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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Fri 08 Aug, 2008 1:42 am    Post subject: News from & about Angus Trim         Reply with quote

With permission from Tinker here is a link to a post by Angus on Tinker's site forum explaining the situation and why he has been and will be hard to reach for a while: http://tinkerswords.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=341

The short version is that he is working hard on finishing the backlog and I'm posting this because many people on SFI and here as well as his clients should know what is going on with him, and below I'm copy pasting his entire very long post on Tinker's site. ( I hope that this is O.K. with Nathan and or the moderator's as I think it is important news and I think that any pressure this removes from Gus will be helpful ).

HERE IS WHAT ANGUS WROTE:
Quote:
I'm probably not going to be the internet personality I have been in the past, even when caught up. I have been for ten years, and have to admit to some burnout.

Also, to be honest, I'm not doing well with frustration. Memory problems, awareness problems, and not dealing with frustration well..... even if for no other reason, that's why CF is now the retailer. I don't think I can do it anymore.........

What does one say, when after a year and a half of delays, disruptions, etc, it finally looks like its cleared up. Said as much a couple months ago, after all, machine's paid off, and all the late fees are done, and I now have the "Bill of Sale" to prove it. Life's better, summer's here, and it should be smooth sailing....

Yeah.....

New landlord, and he bought the property cheap. First thing he says to me, is he wants to keep the grinding mess inside. Sword's are cool, but since he's having the paint done, and new asphault done, he doesn't want all that dust ruining the paint and asphault right away.

Ok, I can see that. The previous landlord painted the building {took two days}, and I did pretty good keeping the outside clean, until the whole mess {property} got run down, and no one cared..........

The painting started last week of June. Actually should say the prep started. The paint a little bit later. I tried to work schedule with the painters, so that I could grind, while they were on the side of the property. Landlord and/or paint boss would change things up, and they'd be in front again......

For instance.... first week of July, spent a weekend getting some Navy parts done. Took them down Monday and got check. Somehow left 15 parts at shop. The buyer and I talked about it, and he was going to have the driver come Tues and pick them up. Wednesday, more parts were coming in.

Tuesday, the painter "guy" and I had agreed would be a Gus grind day. When I came around the corner Tues morning, things were taped off {again}, and they were already working the building across from me. After finding a safe place to park, I looked up the "Guy" to find out what happened........then totally frustrated went into the shop..........

Wednesday morning I'm talking to the buyer, and he's sending raw stuff to make into parts. I'm going to do this over the fourth weekend, as its easy money just sitting in front of the lathe, and I have no plans for the fourth. I ask Kevin to please have the driver remind me to give him the parts.

"Gus, he picked the up yesterday, I was in QC when he brought them in."

At that point, the fear factor went thru the roof. I have no recollection of the driver coming by. For that matter, no recollection of the work day, though I could see the guards run on the machine, and the rough machining of the blade stock....... but no recollection until that evening when I was teasing and flattering Eun Hee Kim and her co-worker Mina Lee......

That I remember.....

Major rainstorm on Thursday, painters painting on the fourth to make up time...... either the storm or the paint {painted electrical wires, and possibly phone lines, I'm not climbing up to look that closely} knocked out the DSL over that weekend. It was a week before it was working right again, and the phone company was in the building three times.....

Paint, trim, paint again........ landlord changed his mind, and another trim color......... finally the asphault........ but the asphault wasn't sealed.....*g*

Saturday, I hung up plastic, so now I can move the grinding inside {have already done so}. Have experimented with cleaning the asphault outside, as I'm the only one on this end of the park that's month to month. Everyone else still has some lease to play out.......

It works........

Odd thing is, I'm not the only one that's had an interesting July. My heat treater has been having their yard redone, meaning asphault too, for a month. So........ I have more 1506s in heat treat, the remainder of the 1403s, some "backlog" blades {big ones, really big ones}....... material being annealed, and more blades going this next week. Remakes {1404 blades}, tac blades, new falchion. Week after next the last of the remakes {Sale} get machined......

