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Thread: When is a frame "your" 1st frame?

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    CWinters's Avatar
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    Default When is a frame "your" 1st frame?

    So... I am working on what I guess is a second bicycle frame now. The first one was a product of Mike Flanigan (of ANT) teaching me how to braze. The one I am working on now is more independent, but still not entirely. I have access to a shop, and the guy managing the shop helps me out if I have any questions or get stuck (in turn, I help out around the shop - which helps me learn a great deal in itself).

    My personal feeling, is that I cannot call a frame "my first frame" until I've made it from start to finish unsupervised. For example, if someone is watching me braze and vocally guiding me through the process, then I did not make that frame; at best we made the frame jointly. Ditto if I did not cut, notch or slot tubes entirely on my own. I would even go so far as to say that if I can do each task unsupervised but then need someone to check my work after every step, the result does not count as "my" frame either.

    It will probably be a while before I am comfortable claiming full credit for a frame. I am learning, but I'm slow and I have the luxury of having local support. How do you guys feel about this? Do you think of your Frame #001 as the one you made under supervision, or entirely by yourself? And as far as this forum, at what stage is it acceptable to post in-progress pictures of one's work?

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    adarn's Avatar
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    Default Re: When is a frame "your" 1st frame?

    I'm 100% self taught, So I suppose you'd count all of mine. I call my first attempt #0, it's still hanging up in my garage and is utterly useless. I still ride #1 though.

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    Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
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    Default Re: When is a frame "your" 1st frame?

    I wouldn't be so narrow in your view as to what's a first frame. Was the inception yours? the design? Most of the fabracation work? How about the fine finishing?

    When i worked in Chicago in 1985 finished a couple of frames that had been started before I hired on at Cyclery North. One had the main triangle brazed up only, the other partial brazing and some mitering. I call these frame ones I made. I completed them, dealing with the issues the first builder gave them.

    Anyway in a while it will be moot as the more you build the more you understand the frames past are just that, in the past. Andy.
    Andy Stewart
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    Default Re: When is a frame "your" 1st frame?

    my first (and only so far) frame was done at UBI, but I did 100% of the brazing, cutting, design and screw ups. i of course had supervision and guidance, but it was up to me to make that pile of uncut tubes into something.

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    Curt Goodrich is offline VSalonistas

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    Default Re: When is a frame "your" 1st frame?

    Since you asked what I see as a philosophical question I'll answer in kind. Nobody truly builds a frame that is 100% self taught. Even if one does 100% of the labor that individual received help somewhere along the line. I'm guessing your question is motivated by the admirable goal of self-containment. Just like perfection, self-containment can never be reached and yet it's worthwhile to try to get there anyway. To answer your question more directly- I've built a lot of bikes and continue to seek and receive help along the way. And my bikes are all the better for it.
    Curt Goodrich
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    Jason Musgrave's Avatar
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    Default Re: When is a frame "your" 1st frame?

    Zen from Curt-san
    laughter has no foreign accent.

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    CWinters's Avatar
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    Default Re: When is a frame "your" 1st frame?

    Quote Originally Posted by prolix21 View Post
    my first (and only so far) frame was done at UBI, but I did 100% of the brazing, cutting, design and screw ups. i of course had supervision and guidance, but it was up to me to make that pile of uncut tubes into something.
    Right. I guess I was questioning the validity of taking credit for my work in light of heavy supervision and guidance. (And I was directing that solely at myself, not at others.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Curt Goodrich View Post
    Since you asked what I see as a philosophical question I'll answer in kind. Nobody truly builds a frame that is 100% self taught. Even if one does 100% of the labor that individual received help somewhere along the line. I'm guessing your question is motivated by the admirable goal of self-containment. Just like perfection, self-containment can never be reached and yet it's worthwhile to try to get there anyway. To answer your question more directly- I've built a lot of bikes and continue to seek and receive help along the way. And my bikes are all the better for it.
    Thanks for the thoughtful words. I've been trying to make sense of my state of mind after my experience with Mike. Going into it I expected to feel a sense of accomplishment after the frame was done, but I instead I was disappointed in myself and a little depressed. And it wasn't being too hard on myself or anything like that. It was more the realisation that a finished frame doesn't mean much in the context of how much more there is to learn. Now that some time has passed and I am working on a second frame, I view that same realisation in a more positive light.

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    Default Re: When is a frame "your" 1st frame?

