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715 backers pledged $16,874 to help bring this project to life.

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Cut/Once™ –  Heirloom Ruler project video thumbnail
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$16,874

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"Measure twice. Cut once." 
 – Carpenter's adage

Inspired by the spirit of carpentry and craftsmanship: quality, efficiency, mindfulness.
Inspired by the spirit of carpentry and craftsmanship: quality, efficiency, mindfulness.

For the desktop.
Not the drawer.

Doubles as a pen tray. Rather than spending its life in a cluttered drawer, we designed the Cut Once ruler to be seen and used on the desktop. (And yes, that is a Kickstarter-funded Premeir pen.)
Doubles as a pen tray. Rather than spending its life in a cluttered drawer, we designed the Cut Once ruler to be seen and used on the desktop. (And yes, that is a Kickstarter-funded Premeir pen.)

American hard maple.
Eco-safe stains and finish.

Non-toxic, No-VOC, Eco-stain. FSC-certified American hard maple. Fabricated locally in Chicago by independent woodworker, Davis Edson (Edson-Woodworking.com)
Non-toxic, No-VOC, Eco-stain. FSC-certified American hard maple. Fabricated locally in Chicago by independent woodworker, Davis Edson (Edson-Woodworking.com)

Fifteen inches.
Deep laser engraving.

The laser engraving has proven to be the most challenging aspect of manufacturing. We wanted large graphics, more substantial 15" length, and deep engraving, all which  require longer and more expensive laser time. This is where Kickstarter fits in.
The laser engraving has proven to be the most challenging aspect of manufacturing. We wanted large graphics, more substantial 15" length, and deep engraving, all which require longer and more expensive laser time. This is where Kickstarter fits in.

Desktop partitions.
Think and work better.

Workspace research suggests that effective desktop zoning and organization contributes to increased worker productivity.
Workspace research suggests that effective desktop zoning and organization contributes to increased worker productivity.

The concept.
Form and graphics.

With unstained ends, it appears as an offcut from a carpentry project, reflecting a time when craftsmen made their own measuring sticks from wood remnants. The idea of the offcut is also found in the graphics, where the bold numbers are slightly truncated
With unstained ends, it appears as an offcut from a carpentry project, reflecting a time when craftsmen made their own measuring sticks from wood remnants. The idea of the offcut is also found in the graphics, where the bold numbers are slightly truncated

Stocking stuffers.
Give a future heirloom.

Christmas delivery! A truly meaningful gift that grows better with time. (photo: annieswoolens.com)
Christmas delivery! A truly meaningful gift that grows better with time. (photo: annieswoolens.com)

Meaningful objects.
Sage advice.

This is Bruce's special stapler, handed down to him from his grandfather. It helped inspire our rulers: built to last, intended to be handed down, & offering sage advice about the hazards of haste and importance of mindful action–Measure twice. Cut Once.
This is Bruce's special stapler, handed down to him from his grandfather. It helped inspire our rulers: built to last, intended to be handed down, & offering sage advice about the hazards of haste and importance of mindful action–Measure twice. Cut Once.

Metric version.
US-standard version.

Every ruler has inches and centimeters, however there is a domninant side, given its slope. The US-standard version has the inches on the right, the metric version has centimeters on the right.
Every ruler has inches and centimeters, however there is a domninant side, given its slope. The US-standard version has the inches on the right, the metric version has centimeters on the right.

Early prototypes.
Two years in development.

Scores of prototypes. Hundreds of hours. Thousands of development dollars.
Scores of prototypes. Hundreds of hours. Thousands of development dollars.

Backstory.


We started this project two years ago, with just the desire to bring some dignity to the wooden desk ruler. After a great deal of development and working with graphic designer, Matthew Wizinsky, we finally had prototypes for the ChicagoLand exhibition at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF)  in NYC in May 2013.

And recently we  exhibited them again in NYC at the International Gift Fair (NY NOW) this past August. We got great feedback and even took orders from retailers, under the assumption that we could get the laser engraving done at a certain price and at a certain quality. It turned out that on a larger production scale, we could not laser engrave effectively. Sheepishly, we had to notify the retailers that we were not able to fulfill their orders. (There is one Manhattan boutique shop that did get a several of them though.)

To make an affordable ruler we need more control/ownership/partial-ownership of a laser cutter. This is why we are going to the Kickstarter community.

Christmas delivery.
Ho-Ho-Ho.

Un-engraved rulers awaiting Kickstarter backing. US orders should be en route with USPS by December 10th. We are sorry that because of unpredictable customs delays we cannot estimate international order delivery dates.
Un-engraved rulers awaiting Kickstarter backing. US orders should be en route with USPS by December 10th. We are sorry that because of unpredictable customs delays we cannot estimate international order delivery dates.

Cubby.
Thanks Kickstarters.

Cubby™, our successful 2012 Kickstarter campaign. Made in USA. 100% recycled plastic. We know what it takes to pull off a campaign with overwhelmingly positive feedback. We're dedicated to providing great products, great service, great experiences.
Cubby™, our successful 2012 Kickstarter campaign. Made in USA. 100% recycled plastic. We know what it takes to pull off a campaign with overwhelmingly positive feedback. We're dedicated to providing great products, great service, great experiences.
Cubby™ is now in black and red, in addition to the original white. Another great holiday gift, available here.
Cubby™ is now in black and red, in addition to the original white. Another great holiday gift, available here.

Special Thanks.

Graphics and Design Development:
Matthew Wizinsky (studiojunglecat.com)

Videography:
Nick Martin (nickmartinfilm.com)

Ruler Production:
Davis Edson  (edson-woodworking.com)

Prototyping Support:
Andy Graham  (innovationcenter.uic.edu)
Patrick Fitzpatrick  (patrickfitzpatrick.com)
Paul Munson
John Messer

Design Development:
Alysse Filipek  (alyssefilipek.com)
Elise Sydora  (elisesydora.com)

Risks and challenges

We already have 500 wooden rulers cut, with more available with two week's notice. We also have several viable options for the laser engraving. The basic plan is:

Step 1. Laser engrave the existing 500 rulers (week 1)
Step 2. Affix label and package the existing 500 rulers (week 2)
Step 3. Begin shipping first 500 rulers (December 1st)

If more than 500 rulers fulfilled:
Step 4. Order additional wood fabrication and staining (2 weeks before end)
Step 5. Fabrication and staining finished (week 1)
Step 6. Laser cutting of additional rulers (week 2)
Step 7. Affix label and package (Dec. 5)
Step 8. Ship final orders (by Dec. 10)

We have run a successful Kickstarter campaign before and know what it takes. We have allotted the time necessary (with a small buffer) for shipment by December 10th in the US, but we intend to begin delivering in mid-late November as they roll off the laser cutter.

All of our production, assembly, and shipping will happen in less than a 15-mile perimeter (though our stain is ordered from a company in Santa Fe, New Mexico and the tags are laser cut and marked in Seattle, Washington). This offers a great amount of control of the process and decreases the likelihood of problems, but if any do occur, this allows us to act quickly and in person.

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Funding period

- (30 days)