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A pre-sale of custom lockpicks designed by a competitive lockpicker to bring "Open Locksport" to market.
Created by

Schuyler Towne

1,159 backers pledged $87,407 to help bring this project to life.

Recent updates

Photos

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100th Update: A New Year

Jason Scott, speaking for the board and for Schuyler.

The hope was to have picks in the mail before the end of 2012, but it didn't happen. What we do have are some photos taken this week of the first set of picks being worked on. As production ramps up, the process and approach will be refined. Schuyler sent along some photos and some paragraphs about what was being worked on.

"The guy on the mill is my friend James who helped me make a quick Jig to hold the picks perfectly flat while I'm spot welding. The first round of spot welding had some frustrating errors, but all have been perfect after the jig. With the success of the prototype I'll be making a more durable one out of aluminum or something similar to use for subsequent spot welding."

"The other photos are of finished picks, next to their unfinished counter parts. I took a bunch of these because I know some people have had concerns seeing the unfinished picks that the picks will look like shit. They both feel and look great after their polish. Additional update - Amy has decided to purchase a tumbler online tonight to finish all subsequent batches of picks. She will put the money up for it out of her modest savings and I will reimburse her. She saw how long hand-finishing was taking and decided to step up. More details on that to follow, but she's a nice girl."

The first batch of picks will go out in the beginning of January and the next batches of picks are slated for production. Thanks for your patience as we start getting these out the door.

Christmas 2012

Jason Scott from the board. 

A handful of boxes remain to be settled/tracked/mailed. 

The raw etched picks arrived last week. Schuyler has been assembling the first set of picks to go out to backers. The next generation (5th revision) picks (the ones with the larger picks-per-sheet form factor for less expensive etching) are in the process of coming back for evaluation from the etcher.

The first sets are planned to arrive in backer hands as soon as they're ready. Photos of the picks will be put up as soon as possible.

Schuyler continues to schedule paid appearances to pay towards the manufacturing of sets, along with proceeds from his day job.

In the summer of this year, Schuyler revealed his battle with paralyzing depression, his impending loss of home and no solution or resolution to the kickstarter campaign.

On December 15th, he asked his girlfriend Amy to marry him. She has said yes.

Updates shortly.

Logistics, New Revision of Picks

Jason Scott here.

Here's the short form of updates.

  • The first shipment of etched picks and hands should be at Schuyler's shortly. He will then assemble and the first shipment will go out.
  • This is a relatively small shipment, as discussed - but the goal is to have them in the hands of actual backers as soon as possible.
  • There is now a new revision of the pick/handle templates, for 12" wide metal instead of 6" metal. This Revision 5 pattern is up on archive.org: http://archive.org/details/2012-schuyler-towne-rev5-cad-etching
  • Lock boxes still go out, although it's a tiny handful and a one-by-one basis.
  • A store will be set up soon selling off excess inventory of locks and t-shirts.

The rest of this is about logistics, mostly for historical record. It can be ignored.

The plan all along has been to treat this process as time-shifted, not behind schedule. The reason for this is that trying to rush the project along to achieve a "deadline" would inevitably lead to shortcuts, inferior work, and leaving the world no better than it was. So, we've been moving along carefully to close out the various open aspects, but also to treat the manufacture of the picks as a proper task and goal.

The original template of the picks was on a 6" wide sheet of metal, which is what the first 4 revisions have been. As we were preparing to estimate and order larger sets of metal and etching, the etcher brought an important fact to our attention: the cost of etching a 6" sheet is the same as etching a 12" one. That is, the same "task" cost would apply whether we were cutting a sheet that was any size between 6" and 12". With that being the case, we could apply much more 

It is not clear why the etcher brought up this cost-savings measure 4 jobs in, but there could be any of a number of legitimate reasons it wasn't. What it does mean is we have both a cost-cutting measure, and the need for another round of QA.

As we know the metal works and we are using the metal for the first order, that won't have to be QA'd, but the order of two sheets of 12" metal will definitely need to get inspected before we discuss working on what will be a thousands-of-dollars order of the new etching.

Cost-cutting is a big deal in this case - the old design yielded 2.5 sets per sheet. Now we will have (roughly) 6.5, a huge improvement and much less expensive. Once the test set is signed off by Schuyler, we'll begin getting final cost estimates and ordering batches as funding permits.

It is difficult to see a process through, even one of static pieces of metal. Thanks again.

Picks Approved, Order Being Placed - 12 Boxes Bounced

Jason Scott, speaking for the board.

Schuyler has signed off on the picks. We are now moving into production.

Again, we are going to do a smaller run than "all of them" and send out that initial batch to make sure the receivers find no major issues with the picks that slipped past quality control. This smaller order will go out to the etcher immediately, and a comment will be left on this update with the shipper's estimate of the delivery. After the initial delivery of the sheets of metal, Schuyler has to assemble the picks himself, which will take a small amount of time but we'll be working on ways to speed up the process and maintain quality after these pick sets go out.

As per the agreement with the board, Schuyler has transferred $1500 earned at his job to a separate non-accessible-to-him account, to be spent towards the metal etching. He pledges to continue to transfer funds as he can to pay for this production.

Boxes

My UPS store tells me that 12 boxes bounced in the last few weeks, and I'm having them mailed to me for tomorrow, when I'll find out if people updated their addresses, or if I have to contact them. Similarly, I have a set of requests for address changes and will be sending out another set of boxes to these change requests, as we're down to a small number.

More updates soon.

Lock Box Endgame, Picks Opening Gambit

Jason Scott, speaking for the Board, here.

As of today, the vast, vast majority of backers should have their lock boxes, that is, the white box with the three locks, pins and tumblers, case, booklets. Everyone who was due a t-shirt should have their t-shirt. We sent additional boxes to a couple high-end tiers that weren't due boxes but we figured we should get those out to them.

There are people who have not gotten their due boxes. I will be iterating through the lists and clearing those up over the next couple of weeks - in some cases, it's a matter of the international shipping taking forever, and in some cases, boxes will have bounced back to the PO box I have on the return address. In the case of the second, I have been e-mailing people and getting changed addresses, then mailing them out. For the first batch of domestic ships, this was 7 people, so things look good to close out the box aspect soon.

As I now have the control of the remaining inventory of Open Locksport items (shirts, booklets, stickers, etc.) I may see about offering these items for sale to pay towards postage and manufacturing costs. I'll keep people updated about it. While I understand some people simply wish to be done with the project, others may want additional copies/pieces of these items and backers should be offered these items to buy first.

It took a lot of people to get these boxes out, and I thank all of them for the days and hours put behind it. 

Onward to picks.

The revised (version 4) pick templates went to the etcher, who has shipped the results out as of yesterday. Estimate is that it will arrive Friday. At that point, Schuyler assembles his pick set, studies the results, tests them, and hopefully gives the go-ahead. If he runs into something, you'll be informed exactly what the issue is. But all signs point to the changes being minimal and this inspection process being a formality.

At that point, we will order a batch and begin shipping. The first batch will be a small percentage of the owed items, to ensure that there isn't an issue found out in the field that needs to be addressed. Obviously, people who receive their sets are free to blog, photograph, share, or do whatever they want with their picks. 

We'll have more updates soon. Thanks again.