Sunday, February 24, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
I'm busting through the wall and expanding the shop to add a proper paint booth and prep area.
I've been spraying in a "temporary booth" for far too long. With a number of restorations coming up and my desire to have better working space, the time is now. Hate to have the lost build time, but these improvements will definately allow me to produce an even higher quality finish on my products.
The building I adjoin was built in the late 1800's and I had quite a mess to clean up before I could begin constructions. Mostly, I had to remove all the wiring that was in the way...dead end runs, conduit that went every where, and lots of old fixtures that have not worked in years.
The biggest mess was tracing everything back and removing it all from the panels. Took a whole day just to do that. Actually got quite a surprise when I tried to open a secondary remote panel. The cover would not come off...what's going on? Double checked that I did not leave any screws in place (don't laugh, it happens :) ), looked for hinges or set clips...none. So, all that was left was brute force. I pulled hard on the cover plate and it came free. Only then did I realize what was holding it. An improperly installed wire had literally welded it's self to the panel cover, holding it in place. So glad I installed an all new panel and service for the shop...this old stuff is scary.
The new space will hold the relocated compressor, a 10x12 paint booth, and a separate room for the blast cabinet and bake box.
The new booth will be OSHA and NFPA 33 approved, having explosion proof lights and fans. It will be set up with cross ventilation using a positive pressure intake fan and a filtered exhaust fan. I'm also installing a custom air brush station...should be pretty sweet.
The work is going slowly as I'm doing it all myself. Should be done by next week. Here are some pics of the stuff so far.
Looking across the newly added area.
Take care all,
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Spent the day unpacking and answering a lot of post show emails. I received a fair bit of interest and the build list is swelling. Kind of excited to be able to share my love of bikes with others but also hesitant about taking on too much as I want each project to manifest my absolute best effort possible.
Anyhoo, I took some pics of a few of the show frames and bars that are still available. I learned an important lesson...have credit card ability available at the next show. Had I done so, all the bikes would have new homes and I would not have needed two sherpas and a Llama to lug stuff through the airport :)
If you are considering a custom bike from me, take a hard look at what is available. This is your chance to get a beautiful frameset without the 6-8 month wait.
- 16" center to center seat tube length for greater standover than the old school rides
- 71/72 head tube to seat tube angles
- suspension corrected Ho Down fork for 63mm with canti studs
- Custom Modular drop outs for use with SS or geared dropouts
- custom internal cable routing on the down tube and top tube
- 68mm Paragon bottom bracket shell
- Custom single bend non-tapering stays
- Custom head badge
- 27.2 mm seat tube with front pinch clamp
- Striking rasta splatter paint with 3 sanded layers of clear.
- 16" center to center seat tube length for lots of standover clearance
- 72.5/73.5 head tube to seat tube angles
- suspension corrected Ho Down fork for 80mm with disc tab and 42mm of rake
- Window cut Paragon drop outs
- External four point rear brake cable brazeons
- 68mm Paragon bottom bracket shell
- Hand bent non-tapering S bend stays
- Custom head badge
- 27.2 mm seat tube with front pinch clamp
- Beautiful PPG acrylic paint with panels and three layers of clear
So that does it, still have a few shirts left as well. It was a fantastic show and I'm already planning some cool projects for next year.
As some of you have already noticed, the base costs for frames has gone up post show. I really had to look hard at what many of my mentors/fellow builders had to say about the high quality of my builds and asking/receiving just compensation for them. As one of the few builders who still does ALL the work in house and the attention to detail I put into each project, I feel it is prudent to follow their sage advise. After all, I want to be doing this in another 20 years just as they have. Those who are already on the books will have their prices locked in at the original rates. For new builds, you are still getting a lot of quality for the price when compared to other builders, I hope you understand and are willing to compare.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
My big treat today was that Steve Potts stopped by the booth and checked out the LD stem and a couple of bikes that I built, giving his nod of approval. I've admired Steve for close to 20 years so that was pretty damn cool. Oh, Roy if you are reading this...he thought your bike was awesome and told me I was a fool if I was not charging at least $10,000 for the complete build. I was too embarrassed to let him know the actual price...
Saturday, February 9, 2008
Thursday afternoon our baggage arrived at the Portland airport so Bill and I jumped back on the train and went on a retrieval trip. I was so relieved to see that the stuff came through without further incident.
