Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last day in the shop of 08

...well, kinda in the shop.

We got hammered by cold weather, lots of snow, and sustained 30mph winds so it was pretty miserable in the shop today, just could not get warm.

I threw Steven's project into the fixture to get some measurements. This is a Kelly front triangle that Steven wants built into a potential 650b.
I worked for about an hour in my down puffy coat before I decided I wasn't going to be effective at all and headed home to do some computer work.

Goyo asked for a paint theme to honor their annual bicycle festival, the Terry Larrazabal Bike Festival, in the Philippines...
In that vein, I created a panel and cog mask to run through the vinyl is a shot of the sprocket design I mocked up to match the festival logo.
The paint will use yellow for the panels, metallic silver for the cogs, and midnight metallic blue for the base color...should give a nice sharp contrast that really flows together.
Remember when I walked into the paint fixture in the dark...this was the result one day later.

Christi thinks I look like Mimi from the Drew Carey show... now it's got some cool yellow color added in too.
Good news...for those of you who have been waiting, I finally got the 2009 OEM pricing from Fox for shocks used on complete builds. So, now if y'all are looking for a Fox, White, Maverick or Rock Shox for for your new Groovy, I can hook you up for a good price.
til tomorrow,

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Finishing up some projects...and a ride today!

Just a quick post for tonight...gotta run into the FD to work the night shift.

I finished fabrication on Goyo's frame...had the seatstay bridge, all the braze ons and the seat tube to ream.

It's very important to insure that you vent the bridge before welding or the internal gas pressure will blow a hole in your hard work; here I drilled each stay inside where the bridge will cover.
Checking the fit of the oval bridge...

Tacking it in place. I do not use any filler when I tack. This pulls a bit of material from each piece, undercutting it slightly, but when I go back and run my bead the filler will fill and valley out the joint, leaving it consistent and strong.

All welded in...
Next up I silvered in the dropouts, bottle bosses, seat pinch bolt, and cable guides. I also silvered the stem and bar/stem combos while the torch was hot. Here they are, soaking off their crystal like flux.
And finally the finished fabrication. This frame turned out very nice...all the welding went butter smooth, the new custom stays that Dedda made for me are sweet, and I'm stoked to get it's sexy metal body into the paint booth to bring it to life. Goyo, this is going to be one sweet ride!

It was 1600 hours and the sun would be setting shortly. With the weather looking like snow the next few days, Kalten and I decided to run out to the Knob for a quick lap with the dog. It was my first ride in about a month, a bit muddy but lots of fun. Thanks Rob for snapping the shot ;)

Sun setting over the valley, silos in the distance

See y'all tomorrow,

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Combo and stem day...

I grabbed 12 hours of vacation from the fire department today and spent the day in the shop trying to push out some more items before the end of the year.

Today I worked on some bar stem combos, a stem and a Ti shim for Melvins old school Ti bar for his WTB Phoenix.

I figured a Ti bar needs a Ti shim to match, so I machined up one to fit the wide clamp of Melvins vintage Synchros. I started out with some 25.4 x .058 tubing that I bored out a bit and then parted off in the appropriate width.

I then split it, rounded and chamfered the edges, and polished it up...

here's a shot of my sister's favorite towel backdrop with one shim polished, one not ;)

I then moved on to Melvins bar stem combo with old school double expander...mitered up and ready to be sanded and welded. The double quill is fun to machine, but I always hate making the diagonal slits cause the piece is tough to fixture when the cuts involve 90% of the surface area.

End of the day, got two combos made up and one stem almost to the FD for the night and back to the shop in the am...

See you in the morning :)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Grandeur blue for Christmas...

Joe B was planning on stopping by to pick up his lugged frame, so I fit in some early morning and late night work around Christmas day.

Last we left off, his frame and fork were sprayed up in primer awaiting the birth of character with some color, so I sanded it down a bit and got to work. I'm going to be using a Radiance multi coat color, Grandeur Blue, that requires very even application or there will be variation in the gradients of blue on the tubes.

First three coats were with a metallic sterling silver are laid down nice and even...

Flash baked for 15 minutes between coats...
Then six even coats of blue are systematically laid down, the color getting darker and deeper with each successive layer until you reach the shade desired.
Once the color is down, the first layer of clear is applied, really bringing out the depth of finish.
The first sanding of the clear is done VERY carefully; if you sand through to the color it can not be touched up as the final shade is achieved after multiple coats, so the whole shebang would need to be stripped and re-shot. This is amplified with the sharp edges of the lugs, as it does not take much pressure or sanding to cut through the microscopic layers of paint.
Once sanded the decals are is a shot of a standard vinyl decal and transfer sheet being laid down.
Once down on the frame, the decal is debased with a plastic applicator and then the transfer sheet carefully removed.
Three more coats of clear/sanding/baking follow...
The final product...
While I was waiting on the frame to flash out in the bake box, I built up Eric's wheels and the wheels for one of the show bikes...
XTR centerlock's with DT Comp spokes and ZTR tubeless rims...
King Navy blue disc hubs with DT swiss Comps and ZTR rims...

