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Good decision Chuck and what a shame that some people are now panic buying everything else. Hope that things settle for you soon to allow you to focus on the aspects of the business that YOU want to focus on.

 

Having been the beneficiary of your tuition on block making many years ago, I fully support the release of a tutorial. You are absolutely correct in that it is not a difficult process - once you know how. A little practice and anyone can churn out their own “Chucky blocks” to their hearts content.

Edited by gjdale
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Just to add my two cents.  I've been using Chuck's blocks on my 1/96 Connie for a couple of years.  I just bought a 1/48 Fair American kit from a member here (for $100!) as my next project in six months or so.  I bought enough blocks for that, including sails and gun tackle.  No hoarding.

Edited by ah100m
typo
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2 hours ago, Chuck said:

Thanks....I am getting a bit of hate mail about it.  Jeez....

    That is very disappointing, but not surprising.  These are the same folks that give YOU a ration of crap because the post office is delivering their order too slow for their liking.  I am saddened by the decision but fully understand.  While I may no longer be able to get Syren-blocks, I very much appreciate all the good stuff I CAN get.  Keep up the great work, but make time for yourself.

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Congratulations both on the success you have had but also on being able to leverage that success to take your business in the direction you want rather than having to do what others say. One of the joys that comes with being your own boss is charting your own course and having a job or business that gives you joy rather than grief is priority number one. 

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15 hours ago, Chuck said:

When I get a bit of a break...I will create an in depth tutorial on how I make them.  Probably with videos etc.  

 

If there is interest, at some point I will possibly do a tech session at an NRG conference so folks can see in person each step of the process. 
 

 I am so done with churning out 30,000 rigging blocks by hand each month like its a Chinese sweat shop.

 

if you guys are willing to spend the up front costs for the tools then its a piece of cake to make these.  
 

All the guys in my local club have seen me mass produce these and have even given it a go.  Its actually fun for the first 1000 blocks but after making several million .....it gets a bit old.

 

Chuck

 Hi Chuck, I am coming into this hobby fairly new. While attempting to absorb as much information as possible, I am not familiar with block sizes in mm scale to actual model scales such as 1/50, 1/65 or so forth. I would like to purchase some of these before they are gone. Can you educate me on these? I am also very much interested in your proposed idea of teaching us how to make these! I would like to do this! Please keep me on your list for this and let me know what equipment I would need.

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9 hours ago, glbarlow said:

I understand and respect the decision. Still just sad to hear it. I guess Warner Blocks is also out of business so please do direct us to a new quality source. No hate, just despair 😂🤣

Glenn,  Chris Watton and Vanguard stock nice blocks, I think they're MK ones😉

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8 hours ago, Chuck Seiler said:

    That is very disappointing, but not surprising.  These are the same folks that give YOU a ration of crap because the post office is delivering their order too slow for their liking.  I am saddened by the decision but fully understand.  While I may no longer be able to get Syren-blocks, I very much appreciate all the good stuff I CAN get.  Keep up the great work, but make time for yourself.

You should never get any hate mail about this decision! I know how a hobby can grow into a business myself! I turned my woodworking hobby into a business making flag boxes, retirement plaques and other Navy plaque awards years ago while in the Navy! I loved it, but it was a stress at times. I even had some senior personnel telling me I shouldn't charge for my work emplying I should make them for free! I only used solid hand picked mahogany for everything. Brass items, klock kits, and engraved brass plates aren't cheap! So I completely understand where you are coming from!

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All the interest here in learning how to make blocks makes me think. My wife and I ran a diversified direct-market farm for a number of years (mostly produce, along with some fruit, dairy, eggs, etc.). We observed that the farmers who were most successful, financially speaking, were those who slowly transitioned to teaching others how to farm through books, articles, videos, hosting classes, etc. Farming alone wouldn't cut it (especially as our products were not subsidized by the government, unlike corn, soy, and sugar, but that's another thread). It's a similar mechanism to how the folks who really did well from gold rushes were the merchants selling supplies, not the miners themselves.

 

So I wonder, as you move forward, Chuck, whether you'd consider a similar pivot from making to teaching others how to make. Maybe if you train a whole generation of people in how you made/make your products, not only could more do it for themselves, but someone else might be better equipped to start a new business. And teaching may be a more reliable and relaxing form of retirement income than manufacturing. 