    Interesting question. Mr. Goodrich has very wise words to guide us with all that we endeavor. I constantly ask others more knowledgable about procedure and process to always be learning and honing my own skill.

    I'll be the first to admit that building a bicycle is not easy. It's a stacked set of skills and a layering of experience with a variety of materials, circumstances etc. where we need to reach a proficiency and understanding with them. That just simply takes time, commitment, persistence and the act of "doing". It's only after this accomplishment that we can truly begin to focus our effort on the task of building a bicycle so that the tools, material and experience that they demand are no longer a barrier.

    Whether something is a first or not may not necessarily be relevant nor important to the bigger picture. It's the act of doing that was important. It was your first step towards making something with your own hands. That takes guts and that is relevant and important.
    Kristofer Henry : 44 BIKES : Made to Shred™
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    Default Re: When is a frame "your" 1st frame?

    Quote Originally Posted by CWinters View Post
    .... I expected to feel a sense of accomplishment after the frame was done, but I instead I was disappointed in myself and a little depressed. And it wasn't being too hard on myself or anything like that. It was more the realisation that a finished frame doesn't mean much in the context of how much more there is to learn. Now that some time has passed and I am working on a second frame, I view that same realisation in a more positive light.
    Shake off that negative feeling and acknowledge that you are in an envious position. The learning is the accomplishment and the reward and the joy. And you are just at the beginning. Building frame #10 or #11 is a lot more fun than #160 or #161.

    Little kids are usually happy because everything they experience is new. Think about your first bike ride, first camping trip, first piece of tail....

    IMHO, don't get bogged down with percentage of 'credit' on your bike. Rush into #2, #3, and so on.

    When you're riding it, and someone asks who built your bike, don't qualify the answer with 'I got help from XYZ', just say 'I DID! '
    Glenn Thompson
    http://Daltex.bike

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    Default Re: When is a frame "your" 1st frame?

    Quote Originally Posted by CWinters View Post
    I've been trying to make sense of my state of mind after my experience with Mike. Going into it I expected to feel a sense of accomplishment after the frame was done, but I instead I was disappointed in myself and a little depressed. And it wasn't being too hard on myself or anything like that. It was more the realisation that a finished frame doesn't mean much in the context of how much more there is to learn. Now that some time has passed and I am working on a second frame, I view that same realisation in a more positive light.
    Being in a similar position, one frame down with a pile of bits that hope to be a second - I relate to this a lot. I came off frame #1 encouraged, but that quickly turned into some disappointment and depression about what I thought I was doing. I've struggled a bit with this, some of it through various posts. In the last couple monthsI've begun to focus less on actually building another frame and more on building the skillset that a classroom only touches on. Whether that's hundreds of practice joints or subassemblies or a whole frame, who knows, and I'm ok with that.

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    Default Re: When is a frame "your" 1st frame?

    Quote Originally Posted by CWinters View Post
    Going into it I expected to feel a sense of accomplishment after the frame was done, but I instead I was disappointed in myself and a little depressed. And it wasn't being too hard on myself or anything like that. It was more the realisation that a finished frame doesn't mean much in the context of how much more there is to learn.
    The disappointment and depressed feelings are normal and you should only experience them when they disappear completely atmo. In other words, welcome aboard.

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    Default Re: When is a frame "your" 1st frame?

    Quote Originally Posted by CWinters View Post
    So... I am working on what I guess is a second bicycle frame now. The first one was a product of Mike Flanigan (of ANT) teaching me how to braze. The one I am working on now is more independent, but still not entirely. I have access to a shop, and the guy managing the shop helps me out if I have any questions or get stuck (in turn, I help out around the shop - which helps me learn a great deal in itself).

    My personal feeling, is that I cannot call a frame "my first frame" until I've made it from start to finish unsupervised. For example, if someone is watching me braze and vocally guiding me through the process, then I did not make that frame; at best we made the frame jointly. Ditto if I did not cut, notch or slot tubes entirely on my own. I would even go so far as to say that if I can do each task unsupervised but then need someone to check my work after every step, the result does not count as "my" frame either.

