I've built bikes out of all materials...well, not CF unless you count rear ends and seat tubes/top tubes as I've never built a full CF bike...but I really, really, really, like steel and it's what I always choose for myself. I like paint and I like how tough & pragmatic steel is.
Hey Arch, thanks for getting smoked out. You're a stud and it's amazing how much you've done in such a short time. I Remember when you came on the scenes and quickly became one of the best TIG framebuilder back in the day, you really drove me crazy because you were so damn good. I'm glad you only build tools now :) That being said, as you know I'm a big Anvil fan. I have a couple of your pieces and I love them. You do a great job of balancing flexibility of application while limiting the flexibility of the tool itself.
Before Anvil builders had Marchetti and Bicycle Machinery which are both out of reach and overbuilt for most custom builders and of course there was the Hank frame fixture. You created a new product that allowed small builders to mechanize their process without having to make their own tools. Finally there was something that most could afford that allowed the flexibility to build a broad range of custom frames using a variety of material and specifications (I know that sounds like a sales pitch, sorry). Surprisingly at the same time there was an onslaught of new builders. Coincidental?
Strong Frames Inc.
I'm proud to say that I was an Anvil frame customer back-in-the-day. Unfortunately for Don, it was my first custom frame purchase, and I'm sure I was the typical newb pain-in-the-ass: too much excitement and not enough real knowledge/wisdom to just let him do his job without all my obsessing & pestering. But in spite of my "help", it turned out spectacularly. So much so that I immediately placed another order. Those two frames have served me extremely well over the years - many miles & even more smiles. I consider myself fortunate to have them, and they're not going anywhere, ever. And the knowledge & entertainment I've gotten from his forum contributions over the years - priceless.
So, Don, "Thanks!" I hope I can rearrange some work commitments & make it to Austin this year - I owe you a rye, or two, or several.
Oh yeah, a question. . . Can you make me a custom Anvil headbadge for that fixee of mine? (insert smiley)
Don't anybody get too butthurt over what I've written, it's just my opinion. I have others. :)
Archie, thanks for letting me know about Binny's. I can get this stuff shipped to VT:
Old Rip Van Winkle
This man knows his tooling and bourbon or rye!
Start slow, then taper off.
a couple of things..... There are so many ways to join tubes but using your fixtures and tools is part of the pleasure for me. I'll be getting that frame fixture I keep threatening you about soon.
Where does the tool business go from here? Can sales keep expanding for you frame and fork fixtures here in the US? Is the international market open to you?