Sunday, May 6, 2012

shop pics and bender making in progress

Here are some pics of the new shop space along with my very excited and driven friends making some benders with me. we take great pride in making everything we make and the money from our products will be going first to rent and electricity and after that go right back into the shop to get better tools and so we can get on to the business of making our experimental musical instruments, bikes, and other artistic endeavors. the shop is sort of the center of what we hope to be an art collective at this location. the pics show only a fraction of the space we have at our disposal. so just know that every time someone buys something from us it will be going to further the arts in our small but lovely town. We are not even close to finishing our shop space which includes another room where the clean work and design takes place but we are at a point where we can make some items to help pay the rent.

Bender update

I love making benders for framebuilders. Just to think about how many people will be riding bicycles with parts made with the help of these benders is a great feeling. I have that philosophy about everything that i make....that the item should be useful and go on to live a life after it leaves my shop and possibly be around longer than me. I have had really postive responses to my benders which have evolved over the years to be durable and stay affordable to the newbie builder.the following is a little sheet that i will be including in every bender order that describes a little bit about using the benders. In the near future i will be blogging detailed bending tips with pictures of each bender and the type of bends it produces. my six inch benders make a euro style fork rake that concentrates the bend near the tip some call this french style. The nine inch radius benders will give you a more subtle bend some call continental and are little stiffer and better for cyclocross. and the five inch benders are great for making s bend rear ends. also if you need to add more bend to an oval stay to get around a wider tire you can use a bender blank without the vee notch to add more bend to a chainstay. I will be offering these very soon with a suitable clamping system. also my blocks will be available at the end of next week for your consumption. The lumber mill cut some 3 inch thick poplar beams for me I just need to pick em up.
here is a copy of the insert followed by some bad pictures i took just before sending these out to Europe this morning.

 these benders are made in the northeast with local kiln dried lumber to cut down on their carbon footprint. They are designed to be simple and durable for years of proper use. You should be able to bend all tapered forks and stays including the bb/seat ends of the rounded stays with no problem just a little care and finesse. I have made complete s-bend rear ends on these benders with no problem. If you need to make a top cap with a deeper vee-notch to fit the large end of Rounded stays, the hole spacing is 1.2"
I fully expect people to modify them to suit their needs and I leave a little extra wood in the vee notch in the top caps so You should be able to file a little off the vee so that you can fit fork tips as well as both ends of the stays with the same top clamp. For oval fork blades with a larger radius bend (9inch) it is advisable to make a suitable wood handle shaped to fit a few inches into the oval for more leverage and bend consistency. You should always mark your tubes while they are Sitting next to each other on the bench and when you bend your first side you should mark the bender to ensure that you line both sides up the same on the bender. if for some reason you need to make a bend that requires multiple adjustments to the tube you should always bend slightly and the push the bent area through the cap and not the other way around. The tube over the bender should always be the unbent portion.

Out of the hundred plus benders I have made over the years I have had very few failures mostly at the bolt head area due to grain pattern of the wood. I have taken steps to avoid these failures by laying out the benders slightly different with regards to grain pattern and using flanged bolt heads on the new benders. So please, any problems or feedback and you know where to find me. shrinkage shouldn't be an issue but if you live in Arizona, new Mexico or any really dry climate it may be advisable to liberally oil up your bender to avoid shrinkage (nyuk)
Mike Giannico
Nicola Cycles

the one in the back is a 6 incher and the front one is a nine incher. i love how they look like turtles or snails or something.