    It will probably be a while before I am comfortable claiming full credit for a frame. I am learning, but I'm slow and I have the luxury of having local support. How do you guys feel about this? Do you think of your Frame #001 as the one you made under supervision, or entirely by yourself? And as far as this forum, at what stage is it acceptable to post in-progress pictures of one's work?
    I don't know you CWinters but reading your post I can't help but feel that you've spoken a few of my own thoughts within it.
    I would also surmise that these feelings about learning aren't unique to framebuilding in your life as they are not in my own, instead the same could be applied to many skill quests over time. I guess what needs to be asked is why is framebuilding different? When was the first picture you drew your own picture? first paragraph? first sandwich?

    I would say you've built YOUR first frame and are building your second now. I suppose you could add a decimal point at the beginning of your serial number to remind your self of where you were at and remove it when you feel you've reached the goal of an un-aided build; .001 - .006 - 007..... if it matters (i don't think it does)
    As far as picture go, thats what this place is all about. add some to this thread! please! it's always appropriate.

    jake

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    JLP
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    Default Re: When is a frame "your" 1st frame?

    I think of the frame I built at UBI as "my first frame."

    I think of the next one as "the first frame I built without adult supervision."

    But that's not really true either because I have a friend who is very very patient when I call him.

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    thethinone is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: When is a frame "your" 1st frame?

    Quote Originally Posted by e-RICHIE View Post
    The disappointment and depressed feelings are normal and you should only experience them when they disappear completely atmo. In other words, welcome aboard.
    All of the disappointment I feel about the flaws in my first (and so far only) frame disappear when I am riding/racing it.

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    Default Re: When is a frame "your" 1st frame?

    Quote Originally Posted by thethinone View Post
    All of the disappointment I feel about the flaws in my first (and so far only) frame disappear when I am riding/racing it.
    I have brazed maybe 4,000 of these are all are flawed atmo.
    Here - read/hear what Eva Zeisel thinks about it:

    RIP Eva Zeisel | RICHARD SACHS CYCLES

    Celebrate the human touch, huh.

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    Default Re: When is a frame "your" 1st frame?

    I have seen this from a different perspective. I wonder when I will be comfortable taking credit for my first frame, or knife, or table, or auto body paint etc. because I don't want to be seen as incompetent (which I am compared to those who do this stuff regularly.) I want to feel proud of the lack of explanations or excuses or workarounds- to have a complete product that is in my mind "good enough" for my standards. I feel a frame will be "mine" rather than an experiment or project when I won't have to make excuses for it.

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    Default Re: When is a frame "your" 1st frame?

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie1 View Post
    I have seen this from a different perspective. I wonder when I will be comfortable taking credit for my first frame, or knife, or table, or auto body paint etc. because I don't want to be seen as incompetent (which I am compared to those who do this stuff regularly.) I want to feel proud of the lack of explanations or excuses or workarounds- to have a complete product that is in my mind "good enough" for my standards. I feel a frame will be "mine" rather than an experiment or project when I won't have to make excuses for it.
    imho there will always be something that you wish you did differently, something you are eager to do better next time. For me, this wanting to make the next one better is what keeps it interesting.
    Glenn Thompson
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    Default Re: When is a frame "your" 1st frame?

    To Willie's comment- at some point you have to decide NOT to do the work arounds, excuses, etc. That isn't to say the bike needs to be perfect in the first shot, but you need to decide when bandaging a bike stops and starting over is best.

    I think having and implementing cq standards is part of claiming the process. Being confident enough to reject your own work because it needs to be better is a good thing.

    This is different then not seeing room to improve or being crippled with self criticism.

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    Willie1 is offline VSalonistas
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    Default Re: When is a frame "your" 1st frame?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Estlund View Post
    To Willie's comment- at some point you have to decide NOT to do the work arounds, excuses, etc. That isn't to say the bike needs to be perfect in the first shot, but you need to decide when bandaging a bike stops and starting over is best.

    I think having and implementing cq standards is part of claiming the process. Being confident enough to reject your own work because it needs to be better is a good thing.

    This is different then not seeing room to improve or being crippled with self criticism.
    This is exactly what I mean. I am not referring to excessive self criticism. I am referring to a frame that works as designed, with no excuses. I am not selling anything at this time. I only build for me and my family. When I have something that I would be willing to sell and put my name on, I will consider myself starting at "frame 1"

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    Default Re: When is a frame "your" 1st frame?

    I am my worst customer, i see every flaw blown up to massive sizes, this brings me down a bit but only makes me want to make the next one better. What always helps is the knowledge that builders that have been in the game for decadesstill never turn out fir themselves 100% perfect frames and i thank them for that. What we do and make are handmade and lets not forget that.

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