Quick update today. Held off posting yesterday so we could confidently post:
The rotary phase converter is up and running! So exciting! (as a re-cap - we need this working so that the Bridgeport has power. We need to run a few tests on the Bridgeport then we can finish the hilts for the rogue, executioner, and possibly the stainless steel, kits, and Teflon hilts)
This week we are shifting focus because Dragon*Con is coming up. So this week the focus in the shop will be getting everything prepped for that show (everything has to be ready and in Virginia on 30th of August). The 3rd I have Jury Duty, the 5th - 7th I will be at Dragon*Con. Then I have two weeks to move (at least the shop isn't moving as well this time).
So with that in mind I am hoping to get the grips done, status from the foundry about fixing the cast iron pans (see last weeks update for details) and cut more grips in the next few weeks!
When I have a solution worked out regarding the cast iron pans I will post. I will be silent the most of September so I when I am not at work or moving, I can spend every extra moment in the shop. Next official update - October 3rd!
I will try to post a few micro put dates possibly on Instgram (MadManMorlock) or Facebook - if I can figure out how this social media thing works.....
Why are you working on projects that are not the pans??
There are a few answers to the question:
1) There have been lulls in this project where I have had to wait on one task before I could start another (waiting for samples for the grips, or pans from the foundry for example). Instead of sitting around doing nothing, I worked on other projects. Most notably I bought a 3D printer off craigslist and print widgets and toys with my son.
2) When I am in the shop designing or researching pan related things I make sure that my CNC router cuts out some of my other products. This gives me a 15 minute break every hour or six, depending on how complicated the project cutting is. It is good to get up and stretch every now and then. Why not have productive stretches?
3) Every now and then I have someone else in the shop! The benefit of having someone else help me in the shop is that other projects get done! The disadvantage is they can only work on projects that have a proven work flow, completed instructions, and working machinery. The pans have never been made, so I am on my own to discover the wonder that is the Combat Kitchenware work flow! My fancy masks? They have been around for a few years, so any minion can pop in and help that along – assembly and everything!
4) Most importantly, this project is not paying any of my daily living expenses. So I have to make things that will help me pay my bills (that includes the shop rent so that I can make the pans).
As a side note – my website and communications have been mostly taken over by my wife. So lucky for me (and you), I don’t have to do much of that any more. Although this means emails are getting replied to, she only has 7-10 hours on a good week to dedicate to this, so replies can still take a few days.
On to the weekly update!
Shop update – What happened August 8th – August 14th:
More grips cut!
No more Quest Cards were printed. New toner was put in and I haven’t run the colour test prints to make sure this new toner plays nice with the old toner. I will get on that this week!
Phone calls were made about the rotary phase converter. I have done all I can with this. Now we wait!
Section 2: Phone calls were made about doing an injection mold (plastic) option for the Teflon/stainless steel/kits. Questions were answered (we would have to do a thermoset plastic resin (for more information check out this page: http://www.adhesiveandglue.com/thermoset.html )). But more questions came up – but how do I make the finished product look like a metal sword hilt? What sort of grip can I put on to keep the weight balanced? So I am off to explore some more and to learn! (NOTE: I want to be clear that I am not replacing the metal pan option for the backers, I am looking into an alternative. More on this when I have a better over view of this process).
Here is what is on the docket for next week in no particular order (August 15th – August 21st):
Cut more grips!
Ship some 10” cast iron pans back to the foundry. When I started to unpack the cast iron pans there were a few pans that were ground down in weird places. These marks were not on the sample pans. Because it was only a few we decided to correct the problem pans in house. However, I went back to pick up the rest of the pans out of storage and found that the majority of the 10” cast iron pans have these grind marks in them. I spoke to the foundry and they have asked us to send a sample of these pans back so that they can help correct this issue. The image below shows the issues we found.
Sorry for the delayed update – this week has been one of those weeks where time keeps getting away from me as I move through my day.
So a quick summary of what is going on this month and why!
