Well what can I say about this one ?
I had promised my self a new coffee machine for my 40th birthday , and for years I had been looking and lusting after interesting ( and expensive ) coffee machines , then I looked around my work shop and came to the conclusion that I had the tooling and skills to build my own machine , so I really didn’t have any excuse not to .
I had played with the idea of using the other half if the brass drum that I had left over from my coffee roaster, you can view the pics here
So all I had to start with was a brass drum ,)
Then the fun began looking at many different machines and trying to work out how and if I could fit the internals into the drum . I spent a good month or more cad drawing up deferent designs and options with the internals of several machines . And here I have to say thanks to all of people whom I pestered for information and knowledge 😉 notably Rick from coffee machinist / the Tec boys at Delano coffee / Pedro at coffee parts and the biggest thanks goes to Damion from black smith coffee ,the machine master 😉 I finally settled on the design I wanted to use based on the free standing get up I finished up with . But the more research I did more I began to relies this sort of thing had not been done very much and I was getting a bit worried as I was getting a fair bit of ” I don’t know if that will work ” from my expert panel , but I was committed heavily to this design buy this stage so I just kept going with it .
With over 8 months invested into this project I was very very excited to pull the first shot from her and man did it taste good :))
I had to do a bit of tweaking to get her to temp right but she runs a fantastic shot now and I love blowing coffees for mates ( and way to many for my self ) on the weekends when I’m working in the shop .
I’m totally hooked now and have plans for some very cool new custom machines in the future
When my partner told me she was taking my road bike so she could ride with her friends on the weekend , I thought this was the perfect opportunity to build by dream road bike .)
I had been thinking about building this frame for a long time and had the idea of how I wanted it to look . At first I had planed a fairly classic lugged frame with the raw SS tubes and the reverse painted Lug’s , but as usually happens when I start building things the more I played with ideas the more elaborate the frame became 😉
First I hand cut and shaped all the lugs to make them unique , and the more I thought about what I wanted this bike to be the more I was leaning towards a cyclocross frame , so after a bit of tweaking to my design I had a lugged cyclocross on the design board . This have me room to try out the seat stay yoke you see in the pictures , something I have been very eager to work into a bike build for ages . The other part of the rear triangle that I got to try out a new concept was the chain stays , I have always toyed with the idea of using a set of a bend chain stays in a lugged bb ( very hard to do and lots of pissing around to make work ) but the end result worked brilliantly ,
Then there was the forks , using the twin crowns I fabricated a while a go with the round taper track blades and a few funky mods for the centre pull brakes we had beautiful frame complete , that is till the painting started. I work very closely with my painter and we often try out new ideas and concepts together , after getting the finish on the SS tubes the way I wanted and working out a coating sys that would keep the raw look and preserve the tubes integrity it was time to mask out the lugs . Well wasn’t that fun , all in all I spent 20 hours masking and re masking the lugs ( those lovely intricate lugs I had spent so much time shaping where now turning into a huge pain in the ass to mask out but we got there in the end )
I love the look and the way this bike rides , having made a couple of SS tubed frames for my customers and hearing how amazing they rode and handled it is great to finally be able to experience it for my self ,)
Well this is one special ride , a good mate Steve Hinchliffe test rider for mountain biking Australia told me he had come up with a great single pivot frame idea I was keen as to get involved . Steve had come up with a great linkage design using the linkage programs , I took the points from his design and transfer it to my auto cad program and create a frame based around the suspension positions . Being a prototype I wanted to build a frame for my self to start with to make sure it all worked and nut out any bugs before I built one for my mate . The main frame came together pretty quickly , I then spent a bit of time working out how I was going to construct the swing arm . As with all my builds i like to try new things and test new ideas and this build gave me a chance to try something that I have had in mind for a long time. I love the look of the lattice sub frame on ducati moto’s and had wanted to do something similar on a bike and this swing arm turned out to be the perfect opportunity. This frame was designed to be a 29″ frame but I have been very keen on the 650b wheel size so I added a couple of changes to enable the ability to run either wheel size , to this end I use my eccentric BB to be able to change the bb Hight and with a 200x 57 shock for the 650b and 200×50 for the 29″ wheels and a very short 420mm rear wheel length and 6″ travel this was looking like a great bike .next was the finish, I played with a couple of color ideas but with all the beautiful fillet brazing I wanted to try the clear powder coat again and the boys at advance abrasive blasting did a spectacular job as always 😉
As with all new projects till you get to ride your new creation you can never be sure how it will behave , well first ride blew me away this bike climbed amazingly and held it own even better on the down hill run but being something I had created I needed external input to see if what I thought shared buy others , enter Steve the prefect tester as he is on all the latest industry bikes every for this work , well his first quick test ride ended up stretching out to over an hour ride ( as I sat in the park weighting ) and the smile on his face pretty much told me what he thought 😉 truly a special riding bike . I am refining and modernizing a few things but I will be offering this frame as a custom production frame . Keep an eye out for the next Sapien incarnation .
