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Old 08-08-2011, 11:46 AM   #1
fortyfour
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Default 44 Bikes Frame Shop

A little about myself: I'm an industrial Designer by trade. In a previous life I was a goldsmith and silversmith. My mothers father was a Union Welder and apparently his specialty was Tig Welding. Although I did not know him very well (he passed away when I was pretty young), somehow his skills and attention to detail were passed along through the wind. My interest in metals must have been fused in my brain sometime when I was young poking around his shop and admiring his well used tools.

I own a small design studio specializing in Product Design, Graphic Design and all things in between. I've always had a true passion for bicycles. Especially mountain bikes or anything two wheeled that touches dirt and the rider is the power source. My life long goal has always been to start a small custom frame shop. As luck would have it, when my wife and I moved from Providence, RI to New Hampshire, I had an opportunity to apprentice under a long time frame builder (Ted Wojcik) and hone my skills once a week in exchange for graphic design and redesigning his brand identity. I came to the bench already possessing many practical skills and knowledge but Ted was kind enough to help hone those skills even further but pass on some much coveted "trade secrets" and those little tips that make all the difference. Much respect and gratitude goes out to anyone willing to pass along their skills and knowledge. I hope to one day do the same.

Let me just say this too: pretty much everything I do I do it on my own terms. I'm very DIY almost to a fault. So when tackling this project, I want everything on my own terms. I even started my design business to help fund this project. When it's done, I want that satisfaction of knowing I did it myself, I did it to the best of my ability and the result will be a product that's made here in the USA by hand one at a time and a business built on honesty, hard work and expertise. I figure if I can pull that off, I can finally go to sleep at night knowing I'm doing my part to help build back what's been torn down. Even if it's only one bicycle frame at a time.

So naturally, the other life long goal of always building something from scratch is to have that place to create. A place to envision that "big idea" or where those mistakes turn into something unexpected. One factor when we moved to New Hampshire was to have a nice piece of land, not too much mind you - just enough to feel like we weren't elbow to elbow and to have a place for a shop. Mission accomplished: Our property has a 22 x 30 horse barn about 150' from our house. Naturally the apprenticeship came to a close about a year and a half ago and I made the decision to stop lolly-gagging around and bring production home as it were. I always have wanted a shop/studio of my own, now seemed like the right time to do it. My focus now turned to going after building out the shop:


Shop Report: 4.9.2011 by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

From the front (it overlooks one of our large vegetable gardens across the way):


Shop - Front by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

From the back side:


Shop - Rear by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

The previous owners had let too many of the trees grow too big too close to the shop - I traded a friend a custom frame in exchange for cutting down 4 trees. (Bartering is alive and well in the Granite State)

The first thing to do was to remove the horse stalls and get things ready for the build out. So weekends here and there along with the occasional day off coupled with running your own business and all that goes along with just plain living equates to things moving slower than you'd like. Here's a shot from inside the space showing what it looked like at the time. Just a lot of work ahead of me.


Some Perspective by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Removing 6" of heavy packed clay by pick, shovel and wheel barrow almost certainly killed me. I was broken off by the time that was done. But what doesn't kill you makes you stronger as they say. My family heritage is Pennsylvania German. I'm not sure if that is a blessing or a curse as I always seem to take the manual labor approach to everything. A tight budget also makes the DIY decisions a bit easier as well. Since I finished that I've gotten to know a lot more people in town who own, among other things, tractors with front end loaders. A good thing to get to know your neighbors...

Next up was stripping the wire from the old structure and digging a 160' trench for the 2" pipe for my new power line for the shop. Unfortunately, half the distance is up a steep slope, and the access to the south side of the house is pretty tight from any direction not to mention I was on a tight budget too making renting a ditch witch not possible. So again-manual labor:


Out of the woods by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

The final approach to the house for the line goes right through a garden bed. That had to be meticulously taken apart and tended to (my wife has a green thumb. She was kind enough to let me tear this apart for the shop...):


The Grand Finale by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

This was the tool of choice as the hole got deeper. Shovel, pick and hoe all in one. I picked this up when I was about 12:


1968 Folding Shovel by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

And finally laying the pipe. Yes those are rocks and I only dug the minimum 18". I encountered too many to count (again, it's the granite state). One of which was the size of a small bus. I simply dug around that one and moved it out of the way by 4 inches. That took some time...


Running power to the Shop. by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Thanks for looking - more on the way.
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Old 08-08-2011, 11:54 AM   #2
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Default Re:Frame Shop - Second installment

With the line run and covered, I now switched gears to the build out of the space while I wait to purchase the materials and for my electrician friend to have a day to actually run the power out to the shop. I have gotten to know a very nice fellow up the road from us who owns his own timber frame business. He was kind enough to tip me off when he would have a lot of scrap SIP's (structurally insulated panels) on hand. I scored about 10 4'x10' SIP's not too long ago. Pretty much enough to insulate the entire shop. Have I mentioned it's good to have good friends? If not, I'm saying it now! Here's a shot starting to chop up the SIP's to be fitted into the stud walls.


Progress by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Safety First, cuts by Makita second:


Cuts by Makita by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

The barn was built with studs every 24", so with much head scratching and asking questions from those who knew more than I did, the best approach would be to cut the panels up and foam them in place. Perhaps there is a better solution, but that's the path I took.

Stripping wire:


Shop Update: 4.11.2011 by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

When you make progress after what seems like an eternity, it's time for a little celebration. I was pretty stoked when I finished insulating the North facing wall:


A manly wall of OSB / 44blog by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

All the while I've been searching classifieds, craigslist and talking to anyone and everyone about supplies. Mainly windows. My wife's uncle had the misfortune of having a lot of snow load damage his roof. The inspectors were weary of the large casement window's mechanisms on the south side of his home being damaged. The windows themselves were undamaged. At a family get together I inquired what would happen to these windows and he loved the idea of them having a second life and being recycled into the shop. A quick trip with a u-haul van and I had 6 30x70 windows. We even managed to poke through the dumpster to get enough of the casements to rebuild 2 of them so they worked. So this really became the icing on my cake and has opened up some really amazing possibilities. Just after picking them up:


2x3=6 by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

I took a week to myself in some down time from the design business to build out the south facing wall. From the inside:


Inside before ply install by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

From the outside with one window installed. Both ends open so it funnels air in. With the windows and doors open, there is a great amount of air that circulates through the shop. I'm pretty stoked on this:


Shop Progress 7.2.2011 by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Starting to install the ply. Hind site is 20/20, i should have put the ply/paper first then installed the windows. I was so excited about installing the windows I couldn't help myself. Not to mention that day was about 900 degree's.


Shop Progress - 7.3.2011 by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Paper and trim installed. Starting to put the board's back up:


Almost buttoned up by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Once all that was finished, the east facing wall was next on my agenda. The floor is terribly uneven, cracked and heaved. The builders really didn't do a good job of creating the structure. I often joke to myself it would be easier to take the whole thing apart, pour a slab, and rebuild the structure. But you gotta work with what you've been handed sometimes, making spirit and the challenge of problem solving that much sweeter. Here's what I'm dealing with. The front used to have two large openings with what i believe used to have two sliding doors. At some point that was taken apart (and deposited across the lane...) and a flimsy stud wall put up in it's place. Not to mention a huge set of 10' doors (also pretty shaky...). before and after taking that wall apart:


Time to chop by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Also luck would have it that all of my close friends are on vacation, traveling or just not in town when I've got time to work on this. So things don't get built exactly in the order they should I suppose. The other thing is attempting to build a stud wall on a heaved floor is for the birds. It was easier to build as I go. Shot from inside/outside as this wall begins to take shape:


Frames of a wooden kind. by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

The previous owners left a 2 ton truck jack behind. That little thing has come in hand more times that I can count to move a wall up by a 1/4 of an inch, support a structure when I'm tearing things apart, etc. I'll have to take a pic of it. I named it "Moe". The ring leader of this knucklehead "do-we-cheetum-and-how" operation...

A shot of the completed wall and with both windows installed. This corner gets full southern exposure and should provide some really nice passive solar heat in the winter:


Shop Update 7.12.2011 by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

More on its way soon...
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Old 08-08-2011, 12:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: Frame Shop - 3rd Installment

Skipping ahead-I decided to make the large entry way a bit smaller. 8'x8' instead of about 10'x10'. It's a little more manageable and when I eventually have the floor poured, i will have a pad poured out front for when additional machinery is purchased. I can then simply roll it in.


Today's pound fest by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Keystone over the center - a nod to my Pennsylvania roots.

Here's a nice shot from inside the structure. I picked up that Bridgeport for song some time ago. She's been patiently waiting for her final resting place in the shop. Its nickname is "the Dutchman".


New View on Sunday by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

A small composite before / after shot of the shop:


Before - After by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

I decided just to use OSB to skin the walls. Partly because I personally just can't stand working with drywall, but mostly because it's quick to cut, good structurally and it's a shop space. I'll paint the inside a nice bright yellow I believe:


Mojo Repair Shop by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

The next phase (and the current one) was to build the internal wall to divide up the space. Naturally everyones knee jerk reaction is to go after the entire space, but upon reflection I wanted a cozy space. And the cost of insulating a 30 x 20 space as opposed to a 20 x 22 space seemed better to start with. Not to mention that 20 times 22 is 440 (a conveniently nice number). I don't intend to fill the space either: Bridgeport (check), Lathe, small drill press and an alignment table will be the biggest items. Some work benches, tool carts etc. will take up the rest of the space. Here's a shot of the completed stud wall (built the same as the rest of the barn every 24"):


STUDS by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Here's the finished wall with OSB. The stack of SIP's behind the Bridgeport is getting smaller as I finish up the insulation on the backside of this wall. I think it JUST might do the entire shop:


The wall of OSB by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

The bridgeport will find it's home in the far corner next to that large opening. Purposely put there so when the time is right to pour a floor, I can just raise it up and the short distance to the other side of the floor will be a snap. That's one thing that's been fun: planning the build out on a budget with future projects in mind but still achieving what you envision the space to be. I like to take the "what does this WANT to be" approach a lot. Let the space speak for itself and you just kind of guide it along.

