March 8, 2012

Modular workstations

I've always liked the concept of modular, movable workstations. I'd love something like this in my shop. Drill press, metal shear, vise, welding table, lighting, storage, computer, etc.. All linked to a massive hinge bolted to the ground or better yet on lockable rollers. Each section could be immobilized, of course. I'd like three of these. Oh, and everything could be controlled with my thoughts. That, too.

March 7, 2012

Todd Barricklow

I moved away from home at a young age.  In my early years traveling, I befriended a group of art students at Sonoma State University (Northern California).  I was a fresh-faced kid learning how to live on my own, and they sort of welcomed me into their grown-up crowd.  I rented a room in a house and discovered metal work, welding, painting, making, breaking, and fixing.  I was the youngest of the group and happy to tag along to college parties and things like that.

I was lucky to know Todd Barricklow.  He was the first person I knew that could artfully destroy things and rebuild the pieces into new and useful (and often frightening) creations.  He was a ceramics major but also a welder.  He had an admirable work ethic and he was hilarious.

Years later, we fell out of touch.

At some point, while just learning about cargo bikes in Oregon, I submitted pictures of a bike I'd built to a German bike website.  A few days later, I looked at the site to find a recent picture of Todd who'd built a similar bike.  I was stunned to see Todd had also been making cargo bikes and had submitted his pictures to the same site.  The website owner published our pictures on the same day. It was a funny way to learn of an old friend's new whereabouts and work.  Strange coincidence.

A few months ago, my wife and I traveled to visit Todd and his wife and kids.  It had been almost twenty years since we'd talked.  It was a swell reunion.

Todd is still very prolific, making incredible machines and ceramic sculpture.  He's a contributor to many cool things, including this year's Maker Faire, happening in the Bay Area in May.

Here's a video of Todd preparing his pedal-powered Figure 8 Race car, which he'll debut in a race at the Maker Faire.

March 1, 2012

Shop Mags

Mags in my shop right now. This sort of balance is beneficial to my mental well-being. It's a healthy contrast.

As a bike-maker and idea guy, the content in the mag on the left offers much more pure inspiration and food for my imagination. Looking at too much overtly commercial bicycle stuff spoils my creativity to a certain degree. I know it's good to stay in touch with what's happening in the contemporary bicycle industry, but I find non-bicycle stuff to be equally valuable for ideas and inspiration.

February 23, 2012

Giggling Local Newbie

This is the newest CETMA Cargo bike, a complete Largo with box for a local customer. He and his daughter visited my shop this morning to pick it up. We talked for a while, then separated the frame to fit into his vehicle. I'm very happy with this particular bike, and was proud to be present for their inaugural ride. The smile on the kid's face was priceless, giggling the whole way! I have a LOT of pics of this bike, which I'm editing now. I'll post soon.

Later:   More pictures of this bike HERE:

Better Box Tabs

NEWER AND BETTER:  I improved the box-mounting tabs on my cargo bikes.  It's a minor modification, but a pretty significant benefit.  These tabs used to be a single hole which didn't allow for any wiggle room.  New tabs now have a curved slot which allows the bracket to move slightly up or down, forward or back.  This is great for fine-tuning the box orientation/angles AND gives customers greater flexibility if they want to make their own box and use my pre-made brackets.

February 19, 2012

Minimal Cable Fiddlin'

Here's a photo I took yesterday while assembling the Margo floor model for Clever Cycles in Portland. This picture demonstrates how easy the frame separates without messing with the cables. 

The only cable that needs to be undone is the front brake cable, which disconnects at the lever. The rear brake cable and shifter cable remain intact since the handlebar stays with the rear during transit.

This is how a seven-foot cargo bike can fit into a small car and then reassemble in minutes. AND: clean hands, minimal tools, no fine tuning of anything.