Friday, July 29, 2011

working out the kinks and some finished paint..

I finally bit the bullet.  I've been trying to ween myself off of my Xara X graphics program and learn the new Adobe Illustrator suite, but it seems I'm always crunched for time and resort back to my old ways.  This last week I forced myself to ditch the old software and have been using Illustrator.  I started with the jersey design and am knocking out the details on Chad and Jude's masking.  I've made a few runs, played with some paint, and have almost got it... The new software allows greater flexibility in what I can do...gotta be a good thing in the end.

In the interim, all paint hardens.  Here are some shots of Noah's finished pearl white Ritchey...

Julian has two bars with custom paint; here's the base colors for them, a bubble gum pink and Fat Chance yellow.
The bar then got a marbled metallic coating and some Hot Candy pink carefully layered on, gotta look close in the pic to see the underlying graphics, does look killer in the sunlight...
and then two more layers of sanded clear to finish it off...

The yellow bar came with instructions for a painters choice fun finish.  These are always a challenge, both in creativity and the baited anticipation to find out if the customer likes it or not.  I wanted to do something that did not take away from the yellow but added a bit of fun...what else says summer fun like palm trees and coconuts?  I know, lots of stuff, but it is what it is   :)

Finally, here's a little project for the shop.  It's a 1940's door bell that was manufactured here in Wooster and was in the basement of our first house.

The bell has been sandblasted and will be chromed along with the striker.  The base originally was a porceline green...I'm gonna restore the original color on the cover box and paint the base gloss black with porceline green steps on the side.  Should be cool. 

Kicking out a tour at the FD the next couple of back soon  :)


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sweaty paint

Ouch, it's been hot.  The temps and humidity here have been opressive, to say the least.  I've been working through paint the last week or so on a number of items; Noah's Ritchey, Jude's Trek, and a few custom bars for Julian and Howard, and have been doing my best to keep my sweat out of the mix as well as get the dog gone things to flash the solvents off. 

Here's Judes frame after sitting in the booth for 3 hours after spraying...see the moisture still?
Using the bake box has just been adding to the mind swirling fumage.  I finally gave up trying and bit the bullet, sacrificing three days of shop time and too much money to install an air conditioner compressor for the shop to help control climate.  Digging the 150' long trench was made a bit more difficult as the dogs kept laying in it to cool off right where I needed to shovel  :)
Wiring done, compressor placed, and coolant lines in to furnace...
Ahhhh, cool air (I'm such a wimp).  Now that it's in, we're back in business.  Wow, what a difference it makes both at the weld table and in the paint booth.

Noah and Judes frame both got 4 sanded coats of primer...
Then I began the white pearl paint for the Ritchey.

the first of 5 light coats of 80's Carrera White...
Once I achieved good even coverage, I mixed up the bright white pearl top coat. The cup of clear/hardner/reducer and the pearl additive waiting patiently...

The mystical, swirly pearl added in...

...and applied to the frame.  The pieces will get two even coats with the pearl to insure the light refracts off the base layer through the top coats evenly, giving a consistent look over the whole frame.

 The new tube and brazing...flows pretty well with the original fillets of the frame.
 White is such a tough color to do well...the tiniest dust nib or imperfection in fabrication shows through...

Should be a killer build, if I know Noah's tastes.  Can't wait to see it in rolling form.

I'll be spraying the bars this evening and working on the final computer graphic files for Jude's frame.

As the sun goes down, we've been blessed with some fantastic sunset/full moon views...I hope your evening is as rewarding.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Jersey Day...

The kid's jerseys for the final race of the Groovy /Vultures Knob race series landed today... AeroTech and Groovy Cycleworks are donating the jerseys so that each young racer can have a memorable award of their efforts this season.  I'm looking forward to seeing all the families come out on October 15th  :)

And here is a quick peek of the new Groovy Team jerseys.  I've finally given in to the requests and have worked on the design...still have to add the sponsor info and tweak it a bit, but you can get a general idea of the look.  Not for the fashion conscious, gonna have to be confident in your masculinity with this guy.



Monday, July 11, 2011

It's a race ya there!


UpNext | Vulture's Knob Double Down Enduro


Double the laps of a normal cross county race...enough said.
 All classes will be rac'n the the same "yellow" is "mellow" course.
All red sections except the cradle will be closed. 

experts = 6 laps
sport = 4 laps
beginner = 2 laps 

An aid station will be placed on the access road on the suspension bridge bypass trail.
thus Vulture Gate suspension bridge will be closed for this race.

Course Conditions?
As of yesterday afternoon, the course was 100% dry and 1/2 way trimmed up.  Great conditions!

Will there be a kids race at the double down?
Due to the extended format of the race, there will be "NO" kids race on the weekend of July 16th.