Now it's time to take a break from the build out (the ceiling will be the last step as I have to shore up some rafters, etc.) and move onto the power source. My buddy called in the order and I picked this up this past thursday:


Power Supplies by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Pulling 200 ft of 10ga copper wire is going to be a treat. Luckily for this job, all of my friends come home from their travels just in time to help me out on this one. To be continued.

If anyone's wondering, here's a few pics of two of my personal builds:

In Process:


Pieces parts by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Build:


New Setup by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

In Process:


Seat Stays by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Weld Detail:


FORK - Weld Detail by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Build:


Fat Snake by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Thanks for looking...
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Old 08-08-2011, 12:08 PM   #4
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Impressive project. I like your self reliant approach to things. Having dug many a fox hole with an entrenching tool I feel confidant in saying "you are the man."
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Old 08-08-2011, 12:18 PM   #5
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

the graphic design skills are obvious, nice
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Old 08-08-2011, 12:18 PM   #6
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Very nice shop! I love old buildings reworked!
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Old 08-08-2011, 12:33 PM   #7
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

That shop looks great and those welds are beautiful.
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Old 08-08-2011, 12:39 PM   #8
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Thanks for the kind words everyone. Part of this whole process is to stop spending all of my time behind a computer and transition into being on my feet in a shop. It was a complete shock to my system when I had to make that transition from my natural process of sketching, designing and working with my hands fabricating concepts and working out ideas in 3d to sitting using CAD and graphic software where shop time was limited or not available at all. It's definitely liberating to be approaching that balance again and on my own terms.

One graphic I recently did that's been personally inspiring:


Support the Local No. 44 by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr
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Old 08-08-2011, 12:40 PM   #9
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Very impressed! You do good work sir! Make yourself at home! There's ton s of stuff on this board that i'm sure you're like.
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Old 08-08-2011, 12:44 PM   #10
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Impressive mill.

Nice shop.

Good work.

Nice graphic design skills.

NICE WELDS.

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Old 08-08-2011, 12:53 PM   #11
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bib Overalls View Post
Impressive project. I like your self reliant approach to things. Having dug many a fox hole with an entrenching tool I feel confidant in saying "you are the man."
2nd that

And you are truly a man after my own heart when you are chasing a dream entirely under "your terms".

If only that dream was even remotely achievable here in Northern Ireland, i would be chasing it so hard right now. In the mean time, im subscribing and i wholeheartedly wish you the very best of luck
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Old 08-08-2011, 12:59 PM   #12
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Again-thanks for the kind words to all. I found this forum looking up insulation methods actually - it's a great forum and I felt like I finally had a little something that I could contribute.

Once power is officially "on" it will be time to finish tooling up. The Bridgeport's going to come out of her long slumber. Late last fall, my timber framing friend was kind enough to let me use his in the meantime to finish up my most important piece of tooling: the frame jig. That was a blast to make. A shot below.


Even BIGGER - 44 Frame Jig by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

More shots of that process here
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:36 PM   #13
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Truly inspiring DIY approach.
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:42 PM   #14
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I must also say I like when a owner of a small company, apparently a one man company, can admit that he is on a tight budget. I'm there myself and sometimes it's quite annoying when it's expected that just because you run something yourself there must be loads of money in it. For me it's rather the other way, I could make much better having an ordinary 9-5 job as a civil servant but I prefer dealing with my business on a shoestring.
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Old 08-08-2011, 02:51 PM   #15
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Took me ages there to work out how the hell you got the bikes to remain upright

Nice
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Old 08-08-2011, 03:27 PM   #16
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Very impressive. And nice part of the country to set up shop.
Is that frame jig made with 80/20 ?

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Old 08-08-2011, 03:44 PM   #17
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Is that frame jig made with 80/20 ?
Yes, parts of it are indeed made from 80/20. The rest of the parts I machined to my specifications from solid stock. I find it very stable for tig welding / tacking jigs. It's very versatile. I specifically used the heavier 40-4040, 40-8016 and 40-8080 metric t-slot profiles. I watched a few ebay stores till the right sized scrap/cutoffs appeared for sale. There are a few more tools I need to make and I'll be incorporating this into them. I used it for my fork jig's main beam as well:


IT LIVES. by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr
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Old 08-08-2011, 03:51 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magnusk750 View Post
For me it's rather the other way, I could make much better having an ordinary 9-5 job as a civil servant but I prefer dealing with my business on a shoestring.
Agreed! Before all of this I was a shoe designer for a number of years. Commuting back and forth. Working day and night only to have projects cut, shelved or scrapped all together began to wear thin. Makes you think "What am I doing?" That's when I had that realization, quit and set to work starting my own business on my own terms. Granted it's a lot of work and money can be tight at times with the ebb and flow of a business. But the satisfaction of doing things on your own terms and working with clients you were meant to work with is worth the headaches that come along with a business. Not to mention I get to set the volume on the player...
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Old 08-08-2011, 05:21 PM   #19
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Great work on the shop and bikes. I checked out your website and blog. I always wondered how many guys on this journal frequent mtbr.com.
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Old 08-08-2011, 05:38 PM   #20
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Hey FortyFour,

Really nice shop in a beautiful setting.
Ill be out your way in a couple weeks

Have got a similar goal of getting out of my current work and making a go on my own. Congratulations on living the dream!
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Old 08-08-2011, 10:12 PM   #21
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That is going to be one sharp shop I like the fact your using the old siding. And yes its very good to get to know your neighbors. I call it networking. Keep up the good work. BTW the bikes are damm nice too.
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Old 08-09-2011, 04:41 PM   #22
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Thanks - the old boards are really nice and wide. It would be a shame not to reuse them I agree. Still noodling the two large doors. Anyone have a good source for strap hinges with pintles that don't cost an arm and leg? Preferably the lift off type. Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-09-2011, 05:05 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fortyfour View Post
Thanks - the old boards are really nice and wide. It would be a shame not to reuse them I agree. Still noodling the two large doors. Anyone have a good source for strap hinges with pintles that don't cost an arm and leg? Preferably the lift off type.
Why don't you make them? I have seen them made out of tubing and plate with bronze/oilite bushings.
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Old 08-09-2011, 05:14 PM   #24
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Ditto on the praise from all those above.

I'm a roard bike type myself, too old now, but always dreamed of making frames. You do very nice work and seem to have been down wind from your Granddad.

One thing I don't get. You named a useful, efficient tool that works (in the grand scheme of things) that is low cost of both initial investment and maintenance after a lawyer?

Quote:
I named it "Moe". The ring leader of this knucklehead "do-we-cheetum-and-how" operation...
I would have preferred to read that you named it after the 3 Stooges character.

Won't mention when I got my entrenching tool (thankfully I wasn't infantry and therefore didn't have to prove I could use it that much. There are other, more modern manual digging devices I would prefer.

Your land, site and buildings are beautiful and I agree that your wife has a green thumb.

Dave.
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Old 08-09-2011, 05:50 PM   #25
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Love all the windows - certainly not the typical place you see a bridgeport in.

Keep up the good work.
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:17 PM   #26
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Quote:
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One thing I don't get. You named a useful, efficient tool that works (in the grand scheme of things) that is low cost of both initial investment and maintenance after a lawyer?

I would have preferred to read that you named it after the 3 Stooges character.
SPREAD OUT. It is named after Moe Howard! "Do-we-cheatem-and-how" was their numbskull lawyer outfit in one of their episodes.
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:19 PM   #27
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

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Why don't you make them? I have seen them made out of tubing and plate with bronze/oilite bushings.
I may just end up doing that! Still working on getting power out there. Friends return this weekend so hopefully we can pull 200 ft of wire to get that done.
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:33 PM   #28
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Very nice 44, I saw you mention Ted wojick, do you know Chris Lauria?
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:55 PM   #29
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

44- great story, I think the bike is a work of art...right up my alley, hard tailed american steel. Best of luck in your business.

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Old 08-09-2011, 10:28 PM   #30
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Love the shop, love the bikes. Worked in an independent bike store for a most of high school, lost the love when I found beer in college, recently reunited now that I am a working stiff. First thing I did was track down the two bike I always wanted, but could never afford when working at the shop as a 17 year old: An Ibis hardtail and an Ibis road bike.
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:25 AM   #31
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awsome bikes loving the big chunky wheel at the front
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Old 08-10-2011, 12:52 PM   #32
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Mtbr.com'er here too. I decided to read this post just b/c of the bike aspect. Custom bike construction is by far one of the neatest fabrication exhibition of skill and flavor around. Fat tire, rigid, or single speed is not everyones flavor, but I cannot deny the craftsmanship is top notch and there is an attraction.
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Old 08-10-2011, 01:13 PM   #33
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Mtbr.com'er here too. I decided to read this post just b/c of the bike aspect. Custom bike construction is by far one of the neatest fabrication exhibition of skill and flavor around. Fat tire, rigid, or single speed is not everyones flavor, but I cannot deny the craftsmanship is top notch and there is an attraction.
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Old 08-10-2011, 02:12 PM   #34
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Took me ages there to work out how the hell you got the bikes to remain upright

Nice
How did you do it?

Great shop, welcome to the GJ and I look forward to seeing more of your build.
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Old 08-10-2011, 08:37 PM   #35
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Very nice, 44. I browsed through your thread and will read more carefully tonight. You have a lovely place.

In 1877, I had a 10-speed frame built for me by Colin Laing, an English builder who moved to the US. He made it out of Reynolds 531, but with Columbus Superlight chainstays, which he preferred. It was beautiful and I have it still. And I correspond with Colin still also.

I love the lines of a steel road frame, but ride a mountain bike more. Old age.

Thanks for posting.

