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Below are informal company updates that I post about once a week (on Fridays usually) to help keep customers and prospective customers "in the loop" as best as possible

31 Jan 17

I am still waiting for the remaining parts to repair the Boss5 CNC mill so that normal operations can resume in the shop.
Currently i have about 24 orders that were being worked on in the shop that are lined up for the boss5 to finish once it is back up and running, these were items that had been in process before/when it went down back in mid December. Parts had been ordered during Dec and early January but a few have not yet been received as of 31Jan17 and after several phone calls late yesterday I was informed the key part I am still waiting on had not yet even shipped. After some words with the supplier I strongly suspect the order will be cancelled and refunded by their choice, that being the case I have ordered the replacement part from another source who now has them back in stock and expect it to arrive late next week allowing normal operations to resume a day or so later (I'll need a day or so to install it and get it wired in and reset the machines settings for the new components).
Please accept my most sincere apologies for the delays this has cause and know I am working as hard and quickly as possible to resolve the situation and to return to operations so that you, the customers, orders can again start shipping out - I appreciate your understanding on this topic as I to am "Still waiting" for the parts ordered just as you all are "still waiting" for the parts you ordered.

Once normal operations are restored I will be compressing the work schedule again like I did in December - where I will be working 20hours on with 8 off then 10 on with 6 off - this cycle has been proven before to allow me to catch up in very rapid fashion and can clear a month or so's orders in about 10-14 days time.

The priority once operations resume will be to clear the 22-24 orders that are sitting (literally) in the cart next to the Boss5 mill first, these include a few orders from October/November 2016 with 1 or 2 from December 2016. This batch is projected to be done within a week or so of operations resuming
Following these I will be doing a batch run of VZ hybrid sets that include 2-3 that I believe reach back before Oct 2016, these sets require special operations and as such often end up taking a little longer than expected due to the time in machining. These sets will take a full 4-5 days of extensive dedicated machining/shop time where literally the whole shop has to shut down so I can run these and these items alone)and will run as a batch once the load out listed above is done. The projected time frame for these to be completed will be Mid February 2017
Following that the order process will be filling ALL remaining 2016 orders (Should be only Dec 2016 by this point and time) - this section of orders is expected to take about 2 weeks to complete and should run me out to around the end of Feb 2017 to fulfill.
Following these remaining stranglers from 2016 then the focus will return to orders received on/after Jan01 and before Feb01 2017 while I was away in Arizona (See update from 18Jan2017 for more info) - The projected catch up time for these being completed should be Mid March 2017.
This will bring me back to within the listed turn around times listed within the company page and allow my schedule to return to a "extended work day (Typically 12 hours with weekends off). Again, I understand folks are waiting for products, and believe me I don't create these backlogs in an effort to just get emails from upset customers so PLEASE bear with the process and timeline that's been outlined above and know I am working to get back on track here, as a 1 man operation things can go off the rails in quick order - less than kind emails can really complicate that on my end and ONLY serve to slow things down even further. AGAIN, your understanding and a little patience would be greatly appreciated in that regard.
Following this part of the cycles I will return to a normal 8-9 hour work day and continue processing orders received on or after 01 Feb 2017 until the queue is again "Caught back up"

~T Sublette


So many things to cover in this update, first and foremost my sudden absence over the last 3.5-4 weeks..........
As was mentioned back in December I had been asked by an animal rescue in Arizona to come down fro a week or so and help streamline their operations and assist with placing animals as well as make improvements to the facility to allow them to operate more efficiently. What happened when I arrived was anything but what I went to do........
Upon my arrival I was given legal authority over the animals in order to start placing them out for adoption events and such, for the first 4 days I was given direction by the facility owner/operator (o/o) to make certain improvements and to over see/make changes to the daily operation routines. However when I would try to implement the needed changes I was threatened with legal action by the o/o (A former long time rescue partner with my foundation and someone I had considered to be a trusted personal friend). Due to the situation at the site the on grounds building had been "condemned" and the o/o was staying a few miles away with friends while I lived out of my vehicle with no running water or electricity. This was the root of why I was there, to bring the site back up to standard so the buildings could be reopened and power/water restored. On day 5 I woke to an announced inspection of the site - what happened rather than 2 inspectors arriving though was grossly different. I was greeted that morning by local authorities from every agency imaginable in North West Arizona - From Building inspectors, health enforcement agents, Sheriff deputies, federal marshals, lawyers, animal control agents - You might be getting the picture by now but the list goes on for another 10 pages!
In short the o/o had been advised that the site would either have to change dramatically or be closed down - she herself was being indited on multiple charges and it became clear quickly that by transferring authority to me she hoped to deflect those charges onto myself as "The guy in charge". It was also this day that she ceased all contact with me and has not communicated since.
Now, at this point I could have walked away - theoretically anyway. But as anyone who knows me knows - to me most animals are more worthy of my time and help than most people in my book, I know its sad but its who I am. You see as people we can create and tear down our own barrier - we create our own worlds. Most animals do not have that choice - they instead often live under our constraints and by our rules, simply put they have no choice or voice in how they are often treated or how they have to live their lives - we decide that for them.
It was explained to me by the local agencies that the animals would be seized (over 300 by most accounts - a bit over 400 by my own count) and that due to the large numbers most would have to be euthanized because the local resources simply could not handle that many coming in at one time..... They asked me then for assistance since I was already there and had been involved (loosely) in a similar mass animal situation 3 years before (Olympic Animal Sanctuary in Washington State). The choice was easy for me to make - the task was anything but easy though. Initially the authorities gave me 7 days to draw down the number of animals on site to appreciable levels. It was a task I was willing to take on but one I didn't have a clue about getting underway. My rescue network is based in Colorado - its strong here and i have contacts, but I was 1000 miles from it and didn't even know anyone in the area. But faced with the knowledge that if I walked away most of those animals - who didn't ask to begin that situation to start with - would die as a result was not acceptable. I offered to stay and do what I could to help, even if it was only to save some of them, if even only a few.
Over the next few days events unfolded and I learned a lot of unsavory and unfavorable things had been going on behind the scenes regarding the former o/o - it was about this time I learned of the indictments against her - she did also it seems as she fled the state abandoning the facility - those who worked for her as well as the animals involved. Initially I was able to place a few animals but not many, then a mirical happened! I was coming back from town the day the o/o had split and there was a dark vehicle parked on the edge of the site, I pulled in and asked if I could help them. There was a man and woman inside who identified themselves as Geri and David. I loosely recognized David and knew the name almost instantly - they had both also been involved with caring for and cleaning up the shattered pieces following the OAS indecent 3 years earlier. We spoke about the situation and what had to be done and before my jaw could drop they both offered to take whatever vacation time they had to join the effort. They were both local and they had the connections with local rescues, shelters, adoption resources ect that I lacked. I quickly welcomed them on board with open arms......
a day or so later the authorities returned ready to confiscate what by our count was now close to 300 animals - most again would die as a result. For no other reason than we didn't have time to place them and the local agencies didn't have room to house them..... It would seem an angel smiled upon our efforts though as even though the local agencies want to see the facility closed down as quickly as possible some still held compassion and respected our efforts. After several hours of explaining and outlining our plan and operational goals to rehome and place the animals The Sheriff's department who was essentially "In charge" of overseeing the sites closure granted us until the 31st of December to "See what we could do to reduce the numbers" - it was such a task at that point we all cried that night and would openly weep for the coming days when we talked about the situation and what we were up against.
We held open adoptions, we reached out to rescues as far away as New Jersey and Tennessee - it even grew to where we were getting international calls from as far away as Australia with words of support, compassion, and praise. Things were moving along amazingly well - we had transports showing up for animals to be taken to distant rescues at ALL times of the day and night, we turned none away as long as they could show they had good intent and could help. But it was just the three of us - by this time the situation was well known in the rescue community and most wanted no direct involvement due to the former o/o's short comings and threats of legal action (She was still making contact with rescues and such advising them that she was still in control of the operation and that certain animals WOULD NOT be coming to them ect). The night of the 29th I was tasked to go though the kennels and make a list of all the animals that remained - it was nothing more than a death list for when the authorities arrived the next day, they could only intake a few, not all..... I cried shamelessly making that list, I knelt down with each animal and told them by name that i was sorry that humans had failed them and allowed them to be placed in such a situation - I apologized because "I" had failed them.
The next morning the authorities arrived and took count - I packed my vehicle and prepared to leave back for Colorado - when - to all of our supersize I was asked to stay - to finish the task before 7am January 9th. That would be the day that the county seized the property and the day any remaining animals would be confiscated. The numbers were still huge. But we had come so far, with so little in such a short time. We carried on, and in the end - through a river of tears. We succeeded, the last animal left the property at 9:25pm January the 8th...... Alive.

