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.


4 comments:

Brian H said...

I'm keenly interested in how those STI standoffs turn out! How they work, how they look, how the rider likes or dislikes them. Whether or not they prevent cable rub on the headtube. Excellent idea!

Marc said...

I too wonder how they will work.

FelletBrazing said...

Thanks for the interest. It's something I find myself thinking about a lot. (not that the current systems don't work) I just like thinking about how I could make something better. I figure best case, it's awesome. Worst case, it works just as well as the other ones out there, and it's different. But we'll see. Thanks to Mike for letting me experiment a little.

Casey Ryback said...

Dude, those cable stops are super cool. If they don't work less-well, then you should seriously consider making that a FB Trademark!

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