Thursday, December 09, 2010


I dig working in batches. That's not to be confused with doing production runs where everything is the same size. These are still all unique to their future owners. But it drives me crazy doing every single step once. It completely offends my sensibilities. It also runs counter to all of the training I have received through school and my time in industry. Granted, this is not a production environment per se the way an injection molding shop is. But still, something just feels wrong going to my tool box, getting a drill bit, getting my drill, chucking it up, drilling two holes, taking out the bit, putting it away, and then putting away the drill. Why not drill 6 more holes and then not have to drill holes for a while? You save yourself a lot of time. Yeah, it takes some planning in terms of materials and having designs lined up and ready. But it's nice knowing I've reduced the footsteps around the shop overall. And I do love getting into a groove brazing a bunch at one time. It feels fantastic when things are flowing and each successive brazing operation feels better than the one previous to it. I love having a day when I have 3 or 4 frames that are tacked, aligned, and ready for final brazing and then I just braze and braze. Glorious. Anyway, what's with the rant, right? I guess I'm grumpy because Rebecca's been away for two weeks. And I wish I was in Bend at Natz. Sounds like it is going to be a great race week. But we have Ice Weasels to look forward to here in New England, so that will be sweet. And the wifey gets back from India tomorrow. I guess I'll just watch Manning throw three more interceptions again tonight. Zing! I just lost some sales in Indy.

Here's the start of four bikes.

Good luck to everyone racing this weekend!


davids said...

I love that first shot - all that metal, just about to be turned into bicycles!

Peter W. Polack said...

Congratulations on having the orders to be able to work in batches, especially in this economy.

And I think it speaks well for your interest in getting these frames built and out customers without undue delay by using batch methods.

Just a good business model.

gregclimbs said...

took me a bit to figure out what those huge collars were on the second to last pic, but I think i got it...


zank said...

Greg, as you probably figured out, those are S&S Couplers. S&S supplies those collars to use during fabrication so that the nice stainless collars don't take a beating. I will polish up the brazed ends as one of the last operations. Then when the frame comes back from paint, I'll take off the fabrication collars and install the stainless collars.

Peter, thanks for the feedback!