Video link to the last animals leaving - https://www.facebook.com/100002576715565/videos/1170866866342526/

Video link to my official notice that night that all animals were clear of the site - https://www.facebook.com/1208529616/videos/10211478861106364/

Over the next week I packed up, tied up loose legal ends and transferred authority to the county. I spent 2 days in Bullhead City resting and getting a few hot meals and headed home on Saturday the 14th - arrived in Denver the 15th and had to unpack and sort out where I was when I headed out on my week long trip.

So before anyone raises to many gripes about why I was gone so long or why I was cut off from civilization and not posting updates and heaven forbid I wasn't able to get a production shipped out. Know this, I was worried about being gone so long but at the end of the day - these innocent lives counted more than a few hundred dollars for an order in my bank account.
I don't expect everyone to agree but most might - and if not then I'm truly sorry that your order was delayed. I'll get it done and out as quickly as I can and next time, your welcome to shop elsewhere - when it comes to this matter and of this magnitude I really am not worried what a few people might think of me, I know what each of those animals thinks of me - the fact they are alive to think is all I need to sleep at night.

If anyone wishes to "look into" the story more for verification or just to learn more about what we did and went though there - you can google "RUFFF / Rescue Unwanted Furry Friends / Terry Sublette / Kingman / Mohave / WAHA" or since most of our work was to fluid (meaning it changed to quickly from hour to hour) for local news to keep abreast of the "current" situation we used Facebook almost exclusively for networking and updating. I'm sure many of you know FB better than I but your welcome to visit my page (terry sublette) or search "Terry Sublette RUFFF" / "David Langman RUFFF" / "Geri Langman RUFFF" or even the cell # I bought for use there so adopters/rescues and shelter could contact us on site: "(928) 716-2871"

I'll be restarting shop operations on Monday the 23rd - I still have maintenance issues to address with the BOSS mill as well as sort the orders queue as several orders shipped out while I was away (They were done and put out for shipping prior to my departure - enough that it took my staff a few days to get them all posted and out)

I will also be posting a update of the queue sometime in the next couple days that will provided status for most if not all orders. Please hold emails until after that is posted as it will answer many of the common questions being answered (I had 174 emails to answer when I got back and the last thing I need is a sudden rush of "Whats going on with my order" and "can I get update please" emails on top of them.

18Dec16 - progress and the brilliant flash of light

A lot of things to report from this past week (Mostly) great news for customers! Followed by some possibly terrible news for me/the company............

Due to the backlog created from the machines failing one after another during the restart combined with an emergency situation at one of my satellite K9 facilitates that houses 300 K9's - many who are sanctuary only (IE non-adoptable due to past behavioral or health issues) animals (Meaning if the satellite closes they have to be approved to transfer or they have to be killed, the latter is not an option in my rule book.....). As a result I opted to start working a 20 hours on 6 hours off followed by 10 on 4 off then repeat work schedule all last week. Made a ton of progress in the shop and had planned on having around 65 orders ready to ship out by tonight (shipping out tonight / tomorrow) so far I have approximately 40 orders to ship out (A list of order status's will be below) with another 25 or so literally minutes from completion (More on that in a moment). Of the 25ish remaining orders they are currently at the point of final machining. I have about 17 orders to run though the MOOG CNC lathe center (up and running - knock on wood) and half or more of them will be ready to ship - the remaining 8 or so require a single 5 minute (each) process to run on the Boss 5 CNC milling center and they will be ready to ship.

