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Thread: Richard Sachs Cycles

  1. #1761
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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    Mad props to TKW for a top ten in Friday's UCI C2 on Day One at Jingle Cross.

    Follow Taylor @ shrimpmuffinhaberdashery on Instagram.

    Brian Vernor picture credit

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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    I bought new tools this week. It's a twice maybe three times a year ordeal. When my edge dulls, retail therapy is the antidote. If it happens at the bench, I replace all my files. Away from it, I buy shoes. Always the same. Bass Leytons in black.

    For a bicycle maker, hand-files are an extension of the person. And the personality. I use these little things to shape metal. To coax. Sometimes I use them to hold things down, and they become a fixture. These tools show the material who's boss.

    Without repetition or routine none of it would be. I wonder how many strokes I've tossed since the day I first held a file. Tens of millions. I was nineteen. I didn't develop a sense of things until my late thirties. It was all process. One long lesson.

    These larger Bahco files are mostly for finish work. There's another pile of Grobets that are delicate and more fragile. I use these for the dirty work. For hiding the miscues. For burying the miscues. For the tasks that never see the end of my Nikon lens.

    A craftsman develops a relationship with his tools. Some like big. Or heavy. Some think power is better. There are tools that make a lot of noise. And some that never make a sound unless you know them, unless you really know them, and then listen.

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  3. #1763
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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    This man, and his father, and their place in the hierarchy of fine bicycle making - these have inspired me for five decades.
    The screenshot is from a documentary called Italian Masters. It ran on Amazon Prime Video.

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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    I finish a commission. Relish the thought that another is ready for paint. Give the unit a last glance. And write down some specs so geeks in the future can wonder about serial numbers and bottom bracket drop. Then I clean the bench tops.

    I started what's considered Knolling long before I heard the term or knew what it meant. I like order. But people give me money to arrange disorder. More than 20 years ago my pal Desmond paid a visit. He mentioned Francis Bacon in a sentence.

    It may have taken some time, but I remembered his reference and started researching via Google. Ya. Bacon’s studio was walking entropy. Every image I saw reminded me of the eleventh hour here. If shit isn't sideways by then, I'm not working hard enough.

    But I like order. So there's the routine whitewash of surfaces. It makes me feel good. Read: it makes me feel better. It's a gift of hope bestowed on me, by me. And when I unwrap it, I get another chance to tame the beast. To get closer.

    Recently I've noticed no amount of order resembles starting with nothing. Which is the ideal. But my reality has been every bicycle bleeds something into the next bicycle. I try to sanitize the space. To forget everything. But it's futile.

    It's more difficult than it was before. That simple task of removing everything that is not the exact combination of open space and small tools waiting for a new day. When I do this now, so much residue just lingers. As if to tease.

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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    So this is how I see my trade. More to the point, how I once saw it. The work calls. You spend an eternity listening, and watching, and grabbing what you can from those who walked a path before you did. You know the history. What goes where. Absorption happens. And when the routine becomes a routine. And the juices are leaving your body through both tear ducts. And you know you just know you can no longer work for the man. It's when you get a sign. And a workbench. And start swinging tools. A collection of outliers who each answer a different calling and the same one too. That is us. That was us. Or maybe it was just me.

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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    Some people have children to gloat over. I have little files. Mine come brand new and with no life experience. Same as most children. I take digital pictures of my files just as a parent would photograph his kids.

    My files live on the bench. In small groups. The groups are segregated by when the files arrived. I replace my stash every 3-4 months. We're talking these small guys. Not the longer more aggressive files.

    I love my small files the way a father would his child. I baby these. Obsess over them. Very soon I'm unable to tell one from another, and the barrettes get tossed with the flats and these in turn fall next to the round ones.

    When enough time passes and the commissions start running into each other, so too do my files. I try to keep the current batch separate from those they replace. But when I replace them. I don't toss them away. They're family.

    When the new and the old somehow commingle, even if it happens against my better judgement, I know that it's time. But time for what? Generations of small files all in a single pile. Many still alive and begging me to use them.

    Edge is a funny thing. At the front end we all have one. What does it mean when things become dull or soft? Is it better to find that sharpness elsewhere? Or do we hit the reset button and try to recapture what once was?

    Everything has an expiration date. A shelf life. When something's brand new it reeks of hope and potential. My little files do. And then one day it's clear - crystal clear - that something has gone missing and it's time for whatever's next.

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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles


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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    Q: How does one say “Bring back the elegance” in Italian?
    A: One doesn’t since the Italians never lost it.
     

