At last, we are cutting the mold for steel-casting the head and tang of the Lil Trucker. See photo below. Jared Meibos, President of Bear Valley (Parowan, UT) hopes to finish the multi-cavity mold and begin injecting waxes within 10 days. We are still on track to begin shipping finished products (at the rate of 100-150/week) by late August.
Investment Casting Mold for Lil Trucker
Meanwhile, we have formally contracted with Selmax Corporation (Selinsgrove, PA) to provide the textured handle grips as well as the hub/knob assembly (for controlling the Sawzall blade). These parts will be made of 30% glass-filled nylon, which is an extremely durable material. The resulting Lil Trucker will be lighter, better balanced and easier to grip while significantly less expensive to make in America.
The glass-breaker component will be made by FTT Manufacturing (Geneseo, NY). The multi-part seatbelt cutter will be supplied by American Cutting Edge (Centerville, OH). We plan to purchase a USA-made Sawzall blade directly from Milwaukee Tool (they are considering a cross-promotion). While, for at least the initial production run, the miscellaneous components (screws and spring) will be sourced through Mcmaster-Carr (Elmhurst, IL). The final packaging will also be made domestically.
We have finalized the design of the Survival Companion - with numerous improvements - and work has begun. But, in order to economize (and to have a product that can be sold affordably at retail) we have elected to make the Companion in China, albeit managed through a US company - Align Machineworks (Norcross, GA). Align is doing our engineering and design domestically, while they have full-time American staff on-site in China to supervise the production - at carefully vetted factories - in order to insure quality.
As always, thank you for your support. I think we're finally in a good place and will continue to do my best to honor my commitments. If any of you want to stop by for a personal update, I'll be glad to treat you to a coffee and amazing desert at my favorite local diner.