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Thread: Maietta Cycles

  1. #61
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    Default Re: Maietta Cycles

    Great to hear Tony! I love your attitude, you've never wavered and your commitment shows. I think Carl sees it also, or he wouldn't have this much faith in you.
     
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  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by e-RICHIE View Post
    rawesome atmo.
    tony - you are taking a small step but one that will accelerate your game exponentially.
    it won't be long before you quit your day job and join the commercial framebuilders union.
    It's ironic I read this in a fleabag motel at the start of another week in central Manitoba.

    Is it time to go back home to my shop yet?
    Anthony Maietta
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  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Kirk View Post
    I hear you changed your dates just a bit - a good thing as I will be around and look forward to a visit.

    Dave
    Yeah, I fly in the afternoon of Friday, October 1st and leave Sunday morning. Carl recommended a great brew pub in town; if you and Karin are around Saturday night you should definitely come out!
    Anthony Maietta
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  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkC View Post
    Very nice. Look forward to getting our hard copy (class of '88).

    --Mark
    I got word that the version in the hard edition will be a summary of the full online version. We'll see what it looks like when it arrives, eh?
    Anthony Maietta
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  5. #65
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    really happy to read that my "personal" builder is going to take lessons from one of my top 5 builders :)
     
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  6. #66
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    Thanks Tony, Loretta and I are looking forward to having you. I think Erik will be just finishing up and ready to move back to Idaho and kick off Alliance Bicycles for good. Hopefully we'll all be able to get together. You, me Dave and Erik can all hang out, we'll be a like a little mini Portland.
    Carl Strong
    Strong Frames Inc.
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  7. #67
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    Default Re: Maietta Cycles

    Hey Tony, Quick seatstay question for you, Somewhere(can't remember where right now) you spoke about learning from a guy who was in the habit of silvering his seat stay tops and you developed your own moves for tigging them. I'm about 50-50 on the way I do them between those two choices. Can you tell me why you chose to go primarily tig or if you change it up as well/
    thanks,
    Jake
     
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  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellman View Post
    Hey Tony, Quick seatstay question for you, Somewhere(can't remember where right now) you spoke about learning from a guy who was in the habit of silvering his seat stay tops and you developed your own moves for tigging them. I'm about 50-50 on the way I do them between those two choices. Can you tell me why you chose to go primarily tig or if you change it up as well/
    thanks,
    Jake
    Hey Jake,

    Thanks for the question. I need to get over to your Smoked Out thread!

    Yes you are correct. The framebuilder I learned from (Toby at Hot Tubes) silver brazes his fastback seat stays. He definitely has the skill to weld them, but he has his own signature style that lends itself well to his framebuilding classes (described above in my post about my upcoming visit with Carl Strong). When I first started building it was a simple matter of skill; I physically wasn't a good enough welder to TIG a set of fastback stays without burning irrepairable holes. When I had the opportunity to do a mountain bike, or a road bike with a short c-c seat tube dimension I would weld those. The shorter the c-c set tube distance the more obtuse the seat stay - seat tube angle; meaning more TIG torch access. Over time, my skill improved and Around 30 frames ago (2 years in part-time builder terms) I started welding all seat stays. I made the concious decision to do this for a couple reasons. 1. I thought it was half ass/amateur to weld every other joint, but braze seat stays. To me, it said Busch League. 2. It's really hard to keep flux out of the seat stay/dropout weld when you're brazing the top of the seat stay. 3. When you actually get good enough to weld the joint its just a heck of a lot faster. There's no fluxing, no soaking, no post brazing cleanup. If you do it right customers can't tell the difference once covered with paint.

    Tony
    Anthony Maietta
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  9. #69
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    Default Re: Maietta Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by anthonymaietta View Post
    Hey Jake,

    Thanks for the question. I need to get over to your Smoked Out thread!

