I am pleased to say that I am comfortable with quality of stuff I am sending out, so now it is time to turn my attention to efficiency.
Up to this time, I have approached projects with a certain quality of outcome in mind without any regard to time it took to complete a project. My justification was that I had to have a product before worrying about a bottom line. So now it is a good time to address the latter.
I am going to continue doing all processes in-house by myself, with possible exception of laser cutting blanks. This year I am set to purchase some new equipment (including salt pods) to speed up things without sacrificing quality. Right now, I estimate that I do more than third of all work by hand (hand carving, shaping and finishing sayas, hand finishing blades, hand finishing handles, setting final geometry of the blade on stones by hand, etc). If I can reduce that to 25% or less, I should see some time gains and that is my objective.
So, how does this relate to you? Well, all of you who have orders with me that are long overdue, will see them done before most of these changes take place. I will make up for a long wait with free work and discounts as I have done in the past and I hope it will leave you satisfied.
Recent orders will be completed withing weeks (I have less than ten). New orders will be completed on a more predictable schedule. I didn't want to take any new orders till I started these changes, so this is a reason why I have been hesitant to start take advances.
I apologize for not meeting some of your expectation on completion time. Quality work could take long to complete, and my optimism on completion time in this case has done more harm than good.