February, 2018 update:
It's been a busy and challenging month here at SI. Let's just dive in -
Total shipped tables to date is 828 (581 end tables, 247 coffee tables). These numbers didn't grow as fast as we were expecting, and reason: We received feedback from a handful of backers who noted that their newly arrived coffee tables had veneer problems. One was damaged during shipping, but the others showed "buckling" - areas where the veneer had lifted. With over 500 end-tables already out in the world for some time now, we hadn't heard from any backers about this previously (nor had we seen it with our production tables here). So far, there are only a small number of veneer problem reports with the metal coffee tables, and all these are from relatively high humidity locales. But we take this issue very seriously. We think we know what the problem is, and why it's showing up now. Our veneers are real wood, and all wood acts as a sponge when it comes to humidity. We ran into this problem (though in a different way) with our original solid wood design for the wood table's top hoop last year. (For those of you interested in the details, look back at Update #13, March 4, 2017). Both then and now, the vertical grain direction maximizes expansion / contraction in the horizontal direction. A metal coffee table's horizontal veneer strips are significantly longer than an end-table's strip, making the expansion / contraction forces greater - the likely reason we hadn't seen this with the end tables. The solution we have chosen is to change to horizontal grain direction for the strips, which greatly reduces humidity-caused changes in the strip's length (by a factor of ~10). Plus, they look great!
If you have received your table and it has veneer, please run your hand along the four veneer strips surrounding the side of the table. You may feel very small elevations, which is normal, but there should be no large or visible areas where the veneer has separated from the underlying powder-coated steel. Please notify us on our support site if you find problems or have questions. Rest assured - if your table is affected, we will make it right.
Because of potential return-shipping expenses, until we have more feedback on our new veneer strategy, we are temporarily holding shipping outside of the US.
(The wood table veneer process is completely different than the metal table's - wood tables are NOT affected by this problem.)
Wood table status -
I know it's been a long wait, but the first crated, white-glove service delivery of a wood table is scheduled to be picked up March 5 - destination: San Francisco. We have turned our downstairs space (previously the prototype lab, Micah's office, and our "showroom") into the wood table assembly center. Once we have confirmation our shipping strategy looks solid, we have lots of tables ready to go!
We've expanded our production space -
Once we got our production chain figured out, it rapidly became clear that we could be more efficient if we had more space. The palletized cardboard for our packaging alone fills an enormous area. A space right across from the main loading dock recently became available, and we nabbed it. We now can store far more table frames, and we moved our monster 4x8 CNC router so that now, when we have to move the many tons of aluminum composite panels (they make up the large flat parts of our tables) from the delivery semi-trailer to the CNC, it's only 20 yards away.
Backers with tables are experimenting and sharing -
I mentioned, last update, that Micah had just put up our new SI site on Reddit. The number of users continues to grow, and is now 76, and we're super excited by the stuff that's been happening there. Several of these subreddit contributors are programmers, but you don't have to be to download their tracks! I shared one backer's offering last time (reddit handle, "SlightlyLoony"). Here are four more:
We've received many requests from backers who've received their tables, for information about how they can order another - for themselves, family, friends. We also get a ton of email asking the same question, from people who missed the Kickstarter campaign. If you are a backer, we already have your contact information, and we will keep you up to date on when more orders are possible. If not, you can sign up to be notified on our website. We are nearing 15,000 email addresses on our list. The reason we have not begun taking new pre-orders yet is to ensure that we stay focused on our most important goal: Making sure we get the highest quality art tables we can build to our Kickstarter backers as quickly as we can. Most of you are phenomenally kind and patient - you're amazing, and it's deeply appreciated. Some of you are frustrated that we don't provide specific shipping dates well in advance of shipping. That is because we can't. Quality assurance takes precedence over delivery date. Despite the current temporary delay related to veneer issues with the metal coffee tables, we are still on track to complete all fulfillment by the end of summer. But if new information alters this, we will continue to be transparent and keep you up to date. Now that we are well past half-way in the fulfillment process, we are gearing up for a new "pre-order launch" open to the public. We are shooting for late March / early April. I'll be sharing more details as we get closer.
And now, for your SI moment of Zen - Collin recently texted me this video of a discovery Jimmy made at the shop:
***WARNING*** - If you try this at home, make sure you put something soft (like felt) under the magnet. Any dirt / contaminants under the magnet can scratch the glass!