The Boss 5 CNC mill has 8 or so orders that I was running though it when this happened:

Things were going well and on schedule (Actually was a few hours ahead of schedule) when I started smelling a "Hot plastic" smell in the shop. I traced the smell to the Boss mill that had been running almost non-stop for 6 days. I crawled in behind the machine (still under power) and opened the electronics panel to inspect if the smell was stronger inside the cabinet or not. What happened next is hard to describe but basically it felt like a bolt of lighting hit the ground in front of me - as I opened the cabinet a flash of bright light (blinding) erupted out of it knocking me/stunning me back against the wall that was behind me. I am not even 100% sure but I possibly lost contentiousness for a moment - possibly, its hazy. Next thing that I remember clearly was looking up and the panel door was swinging back and forth with a shower of sparks and smoke just rolling out of the cabinet. Fortunately the master cut switch for the whole machine was located just above me and I was able to reach up (I was sitting half on the ground and half against the wall) kill the machine at its root - the mains.

It took about another 20 minutes for me to be able to see well enough to make it back into the office, I was shaken but otherwise seem ok (Though I have already noticed my right eye seems "sensitive" to light now but hopefully that will fade this evening as well as a mild "sunburn tingle" on my face and back of my right hand forearm. I've gone back out and done a brief post-mortum of the machine and it is clear - what ever happened - absolutely fried the 4 axis drivers, 1 stepper motor has a very clear "burnt electronic" smell and while I wasn't about to apply power I would assume the breakout board is likely fried as well (It would only make sense at this point and time anyway. At first I was horrified and really though that could be the end of the shop, the Boss 5 axis CNC mill has been and is the heart of my shop and with the recent restart the company just isn't stable enough to absorb the loss of a $60k machining center. But after a bit of soul searching it dawned on me that I do have some older drivers that I bought years ago (for the boss mill in fact as part of a conversion I did to bring it up to date with some of the controller) and I have a few smaller but possibly adaptable stepper motors - so - things may be recoverable in that regard. This would allow the shop to continue with the progress using the smaller motors and alternate (they are not as strong as the ones that went up in smoke - but they would work for the time). at least until the shop can financially absorb the cost to replace the damaged components.

This all being said, the focus for this week will be
1). Getting the 40ish orders posted and out in the mail
2). Final machining on MOOG CNC so tha the 10 or so that will be done can release to shipping.
3). Post-mortum of the Boss5 mill
4). Make temporary repairs to the Boss mill if possible with what I have on hand - allowing for the remaining 15 or so orders to finish out their final machining steps (each literally has less than 5 minutes each)
5). Ship those last orders out of the Boss 5
6). Order any replacement parts that I can absorb the cost of out of pocket for Boss 5 parts that are critical to get the machine back up and running
7). Make out of state trip to the satellite rescue facility for 3-5 days (Best est)
8). Be back for the 1st of January to hopefully start working on the 3 remaining orders from Pre-01Dec16 (Each of them are full day each jobs in the shop, VZ hybrid kits and PPSH repair sections - very machine intensive parts), get those 3 shipped and the shop will suddenly be at the shortest turn around point listed on site (30 days)
9). Be working on 01Dec16 orders by the 3rd of January
10). Be shipping December orders by around the 7th of January

IF the Boss 5 is deemed a loss then I have a few alternatives for getting the orders awaiting it shipped, I can do the work manually (will take a bit longer - a process that takes the Boss 5 5 minutes to do can easily take a human an hour or longer - but is do able) OR I can ship the parts out of shop for completion OR I can rent some shop time and finish them in a foster shop arrangement. Those are my current options from least to most desirable. What I am getting at is DO NOT PANIC if you see your order is waiting on the Boss 5 - its far from the end of the world, they will get done in the next week - Boss 5 or not.

Honestly, after that it should smooth out and be maintaining the work load - the issue here wasn't the number of orders I took in - the new site/store controls I have mentioned before prevented that. The issue was machines that had sat for 6 months while I was ill this summer needed maintenance when they came back online. Belts dry out and get stiff when they sit, seals are the same way, metallic and abrasive dust gets into circuits and create electrical gremlins (a possible cause for what happened today??) and can get into gib ways and after sitting they can "harden up".......... Most all of that's behind now - not withstanding the Boss 5 and, well, that's not just a common occurrence really (Good, I am seeing a side of humor in it now - or trying to at least).

I'm going to compile a list of what orders are where in the shop (I'm getting emails upon emails asking for this - I do not have the time right now to answer them all one by one, I'm sorry but as I have said before "I can be in the shop making parts to ship or I can sit in the office all day explaining why the part didn't get made (because I couldn't get out there to make it..... I was answering a dozen emails).

Again, my deepest apology to any and all where affected by the delays, Ive gotten a few emails expressing that items were gifts - I understand and am trying to get them all out asap, again my apology for the delays - it wasn't planned or intended, its just the nature of the beast and I rolled though as best as I could.

Rather than try and break down what orders are where an such, for now I'm posting the orders that will start on Jan 1st (in order) 4998 (Half done - about 8 hours remaining), 5037 (Full day), 5052 (Material backlog - awaiting material from supplier otherwise can be done in a few hours once material arrives), 5061 (full day) followed by orders that started on/about 1Dec16. All other pending orders that I have received and are ready are shipping - those on the MOOG will be shipping in the next few days with the ones on the Boss 5 shipping in the next week or so (Those being the ones held up now on the Boss 5).

PLEASE PLEASE as a 1 man operation, I can not stress this enough:
I have said it 100 times now - I can either be inside answering emails about why a given order hasn't shipped OR I can be out in the shop making/shipping the parts. I, as a single person, can not be in both places at once. Every time I post a update like this I inevitably get a dozen emails asking where "whats the status of MY order though"? and believe me - I get it. You sent me your hard earned dollar and you want to know - I understand that, but I again can not be in both places doing two tasks at the same time (and getting attitude via email isn't going to "warm me up and make me want to rush to get your order out faster than it was already going at anyway - lets be honest). Now, I just heard someone say "Well how long can it take to answer my email" - honestly, 10 to 15 minutes if I have to look up the order, locate the order in the shop then walk in and email a response........ now multiply that by 10 emails a day and that's and hour and half to 2 and a half hours a DAY that I'm answering emails that these updates are supposed to help answer. 2 hours! Over a 5 day week that's 10 hours of time TAKEN from the shop production schedule (Not to mention, I don't like repeating myself so after about the 3rd such email a day it gets stale) so work with me on this one guys and gals. Give me a chance to get these all caught up and shipped - if you haven't read here that YOUR order shipped or you have not gotten a email from USPS.com with your tracking info by say the 1st of January -then please email me (unless I've posted that a given specific order or any order from a given period has not stated yet).

