Most likely you're visiting to check out Finer Recliner CURVE neck rests, side mount handlebar bag kits, embroidery, tail lights and other recumbent accessories.

I make neck rests mainly but not exclusively for recumbent trikes. Each is 2" thick memory foam fill on a gently curved PVC base. The covers are breathable and water-resistant. Embroidery options are nearly limitless and allow you to truly personalize this part of your trike.

If you're interested in more information about Finer Recliner accessories, pictures, prices and how to order, you can reach me at stevesussman@earthlink.net.

Thanks for visiting.

Monday, June 7, 2010

I knew this would happen sooner or later.  Well, the time's come.

Choosing fill material for the neck rests has been a journey beginning with open pore foam which some folks love and others think is too firm, then anti-microbial latex which is cushy but has inconsistent density...so inconsistent that my supplier will no longer cut it, to what I'm hoping will be the best fill by far - Sun-mate medical memory foam. That's the exciting news.

The not-so-exciting news is that there were really no good options between the latex and Sun-mate, and the Sun-mate is three times as expensive.  Couple this with the fact that my margins were so thin to begin with, if I simply absorb the added cost then there's no sense in continuing to make these.  I've tried keeping the price of the neck rests as low as possible and that's still my intention.

So, I hope you'll understand my raising the price on both the ROLL and CURVE models.  In the coming weeks I'm hoping to make a decision about having all the parts fabricated in a production shop.  If I can do it at a reasonable cost it will help me overcome my greatest challenge - providing high quality neck rests in a reasonable time.  I don't yet know what the impact would be on the price, but that'll be a major decider in whether I go ahead.

Thanks to all of you who've purchased my neck rests.  Since I'm really excited about this new fill material I'm hoping those of you who are considering a new neck rest will be enticed to try a CURVE or ROLL, even if it costs a small bit more.  Thanks.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

I realize I can't push against the natural forces of the universe...but in this case that bit of information doesn't really help.

Neck rest orders continue to back up.  The PVC I ordered came in...the wrong stuff.  And when they told me they re-ordered what I'd asked for it turns out their computer didn't place the order because it checked inventory, found the wrong stuff, thought it was the right stuff...and so it didn't order.  And its been 4 days since I was told my new foam cutter would be here in 2...still not here.

But...covers have been sewed and embroidered, and brackets cut, finished and painted.  And the great new medical quality foam is sitting here ready to be cut.  Now I just need base material and a foam cutter and I'm back in business.

I did get one neck rest mailed out yesterday and one special order for Jim Artis, soon to depart on his "Ride for the Republic" adventure on his newly designed and built quad, Fargo.  It's quite the amazing hpv - hopefully some pictures will follow as soon as his set-up is complete and he's ready to begin his journey.  I'm hoping our neck rest will comfort at least one small part of him as he rides.

Travis and I took advantage of yesterday's spectacular weather to do our post office and errand run in style.  He ran alongside and helped going up hill into the village, then grabbed a ride in the trailer all the way home, sitting with his head out the sun roof taking in the sights, ears flapping in the breeze and encouraging me to pedal faster.

Since I couldn't make neck rest bases I spent the afternoon hanging about 35' of gutter from the roof of the old stables, and then ran the downspout into a rain barrel I've made from a surplus 50 gallon plastic syrup drum.  I've wanted to catch water for a long time so we can use it to water our vegetable garden.  The barrel's about 30" off the ground and I've installed a spigot near the bottom that's connected to a hose.  The beautiful weather held until last night, then the rain started.  It rained and drizzled all night.  And today when Penni went out to pick some greens for breakfast, she returned saying the rain barrel was full!  I thought for sure she was wrong, but she wasn't.  In just a few short hours off a relatively short run of roof we collected more than 50 gallons of water.  Amazing.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

More life on a sine wave.  Zubin broke the news yesterday that she's leaving the island at the end of the month and moving back to San Francisco to be closer to her family.  That means 1/3 of this cottage industry is leaving...the third that makes the neck rest covers.  She has been a great friend, and while I absolutely wish her well, in addition to the beautiful covers she makes I'm sure gonna miss the long conversations at her front door about Buddhism and Sufis, the meaning of life, the gifts of kids and stupidity of adults, and a myriad of other things having nothing to do with sewing.  She's irreplaceable.  And I'm thinking I'd better learn to sew.

Today I picked up my first 3' X 7' slab of 2" memory foam.  It's such a totally different feel from the latex...I think users are gonna love it.  That it costs 3X as much is definitely going to have an effect, but I'm committed to filling the current orders at the current price even using the new foam.  

And there's another change in the shop.  Trying to muscle a sagging, twisting, squishy slab so large I can barely hold it through my band saw has been an adventure...at times a risky one.  I can't cut a straight line, the saw sucks the foam down into its innards, the blade binds and then snaps, the damn foam simply can't be cut because it's too big to fit between the blade and the neck of the bandsaw...it just goes on.  So...today I bit the bullet and bought this.  I'm hoping it's gonna change my life...or at least save me a ton on eliminating a lot of waste when I cut.  I sure hope this works because who's kidding who.  I have absolutely no nostalgic feelings recalling that horrible sucking sound the bandsaw makes when it shags a piece of foam and quickly sucks it down into the lower wheel, binding the blade.  And then there's that "Twoing!!!" when the blade snaps.  I think I'm gonna love this cutter.

The pvc should be at the supplier's tomorrow so I can pick that up on the way home and start cutting CURVEs.  I truly appreciate the gift of having consulting work right now, but at the same time it tests customers' patience as they wait for products.  Next step, a fabricator.