about 1 month ago
– Thu, May 06, 2021 at 10:48:32 PM
We wish every update could be good news, but unfortunately we’ve hit a bit of a snag. The TL;DR version is some parts need to be remade, which will set us back about 30 days. Keep reading below for all the gritty details. The good news is, aside from the errors below, the parts themselves are of fantastic quality and we are super happy with them.
So, as mentioned in the previous update, the manufacturer was sending us 50 sample pens for final approval. As they were doing the final polishing step, they noticed some subtle corrosion (rust) on the body parts. Stainless steel obviously shouldn’t do that, so they investigated by getting the steel chemically analyzed. They found that the 400 series stainless steel had a lower than specified nickel content, which lead to the corrosion. This was an error on the part of the steel supplier, and unfortunately the only correction is to get the correct steel and remake the parts. :( One thing to note, this rust issue was only occurring in the body parts, since it is a different grade of steel than the sleeve (it needs to be magnetic).
We had them send all the sample pens anyway, so we could still inspect all of the tolerances, dimensions, polishing, etc. It was at this point that we caught a couple errors. On the interior of the sleeve part, there is a very subtle slope—it is what allows the pen body to be posted. Unfortunately, they missed this feature, so there is a literal stair step instead of a slope, so the pen does not stay posted. Thankfully, they can do a simple operation to fix the parts instead of remaking them.
The second error had to do with the end, or “tip”, of the sleeve that holds the magnet. As mentioned in a previous update, we made the magnet larger to have a stronger hold on the pen, but they must have accidentally referred to a previous drawing, and the hole for the magnet is too small. So those parts need to be remade.
As gutting as these errors have been, our manufacturers have taken full responsibility and are working hard to fix things. The good news is, as mentioned, the pens themselves are fantastic. We couldn’t be happier with them, aside from, you know, the mistakes. The dimensions, tolerances, and polishing are all great. It’s worth noting also that the clip and custom magnet are good and do not need to be remade.
Our manufacturer is saying we will have completed parts in about 30 days, and we’re confident they’ll get there. We have a long standing relationship with them, and they have shown they can make these parts properly, so we just need to cross the T’s and dot the I’s.
In the meantime, we sent the sample parts we received to our Cerakote applicator so they can get the process figured out and ready to go as soon as we have new parts. We also received all of the ink refills from Schmidt, and our custom packaging, so everything is just waiting for pens to arrive.
So what does this mean for the schedule going forward? We are expecting to have new samples of the fixed sleeve parts and body parts this week. Once we approve those, they will expedite the production of the parts that need to be remade. We are going to prioritize the sleeve parts, because they need to have the Cerakote applied, but the body parts should follow soon after.
We know this isn’t the most fun update to read, but having received these samples, we think you all are really going to love your Mark Twos. Just a little bit longer of a wait, unfortunately, but we thank you all for your patience. It wouldn’t be a Kickstarter project without an unexpected hiccup!
If you want to hear us chat in a little more detail about this update, check out the latest episode of our podcast.
Thanks again. Until next time!
Tom & Dan