Friday, January 30, 2009

Hurray for Anti-Biotics!

Just got back from the doc today (after being flat on my back this whole week), to find out I've had a naisal infection along with bronchitis. Woo hoo! So no new work has been going on in my shop. I have finished posting pictures on my Flickr from our vacation to NY and DC, including: a 60ft frozen waterfall, choppers from the O.C.C., one of the five remaining Wright Brothers' produced bicycles, D.C. icons and a protest that gave the inaguration a run for it's money in terms of how many showed up.

I did not include one thing though. And this is for my friends at Team Seagal:

That's right, an official O.C.C. energy drink for "Bikers" not athletes. I'm sorry to say that I don't share the same drive to purchase and taste every energy drink known to man, so I do not have a full report on this beverage. But I figured the least I could do, was to take a picture that such a drink exists.

Now hopefully my meds work, so I can have some energy myself. Just a couple hours of finishing touches to do on Mike's road bike, and then it's off to paint. Next up, a road bike for my buddy Justin in CA. And after that, a frame for Eddie (cyclocross?).

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Fellet Brazing goes to Washington

Got some time and internet to report from VA, after going to DC today. I (along with 2-5 million others) helped cheer in the 44th president, and say a dieu to the Bush family. For the insanity of the whole deal, I thought things actually went pretty well. There were the obvious crowd issues, but everyone I witnessed was in a good mood. People were helpful and polite. It was pretty amazing to see a crowd working together like that. A metro ride that took 3 times the normal amount of time actually got the whole car joking and telling stories.

The standing around in twenty something degrees all day, with not enough room to sit down didn't go all that bad either. The sun was out, and the group had a nice wind breaking effect. Jumbo-trons were spaced out well enough that most could watch the goings on, and I don't think I've ever witnessed so many port-a-potty's. I didn't bring my camera cord, so I won't get pictures up until I get back home.

Take it easy

Post Edit:

(Walking from the Metro through DC to the mall.

(Sea of heads and one of the many walls of port-a-johns from our view point. Trust me, this does it no justice for how many people, or port-a-johns there were that day!)

(Me and the lady)

(Celebrating afterwards at Dogfish Head with a sampler of their fine brews. I believe my favorite was the award winning 90 minute IPA)

(And topping it off with one mother of an IPA, their limited edition 120 minute IPA, with 20% abv and 450 calories. No Millers lite here!)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Custom = Pain in the Arse!

Ah, it's good to be full steam back in the shop again. I've got probably another week (hopefully) until Mike's frame is ready for paint. I've thrown in a couple things on this frame I've been wanting to try out, and have come to learn a lesson or two.

Making custom stuff takes a while. There's no templates, pre-cut bits, designs you download... nothing. There's not even a good tool for doing what you want to do half the time. From idea to product, someone has to do all the legwork. And in a one man shop, that would be me. How it's going to work, the steps and order of it, how it's going to look when it's done, and even if it's a good idea in the first place. I find even though I only have one or two good days of work in my shop per week, if I ever kept track of how many hours I spend figuring stuff out in my head, I'd need to charge time and a half. But that's not to say I don't enjoy it. Which brings me to my second lesson.

Making custom stuff is awesome! The freedom is exhilarating. With no templates comes... well, whatever I feel like. I like looking at some of the ideas that I've followed through with, and thinking about how there's not a bike out there that has that exact detail on it. It teaches me much in the ways of construction, as well as patience. If I ever get to do this for a living however, I would have to stick with either some normal methods, or charge a crap-ton to make it worth my while. But it's not to say I can't indulge myself now and again. Or even come up with ways of making a couple cool details a more easily replicated trademark of sorts. Either way, this is cool.

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year, new frame, new ride...

Happy New Years' to everyone out there. I hope 2009 treats you well. So far, I have to say this is a good one. I've already had my first (post clavicle fracture) mountain bike ride with my good friends of Team Seagal. It was a great ride, even though it will take me a bit to not freak out on fast loose rocks and roots. But I was just happy to have good company and be out on my mountain bike again at all. Also for this year, I've brazed everything but the seat stays for Mike's frame which will be the first of hopefully many more frames this year.

All the brazes came out pretty well, with just a couple minor globs to file smooth. Definitely improving with every frame. And I'm also happy to say that the main frame and chain stays came out about as aligned as a frame can be. No post braze alignment needed this time. Just need some seatstays, custom STI stops, finish work, and paint. Then she'll be ready to ship to her new home in Florida. Justin, it's time to start getting me the final details of your frame!

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