Happy holidays everyone from me and the K9s at HellBox Armory, LLC and HBA Cause 4 K9s - a registered 501.c.3 Non-Profit Organization.

added 2 video clips of the exact matching the MOOG cnc lathe has yet to do to get about 10 orders released and the remaining 7 or so over to the mill for final machining. :58 seconds each process - so close to being finished! Anyway I though this might reassure some customers about how little work remains on their orders and entertain others in seeing the process in real time. 1st video is of the "ringing" for the rear of the CZ tubes (These then go to the Boss 5 for final notching of the rings) and the second video is of the Beretta 38a threading process after this they are ready to ship, they can be viewed on site here:.
Link to HBA video's

9Dec16 - There is movement again in the shop!

Just a quick update to let everyone know I have about a dozen orders ready to ship out - I had to take a personal day today from the shop to help a friend who was in a dire situation, as a result I will be working the shop though the weekend to try and get the last of October's orders cleared. Currently I have about 10 orders from October and early November that I am focused on My goal is to have them ALL out in this coming weeks shipping allowing things to get back on the planned order of being processed. My apologies to those who's orders were affected - This was not an intentional "Thing" towards anyone so those rumors can just stop - its stupid to get on a forum and post that "Terry's being an ass about my order and just wont ship it - I'm sure its done".............. Anyhow, that's where I'm at, I do see light at the end of the tunnel and once we reach it things will drastically smooth out (assuming there's no more damned emergencies in the near weeks, I've choked down enough of them over the last 6 weeks to last me awhile........) My eyes are set on being up to orders placed in the second week and later of November by the 20th of December putting me right on schedule again.

22 Nov 16 - Boss 5 mill update

After several days inspecting and dismantling the CNC mill it looked like I had the problem resolved this afternoon only to get it all put back together and do one final test to verify and the issue was back in full force. After another 4 hours of dismantling I believe I have stumbled upon the issue - a bad driver unit. I find it hard to believe but I was able to cannibalize a driver from another machine that is not in service and the issue SEEMED to disappear again. After a hand full of power cycles the issue never returned so I am going to button up the shop for the night and get some dinner and rest and will be back tomorrow to do another set of tests on the machine, if all goes well it should be back in service tomorrow afternoon/evening and orders will start flowing though and shipping out again. If everything checks out I will leave the cannibalized unit in place and order the correct replacement but I believe the unit I installed should have enough power to spin the boss motors and still keep up with the coding, there will be a days down time when the replacement comes in but its better to have that one day down than the next 7 to 10 while waiting for it to arrive.

20Nov16 - Quick weekend update

I was able to release 19 orders to ship last Friday with 2 more going out on Saturday - 38 orders are "On the shop floor" being worked on as the schedule and equipment allow - 8 orders are still currently "In queue"

With winters arrival in my area last week a few roofing issues have been noted and I spent Saturday evening and the bulk of today (Sunday -20Nov16) making roofing repairs in preparations for the onset of winter and the snow/moisture/cold/drafts ect.

I am still working on the Boss 5 axis mill, I wish I could report having figured out this issue but I have not pinned it down yet - figured out a lot of things that the problem isn't so I am getting closer by ruling out circuits and systems one by one. The bulk of Monday will be working on the Boss 5 as its becoming more and more critical of an issue to get the machine back up running and online since it is the machine used to machine flutes and lugs onto my product tubes.

14 Nov 16 - The fun just never stops coming.........

OK, Time for a quick update. about 3 weeks ago I had my manual lathe go down with what seemed like a issue that comes up from time to time involving oil/coolant getting into the Digital Read Out Scale encoder creating a dead spot in the readout while machining. For obvious reasons this caused the machine to be dead-lined and it brought all work going though that stage of the shop to a halt. This issue turned out to not be a "grime issue" but a failed encoder. I ordered the replacement and it arrived last weekend - installed and back up and running again.

The CNC that I thought had a bad threading/spindle encoder was, it seems, a bad connection that is now repaired and that machine is also back in service.

Since I was behind on turning operations (Most products require lathe work at some point and all require fine tuning and fitting on the manual lathe that was down) I decided to spend the entirety of last week doing turning operations. When the Veterans day weekend came up I decided to come in and work to get caught up and even ahead a bit on turning raw stock and such since I had been doing it for a week it only made sense to keep working away at it.

This morning when I came into the shop I fired up my CNC Mill and then spent the next 4 hours trying to reason why I could set it up centered over a tube and then when it started cutting it was off center.......... Scrapped 3 pieces before finding that the "Y" (Front to back on a machine) axis is unlocking the stepper motor allowing it to "Drift like a drunken mouse holding onto the edge of a gutter" when the main spindle comes online to cut......... No idea why - could be a bad stepper motor driver, failing breakout board (The piece that "hooks the controlling computer into the CNC machine), even an issue with the controlling PC is a possibility not to mention - since it happens when the main motor is under power there may be some sort of stray Eddie current that is seeping into the wiring harness. I spent the rest of today checking settings and other "Obvious but often over-looked" possibilities but found nothing definitive. SOOOO, my plan for the next few days is to spend half the day trouble shooting/ordering parts as needed for the BOSS 5 CNC Mill and the other half continuing on with turning operations to get orders out of the queue and onto the work floor and at least moving forward as possible (Currently I have about 40 orders that have started machining and are somewhere "In the shop shop being worked on" at this time).
This has happened before, its all part of custom machining and I'll let everyone know now it will seem like no orders are moving though the shop for a week or two then all of a sudden the bottle neck will be fixed and I'll have 3 weeks of work flow out in 1 shipping run........ It happens, Its unpredictable and unavoidable sometimes - emailing me every other day and raising the 7 hells with me will not make the postman deliver the repair parts any faster so PLEASE - save us both the aggravation of writing and reading the email from the start - as I have said for years "You may be upset about YOUR order running late, I'm upset about ANY/ALL orders that are running late" - Lets not compare our respective pains on this matter.