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I think this is a good move, Chuck.  I've never bought your blocks, but that's only because I haven't had a project that needed them in the time I've known about Syren Model Ship Company.  However, I'm in love with all of your model projects.  So concentrating on those sounds good to me!  And I hope you are having fun and that this is prosperous for you.  You deserve that for all the joy you bring to us.

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Thanks guys...It will take a few days to get all these orders out and then I have to start restocking.  I have 57 items currently out of stock just from the 4 hours of buying frenzy yesterday.   That will take some time as well.   I am not even sure where to begin.  

 

I dont mind teaching how to make the blocks but it is very expensive to make them.   If you dont have a Byrnes saw....mini drill press and Sherline mill you cant make them.   Then there will be the special cutting bits which could run you around $750.    In addition you would need to make a jig for every size block and use a very hard wood like boxwood.   Softer woods just crumble.

 

So this isnt for the faint of heart.  If someone out there however wants to make them for me......thousands of blocks per month,  I would be more than happy to help you get set up.   Then I would sell them in my store and you can have all the proceeds.  But this is quite the commitment.  So if you want a way to make a few bucks and want to learn, contact me via PM.   It would be even better if you were close by.  As time goes by you can also learn all of the other stuff and how to make them.   Then when I turn 60 you can have the business.   Sort of an apprentice in the meanwhile.  Because when I hit 60 and on my birthday....I am retiring all together.   I am not going to be mass producing stuff at that age.....so I will be looking for someone to hand off the business to.....free of charge.   I will just hand over the keys so-to-speak.  Just passing along the info and expertise.   But you have to buy your own equipment.  All of my projects will go to the NRG and they will get the rights to the plans.

 

I have been looking and asking and so far nobody is interested because its a ton of work.   But otherwise I will just create that tutorial in short while and hopefully someone will take up the challenge or at least make their own.  

 

I thought with all the ropewalks available folks would make their own rope too.  But most wont and prefer to just buy it already made.   That was why I came out with my ropewalk.  So few will make their own blocks and rope but at least the info will be out there.

 

 

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Seeing this after checking my PC this morning, has my head spinning.  I had been holding off from buying a small quantity of blocks in the spirit of 'waiting until you need them', and now it seems will be out of luck.  I'm in the unfortunate position of needing a very small quantity for upper deck armament after having used the Syren blocks for the main armament.  Somehow going to need to beg and steal.

 

Of course Chuck I respect your decision, I think there will be a big hole for those of us not in the position to buy the necessary wood cutting machinery, but want to use high quality aftermarket items.  Did you consider raising prices?  If you increased your prices (even tripling or quadrupling) - I would wager that you could probably make similar money with a lot less work.

 

Scratching my head now being half way through a build, and worried that I also don't have enough of the Syren line in either at this point...

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Rope is on the way....just need a few days to get some made.  I literally have nothing left at the moment. 

 

 

For blocks....I am sure some folks will be able to help you out.   The hoarding was ridiculous.   Someone should be able to spare some.   I even had guys buying 10 packages of sheet blocks because they said they sand off the nubs and use them as regular blocks.  That is crazy and way to expensive.  Its not what they were intended for.  So I now have to restock all of my sheet blocks and internally strapped blocks....folks said they will throw away the straps and build them like regular blocks.....please dont do this.   Buy your blocks from Vanguard or other sources instead. 

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Hi Chuck, sorry I missed the buying spree but am very interested in the in depth tutorial on how to make them. Am working on turning my mill and lathe in to CNC which I don't think will have much to do with making blocks but using you tutorial will help me in time to make them for Montague and give me a reason to buy the drill you mention. As far as the other tool's you mention I seem to all ready have those, so that part am all the ready in good shape. Look forward in hearing from you.  I will be sad and will miss your block's but your health is most important, of course who know's maybe you can get started on the capstain kit. LOL. Look forward to the tuition and will help those of us that have the tools to make the blocks a lot. Thanks.  Gary

Edited by garyshipwright
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I have a bunch of people on skype , email and via text and literally phone calls lobbying me right now to switch which product line to discontinue.    They are trying to convince me to drop my rope line instead of blocks.   These two product lines take about the same amount of time to produce so it really doesnt matter to me.   But these two days have been very stressful regardless.   Their argument is that making rope is much much easier to do on their own and less of an investment in tools etc.   Its easier to source as well ready made.   That they can more easily make great rope than buy the wood and tooling to make blocks.

