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Thread: Anvil Bikes

  1. #1
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    Default Anvil Bikes

    All right Mr. De Mille, I'm ready for my close-up...




    Edit: Damn, Richard called my bluff!

    I better get to typing....
    Last edited by Archibald; 11-20-2010 at 07:54 PM.
    "It's better to not know so much than to know so many things that ain't so." -- Josh Billings, 1885

    A man with any character at all must have enemies and places he is not welcome—in the end we are not only defined by our friends, but also those aligned against us.


  2. #2
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    Default Re: Anvil Bikes

    dwf - the most important man in framebuilding atmo.

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    That's it, that's all we get? A picture of Don hugging his tool?
    Eric Doswell, aka Edoz
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Anvil Bikes


    .....

  5. #5
    Flux

    Default Re: Anvil Bikes

    Don,

    You are a hero to most.

    Can you please share with us how you went from jumping out of planes honorably at the service of the United States of America to becoming a Master Craftsman?

    Thank You,
    Justin
     

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Anvil Bikes

    I'm interested in your framebuilding as well. How much framebuilding do you do as opposed to the tooling side of your business?
    Eric Doswell, aka Edoz
    Summoner of Crickets
    http://edozbicycles.wordpress.com/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/edozbicycles/
    In Before the Lock

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by edoz View Post
    That's it, that's all we get? A picture of Don hugging his tool?
    That's pretty much my full time job & I mean that in a good way.
    "It's better to not know so much than to know so many things that ain't so." -- Josh Billings, 1885

    A man with any character at all must have enemies and places he is not welcome—in the end we are not only defined by our friends, but also those aligned against us.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Anvil Bikes

    don,
    give us a little time line of yr manufacturing.
    i assume you started building frames and then expanded into tooling.

    what brought you into the tooling side?
     

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by e-RICHIE View Post
    dwf - the most important man in framebuilding atmo.
    Flattery will get you everywhere!
    "It's better to not know so much than to know so many things that ain't so." -- Josh Billings, 1885

    A man with any character at all must have enemies and places he is not welcome—in the end we are not only defined by our friends, but also those aligned against us.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Anvil Bikes

    When is the Anvil three axis adjustable front derailleur braze on boss jig going to be in the mail to me?
    I demand to know
    My Anvil Forky brazio jigio is a nice tool, thank you Don
    Cheers Dazza
    The rock star is dying. And it's a small tragedy. Rock stars have blogs now. I have no use for that kind of rock star.
    Nick Cave

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    Darrell Llewellyn McCulloch

  11. #11
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    let's hear about the artic thing, too

    and vee dubs and whisky

    a thanksgiving tale, uncle donny!
    Steve Hampsten
    www.hampsten.blogspot.com
    "hey, we got grenades!"

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flux View Post
    Don,

    You are a hero to most.

    Can you please share with us how you went from jumping out of planes honorably at the service of the United States of America to becoming a Master Craftsman?

    Thank You,
    Justin
    Thanks Justin, but I don't consider myself a master craftsman at anything. Jack of all trades is closer to the mark.

    I'll try to compress a lifetime into a paragraph or two. I worked in machine shops as a kid (Dads, etc.) I began learning to weld at a very young age; I think I was 12 when I started to actually get paid to do it, as I recall it was welding angle clips on boiler tubes with 7014. No matter but it gave me a taste for it and I liked having $$ in my pocket so the rest of my school years I always had a job. Sometimes two. I was heavy into bikes, motorcycles, cars and all things mechanical from about the 3rd grade on. It's just the environment I was raised in. I hated machining, I thought it was boring, and nobody wanted to be that kid that smelled like coolant all the time but with welding you could set the world on fire. From 16 years old on, I lived on my own, had a full time job, a place to live, and somehow managed to finish High School.

    I had a bad temper and worse judgement; my Dad always said I could get in a fight just looking at somebody across the street. I started bouncing around from one scrape with the law to the next, and one day I found myself in Cleburne, Texas standing in front of a military recruiting center. Smartest thing I ever did was breaking the cycle I kept finding myself in. I loved the Army, I loved my job, and was good at it; it was like boy scouts for men with merit badges for blowing shit up. When I got out, I was recruited to work on DOS jobs in US Embassies, first in Mexico City, then Chad. Good times. From there, I was recruited to work in the US Antarctic Program which I did for the next 9 or so years. During that time I moved out of construction management and into operations and then upper management and when I left I was the Sr. Area Manager for all three US Antarctic Stations (McMurdo, South Pole, and Palmer)

    Around 1998/99 I traded what I felt was a corporate straight jacket for something that didn't fit so tight, went to UBI where Ron Sutphin & Jim Kish changed my life, started Anvil Bikeworks, and the rest is history.

    I didn't choose to do what I do today, it chose me. I love it until I hate it and then I love it some more.

    Wake up Justin, the opera is over.
    "It's better to not know so much than to know so many things that ain't so." -- Josh Billings, 1885

    A man with any character at all must have enemies and places he is not welcome—in the end we are not only defined by our friends, but also those aligned against us.


  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by edoz View Post
    I'm interested in your framebuilding as well. How much framebuilding do you do as opposed to the tooling side of your business?
    Unfortunately, very little these days. I build just enough to keep the heavy rust at bay. Building bikes is kind of like riding them: you might get fat & slow but you don't forget how.