Andres
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:31 PM   #36
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In 1877, I had a 10-speed frame built for me by Colin Laing,
Andres
Wow you are even older than I am!
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:40 PM   #37
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How did you do it?
Prop rod on the rear hubs.
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:44 PM   #38
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Nice working environment
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Old 08-11-2011, 03:38 PM   #39
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Default 44 Frame Shop - Progress Report

So last night I cut the last remaining 3 4'x10' SIP's for the stud wall's insulation. Very happy to be done cutting foam I have to say. Today I finished up my work this morning and headed out to the shop for a few hours of clean up and finishing some loose ends. Started in on the ceiling. Here's a shot of the southern corner looking west: (Yes, those are two holes in the floor...)


Progress Report #001: 8.11.2011 by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Another shot of the North corner of the shop looking west again:


Progress Report #002: by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

After some clean up, the space for the Bridgeport is all set. Just need to move it into that far left corner. When I have the floor poured, I'll just simply move it the short distance through that large opening for the time being. When I do move it, I'm going to put it up a bit so I can get something easily under it like a pair of machine skates or a dolly. In hind site, when I had purchased it I rented a forklift the day we brought it home and I should have put it up on blocks. Oh well... Next time!

And something shop related for all the machinists out there. I picked up a used Gerstner Journeyman's chest a while back (close to their #52 Journeyman chest today) and it was in pretty tough shape. I spent this spring refurbishing it and putting all new felt in it. Here's a few shots of that. It's currently in my studio beside my desk. An arm's reach away for when duty calls to break out the precision on a product design project.


H. Gerstner & Sons - Open #2 by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr


H. Gerstner & Sons Machinist box by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Dayton, Ohio! Still made there too.


H. Gerstner & Sons, Dayton, Ohio by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

This will definitely take up residency in the shop.

Many of my tools are inherited or in many of the machinist tools case I have, previously owned by machinists. It's always nice to know what their back story is. Some have the names of the machinists on them or their initials. Pretty cool to put them back into service.
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Old 08-11-2011, 04:32 PM   #40
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Cool bike and digging the windows in the shop. Would love to install some big windows like that but it invites curious Ex's. They get tend to snoop, and then there is theft. What you can see you can't steal.
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Old 08-11-2011, 05:32 PM   #41
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

the back part of the bike, why is it curved? is it for strength?
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Old 08-11-2011, 06:48 PM   #42
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

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the back part of the bike, why is it curved? is it for strength?
Two reasons: The black bike it adds a little bit of vertical compliance. More importantly the trails in New England tend to be very rooty, rocky and can be very technical. So lots of stand over is key. This enables me to build a bike with a lot of stand over so if you have to put a foot down, the boys will thank you. The double swoop allows the lines of the frame to line up / triangulate. So part of it is strength, another part is function, and of course some is aesthetic. The trick is balancing all of this so all the lines flow.

With regards to the red bike, it allows me again to build a bike that is big enough for me (I'm 6'1") but maintain standover in a more traditional looking frame. The loops help to keep that strait line look of the top tube flowing into the seat stays.

The loops also have a more functional sense as during welding, it allows more space for my hands, and the torch to fit into that tight space. Especially on the ISO disk mount side (non-drive side) where you have several elements all converging:


IMG_0032 by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

I find it one of the more tricky places to weld, so this helps ease that tight space. Hope that helps!
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Old 08-11-2011, 10:18 PM   #43
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Default 1877

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Wow you are even older than I am!
Haha, I didn't notice that error. I probably am older than you anyway.
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Old 08-11-2011, 10:56 PM   #44
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More please... someone fire up the popcorn popper...
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Old 08-12-2011, 02:02 PM   #45
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Fantastic space and incredible skill!
I love to see other Industrial Designers work.
Hell maybe we should start a social group to discuss projects if there isn't one already.

I love your independent attitude and your obvious "HARD WORK" ethic.
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Old 08-12-2011, 02:06 PM   #46
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Don't mean to hi-jack but hell I just went ahead and started one. Join in if your interested. I would like to talk more about your jigging and processes.

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Old 08-12-2011, 02:12 PM   #47
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Beautiful bikes. Shop looks good so far too.
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Old 08-12-2011, 02:18 PM   #48
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Great looking place! I like how you have added all the windows!
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Old 08-13-2011, 07:20 AM   #49
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

I see, but I would think those bends would weaken the frame. the axial compression on those two individual tubes, I would imagine, is not as strong as straight ones.

if I were to bend it, I would size it larger.

good job with setting the jigs
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Old 08-13-2011, 08:34 AM   #50
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Correct. I want the seat stays to 'move' vertically for more compliance. If the tubes were in a straight line, the ride would be very harsh / stiff. I most likely didn't explain this as well as I could have in my above comment.
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Old 08-13-2011, 02:39 PM   #51
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

This is a very cool shop build, and some very cool frame building jigs! Cant wait to see more.
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Old 08-13-2011, 09:00 PM   #52
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Build:


New Setup by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr
I love your build, that is a great looking shop.

One question, how much does a one off bike like that cost?
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Old 08-14-2011, 06:30 AM   #53
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I see. Whats the approximately weight of the frame w/ and w/o the fork?

All the materials/parts made up the frame, where did you source it or is all custom?
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Old 08-14-2011, 03:14 PM   #54
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Great design work, little comment on the tig work though, faster travel, more filler. Some of those welds are hot and mildly undercut. The bracket above is already broken down the center, a little thicker tab may be appropriate.
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Old 08-16-2011, 08:44 AM   #55
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Great design work, little comment on the tig work though, faster travel, more filler. Some of those welds are hot and mildly undercut. The bracket above is already broken down the center, a little thicker tab may be appropriate.
Thanks for the tips! I agree - I have a lot of practice ahead of me. Still have a lot to learn and a lifetime of skills to hone. The photo's from a while back and I've since learned to move quicker and add more filler. For the record, the tab's cut was welded/wrapped after this shot was taken.
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Old 08-23-2011, 07:24 PM   #56
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Default 44 RAW POWER Update - 8.23.2011

My buddy stopped by yesterday and we both took the day to run the lines and wire everything up at the house. We'll be wiring up the shop's panel tomorrow (8/24) bright and early.

Shot of things finally coming together up at the house:


Positive. Negative. Neutral. Ground by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

The lines pulled very easily. We expected the worst with 160ft to push / pull. But somehow luck was on our side and we didn't break a sweat. If all goes according to plan, the panel, power for the mill and power for the tig welder should be all set by the end of the day tomorrow. Fingers crossed.
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:36 AM   #57
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Default 44 Bikes Frame Shop - Update 8.25.2011

It's official :


Power is ON. by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Two friends who are electricians have been helping me finalize all the electrical for the shop. One just scored a bunch of loot and passed a bunch of goodies on to me for the shop effort. Super stoked. All the power will be run outside the walls. I want a bit of an "modern industrial" look to the shop space. So all the exposed galvanized boxes, conduit and switches will remain raw. The walls will be a nice bright yellow with natural trim. Ceiling will be galvanized corrugated roofing material.

Here's a shot of the panel (inside and outside) all finished up:


44 Power Supply :: Outside / Inside by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

We ran power from the top as this wall is up against a hill and I need to constantly rake the roof during the winter. Large piles of snow accumulate on that side of the hill-so we wanted to keep the elbow up and protected under the soffit from snow accumulation. Something you have to really think about here in NH. Our house is situated a bit higher than our town center and we're in a bit of a "snow belt". We'll have 2 feet of snow while the town center which is approximately a mile down the road will only have 2 inches of snow at times. Funny what a bit of elevation gain can do.

A shot of the north wall almost finished up:


44 Frame Shop :: North Wall by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Sockets for extension cords, drills, lights etc. on the left and the 220 source for the Bridgeport. The center junction box is ready for when we run more conduit up and out across the ceiling for the lights. Most likely some simple galvanized pendants. To the right under the panel we included a twist lock socket for my Tig Welder (Miller Dynasty 200DX). This is temporary until we can run power over to the south side of the shop. The far corner on the south side will be my welding area. But it will be nice to have two of these at either corner/ends of the shop if I have certain projects and need the welder on different sides of the shop. Thinking ahead.

Next up is wiring the bridgeport and phase converter. Once that's finished up we'll rotate the head, support with the table and get her into the north west corner so I can make some chips! Can't wait...
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Old 08-25-2011, 10:56 AM   #58
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Certainly getting there dude

Love the shop and LOVE the titled and logo'd photos.

Have been trying to do my own in a similar fashion for other forums and simply dont have the ability to get the awesome fonts and logos that you do. But i guess thats why you do it for a living.
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:10 AM   #59
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Have been trying to do my own in a similar fashion for other forums and simply dont have the ability to get the awesome fonts and logos that you do.
Thanks for the kind words. The font's you want in your arsenal to get that real "American Industrial Manual" look are "Trade Gothic" and "Futura". A good place IMO to get half decent (and free) fonts is www.dafont.com. In PC and MAC types too. Adobe Illustrator is the software you want to create logos. Some other paid fonts to look for are offered by "House Industries". "FINK" and "Sign Painter" are great font sets. Esp. for custom car looks. You can get some inspiration from House's blog. Some amazing hand drawn lettering going on over there. Paper and pencil still work the best as always which can be scanned and traced. Hope that helps!
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:15 AM   #60
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Cheers dude.

dafont has been scoured many many times and unfortunately illustrator is just a tad out of reach wise. But I shall endeavour to replicate (flattery remember )

As said before, best of luck with the shop and keep the updates coming, its an awesome wee space and one that I could see myself owning someday. Keep up the good work
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Old 08-25-2011, 07:42 PM   #61
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Fortyfour,

Try www.hooverfence.com for your 'lift-off' door hardware. Specifically, I used these on some 400lb oak gates, they worked great, easy install and no sag at all: http://www.hooverfence.com/woodfence/8307.htm

Also, shop looks great.

Cheers!
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:01 PM   #62
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

A more affordable (translation: free), but similar program you may want to try is Inkscape.


Beautiful bikes there fortyfour and the shop is coming along nicely. I'm definitely looking forward to more updates.


