Chris Dean Customs_CDC

Chris Dean Customs Gallery

All Things Spinning interview with Chris Dean of Chris Dean Customs

1. Tell us a bit about yourself, where you’re from, what’s your day job, and what’s your passion other than tops (or just your products).

Chris: I’m from the small town of Meridian, MS with a population around 50,000.  I’m 33 years old (born July 29th 1983), have been married since 2006 to my wife Ashley, and we have a 4-year-old son Cooper.  As an Aircraft Technician, I maintain private and corporate turbine aircraft at a business my dad started the year I was born.  I enjoy spending time with family and have a passion for guns.

2. When did you start doing what you do?

Chris: I started making tops in 2014 and the first top I made and sold was a one-piece 3/4″ solid copper.

3. What’s your full-time job?  What reasons are keeping you from being a full-time top maker? 

Chris: Aircraft maintenance is my day job, which I love, and health insurance keeps me from making tops full-time. 

4. What are your current EDC items?  Let’s do a pocket dump photo please! 

Chris: I seriously don’t carry anything daily that aren’t normal everyday items.

5. Do you have any other hobbies?  Are they related to EDC or tops?

Chris: During the Fall, college football is my family’s life.  I also enjoy RC cars, planes, and quadcopters. 

 6. What was the biggest challenge you’ve ever faced during your products’ development?  Tell us how you created your style, your own combo metals, your own designs, etc.

Chris: I did machine work with my job well before I started making tops, so knowing how to run a lathe was never an issue.  I’d say learning to precisely machine something of such a small scale as a top is challenging.  My style just kind of came to me cutting a top freestyle; I really found a baseline design I liked with CDC top #96.  I try to work with any materials available. 

7. What is your favorite metal?  What metal do you hate the most?  Please tell us why and any stories about your reason.

Chris: My favorite is Timascus.  My least favorite is Tungsten, which is hard to machine and virtually unforgivable to even slight imbalances.

8. Do you have a word for the up-and-coming collectors and new makers?  Any suggestions you’d like to share? 

Chris: New collectors should always try to gather opinions of other collectors that have been in the hobby for a while before thinking they need to purchase the first top available.  Instead, they should look for a style they like first.  New makers should never be scared to ask other makers for help or advice; we have a great community. 

9. Once in awhile, we see people copying other makers’ design (by accident or intentionally), metal combos, and such. What do you see in this topic and what would be your opinion about this?

Chris: I do not condone copying other makers’ designs at all  I’m very much against it.  I know sometimes something similar can be made by accident, and as long as the person realizes this and doesn’t intentionally do it again (because it was truly an accident), it’s fine. 

10. What would be your next shop integration?

Chris: I don’t plan to change anything with my shop at this moment.

11. What does your inspiration come from?  Who has been the most influential in your maker’s career? 

Chris: I bought my first top from Joshua Dawson.  He and Mitch Lum are great friends and I always trust their opinions. 

12. Please tell us one of your favorite projects that was mesmerizing and unique.  What kind of ideas that were brought to you and you wanted to put in reality. 

Chris: I’ll have to think about that.  I really haven’t had anything too crazy requested since I do manual machine work.

13. Will you be attending the TopCon this year? 

Chris: I plan to. 

14. Do you like music?  What’s the music that you blast when you’re working?  What’s your favorite band?

Chris: Yes, mostly rap while I work.  I’m not picky; I like pretty much everything. 

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