Have ground 40 handles {this last weekend, why I experimented with cleaning up the asphault}. Including these, have machined 340 handle cores. Expect to get them all ground before October's gone. Will be running knife blades soon.........Pommels have been run, and more guards.

So......its not like nothing's been done, just not the grinding that sends stuff to happy homes.......

Last week, thru yesterday, the "threes". Friday, more paint trim right outside the door, so I decide to put the new falchion media together {backorder, and Maker's Mark}. The geometry's done, but it still needs time "in the editor", putting it all together, so it'll make a blade. You know, making sure that I actually change tools between the main body, and the clip point false edge...... and make sure that I cut into the fuller, not rapid into it........

Well, get it all done, and set it up for download into the Daewoo, and it starts, then the computer locks up. Clear that, check the media in the editor for stupid mistakes {don't find any}, and reboot the computer. Go back into the communications software and get "hardware key missing", which basically means you can't access the software at all, because the computer is not recognizing the hardware key.

Try a few things, nothing works. Walk outside, try and collect thoughts, and keep frustration {and blood pressure} under control. Come back in, and dig up old computer that is now just the "backup" for this one. Plug everything in, and pray if fires up. Ok so far, move hardware key over. Now click on the communications software "hardware key missing".....

Well, it really is the hardware key. Three hours and $150 later, I have another one on the way. Tuesday it arrived, and I'm back in bizz.

Wednesday, I'm coming back from Fedex, and get off the gas at a light. The SHO acts like its downshifting really hard. Five times {four speed auto, even if it was downshifting that hard, in third, it could only have done it twice}. Ok....... The next light it surges again...... no check engine light. Reach the corner .3 miles from the shop, turn the corner, and now all the guage lights come on, as the car coasts to the side of the road. It does start.......but doesn't go far, and surges. Next light, it stops ok, then at a complete stop, no gas being applied, the engine surges to 1800rpm from its 900rpm idle.

I did get it to the shop, did get it put away. Still there........

Yesterday, I had several calls {that I did not answer, busy making pommels}. I finally did check the thing, and it was the "light fixture" guys needing to get access so they could change the light fixtures........

Now, I did have a bit of a discussion with the landlord, that his disruptions had cost me a bit of business. To the tune of $2k to $3k minimum, and that I needed August to get the grinding caught up, and no more disruptions until the second half of September. He still wants to have the light fixtures changed, and have the natural gas heater rebuilt {haven't had heat in five years}. Well, a lot of good that discussion did, next week I lose at least part of a day for light fixtures. And truth to tell, will likely lose a couple more days next week..... Rustie, my second daughter is due on Sunday, and she'll probably pop sometime next week. I'll probably have to do the new grandfather thing for a couple of days..........

So...... behind the eight ball. Not been good at communication this last month, and won't in August. Yes, I should spend a couple full days sitting in front of the computer and write folks. No I'm not going to, we'll all be better off, once I get thing shipped.

And the future in retailing is Christian Fletcher.

Somewhere along the line, I'll have to spend some time to see where the costs are, CF did have me read the thread on myArmoury about Albion's price increase. May have to do the same this fall....... Both myArmoury and Arms and Armor have done it in July..........

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Fri 08 Aug, 2008 2:26 am    Post subject: Re: News from & about Angus Trim         Reply with quote

Quote:
Somewhere along the line, I'll have to spend some time to see where the costs are, CF did have me read the thread on myArmoury about Albion's price increase. May have to do the same this fall....... Both myArmoury and Arms and Armor have done it in July..........

myArmoury did what in July?

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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Fri 08 Aug, 2008 2:31 am    Post subject: Re: News from & about Angus Trim         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
Quote:
Somewhere along the line, I'll have to spend some time to see where the costs are, CF did have me read the thread on myArmoury about Albion's price increase. May have to do the same this fall....... Both myArmoury and Arms and Armor have done it in July..........

myArmoury did what in July?