  9. #1769
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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by happycampyer View Post
    Q: How does one say “Bring back the elegance” in Italian?
    A: One doesn’t since the Italians never lost it.
    Not really.
    Just have a look at any Pinarello bike
    Andrea "Gattonero" Cattolico, head mechanic @Condor Cycles London


    "Caron, non ti crucciare:
    vuolsi così colà dove si puote
    ciò che si vuole, e più non dimandare"

  10. #1770
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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    -
    the light in my workroom

    Intoxicates
    Encourages
    Informs
    Teases
    Nurtures
    Lures
    Begs
    Gives
    Refuses
    Belittles
    Commands
    Colors
    Darkens
    Ignores
    Listens
    Teaches
    Confounds
    Argues
    Agrees
    Always
    Never

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  11. #1771
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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    My Peddie School motto is Finimus Pariter Renovamusque Labores. We finish our labors to begin them anew. That's gold, Jerry. Gold. But how many times do we end only to start over? Is it measured in units? Years? I wonder about these things.

    TLD™ (my wife, the lovely Deb) is a longtime Joseph Campbell reader. And she (TLD™) says that he (Campbell) says that as you get older you go from a life of achievement to a life of appreciation. Those words have been in conversations here forever.

    I love the work I do. I love the finished product a bit less than I love the process. The bicycle I hand to a waiting client represents the best I can do. But that's all. The process, especially when I begin anew, represents hope. Possibly next level hope.

    There's never been an end in sight, much less in thought bubbles that hover above and to the left of my head. I can't imagine a last one until that fateful time when there are no tomorrows. Appreciation, for me, is rooted in knowing that there's always another chance.

    In all of order there is disorder. In all of disorder there is order. Somewhere between the beginning (hope) and the end (appreciation) is the where the streets of order and disorder intersect. I live on that very corner, and have for all my adult life (so far).

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  12. #1772
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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    -- daily i live with sooo many imperfections within trying my best climb towrd perfection...
    Richie.., thank you for keeping the bar high...

    ronnie with a smile
     

  13. #1773
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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles


  14. #1774
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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    The most important part of what I do isn't what I give to a client after some 3-4 days at the workbench. It's not the design. Or the personal service. Or the paint. But without the paint I may second guess some of my opinions. I'm lucky. JB and I have been a couple for almost four decades. But the decorations, the beautiful high-gloss finishes, the immaculate handcraft - these would be nothing if I didn't know where the line was. If I occasionally cross it, fine. So be it. But the drill is getting as close as I can without having so much as a toe on the other side. It's more important to know what to leave out than it is what to go forward with. That's why every bicycle has just a wee bit less than it might otherwise. And most of that bit lands to the left of where I stand each day. The bicycle is all of this. All of it. But I keep some of it here to remind to stop at the right moment rather than a second or ten too late.

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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    When I first held a bottom bracket shell in my hand, it was a seriously crude piece of work by today’s standards. Though the areas meant for business (the pockets for the tubes and stays, the threads and faces for the bearing units) were well-machined, the task of preparation, ornamentation and finish work were left for the framebuilder to carry out. You see, back then framebuilders were also metalsmiths, artisans if you will, not simply joiners and assemblers as we have become these days. Though working with the torch was generally left to the most senior members of a framebuilding concern’s staff, the preparation and reworking of all the little fittings was carried out at the workbench of those being groomed to, one day, many years later, become competent framebuilders. This is how we cut our teeth in those days. The quality of even the finest components was so poor that, unless one developed the skills to reshape, file, fit, re-fit, and thin - unless one had the hands and eyes to discern the right clearance and proper aesthetics - no piece would get far enough along in the building process for the masters to be able to perform their magic.

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  16. #1776
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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles


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    Default Re: Richard Sachs Cycles

    TLD™. My wife. The Lovely Deb. Before she became a full time book reviewer for Kirkus she got a Masters Degree in Writing for Children from Simmons College. And before this, Deb was a Licensed Massage Therapist for a decade. And a Body Talk practitioner. And a Reiki master. Energy work etc etc. And before all of this BUT after yet AFTER another career as a film producer, TLD™ was a maker. Deb spent a decade maybe more creating period correct woven baskets and fabrics. The former were often made from materials that came from a tree that Deb helped fell. The latter were always woven on one of her two 18th Century looms, the yarns from materials spun by her before weaving commenced and correctly dyed (when appropriate) after the items came off the loom.

    These images? Deb was invited to The White House. That White House. TLD™ was a celebrated crafts person for most of a decade. Her output, limited as it was, earned her repeated honors (five. straight. years.) on the Early American Life Magazine’s annual list of The Finest 200 Craftsmen in America. One year, the Clinton administration aligned with EAL to bring the wares of some of these makers to Washington DC to be displayed through the holiday months. In one of these pictures, Deb is staring at the Christmas tree on which one of her baskets is hanging. After all the formalities ran their course, the items Deb made became part of the permanent collection at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

    Ya. I love The Lovely Deb. More than that, I’m so proud of everything she’s done.

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