Finally, I started off the day with a was 0430 and I walked into the paint booth with all the lights off this morning and BANG, I ran straight into the ceiling mounted paint fixture, knocked me to the floor!
I did not realize I was too beat up until I came home and the kids said there was blood all over me...cut my ear and my eye and will be sporting a bit of a bruise :) ... ah, the dangers of of the bicycle industry.
See y'all tomorrow,

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Bikes for the Holidays...

Merry Christmas all,

Thought I'd post up a quickly as I wait for the family to be ready to travel for the family get together.

Christmas Eve I was in the shop until 1830 working on finishing two special projects.

Chris stopped by so that we could assemble and test ride his travel single rise Luv, Paul levers, leather wrapped grips, Brooks saddle, Phil hubs, White Industry dual eno freewheel, and a mix of early 80's Campy brakes and cranks.

The old kit through some bumps in the road getting it all to flow together well...particularly the chainline on the old track crank with the dual freewheel, but here she is in all her urban attack glory.
A shot of the dual Eno for some gear range versatility...

Chris loaded her up and is planning on riding on Christmas day, hope he stays warm :)
The other project is one that I've been working on in bits and pieces secretively for Kaltens gift. He's had a desire to play with trials, so I built up a replica of my old GT trials bike.

I powder coated the bash guard this morning, so now she is all done and ready for some bouncy action.
I think he likes it ;)

I'll be taking today off, back at it Friday.
Catch y'all on the flip side,

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

BLINGY BLING...put on your cool glasses folks!

I did more painting today, but as I've inundated you with finish pics of late, I thought I'd show you what I did in the interim times when the parts were baking off.

I mocked up Eric's frame, fork, and stem for you to check get it ready, I rubbed down the frame with a high finish rubbing cream, applied polish, tapped all the bottle bosses, rack braze ons, pinch bolts, and derailleur hanger, and applied the headbadge.

Eric's box of goodies...lots of bling going on this bike. Should be some high quality parts to last a long time on the trail with potential for big smiles :)

Some of the coolest parts are those that go right into the frame; the bottom bracket and the head set.
Here's a shot of the new King bottom bracket for thru-axle two piece cranks. As expected, it is beautifully constructed with the same high performance bearings as found in their headsets and hubs.

Eric is also throwing on a Cane Creek 110 headset, their high end offering...pretty sweet stuff.

Installed and posing for the bike porn shot ;)

Starting early in the morning so that I can finish the last coat of clear for Chris's frame and get that bad boy built up. I'm hoping to get out of the shop by 1800 so I can spend the evening with the family. Best wishes to all of you this Christmas...I hope you all are able to give of yourself to someone special.

Monday, December 22, 2008

sand and spray...not tropical!

It is frickin coooold today...5 degrees Fahrenheit when I got to the shop with 28mph winds.

It took me 20 minutes to get into the shop as the locks were frozen and would not open. I broke out the portable torch from the car (don't ask...there is way too much stuff in the Volvo!), heated up the cylinders, said a little prayer through my shivering lips and finally the door was open.

Knowing that I needed to paint today, it took a bit to get the shop temp up to where at least the solvents were stable enough to anticipate how they would flow out and evaporate before I could start.

I sprayed up Eric's final clear and then got to work on the rear end to Chris's SS coupled bike.

Everything went smoothly despite the environmental challenge of temperature. I threw together a little clip for y'all tonight to mix things up a bit.

Lots of deliveries today...Ti for bars, Chromo for bars and forks, and I had 12 troy ounces of silver land, so I should be stocked up for a few months.

Tomorrow I'll finish Goyo's frame fabrication and Chris's clear.



Sunday, December 21, 2008

Pretty slow day...

Hey folks,

Not much to report on the frame building front...worked on Eric's clear yesterday and decided to do one more coat tomorrow.

Had Doug from Canton stop by on his way back from Roll, a high end shop in Columbus, to say hello. It's nice to have a few folks come by every now and then, now that the retail shop up front is gone and it's winter, the visitors have dwindled off and it makes for looong lonely days.

Today I doing time at the FD and things are slow. It's days like these that it feels more like solitary confinement.

