Yup, first shipment of the redesigned crowns arrived yesterday. Here's a bunch of pictures:
Overall I'm much happier with these than I was with the previous prototype. The fit of the blades in the socket is much better. It's just about perfect with no sanding at all. The steerer hole has a small burr on the top-side which prevented a steerer from fitting right in, but a couple turns with my reamer in there and it's a perfect fit. I thickened up the walls of the sockets a bit as I felt they were a little on the skimpy side before, and I thickened up the cross section of the horizontal members that connect the steerer to the blades. That was good because they're still under design spec, but I accounted for that in my design, so they still meet the factor of safety.
I guess that's one of the hassles of dealing with outsourced manufacturing, I need to modify my designs to accomodate their looser tolerances (but loose tolerances are what make it affordable).
Even despite beefing up a few areas, the crown is slightly lighter than the protoype designs due to the decreased overall height and width. It weighs in about 190 g which I feel is very appropriate for a mtb crown of this style and width. It's certainly much lighter than the old Long shen mtb crowns I used to use, and about half the weight of my hand made wide fork crowns. They're going to look great on my lugged 29'ers.
Billy, you'll have your fork pretty soon!