I will update later this week as things unfold/resolve or are determined on the CNC Mill, without it I'm at a standstill half way though the shop process for most orders. Again though, all in stride - its happened before, it will happen again.

Now, on a great note, This weekend HBA did see its first profit since April of this year (Keeping in mind we were shut down for my health from April to Aug of this year but all the same) Why is this good news to you as the customer? Well, it means when I am running in a profit status repairs are easier to come by because I can afford to order a more expensive stateside supplied part verses a cheaper costing part (Same damn part mind you) from a supplier that takes longer to deliver thus I can get machines back online faster and have less down time - it means when I need a odd ball piece of stock material I am able to order it "on the fly" and absorb the shipping costs verse writing it down and having to stack it with other material orders to get a lower shipping cost on the 1 special order material (Think about it, how much does 500 pounds of steel cost to ship half way across the country? Now add in that the lengths are up to 12 foot each...... yea, its considerable). - same-thing with tooling (Maybe even more so now that I think about it because you may need to emergency call material once or twice a month - tooling - once or twice a week but again, ordering 20 cutters is say 15 in shipping ordering 1 may run me 12 in shipping - it adds up, but when I am operating in profit margin than I can do such orders when needed. In the end it all ads up minute by minute and hour by hour to products being able to ship out sooner and that's what we ALL want, isn't it?

Also, a quick note to let everyone know that this week about 16 orders WILL be shipping, milling was done on them before the lathes went down and as such they are ready to release. I do not have the numbers for them off hand and will likley be halting the posting of orders by number as it takes time to sort them all out and then to type them then the time involved with answering 20 emails about why this number was before that number or why this number then 2 numbers were skipped then the next number to ship ect ect ect - its time I could be on the shop floor making parts. I dunno, we will see but all the same 16 or so orders will be out this Friday.

25 Oct 2016 -

About 3/4rds of this cycles orders shipped out last week - there are 11 orders left in queue and I am running about 10 days behind schedule :( The scheduling system worked admirably well in my opinion the issue was I was more or less delayed in the shop with office/site issues until the 11th or so of this month so I started the cycle about 11 days late and am about 10 days over schedule now so that demonstrates its working as it should.
Of the 11 remaining orders - all have started rough cutting and are at least in the machining process now (The 3 orders that were waiting for material will be catching up to the day after tomorrow as the material arrived today).
Tomorrow (Wednesday 26th) I will be shutting down to address 2 significant issues with equipment in the shop that require some immediate attention. The shut down should only be for the day but it will push me back another day in the schedule so I wanted to let everyone know what's happening here and where we are with the relaunch and order status ect.
On the up side, The next production cycle is rather thin in number of orders/payments received so it should be no issue with a week or so's overlap in getting those orders out before their deadline comes at the end of Nov.

17 Oct 2016 - Order Fulfillment system / Shipping Processor update

I received the new replacement shipping scales today and it is clear that the old scale system was at least part of the issue that I have been dealing with for the past few weeks. I've posted out about a dozen packages that have been waiting to ship and the site is now releasing them for shipping and it seems to be following along the guide I was given (on how the system flow should occur). I'm going to head out to grab dinner (its 12:30am right now and the local late night "Scarf and *arf" closes in 30 minutes so I'll be back in a bit to continue posting packages and getting them ready for pick up by USPS tomorrow afternoon. That being said, I do not have a list of the orders that are releasing this evening but I will get one up in the next few days - the short is you should received 1 or 2 email notices stating the package is on its way along with the tracking number - this is ultimately the signal that your package was part of this shipping batch. 2 orders were held up though (again I do not have the order numbers off hand) one was for a B38 tube set the other was a m31 reweld jig. Both were held because I was not happy with part of the machining on one and the other was short a small piece that (now with the shipping issue potentially worked out) I can have worked up in a days time in the shop and both should release with others that will be ready to ship this coming Friday (IE The scheduled "Office and Shipping day").

16 Oct 2016 - Order Fulfillment system/processor update

Spent the majority of the weekend in the office trying to get the in site postage processor/order fulfillment and tracking systems up and "playing nice" - I am getting it closer. To date no orders are over time and only a few are even in the shipping window (30-60 days after funds clear our bank). I am still working on the site (duh right?) but progress is being made. I am heading home to get some sleep (Been in the office since Friday with the help of 3 large pizzas bought Friday afternoon) and will do some initial tests tomorrow with a update following.

5 Oct 2016 (AM) - Current Production Cycle Update

Orders requiring original parts to be mailed in for modifications:
Parts Received and Queued:

New made parts (Orders without  parts needing to be mailed in for modifications:
Order/payment Received/Credited and queued::

Orders that have been filled and are awaiting shipping:

4980 (Nearly complete, needs about a hours work to be ready to ship out)
5024 (Nearly complete, needs about a hours work to be ready to ship out)
5030 (Nearly complete, needs about 2 hours work to be ready to ship out)
No Order # listed/found: customer initials/zip code: PK-54153

5 Oct 2016

It has come to my attention that due to the new carbon fiber background that when customers have to print out their invoices that 75% of the page is black ink being used, I am, as a office manager, acutely aware that some printer inks can be very costly and am working to remove the CF background from the invoice page to avoid any want / waste of customers ink cartridges.

3 Oct 2016 (PM)

I believe I have the new shipping in place now, I will be releasing a few orders / packages over the next few days to ensure they post and are accepted by their carriers (I did a sizable shipping run last week and all the packages came back 2 days later marked improper postage rate - and I'd rather not have that happen again). Once they look like they are on their way I will authorize release for Friday of this week for the remainder of the orders that are ready to head out (about 25 or so and were only 3 days into the new production cycle :) )

30 Sept 2016

As a surprising number noticed (and sent well wishing's - thank you all), this past week was my birthday and as such I did take a few days to head to the hills with my dogs and go camp out - it was good, it was needed. That being said I will be continuing to work on the site this coming week, material for orders has started coming in and things over all seem "On track".

