Getting ready for assembly

We’ve had a crazy-busy month, coordinating the production run, finishing up odds-and-ends, scaling up our marketing effort, and shipping swag.

We’re happy to report that our production run is on schedule! We’ll be receiving our first batch of welded parts for 50 chairs from our manufacturers in about two weeks. They’re in the final welding stages and will be sent to be powder-coated early next week. Next week we’ll also be receiving the machined parts and can start assembling smaller subassemblies. We've rearranged (and expanded) our office to make room for all the incoming parts.

Prototype box and GRIT HQ

Prototype box and GRIT HQ

Cut tubes ready for welding, completed aluminum foot-rest supports, and more tubes

Cut tubes ready for welding, completed aluminum foot-rest supports, and more tubes

While we’re happy to see our production planning pay off, the process hasn’t been without some headaches. We had to switch the materials of some of the parts of the Freedom Chair. Basically, we had a really hard time getting the precision we needed on the tube-in-tube connections. To protect the steel from rust it had to be treated inside and out, but we couldn’t find the right combination of inner and outer treatment to make some of our interfaces work out repeatedly. Instead, we opted to switch the parking brake arms and the footrest support piece to aluminum. That way we can anodize the parts and have a very thin and consistent surface coating that makes for a great tube-in-tube connection. And it saves weight!

We also just finished (and passed!) double-drum testing one of our prototype chairs. We hired a lab to put 220lbs. in the chair and rotate the wheels over bumpy slats for 200,000 revolutions. They also did a slew of drop tests, impact tests, and static strength tests and the Freedom Chair passed with flying colors.

We spent some time drop-testing our packaging to make sure that everything survives UPS and sent some notes back to the manufacturer about some tweaks. We'll be reviewing an updated box next week!