Rockwell Model T

Discussion in 'Safety Razors' started by Sabre, Mar 16, 2018.

  1. BigMark83

    BigMark83 [...........] this space intentionally left blank

    All the hiccups aside, I wish they'd release an stainless steel version.

    Sent from my Nokia 6.1 using Tapatalk
     
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  2. PatrickA51

    PatrickA51 Well-Known Member

    This is a great post and very informative. I don't mean to still sound negative. But these guys have really done a disservice to funding groups like Kickstarter.
    I have backed several of their projects. I have 4 of the first razors that they funded thru Kickstarter. The Rockwell 6S, in 2013. So when the opportunity came along for the Rockwell Model T I jumped at it. But that was almost 3 years ago. Then in Mar of 2017 I added items to my order. Almost every thing that Garth and Matt needs to be taken with a tablespoon of Kosher Salt. No strike that at this stage of the game a pound of Kosher salt is needed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2019
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  3. Spang

    Spang Member

    There is a new update on the Model T posted by Rockwell. In this update, Rockwell has cited some interesting numbers; mainly that they have some 8,000 razors yet to assemble and fulfill. Wow. This figure, they claim, is an aggregate of the KS, IGG and Rockwell pre-orders. They have cited this number--along with a description of the assembly process that sounds like they are making components for the space shuttle--in a way that reads like an excuse for why delivery will still be a long time coming.

    We know that there were something north of 6,000 KS and IGG pledges. What we don't know (and Rockwell has consistently refused to say) is how many of those pledges have actually been fulfilled to date. Also, we don't know how many of the 8,000 remaining orders cited by Rockwell were pre-orders that came in after the KS and IGG campaigns ended. But, given the numbers we do know, and Rockwell's assertion that they still have 8K orders to fulfill, I'd have to surmise that the number of razors actually shipped since February of last year (when Rockwell claimed that shipping was proceeding "on schedule") is exceedingly small; perhaps only a thousand, or less. That would explain the dearth of reviews out there on the product. It would also be consistent with Rockwell's description of their assembly process, which sounds woefully understaffed: they noted the reassignment of two ( yes, 2!) key personnel to "final assembly", as if this was a big step in ramping up production. And, it confirms Rockwell's consistent lack of candor with their backers, since the outset of this campaign.
     
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  4. DanielB

    DanielB Member

    ^ Spang, when I saw those photos in Update #40 today, my first thought: "THEY'RE PUTTING THEM TOGETHER IN GARETH'S BASEMENT".
    hints:
    - the 'custom made gauges' photo with the flattened cardboard box work surface
    - the 'three sub-assemblies' wood grain background, possibly a coffee table
    - the (many) bathroom shots showing off the different razor finishes.

    And maybe they are. I mean if they have a dedicated facility but are taking their work home with them on the weekend so they can churn them out as quickly as possible, is that a bad thing? No. The question then is: do they even have a dedicated (non private residence) facility?

    I don't really care if they don't. But I mean if it's a 2 or 3 person operation and you've got 8000 razors to do.. well, that would explain a lot!
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2019
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  5. brit

    brit in a box

    is rockwell razors a large company or small like karve?
     
  6. DanielB

    DanielB Member

    Oh, they're very small, I'm sure of it.

    Rockwell Razors started as a result of 2 guys in university (Gareth and Morgan) restoring and selling straight razors, running a nice little (little) side business ("Modern Edge Razors") during their free time outside of class, then Morgan designed a multi-plate DE razor and they turned to Kickstarter in 2014 to raise funds for it (Rockwell 6S). I don't know why they ceased Modern Edge and formed Rockwell as a new company [EDIT — reason: Perma Brands, the large Canadian wholesale distributor of grooming goods bought them out] but boom, overnight they'd reached their funding goal and they realized there really was potential for an ongoing business making & selling DE razors - and grooming accessories. I definitely do remember Gareth saying they were doing the quality control and packing for the 6S Kickstarter out of his basement. But that was years ago now and they've sold over 100,00 razors (+ a ton of accessories) since then, according to their website.

    So you might think they would need to grow considerably to handle everything but when you can have parts for all your regular-production razors made by a 3rd party manufacturer or have existing or new but spec-able products private labelled, and when you can get everything shipped to a fulfillment services company that takes care of packing and shipping logistics so you don't have to, you don't need a fulltime staff of 20+ people or perhaps even 10. What you do need is to contract out the work to capable companies and pay them so they can allocate sufficient manpower to handle the demand. With the T, clearly the volume production capabilities and quality control in China was not adequate and while that could be put down to bad luck, once multiple runs of out-of-tolerance parts had to be scrapped and new molds and production runs had to happen, lack of available finances seems a likely reason why things have gone so slowly Let's not forget, if Rockwell could have had the Model T in backers' hands 2 years ago and be selling them on their site today/last year/last 2 years, they absolutely would be doing that.

