It’s been an odd several months here at the Boilerwerks. I’ve gotten tons of interest in the Backcountry Boiler from individuals, new and traditional press, distributors, really cool companies who want to collaborate – but I’ve also been wholly paralyzed by a spectacularly under-performing metal spinning shop. (I didn’t track it on the blog, but I had to switch from the local shop to one in Ontario in an effort to meet increased demand. Didn’t go too well.)
I’ve thankfully never been addicted to much of anything (does Minecraft count?) but I imagine that getting in bed with a bad manufacturer is much like an addiction. It ties up A LOT OF MONEY and the further you let it go, the harder it is to escape. While the details aren’t too exciting, the relationship hit rock bottom early this year. I managed to quit the bums cold-turkey, but there was a long period of withdrawal.
The biggest lesson learned: get out early. If a potential manufacturing partner doesn’t have it substantially right by at least the second production sample, they’re either not capable or not willing to do what you want. On the other hand, if you do find a good partner – the laser etching and injection molding shops I’ve been using come to mind – hang on to them. For dear life. (okay, that second link is just my prototyping setup, but the shop was great to work with, too)
But enough sour grapes – the blog is back! And so is the Odyssean journey to get more of these wonderful things made right. By my reckoning, I’ve just escaped some kind of siren-lotus-eater twofer.
I’ve just finished the first run of a much-requested accessory for the Boiler (it’ll be showing up here soon), and next week I hit the road to scout out some new forming and assembly shops for the Boiler.