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.