This month’s update is where we aim to lay out what we've been up to and how things have been progressing with the project: the good, the bad and the ugly!
First up, the delays. The boat for the last of our components (anodised aluminium parts) has now finally set sail and is due at Felixstowe on the 15th December! 🥳
This officially puts us 4 weeks behind schedule, mainly down to the anodising issues we mentioned in our last update.
The other side of the delay was with trying to schedule a shipment in the peak shipping season prior to Christmas and we lost two weeks waiting around for a shipping slot. It was all very frustrating and not something we could influence as it is handled by shipping brokers.
We tried everything you could imagine (that was legal :p) to get things moving faster, including a plan that would involve driving to the cargo center at Manchester airport, turns out you can't do that... so don't try.
But with the extra time we're now extremely well prepared with even the smallest of details that could cause an issue taken care of... maybe shouldn't have said that!
This includes things like the very exciting job of selecting shipping boxes for our fulfilment centres and making sure no box weighs more than 20kg (we've been there before and immovable boxes of metal are not a fun thing to deal with!)
How NOT to box up 462 steel barrels!
As we mentioned in the last update, to speed up getting Drivers out to you guys we have split down the shipment of the anodised aluminium parts that had to be re-made (they will be shipped via air mail to arrive at the same time as the sea shipment). This will cost us more but we want to get the Drivers out to you as fast as possible at this point.
On the bright side we are reaching the point where there are fewer things to cause delays!
We are working hard in the background to reduce any extra time it takes and to mitigate any delays. I appreciate we are falling into the category of campaigns that deliver late and I personally take that very seriously. I can only apologise and thank you for your continued patience and support and ask that you trust we are doing everything we can to get fulfilment completed as fast as possible at this point.
Going for Gold.
The top tier gold rewards are fully dismantled and have been mirror polished ready for the gold plating to be applied. These are to be brush plated, something that I can do and have done with our gear in the past but because of the size of these parts we are getting them sent to a fellow metal-head over in Sheffield who we've worked with before and will plate them for us.
These parts have had an additional process of mechanically polishing each one by hand with a specific stainless steel polishing wheel that removes the top layer of the metal to remove all of the machining marks. The result is a shiny lustre of a finish.
This is particularly important for the gold plating process as a rough surface is harder to get a consistent layer. But it also looks pretty great just in steel, so if anyone wants to polish up their Drivers, this is what you could make them look like!
Fun with barrel pins
This one we noticed while stripping things down for gold plating. During production, we noticed that the brass pins can be quite tight to get out and this is a required step for you to change to the stainless steel barrel. We used some soft jaws on a vice to remove them (the easiest way that prevents any damage to the brass).
But we figured not everyone will have access to a vice and might need to use some pliers or some other exciting technique. Personally I was a fan of filing a slot in the top face of it so you could use a flat head screwdriver to undo it! This didn't get widespread approval...
So instead of that we are going to include a spare one for free with the stainless steel barrel upgrade. Just in case you damage it while swapping it out you will have a new shiny one to put back in.
All of the leather pouches, tool rolls and bits for the tool rolls are 100% completed and are currently getting shipped over to us. The total weight of these was a casual 500kg or half a tonne of fabrics! are on a roll!
Office move completed
Our big office move is now completed and didn't get in the way or cause any delays. We have prepared the stations and production areas ready for when the last of the Driver parts arrive for us to start packing up and fulfilling the orders.
What will happen next, I hear you ask?!
As soon as the last shipment lands here, the whole team is going to be assembling, picking and packing all of the orders. We have practiced each phase of this and will be processing through the orders very quickly.
If you are in the USA, we are making our orders here in the UK then sending it to a fulfilment centre in the States where they will be sent out on mass and the same goes for anyone in Europe. Anyone not in those places will get a shipment directly from us (these might take a little while to arrive to the far edges of the globe so please be patient with those courier pigeons).
I wanted my Driver for Christmas, and you have ruined everything!
We hear you. I know it's not ideal, but instead of apologising again we want to try and do something proactive. We will make a printable voucher explaining what the Driver is, so if you were going to give it as a gift, you still can and the recipient will know it is still on its way to them and they will be getting it soon. More details to follow on this.
The next major update will be around the time the main shipment arrives with us and we will be documenting everything and sharing the journey with you guys on our social channels.
I hope everyone has a happy holiday period and thanksgiving!