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Beedster

Careful with your fingers.....

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I should have posted this about a year ago, and to be honest it's with some trepidation that I do now. I'm not doing this to have a pop at the business or individual in question, which is why I've not put the title of the business in the thread title. However, it is honest albeit negative feedback about the quality of the product I bought and that business's response.

I'll keep it brief; October last year I bought a Super Twin from BF. Used if for the first time, and in moving it across the stage by lifting it putting my hand in the port - which seemed a reasonable and intuitive thing to do - put a very deep cut in my finger, blood everywhere the whole evening.

i contacted BF, and as those of you who read the recent BF thread may have picked up, I was not happy with the response, and perhaps some of my frustration about what I perceived as their complete disregard at the time for a customer who had just torn open his finger playing a brand new £1,100 cab came out in that thread. Having initially replied poorly, Alex eventually apologised, not for the cab but for his first response, putting that down to stress and various other issues. I decided not to post here or make a claim because frankly I didn't want to start a fight. However, I knew that it was the last time I would buy BF equipment.

But the bottom line, and the reason that I'm posting here, is that Alex said that the issue in question was normal, that is a sharp metal corner piece overhanging the port. He asked for me to send back the corner piece, not the cab, by which stage I had filed it to a less sharp condition so little point. 

I'm selling the cab today having not played it for the best part of a year, and having just taken it out of the cover, realised that even with my having filed it back, it's still quite sharp and I reckon I could easily cut my finger again if I did the same thing. Frankly, I was unable to play bass for about 10 days, or at least unable to do so without opening up the cut. It wasn't major, that is I didn't need to go to A&E (I ended up supergluing it after a few days). As I said to Alex at the time it was no biggy in the grand scheme of things, but it could have been had we had a paying gig during that time.

Alex indicated in his replies that he was happy with the cab design and QC. The photos are below, I'll leave you to decide, but if you cab has this design feature - and I suggest that you check - do not pick it up using the port. Alex indicated at the time that there would be a significant cost in having bespoke corner pieces manufactured to match the 9mm ply used in his cabs. Frankly, I think BF should foot this, as I've never come across this issue with Mesa, Ampeg, PJB or any other new cab I've purchased. 

Alex, i know we've exchanged words, please take this as constructive feedback. I imagine it would be easy for us to get into a war of words over this, is don;t see much point but I still have copies of all emails sent between us so can verify the above if needs be.

Anyway, as I said, I've posted this with some anxiety not wishing to renew any hostility, but I think that if I don't and someone else experiences this issue, I'll realise I should have done.

And if you look at the below and believe that I'm simply a whinger or whatever, feel free to say so :)

 

image.thumb.png.f75eed2f5857a91d6caed00524206d60.png

image.thumb.png.48532bfa960fea93e14f168e80ea3fec.png

 

 

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Ouch, that looks like poor attention to detail and final build quality. 

No cab should have dangerous sharp edges that could cause nasty cuts to users. 

This should be true of the entire build, both internal and external. 

Imagine if infection had got into your cut because you had to play the gig even with an injury. Could have had serious long-term repercussions :(

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That looks nasty, sharp edges on anything is/are a pet hate of mine, but finding that where you are certain to put your hand is bad - very bad.

Do you know if later cabs are better, has the metalwork been changed?

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I’ve never noticed any issues on the corners of mine, but then I always use the handles as I have issues with my hands anyway. Going to have to go and check now. Thanks for the heads up.

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13 minutes ago, gary mac said:

Hasn't all of this been detailed in the Barefaced pedal thread?

No, I said there I’d post in a new thread, hence this 

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That’s bad design initially and if they decided to stick with that bad design then at least round off the sharp edges, poor show top to bottom, that injury could have cost you your playing career. Bad form.

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If they ever sell these badly designed metal corners cabs to the USA, they should get ready to go to court and pay stupid amounts for voluntary injuries. Come on, it's a very easy fix. Just order the right ones and send them to each and every owner, first or last one. It would just mean that you recognise this very poor design. Why don't people think just a bit further...

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When I received my Super Twin I immediately noticed that the corners of those metal protectors are exposed within the mouth of the port. It’s not somewhere I would normally grab onto to lift or manoeuvre a cab, but I remember making a mental note to keep my fingers out of there!

When assessing product safety, two of the factors to consider are the maximum severity of injury, and the likelihood of the user spotting the hazard. I have just had a careful feel of these corners on my own cab. I reckon one of them is sharp enough to break the skin in the OP’s scenario, the other probably not. Neither has remnants of swarf. I also reckon I am in the minority in spotting the hazard.