I was really glad and very privileged to be asked to build a tandem for a couple of previous customers , especially as this bike was for there wedding .
Rudy and Dimity had a good idea of what they wanted in there bike and after a bit of back and forward I had a design drawn up and the fun began . There was a lot of first’s for me in this build ( always interesting and challenging ) the first was using the S&S couplers , as it was for such a special occasion I wanted to do something special for them so I came up with the idea of cutting and filing out hart shapes in the couplers , this was quite an undertaking and took a good couple of weeks to complete but was well worth the effort . I needed to build the frame to be able to handle fully loaded touring so i was using over size tubing but I still wanted to keep a classic look to the bike to this end I cut some and fitted some custom lugs that matched the S&S couplers profile giving a nice look and adding additional strength to the frame . Next new thing was using gates belt drive , a big job working out spacing and tensioning as there is no room for error with the belts . Then to finish it all off my beautiful partner Meg lofts from ahoy birdy made a custom solid silver head badge with their initials carved into it . All in all this build turned out amazing and to have the happy couple ride away from there ceremony on it was defiantly a privilege to be able to have been part of 😉
Stat upright ..
Well it’s been a long time coming but I finally got to finish my 6″ suspension frame 😉 I drew up this frame on auto cad 2.5 years back wanting a bike that suited the amazing riding around my local area that I had just moved to , as always my bike projects get pushed to the back of the build Que when I have customers builds on . So time ticked on and I even resorted to using a building up a giant reign frame lent to me buy a good mate. But I never bonded with that bike and as a frame builder it was a Insult to my self to not be riding my own frames . So I set aside time to finish building and get this rig rolling .
I learnt a lot during the build of this frame and I got a chance to try out some new concepts along the way . I am extremely happy with the the way she turned out and how she rides , and though there are a lot of things ill do differently for the next build ( I have already started the next build ) this rig will be taking pride of place in my quiver for a log time o come
Well here is another build that is a little different , Ben asked me to build him a cargo bike that needed to fill a few specific requirements he wanted the handling and response that you get from a pull pull cable steering sys and a big carry bed but most importantly it had to be very strong as he would be carrying around his most precious asset his new born son. So I set to work creating his super cargo frame, I have been very happy with my cargo bike and but i was very glad to have this opportunity to improve a few things with this build. with all one off complex builds there are always many challenges to deal with and this build was no different but the end results have come up to and bettered my expectations and I am very much looking forward to seeing the complet bike built up and running. Well if you live in Brisbane look out for a crazy green cargo bike rolling the streets.
Stay upright 😉
Well it has been a couple of years since I first came up with the idea of building a short travel bike . lots of time spent on auto cad working out angles geo and clearances, originally I had planed to get some plates CNC cut and have the swing arm as a bolt together unit but as happens I kept putting other (paid jobs) ahead of this build . I have been working on a new suspension frame design with a good mate who is a gun when it comes to suspension design so I figured now was a good time to revisit my half finished frame re working the swing arm design to be more in tune with the style of frames I am planing to build in the future. To this end I learnt a lot and I’m very happy with the end result, I’m looking forward to seeing how she performs on the trail.
Stay up right 😉
I have 2 great passions in my life
frame building and coffee.
So when I got the chance to build a coffee roster I didn’t turn it down.
A good mate of mine roasts his beans using a bread maker and a heat gun (getting fantastic results too)
Anyway he came to me one day asking if I would be keen to build him a coffee roster (hell yes) having not looked into it before I started checking the net for info. there was a few designs available and I thought about the pros and cons of each design, in the end I chose the drum roaster as it was going to be the easiest to fabricate and worked well with the idea that was forming in my mind.
At first I was planing to build a double walk insulated stainless steel roast chamber and I found some good material at my local metal recyclers, then I remembered I had been offered a huge brass tube buy my powder Coater a few months earlier and I thought that would look the bomb on the roaster.
After checking that the drum was still available I went and picked it up and it was only when I actually did pick it up that I found out how heavy it was, the drum is 300mm OD with a solid 6mm wall and it was 900mm long that’s a lot of brass.
My first job was to clean the drum as it was from some form of heavy industry ( I’m guessing it was a massive bush bearing or a hydraulic sleeve) this was a big job at first I used 3 cans of degreaser and I had barely cut threw the surface grease! Much scrubbing later and I most of the years of industry cleaned off.
