Thursday, April 13, 2017

Mentoring 2017

Each year I try to give back a week of my time to a professional who wants to take their skill to the next level; learn paint, tig, new materials, etc...

This year I had the pleasure of hosting Daan from 11 Ants Titanium Bicycles.  The owners have focused their bicycle design on Pinion and Rohloff builds in titanium, a market segment that has room for growth in Europe.  Their builds for the last three years have been commissioned in China, but due to the stresses of working long distance and inability to control quality, spec, and manage expectations, they want to move the production home to Holland.  Daan came to me with 20 years fabrication and machine shop experience, but no bicycle work.  It was our goal to expose him to the fabrication process and begin to understand the unique difficulties in working with Titanium.




Over the next 5 days, we worked through language and machine familiarization barriers to reach a level of competency that will build a strong foundation for this companies future success.




Bill and I were also able to get an Accuset fixture into their hands, only the third fixture we've sent out, nice to see it go to a good home that can truly use it's accurate set up, repeat-ability, and massive access for joining.




Best wishes to Roy, Jeroen, and Daan as they move to the next step in their journey...Made in Holland!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

January/February bars going out...

Ok, so originally I was only going to update this blog with new fabrication tutorial info, but it seems like I continue to do the same stuff over and over that has already been covered.  So, here's a quick post just to see if anyone is still out there...

Spent the better part of the last two weeks knocking out January/February bar orders and crafting up some tasty titanium cranks...

Much like welding a frame, the bars have a systematic welding process to keep them aligned and flat, starting with the linear ends of each miter



The bars are the only titanium item I single pass weld, as the additional heat of a two pass process becomes a bit more problematic with alignment.  To ensure complete penetration, a higher energy setting is used with a brief pulse to drive the arc deep into the substrate and feather out a bit wider than normal...




These titanium cranks are ran through the blast cabinet so that it will provide a mechanical surface for the ceramic to adhere to...



Colored and ready for action 3 hours later...


Thanks for tuning in,

Rody