Production Update #9 - Moving along the Ancient Codex Production Line
Progress Tracker - Regular Production is Currently on Hold for Ancient Codices.
It is certainly a very hot summer back here in Iowa, gotta love that high humidity with all the nearby corn, yay! We originally had just the small window unit a/c putt-ing along until about a week ago when the real feel temp started hitting 104+! So we installed our second, larger unit and are now enjoying a very cool room where thankfully most of our work is done. The Laser room also stays relatively cool thanks to the barn being located on a hill, allowing for lots of air movement to reduce the stagnant heat and smoke.
As for the Ancient Codices themselves, they are turning out amazing! Each one undergoes a very large amount of prepping and distressing, ranging from manual chipping & gouging, to sanding & dremeling, to painting & final roughing; all before pre-assembly even. Yet, three guys seems to be doing the trick as we are moving with great speed as we make each book, everybody getting more and more confident in their tasks at hand, which in turn will help with normal book production as well!
In the meantime, we've also received the remainder of our Material shipment which consisted of 7 boxes of roughly 100+ sheets each. We had to split the load so that half of it is here in the shop while the other half is stored elsewhere.
Sometimes it can feel a bit like Whack-A-Mole...
Thankfully, the lasers are no longer giving me much grief as they use to, as I feel like I've gotten quite accustomed to their many quirks and needs. However, the Big Bertha Laser still likes to keep us on our toes as about 2 weeks ago, she decided to short out and burn through the High Voltage Wire that powers the Laser Tube. This is what I found when I opened up the Power Supply area...
Thankfully, the damage was only done to the wire itself, which we had to order a new one from Boss. The following Monday, with the help of my awesome dad (former electrician back in the day), we were able to get the new wire fed through the machine's various belts and housings, connecting the tube with the power once more.
Then there's Paypal...
If anyone has experienced past issues with Paypal... I now know your pain... I've never dealt with a company this convoluted in it's operations and systems...
Long story short, our Ebay Auctions are a wondrous success with everyone bidding high and paying their bills in a timely and orderly fashion. The kicker is that because I had already set up a Paypal account, I assumed that the transfer of funds from Ebay through Paypal into the Business Bank Account would be of minor issue since everything is already connected that way anyways. However, the moment the money was deposited into Paypal, they slammed down a Limitation on the Account and then placed everything in a Reserve Hold, barring any withdrawals or use of the funds for 180 days, no discussion.
I thought, okay, that's a bit more trouble than I expected but at the very least I should be able to get the money provided I make a few books, ship them out, and provide tracking to prove the legitimacy of the products. Nope. Paypal kept changing their story as to when or how I would be able to get the funds released to the Bank Account if only I did this or I did that. EVENTUALLY I was able to weasel out that the funds would not be released AT ALL until 180 DAYS had passed. Didn't matter if I gave them shipping and tracking confirmed receipts or anything. They simply would not release the money except in the case of issuing Refunds... which I eventually did. annnnnnndddd that was only half of the battle...
When I finally decided to issue refunds and began the process, my bank account suddenly started to take massive hits, dropping into the negatives! Paypal's system was pinging all the refunds against my account despite the funds being in the Paypal Reserve Hold. So this caused my bank to panic a bit and create even more back and forth discussions with Paypal, attempting to get everything resolved. FINALLY, the Reserve was released, the refunds were properly sent and we've now recieved the majority of the Ebay Buyer's payments through Stripe, who were MUCH more understanding, cooperative, and knowledgeable in their actual system's usage. Never again shall I use Paypal, you have been warned.
Summing it All Up
Despite the occasional Mole Problem Issues, we are on track to getting these Ancient Codices aged, distressed, and on their way to their buyers soon, with the resuming of Kickstarter Codices immediately after, if not partly during since some Ancient Buyers have requested more time to come up with their respective themes and stories. As for the SCS-China books, we are awaiting a final sample before the approval is given to the factory.
Until the next update!
Brady, Hanna, and Koda (& Nathan and Nick!)