Then i had to work out how I was going to cut this drum in to 2 even pieces with a lot of measuring and masking tape I marked out the centre to be cut, next I went and visited my mate John from cycle under ground to use his big band saw as mine was to small to cut this size drum, cutting went very smoothly and very straight, I had been very concerned as to how it would cut so to have this process go so smoothly was great.
Next was how to face the drum? This proved quite hard as even though my lathe is big there was no way I was going to be able to hold such a large drum in it, so I ended up using my mill and slowly turning the drum then running a cutter along the face, painfully slow, when both drums where faced to my satisfaction I took
Them back to my powder Coater with the intension of getting them media blasted to get a uniform finish, after a quick test my blaster told me it was not going to work due to the many nicks and scratches in the drum so I hand sanded them to get a very nice brush finish.
In-between all this I had been ordering various bearings and mounts that I planed to use for the workings of the track and main axel drive, also sourcing that heating elements fan unit and controller to do the cooking all these units had to work with everything else and fit in the drum, so I was very busy on auto cad designing all the CNC pieces and this was a fairly arduous job as there where a lot of changes as the design grew and changed.
But this stage I was ready to place the order to get the plate work cut with John from cycle underground, I had planed to build 2 units one for my mate and one for me but as the cost started to go up my mate decided to pull out so I was left wondering if I should proceed with the project. This was when Andy from fyxomatosis offered me a spot on at the first hand built bike show, with only 3 months to get ready for the show it struck me that the roster would make a good show piece, so it was full steam ahead with the roaster.
While John was cutting the plates I had some large decals cut for an idea I wanted to try on the brass drum, my plan was to get my logo blast etched into the side of the drum, working with John from advanced powder coating we worked out the process to get the logos on the drum, and the results were amazing.
When the plate work came back it needed to be dressed before being sent out for anodizing ( another fairly laborious task) another week to get anodized and I had pretty much all the fittings together.
Well every thing started to go together slowly as there was a lot of manual machining that had to be with each component, but as it started to build up it was pretty cool to see what had been an idea and a 2D drawing on screen become a working product.
I managed to get it all built for the show and she looked the part on my stand, I have not roasted a batch of beans yet and I have a few small additions to add before I do but I’m looking forward to learning the fine art of coffee roasting real soon.
Stay up right 😉
Well this is Keir’s third frame with me this time round it’s a beautiful stainless steel lugged road frame. Keir had been talking to me for some time about creating his own marque frame and after a lot of back and forward we came up with the design. The frame uses KVA SS tubes matched to llewellyn’s clean cast lugs, with brush finish rear stays and custom decals this was going to be a very high end build.
The SS tubes are always a bit of a challenge to work with they are super hard and very tricky to miter, so with delicate hands and good patience the frame started to take shape and soon we had the raw build done, for the forks also used llewellyn lugs and Columbus straight blades these matched the frame lugs to give the bike a complete look .
A lot of time went into the braze on fittings and brushing out the rear stays to a uniform finish.
Next it was of to star enamelers to get masked up and sprayed down , while Peter was working his magic with the paint Meg from candy cranks came up with the custom McLennan logos for the frame, when the art work was finalized the decals where cut but Greg softly and Peter applied them to the frame before the clear coat went on .
All in all this frame turned out beautifully and I was super happy with it when it was all done, did a fantastic job of building up the bike and was kind enough to let me display the bike at the ACBS.
Keir will be marketing these McLennan frame and fork sets to buy in a range of sizes and color options so check out the photos on McLennan cycles face book page.
Stay upright 😉
This project came to me from Bob at Stanmore cycles . The original request was to replace the seat tube on his custom XC hard tail , when I got the frame and saw the rust that had eaten thrue the seat tube and the fact that there was other rust holes on the seat stays I was loth to repair what was very lightly to be a rust bucket thrue the rest of the frame as well , after extensive discussions with Bob we decided to build a new frame . Bob wanted the geo to be exactly the same as his previous frame , I clocked it up in my old jig witch I like to use for this type of build as when it is all set up it stays clocked till the new tubes slid in and presto a dead copy is born , after clocking the old frame up I did find some pretty funky angles going on (75deg seat on a XC frame ? ) and a pretty high BB but even though I tried to convince Bob that a few Tweaks to the geo would make for a better handling bike more comfortable ride he was set on keeping to the original design so I did just that , the only changes where room for a slightly wider wheel and the addition of disc tabs and a brace bridge to support it . With the additional disc tab + bridge and a slightly thicker wall seat stay to handle the loads of disc brakes we where only 10 grams heaver than the original frame ,happy with that .
She is off getting the star enamblers beauty treatment at the moment and Bob should be riding her very soon .
Stay upright 😉