Sunday, November 10, 2013

Ready to ship

Hi Everybody!
How was YOUR week? Mine was busy busy busy... Sorry I haven't done any minor updates this week, I've been banging away at 110% right up until 9:00PM this evening.

This is the update that I've been looking forward to for the entire campaign. This is the part where I can show you some fun pictures of the process, and the results of a crap-ton of hard work.

First a huge thanks to the supporters who suggested soaking the blue plastic sheets in acetone. This trick worked great, and allowed me to peel the sheets apart, freeing all the EpicGrips!

There was still an issues with sticky glue on the picks. I thought the acetone would easily dissolve it, but nope...  We tried to boil off the glue, but again, no avail...
Even tried double boiling...
Brad (of TiPen fame) suggested ultra-sonic cleaners or naptha, which I was about to try, when my wife brought out a jar of her jewelry cleaner. It was mostly ammonia, so it smelled like a wet hamster cage, but after a 30 second soak, the gunk slid right off. We quickly bought a gallon of ammonia, and after a quick wash, the cleaning process went from over a minute per pick, down to more like 10 seconds...

Mmmm, horrible...

But look at that shine! 
 Every night after work, I would come home, eat, and then bang out about 60 picks.

The purple army...

I wanted to have nice pick counts on each packing slip, so I spent an hour wrestling with Excel to shuffle the survey color responses into a cleaner format. Google to the rescue!

Seriously crazy Excel cell macro...
Mailing list fun:
We also learned that Excel loves to eat the leading zeros on zip-code columns, so this weekend we ended up having to rebuild the mailing lists, re-adding all of the color and address changes since the campaign closed. Good thing I kept immaculate notes...

Printer fun:
So we have this little wireless printer. This thing has printed solid for 3 years, but as soon as we set it up in the living-room, it started to complain about no paper, and then no toner, and then it would just flash the "error" light... We swapped the toner cartridge, and took the printer half apart trying to figure out why it was being persnickety. Ultimately we got it working again by running a network cable out from the bedroom. I guess we get really bad wireless reception in that corner... All better now!

 Friday night some family dropped by and we banged out over 400 picks. Here are some of them:

The golden army, first battalion...

Pile o' gradients
Fire Anodized army...

Nice "Fire" Close-up

This entire weekend, several family members and friends dropped by to help pack. DO NOT start a Kickstarter without a support team. If I were doing all this stuff by myself, I'd still be stuffing bags in mid February... Below, a shot of the polishing/anodizing and bagging crews in action...

The pick packing crew.
The mailing station spinning up...  We rotate positions to keep people from getting burned out.

So it's now Sunday night... Where are we with the project? Glad you asked, here are a few happy data points...

  • ALL 1502 of the electric anodized picks were bagged as of 7:45PM on 11/9
  • ALL 807 fire anodized picks were bagged as of 8:24PM on 11/9
  • The first mailing envelope was sealed 11/10 @ 4:30PM 
  • And, the final KickStarter EpicGrip bag was stapled shut today @ 9:00PM  11/10

Keeping track of the pick counts... All done! Whew!

 Here is a shot of one of the first assembled mailing packages...
Note: I totally blurred out the address in the photo. Your privacy is important to us... :)

Sticker, an EpicGrip, and packing sheet...

So drum-roll please...

The updated shipping schedule is now:
  • $1 Good Karma - Shipping 11/12
  • $1 EpicGrip Guerilla Marketing team  - Shipping 11/12
  • $8 - 1 EpicGrip  - Shipping 11/12
  • $18 - 2 EpicGrips  - Shipping 11/12
  • $27 - 3 EpicGrips  - Shipping 11/12
  • $36 - 4 EpicGrips
  • $9 - 1 EpicGrip  - Shipping 11/12
  • $20 - 2 EpicGrips
  • $30 - 3 EpicGrips
  • $40 - 4 EpicGrips
  • $100 - 10 EpicGrips
(Note: Edited date to Tuesday since Monday is Veterans Day in the US...)

There was an issue with the envelopes we planned to use for the 4 quantities, but we should have the replacement envelopes by Tuesday.  All the picks are bagged, and I have more family staying Monday and Tuesday to power punch these suckers into the mail as fast as they can go.  I expect we will be ALL done before Thanksgiving.  I'll update again next weekend at the latest...

(For the really patient people who ordered additional picks on the shop, your shop orders will start going out as soon as the last Kickstarter pick is in the mail.)



  1. What a epic update and progress in your project. CONGRATULATIONS !!

    We all appreciate all your detailed updates and I myself (even though Im unfortunately not keeping the pick as its a gift - kicking myself now), cannot wait to see the final product

    Horns Up

    1. Thanks Guys!

  2. Very cool John!!! I use Open Office for my spreadsheets, you can add the zeros back, sort the colors, etc. It's very nice :)

    1. Wow, I just read that you can do cell based RegExpressions in Open Office too. Excel can't even do that without a plug-in! I know cause I tried... :p

      Thanks (again) Brad!

  3. Hi John,
    greetings from Germany.

    I Just received my Epic Grip. I did not expect it so soon. Unfortunately i can't try it out right now but it look awesome and i'm sure it will be great fun to play with it. I am still amazed how light this thing is.

    Thanks for all the hard work you and your family and friends put into this product.



  4. I (and the family) very much appreciate your comment!

  5. Hi John, are we suppose to be receiving our epic grips this week? Mat from San Leandro, Thanks

    1. If you ordered through Kickstarter, definitely Mat! You're pretty close by, so if you don't have your picks by tomorrow, message me direct through Kickstarter, and I'll see what happened. If you've ordered through the epicgrip shop, I just packed the last shop order tonight, and should all go out in tomorrows mail. Message me though if you want to discuss your order details. Thanks!

  6. Hello John,
    another greeting from Germany :)

    Normally I am not the person to write a comment or something, but you my friend have made my day.
    I just went home from work and there this 2 beautys waited for me in the postbox.
    Just great, I am so excited and don't even have the words to descripe how much I was hoping to get the grips soon.

    So many thanks

    1. Thanks for the kind words Daniel! Enjoy!

  7. will mine come soon too? Im in Australia xxx