 

I dont care really which product line gets dropped as long as it frees up enough time to do the other fun stuff.....but I am getting bombarded with requests.   Both take equal time to make....any thoughts?   I am scrambling to restock my rope right now so I need to know which way to go.   Hopefully it will encourage everyone to make more of their own rope either way.

 

There are so many ropewalks available.

 

Chuck

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Both of the products are so good it's hard to choose.

 

For my case I'd say it's best to discontinue the ropes since I don't need to invest in expensive equipment. I also bought the rope making machine from your store recently so I can try to make my own. 

 

Blocks seem much harder to make than rope for a newcomer to the hobby who doesn't want to spend a lot for equipment at one time 

Edited by WalrusGuy
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Hi Chuck,

Congratulations on a successful business and even more for realizing that it isn't worth your health.

 

I am all for dropping the rope line.  As said earlier, making rope is much easier and way less of an investment for the typical hobbiest.  Rope Rockets are available from you with tutorials that are already done.  This will save you the time and effort of creating videos and teaching block making.  Most hobbiests are not going to invest the kind of money required to produce blocks the way you do.  Mass producing vs. producing for yourself are two totally different approaches and cost.  I am a manufacturing engineer and have a pretty good idea of what it takes to do what you are doing and have done. Those who don't have that kind of background or the means and just want to purchase quality aftermarket items at least stand a chance of making their own rope... blocks not so much.

 

Just my opinion if you are taking votes, I vote for dropping the rope product line and keeping the blocks.  And yes I am being selfish as I already make my rope.  I just have not figured out a good way to make the "Chuckie blocks" on my own just for me without investing a good chuck of money.  No intensions of starting a business.

 

Best of luck in whatever you decide,

Tom

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 ....if someone wants to make either rope or blocks and have a successful place to sell them,  they can start immediately.  No license required.  The quality just needs to meet my standards before I do so.    I would be happy to sell rope for someone else who wants to make it.  Just remember though....you will be making a whole lot of it.    No flaking as it is tough to find reliable suppliers.  I have already started making the rope I need to restock.   .....20' per pack......a minimum of 40 packs per size/color at all times is the goal.....36 different although the larger sizes I dont need as many packages in stock.

 

I am currently at zero packages for most sizes and colors.   I need  about 1000 packages in about a week...LOL.  You can brand it as your own.  I will be your exclusive dealer.  I will buy them from you outright....cash money.   

 

Maybe I can get away with 500 a week to start. 

 

But seriously,   blocks or rope? I would really like to hear from my customers.  Let me know before I go into a frantic production mode over the next week with whichever product you would prefer me to keep.   Which would you prefer?   Stopping either one frees up enough time that this might actually be enjoyable to do.   Maybe I will be able to cut back to working just 6 days a week in stead of 7.  LOL.  But let me know and speak up now or I am just going to continue restocking rope and let blocks slip into the sunset.  I want to listen to my customers and I am quite ready to do whichever is preferred.  I will stop for lunch while you guys let me know.

 

Chuck

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I use your rope rocket and am happy with the rope I make (on the look out for the right glue for poly rope coils something comparable to watered down white glue on your cotton rope and the few things that I've tried seem to slightly discolor the poly line) so I'd vote for keeping the block line. Making blocks sounds too expensive for me to really do on my own for small personal runs but I have thought about getting parts for a second rope rocket so I can be lazy and keep one at 4 strands and one at 3 😁.

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Hum. Between your blocks Chuck and rope, rope I can make, blocks is a little on the hard side, and then add in the qualty that your are really makes me want the block's. No were on God's green earth can one get blocks as good as your's. I have a rope walk  to make my own so I would have to go with keep making those little jewel's and i would be happy. Thanks Chuck. 

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Both of your products are unequaled in quality from any other source, but if I have to give up one then I would vote to drop the rope and continue the blocks. As others have said we can all buy your rope rocket and learn to make our own rope or source it elsewhere albeit at lower quality. But there are no blocks that equal yours in quality or appearance. So keep the blocks and drop the rope. 

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