Category Archives: tools

The Sapien

29er bike, 650b custom frame, bicycle, brazed, custom frame, custom mtb bicycle frame, custom tips, downhill bike, hand built bicycle frame, hand built custom bicyles, lugged, machinery, primate 29er bicycle, primate frame, tools, Welded, workshop0 comments











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 .
Stay upright

Coffee any one ?

coffee roster, machinery, tools, workshop3 comments



















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 😉


The first ACBS

24" custom build, bicycle, build your own bike frame, columbus tubing, costom scooter, custom built bicycle frame, custom cyclocross frame, custom forks, custom frame, custom hand built track bike frame, custom mtb bicycle frame, custom tips, downhill bike, fixed gear, fixie, hand built bicycle frame, hand built custom bicyles, lugged, machinery, primate frame, single speed, tools, Welded, Wet Sprayed, workshop0 comments



Well I just got back from the first Australian custom bike show , and what a weekend it was . There was an amazing selection of beautiful bikes and accessories on display from all the builders in oz but the best part had to be that all the builders where in one room ( to my understanding it the first time it’s happened over here ) this gave punters the opportunity to put a face to the people they had heard about or been following and to see up close the workmanship on display , and from a builders perspective it was fantastic to see what others are producing and through around ideas on what people use and why . All in all it was an amazing event and may thanks go to Andy from fyxomatosis for organizing the event , and I’m already working on ideas for next years show . Hope to see you there .
Stay upright
For more photos of the show check out and go to ACBS link or check out my primate frames face book page .

Terry’s SS silver brazed kick ass road frame

Terry’s SS silver brazed kick ass road frame

bicycle, brazed, columbus tubing, custom built bicycle frame, custom built hard tail street frame, custom frame, custom tips, hand built bicycle frame, hand built custom bicyles, lugged, machinery, primate frame, tools, Welded, Wet Sprayed, workshop0 comments

this is Terry’s stainless tubed frame .

Terry came to me looking to get a titanium tubed road frame but as I explained to him , I have been playing around with TI for a little bit now just getting to know the medium and welding up small pieces to teach my self how to work the metal but I was not confident enough with the material to offer it out as a frame just yet. To this end I had been reading up on the new SS tube sets that where out there and I soon found out that the specks of the SS tubes where on par and in some cases better than titanium and they can be silver brazed so I would be able to work with the welding medium that i specialize in and if all the data sheets ran true have a very light and lively rust free frame at the end of the things.

After talking Terry threw his options and drawing up his frame in cad we came up with the final design which was a pretty easy task as he had been fitted up by Steve hog from Cycle fit and there was only a few mechanical changes to the design that need to be made.

I was a little apprehensive with this tube set as I knew from the specks that it was very very hard and SS is a tricky material to weld with it behave very differently when heated, and being on the very expensive side of the tubing price chart I was defiantly steeping lightly with this one.

the first problem  I encountered was mitering the tubes, I have some very high end silver brand machined cutters That I use for very light and aero shaped tubes they are dead true and very expensive, With SS you have to use a lot of coolant and a slower cutting speed to stop excessive heat build up that will destroy the cutter and work harden the tubes making then even harder to cut and work .With this in mind I spent a lot of time setting up my mill to get everything running correctly, the first cut gave me an idea of how hard this material  is .The stuff is unbelievable each cut was done with a prayer and held breathe but I got thru them all till I was on the last cut. I was all set up with a brand new cutter all going well till it broke the surface and there was a very loud bang  not the sound I wanted hear and I figured that was the end of that tube. after stopping the machine and dropping the table to inspect the damage I was very surprised to see the tube un harmed , I’m thinking score lucky break there But as I cleaned the cutter to my horror I see 3 teeth missing from my brand new $360 cutter. I was having a bit of trouble coming to terms with this, the tube I was cutting has a wall section of .7 of a mm the cutter has a wall section of 2.5mm and is hardened and ground! I knew the tubes where hard but this blew me away.

Though I was bummed about the broken teeth on the cutter one of the main reasons I chose these cutters is that they can be reground with new teeth so I thought sera sera ill just have to get it re cut but on closer inspection i found a hair-line crack running the full length of the cutter “F#%@’ $360 gone in under a min welcome to the wonderful world of  high temper tubes.