We could use a couple volunteers to work the aid station at the 1/2 way point.  Handing out watermelon, water and other good eats while cheering on the racers.  Volunteers will be fed a Chipotle Burrito and receive a free Vulture's Knob t-shirt and other goodies as we dig em up.

Camping is encouraged, after the race we ignite a bon fire & DJ Madnote spins tunes into the evening

- When does pre-reg discount end?

 Register online by Thursday July 14th to receive a discount.
XC race entry includes racer goodie bag with samples from Revive, Larabar, Emergen-C, Hammer Nutrition, Clif Bar+ a Large Chipotle Burrito as you cross the finish line and 16oz. of Monster Energy goodness to keep the vibe flowing.
complete details at:

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The bottle opener goes to...

Julian and his Bikes and Beers crew..

this was a fun Single Speed race that starts with a Le Mans potatoe sack race to the bikes and ends with sudsy beverages all around...what better home for the bottle opener?

On the update front, thanks to all for the kind words and encouragement last week during my heart testing.  The heart cath showed that the initial testing was a false positive and despite my history, everything looks good on the inside.  Both docs were adamant that I slow down a bit and lose some weight if I want to see another decade, so Christi and I are talking and looking at making some schedule modifications to allow us to enjoy life a wee bit more.

I was able to get back into the shop by Tuesday and got a fair bit of work completed.  All the steel bars are finished in fabrication and are que'd up for their respective finishes. 

Kalten and I worked on Ti bars today, will likely finish them up tomorrow morning while it is still cool.

I also pulled three restos out of the bin that have been lingering for multiple years...Eric's Potts, Noah's Ritchey, and Jude's Trek.  Figure if I gotta spray paint this week, might as well knock off a bunch of work.

Noah's Annapurna came to me with a suspect hole in the bottom of the seat tube...

after stripping the frame and checking it all out, there was a total of 11 holes throughout the seat tube (7), down tube (3), and chain stays (1); all located within 3" of the bottom bracket, yikes.  

I replaced the lower portion of the seat tube and methodically drilled and closed the smaller holes in the other areas, then set to work rebrazing the bottom bracket area.  It's a little intimidating trying to match the fillet work of the first and one of the greatest fillet brazers of mountain bikes in the industry.
She's been all media blasted inside and out and will be ready for her pearl white finish and another 30 years of dirt duty.



Friday, July 1, 2011

Win a cool bottle opener...

Yep, just in time for those end of July, hot summer rides, you can win this Groovy Bottle opener.  Be the guy all your friends want to hang out with; the server of suds, the gate keeper of happiness, the purveyor of positive vibes.

All you have to do is send me a pic of you and your riding crew...on the dirt, road, or just hanging in the parking lot.  Add in 10 words that describe why y'all enjoy riding together and we'll send the opener out to the entry we like the mostest. 

Send entries to no later than July 5th to jump on the free schwag bandwagon.

On to less exciting stuff...updates have been slow.  I had a really tough run of work at the fire department...11 out of 15 days.  The few days off I had were filled with a mix of good and bad.

My first day off after a 96 hour push, I got some errands run, cut up a fallen tree at the knob, then came home feeling really tired.  Decided to take a nap.  That was a mistake, as I woke up 10 hours later...ughh, lost that day to recouping.

John R flew in from sunny California for two days to discuss his upcoming builds; a really cool Ti 650b Rohloff cruiser with integrated surfboard rack and lots of cool, unique features.  His bike will be headed to Sacramento next year for Nahbs, which fortunately for us, is just an hour from his home.  His second build is a gracious commission for his father...a German electric assist motor to go on a coupled steel bike that will serve duty on their yacht, allowing Dad to get around with ease once they land in port.

The last few days I've spent in and out of the hospital and am heading off to exploratory heart surgery in about an hour.  Not what I wanted to be doing right now, but my docs are done giving me so much latitude.  Don't know what we'll find, so send some positive vibes my way please.

In the few breaks I've had, I've been whittling away at shop work and a small project for me and the kids.

Luv handle production making it's way through the weld station...

Martins belt drive Ti frame queuing up; new Center Track components in stainless steel, lots of ti for custom post mounts, stay splitters, seat tube inserts, EBBs, and a few large Al pieces for custom fixture mounts.

Hot Rods are all welded up, at heat treating, then off to plating.  The spiders are machined and are at the anodizers.

Finally, I took a few hours one evening to do something for the kids and myself.  We have a 1976 Surf Champ pinball machine who's spinner target was beat down, flaking paint, and was a replacement from another machine.  Wanting to make it original again, I stripped it down, drew some new masks based on real blurry online photos, and airbrushed up a new two sided replacement; sufer girl on one side, board and waves on the other. 

Came out pretty cool...when the ball hits it on the way through, it spins making it look like the surfer girl is riding the board.

As I'll be layed up for a few days, we'll give away some more trinkets to make you and me happy, so stay tuned.