Wednesday, February 29, 2012

break it.....Down!

well, not really, but tearing it down, yes.  Little by little to finish all of the things that I never got to when the bike was built in the week before last year's Born Free.

The lift in the shop was occupied by another bike, so I worked in my 'slice of heaven' spot for the evening.  awesome start.  Nothing like NOT having a table to lay out your tools on or a proper amount of space to look at the mess you're making.

Either way, the puzzle was solved.  The little "oh, we'll just use a hex here and an allen there" things were reminded of as I was trying to get the rear fender off.  It only required the following:
Sissy Bar removal
which required the rear axle removal
which required the exhaust removal
which then resulted in removing the rear wheel to get to the front mount
then, some light re-assembly

well, tins were dropped off with Bob Dakota for some sanding and new clear coating to protect them from their 30+ years of age.

Next up: lots.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


young Miles going through the full process.  Watching his 3 and a half month mind at work is absolutely amazing.  the process: inquisition, warming up, and confirmation.  holding onto daddy's thumb helped him get comfy with the fact that my fingers turned into not only a lamb and a monkey, but a monkey WITH a monkey on his back....

I can look at these pics all day.  I can't wait until he is old enough to really recognize a Gibson Les Paul or an old chopper, or any other thing he might grow to love, play, take apart, fix, etc..

Its the same process ".....what IS that??? do I like this?  its interesting.....oh man, I love this.....I'm hooked!"

Monday, February 27, 2012


Chris had been looking for a frame for his '56 Pan Shovel project for some time, and then all of a sudden, he seemed to be coming up on one, two, three, four leads...Ain't it always the way?

He wound up picking up this frame below from Ken, his trusty motor builder and there wasn't much known about its history, "maybe raked a few degrees if any....some molding on the neck, seat post tube area, and the sidecar loops have been cut off and the castings there have also been molded in....but it looks pretty straight"

the ugly duckling as it sat when it got home.

hoping for the best, he brought out the torch and started melting the lead out of the neck molded area.  yep, stuff drips right off and out.  Then he used his grinder to get to the edge of the molded metal around the neck casting and peeled it back.  Lo and behold, this is what was underneath.  yep, perfect untouched casting and that's the fork lock, STILL INTACT.

next, up, cut off and clean up the seat area.

and then Fred came along and offered up some help as well.

Chris wanted an original straight leg frame.  And he knew it would be a tall order being that they were made for rigids from 54-57, so it was a bit of a tall order.  But, man, he did it.  Frame is stamped '54.  motor is a '56.  yep, patience, elbow grease and knowing what you want will work out.  sometimes.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

tig welding project

I do love mid century modern furniture and when Dustin told me that his ottoman needed repair, I volunteered to help.  after all, Chris did just get his new Miller Maxstar set up and its always nice to work on welding projects when the finished product is not actually yours!

As you can see in the first pic, the wires were a bit misaligned and a previous repairer added a thick tab to "reinforce" it, but that wound up tweaking and pulling everything to one side, adding extra stress and causing the rest of the connection points to start to crack and break.  

I decided to leave that plat on there since it didn't need to look pretty, but to cut the entire frame off around the center and this silly little tab.  Chris then bent everything to be square-ish since perfectly straight wouldn't work with the bases shape and I vice gripped and tacked each corner joint into place.  Once everything was good enough, I grabbed the filler rod and finished up the work.  

finished job.

yeah, the welds aren't the prettiest things in the world, but this ottoman has a great leather cover that will never show the structure itself.  Oh and yeah, after it was done, I looked back up at Chris and said "I probably should have worn gloves this whole time, huh?"  In proper form he said, "nah".

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

shovel options...

...I really liked this option.  next go 'round?

and I'm super stoked to be getting into "playing mock-up" with Chris again soon.  His super sweet '56 Pan Shovel motor should be ready soon!!!!!

Solidworks World Day 1 - Nest

A "learning thermostat"?  Yep.  That's what Tony Fadell, the ex VP of iPod design is doing now.  And its amazing.


yeah, now I want a new thermostat.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

looking back on the end of the summer

we are having one of the mildest winters that I can ever remember on the east coast....which is making New York City actually the best city in the world as of right now.  If winters were always like this, lets not forget last winter though, this would be the perfect seasonal climated place to live.

Friday night I layered up and headed to Kickstart Cycle's Pothole Social in Lodi, NJ.  We watched the screening of the EDR movie from last year's event and it definitely looked like fun.  Maybe next time I'll have to muster up the time off and join the crew.  ALSO, it was the magazine release part for Greasy Kulture's newest issue, so the party was a triple win for all! GK is one of my favorite biker mags right now.  Content is always great. 

The Social was at cool bar right of Rt. 80, only about 4 miles from the George Washington Bridge so I figured the ride wouldn't be too cold.  And it was right.  Sure, the thermometer read 38 degrees when I left Brooklyn, but with warm clothes, a nice leather jacket and the full face helmet, it was fine.  

Of course, I reminded myself of the day that Malcolm and I rode up to the Seaweed Yacht Club though a few months ago.  Same first half of the route, except instead of getting on 80, we headed up the Palisades.  OK, I'll admit, that time of year is much better.  Sweating through the manhattan traffic to be rewarded by the trees and the open road while riding along the Hudson River.  Yeah, that was nice.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Pothole Social

see you tonight Jersey...still deciding if I'm going to ride there or just drive the car where its warm.  Walter, can I just stay at your place so I don't have to freeze on my way home?  Thanks buddy.

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Anyway, I saw this new limited edition release from Bell&Ross and its mighty fine.  I will always love the BR 01-92.  One day I'd love to get one, but I'll never drop the $5,000 on it.  I've had knock-offs, but couldn't wear them.  

This version is limited to 999 pieces and once they are sold, they are gone.  So if you are a watchismo, pick it up!

Seeing it reminded me of one of the watches we made when I was at Nixon, the Murf, and now they have the Rubber Murf!.  The idea behind the Murf was to be a follow up to the ever popular Rotolog.  How do you follow that watch up?!?   I think we did a pretty good job, not perfect in achieving this goal, but the features and the fact that you can actually read the time, made it a bit more functional.

I love watches.  Always have, always will.  The problem with once working for a watch company is that once you've "seen it all" it becomes hard to get excited about new watches.  Nothing changes, its all recycled styling with someone's small tweak.  And I'm cool with that.  I'm not exactly a classic watch guy either, though, so I doubt you'll find me dropping $15,000 on the Breitling that I really love.  I'm happy with a $100-$500 watch that says something about me.

and yes, I would consider working for another watch company one day...or at least helping out with the new line at my current place of employment, hmmm......you think?