Sunday, December 5, 2010

Maintain Radio Silence

By all outward appearances it might seem that I've not
been up to much, as I haven't posted in a while. Not quite true.
Lately I've been working on some tools.
Sometimes making the tools to make bikes is more fun
than making the bikes. Probably just novelty.

In the past on this here blog I've kept the posts
specifically about the end product. There is, of course, a lot of
work that goes into each bike. Much of it quite mind numbing
to those unfortunate enough to be watching.
There are plenty of people blogging about their
processes that are better spoken than I, so we'll let
them do the excellent job they do.

This post, however, I'm going to deviate from the usual course a bit.
Machining bits of aluminum into tools is way more exciting
(and photogenic) than me building bikes.
Here are some images from the making of a tubing bender. The benders
that I've been making will double the amount of sizes of
tubes I'll be able to bend- just how I like them.

In the past, I've chosen music that is
somewhere between mainstream
and a bit obscure. Something that maybe
not everybody has heard of, but is easy
enough to be accessible if someone were
to look further for more of the same.
Sometimes though, an artist very obvious
and well known must be given their due here.
Fact is, if you're not listening to Miles Davis
you're only doing yourself a disservice.
Not everybody can get into the later, avant
guard stuff from the 80's. I have a
hard time with it. However, the classic
Kind of Blue is genre defining and
cannot be ignored.


Johann Rissik said...

I think you'd be surprised how many true lovers of the two wheels will enjoy this kind of post. It's so much more than just the end product.

Mike said...

Keep the nuts and bolt stuff coming as I find it very interesting.
As a matter of fact, I was listening to Kind of Blue yesterday. It was perfect listening on a blustery rainy Sunday here on the central coast.

Rotten said...

Nice chips you're hoggin' there, sir!

blackcatbicycles said...

thanks y'all for the words of encouragement. with a few exceptions, i'm going to keep the format of the blog relatively the same. if it changed, at some point it would stop being about the bikes and more about me. that's not what this is about to me. without getting too far into it, the end result is what is important. does it change how the bike performs if there are pictures of me mitering the tubes, cleaning the tubes, brazing the tubes, filing the joints? no, not really. i'm happy to discuss all those things in mouth drying detail if you wish, just not on the b-log. there are people out there who do such a great job of making what we do so interesting, but i'm not that guy. i like my building just like how i like my riding- without distraction, typically by myself. exploring nuance and possibility by myself is part of the fun of it. if i share all my "secret" experiences with everyone, they are not mine anymore. building tubing benders from scratch, inserting a tube, bending it perfectly the first time is the kind of thing that floats my boat. building a new bike from scratch for a new friend so they can quietly rail a part of their world, perfectly the first time, is what its all about. fleeting moments are meant to be just that. how do i blog about that?

Anonymous said...

Mind adding a picture of this finished product so I can wrap my brain around what it is that makes your lovely bent tubes look so lovely?

blackcatbicycles said...

dear anonymous,
i like to leave the mysteries of bending butted, tapered, heat treated, thin walled tubing alive and kicking. something i've been working on for a while. so many closely guarded secrets, so little time.