I'm guessing he meant or was thinking of Albion and A & A when he wrote that. Wink Big Grin

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Sat 09 Aug, 2008 1:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tinker has told me that he and his wife have talked to Gus a few days ago, so in spite of the problems, I think he is doing his best to get all those old orders out, but I think that his pace is being slowed by external events plus his heath issues that are slowing him down: I don't think he wants or has the energy reserves to deal with contacting his clients individually and concentrate on getting things finished at the same time.

Just wanted to be sure that you all had this information and I think the only practical and " kind " thing to do is to wait and trust that he will eventually catch up assuming no heath or other disasters hit him.

Sure this is not " normal " customer service one would or should expect better, but the situation isn't normal and when/if Gus can get all his backlog of orders filled it will be Christian Fletcher that will deal with the customer service and the " New Business Model " Gus wants to adopt will be an " In Stock Only Model ", so all these issues of missed delivery deadlines will be something of the past and Gus will be able to concentrated on what he does best which is making swords.

( The above is my opinion and the way I understand the information I have been able to find. I also have an AT 1403 fully paid for, so I think I have a stake on the subject and not just telling others who are also waiting to be patient and not be in the same position myself).

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Dan MacDonald




Location: Canada
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PostPosted: Sat 09 Aug, 2008 1:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean, thanks for informing us on Gus's present situation.

I have never once put pressure on Gus about "when will my sword be ready" or "how much longer" etc. But I did have lots of questions about some of his models that had no pictures and such. I never realized that I (and others) were being such a pest and keeping Gus from getting any progres on his work.

Being the gentleman that he is Gus never complained either.

I will now direct my questions to Christian, But I'm sure he also could get frustrated trying to get work done but having to spend so much time replying to customers questions.

Having questions from clients is normal, but I can see how it would take away a lot of their day just doing responses to inquiries.

I for one will be trying to keep my questions to a minimum.

I'll go bug Albion now as I want a few of their swords as well Big Grin

Thanks again Jean for bringing this to our attention. You are a patient and understanding man. A lot of us dont consider things like that. (the stress of having to constantly deal with questions)

Hope things turn around for you soon Gus.

....Dan
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Steven Janus




Location: Florida, USA
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PostPosted: Sat 09 Aug, 2008 7:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you very much for posting this Jean. A while back I sent my Atrim Maker's Mark back to Angus Trim through Christian Fletcher due to the fact the blade developed a slight bend and I needed it resharpened. Edges got slight chipped etc, long story rather not talk about. Hopefully I will hear from Christian Fletcher soon and get my sword back within the next month.
Newbie Sword collector
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Allen Andrews




Location: Maine USA
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PostPosted: Wed 29 Oct, 2008 4:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If nothing else I have learned a valuable lesson. I bought interest in a 1403 as well. Mr Trim made it clear he had no part in our side transaction, which is entirely reasonable. Unfortunately it puts me in a place where I have no claim on Mr Trim, and the original purchaser (who by the way is a great guy, and very honorable in his transactions) has his money, so he is not in a position to take any sort of action either. I'm not implying that I feel like any sort of legal action should take place, but even if it was warranted, I (due to my own lack of foresight) would be unable to do so.

I sympathize with Mr Trims plight, but I am beginning to suspect I will not see either the sword or the money.

I think the idea of only buying swords in stock is a great one. The exception being established companies such as Albion which have a full staff (so they are not reliant on a single being to complete their work), and have a long record of delivering their product on time.

Ok, I feel better. I hope Mr Trim's health and financial issues are resolved, not for my sake, but for his and his family's.

