Sunday 21 December 2008

It's not just bikes and saddles I make.

Check out the Dolma (Turkish) also known as Dolmades in Greek. But we do the Turkish version in our house. I guess I just like making stuff, including food. In the third image you can see MDF, the happy (I hope) owner of the yellow machine from an earlier post.

Plenty of other delicious Turkish dishes where this one came from. I learned it from Feride, one of the toughest food critics around. If she doesn't like it she'll let you know, and forget about messing around with the traditional recipes, no surprise ingredients.

What's With the Skulls?

The sequence of images is not really chronological (having a bit of trouble with the blogger interface). In any case, here's a little bit of an out of sequence pictorial story of the skull saddle. The latest is at the top and everything else is scattered randomly thereafter. There are trial swatches trying to figure out how to represent a skull in pink, in leather whilst keeping it functional as a saddle. That means durability and comfort. The machine embroidered option wasn't really under consideration because the stitching would disappear in no time with the abrasion of the cyclist's back side!

I'm starting to wonder what will come next in the skull series or whether the skulls have reached their logical conclusion. Maybe something like family crests?

Monday 15 December 2008

Evil Pinky & Some Golden Treasure

Here's what I got up to on the weekend. Recovering / restoring a battered old Rolls with a little of the busyman signature stitch. I estimated a week for this job but once I get started I can't stop til it's complete. I even had to wait for a break in the relentless rain to ride over to the Maiike Studio for some extra long rivet shanks to re-attach the golden trim. As usual an exciting job that caused anxiety at every stage. I'm happy with the end result, even though the gold wasn't real and pretty much polished off when I cleaned it.

The Evil Pinky: What can I say, this was an exciting job because of the different and dramatic application of this embossing technique. I'm really happy with the outcome. The Evil Pinky and the Red Flame are for Mr and Mrs Shifter respectively.

Next post hopefully there's an update on the Mixte, currently it's at the powder coater and electro-plater. The rims have just been polished, the coaster hub is waiting at Shifter Bikes, the red tires are still in Japan and I think I might have to make a special saddle.

Sunday 7 December 2008

The Next One on the Bookshelf: Top Shelf of Course

It's the Jaffa-Mocha-Latte sitting on the bookshelf now. Still waiting for the appropriate 36 hole back hub to arrive. The solution for the yellow bike isn't going to work for this one because the 36 hole rims have been powder coated especially for the build, pedals are matching too. So here it sits now waiting patiently for things to start moving again.

It's an exciting week ahead though, there's plenty of work on the studio table. The skull embossed saddle is looking rather nice and needs glueing along with the new red flame model. I'm also off to the powder coaters and the electro platers this week for the mixte and another fork I thought I'd get chromed just for the hell of it.

Where's Thuy?

A beautiful day for an afternoon ride, great tail wind heading out, surprising head wind coming home. We missed you Thuy and hoped Michael could make it on the "Yellow Machine", maybe next time. Here we are loitering around the back yard / workshop, talking bike and fitting some toe straps to Tri's new bike. So new in fact that not only was it missing toe straps but he hasn't managed to organise his brakes yet. I think secretly he's planning to go brakeless forever. Also waiting around for Samantha to collect the bike she just won in an Ebay auction. It was Feride's Christmas present last year, I guess the Mixte is this years present. Thanks again Feride for the pictures.

Black and White Speed Stripes

A couple of nice shots of Feride's Speed Stripes bike. It's the old red Giant road bike converted to a three speed internal hub gear using the original right hand shifter. Looks great photographed against the Beardleyesque wallpaper in the laundry/bike studio.

Saddle Sunday

It's a saddle Sunday. the saddles have recently returned from "The Art of the Bicycle". Managed to convince Feride to photograph a few of them in more detail. These are some of the more intricate ones with embossing, fancy punched contrast holes and stitch detail. On the tables is a sneak preview of what's on the way. The pink embossed skull model for Emma. Thanks for the photos Feride. Check out her images in Flickr:

Monday 1 December 2008

Yellow Machine is Done

Now that happened much faster than expected. My solution for the 36 hole back hub problem was solved by an idea I had on Thursday night, why not use a new 32 hole rim instead! So I got the rim on Friday night, polished it up on Friday night, delivered it back to Shifter Bikes on Saturday morning. Then Dan called back on Saturday afternoon to inform me that the wheels were ready, I took the bike in and he fit the wheels and drive train for me. That was it, complete. I guess things were just working out on Saturday. Here are a few nice shots by Feride.

The Mixte: Session 2

For some twisted reason I decided to strip the frame instead of the usual send it for sand blasting with the powder coater. The benefit of doing this is it gives you some quality time to bond with the frame and become familiar with all of its blemishes and idiosyncrasies. What I discovered yesterday about the mixte frame is that it has had some repair work done on the right drop out, quite crude repair work, it looks as though it has been welded and not cleaned up afterwards. The repair has thrown the rear spacing slightly out and the top tube/stay at the drop out end is slightly bend when compared to the left one. The question is whether to have it professionally re-repaired or just go with it like it is with a little bit of cleaning up. I think I'll seek some expert advice. Here you can see the frame in its semi-stripped state, some nice lug details and a love heart on the underside of the down tube. Quite appropriate given that the bike is for Feride.