Progress Report - Update June 2017








What is holding up Production?

Simply put, assurance of quality and consistency is holding us up.

We want to put out the best and most consistent product possible. All of the pre-production prototypes shown on other pages were hand made, one by one. We had to have prototypes for patterns, and prototypes to send out for test in the hands of a small number of chosen field testers to get feedback.

Because those prototype pieces have been hand made on a manual lathe, there are small but annoying inconsistencies in them. A finished product cannot be inconsistent.

The good news is that we have incorporated changes that our testers have suggested and gathered enough data to generate the Automatic CNC lathe programs for all the parts...and there are a lot of parts.

For example, every size of lever-acting stand or boom extension clamp fixture has 13 distinct parts, some of which get welded up into sub-assemblies that then get powder-coated prior to assembly incorporating the other parts.

When making them by hand, we could make 4-8 of the basic head or stand retaining barrel of a given tube clamp fixture in a day. For each size, that was several boring (drilling) operations, one or more threading operations.

With the CNC lathe up and running, that same stand/boom retaining tube part is produced at a rate of one every 47 seconds, and they are absolutely consistent.

The friction track/pin plates for the boom heads are water-jet cut which gives us very accurate and consistent placement of the pin holes.

Then the welding pass gets done in batches, and the finished subassembly is ready to powder coat.

After powder coating there are the Delrin slides and glide bushings. Those slides and bushings are precision parts with only a few thousandths of an inch tolerance.

Delrin is a very hard, low-wearing, and slick machinable engineering plastic, which (
counterintuitively) also has great gripping characteristics under certain conditions, yet smooth sliding characteristics under other conditions.

Those bushings took hours to make a handful by hand, but the CNC lathe spits them out every 40 seconds.

Update 6/03/2017

The threading toolpaths for stand poles and boom tubes have now been written and trial runs have been done. Tube threading is now absolutely consistent


Progress Pictures

These are tube extension clamp bodies after
machining and welding


This is a batch of tube extension clamp bodies in two sizes after machining but before the lever ears are welded on, and a short run of bushings

This is a run of 90 glide bushings for the medium boom head, and the 7/8" - 5/8" extension clamp from a whole stick of Delrin Stock.
This is a trial run of the glide bushings for the large
boom head, we ran 85 of them later that day.


1-1/8", 7/8", and 5/8" Stainless Steel "Slugs" that press fit into the ends of stand and boom tubes to take the wear of daily on/off threading



More...these are for 7/8" tubes

For 1-1/8" tubes

5/8" tube test run

7/8" tubes test run

1-1/4" (threaded 1-1/8") tubes test run

The Lathe


The tubes themselves....


We continue to make progress, step by step.

We are very close to production runs.

We want to thank you for your patience, and we want these to be ready just as badly as you do.

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