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Thread: Required Reading atmo -

  1. #1
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    Default Required Reading atmo -

    For anyone who's interested in making a frame OR making a career
    making frames, Eric Estlund's words should be on your wall atmo:


    Personal anecdote- like Richard and Curt, I did this for someone else before I did it on my own. I'm not sure how a single operator would go about getting the numbers up, but it was vital in my own development. When Richard suggests knocking out 20 practice joints we need to realize that is just a drop in the proverbial bucket. I reviewed a few numbers from my production days, and in a year I was looking at:
    - Used 50gallons of gas flux
    - Lit my torch 43,000 times
    - Brazed on 55,000/ 60,000 braze ons
    - Used 29,500 ft (about a 5.5 miles) of brazing rod weighing approx. 190lbs
    - Brazed around 1500 single bikes, 200 tandems and 1700 or so forks

    I was only in industry for a couple of years, but that is a whole lot of experience I would never be able to replicate on my own. For new folks starting out I can only suggest putting your head down and committing to getting some volume practice pieces.
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    Default Re: Required Reading atmo -

    I guess the only place to get this kind of intensive experience, these days, is in the far east. I wonder how this might affect future generations of would-be craftsmen... Perhaps more and more there will be a need to develop skills and gain experience through a more general engineering/fabrication education. That's no bad thing; I know of a number of superb framebuilders who are first and foremost, engineers. This background, I think, can help to think out of the box and to solve problems creatively and effectively.

    Lawrence Moran
    Last edited by e-RICHIE; 04-20-2014 at 09:41 PM. Reason: name added
     
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    Default Re: Required Reading atmo -

    In addition to Asian production there are still companies in the US and Europe that produce bikes in quantity. Bike Friday, Co-motion, Seven, IF, Moots, etc. are all bike factories of variable size and have positions that come up. Brompton in the UK seems to always be hiring.

    If you want to pursue production work as a path to the trade there are places to do it. The secret is that you need to go to them- I did, and others did as well.
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    Default Re: Required Reading atmo -

    Yep, Brompton is one of the very few mass-produced bikes being entirely brazed, in the UK. Labour-intensive and more expensive, but it pays back.
    Surely if one wants to work by Kew Gardens, there are good chances to be involved in the real deal
    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"
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    Default Re: Required Reading atmo -

    Quote Originally Posted by Gattonero View Post
    Yep, Brompton is one of the very few mass-produced bikes being entirely brazed, in the UK. Labour-intensive and more expensive, but it pays back.
    Surely if one wants to work by Kew Gardens, there are good chances to be involved in the real deal
    Out of curiosity, how hard is it for a yank to get a job in the UK? Are there rules that require employers to look internally first? I'm guessing you need a work visa and job before one enters the country?
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    Default Re: Required Reading atmo -

    [QUOTE=Jonathan;596481]Out of curiosity, how hard is it for a yank to get a job in the UK? Are there rules that require employers to look internally first? I'm guessing you need a work visa and job before one enters the country?

    ------------------------

    not sure today, but i worked in UK for 7 months, my early valovline days ---- just had to keep valvoline's ceo happy, have a work visa and take an oath not to piss-off any "lady-husbands.."

    ronnie with memories of silence & a smile..
     
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    Default Re: Required Reading atmo -

    Quote Originally Posted by Gattonero View Post
    Yep, Brompton is one of the very few mass-produced bikes being entirely brazed, in the UK. Labour-intensive and more expensive, but it pays back.
    Surely if one wants to work by Kew Gardens, there are good chances to be involved in the real deal
    About - Curtis Bikes

    British made custom and production steel bikes and frames – Shand Cycles

    - Garro.
    Steve Garro, Coconino Cycles.
    Frames & Bicycles built to measure and Custom wheels
    Hecho en Flagstaff, Arizona desde 2003
    www.coconinocycles.com
    www.coconinocycles.blogspot.com
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    Default Re: Required Reading atmo -

    Has to be said that Brompton produces N times more bikes than Curtis or Shand.
    \with an average of over 20.000 bikes per year, I think they're one of the biggest manufacturers to braze all their frames
    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"
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    Default Re: Required Reading atmo -

    [QUOTE=ron l edmiston;596484]
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
    Out of curiosity, how hard is it for a yank to get a job in the UK? Are there rules that require employers to look internally first? I'm guessing you need a work visa and job before one enters the country?

