Dice Finished and Pictures of the Pro-Kit Vial Labels

First, the Vial Labels

All vials with labels!
All vials with labels!

Of course, this brings with it the complication that what about the vials of different sizes? Well, I’m offering two options for those that have purchased up to now.

Vials with the labels (default)

Default Option - All labels. Showing Kickstarter backer exclusive extra vial with two dice.
Default Option – All labels. Showing Kickstarter backer exclusive extra vial with two dice.

Old School option – Two labels only

Old School option - Labels on the two vials that can fit it. Shows Kickstarter backer exclusive extra vial with two dice
Old School option – Labels on the two vials that can fit it. Shows Kickstarter backer exclusive extra vial with two dice

I’ll be sending out a survey to each purchaser of the Pro Kit’s to give everybody a chance to make their choice, but the default will be vials of equal size if left unanswered by the deadline. Multiple things are pushing my long-term offering towards bottles that are all the same size, and this is the easiest way to manage this change and allow people to still get what they want. Keep an eye out for an email from surveymonkey.com in the next couple of days to inform me if you want the old school option.

Dice Finished

My supplier for the dice has finished manufacturing them and will be shipping them soon. When the dice do arrive, I’ll be sending out a two-week notice for collecting funds for anything sold via Backerkit.

Collecting Backerkit Raised Funds Soon

Just in case you are skimming and missed it in the last section, I’m letting you know that when the dice arrive I’ll be sending out an update and a two-week notice that I’ll be collecting funds raised through Backerkit.

Pro-Kit Rolling Surface Update

I’ve gone through 8+ redesigns of the Pro-Kit rolling surface trying to find one that is legible on the forest green suede. I’m not satisfied at all with the way it turns out from the laser, so I’m moving on to another processing method and going to see how it turns out.

Leather design tests. Brown for color reference
Leather design tests. Brown for color reference
More leather design tests. Brown for color reference
More leather design tests. Brown for color reference

My intention is to see how silk screening looks on it. I’ve found a good silk screening ink that is recommended for suede, I just have to experiment with the design to see what size of the font is most legible. Once that’s figured out, I’ll post an update on what a finished prototype of that looks like. I plan on moving all colors of leather to this process to make the offering uniform for everybody.

Box Staining Progress 💩

This is where things get shitty. I mentioned in the past that I was outsourcing the staining and clear coating to trusted vendors and I have to let you guys know that both vendors have let me down severely.

The first set of boxes were stained well, but the application of the clear coat was too thin to be effective. I only found out after pulling them all out and inspecting them after I made sure they were fully dry, and basically, it means I would need to lightly sand the whole box, re-apply stain where anything came off, then properly apply a clear coat.

The 2nd contractor is maybe halfway done with boxes and is 30 days past when he was supposed to deliver them to me. I’ve gone over my options in my contract with him and enacted my legal options which gives him 10 days to finish and deliver them or he doesn’t get paid. I don’t have a way of reducing that timeline.

In the end, I’m not betting on those boxes being usable at this point and want to let the community know what other options I’m looking into.

1) Ordering pre-stained boxes from China.

2) Re-ordering unfinished boxes from my USA supplier and getting community help to find a contractor or other third party near Austin Texas that can actually meet deadlines.

3) Fixing boxes on hand and the ones I get back from the contractor using help from any available hands

4) Any ideas from Kickstarter backers

Option 1 will cost a lot of money due to minimum order quantities and shipping, but if it’s the best choice overall I won’t hesitate. It does provide the option of having 325 of them getting to my door within 25 days, with the rest arriving around 60 days later. There’s also the risk that I won’t get to inspect them until they arrive and hope everything is exactly as I specified.

Option 2 is also expensive but has the advantage that I can get the raw materials within one to one and a half weeks. If I go this route I still will need lots of help or a third party to stain the boxes. I expect it would take a month for the staining to get done.

Option 3 is probably the least expensive option, but dubious for obvious reasons and I still need help processing all the boxes.

I’m currently leaning towards option 1, with a mix of option 3, as I think the manufacturer in China has the best chance of producing on time and with high quality. Getting the 325 boxes from them by plane will help me keep the deadline for Kickstarter backer orders and I still have until November for the remainder to be delivered.

I’m very open to ideas though and am hoping for references and ideas from backers to give me more viable options.