Wednesday, April 4, 2012

HandBook - Gumshoe field notes 2.0

I have been getting a lot of inspirational feedback for the field notes journals I make. One of the more important pieces of advise is to incorporate my self in the books. Who's making the product, how is it set aside from products in the same category. Anyone can make a handmade, serviceable, durable, book made out of premium materials. I am primarily a 'Maker', specific labels are simply subsets of what comprises my skillset. In printmaking, I have made many pieces inspired from visions of the world through icons. To repurpose these printed collages is the next step for these particular prints.
Original artwork (2009) is only one new feature of the new version. The covers are more durable, constructed for repeated pocket entry and removal. A bookmark has also been incorporated in the form of braided waxed Irish linen. I'll be Updating my Etsy account as soon as I can, but of course one can contact me directly. Pictured Gumshoe in Green, 3x5.5" ($25).

Quality Control - Park Tools X D.I.D Chain Whip

Yup, I D.I.D. it... Despite the hype on park tools products there are some holes in the quality standards of their tools. Parks' Chain whip, for instance has, an entry level KMC chain that is built to fail the tests of even the most season mechanic versus a thoroughly neglected (rusted/chipped) cog. I realize that keeping the cost down to meet the demand of the masses is essential, so i cannot blame the companies' decision to downgrade one aspect of an otherwise decent product. That however does not stop me from upgrading The 1/8" specific SR-18 chainwhip, and thanks to the nut-and-bolt system they've added to the contact points of the tool (older models were riveted), it was a pretty simple upgrade.

The D.I.D. chain connects with a similar square-nut and bolt which is standard on mid-range to high-end chains (think the classic Super-Toughness chain). This chain feature is actually how the idea came to me to tune up my chain whip. I made the wrapping component of the tool extra long because it would be a shame not to take advantage of have that luxury, just in case. This is only going to be used on cogs and vintage freewheels, but it'll be nice to know that the chain won't pop in the middle of a battle between my knuckles and a toothy piece of dirty steel.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Bikes! Mercier Kilo TT - Gold Digger

This is my latest project, A 50cm Gold fixie. My intent was to create a Lo-Pro urban assault Cruiser.I needed this bike to be visible, simple, durable and have a classic touch. I started with the chainstay protector and made my way to the front with my personal staple, cloth tape and natural shellac. Tessostar cloth tape is a very strong, light material that lasts a long time on its own. Shellac, however, fills the nooks and crannies of the cloth and makes a tough shell that becomes more glossy with each layer. The metal toeclips are adorned with dyed hemp that I , again, coated with shellac, creating an elegant and durable structure that I feel rivals classic leather toeclip covers. I used some Velo Orange bars for a more comfortable, practical ride in the city, and wrapped them and the top tube to complete the concept. As you can tell I am very confident in cloth tape and shellac. after making sure the wheels were round and true, The bike is complete.