I did do some significant building today though...with Christmas looming just around the corner, one of the guys brought in some toys to assemble. Pleading ignorance in mechanical aptitude, he lured me into taking on the projects.
Gregs garage...a tri level garage with working elevator, two part slide and heli pad, oh yeah!

Project two... a nightmarish grocery store
Here Greg is trying to count the number of parts in the box :)
...and two hours later (yep, no kidding, it totally sucked!)

I learned two things working on these today;

First, I no longer have the patience for the bull shit that comes with assembling small childrens toys manufactured in a large factory, packaged in 150 pieces, with little to no instructions. Forget the whole, "I'm a man, I don't need instructions"...after assembling and then having to take it apart to move a piece for the third time, I was providing more entertainment than efficiently completing the project.

Second, building a frame is way easier ;) ... if you can assemble this "grocery store", you can build a frame!

Add in a chorus of scathing jeers and laughter, and you can see how my day is progressing ;)
see y'all tomorrow,

Thursday, December 18, 2008

How old is this screw?

Yep, we're going to play an impromptu game show, but it's going to have to wait until we look at some pics of Eric's bike in progress...

Last night, I threw down the first coat of I spent some time sanding down the clear, playing with the airbrush cleaning up some of the edges of the masking, applying decals and shooting it again.

Here's a front shot of the bike with decals on, waiting for clear...

Booty shot...
I mentioned yesterday that I sprayed up the Ho fork to match with a long tapering panel on each leg, here she is...

Kalten was in the shop tonight cutting up Luv Handle stock so he snapped a few pics of me in the booth...
Everything went into the bake box and will be ready to sand/spray/bake/repeat two more times before it gets the final rub down.
Now for the exciting part of the evening...HOW OLD IS THIS SCREW?
Yes, just like counting the rings of a downed tree to tell it's age, so to can you guesstimate the years of a paint screw. The poor screws get threaded endlessly into frames as they move in and out of the booth, protecting threads, and never causing any issue. So now, here is it's due reward...5 seconds in the spotlight!
So, how many frames has this paint screw seen? Can you count the colorful "rings"?
And yes, I did wash my hands (twice) before taking this is the perpetual state of wear on the digits of a builder ;)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Eric's paint taking shape...

Ok, a partial post tonight as I'm pretty tired and have got lots to do before I close down for the night, but I wanted to show some pics of Eric's frame in the paint process.

As a quick refresher, Eric's bike is a super duper all rounder, with all the accoutrement's to allow for around the world passage and continued function despite mechanicals or available parts...disc brakes, canti brakes, EBB, geared vertical drops, high bottle mount for a battery pack for lights, regular bottle mounts, custom rack, matching stem and fork, Ti bar, and a bottle opener for those warm nights in the coastal Mexican bar.

To provide a finish that was durable and worthy of all this potential action, I decided to lay down a powder primer and vanilla cream first coat and then layer on the wet paint from there.

Eric's tastes definitely lean toward the vintage /classics, but he also wanted some modern flair in the paint scheme. Worst of all, he gave me artistic license to come up with the final product...sometimes I feel like folks give me just enough rope to hang myself with if they don't like it ;)

So, I masked the frame up two times and ripped everything back off as the design just was not flowing for me. Third times a charm, right? I decided to run a parallel tapering panel design on the tops and bottoms of the tubes to give the lines a smooth balanced look while breaking up the color in a pleasing fashion. The dark green and vanilla cream color contrast gives that classic feel while the design is a bit of a modern take on the old school panel design.

To get started, the whole frame gets sanded down with 600 grit paper to allow for a smooth base and better mechanical adhesion. In the pic below, you can see the difference in the sanded area (the downtube) and the unsanded (bottom bracket).

Next, the masking goes on...lots of time and meticulous work.

All masked off and ready for paint, the frame get blown off and wiped down again.

Normally, I'd spray the frame in the original base color to seal down the mask and prevent any leakage under the tape onto the negative aspect panels. With powder, I can't do this, so there will be some areas that I'll need to go back over with the airbrush to clean up the edges.
The dark green is down...peeling off the masking. This is a nice tight edge, no clean up here :)

The aftermath...
A quick shot of the frame with the first coat of clear down.

The fork and the stem carry over the design, so that the entire bike will visually flow and look like a complete designed package rather than a group of assembled parts.
Next day I'll sand the clear, airbrush up the edges of the cream panels where there was some leakage, and then apply decals. The bike will look a lot different the next time you see it.
Hope you like it so far Eric...if not, we can always respray it once this one has traveled all over and is all beaten down ;)