The metal corners look like off-the-shelf parts. There would be a cost in either specifying better-fitting corners or modifying them to suit. In the end it is a commercial decision for Barefaced, balancing increased manufacturing cost against the impact of claims for personal injury.

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Just returned from the garage having blown the dust off my Big Twin II.

The part of the corner edge that is most prominent is like yours, i.e. facing downwards, but doesn't protrude quite as far. Whilst it's not sharp, I can see how an injury might occur if handled without being aware of it. The other edge sits back from the inner side of the port by about as much as the other one protrudes. Might break out the Dremel next week.

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22 minutes ago, JapanAxe said:

When I received my Super Twin I immediately noticed that the corners of those metal protectors are exposed within the mouth of the port. It’s not somewhere I would normally grab onto to lift or manoeuvre a cab, but I remember making a mental note to keep my fingers out of there!

When assessing product safety, two of the factors to consider are the maximum severity of injury, and the likelihood of the user spotting the hazard. I have just had a careful feel of these corners on my own cab. I reckon one of them is sharp enough to break the skin in the OP’s scenario, the other probably not. Neither has remnants of swarf. I also reckon I am in the minority in spotting the hazard.

The metal corners look like off-the-shelf parts. There would be a cost in either specifying better-fitting corners or modifying them to suit. In the end it is a commercial decision for Barefaced, balancing increased manufacturing cost against the impact of claims for personal injury.

Thanks JA

My initial email to BF was to suggest that they note this as a possible QC issue, that is, QC had failed, but Alex indicated he was already aware of the protruding edge issue as per the OP. As was the case with yours, one of mine was OK, overlapping by a few mm. The other - the one I was unfortunate enough to push my finger against - was not only more than a few mm out but also much sharper. 

You're spot on re the balancing required, Alex said he'd sold cabs for 10 years with these exposed corner pieces, and I was the only person who'd cut my finger open.

image.thumb.png.3fa4833d272db6431d7408e8f774a917.png

Is the risk high? No, Could it happen again? Yes. Should he care? Yes. He said in a thread on here the other day that BF is not all about money, well then why didn't he bother to spend a few extra quid to prevent this problem from happening. Let's face it, it's not the first time that the issue of cheap components and finishing has been raised with this very expensive brand, although possibly the first that resulted in injury. 

Re law, our drummer was furious and wanted to put me in touch with his solicitor about it (although I already have a PI solicitor from a bike accident a few years back). Perhaps I should simply have done that, the whole band saw it happen after all. 

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2 minutes ago, Beedster said:

Thanks JA

My initial email to BF was to suggest that they note this as a possible QC issue, that is, QC had failed, but Alex indicated he was already aware of the protruding edge issue as per the OP. As was the case with yours, one of mine was OK, overlapping by a few mm. The other - the one I was unfortunate enough to push my finger against - was not only more than a few mm out but also much sharper. 

You're spot on re the balancing required, Alex said he'd sold cabs for 10 years with these exposed corner pieces, and I was the only person who'd cut my finger open.

image.thumb.png.3fa4833d272db6431d7408e8f774a917.png

Is the risk high? No, Could it happen again? Yes. Should he care? Yes. He said in a thread on here the other day that BF is not all about money, well then why didn't he bother to spend a few extra quid to prevent this problem from happening. Let's face it, it's not the first time that the issue of cheap components and finishing has been raised with this very expensive brand, although possibly the first that resulted in injury. 

Re law, our drummer was furious and wanted to put me in touch with his solicitor about it (although I already have a PI solicitor from a bike accident a few years back). Perhaps I should simply have done that, the whole band saw it happen after all. 

Not only is that response surprising, from a business standpoint, it's utterly stupid. It's an admission of liability.

By all means save a few quid if you want, but it would take a couple of minutes on each corner to rectify the issue before potentially exposing customers to injury.

If it was a toy, Trading Standards would be all over it like a rash. Potentially, they still could be.

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3 minutes ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

Just returned from the garage having blown the dust off my Big Twin II.

The part of the corner edge that is most prominent is like yours, i.e. facing downwards, but doesn't protrude quite as far. Whilst it's not sharp, I can see how an injury might occur if handled without being aware of it. The other edge sits back from the inner side of the port by about as much as the other one protrudes. Might break out the Dremel next week.

