Sunday, April 19, 2009

Thursday, Friday, Saturday Funapalooza!

So, since the bike shop that occupied the front of the building closed last fall, I've been accessing the shop through my large overhead door, a major inconvenience for both me and my customers who stop by. I asked a few friends if they could come help me with putting a door and a few windows in place before the snow flew, no worries I was told. Unfortunately, circumstances change and I spent my winter trying to thaw out the padlocks on my door with a propane torch to gain entry to work each day. Boy, those portable torches do not like to light when it is below zero ;)

Flashing forward to this week, I got the call that my buddies had an opening in their schedule and could come and lend a hand on Thursday and Friday. Horrible timing for the backlog of paint projects I've got going, but a willing volunteer is hard to pass up, so we were off.

Thursday morning I quickly tried to cover all the important items in the shop...I looked like a tornado of plastic sheeting and duct tape, whirling around like a madman before everything would have a layer of concrete dust all over it.

Once satisfied that the efforts were as good as they were going to get, I broke out the K-12 saw and started cutting...

for your perusal, window #1...
Your new entry to my kingdom of color and metal...

I cut out a total of two windows and the entry door, using a chisel on the inside to try and save on as much collateral dust damage as possible. Then it was time to stretch out the back, pump up the biceps, and start swinging the 20# sledgehammer.
Respite with a chalky paste of mingled sweat and concrete dust on my brow, I admire the new entry door, ahem, I mean hole...
The life of a sole builder is a lonely one, working in a concrete box makes is more so. Now I have two more windows from which to gaze upon the world outside and feel that much closer to my fellow man. Too bad I'll have to obscure the view with some bars in the near future...the fellow man in this part of town are not to be entirely trusted :)
The rough framing in, things are starting to take shape...
This window will be above the weld table. You would not think it, tucked behind the dark helmet, but natural light helps a ton with visualization of the weld bead. All you guys working in dark garages and basements know what I mean...
My new guardrail and dumpster view, between the mill and the lathe...
Once the brickmold and inside trim is on, we'll be throwing up two red awnings; one over each door. Should make the shop feel a bit more homey and allow me to keep the overhead door open during inclement weather.
All this construction, while necessary, is putting a serious crunch on my work capability. Of note, is Roger's geared 29er. Roger won this frame/fork/bar in the Groovy Race series drawing at Vulture's Knob last season, qualifying by attending the races and receiving an entry for each event. I was to present his custom prize at the first race of the 2009 season; Saturday morning.
Oh boy, it was 0700 Saturday and his frame/fork/bar were still not in paint yet. That gave me about 10 hours before it needed to be done and presented in front of the 200 attendees of the first race, a collection of discriminating mountain bike enthusiasts. How do I get myself into these tight spots?
Of course, the kit was originally intended to be a simple one color powder coat, but Roger really wanted a red/black/white bike, and it was for the race series promotion and a nod to all the hard work the guys put into it, and I don't want to give away such a "simple" looking frame...anyhoo, it quickly morphed into a more intricate finish :)
Been thinking of building your own frame, is painting part of the process you want to try? If so, there is one thing you should know about paint...NEVER paint when you are in a hurry; simple issues suddenly balloon and make you wish you had never started. Regardless, while others were preparing to race the Knob's fabled trails, I was in a race of my own.
I'm glad to announce that I didn't DNF (Did not finish). Here's Rogers frame, ready to go to the ceremony...
Roger wanted a red/white/black finish that had a modern, racier look. I broke the frame down into top and bottom colors with a white pinstripe to help with the color separation. Where the pinstripe does not go, a backfire fade with airbrushed smoke makes the transition. The custom unicrown fork is all black, the Luv bar is all red.
It was a hectic push, but I made it to the race on time, thanks God!
The evening race was spectacular; gorgeous weather, lots of great people, funky tunes, and good conversation ruled the day. I could not have asked for a better time. Big props go out to Kevin, Jay, and Mike for an awesome event. I'm so proud to be able to help in my own little way with promoting a sport that encourages folks to get off the couch, embrace the outdoors, and share smiles with like minded folks.
I learned a little something about myself on Saturday too. Energy drinks and me do not mix. Hungry and quite parched from beating out the paint on Roger's frame and then talking to folks at the race well into the night, I had not eaten or drank anything all day. I quickly asked Kalten to get me something, anything, to drink. He brought me a product from our co-sponsor...MONSTER Energy drinks. Thirsty and a little loopy, I downed the can and kept going. Little did I know that the "energy" comes mostly from caffeine. Now, you gotta understand, I'm a water or chocolate milk kinda guy, no pop/coffee for me, so I'm pretty much a caffeine virgin.
By 0230 in the morning, I was still laying in bed, staring at the ceiling...I was SO tired but my mind was racing a mile a minute and I could not drift off to slumberland. I finally fell asleep...til 0430. Then I gave up and went to the shop, I figured if I'm going to be up, I might as well be productive. Moral of the story, no more Monsters for me.
Jay dropped his bike off today for a little updating; a new Thomson post, stem and Ti bar. She looks good, no?
Email in the am tomorrow, then I'll start bending LD stems for those who have so patiently been waiting.
check y'all later,


Anonymous said...

I love that paint job. It reminds me of the bus paint job from last year i think. And no you have any's just not natural.


b.asti said...

I have no ideas, how it is possible to do such a paintjob in 10 hours, but man, this is awesome looking. Rogers frame is one of he most beautiful I´ve seen in a long time. Not only meaning the paintjob, but the modern silhouette. Esspecially the way you placed the top tube and downtube to he headtube looks really racy to me.

Congratiolations to the windows, too. I guess it ads a lot life/work quality.

And to hear you ´re going to work on some stems these days means a lot to me. Keep it going you obviously can´t do wrong.