    We know Gareth is full-time hands on and the face of the company. Morgan, we never hear from, but last I heard he has a full time job in Ottawa so if he's still actively involved he's likely advising, research & design, business planning, etc from afar. Then we've Grigori doing c/s. I think I may have seen 1 other person's name in that role perhaps on social media but nobody that I can recall of on a permanent basis. A PR guy representing Rockwell early on was actually from an agency. I can't think of any other names I've ever come across though who knows what goes on behind the scenes. You would think they might have full-time sales reps to service barbershops and retailers who stock their products but Rockwell is under the Perma Brands distribution umbrella, and therefore I assume PB takes care of all that.

    It would be certainly be interesting to hear what goes on behind the scenes of a company like Rockwell Razors. Maybe once this is all over, Gareth will share with us what actually happened, and what he's learned from it this 2nd time around. I'm sure he'll get some more speaking engagements, like before, telling everyone how he overcame difficulty to become a success, through transparency, honesty, and trust - built through on-time month updates, not overestimating their ability to manufacture, and not keeping backers in the dark about progress. (really & really).
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2019
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  7. brit

    brit in a box

    very cool.i hope they get it all sorted..
     
  8. DanielB

    DanielB Member

    Why thank you. If you liked that post, you're going to love this one. I remembered that post of yours from a couple of weeks back in which you copied & pasted your Backerkit info showing you got in at the $175 "THE MORE THE MERRIER" pledge level that was essentially a double kit. To be clear, you were meant to get 2x razors + 2x 100 blades. The stretch goal bonuses hadn't yet been announced when Rockwell launched the campaign so as I wanted to see if they'd doubled up your blade safe & leather sheath, I went back that post of yours and it looks like Rockwell screwed up your (still pending) order. Your Backerkit shows:
    • 1x RR-100B (that's the blades, which should be 2x 100 for you, per the pledge description)
    • 1x RR-SAFE (the used blades safe, a freebie 'thank you' bonus)
    • 1x RR-SHEATH-GL (the genuine leather sheath; also a stretch goal bonus.
    It occurred to me to check to see what wording Gareth had used when stretch goals were first introduced/announced or confirmed as being included - I mean he may have specified that they were per backer rather than per razor. So, I went back through Updates to see. And sure enough, in early Updates (from #2 onwards), Gareth kept using the words "each" or "every" backer or "all backers" [will receive a bonus]. Damn.

    But, hold on.. on April 25, 2016 just when Gareth was beginning to get swept away with excitement (or alternatively when he began making empty promises), he announced in Update #5 a free razor stand for "with every Model T - exclusively for each and every one of our backers"... provided 500,000 units were reached by campaign close, which he would have known by then based on daily averages was an extremely unlikely thing. One backer specifically asked him in the comments section below the Update whether this [the stand stretch goal item] "is doubled for the two razor backers?"

    Gareth's reply?

    [​IMG]

    So there we have it. Stretch goals bonuses were to be distributed on a per-razor basis.

    Therefore, PatrickA51, your Backerkit should show: 2x RR-100B, 2x RR-SAFE, 2x* RR-SHEATH-GL.

    * NOTE: at some point in time, the sheath became a standard component of every Model T razor package —whether from KS, IGG, or Rockwell's own pre-order page— so I don't think the sheath should be listed as a standalone item at all, other than for anyone who chose to pay for a spare or spares. A point in support of that argument: the 5-pack of blades that's also inside the presentation box isn't listed separately. But as Rockwell insists on listing the sheath separately, when orders are picked they just subtract # of razors on the order from number of sheaths stated and insert the difference.

    -----

    Regarding my issue with my addon razors not each coming with 100 blades or a blades safe:

    In case anyone's wondering why I didn't just go for the multi-razor THE MORE THE MERRIER pledge level like Patrick did, I joined the KS within hours of it going live and while $79 ULTRA earlybirder spots were still available - so my thinking was 2x $79 = $158 meaning I was hardly likely to pay $175 for 2 kits, even if I wanted 2 kits at that time. The MERRIER package was certainly a good buy once the cheaper pledge levels were sold out. Kickstarter only permits backers to pledge once per project and at only one pledge level (no double dipping), so when Backerkit addons became available and I saw Model T at $79 (my pledge level), I thought "at last!" and that it was an opportunity not to be wasted.