    ------------------------

    not sure today, but i worked in UK for 7 months, my early valovline days ---- just had to keep valvoline's ceo happy, have a work visa and take an oath not to piss-off any "lady-husbands.."

    ronnie with memories of silence & a smile..
    is that a trick question? i was going to ask this evening if anyone wants to hire this brit id get out of this country as fast as i could book a ticket
     
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    Default Re: Required Reading atmo -

    It always irks me that an entire section of the cycling industry is ignored during these discussions on mass production.

    There are currently five larger freestyle BMX bicycle manufacturers in the United States.

    FBM Bikes
    S&M Bikes
    Solid Bikes
    Standard Bykes
    Quamen Bikes

    All of these companies produce chromoly steel bicycle frames using modern joining techniques, high quality tubing, and up to date industry standards.

    I know that BMX bikes have the stigma of "child's toy" attached to them, but it's important to look closely at this industry as a sample for the larger picture of outsourcing versus domestic manufacturing.
    Albie D. Ish IV
    - Seattle Based Metal Fabricator
    - Enthusiastic Alternative Learner
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    Default Re: Required Reading atmo -

    Quote Originally Posted by Albie View Post
    It always irks me that an entire section of the cycling industry is ignored during these discussions on mass production.

    There are currently five larger freestyle BMX bicycle manufacturers in the United States.

    FBM Bikes
    S&M Bikes
    Solid Bikes
    Standard Bykes
    Quamen Bikes

    All of these companies produce chromoly steel bicycle frames using modern joining techniques, high quality tubing, and up to date industry standards.

    I know that BMX bikes have the stigma of "child's toy" attached to them, but it's important to look closely at this industry as a sample for the larger picture of outsourcing versus domestic manufacturing.
    These would be excellent places to start atmo. The problem is that for many, it isn't sexy, and it's a compromise. Folks want a fast track to having their name on the down tube or something in stainless somewhere, anywhere. There are precious few people who make money, sustain, and know what goes where who don't have roots in a production arena or a job shop. There are no schools. And sitting at the knee of another framebuilder hoping something will rub off is not a learning environment. If you want to be part of the trade, you have to invest heavily at the front end.
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    Default Re: Required Reading atmo -

    Thanks, Albie- those are great names for the list. I don't have a bmx background, so its more my ignorance then intentionally leaving them out.

    To Richards point about glamour- let that go out the window. I love my job, but its an actual job not an artistic gentleman's leisure pursuit. If you are trying to bust the numbers up on your own, I imagine one needs to put their head down and treat it like home work or practice drills. Lean in, get dirty and be your own worst critic.
     
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    Default Re: Required Reading atmo -

    Quote Originally Posted by Albie View Post
    ...
    FBM Bikes
    S&M Bikes
    Solid Bikes
    Standard Bykes
    Quamen Bikes

    All of these companies produce chromoly steel bicycle frames using modern joining techniques, high quality tubing, and up to date industry standards.

    I know that BMX bikes have the stigma of "child's toy" attached to them, but it's important to look closely at this industry as a sample for the larger picture of outsourcing versus domestic manufacturing.
    Has to be pointed out that those are companies producing frames for the REAL deal, not toys; they do provide that market with quality stuff. If you build one of those frames, you can see ain't no bullshit
    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"
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    Default Re: Required Reading atmo -

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
    Out of curiosity, how hard is it for a yank to get a job in the UK? Are there rules that require employers to look internally first? I'm guessing you need a work visa and job before one enters the country?

    I don't have direct experience of this exactly, I went the other direction, moving from the UK to the States 20 years ago. From what I gathered in my dealings with the INS then (now known as USCIS), and speaking with others over the years about their experiences, immigrating from the US to the UK presents an approximately similar level of difficult as going the other way.

    That is to say, in my experience, that it is a long, drawn out, expensive, frustrating and vexing experience that will test your patience to the limit.

    That being said, if you have a skill set that is in demand, and are seeking work with a larger multi national type company (ie. one that retains it's own immigration lawyers) who are in need of those skills then I am told that things go a lot more smoothly and quickly.

    Alistair.
    Alistair Spence
    Seattle, WA,
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/duncancycles/
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