Last week was spent knocking out a few small projects. I had a 29er in that had a crack where the seat tube is slotted at the top. It was a quick and easy repair that I essentially put a metal band aid on. Ray, the owner, has already got the frame back from the powder coater and has it built up.
Another job that I worked on last week was a coupler retro fit. This should have been a straight forward job, but the bike had an extremely oval down tube. Couplers are made for round tubes. I would have turned this down, but the customer had bought the bike just to have couplers put on, and the kings of couplers over at Bilenky Cycles had previously told me that it is possible to put couplers on an oval tube with some manipulation and elbow grease.
So, essentially I had to make an oval tube round again. It was not as simple as squeezing the tube round again, as the tube also had to have a specific diameter to mate with the coupler. I essentially added a series of shims to the tube and then filed them them round to the specific diameter, brazed the couplers, and the ground the excess shims off for a relatively clean appearance. I did my best to document the process, but at the same time was trying to get things done so there are a few steps missing from the sequence.
This was a difficult and time consuming job. I stopped counting the hours it took just to make it round after about 20. I am always up for a good challenge and to expand my skills and ability, I am glad that I was able to do this project. But, I am also most interested in the longevity of my business. I underestimated this projected and as a result severely undercharged for the work involved, but at the same time I would feel very uncomfortable charging for how long it took me as the price tag would have been crazy.
After the coupler job I got crack’n on a couple sets of racks and starting getting all the ducks in line for the upcoming frames. They are coming 2 by 2, literally. I have 2 cross bikes, 2 travel bikes, 2 road bikes, and that is just what I am currently focused on.