Quote:
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Cheers dude.

dafont has been scoured many many times and unfortunately illustrator is just a tad out of reach wise. But I shall endeavour to replicate (flattery remember )
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Old 08-25-2011, 08:08 PM   #63
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Thanks - the old boards are really nice and wide. It would be a shame not to reuse them I agree. Still noodling the two large doors. Anyone have a good source for strap hinges with pintles that don't cost an arm and leg? Preferably the lift off type. Thanks in advance.
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Fortyfour,

Try www.hooverfence.com for your 'lift-off' door hardware. Specifically, I used these on some 400lb oak gates, they worked great, easy install and no sag at all: http://www.hooverfence.com/woodfence/8307.htm

Also, shop looks great.

Cheers!
Tractor Supply is a good local source if you have one in your area, o/w carnegie03's link looks good. I used these on my shop's carriage doors. Your place looks great, btw. I think bike fabrication is real art- I have a Serotta from way back, took it to his shop (this is years ago of course) and got to see some of the really beautiful work there.

Shop=3 4-10-11 033a.jpg
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Old 08-25-2011, 09:42 PM   #64
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Thanks for the suggestions on the strap hinges. We have a Tractor Supply right down the road - I have never been so it will be fun to have an excuse to explore. Gettin' closer day by day... Starting on the doors tomorrow afternoon.
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Old 08-25-2011, 11:26 PM   #65
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

This is a great thread.

As a fellow mtb enthusiast, I figure I'd throw up a picture of my steed:


By daveamy at 2011-08-25

'98 Schwinn Homegrown XT, with a few more modern components. The bike is amazing

However, I'd love to get into a steel hardtail one day...maybe just copy the geometry of the homegrown.

I actually haven't been out riding (mtb) in forever, but your thread prompted my to get the bike down and dust her off. Now I might just have to go riding soon

Keep up the great work on the garage!

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Old 08-26-2011, 03:42 PM   #66
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Beautiful work and an amazing setting. I'm jealous...and subscribed. Looking forward to seeing this come together further.
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Old 08-27-2011, 04:25 AM   #67
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Love the garage, love fat tyred bikes too

Will take some pics of my shed and bikes tomorrow and post up an intro, but will certainly be watching this post with interest.
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Old 09-07-2011, 05:37 PM   #68
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Default 44 Bikes Frame Shop :: 9.7.2011 Update

Started in on the Carriage Doors late last week before the rain started. The sides are T shaped with a ripped groove for the plywood. They will be insulated with 2" yellow foam. Here's a quick shot of the parts after they were laminated up, ripped and finished:


Pieces Parts by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

The grooves made sliding the parts onto the sheets of plywood a snap. Dry fit went well so I glued things up nicely and got to work. I simply propped them up on a pair of saw horses and used ratchet straps to hold things together while I drove in large stainless screws (3.5"). Sorry I did not take any shots of that stage.

Next up was starting on the details. I wanted a slight arc on the top. Here's a quick shot of the matched tops. I used my japanese rip saw to make the cuts and then tuned things up with a spokeshave and sanding block:


Twins by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Where the strap hinges will be placed, I ran 1" x 2" pieces so they have something to be mounted to. I'll take a shot of the backsides in the future. So screwed / glued them on from the front, but then screwed and glued the details on from the backside so the screw heads are hidden. Here's a quick shot of the first one completed:


One Down... by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Once the first one was done, I had that system down pat so I just marched through everything. As I was making the first one, I cut all the other parts for the second door at the same time to make things go together much faster for the second one. Running out of light for today but luckily finished before the sun goes down. It's raining like crazy here right now-so the natural light isn't as good as it normally is:


Carriage Doors Finished! by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Pretty tickled by how they turned out. I had the paint store match a blue paint in stain. It will be pretty much identical in color to the door in the upper right hand corner of the above shot. That door also is coming along nicely and was free. I was headed out last week for a ride after work and spotted it next to a dumpster. A quick knock on the door and a short conversation and I had it in my trunk. Free is good! More on the way soon.
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Old 09-07-2011, 05:42 PM   #69
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Incredible looking doors. Really nice work.
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Old 09-07-2011, 05:55 PM   #70
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Another SS 29er rider here. Why no EBB or sliding drop outs?
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Old 09-07-2011, 06:44 PM   #71
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Quote:
Originally Posted by tweidman View Post
Why no EBB or sliding drop outs?
The black bike can be run as an ss by flipping / switching the dropouts (pics are from an earlier prototype):


44 f1 Drops - Geared mode by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr


44 f1 Drops - Single speed mode by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

The red bike uses a bushnell EBB:


44 Snake Driver - EBB by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr


44 Snakedriver - Paint #3 by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

The sky is the limit with a custom build - if the customer wants sliders or an EBB I can build to their requests. I just personally don't like sliders. I do however like how the Bushnell version of an EBB works with the expansion bolt vs the set screw types.
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:59 PM   #72
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Killer shop and killer bikes!!!
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Old 09-08-2011, 07:17 AM   #73
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Awesome shop! I will be tracking this one. I am a road guy but those frames are still dead sexy!
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Old 09-08-2011, 12:21 PM   #74
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Both my SS bikes are set screw EBB. I have never had a problem with either. My fixed road bike uses a ENO hub, that has been working well too.
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Old 09-08-2011, 01:53 PM   #75
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Wow great thread! You have great skill fortyfour!
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:35 AM   #76
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

The black bike with the switchable dropouts is such a simple yet genious idea. Horizontal 'track style' dropouts is all I have personal experience with on my singlespeed rigid. Never wanted to even try a bike with an EBB due to the slight changes in position when you retension to compensate for different gearing.
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Old 09-13-2011, 03:43 PM   #77
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Default 44 Bikes Frame Shop :: Update 9.13.2011

Just a quick update. Got the first coat done for the doors over lunch today:


Behr: "Brilliant Blue" by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

I think I need a phase converter just for the color. I'm pretty happy with how these are turning out. Scored the hardware too which is good. I'll post up pics of that when I have a chance. More soon. Also received all the goodies to wire up the Bridgeport properly. Can't wait. I'm getting darn close to "Go Time"...
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Old 09-13-2011, 05:33 PM   #78
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44 as in Route 44?
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:16 PM   #79
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Really liking this shop, you are obviously a person of many talents.
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Old 09-14-2011, 09:29 AM   #80
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Quote:
Originally Posted by dogadileman View Post
44 as in Route 44?
Nope. 44 as in 44 is my lucky number. I leave space on the seat tube badge for customers to have their own personal lucky number stamped/engraved.
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Old 09-15-2011, 04:51 PM   #81
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Nope. 44 as in 44 is my lucky number. I leave space on the seat tube badge for customers to have their own personal lucky number stamped/engraved.
You had said you were originally based in Providence. I thought it was a reference to RI 44. Cool that it's your lucky number though. Mine is 37. I'll take a bike with that on it. If only I could afford it!
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Old 09-15-2011, 05:36 PM   #82
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Wow, amazing work. I love your welds, pure visual awesomeness.
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Old 09-16-2011, 12:13 AM   #83
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W o w
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Old 09-19-2011, 11:05 AM   #84
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Default 44 Bikes Frame Shop Update 9/19/2011

Short update for everyone. Just a reminder, here's where I started last fall:


Shop - Front by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Along with the shop buildout we're also tackling painting/staining/installing windows in our house this past summer. So saturday was paint windows in the house and sunday was devoted to shop time. I spent the better half of the afternoon hanging the carriage doors. I had run some errands on saturday and picked up the insulation for the doors of which I just didn't feel right about putting on top of my car, so I took the measurements along with me and just cut them up in the parking lot. I got some curious looks from customers. Back home I installed the insulation parts, foamed it up and sealed everything up Saturday evening in the dark.

So sunday I started in the afternoon hanging the doors after installing some freshly painted windows back into our house. Kind of a warm up - get the juices flowing and do something right. Later down at the shop, I stood the first one up into position and as soon as I got it in the entry way I knew it along with it's twin were just a hair too wide. Along the way I had reconfigured the entry way and beefed things up a bit by removing some trim and adding a second 1x6 effectively adding about a .25" to both sides of the entry way. I had left myself some wiggle room but I guess just not enough wiggle. A bit disheartening at first. So far this whole project has gone down without a hitch. I figure I've met my self allotted 1 and only "Ahhh Sh!t" quota for this project with this one. So out came the circular saw and I trimmed off about a .50" from one of the doors. First Cut:


First Trim by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

I'll be adding a strip down the edge of this door to create an overlapped edge to seal off any air. I'll plane the edge, sand and repaint. Once that was complete and I was through kicking myself, I hung the second door and got things leveled up. Here's a shot from the outside of the finished doors:


In-swing Carriage Doors Hung by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

I really like how the subtle keystone over the entry way plays with the arc of the doors. Let's take a giant step back and look at the whole kit coming together:


Shop Front by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

And one from the inside:


Shop doors - backside by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

I used strap hinges that are the lift off pintle style. I'm pleased with the way fit/finish of the hinges made by National. Made in the USA too which is a bonus.

Later this week I'll be getting the remaining hardware for the inside of the door. I'll most likely put up all the trim over lunch today/tomorrow for the entry way. Thanks for looking!
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Old 09-19-2011, 12:05 PM   #85
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Wow! I love that blue. Looks amazing, and nice fab work on the doors.
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Old 09-19-2011, 12:12 PM   #86
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

I agree the doors look great and the color works well with the siding on the building.


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Old 09-19-2011, 11:32 PM   #87
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

I have to quit for the night at the end of page 3 but I'm mightily impressed so far!!! I'll catch up tomorrow.
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Old 09-20-2011, 12:13 AM   #88
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop :: Update 9.13.2011

Quote:
Originally Posted by fortyfour View Post
Just a quick update. Got the first coat done for the doors over lunch today:


Behr: "Brilliant Blue" by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

I think I need a phase converter just for the color. I'm pretty happy with how these are turning out. Scored the hardware too which is good. I'll post up pics of that when I have a chance. More soon. Also received all the goodies to wire up the Bridgeport properly. Can't wait. I'm getting darn close to "Go Time"...
Yeah...I think I'm gonna have to steal that line about the phase converter...