    Yes you are correct. The framebuilder I learned from (Toby at Hot Tubes) silver brazes his fastback seat stays. He definitely has the skill to weld them, but he has his own signature style that lends itself well to his framebuilding classes (described above in my post about my upcoming visit with Carl Strong). When I first started building it was a simple matter of skill; I physically wasn't a good enough welder to TIG a set of fastback stays without burning irrepairable holes. When I had the opportunity to do a mountain bike, or a road bike with a short c-c seat tube dimension I would weld those. The shorter the c-c set tube distance the more obtuse the seat stay - seat tube angle; meaning more TIG torch access. Over time, my skill improved and Around 30 frames ago (2 years in part-time builder terms) I started welding all seat stays. I made the concious decision to do this for a couple reasons. 1. I thought it was half ass/amateur to weld every other joint, but braze seat stays. To me, it said Busch League. 2. It's really hard to keep flux out of the seat stay/dropout weld when you're brazing the top of the seat stay. 3. When you actually get good enough to weld the joint its just a heck of a lot faster. There's no fluxing, no soaking, no post brazing cleanup. If you do it right customers can't tell the difference once covered with paint.

    Tony
    Thanks for the reply Tony, I'm pretty much in line with that way of thinking but at the moment the silvered stays come out so clean looking that I feel like I'm working above my pay grade. I've been in the habit of tigging my MTB Seat stays but since it's nearly the last step, choking on the tig weld there is a real threat still. I have considered using silicon bronze for that joint because it lays in so smooth and with less heat but have never really talked to anyone about it.
    Btw, the positve/negative paint jobs on the cross bikes you posted the last couple of weeks are just awsome! be sure to post a picture of them together in the pits or on the car.
    Thanks,
    Jake
     
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  10. #70
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    Default Re: Maietta Cycles

    Bozeman rocks. More tomorrow.

    Me, Carl Strong, Dave Kirk, Erik Rolf (Alliance Bicycle)

    Last edited by e-RICHIE; 10-05-2010 at 11:58 PM.
    Anthony Maietta
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    "The person who says it can not be done, should not interrupt the person doing it."
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  11. #71
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    Its been a pretty crazy past three weeks and I fear I’ve approached the cliche “I haven’t posted here in a while” range, but not quite yet. I was in Manitona, Canada for a week, home for a week, then in Portland, Oregon for a week. Tough to get a rhythm going in the shop with such discontinuity. During the week between the two business trips I have the fortunate opportunity to exhbit at show billed the Boston Area Handmade Bicycle Exhibition. The show was in an industral art gallery about a half mile from Fenway Park in Boston. I wasn’t on the original invite list, but was able to squeeze in at the last minute; I really think it was just an hoest mistake by the organizers.

    The participants filled out quite the nice family tree: Seven Cycles with former employees Icarus, Salia, and Royal H. Fat City alumn Mike Flannigan and Iglehart. Mike Flannigan-started Independent Fabrication. Mike Flannigan apprentice Geekhouse. Hot Tubes (former painter for Seven and IF) former apprenctices Maietta and Circle A Cycles. Matt Budd and Quiros were thrown in there to boot. The place was PACKED and Brooklyn Lager was gratis and flowing all night. I gave out a couple hundred business cards while displaying a cross bike owned by Dave Chiu. Thank you to Open Bicycle for the last minute addition. Still trying to spread the word and get as much positive exposire as possible.




    Anthony Maietta
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    "The person who says it can not be done, should not interrupt the person doing it."
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  12. #72
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    Default Re: Maietta Cycles

    That's a nice looking bike you got hangin there. I'm curious, since you have a full time day job, how do you balance the building? Do you have a set amount of time per week you devote to it, or do you throttle your workload in some way? Do you have a pretty good idea what your lead time is and at what pace things will get done?
    Eric Doswell, aka Edoz
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  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by edoz View Post
    That's a nice looking bike you got hangin there. I'm curious, since you have a full time day job, how do you balance the building? Do you have a set amount of time per week you devote to it, or do you throttle your workload in some way? Do you have a pretty good idea what your lead time is and at what pace things will get done?
    Thanks for the question Eric.

