Haha I should have known you two would beat me here. Hey where’s golfer??? Everyone knows OCN>life
So after a hiatus from this thread I thought I’d use it to share the action that’s about to take place and also do a little catch-up. I've been in touch with a lot of ppl offline and in other threads about the project but IMO it makes more sense to post a lot of it here instead. My reasoning is in-line with why I started this thread in the beginning… to share my adventure of designing and scratch-building a case! Only now I’m working on getting the scratch-built design produced for others that bought one. Yes, its morphed into a bit of a business experiment (farce? lol) but in the end I’m not making any money off it so I think this info is OK for the build log. IMO it’s interesting how the project has evolved… I hope its interesting to you too.
So let’s rewind to April which is more or less where I stopped updating this thread. Long story short, 45 cases were presold in a little over a month. That was freakin amazing for me since I figured 20 was the absolute max we’d get. Apparently there’s some interest here in small hi-powered builds…. who’d have thought? To get that kinda interest for my design was really flattering and I was excited to make it happen for everyone. Its not everyday I get that kinda interest in my work... likewise the prospect of getting a hand-built case for an unmatched watercooling ITX rig I think was really interesting for ppl and worth investing in.
So with all the orders in I handed off most of the work to Dwood (another OCN artisan) for production, fabrication & delivery to everyone who bought one. He did a beautiful job on my case/prototype, so I was really happy for him to work on the project and we arranged everything before presales started so we could quickly produce everyone's case and call it a great success!
Unfortunately that’s when things started to unravel. We all know now that Dwood can be tough to get a hold of. Early on there were signs of that, but I thought it was just a quirk… a lot of the best true artisans I’ve known aren’t very communicative, because they’re too busy getting work done. So that can be OK... but only to a point. I and especially customers were very patient thru delay after delay, but once the first 20 cases were delivered late, with many damaged in transit, I knew I had to find a plan B for the sake of me & everyone else who ordered cases. It was a really hard decision because it seemed like we were within putting distance of finishing, but the lack of response and specifics about the job status really started to scare me. I know now that it was the right decision. I have no ill feelings toward Dwood but when it comes to putting my customers first or my suppliers, I'll pick the customer every time.
FYI I’m drastically condensing everything so if I glaze over something you want more details on let me know and I’ll go on and on and on….
So with 30 cases left to deliver I decided to take things into my own hands again and sub-out the fab work locally to a more established shop that does metal fab & shaping as their core business. Which turns out to be a very expensive proposition - especially for low quantity production. Luckily the vast majority of ppl that preordered decided to stick it out even with the delays and increased costs. THANK YOU guys, you are awesome!! I haven’t looked too hard but I bet Splash is the only case you can get that’s actually made in the USA (FWIW).
The other upshot to keeping fab local is that it allows me to take a more hands-on approach at critical points in the process, like quality control, final assembly & fulfillment. Not to mention keeping my vendors honest when it comes to delivering on time. While that’s a good thing… I’m gonna be a busy boy.
So think of this as an intro to the next phase of the project… production! I’m gonna share as much as I can so everyone can see what goes into producing a case since we didn’t really get to do that the first go-round.
Will share more as it happens.