Hey, I'm impressed with the progress so far...showing old shops some love is near and dear to my heart. Keep it up!
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Old 09-21-2011, 01:12 PM   #89
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Default 44 Bikes Frame Shop :: Update 9.21.2011

Decided to take this morning to move the mill. I had put her up on 1" blocks last week in preparation for the move. Inverted the head and supported it with the table. Here's a shot just before I took the blocks out and lowered her down onto the schedule 40 pipe:


Ready for Liftoff... by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

I cut a pair of blocks at 50 deg's to be used as stops in case things got away from me or just so I know not to push any further. It went relatively smooth and quick. About an hour of just carefully moving along and adjusting things left or right with my tanker bar:


And we have lift off. by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Here's a split shot of getting the machine onto another bar to the left and picking up the back end as it's backed up in a corner so I can get everything as level as I can. I'm going to invest in a set of machine leveling feet for sure - my floor is ridiculous. The shot to the right shows how I picked up the back end. 4x4 and a truck jack ratchet strapped to the machine just under the backside of the ram. 3 points equal a plane and I only needed to pick it up a 1/2 inch. I was pleased with how this worked out:


Rockin'. Rollin'. by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

My buddy and I wired up the Bridgeport the other day and ran into a start issue. Sometimes it would just start up right away, others it wouldn't or would hesitate. Through process of elimination we narrowed it down to the switch. It has been sitting for a long time so I was anticipating something like this. Upon closer inspection of the drum switch the contacts were all but completely corroded over. Not much copper showing! So I took everything apart, cleaned all the contacts really well with 600 grit and reassembled everything.

So after all was set, I rotated the head and plugged her in. Cleaned everything up and wanted to see how my switch turned out. Plugged her in, got a big grin of anticipation and flipped the switch. Nothing. That's when it dawned on me: "That's what I forgot last night at the store: a pair of 30 amp fuses..." I wrangled a set quickly, got them in place and threw the switch again. Fired right up. Tried a whole bunch of scenario's: Still fired right up! I believe I got that one figured out.

This friday the rest of the tooling begins in ernest. It's officially GO TIME.
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Old 09-21-2011, 03:34 PM   #90
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

44 that is one of those tools I would love to have in my shop . The problem is this shop isnt big enough for a full sized bridgeport . I will eventually find a benchtop older bridgeport style machine.


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Old 09-21-2011, 04:04 PM   #91
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

It's the literal heart of my shop. I don't know what I would do without it. I'll be adding a small tooling room lathe to my shop at some point. Something in size like a SB Heavy 10. Round parts are nice to make too. Not that you can't on a Bridgeport. A lathe is a beautiful thing.

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Old 09-21-2011, 08:31 PM   #92
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Damn! I appreciate the work space, but the frames you posted up at the beginning of this thread absolutely rock my world! It's funny how different interests collide here sometimes on Garagejournal. I raced BMX forever and still own a shop, race team, etc. I can't race anymore due to too many concussions, but I've been thinking of a new XC rig just to fart around on. Might have to hit you up.
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Old 09-21-2011, 08:52 PM   #93
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Love the shop. That pic of the blue doors with the little windows over top cracked me up! Looks like a huge face either grinning or scowling, I don't know.

Looks like good work, you should be proud
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Old 09-21-2011, 08:55 PM   #94
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Quote:
Originally Posted by fortyfour View Post
It's the literal heart of my shop. I don't know what I would do without it. I'll be adding a small tooling room lathe to my shop at some point. Something in size like a SB Heavy 10. Round parts are nice to make too. Not that you can't on a Bridgeport. A lathe is a beautiful thing.

-Kris

Oh I do enjoy having a lathe . However a lathe cant duplicate itself which a bridgeport can .


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Old 09-22-2011, 08:36 AM   #95
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

HA! The doors and windows have that "Blue Monster" feel... Keeps things fun. A bunch of barns around these parts have long windows over the big doors and I was mimicking that look a bit. I may change them out at some point and add windows to the doors. I'm noticing they don't actually let much light in ironically! Build and learn.

Glad to hear people are digging how this is coming together. It's been a mountain of work and very gratifying finishing just a part of it and standing back to see how things are progressing.

But I have to say, after sitting on that Bridgeport for close to 5 years... to get power down to the shop, then finally wire it and turn that switch. That was nothing but wide eyes and white teeth.
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Old 09-22-2011, 10:33 AM   #96
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Your place looks great bro. As an ID myself, you have a great eye for detail bud. Keep it up.
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:33 PM   #97
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Default Shop Forward Progress ...and in Reverse Progress

Going Forward: Mill is in place and I'm able to work finally. Nice little moment here: drilling/tapping the first hole on my Bridgeport:


First tap by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

It's may be a small step but it was incredibly satisfying to be able to finally work with my own two hands on something real and tangible. Squaring up the ends for a piece of tooling:


Start Here. by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

And now we're in Reverse: Been having a few start issues with the Bridgeport occasionally so I ventured down to the shop today at lunch to try something that a friend had recommended. Sure enough what he recommended worked and the start issue is gone. I clean up to head back up to the studio to keep working and turn around to this gem:


Moose "Wrastling"... by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

I first saw it from the inside, the above sequence is from the outside. The far left window was smashed. Just the external pane of the double pane window. At first I thought if something shifted in the building or if something flew into it like a rock. Upon closer inspection the plants in front of the window are completely trampled and there are pretty deep scratches in the trim work, and board and baton's. Looking around the plants I discovered large hoof prints which look very close to a Moose print. Tough to tell by this shot:


When Moose Attack by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

But there are many and they are almost spot on to what a moose print looks like. They've been doing some logging across the street deep in the woods and I wonder if this one may have been spooked early this morning or was "just walking by" late last night/early in the morning. It may have been spooked by it's reflection or just whacked the window with it's rack. Either way, it's about 250 bones to replace. One step forward, and 2 steps back. I'll have to post a sign and see if I can 'wrastle' that bugger for who pays...
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:02 PM   #98
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Holy crap! How many people can say their garage was attacked by a Moose?

Still really enjoying the build, keep those pictures coming. Even if just to show off what hops off the Bridgeport. I'm interested!
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:45 PM   #99
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Did you happen to see any 'flying squirrel' tracks out there? LOL
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Old 09-29-2011, 11:00 PM   #100
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The squirrels know better. We do get the occasional "misguided" bird up at the house. We had a hawk completely knock himself out and come too on the north side of our house last year. One moment I have to laugh about it. And in another I'd like to 'wrastle' that darn Moose...
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Old 09-29-2011, 11:41 PM   #101
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Most guys just complain about random vandalism from kids or some A hole trying to break into their shop. I gotta say a moose rack through the window is a real WTF moment.

The shop is quite an accomplishment especially considering where it started out from. Real nice photo work to document it as well. Thanks so much for sharing it with us.
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Old 09-30-2011, 08:18 PM   #102
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Default 44 Bikes Shop Update - 9.30.2011

Just a self portrait. The shops not finished but this is pure stoke for me. Finally working at my mill:


Workin' at the mill by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Finished up my way covers. Simple function:


Way Covers by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Small parts can be the most fun to make:


Hold down perch by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Today's work finished:


Dummy Business by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

I'm a happy man.
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Old 10-01-2011, 12:02 PM   #103
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Magnificent.
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Old 10-01-2011, 09:08 PM   #104
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Hey will insurance cover moose damage. Damm glad we don't have them running around here the deer are hard enuff on cars I don't need to have a moose running into the shop. The mill looks nice and handy.
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Old 10-01-2011, 09:51 PM   #105
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

The picture of you working at the mill is artful. Worthy of a frame.
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Old 10-01-2011, 10:05 PM   #106
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without a doubt my favorite garage thread. keep up the good work!
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Old 10-02-2011, 09:40 PM   #107
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Default Shop Update 10/2/2011

Finished up the door late last night. Ended up having to do a little bit of trimming. Seems like a theme:


Door Hung finally by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

I've been hauling this piece of lumber around with me for close to 10 years. It's scrap from the piers/board walk when they reclaimed the water front in front of the I.D. building in Providence. Had a small check in it so I made a bow-tie to keep things tight (little wet out, it's been raining to beat the band):


Bow Tie by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Let's step back and see how things are coming together. Added another keystone over the door and added a small walk way in front. I have so much scrap wood left over from dismantling the horse stalls. Seems appropriate to use this stuff up!


Shop Status: 10/2/2011 by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Once that was done it was time to clean up and get to work on the mill. Burning some midnight oil on a tacking jig. This is part of a sub-assembly to hold and register different bottom bracket widths. Lot's more to be finished on this:


BBHD: Bottom Bracket Holding Device... by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Mock-up of the tacking jig:


BB Assembly Tacking Jig by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

That's it for this weekend. Going to start again bright and early tomorrow. Moose be damned...
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Old 10-02-2011, 10:11 PM   #108
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Super job, FortyFour. I really enjoy the build... your photos rule too.
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Old 10-02-2011, 10:43 PM   #109
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Absolutely Amazing!!!!!! I love that shop!
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Old 10-02-2011, 11:33 PM   #110
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Man...if you keep this up...I may actually get off my duff and go do something to my own garage.
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Old 10-03-2011, 09:18 AM   #111
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I reckon this is one the best workshops on here, and a perfect size too. Not to big, not too small!

I really rate it - well done that man!
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Old 10-03-2011, 10:27 AM   #112
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Gorgeous garage and frame building setup you have there. I've worked in bikes shops off and on for 10 years, and building a custom frame is high on my list of things to try.

Excellent inspiration to get some stuff done around my garage!