After switching to another cutter I very carefully finished cutting the tube .

With the tube set cut and dressed it was onto the next challenge the welding.

Thin walled high temper tubes are always  a challenge especially when they are silver brazed  . Controlling the heat between the different wall section tubes yet making sure that there is enough heat for a solid molecular bond between the material’s  whilst working up  the fillet and making sure not to burn of the silver flux has taken me a lot of years to master, through into this mix the very quick heat transfer of the SS tubes and I was kept on my toes gluing this  frame together.

Terry wanted a frame that was classic but not to old school l so I went for a good mix of fittings to this end giving the frame the small touches that really give a hand-built bike its individual character.

the last thing was a custom SS logo done it Terry’s initials but in the end I was concerned that the amount of heat that I would have to put into the frame to fit the badge was going to upset the welds and there was a real chance of it distorting the thin-walled tubes and putting the frame  out the alignment.

Well the frame is of at star enamelers weighting for its turn in the line up to get sprayed, Terry is still working out his color scheme but at last count it was looking like a hot red with wight  panel , what ever way the color ends up this will be a very hot looking bike.

I’ll put up some shots of the frame and bike when it’s all done .

Stay upright Tarn.

There’s Pink and then there’s PINK

There’s Pink and then there’s PINK

bicycle, brazed, columbus tubing, costom scooter, custom forks, custom tips, lugged, machinery, primate frame, tig bike frame set up, tools, Welded, Wet Sprayed, workshop6 comments

My new toy is all complete.

Well when you ask peter from stat enamelers to do some thing in hot pink that is certainly what you get .

I spent all night putting this evil little beautiful together and gave it its first run today, very sweet I can see my self having a good time with this toy.

The deck is a slab of 3mm carbon fiber sheet . The brake is a section of high tensile stainless steel tube cut and shaped to fit works a treat. titanium handle bar. oury lock on grips . Brooklyn machine works bar end caps. syncros  threaded head set. Luksa 100mm 85a wheels. ceramic bones red bearings. hand cut carbon head tube badge.

I will be taking her down to the skate park to see what all the young monkeys are on about and to try not to deck my self to hard.

play hard and stay up right


The devil’s play thing

The devil’s play thing

bicycle, brazed, columbus tubing, costom scooter, custom built hard tail street frame, custom forks, lugged, machinery, tig bike frame set up, tools, Welded, Wet Sprayed, workshop4 comments

If satan had a son and satans son rode a scooter this would have to be satans sons scooter!!

My latest crazy build is almost ready.

About 5 years ago I started to see a lot of kids on razor scooters in the skate parks. This use to give me the shits (and it still does when parents use the park as some sort of  pre school and let there very young kids loose with scooters  unsupervised while they talk shit and drink coffee in the corner!!) I was always thinking get a skate board or a bike and stop pissing around on that half ass attempt at both. That was till I saw a 10-year-old kid bust a 2m back flip out of the bowl whilst doing a double 360 and landing it!  suddenly I had a whole new respect for these monkeys they where throwing down some big shit, but they were doing it on the old folding neck  piece of crap scooters and  they where defiantly not designed for that sort of  abuse.

So I started toying with the idea of  building  a hard-core scooter, but i didn’t really  think  there was much chance of selling such a thing so it went on the back burner.

Any way jump to the present and I was starting to see heaps of kids with what looked like some pretty serious scooters rolling the streets.

Gone were the break neck fold up decks these things where all one piece and looked pretty trick , and the bar was a cool segmented hard-core looking thing. The forks where by far the coolest  looking bit of kit all CNC’d super trick looking pieces.

Well this was my Q to re visit the idea of a hard-core scooter again. After a bit of home work I saw just how far things had moved on, and I’m kicking my self a bit  for not getting in there sooner, you snooze you loose .

Looking out there I could see that there was still room for something a bit different (this is always my excuse to justify building my self a new toy!). So one quiet day at work it was out with auto cad and start to create on-screen what was floating around in my head.