    Looking back over the original campaign blurb, I found something that supports my position: right there in the first paragraph under "A SHAVING REVOLUTION" and then again, below the large bold "ROCKWELL MODEL T", in the bullet points listing the razor's features:

    [​IMG]

    I don't think I'm being crazy or unreasonable or asking for something that might be said to be one interpretation but not what was actually promised or suggested — it's all right there in black print. And if they're about to ship thousands of items, they should be doing it according to what they promised, and what's right.

    Gonna post it on KS Comments (main thread). Let's see what happens...
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2019
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  9. SevenEighth

    SevenEighth Well-Known Member

    #outoftheloop

    Help me out here. I've only been keeping half an eye on this from the sidelines. I'm a fan of the Rockwell 6S and 6C but decided not to go with this Kickstarter because I seem to recall there were problems with the original 6S Kickstarter.

    Am I right in thinking that the Model T was originally meant to be all stainless steel but someway through prototyping it became too costly to produce that way and now the Model T has other metal parts for some of its construction?

    From what I am reading there are considerable delays, poor or no communication, and Rockwell don't seem to be delivering according to what was promised as Kickstarter packs. Is that a fair summary?

    I just wonder why so many people are still holding out instead of getting refunds. Is it because of loyalty to the company (which I totally respect). Is the Model T still an excellent razor, despite the construction changes?
     
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  10. PatrickA51

    PatrickA51 Well-Known Member

    Here is what I got from Garth and Morgan you saw it.

    $175
    THE MORE, THE MERRIER

    You'll receive 2 Rockwell Model T razors and 200 Rockwell Blades (good for about 4 years of shaves for one person, or 2 years of shaves for 2 people!)

    Free US, Canada, and EU shipping. Rest-of-world shipping will be $20. Shipping will be charged prior to delivery. See shipping details or FAQ for more info.


    Ships anywhere in the world
    Estimated delivery: Mar 2017
    Your pledge
    Apr 3 2016
    Collected
    $175
    MasterCard
    Card ending in 0381
    Expires 01/2019
    Backer number
    4,024 total
    1,689
    I backed them for 2 "ROCKWELL MODEL T" Razor set-ups. Then I added This other stuff.

    Your pledge information

    $175 Reward - THE MORE, THE MERRIER You'll receive 2 Rockwell Model T razors and 200 Rockwell Blades (good for about 4 years of shaves for one person, or 2 years of shaves for 2 people!) Free US, Canada, and EU shipping. Rest-of-world shipping will be $20. Shipping will be charged prior to delivery. See shipping details or FAQ for more info.
    THE MORE, THE MERRIER You'll receive 2 Rockwell Model T razors and 200 Rockwell Blades (good for about 4 years of shaves for one person, or 2 years of shaves for 2 people!) Free US, Canada, and EU shipping. Rest-of-world shipping will be $20. Shipping will be charged prior to delivery. See shipping details or FAQ for more info.

    1 RR-100B
    1 RR-SAFE
    1 RR-SHEATH-GL
    2 Rockwell Model T Brushed Chrome

    So @DanielB you can sort of see why I'm getting more pissed off by the hour. But I have wasted more in Reno or Las Vegas. So I hope they get their problems worked out. The Rockwell 6S is a decent razor, but I don't use it that much.
     
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  11. Spang

    Spang Member

    Contrary to some statements made by others, Rockwell never made a firm commitment to produce a stainless Model T. When the original KS campaign was launched, the Model T was represented as being plated brass, with at least some cast (zamac) parts. After some very spirited (read: negative) feedback from prospective backers about the zamac components, Rockwell quickly shifted to a promise of an all brass razor. Later into the campaign, Rockwell announced that they were "exploring" interest in an all stainless Model T. That exploration was fairly short-lived, as they determined that an all stainless version of the Model T was not feasible, probably for both technical and cost reasons. Rockwell never actually opened a campaign or took pledges for the stainless version. As for the original all brass promise, well that evaporated too, and the razor that is now being produced is mostly zamac. This change in materials mid-campaign seemed like a classic bait-and-switch and PO'd a lot of backers.

    I would say your summary is pretty much on the mark. In terms of communication, my issue with Rockwell is not that they haven't communicated, it's that a lot of that communication has been quite disingenuous and misleading, and that's being kind.

    As for why people are still hanging in, I'm sure everyone has their own reasons. For me, I got in early, and after a certain period of time, it wasn't worth the trouble to try to get my money back. After pretty much giving up, lo and behold one day a Model T showed up on my doorstep. And, I have to say, for me it is an exceptionally good shaving razor, so Rockwell got that part right. But given the lower grade materials, I don't think it represents a very good value at the present price point.
     
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  12. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    Everything I've read indicates that the blades are a Merkur 'style' rebrand. For myself, I will probably stick mine in the back of a closet somewhere and let someone toss them out or get a pittance for them on ebay when i die.