23 Sept 2016

Its been slow going getting the shipping automation system in place - Its turning out to be a little more than just setting dials and plugging in numbers since there has to be internal site links to USPS, UPS, FEDEX ect - Please know I should have it in place for the first projected shipping date (4 to 8 weeks from 01 Sept 16) from the official relaunch of the shop.

22 Aug 2016

A couple fast payers orders were received on Friday and they have shipped out using products on hand to fill, a few more came in today with a little over half being filled via residual stock (Those that filled will ship on Friday as that is my new "Office day" where I take care of shipping/postage/deposits/emails ect) - all in all its looking like things are off to a strong start

I've made several modifications to the front end of the store site - I'm working to understand the "back end" of the site (The stuff that goes on when you push a button on the site or it needs to load a new page - stuff I didn't even know I had control over until very recently). Some of the changes are/will be evident to you the customer - others not so much (but they should make a world of difference on the office end). Honestly half of what I have been  doing was "de-junking" the sites code from years of using a interface that made the changes for me (some done right, others wrong - many I did not even knowing I was changing something.........)

Over all the site should look a bit different, have a slightly smoother feel and faster load times while implementing a more customer streamlined product tree (Hoping to have that implemented by weeks end).

With everything site wise progressing nicely I will be back on the shop floor for the beginning of next week doing some maintenance on machines. By weeks end I will be back into production mode using material I have stocked on hand when possible - I will be placing a material order sometime the following week for the orders that have arrived that I didn't have material on hand already for - at this time this order cycle should be over and from that point until the 21st of September I will be in production mode only (no new orders accepted until after the 21st).

16 Aug 2016 - 6pm local time:

HellBox Armory has unlocked the shopping cart feature and disabled inventory tracking/stock controls. All items can be ordered at will again.

I will be working on a new site with the new company policies - essentially the deal is that I am no longer going to stock items and in doing so this means that by placing an order and remitting it that there WILL BE A TURN AROUND TIME.
Currently as of today I have ZERO pending orders in the queue so any payments coming in will put me to work and ship first. At some point between now and the 21st of September I will relock the shopping cart feature and thus prevent further sales until the next order cycle starts. By limiting sales during high volume periods this will prevent future backlogs and give a standard 4 to 8 week turn around for most if not all items. This means orders placed now will ship first (starting the first week of of Sept) once I feel we have enough orders to take up shop time though the 21st (when the next order cycle starts) I will relock the checkout feature where it will remained locked until the next order cycle (Thus allowing for a work cycle in the shop and a maintenance cycle each month - streamlining and optimizing my limited time within the hours of the work day.

If there are any concerns or worries about the fact that "new" policies and a new TOS are coming then I please ask that you give me a day or two to get them posted up to avoid any potential confusion on either side of the order. The changes (in general terms) have been outline in the posts over the last few days - however - I fully understand should you have reservations to a unknown/unread TOS - again, in a day or two I will have them posted up.

Cheers and Blessings,
~Terry S

15 Aug 2016
Cut and pasted from the weponsguild vendors forum discussion regarding the relaunch of HBA ( http://www.weaponsguild.com/forum/index.php?topic=61953.0 )

Ok, this is, by some, a log awaited announcement. I am going to break it into 3 parts for clarity and to save those who only want to know the shop schedule/details the time of reading the back history of whats lead to this announcement - why it was delayed ect.

So, on with the show.........

Part I
The nuts and bolts / nitty gritty

As of this posting the company (as well as myself) are back online 100% - every order (save 1 special circumstance matter that is being handled offline) has been filled and was shipped no latter than last week. I have checked, double checked and even had an outside party come and verify my records and all orders that were received as of last Friday - have been filled and shipped.

Currently I/HBA have around 4 orders that have been placed in the last week - so those could be in transit ? possibly (More on that in Part II) so if you just mailed in a payment/order in the last 7 days or so and haven't received a tracking notice it DOES NOT mean or order has necessarily been lost ect - it is likely I just have not received it yet to be processed - give me a few weeks to receive and process the order before emailing asking if it has been received (Seriously, I'd appreciate at least a couple weeks on those kinds of emails - I get it, your worried about your money being "Out there" but emailing 3 days after sending it doesn't help either of us).

What does 100% back online mean?
At some point before the end of the day 16 Aug 2016 the company site will be reverted back to where (nearly) any item can be ordered at anytime - WITH A EXPECTED TURN AROUND TIME STATED BEFORE YOU DECIDE TO GO THOUGH WITH THE ORDER REMITTANCE. Turn Around times will vary based on when in the order cycle you place your order - customers that place soon after the 21 window opens will fill before those that say wait until the 10th to remit the order/payment. Additionally the benefit to ordering soon the the cycle is that you can get your order in - since I will be limiting sales to prevent over sales and backlogs the order window could potentially close before late placers can get their orders in for that cycle.  Upon studying the cycles one can see turn around times will always vary from 4 weeks to a max of 8 with an ideal medium of a 5 to 6 week turn around time for most if not all products - based on where in the cycle you placed your order.

The New COMPANY schedule can be broken down into 4 major scheduled cycles that run concurrently though out each month - Monday though Friday / 10AM to 5PM (Excluding Holidays, Sundays and the company owners birthday).

    These are:
  • Ordering Cycle
  • Office Cycle
  • Production Cycle
  • Maintenance Cycle

Ordering Cycle - Or "When can I place my order, dude!" cycle

This is when you, the customer, can expect to be able to place orders with HellBox Armory so the desired item can be added to the next work cycle's schedule (Once payment is received, of course)
1. On the 21st of each month I will "Unlock" the site checkout feature so that customers can place and remit their orders.