Once I lugged all the stuff over to the convention center the set up began. I knew I was in trouble when I saw the first box. One of the show bike boxes that was loaded up with a a very expensive parts box had the bottom of the box all torn out with some packing tape all wrapped around it...oh no!
Inspection found that at some point during shipping, UPS tore the crap out of the box, the parts box fell out, and nothing was ever put back. Gone was about $2000.00 worth of equipment. Not good.
Fortunately, that was the end of the troubles. I got set up with a few parts missing off of some of the bikes and an entire build for another, but stuff still looked pretty good.
Industry day was a hoot. Lot's of familiar faces came by as well as new aquaintences. One of the special opportunities of a show like this is to put a face to the names you deal with all year. It was really good to meet Lynette of White Industries and her boys...great folks; Gary Prange of SSSink, my supplier for those NOS Fat decals for restorations that are coming up; Maurice and Eric from Dirt Rag, Richard Cunningham, and the list goes way on.
Got to do a couple of video interviews with MTBR and Spains Mountain Bike magazine.
You can check out the MTBR vid here.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnbPquV3OtU
Got a lot of work to do today before the public show opens...they are expecting over 10000 people in the next two days...whew!
I promise I'll get some pics up tonight, I'm just going to hit the sheets for a bit.
Friday, February 8, 2008
Terrible storms with tornados inundated the country on the day we were traveling, causing a rash of delayed/cancelled/and missed flights. Ironically, the bad weather was covering where we were leaving and our final destination...the rest of the country was peachy keen.
We started out with a 2 hour delay, which was ok as we would still be able to make our connection on time. Then the bottom fell out.
Long story short, I saw many of Americas great airports, dozing on carpeted floors and saggy lounge seats, in the 23 hours it took us to get to Portland. The good news is, we arrived safely, our luggage, including all the Luv Handles and two frames, did not. They were somewhere in the not so friendly skies, winging their own path across the country :(
Once here, the first order of business was to "get some grub on" (get something to eat for our foriegn readers). I love to eat, especially at the little out of the way diners and restaurants that have a lot of character. I met up with Steve and Denise of Coconino Cycles, Bruce Gordon, Brian Bayliss and a pretty hip chick, Yahee (hope I spelled it correctly :) ) who is a good friend of Denise. We had a fantastic breakfast of hash, blueberry cakes and fresh orange juice...yummy!
It turned out to be a popular place as some of the Dirt Rag crew, the brothers Sycip, and the Ingalls of Retrotech were also enjoying the atmosphere and food.
Great conversation and banter was punctuated with the joy of hanging out with folks of like mind. Working as an independant builder, you do not have the opportunity to really talk with others about ideas, methods, and just generally bullshit. It was a pleasure to really engage.
Show set up and media day info will follow tonight...hope everyone is well.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
As for the contest puzzle, looks like Eric was first on the pickup...the piece was an adjustable sliding stand to hold the show bikes by the chain stay. They got a nice coat of flat black, some comfy foam and a D-ring buckle system to fasten everything tight. Eric, send me your mailing addy and I'll get some stickers out to you after the show :)
Looks like I'll be able to get at least a couple hours of sleep before heading to the airport...you can rest when you're dead, right? ;^)
Talk to you all soon,
Saturday, February 2, 2008
Despite the last pic, they are used individually and have something to do with our favorite form of transportation, the two wheeled velocipede.
I'll give out the correct answer Monday night and announce the lucky winner :)
On to other buisness...Tees are in!
The last shipment of tee's went out of here like nickle beers at a county fair (that's like, really fast, for you city dwellers ) so here's your chance to pick up the latest version.
It is a 50/50 cotton blend ringer tee with heather brown shirt and chocolate brown rings on the collar and sleeves. The perfect colors for your after ride lounging as dirt and grease will blend right in and won't even look like it needs washed for like, I dunno, 6 months at least (if you can stand the stink that long) ;)
Printing on the front and back for peoples pleasure as you come and go.
A shot of the front graphics.
And below is the back...
Cost is $17.50 for the shirt and 5 bucks shipping in the US, 10 dollars overseas.
I'll be taking them with me to the show, but if you want your's before they are gone again, you can send the money by paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org .If you have not yet checked out NAHBS, looky here; http://www.handmadebicycleshow.com/ , lot's of good stuff :)