We have been asked to quote wood tops for picnic coolers. Both solid wood and laminated. The type of plastic cooler everyone has. Flip up lid with food, beverage, and lots of ice on the inside. Seems like a bad idea to me. Wet on one side and sun beating on the other side not to mention the weight. What do you think. I don't want the liability of 1000 failed tops.
If your talking about the Pintrest type flim flam coolers that everyone is making now, wood box, on legs, plastic cooler inside, hinged lid, and a drain,.... First I dont know how you'd be competitive as they are sold by every part time garage shop in the country.
Either way, Id just put it in your contract that you are supplying the spec'd product and any and all warranty and failure is (your customers) responsibility.
A waiver of liability contract can be broken by almost any lawyer. At least to some percentage of responsibility. Can't count how many inventors showed up at my door, working on the next millionaire project. Funny how they all asked for free or deeply discounted finished samples at the start. Even had a guy show up asking for wood one-hitter boxes. Hilarious how he was 25 years ahead of his time! Only do the sample for money up front. Might be that a laminated bamboo product could work, but would never do a solid wood lid. A cooler gets used as a ladder and seat more than a cooler. Americans aren't getting any smaller!
I get asked often to do something like this, everything from toilet seats to urns matching loved pets. most all are not anywhere near ready, no testing no prototypes no plans, just wanting me to do the work and then when i ask for upfront prototype fees i get the classic.
" We gonna make a lot of money, So do this one (Cheap to free) and i will get all of the orders to you at full price", My response is "I'll do the first one at full price and discount the future orders" generally they are out the door in minutes. recently a guy was doing statues (9"- 12 " tall) of Nascar drivers and was shocked i wanted 10.00 a piece based on 200 minimum for the wood bases. long gone quickly !!
I can't remember how many times I've been approached to participate in some nebulous mass production scheme. Most were so ill concieved that I turned them down immediately.
One guy had a container full of VG fir hatch covers from World War 2 liberty ships. He thought they would make great coffee tables that WW2 veterans and history buffs would snap up. He wanted me to design, build, and finish several prototypes, after which he would begin his not yet concieved marketing plan.
When I told him how much these prototypes would cost, he bailed. He didn't even bother to pick up the "historic and valuable" hatch cover that he brought to show me. It's still leaning against a wall in my storage unit.
Yup, sounds like a bad idea to me too. Wood isn't really the choice of material you should go for especially when the storage area is cold and it goes against extreme heat on the outside. Try advising the client and give possible alternatives that are more workable. They would listen to you even if they are only after looks as opposed to practicality.
If your gut is telling you that it's too much work going into it, I think you'd be right. Listening to the requirements of this is asking for trouble I think. I am pretty sure that those storage coolers are going to be falling apart really quickly unless you can find some r really amazing water-proofing idea to get all of your material protected. It makes you think about those old-time buckets and how they were made to be able to hold water without disintegrating eventually...
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