Jim
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Old 10-03-2011, 10:54 AM   #113
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

That is such a cool place!! I have dreams about a Bridgeport.
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Old 10-03-2011, 10:55 AM   #114
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

And. Nice photography too!!!
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Old 10-03-2011, 11:34 AM   #115
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Default Fortyfour Metal Shop

Like the sign says:


METAL SHOP by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Thanks to all for the kind words. This has been a long standing dream of mine to have my own shop. It's very fulfilling to walk down my lane to a space and do what you were meant to do.
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Old 10-04-2011, 05:52 PM   #116
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Default Putting hands to work

Today's effort:


Bottom Bracket Assembly by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

And a new arrival to the shop last week. Northern Industrial TIG cart. For the price, it's very well made and I'm impressed to say the least with it's construction. I wanted something small to put my accessories, helmet, gloves etc. and this one fit the bill with two smooth sliding drawers:


Welding Cart by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr
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Old 10-04-2011, 06:48 PM   #117
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awesome fab work
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Old 10-04-2011, 07:16 PM   #118
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Amazing to see such progress in such a short time.
KB's shop in Santa Cruz never looked so good!
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Old 10-04-2011, 08:25 PM   #119
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Simply awesome.

You have an excellent sense of design that makes even the most mundane topics seem artful. I really love all the graphic touches and I'm raging jealous over the Bridgeport but more so the beautiful structure within which it resides.

At least some day I might find a decent Bridgeport in my neck of the woods. Moving it is a different story!

Congrats on an incredible space and best of luck with the bikes.
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Old 10-06-2011, 07:05 PM   #120
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Default New Addition

New to me Kurt D60. Picked it up used and at a good price:


Kurt D60 Vise by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

The other vise "looked" nice after I painted it and put some time into it but honestly it was still a mess and not worth more time. There was a reason why it was given to me free of charge when I purchased the mill. I'll most likely find some sort of use for it. Boat anchor comes to mind. Door stop. The shop "enforcer'. Moose munitions...
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Old 10-06-2011, 07:34 PM   #121
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

foutyfour,

Its continuing to look great - keep up the awesome work.

Quick question - what camera do you use? Many of your shots look like the 'pop art' filter found on my E-PL2 that I use.

Keep it coming
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Old 10-06-2011, 08:06 PM   #122
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Awesome...just awesome.

.....From one self made fabricator to another.
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Old 10-07-2011, 09:00 AM   #123
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@Red Leader: My camera is a Nikon D60. The D60 has a slightly smaller body than other Nikon models which are similar in features. I have been using an 18-70mm DX lens. It's a mix of telephoto and wide angle. Most of my shots I'm shooting in a manual mode and adjusting for light / exposure for each shot. Depending on the mood I'm in, I'll switch to black and white post in Adobe Photoshop and adjust levels from there to punch up the blackest blacks and lightest lights. Sometimes I will adjust colors post as well to punch up some colors but for the most part the lens and camera are doing the work. No filters applied. The only filter I often use and it's when I'm outside to bring out contrast is a polarizer. Kind of a gray/smoke colored filter. But the lens quality is really what matters - this isn't the best lens but I'm very happy with the photos it produces.
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Old 10-12-2011, 07:05 PM   #124
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Default And now a message from our sponsor..


Making it happen by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Working in the shop has been a treat. It's been too long since I've had the opportunity to have such a resource right at my finger tips. I was thinking as I worked that we're often defined by what we do. I always strive to be ever evolving and refining who I am and what I do. But I also make an effort to not let the work take over. That's what it means to me up above: Work, stay focused and disciplined but remember that you're in control and to make time for yourself and those around you.

Today's effort:


Chainstay Mitering Tube Blocks by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Checking an assembly in the tacking jig. I can't wait to use this jig!


Chainstay Assembly Detail by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Mostly been finishing up small bits and pieces like trim and paint/finishing these days. I'll be doing the ceiling most likely at the end of the month and hope to have some more updates then. Hope you're all enjoying these shots. It's been fun to share in the meantime.
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Old 10-12-2011, 07:23 PM   #125
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I dig it... it's got a very cool vibe to it...
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Old 10-13-2011, 07:49 AM   #126
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

keep the pictures coming, I love it
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Old 10-13-2011, 12:41 PM   #127
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Bikes and garage - what a great combo.
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Old 10-13-2011, 05:36 PM   #128
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Some Bridgeport Love for you:


Bridgeport Love by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr


Knee Handle Love by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

And today's effort:


Today's Effort by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr
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Old 10-13-2011, 07:19 PM   #129
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Loving the photos, I look at them and try to imagine how you did it, still too much for my lil' brain though.

Can I ask a question from a completely ignorant standpoint relating to milling and lathe work with metals? What do you do with all the chips? Seems like they would be flying all over the place and getting into all the little crevices of the Bridgeport, etc. How does it all get cleaned up? I used to work with my father in his wood turning business and wood chips, dust, etc. could just be blown to the ground then swept up and bagged, nothing was sharp or in a word...metal!

I'm entertaining the idea (ok, ya it's a fantasy) of a small milling/lathe and I'm just really curious about clean up with lubricating fluid covered tiny metal bits everywhere.
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Old 10-13-2011, 07:44 PM   #130
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Steve I can tell you what I do . I have a smaller shopvac below my lathe and thats how I clean up all the little metal bits above the floor . The ones that make it to the floor get swept up and then vacuumed up.

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Old 10-13-2011, 07:46 PM   #131
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Beautiful work, Beautiful photography.
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Old 10-13-2011, 09:40 PM   #132
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Default Clean Up

For clean up, as Rickairmedic states, a dedicated shop vac is the way to go. These table covers I made also really help to keep chips from accumulating in the tables t-slots:


Way Covers by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

One of these really helps too. Which reminds me... I need to make myself one!

There are a few spots on a bridgeport for chips to get into namely the inside t-slots of the table and inside of the knee (albeit over a prolonged time). Then it's all swept up into a dedicated bin that later goes to scrap when it's full. But things are pretty well designed and chips can easily be sprayed out with short bursts from an air hose, with a brush or a shop vac. The body, knee, table and head are large castings and there are no holes really to speak of. Both the knee and saddle have felt wipers on them to stop chips from getting in and under the dove tails actually.

I'll be making a chip deflector / chip shield shortly too which I'll be sure to share. Depending on the direction you're milling, chips have a very consistent trajectory. It's not like saw dust where it floats and settles everywhere. Not to say that chips don't go flying at times but a chip shield really helps especially when milling steel as the chips can tend to get hot. With the right placement, you can keep them all in one spot relatively. Hope that helps. I'll try and take a picture when chips are coming off of a work piece. It's quite mesmerizing at times.
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Old 10-18-2011, 06:52 PM   #133
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Makin' chips and makin' time to ride:


View from Winn. Mtn, Lyndeborough, NH by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

View from Winn Mtn. just behind the shop.
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Old 10-18-2011, 07:58 PM   #134
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Awesome thread!!!! Always look forward to your posts!!!
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Old 10-18-2011, 07:59 PM   #135
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Thanks for the clean up info guys. Hoping to be able so someday make some chips of my own.

I'll be watching for that video, I'm ready to be mesmerized!
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Old 10-19-2011, 05:08 AM   #136
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thk2c View Post
Awesome thread!!!! Always look forward to your posts!!!
Agreed!
I have a couple friends who have a bike frame shop here in Seattle. They have some cool equipment as well. I'll need to take some pictures next time i'm down there or at least ask what kind of mill they have. It's a beast.

I love the blue accents on the doors, but I have to say the green around the windows is a bit weird. Personally, I would paint them black/white/ or the same blue as the doors. Keep on doing awesome work, i'm subscribed to this thread, that's for sure.
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Old 10-19-2011, 04:31 PM   #137
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Makin' chips today post haste...


We don't need no stinkin' CNC's by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr


Corner de-sharpening by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

A few more small parts and this ones done. Now for some fun with Naval Jelly. My table needs some lovin'.


Chainstay Mitering Jig by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr
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Old 10-19-2011, 05:12 PM   #138
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Yessir thats a machine I am gonna have to add to the garage . A bridgeport is a very handy toy .

You need a nice little 9" Southbend to go with it though .


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Old 10-20-2011, 06:09 PM   #139
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Closer...


Chainstay Mitering Jig by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr
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Old 10-20-2011, 08:36 PM   #140
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Get those walls painted! That jig is looking fantastic.
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Old 10-21-2011, 06:40 PM   #141
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

HA! Tell me about it... I'm juggling just a few things at once:

1. Painting and staining the entire house...
2. Installing new windows on the south facing side of the house + a door
3. Tooling my shop up so I can make bikes.
4. Running my own design business during the day with clients, deadlines, etc.
5. 2 Cords of wood being delivered and need stackin'.
6. Snow usually hits before or after Thanksgiving...
7. Somebody's gotta make the coffee too!

Painting the walls in the shop is low on the list unfortunately. It may have to wait till spring after I put the ceiling in after the house is done. Makin' chips today though.

Bridge Mitering Fixture:


Bridge Mitering Fixture by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Small Parts:


Bridge Mitering pieces parts by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Thank you Frank:


Frank A. Parker, Inc. by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Bridgeport Switch Love:


Forward - Reverse by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

No paint love... Yet.
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Old 10-21-2011, 07:25 PM   #142
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Who need paint its dry in there and relatively wamr I would guess plus you have a Bridgeport . KEep making chips You are making some neat stuff .

Rick
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Old 10-27-2011, 10:31 PM   #143
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You have got Mad skills my friend. I love the idea of reclaiming an old stable into bike shop/machine shop. I don't know much about bikes but I am enjoying following your thread. Keep up the good work.
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Old 10-27-2011, 11:38 PM   #144
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Subscribing...
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Old 10-28-2011, 05:57 AM   #145
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

so dope. read your about on your site, very well written and inspiring for sure.