    There are many times when I ask myself how I balance everything. At the end of the day, for me, it comes down to keeping an organized and efficient shop. I typically have 2-3 hours a couple nights a week and sometimes 5-6 on a weekend day. Each month I need to deliver product to a customer to pay rent for my space, so I don't have time to waste looking for stuff in the midst of a cluttered shop. Before I get to my shop each day I have a pretty good idea in my head of what I want to accomplish. No computer time and no "water cooler" talk; just get at 'er. At this point in my career my backlog is not huge, so I am able to give accurate lead times based on my forecasted business trips for my engineering job and hold them pretty tight. Since I paint my own work I don't have to send my frames to a painter and dance around their schedule. A couple times in the last year a business trip has popped up last minute and really thrown my for a loop in the shop, but its the exception and not the norm. The more I build the better feel for how longs will take; which helps keep customers in the loop on how long they have until delivery.
    Anthony Maietta
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    "The person who says it can not be done, should not interrupt the person doing it."
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  14. #74
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    Default Re: Maietta Cycles

    I am a little late posting this report, but I figure its better to be a little late than not at all.

    Two weekends ago I had the pleasure of spending the weekend with Carl and Loretta Strong at their house and shop. I detailed the genesis of this trip in an earlier post. If I thought about it too much the whole thing seemed surreal, so I didn't allow myself to. I figured if he was cool with it, then I should be too. The week prior I sent out my 14lb Miller Maxstar welder, AD helmet, foot pedal, torch, a bunch of mitered tube stubs and mitered tubes for my new personal road bike. A new pulsing welder is not in my budget right now, so I didn't think learning his welding technique on his welder would be the direction I needed. Framebuilding is such a unique trade where direct competitors share minute details of their process and answer anything you ask them. In any other trade that I've witnessed Carl should not have brought me into his world and he certainly shouldn't have answered some of the questions he did. While it might be hubris to say, we are direct competitors. We both have tailored our businesses to provide refined TIG welded road and cross frames by way of an efficient manufacturing process. I want his customers (in a figurative sense...I like the guy too much to want to take food off his table). Yet, there were no insecurities, no curtains hid behind, and no question went unanswered all weekend.

    Friday night was coincidentally his apprentice Erik Rolf's going away party and I had the great pleasure of talking shop with he and Dave Kirk. I also met a lot of the Stong's close friends from Bozeman; many of whom were successful local small business owners...funny how like minded people attract each other. The next day started with a critique of my Flickr photostream over coffee. We reviewed a lot of the things I thought I did well, things I thought I needed improvement on and his impressions of both. I established early that I had a thick skin, so the feedback was honest and to the point. With a system revved in caffeine and some jumping off points for improvement based on my photos we made the short 1 mile ride to his shop. His shop is amazing. While, even under his own admission, its big for what he needs currently due to it once being more of a production line shop, the extra space allows for a very open and well organized working space. Carl keeps his space meticulously clean and everything is logically placed for its intended use. We wasted no time getting at with the mitered tube stubs I sent out and were able to make some immediate improvements in my welding technique from the start. Small nuances in how I held the torch and where I rested the heel of my hand made substantial improvements in my bead spacing and bead width. I experimented with his welder and he experimented with mine. Suffice to say, we both were more comfortable with our welders. In this case familiarity did not breed contempt; rather it bred better welds! After welding 10 or so practice joints working on different exercises we proceeded to welding my frame using my welder so I could bring home as many tangible and useable nuggets of information as possible.

    Carl and I both have Anvil frame fixtures, but his is the Super Master, while mine is the original Journey Man. The Super Master is nice...real nice. I brought my BikeCAD sheet with me and within a few minutes the fixture was setup for my frame and the tubes were placed in. We had to touch up the down tube/head tube miter, but generally the miters were very tight. We spent a considerable amount of time reviewing sequence; this was one of the most important lessons of the day. He showed me his tacking and welding sequence (which I meticulously wrote down) and impressed upon me that it wasn't the only way to do it, but it was his way and he knows what he gets out of it. We built a frame the exact way he does, with all of his intermediate inspection procedures. Our processes overlap in many ways, which was encouraging to me, but it was great to see a Professional at work. The education entailed Carl doing a dry run of an area (or multiple areas) with no arc, walking away to do some other work and me calling him back over when I was done. Repeat. I am good enough that I didn't need him hovering over my shoulder for every bead; just having the new process and hand position techniques made a substantial improvement. We reviewed the process of "welding into alignment" and how to achieve a straight frame without cold setting. I had also sent out the rear triangle as unmitered tubes in case things flowed smoothly and we got to it. Things did progress smoothly and by mid-afternoon we were ready to attach the rear triangle to a perfectly straight and complete front triangle. Carl and I miter our rear triangles the same way and we both face the same problems. I was nervous about starting to weld 19 mm Life fastback seat stays to a Life seat tube at 4pm (welding when I'm frazzled doesn't go well, especially on the hardest joint on the bike with the most difficult material), but after we reviewed a better way to get the torch in the "crotch" under the stays it seemed a lot easier than my way, so I decided to give it a go. 10 minutes later the stays had complete and smooth welds and the frame was ready for stay bridges. We boxed up the frame and my welder and they came home on the plane with me the next morning. That night Carl took me to a local brew-pub a friend of his owns and we talked Business 201 (much more in depth than what he covers in his NAHBS seminar) over a couple/three/four beer.

