Production Status for Upper Hand Guard

We got the latest news from our manufacturer today regarding the Upper Hand Guard modification. They are into the last of 3 phases needed to accomplish the modification. The first of which was to weld up the areas that are to become the expanded ventilation slots. The second, machine the welded up areas to the proper depth. The final phase is to cut the final width/height dimensions with a EDM machine. The EDM machine cutting is going a little slower than they anticipated due to the hardness of the steel.

The latest time estimates is as follows: 3-4 days cutting for each side, and 1-2 days for the hand finish work and heavy sand blasting. We are already 1 day into the first side as of 1-18-11. As soon as this work is done it takes a half a day to put the tooling in the machine and prep to run.

In our last post we wrote the date for possible completion, based on everything working out, to be on the 10th, however, as some of you have figured out, we meant the 17th. As you all know, production dates always work out perfectly on paper; one of our manufacturer’s machines broke down and our project was temporarily put on hold. We wish we had more control over these things.

To clear up any possible confusion regarding the Hand Guard modification, we did not build an additional tool for this hand guard. We modified our existing tool, which is a permanent change. We believe that the Upper Hand Guard modification makes the stock not only more effective, but aesthetically better.

Lastly, we would like to let everyone know that while we have not been shipping for lack of Upper Hand Guards, we have been preparing the other components of the stock. We have quite a stock  pile of finished parts (it takes roughly 3 hours for us to process each kit) which will enable us to  rapidly ship out a large number of stock kits once shipping resumes.

Once we resume shipping, the best way for you to know when you will receive your stock kit is to watch the right hand side of our Home page under “Latest News”: Shipping Status Update. (We will send you a tracking number once we process your order.) Shipping will clip along but slow down due to a high order volume during the first week of August 2010, and the last week of December 2010. You can call (we prefer email as we are a small family run business) if you do not know your order date. Feel free to email or call if your questions are not answered in our FAQ’s or “Latest News” posts. Thank you.

Update: 2-3-11

We were very disappointed to find out that our manufacturer is running around 2 weeks behind their “best case” projections for completing the mod. This modification requires precision electrodes to be made for the EDM machine. The actual cutting process is taking longer than what they anticipated. As of right now, one side of the tool is completed. After having a heart to heart with the owner, he has assured us that worse case the mod will be done in two weeks. We have literally hundreds of kits ready to go out once we receive the Upper Hand Guards. You will see quick progress on the right hand side of our home page under “Latest News”-Shipping Status Update (with the exception of the 1st week in August just before our pre-sale ended).

2-12-11

We heard from our manufacturer that the tool modification is to be completed by this Tuesday 2-15-11. We expect our tooling to be loaded and test run that same week. Right now they are checking on their presently running jobs for the first machine they can use to do our test run. As soon as they have that information we will pass that on.

2-13-11

We found out Tues. (2-15-11) that on Monday afternoon, while half way through the EDM cutting on the 2nd side, the electrode somehow shifted and cut  a portion too deep. Tuesday morning our manufacturer had to run the tooling back to the welder to build out the small portion that was cut too deep. The welder said he would likely have the work done by this Thursday (2-17-11) and our manufacturer would pick it up Friday morning. Worst case it would be done Friday and our manufacturer will pick it up Monday morning. The tool maker already has the last two electrodes made. He says once he gets the tooling back he would only need about 2 days to finish cutting and the little bit of hand work that will need to be done. We are very disappointed with this news but makes us all the more excited for the day we can get back to shipping the stock kits out again.

2-21-11

The tool was picked up from the welders this morning and our manufacturer began the cutting process. They are expecting be finished this Wednesday. It will take 1/2 a day set the tooling up in their machine and they will do a test run once the material is to temperature. After a successful test run they will set up for the actual run. We will keep you posted.

2-25-11

Our manufacturer is currently finishing up the last little bit of hand work on our tool! They will load up our tool in their machine tonight and will run our order tomorrow morning (a 6-7 hour job). They will drop it by our warehouse tomorrow afternoon on 2-26-11.

2-27-11

We now have the upper Hand Guards in our possession! Shipping resumes according to order date tomorrow. You can follow our progress on the right hand side of our home page under “Latest News” – Shipping Status Update. We will update the shipping status as we complete shipping through the 15th and the end of each month. Please contact us regarding shipping ONLY if you do not remember your order date so we can concentrate our efforts on shipping. Thank you!

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