Not much to update. We are trucking along. There was a hardware workshop that we attended last weekend. We have a few new leads to follow up on that came from that, so that is exciting. We will not be posting an update until sometime after the 15th of April – there are only so many hours in a day and we have to do our taxes (in addition to all the other normal stuff we do like bath and work on the Fighting Man Frying Pans). We are trying to limit the production impact while we balance other business needs.
I am sure you all have noticed that it is taking a substantial amount of time to complete milling the rogue hilts. December flew through 50% of the work load. January – March we have worked through the next 25%. What the heck is going on? I’m glad you all inquired!
The basic idea is that each hilt has two parts. Each part needs to be milled on both sides. This very nicely breaks into 4 parts. When each side is completed we mark the task as 25% complete. This means that right now, one side of the rogue hilt is complete, and the other is half way done! In December both parts started as rectangles. In order to mill these down into the proper basic hilt shape a standard vice is used (a good visual example of this can be seen in Update #21). From a manufacturing standpoint it makes sense to complete the first cuts for both parts back to back because the second set of cuts require a custom vice. After each bar is made into a pretty hilt shape, cutting the other side requires more precision; otherwise the part will be misaligned and useless. This means that more time goes into the back 50%. A decent visual representation of one part of the hilt after one side is Update #29. A good visual representation of one completed part is Update #33.
The bad news is that at this rate it will take a ridiculous amount of time to finish all the other hilts. The good news is that in a sudden flash of brilliance helped create a new optimized design for the Teflon and cast iron pans. Each pan type and hilt type used to have a design (Hero single handed 8”, Villain single handed 8”, Hero single handed 10”, Villain single handed 10”, Hero single handed cast iron, Villain single handed cast iron, Hero double handed cast iron, Villain double handed cast iron). We now have Hero single handed, Villain Single handed, Hero double handed, and Villain double handed. We have reduced the number of designs in half, and increased the quantity for each design type. This may seem like an easy feat, but there are many factors that go into a design besides logic and will. Pan sizes, weight, manufacturing capabilities, existing pan structure, etc.
Last year one of our struggles was that we needed to find a production method that would be able to survive this project’s load. Our in house machinery was not built for this load (something closer to our initial goal would have been OK). We spent a lot of time looking at alternative manufacturing options. We decided that the best option was casting, we just could not afford it with the number of designs we had with the relatively low quantity for each design. We had to walk away from that option. Eventually we were able to team up with NextFab the allowed proper manufacturing to begin on the rogue handles. We will continue our work with them to complete the lower quantity designs. But with this new design, casting is looking more feasible. To complete the quoting process we need to create the match plate (the Master) and send it off for review. So that is the current plan. While the Masters are off, we will continue to manufacture all the other hilts (Stainless steel pans, executioner, and custom handles).
That is all for now!
I do not have much to update right now. The snow did close the shop a few days in the past three weeks. It slowed manufacturing and negotiations with other shops, so the update there is: slow but steady. We are just hitting about 75% done on the manufacturing of the rouge handles.
The positive side of the snow was it provided an excellent time to sit in front of the computer and catch up on some of the design and program clean up and conversion. Morlock Enterprises uses different software than NextFab, so each design has to be re-done so we can get it ready to cut.
And lastly what EVERYONE wants to know about, the Morlock Shop was cleaned up and prepped for Trivet making. We have a shop monkey lined up to do the work, so barring a few scheduling details we will be able to again move forward on that product.
Update of the Day!
Currently I am most of the way through the principal milling of the rogue hilts. If all goes well the milling portion of that will be done late next week. Then it's off to bead blasting and anodizing!
For anyone that is curious about the process per pan it goes somewhat as follows.
- Mill a large pile of metal into hilt shaped chunks of aluminum
- Bead blast and anodize those chunks into prettier chunks of aluminum
- Grab ugly iron pan, mill and drill handle to fit with now pretty aluminum chunks
- Mill mold for slick silicon sleeve to go on aluminum chunk
- Cast said sleeve
- Juggle all parts in air, hope they assemble together
- Hey, it worked! I mean then of course it did. We then pack for shipping, pans venture into the world
These are the rough stages, I will be updating the progress and schedule on the web site next week to reflect how I intend these stages will go
Until then it is back to the mill I go!
Back again with another update. I got back from holiday shenanigans and have been working on the contour milling for the rogues. I did hit a bit of a snag as I got fairly sick right after New Years. As a one man operation things tend to grind to a halt when I get under the weather.
I also had a mildly amusing/ annoying day of downtime the other day as well. The mill was offline, laid low by an unlikely culprit.
So these little oddball batteries died.
Which killed the probe,
Which means the Haas has trouble setting it's work offsets for the pan fixtures.
Which made this entire thing go down for the day.
Luckily it was as simple a fix as getting a new set of batteries, Just took a day to get them in stock. But it is amusing that something as simple as a set of batteries can bring your day to a halt.
So now that this little speed bump has been fixed I will be getting into the meat and potatoes of this project int he next couple of weeks. Bring on the hero and villain pans! So stay tuned.
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