Tue, Aug 31 2004 12:00 am |
When and why did you get into machining?
When I was a senior in high school I took some classes at a vocational school for half of the day and the trade I chose was machining. After high school I kept on going there for about another year and I almost finished, but then I started going to contests. I figured I’d just put off school until I could no longer ride. I guess I decided to take the classes because I was making parts to sell at the local BMX track to get money for food and gas because I didn’t have a job. Back then I was making seat post clamps, seat posts, and bar ends.
What kind of machines do you have in your personal workshop?
My dad was a cop before he became a machinist and he used to hangout with this guy who had a machine shop and eventually that guy died and he gave my dad a metal lathe and then my dad gave it to me. He also set me up with a big toolbox full of everything I’d need. I also have a grinder to sharpen tools for the lathe and a band saw. He’s also always bugging me to stop by the house and pick up more stuff, but my shop space is small and I’ve run out of space.
What custom modifications have you done to the parts on your bike?
My sprocket guard is basically an Odyssey 30 tooth sprocket. I took the guard that comes with it and I rigged it so it would go on in the inside-I had to redrill the holes so the chainring bolts would sit flush, allowing me to put the outside guard on it too-which is an S&M 36-tooth sprocket that’s flipped backward, has had all the teeth cut off, and was drilled with a ball end mill to make it lighter. I also made the hub guard that’s on my bike right now, I cut down the collar that came with that hub, making the guard a lot thicker so it wouldn’t bend as easily. My friend Josh hooked me up with titanium so I made the outsides of my barends with that and the insides with aluminum.
Have you ever thought about actually starting a company?
Yeah, I thought about making the small stuff; barends, seat posts, seat clamps, etc., but whenever I make stuff for own bike there’s no time line that I have to get it done by. Right now I can make quality stuff, how I want it, at my own pace. Anything I made in the past for my friends or to sell could never really be cost-efficient considering how much time I have to put into it. Besides, I also ride for Odyssey.
What else have you made besides bike parts?
The parts for the ski bike, but I also made a lot of those parts on the mill at my parent’s house.
Could you see yourself becoming a machinist once you get older?
I guess it’s good to have something to fall back on and I think that knowing the stuff I already learned in school has helped me understand more about bike parts and how they’re made. I could probably get a job at the Air Force base a mile from my house and make pretty good money and they would even pay for the rest of my schooling, but I don’t want to make aircraft parts all day. I want to ride while I still can and then see what happens, but I’m sure I won’t be working for the Government.