What are you using to bend those chain stay? (idk bike parts) pipes?

what camera are you using/lens? the photos look amazing. im barely an amateur photographer so i cant pin point it, but what effect/style are you using on the pics with captions.. its like a slight grey tone fade? the edges seem to be softer? either way i LOVE the effect it creates. it looks amazing.

keep up the great work, look forward in seeing your progress.

ps where did the 44 come from?
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Old 10-28-2011, 07:50 PM   #146
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Very nice. Looks cozy. Love the photography.
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Old 10-29-2011, 09:53 AM   #147
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So it snowed this past week in NH... Personally, I do like snow. Just not in October. Goes well with the blue doors:


Snow in October is NOT cool by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

For those of you that do have machinery, or something with a zirk fitting, I found this tool recommendation a while back and I have to say it is simple, well made and does it's job very well. Just fill the chamber with lubricant, pop on the fitting and give the plunger a push. Easy as that:


"Joint Rejuvenator" by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Innovative products of America Tool#7862 for those who want specifics.

Snow did not stop me from putting a little thicker layer on and working in the shop. Small mitering tool for brake and seat stay bridges:


Seat Stay Bridge Fixture by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Parts for more tooling to miter seat stays:


Seat stay mitering parts by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Some small parts:


Measurement thingy's by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

And got my frame jig down to the shop finally. A few more small parts and tweaks and it's finished:


Soooo Lonely... by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Can't wait to weld by those windows. Stoked!

@Muibubbles (nice handle btw!) To bend the tubes, I'm using a JD2 Model No. 32 bender. More info here. It is modified though-the followers on these work fine for thicker walled tubing but the majority of the tubes I am welding/bending are .035" wall thickness and thinner. The key to bending thin walled tubes is to have the tube at the point of tangency fully supported. The achilles heel of these benders is that at this point, the follower does not have support. So I machined a few round followers and that really fixed the bender and allows it to bend really well. The other part that I modified is how the tube is held. Stock, you need to basically waste 3" of tube and there is no reference point that is consistently fixed. So I made a clamp that holds the tube differently and closer to where the tube begins to bend.

Regarding photos: My camera is a Nikon D60. The D60 has a slightly smaller body than other Nikon models which are similar in features. I have been using an 18-70mm DX lens. It's a mix of telephoto and wide angle which I like as I can get relatively close but it does take some decent landscapes too. For the effects you're speaking of with the type over top, I make some adjustments in Adobe Photoshop to those images to punch up colors but I then import that to Adobe Illustrator. From there I create graphics, type and other visual delights...

Regarding the number: 44 is my lucky number. I have a place on my seat tube badges that allows customers to have their own lucky number etched.


44_stbadge by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Thanks for the kind words to all. Once things are settled with my house (some more trim work to be finished up) I'll be putting in my ceiling in the shop which should be fun... Then heat will stay put!
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Old 10-29-2011, 11:33 AM   #148
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Great story so far and your bikes are very cool.

You need some heat out there.
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Old 10-29-2011, 11:09 PM   #149
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@Red Leader: My camera is a Nikon D60. The D60 has a slightly smaller body than other Nikon models which are similar in features. I have been using an 18-70mm DX lens. It's a mix of telephoto and wide angle. Most of my shots I'm shooting in a manual mode and adjusting for light / exposure for each shot. Depending on the mood I'm in, I'll switch to black and white post in Adobe Photoshop and adjust levels from there to punch up the blackest blacks and lightest lights. Sometimes I will adjust colors post as well to punch up some colors but for the most part the lens and camera are doing the work. No filters applied. The only filter I often use and it's when I'm outside to bring out contrast is a polarizer. Kind of a gray/smoke colored filter. But the lens quality is really what matters - this isn't the best lens but I'm very happy with the photos it produces.
The lens quality shows, as does the skills of the photographer.

Very nice work.
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Old 11-02-2011, 12:47 AM   #150
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Thanks! @ for the handle comment

Man, theres just something about your pictures that I'm in love with and i just cant pin point it! like the bridgeport switch love picture is so cool the effect it has is so powerful. im using a 17-70 sigma lens as my work horse but the color quality is definitely no where close to my 50 prime.. i know very little in PS so i only tinker with contrast, levels and curves... is there a setting you are more favorable to editing to get that style?

PS that badge for the bike frames is so unbelievably cool. Im in school for industrial design but want to get into more of a fabrication aspect so i have to ask, how did you do that? cnc cut an then etched?
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Old 11-02-2011, 06:20 AM   #151
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Snow in October may not be cool, but that pic certainly is. Great thread!
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:05 AM   #152
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Man, theres just something about your pictures that I'm in love with and i just cant pin point it! like the bridgeport switch love picture is so cool the effect it has is so powerful.
Is it the color / texture, or is it the depth of field that's really pushing all the right buttons? I look at the photos and really love the depth of field (or lack thereof) with the subject in sharp focus and the foreground / background pushed out of focus. It's my preferred way to shoot as well.

But if it's the color and saturation that you're thinking of, those are great too.
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:15 AM   #153
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Hey thanks Thruxton! All said and done we lost power for 3 days and 24" of snow from that blizzard that ripped up the coast... "Nothing to see here, move along."

@Muibubbles: Cool to hear you are in school for I.D. That's what my degree is in. Our training was very hands on but I was a goldsmith for a number of years so a lot of the hand work / attention to detail I believe shows through in my work from that experience. I know Illustrator like the back of my hand and am only recently getting more versed in Photoshop. If you're in levels, then you're doing what I do basically. I've found if the lighting is not so strong in the original, no amount of PS muscle will make it look good in color. Sometimes you can get lucky. Sometimes if the pic is strong but I messed up some of the settings/exposure, I switch to grayscale and go from there adjusting darkest darks and lightest lights. If you're in school, I'd recommend taking a photography class - it's just a good time to have that much talent around you, have a dedicated professor and explore / hone some skills. It's definitely a good skill to possess.

The Bridgeport switch does have a special filter applied. For anyone interested google "Urban Acid Photoshop Effect / Filter". You can find a download link here. In Photoshop, go to your actions panel and open the actions panel menu, and choose "Load Action". Choose the action you downloaded (Urban Acid) and it will load it into the actions panel.

The badge is made through Photochemical Etching where the art is created in illustrator with 2 layers exported as an eps file. The first layer for the art is etched to a certain depth, and a second layer which shows the 'through etch' so the part is cut out in the etching process. A good explanation can be found here. The badge is flat, so I the cold work this by hand with a leather mallet over a steel form which has a mirror finish. The steel form is slightly smaller than the tube the badges reside on as the stainless steel badges have some spring back. Hope that helps.

In other news: My 5 year anvil search is over. Recent score from an old work shed. 1891 Fisher.


1891 Fisher by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

This will be my mid-winter doldrum clean-up project.
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Old 11-02-2011, 12:32 PM   #154
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I'm very impressed!
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Old 11-02-2011, 12:58 PM   #155
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Very nice work! It's nice to see some non-cnc machining. Are you self tought? Where I work they've gone CNC pretty much on every machine and seeing things done without cnc really makes me miss the days. Not as gratifying. Beautiful frames.
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Old 11-03-2011, 01:09 AM   #156
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As a bike mechanic and a mountain bike racer I'm in love with this thread. I'm officially in awe!
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Old 11-03-2011, 11:46 AM   #157
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This place and your work are absolutely awesome! Glad to see someone fixing up an old place instead of starting from scratch!
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Old 11-03-2011, 02:10 PM   #158
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I finally clicked on your thread last night and ended up reading the whole thing start to finish. I was thinking "44 Bikes" was going to be a motorcycle shop build, seems there is way more auto/motorcycle types on here. Great to see a fellow bike nut's shop.

Recently purchased a house with a 24x16 garage and just moved in this week. Really looking forward to finally getting a shop set up and tackle a home made bike project I've been working on since spring. A bamboo / carbon ht.


Going from this work space


To this work space (pic from before we moved in, previous owner had it full of junk)


Is going to make this project much easier to work on in rainy North Vancouver BC.

Love the design touches on your photo's.
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Old 11-03-2011, 08:07 PM   #159
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@Moto367: There is merit to the craftsmanship of doing things by hand not because it's the easiest or most efficient way but because you choose to do it that way to have a closeness to the work. At least for me that's how I see it. And that is not a dig against a CNC. It's a tool just like a square or a protractor and they have their use, advantage and purpose. It's kind of the difference between CAD and pencil & paper I suppose.

I can see how it may not be as gratifying. Not as much challenge or closeness to the work. I will say there is something special about hand work. Perhaps the control over the work and the pride of getting something dead-nuts?

Like this guy (Now that's a lathe!):



I found this gem a while back here. Check it out if you like big machines.

However, the non-sparkle vision version would be the difference between the price of a 1960's Bridgeport and large CNC center!

Again-thanks for the kind words to all. Shop day tomorrow. Been bogged down in some design projects this past week, unexpected snow storms in October and loss of power due to 24" of snow...
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Old 11-03-2011, 09:03 PM   #160
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Love the "feel" of your shop. As a bike nut myself I'm really jealous of the whole set up. I've always wanted to learn even just the basics of fabrication but other stuff seems to always come first. I kept thinking to myself as I was reading this that it's kind of funny that the barn originally held horses for riding and now it's turning out bikes for riding. Goes right along with your recycling theme. Good luck with your shop and business.
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Old 11-03-2011, 09:11 PM   #161
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Beautiful shop! There must be great places to ride up near you. I have done a few EFTA and root66 races in NH and they have been great ( along with the 24 hours of great glen).

Have you done any 29er builds? I just built up a 2011 Epic and would love a hardtail with a 142 thru axle and a tapered steerer (copy of stumpjumper HT geo would be perfect). PM me if this is something you might want to try.

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Old 11-04-2011, 07:51 AM   #162
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Ironically 29ers are my specialty:


New Setup by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr


New Setup by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr
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Old 11-04-2011, 08:32 AM   #163
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Will there be any full suspension 29ers...?
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Old 11-04-2011, 05:56 PM   #164
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Today's effort in the shop today. A bit brisk outside but the windows keep it a bit warm in there.