" I would not snare even an orc with a falsehood. "

Faramir son of Denethor

Words to live by. (Yes, I know he's not a real person)
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Wed 29 Oct, 2008 9:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Allen Andrews wrote:
If nothing else I have learned a valuable lesson. I bought interest in a 1403 as well. Mr Trim made it clear he had no part in our side transaction, which is entirely reasonable. Unfortunately it puts me in a place where I have no claim on Mr Trim, and the original purchaser (who by the way is a great guy, and very honorable in his transactions) has his money, so he is not in a position to take any sort of action either. I'm not implying that I feel like any sort of legal action should take place, but even if it was warranted, I (due to my own lack of foresight) would be unable to do so.

I sympathize with Mr Trims plight, but I am beginning to suspect I will not see either the sword or the money.

I think the idea of only buying swords in stock is a great one. The exception being established companies such as Albion which have a full staff (so they are not reliant on a single being to complete their work), and have a long record of delivering their product on time.

Ok, I feel better. I hope Mr Trim's health and financial issues are resolved, not for my sake, but for his and his family's.


I may have some news but It's in a personal e-mail and I have to ask Gus if it's O.K. with him if I copy/paste it here.

Yes, things are progressing, but slowly !

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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Wed 29 Oct, 2008 3:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well I did reach Angus through back channels and he is continuing to make progress with my 1403 and I assume the rest of the sales swords.

I asked for a ballpark idea of when he thinks he may be ready to ship and he gave me some details about progress with handles being made and scabbards etc. but declined to give me a specific time line for finishing as he isn't sure himself.

I much prefer this to his pulling out at date out of thin air just to make me happy and I appreciate the honesty.

Here is a small part of his private message I got permission to post as it gives a bit of an update of where things are at:


FROM GUS:
Quote:
But, I can tell you that since I last posted on SFI, the handles have been ground {actually ground over 120 handles two weekends ago, including all of the .360 thick tang ones}, The guards are machined now..... do need about 3 pommels, will need to make them, though I do have the material. And I have abrasives to grind 4 out of the 6. So..... what I will be doing over the next few days is to grind at least three of this to semi-finish. It may be four..... I'm not sure how many need scabbards...... but swords need to be assembled, and since they almost always draw a bit of corrosion while this is happening, I leave them at 120 finish.......

So, some progress has been made, and will be made, but its going to take a bit of money to take the next step. Assy can't happen until handles are in hand....... and then a bit of money for the scabbards....


So I'm not worried about getting the sword eventually but I assume it may be a while yet !

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Allen Andrews




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PostPosted: Wed 29 Oct, 2008 4:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Jean Happy
" I would not snare even an orc with a falsehood. "

Faramir son of Denethor

Words to live by. (Yes, I know he's not a real person)
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M. Eversberg II




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PostPosted: Thu 30 Oct, 2008 12:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I wish we could go help him catch up on things; he sounds as if he could use a long break from the world. Are we allowed to know what sort of health issues plague him?

M.

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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Thu 30 Oct, 2008 11:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

M. Eversberg II wrote:
I wish we could go help him catch up on things; he sounds as if he could use a long break from the world. Are we allowed to know what sort of health issues plague him?

M.


Well there is a bit about that in my first post but that information is " old " so he may be feeling better and under good medical supervision and being careful to avoid anything he shouldn't be doing ?

I think things get stuck at times due to cash flow that means he has to wait for some cash to be able to buy some supplies or have outside work done like handle wrapping or scabbard making or even cash to be able to ship.

So at time Gus has to put the work on the " Sales sword " aside and do some other work to generate the cash needed to finish those and I guess pay the rent and feed himself etc ...

I partially guessing here based on what I have read about the " challenges " faced by other small makers with limited cash flow.

If one adds heath issues and a variety of outside events disrupting his work flow it sort of explains the long delays.
( Doesn't excuse them but I'm convinced that Gus is doing the best he can to get all this behind him and finally go 100% to the much less stressful " In Stock Only " sales model and having Christian Fletcher deal with orders ).

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Pierre T.




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PostPosted: Fri 14 Nov, 2008 9:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean, thanks a lot for the thread, it answered a number of questions I had (and others too I am sure).

cheers,

Pierre
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