    The tooling took over my business in 2004...actually before that, but I quit taking orders in 2004. I always though building frames and building tools would be a good mix but it's more like oil & water. In 2004 I finally faced up to the fact that all I could do was piss everybody off by being late with both bikes and tools. I can tell you it was a hard decision to quit building. Like I said before, I never started Anvil to be a tool builder, it's just the way it shook out. My first bike show I displayed at I took my fixtures to use as backdrops. My frames could just as well have been made out of glass, everybody looked right through them and all the questions were about the tools. I sold my first frame fixture that day.
    "It's better to not know so much than to know so many things that ain't so." -- Josh Billings, 1885

    A man with any character at all must have enemies and places he is not welcome—in the end we are not only defined by our friends, but also those aligned against us.


  14. #14
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    Default Re: Anvil Bikes

    Crap, what was Antarctica like? Besides cold. I've always wanted to see it in person.
    Eric Doswell, aka Edoz
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveP View Post
    don,
    give us a little time line of yr manufacturing.
    i assume you started building frames and then expanded into tooling.

    what brought you into the tooling side?
    Thanks Steve. It's as I posted to Ed. I did start building frames and to do that I had to build fixtures first (I'll see if I can find pics of them later). I built the first "Master" fixture designed for resale in 2000 I think. The original 10 Masters were all done on my old turret mill, and old rotary table, and lathe. I'd work the long days showing those things who was boss. I'd really explore the room on what was possible to do on that damn mill. Ram all the way out & rotated off to one side. Table all the way to the opposite lock so I swing the radius's I needed to cut on the rotary. Those original masters were HUGE too. 8 setups per side working off pins and two rotary table ops and every move was impending doom. Good times! The original Journeyman made its debut at Interbike '03. I didn't think I'd sell 10 of those JMan's; it was just do different than everything else; hell I didn't even keep serial numbers on the first 100-odd units that I did!
    "It's better to not know so much than to know so many things that ain't so." -- Josh Billings, 1885

    A man with any character at all must have enemies and places he is not welcome—in the end we are not only defined by our friends, but also those aligned against us.


  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by edoz View Post
    Crap, what was Antarctica like? Besides cold. I've always wanted to see it in person.
    Highest, driest, coldest, land on Earth pretty much captures it. Other than that it was party time!

    The Antarctic Cycling & Drinking Club circa early 90's (I'm in the middle, green jacket, blue pants):


    Airing it out in McMurdo!



    Pancake ice on the way to Palmer Station after the Drake Passage



    Hero shot at South Pole. We were digging out arches and the dome this year:



    Hero shot my first year on the ice/McMurdo building the water plant and fire hydrant system (hot water!)

    Last edited by Archibald; 11-20-2010 at 09:27 PM.
    "It's better to not know so much than to know so many things that ain't so." -- Josh Billings, 1885

    A man with any character at all must have enemies and places he is not welcome—in the end we are not only defined by our friends, but also those aligned against us.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: Anvil Bikes

    don- it's a not so secret secret that you're still making the occassional bike. so spill- rumor has it these things are for people not comfortable enough with their own sexuality to wear Lycra bib shorts, but might want to smethimg crazy like ride the colorado trail unsupported.

    where do you see bike design going in the next few years? what the fuck is the modern mountain bike? and given fxture sales, what's the state of the handmade bicycle industry? and last one, what's the best 1915 for shooting cans or other threats to my personal safety?
     

  18. #18
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    hey DWF it's saturday night and you have been under the hot lights for at least two hours.
    how has your life changed so far atmo.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerk View Post
    don- it's a not so secret secret that you're still making the occassional bike. so spill- rumor has it these things are for people not comfortable enough with their own sexuality to wear Lycra bib shorts, but might want to smethimg crazy like ride the colorado trail unsupported.

    where do you see bike design going in the next few years? what the fuck is the modern mountain bike? and given fxture sales, what's the state of the handmade bicycle industry? and last one, what's the best 1915 for shooting cans or other threats to my personal safety?
    Yeah. Entropy as a brand is pretty stagnant, as much as I'd like to, I just don't have time to make a go of it, and am too much of a control freak to not do it myself. But hey, Nancy is pretty awesome. I've never quit designing bikes & bike stuff, but turning it from design to reality is the show stopper for me so it comes down to the occasional special bike. I'm really tempted to hire another guy for the tooling biz and delegate day to day ops to my main man Matt but as Carl Strong told me (and apparently everybody now -- he used to make me feel so special!) that when he expanded, he handled more money and managed more risk, but he didn't MAKE more money. That's damn good cautionary advice to me. Right now, Anvil is a very healthy, sustainable, business that provides a very good living for three folks if you don't mind working 50 hours a week. This year I've focused a lot on increasing our capacity and capabilities (new VMC and other equipment, and more space) so that means we should see some increased efficiency next year, but again, it's a double edged sword. The new VMC is a very good example. It rips through product compared to our older stuff, but to take advantage of it, we have to make new sub-plates and fixturing to hold the parts, which means instead of saving us time it's taking about twice the time. The gain will come later. Shit, I'm rambling! What were we talking about again?

    Dinner is ready, so I'll finish this up later!
    "It's better to not know so much than to know so many things that ain't so." -- Josh Billings, 1885

    A man with any character at all must have enemies and places he is not welcome—in the end we are not only defined by our friends, but also those aligned against us.


  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by e-RICHIE View Post
    hey DWF it's saturday night and you have been under the hot lights for at least two hours.
    how has your life changed so far atmo.
    I'm hungry, dehydrated, and my fingers are tired.
    "It's better to not know so much than to know so many things that ain't so." -- Josh Billings, 1885

    A man with any character at all must have enemies and places he is not welcome—in the end we are not only defined by our friends, but also those aligned against us.


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