’4” maybe 6’5” and a lean 225lbs.  His father wanted to see my squat rack and the next thing you know I am showing him and his son some of the horseshoes I have bent before.

At some point I showed him my Grippers.   I handed him and his father one of my easiest Grippers so they could see what they close like.   I did not show any real setting.  Then I handed them a GHP@98 just so they could understand the resistance those Grippers can offer.

Then we were carrying that big TV set to slap it on the wall.

We all returned to the family room and after mounting the TV set we all had a beer (for the legal record the High School kid only got a Poweraid) as we put Star Wars into the DVD player to see this tv in action.  We have no sound bar or surround sound system, so we blasted the audio from the TV.

The kids stayed watching the TV, while that 6 adults went to the kitchen to eat.

As things got more social I was telling the Boss and his son about Blobs and my trip to York.   Next thing you know, I am taking his son Ben back to the basement to try my smaller Blobs as his hands were much bigger then mine and he seemed to have a good “thumb angle”.

After a little chalk, he was able to get my biggest blob (34.6lbs) in the air, and he also was able to pick up my 100lb FBBC Sahlaney Baby Inch with both his left and right hands.

He even face lifted one of the smaller Blobs.  Probably it was my half 50... so I told him about the Brian Shaw Grip challenges.

Then the “kid” wanted to see what his dad meant by me bending metal... so the next thing you know I am bending a 60d in IMPs for him...

I did not plan on doing that but I was so excited to tell people about Grip, I did not hesitate.   

I did a very fast wrap on the “head” end of the nail, and for the point I already had an IMP wrapped with a rubber band, so it was a looser wrap then I should have used, but it was only a 60d so it was easy enough.

And then things really took off as the hanging party changed gears into a grip and bending intro.... Next thing you know, I am showing him how I bend a horseshoe.

Took out a St Croix ultralight 2 and bent it open.   I tried to try to heart it but it did not seem to give, so I did not bother finishing it.   

For him, just the sight of me opening that shoe was cool.

His parents used to have Scottish Highland Cattle and he goes to a tech school, so he thought bending a horseshoe was really cool and “the good old boys at school” would also really appreciate that feat. 

So he tried a horseshoe for a while, and eventually I opened up another one to show him the technique.

I do not know how long we stayed in the basement, but soon it was time for everyone to leave... my TV was now on the wall, and I had two small bruises on my legs from the horseshoes...

It was a successful hanging for sure and maybe I transfered the grip bug to someone much younger and bigger then myself.

Unfortunatly, I got sick with what could have been the flu after this fun day.  I was in bed for a good week and I am still recovering almost two weeks later.

Slowly feeling better, although I have been going through a half box of tissues every day...

Only advantage of getting sick is I have lost about 6lbs.  


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  • 3 months later...

I would say I am gearing up, but I already have everything I need... except motivation.

Today I was  re-reading this training journal of mine... knowing I had to return to the basement and get bending again.
That Bay State Bending competition would have been fun to attend, but here is a cool old british film from the 1940's that I just found on youtube:

go 50 seconds into the video.  Anyone ever try to brace bend like that? [over the back of your neck]
Anyway, this type of stuff helps kindle the KMS... time to get back to that Drill Rod Alphabet .

Also, no ice cream is allowed this summer, as  I am now pushing 180lbs...

Edited by richcottrell
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So what is your plan?

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