    The frame made it back to Logan Airport in Boston unscathed and I added the last few brazeons in my my shop. The frame is now ready for paint and will be in my booth at NAHBS.

    I have obviously touched base with Carl privately to thank he and his wife for their hospitality and "everything", but I would like to do it again publicly. Thank you.
    Last edited by anthonymaietta; 10-14-2010 at 08:28 AM.
    Anthony Maietta
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  15. #75
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    Thanks for sharing your trip, Tony. Carl, since I'm pretty sure you'll read this, thanks for helping new guys out.
    Eric Doswell, aka Edoz
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  16. #76
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    wow, Carl's the man.
    Renold Yip
    YiPsan Bicycles
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  17. #77
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    Tony, thank you. This is one of the most generous and positive moments I've seen come out of the framebuilding world. Now that you are back home, will you have any trouble modifying or adjusting your equipment/space in order to take advantage of what you've learned? Have you been able to apply what you've learned successfully?
    Craig
     
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  18. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Ryan View Post
    Tony, thank you. This is one of the most generous and positive moments I've seen come out of the framebuilding world. Now that you are back home, will you have any trouble modifying or adjusting your equipment/space in order to take advantage of what you've learned? Have you been able to apply what you've learned successfully?
    Craig
    Craig,

    Thanks for the question. One of the big differences between our processes was how the frame is held during welding. I use a re-purposed old cast iron table saw to weld my frame on. It's a bit cumbersome and I use a small vise to hold the frame and get in some of the hard places. Carl doesn't use a table at all and welds sitting in a chair with the frame held in a bench mount Park stand. I saw an immediate improvement using his system while at his shop. It was a lot easier to get at the problem areas. I love my old table saw, so I'm going to keep it and use it as a cool old work table, but I have already mounted a Park stand to it and it works awesome. In terms of using the welding lessons I learned, there has been no problem integrating them into life back at my shop since I sent out and used my welder with my ancillary equipment. I typed up and laminated the tacking and bead sequence and have it posted near my JMan; once its committed to memory I will stash it in a safe place for posterity.

    Tony
    Anthony Maietta
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    "The person who says it can not be done, should not interrupt the person doing it."
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  19. #79
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    Default Re: Maietta Cycles

    Tony,

    Can you talk about your newly found tacking and welding process/sequence ala CS a little its and how working for you personally? I know very accomplished builders, some who swear by it and others that are "12 and 6 / 3 and 9" run your beads however you want. What are your thoughts?

    Thanks!-Chris
     
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  20. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dornbox View Post
    Tony,

    Can you talk about your newly found tacking and welding process/sequence ala CS a little its and how working for you personally? I know very accomplished builders, some who swear by it and others that are "12 and 6 / 3 and 9" run your beads however you want. What are your thoughts?

    Thanks!-Chris
    Chris,

    In addition to welding the frame into proper alignment we also worked on aethstetics. Strive to always weld going in the same direction and hide your start/stop points at 6 o'clock. I know from my own personal experience that this is not natural and does not alway put your hands/torch in the most comfortable position. The easy road is to position your hands in the most comfortable spot and weld; invariably though the start/stop points end up being at the ears of the tubes. While these "craters" will disappear under paint on a steel frame they will be flashing lights on the Ti frames I hope to tackle in 2011. I am getting my one pass steel welding to the point where two pass Ti welding will be second nature.

    Come up to Shirley sometime with a 6 pack of your homebrew and I'll show you a few things.

    Tony
    Anthony Maietta
    Web Site | Blog | Flickr
    "The person who says it can not be done, should not interrupt the person doing it."
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