The checkout feature will re-lock (IE not allow any orders to be placed though the site checkout) after a predetermined number of sales have been placed or at midnight of the 20th of the following month (Scheduled site maintenance occurs on the AM of the 21st so its a good breaking point where by the checkout can be closed down for a short period as well).  This number (Acceptable projected sales number) will fluctuate from month to month and will be based off of several factors. These include (but not limited) to How many paid orders (work load) were received in the past shop cycle verses how many total (paid and unpaid orders) were placed during the previous ordering cycle, Market trends (Items selling in higher volume can be completed faster in batches opposed to having to make 3 of 40 differ4et items each month) as well as how quickly we completed the previous cycle's work load (IE was the last order from the previous cycle shipped on the 9th or the 19th? A day or two down time is ok - 10 days down time is not - its wasted production time (In such a case, for example, as such the following month's acceptable projected orders number would be increased slightly to allow a few more orders to be submitted and thus help bridge the down time that would likely follow in the next month as well. And lastly, my over all health (More in Part III).

Office Cycle - AKA: The "Hey man, when you gonna check your email" cycle
This is the time I will be "In the office" (and NOT in the "Shop - there's one reason listed for this in part III").
During this period is when we will be packing and posting orders for shipment, ordering material, ordering tooling, Running packages to the post office, Processing that weeks deposits, answering emails, Site maintenance  and cursing at the copy machine next to my desk.

This schedule is pretty straight forward:
Every Friday 10am to 6pm (Saturdays if necessary but I am not planning on many of them, again, more in part III relating to that).
Every 20th/21st (Or closest work day) - This is the day that I will be going though all the orders from that order cycle (From the 21st of the previous month to this day) that have been PAID (Meaning when you place an order and send in payment it MUST reach us before THIS DATE to be added to the next production cycle) and figuring up the projected material needs to fill those orders. After that I can then order the material to be shipped in to us for manufacture on the first of the following month. It usually takes 7 - 10 days to receive most material orders and it is also why the 21st was selected as the cut off date, so we can get our materials ordered and received in time to start production on the 1st.

Production Cycle -
Know in the office as the "When you going to be making my parts man?" cycle
These are days I am physically in the machine shop making big pieces of metal in to tiny pieces of metal on the ground, and with some skill and luck the days I end up with a medium sized piece of metal still in the machine that is YOUR part, ready to ship out!

Again, this schedule is pretty straight forward:
From the 1st of any given month though the 21st of the same month, Monday though Thursday - 10am to 5pm

Maintenance Cycle -
The "Hey, I found this bolt over there under the CNC mill, just before it locked up" cycle
Self explanatory - Its a small company with limited staff (My family and myself) being a machine shop I don;t get to alarmed when I find the random stray nut or bolt on the shop floor but when I start finding them in piles next to my machines it becomes a problem. So, unlike over the last 7 years we are now scheduling cycle where production is not scheduled and office work will come in as a close second, but at the end of the day - if the machines are always broken down and I never have (make) time to make repairs to them then it only causes delays and headaches for everyone from myself to yourself to site admins........ lawyers...... ect

Most can tell from the previous cycles when this must be happening?
Every month from the 21st though the end of the same month
 *  with Friday afternoons (Office days) as an exceptions for emergency repairs on the shop floor.

Part II
Happenings within HBA over the last few years that have lead up to these changes (Over laps some with part III)

A bit of back story for those who may not know of me or my shop:
HBA was started more or less out of necessity in late 2008 when I found how difficult the job market could be for a 90% disabled Veteran - especially when your only formal adult training as an EOD / Bomb Squad Tech.......... Lots of work out there if your healthy and have the skill set but not much use for a guy that was torn up in service.

When I started up I had a lot of skeptics that had "reasonable" doubts about the company ever getting of the ground.

By late 2013 things were busy as every here, business was good - the birds were chirping and breeze was cool. Life was pretty good. Orders poured in and shipments went out (literately) by the pick up truck loads! It was more than anyone (including myself) close to me ever dreamed could happen.

Early 2014, Things took a turn downward. The nerve pain from the damage in my right arm suddenly intensified and I underwent a multi level reconstruction in my neck and upper back. It wasn't planned (well not this soon in life anyway - about 15-18 years early according to the VA). I was advised my recovery post op would need to be 6 to 12 months with allowance for 18 months before I could go back to things and find out where "Normal exertion" levels were for me. Well, I pushed it to get back into the shop, I had orders that were not handled before the shop closed and, as you might expect, this lead to complications. Those complications needed even more time to mend and it was time I didn't have, I pushed again and again I crumpled in a pile like a rag doll. I had to slow down but I couldn't afford to rest - I pushed on though blood, sweet, tears and broken parts in the shop until April 2016.

During this time I had converted the company to a inventory control system, meaning I had to have already made the product before it could physically be ordered. This worked on paper but in the end - it simply isn't the right style for our shop. The largest issue is (As referenced a few times already) as a small company I have always dealt with mail in payments only - I always stayed away from accepting credit cards (I mean, really - I've heard it isn't that hard to get setup to do that but I've tried 3 times and given up out of frustration each time) and what that results in (The fatal flaw in the plan) is it allows customers to place an order and not send in payment. This doesn't do anything to that customer but it does take a product out of my inventory that someone COULD HAVE paid me for. Because of my rather forgiving remittance timeline policy (30 days with a 1 time 30 day grace extension). Currently my "store" only has maybe a dozen items available but I have over 16K of unpaid products that are over 30 days past the order date - compound that by having to now pay more out of pocket to order more materiel to make more of what I have 10 of on the shelf (under hold status though) while answering 20+ emails a day about "When is this going to be available again" emails............ One's stress and blood pressure levels can start climbing rapidly in such cases............. Mine was no exception, more about that in Part III

Over the years I have learned a lot of good things about business, I also learned or misinterpreted a lot of things from early on, I, after all, was no business major.
And though I did OK as a machinist earlier in life - I, again though, was never trained as a shop manager - so, I have learned good ways to do things and bad ways to get things done.

In this relaunch/re-branding of HBA I hope to implement the good things I have learned, and avoid the pit falls of the bad while decreasing turn around times, giving customers the confidence to know their order will be handled professionally and ethically and that once completed a quality product will be shipped out within the allotted turnaround time frame from a company that has had its trials and tribulations but also a company who has a track record for quality who can stand the test of time.

