Snakes on … BOXES!

I’m currently in the process of mass producing the Basic Healer kit boxes. I can easily align and run 5 at a time and that has helped me get through 120 of the tops today alone.

Laser working on Basic Kit boxes five at a time
Laser working on Basic Kit boxes five at a time

This allows me to work on other things while I monitor the laser. I’m pretty much spending the weekend running the laser as much as possible so I can complete the 300 or so Basic Healing kit boxes I need to make.  This is basically my view for the next couple of days.

View of workshop, and lots of boxes
View of workshop, and lots of boxes

Inside Artwork Revealed

Inside artwork of Basic Healers Kit
Inside artwork of Basic Healers Kit

Here’s something I’m very excited to show you. I was so pleased when the artist got back to me with this design! It feels so perfect and makes it easy to read all the formulas for the boxes. After I get done with all the tops and bottoms of the boxes I’ll move on to mass producing the undersides.

Staining of Pro Kits Underway

Pro Healers Kits on drying racks
Pro Healers Kits on drying racks

Not much to say here except that staining is underway on the Pro Kits. I have drying racks that hold 40 each and also have found a local contractor that is helping out to speed up the process.

New Design on the Two Other Major Colors

Red Mahogany finish for Pro Healer's Kit with gold silk screening
Red Mahogany finish for Pro Healer’s Kit with gold silk screening
Sedona Red finish for Pro Healer's Kit with black silk screening
Sedona Red finish for Pro Healer’s Kit with black silk screening

With this comes a switch in process for the large pro boxes. The laser cutting method had some problems that were becoming more evident as I started moving towards producing more prototypes with it.

First, I couldn’t find a good way to secure the laser foil permanently to the boxes and I refuse to give a product that could so easily be damaged. That alone was forcing my hand to find some other way of putting the artwork on the boxes.

Second, I’m starting to worry about how much I’m weakening the boxes with all the art engraving through a good portion of the lid. The wood for the lid is thin and removing wood from such a large area weakens it, which would make it far easier for someone to break it. I’d rather not risk it.

Third, Meeting delivery dates becomes riskier with the lasering method. From many aspects I’m limited to a single large machine and the hobby laser I’ve been using for prototyping. This really puts at risk the whole timeline as I have a lot of other time consuming activities for the laser already. The leather art alone is taking over 7 minutes per box. It’s just not feasible with the amount of orders and the timelines. When I first started the project my timelines were for an expectation of just funding, not the massive success this turned into. I thought I’d be able to throw more lasers at the problem… but then there’s the reality that my garage is only so big, power lines to my garage can only handle so many amps and I’ve already hit that with a contractor putting in lines specifically for this heavy machinery. I’ve been making up time everywhere I can by contracting out work to local businesses where I can, but that’s not something I could outsource.

Bottom line, I want to get high quality products to you all as soon as humanly possible, and the best way to do that is to use silk screening. I’m personally very happy with these prototypes I just got back (pictured above) and am happy to show you them! This greatly reduces production time for one part of the process, although it costs me more to do it this way, and I think it produces a better result than the laser etching followed by a staining spray. The lines are far more crisp and precise!

 

Huge progress made!

Art update

Chris was making great progress then we realized we might have gone off of the art direction the product needed. After surveying a few backers we confirmed it and we reset back to an earlier draft he had. This is our current direction:

Professional Healers Kit - New Art Draft
Professional Healers Kit – New Art Draft

And here’s how he’s refined some of the scroll work:

Scroll Work
Scroll Work

Workshop update:

In order to be able to efficiently deliver these to you all I needed to turn half of my garage into a workspace. That included getting some electrical work, venting, storage, and work tables. That’s coming along swiftly. The general contractor is almost finished with the electrical work and will be installing the venting today.

Workshop Progress
Workshop Progress

 Purchases update:

  • Boxes – They have arrived!

    So many boxes x_x
    So many boxes x_x
  • Leather – it’s been purchased and is arriving Friday
  • Corks

    5000 corks!
    5000 corks!
  • Vials – Purchased and shipped
  • Dice Status –  Since I was unable to purchase the volume I needed from Chessex (my prototype dice supplier) I had to go find another manufacturer. In order to make sure I get the color’s matching the prototype dice as closely as possible I have to wait for them to do a color sample run and mail that to me. With their lead times and current schedule that means it will be 45-60 days before I have the dice. This is all expected, and is why I have given myself as much time as possible so that I can get the dice correct.
  • Keyrings – Arriving Saturday

Geek and Sundry Partnership

It has been a joy to be featured and to work with Geek and Sundry this last two weeks. They have really helped to get the word out there about Dice Bottles and I’m excited to keep working with them in the future for other kits that I make.

In case you missed it, here are their shoutouts:

Current Surveys

Most have finished their surveys, and there’s still time before the deadline of next week.

Current survey counts
Current survey counts

Also, it seems there’s a very clear favorite when it comes to finishes. I personally thought it would be a closer split, but the people have spoken and here are the current numbers from kickstarter backers:

Pro Kit survey choices
Pro Kit survey choices

Next steps:

  • Finalize art
  • Stain and clear coat boxes
  • Laser engrave boxes
  • More, always more 🙂

Backerkit surveys are coming and community suede pick revealed!

We’re sending out the surveys soon!

for details visit update #18 on Kickstarter

Community suede color pick

After a full week of voting, the clear winner for the $40,000 stretch goal extra suede color is forest green!

I’m excited to make it available! Thanks again for all the wonderful support and reaching that stretch goal. Make sure to fill out the surveys quickly so I can know how much I need to buy of each leather color.

Orders have been placed!

I got the funds early this week and I’ve been busy placing orders for the boxes and vials. The dice order is almost placed, just ironing out some last refinements and then I’ll be moving forward with that. The artist, Chris Berry, has been making huge strides on the art for top of the box and I expect to have a draft soon to show you all.

I also have a contractor that is going to be fixing up my garage this thursday so I can properly ventilate the smoke out of my garage and run the laser overtime making the boxes for you.

My next production process will be staining and sealing all the boxes once they get here, which once again depends on the survey results so I know what everybody is wanting, so make sure to response as quickly as possible!

Thanks for the support!

Suede Surveys Sent

As part of the Kickstarter I promised to add a third suede leather color choice for the project. I just sent out an update that is asking for backers to choose between these color options:

Forest Green Suede
Forest Green
Maroon Suede
Maroon
Rust Suede
Rust

If you’re a backer go and read the update – “Update #16 – Survey Says? Let’s find out :)” .

To make sure that only backers are getting a vote in this I’m requiring survey takers to enter their email when they place a vote. If you’re a backer, make sure you use the same email that you use for Kickstarter, or the Facebook account you use to log in to Kickstarter.

Thanks again everybody for the support!

 

We were successfully funded!

After 30 days of incredible support Dice Bottles was funded for $40,000. We’re excited to move on to the next stage with a talented artist who’s going to bring the Healing Potion Kit’s to the next level!

Don’t worry if you missed the Kickstarter. We partnered with Backerkit to offer a pre-order store so you can still get in queue for one of our awesome kits.

Pre-order Now

To see our updates and timeline on Kickstarter