I think they're all going to be there or thereabouts Warren, I was unlucky for sure, but that's what manufacturing QC is for. I shouldn't pay £1,149 for a cab that stops me playing bass :(

You can see in the photo os the second post where I rounded off the corner after the cut occurred. The corner beforehand was more like that at the bottom of the port (2nd photo first post) which was more a sharp square, but also sticking out several mm, hence the issue. 

OK, as per Japan Axe's comment, perhaps it would have been sensible to check, but should I have needed to with an £1,100 cab? 

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you can get cabinet corners that only protrude slightly on the front edge. I got something from ebay for something I was working on that wasn't anywhere near as far forward than that.

I wouldn't want anything protruding that much, not because I would be worried about my fingers, just because I am not that tidy and that could catch on stuff.

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1 minute ago, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

Not only is that response surprising, from a business standpoint, it's utterly stupid. It's an admission of liability.

By all means save a few quid if you want, but it would take a couple of minutes on each corner to rectify the issue before potentially exposing customers to injury.

If it was a toy, Trading Standards would be all over it like a rash. Potentially, they still could be.

To be honest, that was the advice I was given at the time. Do I want to instruct an aggressive PI lawyer over this? No, it was minor, despite the fact I would have won damages. Should BF have said "Chris, now this has happened, we will review our selection of corner pieces and QC". Yes. 

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Unrelated to the manufacturer in question, but injuries similar to the one I suffered here can easily be caused by a hidden edge or point when caught by a wedding ring. I no longer wear jewellery of any kind as a result of this.

8138D7BC-EDF5-4153-A5D2-199440C15EFD.jpeg

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Just now, hiram.k.hackenbacker said:

Unrelated to the manufacturer in question, but injuries similar to the one I suffered here can easily be caused by a hidden edge or point when caught by a wedding ring. I no longer wear jewellery of any kind as a result of this.

8138D7BC-EDF5-4153-A5D2-199440C15EFD.jpeg

Ah man, I was just about to have my tea as well :(

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There are lots of things around to protect consumers - and especially if we are talking physical safety.

It's worth looking up the Consumer Protection Act 1987 (might have been updated since then) and the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 and probably the current Sale of Goods Act .

The Consumer Protection Act uses both Civil and Criminal law and applies to producers, importers and suppliers - and sometimes all of them!

I don't know the facts and so can't comment on this particular case.  But if what you say is correct, then they certainly seem to be treading a bit of a perilous path if they know it can cause injury and they know that it has caused injury and yet don't appear to be planning or attempting to do anything about it.   Of course, unbeknown to any of us, they may be doing just that...  

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39 minutes ago, Andyjr1515 said:

There are lots of things around to protect consumers - and especially if we are talking physical safety.

It's worth looking up the Consumer Protection Act 1987 (might have been updated since then) and the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 and probably the current Sale of Goods Act .

The Consumer Protection Act uses both Civil and Criminal law and applies to producers, importers and suppliers - and sometimes all of them!

I don't know the facts and so can't comment on this particular case.  But if what you say is correct, then they certainly seem to be treading a bit of a perilous path if they know it can cause injury and they know that it has caused injury and yet don't appear to be planning or attempting to do anything about it.   Of course, unbeknown to any of us, they may be doing just that...  

Agreed, I hope they also replace those on existing cabs that might be risky 

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3 minutes ago, Beedster said:

Agreed, I hope they also replace those on existing cabs that might be risky 

Which is of course what he should have done for me this time last year

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We've been using these metal corners since 2009, so all but the first few Barefaced cabs have them. It's a stamped steel nickel plated corner, supplied by Adam Hall. There is a slight overlap at the port inside edge because of the thinner ply we use, as you can see in the photos. All the edges on the corners should have a very slightly rounded edge to make them safe, as is normal with stamped steel parts that are exposed to people - you don't want people getting cut, as happened here!

What I tried to say to Chris at the time, but didn't explain very well, was that I believe this is a freak accident caused by a very rare fault on that one metal corner that was supplied to us. It was not Chris's fault that he picked the cab up by that point - we do the same all the time here, the front ports are a handy place to grab the cabs when moving them.

In the factory those corners all sit loose in a plastic bin (they come in larger cardboard boxes and we decant them), we grab a handful of them, and then fit them in a batch, front corners (two sided), then rear corners (three sided). We don't wear gloves and and grabbing 16 or 20 corners does require you to grasp the handful fairly hard - being pretty thick steel they're not light in multiples. We then push pretty hard on those front corners to make sure they're on all the way and properly aligned, so there's quite a lot of manual handling with bare hands. I have no record of anyone in the factory coming across a corner with a sharp edge and no other customers have ever told us that the inner edge on the corner has cut or scratched them. Yes, because of the slight overlap it'll make an impression on your skin but it shouldn't hurt anyone.