Part III
What's been up with me (HBA) Since the start of the year? There had  been talk of a restart then you disappeared............

By the start of 2016 the recovery process from my spinal surgeries in 2013 and 2014 had laid me up for so long that my and my families savings were gone and bills were going to start going unpaid. It was time to relaunch, it was a new year and I couldn't wait any longer so we reopened and relaunched shop operations to full time. It took a few months but the orders again started trickling in and it looked like things, while not great, were stable for the time.

Early April 2016 I was helping a older neighbor by taking care of their swamp cooler maintenance, a task I started when I was 8 years old in Phoenix and have done twice a year - every year since. It was routine, easy even. Until I slipped and fell off the roof.................. I was taken to the DVAMC and it was determined that I "only" (Lol) undone half of what the surgeries a few years had sought to fix - sadly I had also done considerable additional damage to the adjoining vertebra with the fall as well though...........

I was laid up in bed for about 3 weeks when I developed a mild "hack", wasn't even what I would call a cough. Over the next few weeks I started to get where I could get up and start moving short distances - but the hacking steady worsened and developed into a severe cough/gagging. I was taken again to DVAMC and was found to have developed a serious lung infection (3rd one in about 18 months now). I started getting weak and couldn't keep food or fluids down and began to bounce back and forth between the hospital and home for about 2 months (38 days out of 60 at/in the DVAMC verses at home). I was soon back on bed rest 24 hours a day and Over the following weeks I made improvements to where its a slight hack when I am over exerting myself - I am still working to get my endurance back up but its getting there. Later I was told by and that my immediate family was so concerned about my health situation that considerations for my final affairs were being reviewed. I guess you could say things looked bleak for a bit there..............

If all this wasn't enough (Come on, those of you who have followed me / know me from over the years know I have 2 types of luck: Bad luck and worse luck.
 One of the first days post bed rest I was working with an aggression case K9 I had been working with as part of my rescue and rehab organization for several weeks prior to my fall in April. We had not had a intense training session for about 2 months and I knew better - but - I worked him pretty hard on our first day back together and he did really well. I pushed him for one last obedience demonstration / "trick" at the end of the session and that was his breaking point. He managed to do something no dog has done in my life, he attacked (that's nothing new) but he made it to my face........
As best as could be told after the incident - he got about 4 maybe 5 bites in focusing on my upper lip and nose. The damage: He more or less lacerated (snapped though) the complete right side of my right nostril, lacerated about 1/2 inch of my left nostril and it appears he either got a lower "K9" tooth inside my upper lip and "stabbed" it up into my septum and then pulled down and "stabbed" in the tip of my nose with his upper "K9" - or he did it simultaneous......  Impossible to know for sure but either way it lead to the detachment of about 1/3 of an inch of the end of my septum.... It sounds a lot worse than I felt it was but that's the risk I am willing to accept to help these abuse case K9's......

Over the last month I started having increasing nerve pain again and the simple answer was essentially what they have been telling me now for 2 years. My stress level is too high, I take on to much between the shop/company, my two no profit organizations and then just trying to keep the walls and roof of my house in the right places and cars running (IE Life) and don't give myself enough time to recover physically or mentally (Again, my health is not perfect - so sometimes a otherwise easy task can be challenging. For example, mowing the yard for most isn't a huge challenge but it can be when you have had multiple spinal injuries......... Amy-way, you get the idea). I simply am not one to sit around much - I am always engaged in something weather it be a physical activity (like working in the shop or working rehab K9s or driving halfway across Colorado to help look for a lost pup that got out at a rest stop while a family was traveling though) or a mental activity (IE writing g-code programs in my head (Or trying too) - visualizing tool paths for the cnc machines for different parts, reviewing critical part dimensions for different products, Learning new office and shop floor software to keep up and competitive with "The bigger dogs" ect) . I never seem to allow myself to just "Rest"...... And that must change.

 I've been told this by more doctors than I can recall now but with the support and encouragement of my family I am starting to think maybe I need to listen to them.
 That, quite simply is the MAIN driving force behind changing the company back to a 'Made to order" system that works on a set cycle.
In short, it brings structure to my (and thus "The company's) life by working Monday though Friday 10-5 (I don't take a lunch so I get to come in a hour later than most - then again, poor diet has been listed more than once by the doctors as well..........). It gives me weekends off (for the most part) to take up something called a hobby or find some friend-people that are local to me here to go boating with or camping or flying with ect ect........ Something that allows me to relax and not feel badly for doing so.

 Essentially I am stepping the company back 3 years to a simpler time where I did orders in mini batches and one by one orders - it was interesting, fun even.
Watching a cnc machine make the same exact cut 10 times on each piece for 60 pieces a day for 10 days will drive a good man to a life of crime! The goal is to get my health back in line and thus be able to get more work done in the shop filling even more orders though efficiency in set schedules that allow for each aspect of the company verse simply doing things when there was time to get them done, up until 5pm anyway - then its time for me to lock up and call it a day. This will reduce my stress and improve my (and thus the companies) over all health thus allowing for more effective work flow (and it could be argued then less stress again - for both you, the customer as well as us)
As an insomniac I work a lot at night and I am going to have learn to break that cycle but it will come soon enough I suppose (or I'll adjust my work hours to a evening schedule)

That pretty well sums it up. It's late and I am exhausted so I will wrap this up and add/make changes if needed after I get back up. If anyone has questions please feel free  to post them - if any of the "outline" of whats going to happen and how HBA will be moving forward post them up. I am working on a new site for HBA (Actually getting some website design familiarization training this time) and I have a schedule already lined up to be posted there so to avoid having to type it all out multiple times I may reference posts back to that site to be answered there with the new site content otherwise I'll be happy to answer questions here.

Terry Sublette
HBA - Owner
HBA-C4K9s - Founder/President

12 Aug 16

As of 12 Aug 2016 ALL orders received and cleared (as of this date) have been filled and shipped, there is currently no backlog within the shop. I am currently working to update and relaunch the webstore with current content and information, this update is expected to be implemented on or before 19 Aug 2016.

~Terry S
HellBox Armory, Owner
HBA Cause 4 K9's, Founder

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