    It sucks if you were supposed to get them, but for myself, I could care less if they put them in my order.
     
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  13. DanielB

    DanielB Member

    I don't know what "Merkur-style rebrand" means but we all know manufacturers (in many product categories) offer branding options on existing products or private label products produced to the customer's own specification — and razor blades are no different. While not exactly trumpeted loudly, it is no secret that Rockwell's DE blades are made in China; it doesn't say it on the blade, envelope or 5-pack, but it does on the carton [photo I just took]. If, back in 2014, you're just 2 guys with a Kickstarter (6S) and a desire to provide backers of your razor your own-branded DE blades, then turning to a Chinese blade manufacturer and saying "can you make this for us?" makes sense due to low Chinese manufacturing costs.

    Whether Rockwell Razors just slapped their name on an existing product or provided custom specifications for a DE blade that would bear their name, we don't actually know. But back in 2016, when the country of manufacture of their "Swedish Steel" blades was not yet stated publicly, I asked Gareth in person at a shaving meetup about them, saying I was impressed by them (I had just done 26 multi-pass face shaves to BBS AND 4 multi-pass head shaves to BBS on my first & only Rockwell blade, obtained from TryABlade.com) and after openly admitting "China" (albeit not too loudly), he added something about working on getting a patent for them. "Oh really?", I said with surprise — though I immediately internally pooh-poohed that boast. But take a look at Rockwell's website today and although no patent ever came about, it says:
    Take it with a grain of salt but that does suggest that Rockwell Razors DE blades are not just a rebrand but a custom spec private label.

    [EDIT] Using my 2nd ever Rockwell blade now in my Model T and my Merkur 39C for comparison, I have to say, I do like these blades. 15+hrs BBS the last few shaves (both razors), no weepers or blood spots at all. If I've had any alum sting, its been due to high # setting shave and experimentation, or something else - but not the blade. I'd say they're a fairly mild but entirely capable and durable blade. Low cost, too. So no complaints here.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2019
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  14. DanielB

    DanielB Member

    I'm happy to report that Rockwell (Grigori) has responded my post on KS and that it was a good thing that I brought these matters to their attention. PatrickA51, they're just sloppy and disorganized/working with a less-than-perfect platform, but don't worry, you will now be taken care of.

    [EDIT:] I knew Grigori had meant to include the MERRIER backers in the above but as he didn't specifically mention them by name, I asked him to confirm that they were included and also to confirm that it was a widespread Backerkit issue and not just a one-off error [with PatrickA51's order].

    Here's his reply:
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2019
  15. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    Good to know. I was under the impression they were using German blades. In this case, I'll consider Chinese blades an upgrade.

    I really don't like German or Egyptian blades, but tend to get along fine with Japanese, American, and Eastern European blades. The only Chinese blade I've knowingly tried are modrrn production Schick injector blades, and based on that, I'm convinced that the Chinese can make good blades if they want (or are paid) too.
     
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  16. PatrickA51

    PatrickA51 Well-Known Member

    Hi Dan, that's right - the more the merrier pledges will also need to be reconciled as it appears that those backers would have only received one set of 100 packs and blade safe as well. Will be keeping you guys updated once I'm ready to send those out. Thanks again Dan! Grigori

    As I said before I will believe it when I see it and have the products in a box that I have opened on my kitchen table. :angry017: :angry019: :confused: :shaver
     
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  17. PatrickA51

    PatrickA51 Well-Known Member

    I went the route I did because I was going to give the second razor to a friend that collects razors. But he only collects "Old Razors" not new ones like these. So instead I gave him a Straight razor that I found in a thrift store.
     
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  18. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    Hang on to it...eventually it will be an old razor. :)
     
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  19. Spang

    Spang Member

    As of tomorrow Rockwell has 28 days, that's four weeks, to fulfill their most recent promise of shipping all Model T pledges and pre-orders by the end of February. Over at the Model T KS site, there is a lot of recent grumbling from backers who have not received their pre-shipping address confirmation email, never mind their razor. And only a couple of recent posts from backers that have received razors, so it certainly doesn't appear that razors are yet shipping in numbers. In their last update, posted less than two weeks ago, Rockwell stated that they still had 8,000 razors to ship; and they made it sound like most of those were yet to be assembled. The usual apologists/shills on the KS comments board are trying to maintain the illusion, admonishing backers to hang in there, because their razor will ship by the end of February. Really, scout's honor this time, Rockwell promised.

    Somehow, I don't see that happening.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
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  20. Zed117

    Zed117 Well-Known Member

    I was really close to picking one of these up over a year ago, glad I passed.
     
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