Tube block assembly for the seat stay mitering fixture:


Tube Blockage by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Tramming in the vise with the Starrett Last Word Indicator:


WORD. by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

Few more parts and this ones done. Checking how things on the fixture set up:


Seat stay Mitering Madness by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr

And some vintage tool catalog love. Certified and not to be messed with:


Starrett Inspected by BLACK CAP Studio, on Flickr
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Old 11-04-2011, 06:41 PM   #165
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44: That is a big lathe. I'm fortunate to get to attend IMTS every 2 years in Chicago. There are some big machines on display. Check this link out if you want to see really BIG! http://www.vincelewis.net/bigengine.html
Again, nice work. And when I'm in the ready for a 29'er, I may be calling you. I always felt I was too small for one but many people are telling me no. Maybe a 650?
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Old 11-08-2011, 10:34 PM   #166
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bump just to keep tabs on this thread!

i was talking with my co worker last week and hes into bikes and thought about building one himself. I'm definitely going to forward him your info!
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Old 11-08-2011, 11:30 PM   #167
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I found this gem a while back here. Check it out if you like big machines.

However, the non-sparkle vision version would be the difference between the price of a 1960's Bridgeport and large CNC center!

Again-thanks for the kind words to all. Shop day tomorrow. Been bogged down in some design projects this past week, unexpected snow storms in October and loss of power due to 24" of snow...[/QUOTE]

Ive seen that site before. Thanks for reminding me of it. Some ridiculously large pieces of metal being moved around there.

Beautiful work in your shop. Thanks for taking the time on the photography.

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Old 12-03-2011, 05:56 PM   #168
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Any Updates?
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Old 12-19-2011, 04:56 PM   #169
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Sorry for the tardiness as I've been slammed with design work, finishing up house projects and makin' chips! I've been thoroughly enjoying working in this space. It's not done by a long shot and there's no heat (yet...) but I'm stoked. Got my vise (Wilton) mounted up on my stand I welded a while back:



Finished the chain stay mitering fixture:



Finished the seat stay mitering fixture:



Tube Forming (These are specifically seat tubes):



And cutting tubes for a change!



Making Bikes too:



Dialing the tooling in as I go. Headed up to Vermont to a buddy's shop to use his lathe to make a few adjustments to the bottom bracket tower to accept 100mm bottom brackets. Also making some other round parts while I'm there too.

But the big update is getting things in the ceiling prepped so I can actually retain some heat. When the sun is shining, it's pretty nice inside on a cool day as long as it's mid 30's low 40's. As it dips below 35 or if the sun goes away... you better keep moving! Anyway-this past weekend I started in on the rafters. They ran them every 48" but I'd like to utilize that space at some point so I wanted to add some structure and make putting up a ceiling (Same 4x8 sheets as the walls). Then we can finish up running the electric so I can put in some permanent light. Stoked about this. Not to mention it will help retain some heat once its finished and insulation is in place. View from both directions.





I don't know how the previous owner got that window up there but it's so damned heavy I'm not even going to mess with it until I can physically get up in there and slide it out of there... But you can see how I'm supporting the rafters as I go. Just cut a pair of 2x4's and screwed them in place. Slid the 10' 2x6's up there and nail them into place.

To be continued after the holidays...
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Old 12-19-2011, 05:52 PM   #170
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VERY NICE work! Along with hotrods I play with bicycles as well. Getting geared up to do a lugged cross bike myself. Love the building AND the bikes, I am a DIY glutton myself
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Old 12-19-2011, 05:59 PM   #171
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Still absolutely loving this workspace

Keep up the good work dude

If you fancy firing me a PM with your rates, I seriously need a couple of logos done
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:25 PM   #172
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What's a frame run? Know Mickey from Spooky and Frank over in VT?
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Old 12-19-2011, 06:30 PM   #173
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@ PeteMoore - I'll send you some info.

@Spam16v - I know of Frank and Spooky but do not know him/them personally. My friends shop is unrelated.
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Old 12-19-2011, 07:01 PM   #174
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Hey 44, nice work on the fixtures. I don't know if I missed it reading the thread, but what is your back ground as far as making the tooling goes? Are you a toolmaker/machinist etc?
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:04 PM   #175
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You sir, have significant skills in a variety of areas worthy of making any real man jealous! Those skills, however, pale in comparison to your artistic eye!

Jim
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:27 PM   #176
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jesus what i would give to be able to afford one of your frames, i guess ill just have to stick to the big name companies for now. your frames are damn sexy! GJ group buy maybe? hahaha
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:34 PM   #177
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Skillz are great!
My first "good" road bike was a Vitus Carbone that I glued together myself with aluminum lugs. I used it for Triathlon racing for almost 4 years, until I was sponsored by Cannondale.
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Old 12-19-2011, 09:48 PM   #178
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@Jim Johnstone: My background is pretty different I suppose. I was trained as a silversmith/goldsmith but later went back to school to get my Industrial Design Degree. Both programs were very hands on. Sketching an idea is only the first step and we were encouraged to build what we designed. So 'how' things are made is just as important as that vision of 'what' will be made. Often those moments of brilliance come out while working with the material itself and using the machines/processes to see that vision through. Aside from both programs having full machine shops/metal shops etc., I also have a natural curiosity for all things machinist so a lot of it is going to experts and having them show me the ropes. So it's a combination of training in a studio setting, tracking down the right people and having them mentor me and practice of course. The design end of things or the "eye" I think is one of those natural knacks that each of us have. I think everyone is born with a natural ability that just needs to be fostered and pursued. Constantly challenging ones faculties builds on itself.

Thanks for the kind words on the work, pics etc. It's great to be able to share with an equally enthusiastic crowd.
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Old 12-19-2011, 10:02 PM   #179
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Here's the state of the shop as of late November / early December:



Too cold to paint now. I'll finish up that in the spring along with a few other details. Going to concentrate on the ceiling and making all the entryways as 'draft proof' as possible. Few more pieces I can make for the doors and jams.
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Old 12-20-2011, 11:35 AM   #180
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Sounds like a good program,

My background is mechanical engineering and now I'm doing a tool and die apprenticeship. Hopefully I'll get a chance to make my first custom frame next year. It's been on my list of things to do since I was a teenager.

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@Jim Johnstone: My background is pretty different I suppose. I was trained as a silversmith/goldsmith but later went back to school to get my Industrial Design Degree. Both programs were very hands on. Sketching an idea is only the first step and we were encouraged to build what we designed. So 'how' things are made is just as important as that vision of 'what' will be made. Often those moments of brilliance come out while working with the material itself and using the machines/processes to see that vision through. Aside from both programs having full machine shops/metal shops etc., I also have a natural curiosity for all things machinist so a lot of it is going to experts and having them show me the ropes. So it's a combination of training in a studio setting, tracking down the right people and having them mentor me and practice of course. The design end of things or the "eye" I think is one of those natural knacks that each of us have. I think everyone is born with a natural ability that just needs to be fostered and pursued. Constantly challenging ones faculties builds on itself.

Thanks for the kind words on the work, pics etc. It's great to be able to share with an equally enthusiastic crowd.
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Old 12-20-2011, 11:42 AM   #181
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Nice work on the shop! And your fixtures are beautiful! Thanks for sharing
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Old 12-20-2011, 12:02 PM   #182
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Nice shop man. That thing is going to be a b**** to heat this winter with those open rafters! Love the old BP too. I used to run one like that and its beauty was in the simplicity of setup and making quick parts. Do you have a lathe? I see turned parts but no turning machine...

Get some insulation in that ceiling!
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Old 12-20-2011, 02:10 PM   #183
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Maybe just staple plastic sheeting to the rafters for the winter to help keep the heat in
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Old 12-20-2011, 06:10 PM   #184
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After the holidays I'm going to be installing the ceiling and insulation in the ceiling. So this is just a first step for that to happen. My efforts can be redirected again now that the house projects are finished up for this season.

A lathe is on the short list...
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Old 12-21-2011, 09:55 AM   #185
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What you gonna do with that big window once you get it down?
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Old 12-21-2011, 10:36 AM   #186
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You have a truly great shop and some amazing skills. I seriously need to learn to work in metal. Looks like so much fun.
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Old 12-21-2011, 11:53 AM   #187
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@LoRollinLS: I have another one just like it I took out of the shop. They're yours if you want them! Once it's down though, they are either going to the recycling center or anyone who wants them. When I removed the other one which is identical in the front of the shop, I was taken aback by how heavy the darn thing was. It was one of those "OH Sh*T" moments.

This gives you a good idea of what was there:



Midway:



Pretty much done:



Reviewing these photos right now and it's quite the change. The inside alone is completely transformed. Can't wait to really button this thing up and get the walls painted in the spring...
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Old 12-21-2011, 12:32 PM   #188
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I really like the organic feel of your shop. I'll bet it is an inspiring place to create you bicycle art! I am really enjoying this thread.
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Old 12-22-2011, 01:04 AM   #189
atxgsa
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Okay I am more impressed even after two months since the last time I saw your workshop here on GJ! The images are in the pile of photos folder that I will be pulling ideas from when I finally get a chance to build my workshop /office in the next couple of years! Thanks for the inspiration!
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Old 12-22-2011, 03:22 AM   #190
Krash Kadillak
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

I've enjoyed reading your thread, 44.
One thing that struck me about the space inside was it's overall focus. When you go into a typical 'small (manufacturing) business as a customer, you might be walking up to a desk or counter. The 'shop' area is usually 'in the back', kept away from the customers for reasons of appearance, safety, or whatever. Your emphasis is on the work itself, right out front. You're not visiting a 'manufacturing company' you're visiting an artist's studio.

One suggestion that's probably already in your plans....
The building could use some kind of 'apron' around the front door and 'garage' door - perhaps interlocking stones or something like that.......
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Old 12-22-2011, 05:52 AM   #191
MattDoves
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Default Re: 44 Bikes Frame Shop

Looks really really nice I hope one day I'll be able to have my own
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