Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Quick update tonight for y'all...

I replaced the tool post on the lathe today to increase my efficiency and make my life a bit easier. The tool post uses wedge style tool holders allowing for quick exchanges dependant on the process needs.

The post comes in a generic form and various pieces need to be machined to fit each individual machine it will be mounted on.

So, I had some time in machining the base plate on the main post...

and in cutting an angled slot of greater dimensions to accept the parting tool I choose to use...

Not eye catching or very compelling reading, but necessary all the same ;)
Oh, I also pushed out another 10 bars... ready for paint!

On to other matters...
the mental toll of the build list, not being able to keep up with my personal timetable, and little time for actually living the last three years have been pushing me towards an inevitable decision to begin to streamline the business. I absolutely hate having to tell folks that the item they are interested in commissioning may take close to two years before I can begin to fabricate it and honestly, I can't cram anymore into a day.
So, I'll be thinking on this in the coming weeks. I'd be disappointed to discontinue any of the services/products that I offer as I really enjoy diverse styles and types of fabrication and restorations on the classic bikes. I don't know, just thinking out loud here. If anyone has an epiphany, pass it on :)
HOT ROD info...
I spoke with Bill yesterday and some cranks are ready to go to heat treatment with an anticipated turn around of 3 weeks...the time table sucks but that's the price for such a complex piece of equipment.
How complex? Well the spindles, chainring buck, pedal inserts, tri-coidal polygons with integrated pinch clamps all are CNC machined by outside contractors. Back in house, the arms are cut, ovalized, drilled for the chainring buck, milled for the tapered ends, and then mitered on both ends (one for the pedal and one for the crank spindle). The tapered plates are rough cut, stacked, tack welded, and then the whole pile machined into the final shape. Once all the pieces are at the party, it is all fit into a fixture and welded up. The fabricated cranks are then sent for heat treatment, black oxidization for the spindle, and then back to the shop for paint.
Once you start to look at all the process steps, you begin to appreciate why the start up time on a new product such as this is soooo long.
That's what I know for now...I've got a few projects sitting around waiting on cranks as well, so I can feel your pain, but I do have confidence that all the anguish on both ends will be worth it in the end.
Eric L...I've been holding off on your paint for the cranks but am at a point where I'm inclined to finish up the build, throw an XT crank on for now, and get it to you so it can be enjoyed. Let me know your thoughts, please.
I'm off to bed before it all starts again in a few short's to hoping that Goyo's brass cable tubing comes in before the end of the week (fingers crossed).


ADHD No12 said...

Hi Rody,

goodluck with streaming your company,..
I hope it turns out for the best, back havin a personal life and a shorter waiting list,..


Bas (who is also on that same waiting list ;) )

inclined said...

how many frame orders would it take to make it worth being your only job?
i'm sure chris's marketing brain could produce a lot of demand!
but then, maybe this is better for you as a hobby
thinking out loud - you do great work and it shows how much fun it is for you!
best to you in figuring it out!

CC (on the waiting list too)

Rody said...

Hmmm, hardly a hobby. I'm working 50 hours a week at the shop and 56 at the FD for the last 3 years.

The kicker to doing it as my only full time job is the health benefits and retirement...tough for any independant to pay for.

Not that I have not thought about it though :)