I'm very sorry that Chris was hurt in this way but I do not believe it is down to a design or QC fail on our part - this is the first recorded example of such an incident with a Barefaced cab and it happened after over 10 years of using the exact same corners from the same supplier and fitting them to the same thickness plywood and port designs that we've been using over that time period. I believe it is a freak accident. I wish Chris has not said that it was "no biggy" at the time and told me how serious it was - the initial email about it was worded like "cab was awesome on its first gig but I'm just letting you know I slightly hurt myself so you might want to look into your QC".

As I haven't yet seen the faulty corner I can only hazard a guess at the manufacturing fault - I think the most likely thing is that when stamped some swarf was left on the edge, and then that wasn't knocked off during the pre-plating prep work, and then the plating has built up on the swarf making the edge worse. I did ask Chris to let us send him a replacement and him send the bad one back, so we could send it onto our supplier. I don't think filing it back is a good solution because it's a nickel plated corner, so doing so will just expose the layer of nickel which is plating the steel and that could form another sharp edge.

I'd estimate that we've fitted somewhere in the region of 20,000 - 30,000 of these corners to our cabs and this is the first time we've heard of someone being injured by a corner. Obviously I'm concerned that others may have had problems and not let me know but generally because we sell direct we get a lot of feedback, so I'd hope anyone else would have contacted me. I'll continue to hope that it's a freak accident but maybe others will now speak up? But again, sorry this happened to you Chris and I'm sorry that you weren't happy with how I dealt with it.  I'd still like to get that bad corner back - if nothing else, if you've filed off the sharp edge then the corner is likely to rust, which could cause further problems as well as look bad.

 

 

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I find this post a little bit worrying. We don’t live in a overly litigious country quite yet, but it seems that the OP is floating the idea that barefaced has been massively negligent in some way. 
 

Where does this end, what’s the end point? Do we start suing Valve head makers for putting backs out? do we start going after Ernie Ball because when I changed my strings the wire poked me and drew blood? 

I think it’s a slippery slope.

If the cab had electrocuted you simply by plugging in, fair play, go after them.  If you lifted it maybe where it shouldn’t have...then there is a design flaw that probably needs looking at but not to the point of veiled potential legal action.

Apologies if I’m coming across as too dismissive. I’m just putting myself in your position and wondering how I would react. 

 


 

 

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Not sure the OP suggested taking any litigation, it was other contributors to the thread who brought the subject up. The OP's initial post stated the facts and said he was posting  to warn others and as constructive feedback to Alex and that he did not want to get into a war of words.

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 Sorry, just a correction to my above post, Chris did say he “cut his finger quite badly” in his first email, he signed off that email “All in all, a stunning cab though, many many thanks”. So he did make clear it was quite bad but the general tone was positive.

I responded thus: “Glad the cab performed well! That's very odd about the corner - it isn't something we check, they should be safe for installation with no sharp edges when we receive them. It's the first I've heard of this happening in a few thousand cabs. How's your finger now?”

Obviously I should have said “sorry” too! My response was quite a few days after his email was sent so the “how’s your finger?” wasn’t flippant, it was a genuine “how’s it healed?” question. As a mountain biker I’m forever injuring myself so I’m used to the timelines on all manner of grazes, scratches and deeper cuts.

And the same day Chris replied, “thanks for getting back. Finger pretty much healed, no biggy.”

As is probably clear from my general approach with Barefaced, I really don’t like inaccuracy or untruths, so I thought I should add that in as my prior post wasn’t quite right.

On another note, to provide some perspective, I don’t have a corner to hand to measure, but it’s thick steel, thicker than most stamped steel cutlery handles. I’m not sure of the exact radius on the actual edges but everything is rounded off - for example it’s thicker and more rounded than a typical steel ruler, a few times as thick and with much rounder edges. That’s why I keep saying that it isn’t a design fault to have that overlap, it’s not an unsafe feature. It’s very frustrating that this one bad corner ended up on a cab and hurt someone but as I’ve said a few times, I really do believe it’s a very low probability issue.

When Chris brought it up last year I spoke to the factory team and they said they’d never noticed a sharp corner but they’d look out for them. I checked again with them this week and they said that it’s not something they come across, despite all the manual handling of the corners.

I need a bit of a break from all this, it is Saturday evening after all, so I’ll come back on Monday to see what everyone says. Please be kind whilst I’m away.

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