Aug. 28th, 2014
R&D, factory visit and supplier meetings…
Pete is down at Burning Man on a much deserved holiday so i thought I would do a post to show y’all whats going on.
I did a whirl-wind tour to Vietnam and got to see our awesome factory and meet everyone in R&D in Ho Chi Min City. The original idea was that production would happen while I was there- didn’t quite turn out that way. However, I did do a lot of development work on the two Reckless products and the tank bag issue. I did a lot of detail work as well like source out magnets, aluminum stiffening rods, etc…I also visited a number of suppliers that will be able to make machined and laser cut parts for us. It involves a lot of driving around in an air-conditioned van, then jumping out and running in flip flops, sometimes through huge puddles. It rains every afternoon this time of year. Then you sit down and drink a strong coffee and discuss how great it would be to do business together.
Here is Anton who lives in HCMC, we are digging into the revisions I wanted for all the patterns and protos I brought with me. We also talked a lot about motorcycles. He gets his motorcycles customized by a shop over there.
Small Reckless patterns that R&D are building off my rough-and-ready patterns.
Here is what that looks like when it is sewn into something.
I also signed off on lots of little details, like hangtags and origin labels that I had designed a couple of months ago.
Anton and I getting some high-octane Vietnamese coffee. They gave me two pounds of coffee that had been eaten by a weasel, then pooped out, then ground (I guess). It is really amazing, tastes like a mocha and is black like molasses. I just don’t think about how it was made.
Lots of remnants from the war still scattered around HCMC. You will just be driving passed a a government building and there will be an old US tank, or a Huey sitting in the grounds. Sort of pushed off to the side almost like its too big to remove, so they just leave it there. This particular M4 is at the War Remnants Museum.
Thats about a 1 year old on there. At least the parents are wearing helmets.
Linemen, Saigon style. Just add another wire boys.
Right from HCMC I flew around the back side of the world and met with my family for a vacation in Switzerland. Quite a contrast. Here we are at 12000ft across from the Eiger.
Production actually started last week and we have pictures to prove it!
Sewing webbing and MOLLE patches.
Finally we get our production line! Thanks for the photos David.
Airplanes are booked, freighter containers are reserved, our warehouse is ready and waiting.
In a few days they will start shipping this stuff state-side, then we can do final assembly, which leads me to the next set of pictures.
In preparation for the bags landing here I had a bunch of friends over to do some light assembly work. We had to rivet on logos and screw in latches. One of the unforeseen issues was how much splatter ends up on a small laser-cut piece. Four friends spent about 2 hours sanding them clean. They now have that machined finish…
Sanding badges (including two pregnant ladies and three kids)
My daughter climbing on the freshly machined HDPE plates.
Assembly line- Screwing down latches. You can see all the boxes of draw latches in the background.
We worked well into the night. A lot of Coronas and pizzas were had.
Logo badge- it really looks sharp on there.