Sunday, October 5, 2008

Last couple of days were a mixed bag...

Gotta be honest, I did not feel real productive the last couple of days. I guess that I've been in a bit of a funk watching the guys up front at Bikes Trikes and Boards close up shop.

Ernie Lehman had Matt M. and I open Ernie's Bike shop up in 1991, the first real bicycle shop in Wooster. We were instantly successful, as we truly enjoyed helping folks, wrenching, and spreading the love of two wheeled fun. I stayed there until 1998, enough time to see our personal lives change through marriage, the birth of my frame building career, kids, lots of racing, and my health issues that finally convinced me to cut back a bit and focus on just two jobs; the fire department and building frames.

Eventually, the business was purchased by Zach and re-named to BTB and was responsible for moving the local community forward in both support of local racers and the commuting folk alike.

Tough economic times mean things must's just tough to watch the era pass on. I guess I'm just getting old and sappy, but I'll miss seeing a local shop spread the love in a space that holds so many good memories.

Ok, waxing poetic completed, let's get on to what's been shaking...

I come from a background unlike many builders today, in that the ability to create your own fixturing and tooling to facilitate bicycle fabrication was a must. Now, any Tom, Dick, or Larry can spend some coin and have a fully equipped shop with lots of fixtures that allow you to slap some tubes in and build. Unfortunately, they have no idea why they are engineered as they are or how the design enables the creation of the bicycle, and the machining fundamentals to create those pieces are never learned. So, I did take a bit of a "holier than thou" view of those that purchased fixtures, until now. I passed on some of my disc brake location fixtures to an aspiring builder and decided rather than take the time away from the build list to create new pieces, I'd give Don at Anvil a call and check out his wares. Definitely a good move.

I want to give a shout out to Don, as his work is fantastic, precise, and looks damn good.

For the time saved, the money was well justified. I've now replaced 5 pieces of shop crafted fixturing with Don's stuff and maybe someday, will be able to justify the expense of a new jig so I can keep more than one build running at a time :)

I had lots of material land this week...steel and Ti below...

Price tag for the two quantities.... 350 dollars worth of steel on the right and 1200 dollars of Ti on the left, looks quite disproportionate, doesn't it?

Most of the material will be for bars and forks and in that vein, I got started on the Ti Luvs for October. Kalten was good enough to take a quick movie of the parting process, basically, a very clean way to cut the center and grip sections of the Ti to the correct length before the next step in the process...

forgive the goofy dude in the vid, it was early in the morning after lots of sugar ;)

I had Kalten work on stripping the rear end of Mike's Fat so that I can fabricate in a brace and add a disc tab before shooting it all in Team Lavendar paint.

And the final bit of work for the week was the fabrication of two Ti rings...a special project.

Some decorative engraving still needs to be done to finish these up.

Got the last race in the Groovy Series today so I've got to get going to help set up, hope you are enjoying your weekend.




steve garro said...

just giving you a shout out! awesome work as always, rody, and some sweeeet beads on the front disc mt. thick to thin is always the hardest, baby! steve.

Anonymous said...

some bodies gotta keep those guys in business. but in all seriousness, i will come out and say i don't have the machine skills to get the job done on the tooling front. so i guess, i'm saving myself time and maybe money.