Teflon pans and the kits are all lumped together. This is because the Teflon pans are, as they always have been, a modification to an existing pan. So essentially, everything is a kit in some way. Just some come with a pan attached (single and double handed cast iron pans are the only exception)!
I am making sure we have checked every avenue possible for manufacturing to make sure that not only is the product reliable, but the manufacturing process allows for additional pans/hilts to be made in the future (there is a demand for this product). I am finishing up research on one last manufacturing process for the hilts for the teflon, stainless steel, and kits (NOT executioner or custom hilts). I hope to have this all wrapped up in the next few weeks, but as I learn more, the plan must adjust. As the plans adjusts more research, phone calls and quotes are needed. Ah, R&D (research and development) you are a harsh cycle!
As you can see that takes time. I work every day. I have a full time job, which I did not when this project launched, and in all of my spare time I can be found either in my shop or in front of my computer moving the chains forward (unless I have noted that I am traveling). I cannot do computer work or make phone calls and manufacture pans at the same time. It is too noisy with the machinery on and it is dangerous for me to split my attention while working with some tools (like the router cutting grips for example). So I have to make a choice. Some days I do research in my spare time during business hours, other days I go into the shop to manufacture pans.
So this month the focus is to finish R&D on the hilts outstanding and order the sample of the hilt, to get the Bridgeport working, to finish up the grips for the single and double handed cast iron pans (cutting the oiling), and put holes in the cast iron pans so we have some place to screw the grips into. Woo!
Next week I hope to answer another frequently asked question!
On to the weekly update!
Shop update – What happened August 1st – August 7th:
Quest Card, Quest Card Set, and Trivet reward tiers were packaged and shipped!
More grips were cut!
Quest Card printing was delayed due to a yellow toner shortage. Toner was ordered and delivered yesterday, so onward and upward!
Write up 7 more products for the web site (web site will not be live – Also this is still a random task for Nelly, not Jim)
Still working on Section 2 (Most of this delay is due to the fact that a lot of this is estimates. Traveling slows down emailing. We are catching back up on that and will have a more solid plan tomorrow.)
The rotary phase converter and motor are on site! Installation plans will be made this week!
Here is what is on the docket for next week in no particular order (August 8th – August 14th):
Shop update – What happened July 25th – July 31st:
All the Quest Cards for the Quest Card, Quest Card Set, and Trivet rewards have been printed (about 100)!
Closed the survey for the Trivets rewards. Did not ship (see below for update).
Emailed backers who have not completed the survey for the Quest Card. I will close the survey when the first wave of rewards ship. Outstanding addressed will have to be provided to us via email (Morlock@MorlockEnterprises.com). Did not ship (see below for shipping update)
Closed the survey for the Quest Card Set rewards. Did no ship (see below for update).
All outer edges of the grips are cut for all the cast iron pans. Inner edge test cuts are looking good.
Rotary phase converter with Jim at GenCon I have no update. So update for this will be next week!
- Almost done the Section 2 cost break down. Not quite there yet. Decided to cut more grips instead of finishing up the cost break down.
Product write ups – three done! 4 more to finish the assignment woo!
Jim left for Gen Con as planned.
Here is what is on the docket for next week in no particular order (August 1st – August 7th):
Picking up packaging for Quest Card, Quest Card Sets, and Trivet rewards August 1st (an important overlooked step).
Printing labels for shipment of Quest Card, Quest Card Sets, and Trivets rewards August 2nd (as long as I have the address that is).
Dropping off Quest Cards, Quest Card Sets, and Trivets for SHIPPING August 3rd!
More grip cutting (inside edges)!
More Quest Card printing for add-ons and stretch goals (only another 1000 ish cards to go)!
Write up 7 more products for the web site (web site will not be live – Also this is still a random task for Nelly, not Jim).
Still working on Section 2.
Update for the rotary phase converter installation status (if it has been installed we will finish up testing the Bridgeport).
Jim returns from GenCon Monday August 3rd. He'll be back in the shop August 5th!