Questions About Dividers & Ordering

Posted on 11 November 2016

During the last month we’ve received a lot of questions about the availability of our dividers. Why can’t I order them? Why don’t you have a waiting list? Is this the way you are always going to operate?

While we’re happy to respond to your individual questions, here are some answers to those frequently asked ones.

Why Don’t we Offer Pre-orders or Have a Waiting List?

The simple answer is this: We don’t want to repeat a pattern we’ve seen with other tool companies. During the last 20 years, I’ve seen the following happen a number of times: A tool company takes pre-orders. Then they run into delays. The customers get ticked off and cancel their orders. Mayhem ensues. And the tool company goes under.

We refuse to go down this path and have decided to sell only what we have boxed up and ready to go. We don’t want you to have to wait weeks, months or years for something you ordered and paid for.

We see the scarcity of our dividers as a temporary condition as we ramp up production. This brings us to the second question:

Is This the Way You Are Always Going to Operate?

No. Our goal is to have stuff in stock (just like our holdfasts, which have been in stock since we launched) and be able to maintain stock so you can order it whenever you please. It just so happens that demand for the dividers is high and they are tricky to make. So we’re having a delay in building up a big inventory.

We aren’t selling limited-edition tools. We’re not happy that you have to wait for them. We want to make it easy to order tools and then ship them out to you quickly.

Manufacturing things is difficult. Those of you who watched John and me during the early days of Lost Art Press saw us struggle with printing delays, trucking delays and the occasional manufacturing defect. But we worked it out, and we now have a reliable system for delivering books.

That’s what we’re building for Crucible Tool.

Thanks for your patience and if you have additional questions, you can always reach us at help@crucibletool.com.

— Christopher Schwarz

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8 comments

  • Stephen Prey: November 20, 2016

    I do historical carpentry at Sutter’s Fort State Historical Park in Sacramento California. Part of my volunteer efforts over the last 35 years is to show visitors the “Then and Now” of tool making. I use the old tools as they were meant to be used. The old tools that I use predate 1850 and go back to the 1200s. I show the care and pride of tool making (by hand or in some cases factory made) At some time I would like to add your dividers into my presentation.

    I wonder how many dividers your factory is really making? Are your batches numbering in the tens or hundreds? The difference between to two numbers is the difference between a supplier of collectable tools and a manufacture of high quality tools. Perception on this buyer’s part seems to be the limited series. Over stock is not good, and at the same time if you did take the names of interested buyers you would have a gage on planning your production runs. Just a thought.

  • Dave S: November 18, 2016

    So… did the divider supply last an hour this time?

  • Alan: November 17, 2016

    That sounds like a reasonable reason to not take orders early. But it seems to me there is a simple compromise. Why not let people put their names on a contact list that need not confer any priority, but would ensure that when these are ready the person on the list would be contacted immediately to let them know?

  • Hugo: November 17, 2016

    I totally agree: enought sh$&@& out there. Take your Time, make it as perfect as possible. Quality is worth waiting for (even in this era of buy-cheap-and-garbage). You Will have my business for a Long Time if you go that path.

  • Kurt Roeder: November 16, 2016

    My $0.02 is to get by with a pair of cheap dividers for now and spend some money on one or two holdfasts. Those things are fantastic. Not as shiny but I’m 90% sure they would have a bigger impact on shop work day-to-day than a pair of dividers.

    Enlarging the holes in my bench was easy and they hold about 1,000 times better than my old 3/4" unit. Go bigger, it’s better.

  • John Cashman: November 15, 2016

    This isn’t insulin, antibiotics, or beer. No one should be having a divider emergency. I’d bet my tertiary backup dovetail saw that we all own multiple dividers.

    Smooth out the kinks. Do it right. I can wait, and you’ll still get my business.

  • David: November 13, 2016

    I look forward to when you can hold an inventory, as that is when I will order a set for myself. Would be nice to see some blog posts on the development of the dividers.

  • Jack H Evans: November 11, 2016

    I would much rather have a well made tool when it’s ready, than place an order and wonder. I think your business model is great, and I fully support your endeavor. :-)

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