A bit of  R&D and I had the geo and length sorted out, then It was a matter of trying to work out how I was going to jig it all up? At first I tried  to use my frame jig but that turned out not to be a workable option so it was on to my alignment table with clamps and spaces to get every thing running true and straight. A few hours of fine tuning and I had it set up to tack, tacked and welded and it was all looking sweet. next was the forks I played with the idea of doing a CNC’d set but then I thought why not try for a lugged set of forks after much deliberating and playing around with different crowns  I settled on the ones you see in the pictures. I must admit I really enjoyed building this little toy as it started to take shape I kept getting more and more ideas about how i wanted it to look or what would look cool on it, to this end I remembered I had some tapered plugs I had bought a while back from Paragon machine works and I thought they would look trick on the forks and the rear of the deck. I would pull them out and lay them up on the rig then think no leave them off and put them away only to pull them out again, indecision..

finally I thought why not and filled them out and dry fit them and im glad I did they looked sweet.

next I had to turn up the axle tips and braze them in on the forks and tig them on the deck, with the deck and forks finished I turned my attention to the stem and bars.

I wanted to use a set of titanium handle bars that I had so I machined out a tube to fit the bars and welded it to a very nice tange prestige down tube  that I had in my kit the end result is a very light super strong bar stem combo.

all in all it turned out very well and she is of to get sprayed this week. I wont give away what color she will be but lets say Barby would be proud .

For the rest of the build I have a cool set of  Luksa 100mm wheels and I’m getting a solid carbon fiber plate that I will be making into the top deck, I also have a funky brake system worked out but I’m not sure if I’m going to be running it yet might just stick to the old sneaker  stopper.

well I’ll put up some shots when I get her back from the painters and have her all built up and rolling .

so if your thinking you need something super special or super hard hit me up. I am keen as to whack out some more of these baby’s .

stay upright


another ring thing

brazed, machinery, tools, Uncategorized, Welded, workshop0 comments

Here are  some shots of a ring I have been working on for a while now.

I was going through a box of loose bits that i was given a while back when i came across this 316 grade bolt that had the thread removed,I have always been a sucker for shiny heavy lumps of metal  (I consider it very good luck if I find a ball bearing on the street the bigger it the more MOJO you get) so this was instantly going to used for something cool.

After a bit of measuring up I knew with a few turns in the lathe this would fit my finger perfectly, I spent a few hours  cleaning up the outside on my linisher to remove some size and clean up the rough casting marks .

I wore it like this for a couple of months but I always felt it needed something more to finish it of.

First I came up with the idea of drilling holes in the center of each face, and then when I was cleaning up the work shop  I came across some off cuts from the brass tube of an internal cable run I did on a frame and I thought that this  would look cool in the ring.

So with the concept worked out it was just a matter of  getting some time to actually do it, that time came last night at work, It all went very quickly and i had the thing all finished in about 4 hours.

I didn’t go to town with the final finish on this ring as anything that sits on my hand is in for a hard life.

All in all I’m happy with it. And hey it always good to have a nice hard lump of  steel on your finger  for those late night trips home on the train when the drunk dick heads think it is a good idea to piss off the tattooed guy with a bike sitting in the corner (say hello to my little friend ) .

stay upright Tarn

Santa bought me some cool toys this year

machinery, tig bike frame set up, tools, workshop0 comments

Well I got some cool new tools recently, picked up a very sweet milling machine. I’ve been hanging for the right machine to come so I was well excited when I found it. It was a big job getting it out of the old work shop, I had to do some funky rigging and creative door removal but it all went well and she is sitting in the new work shop. I haven’t not got to know her yet but I’m looking forward to a long and beautiful relationship.

getting a tandem attachment for my jig which I’ll be using to build cargo bikes as well as tandems. I’ve finished designing and drawing the first cargo bike and I’ll be starting the build as soon as the new jig is through customs.

I’ve also bought a new tig welder and I’m working on a 24″ tig welded fixie, I call it ‘The Street Monkey’. It should be a lot of fun and super tight through the traffic, plus it’s got loads of bar spin room up front, I’ll post shots as it comes together. I’m finalising the design for a 6″ travel duel-y with a funky suspension system, I’ve got a bit of tweaking to do but it’s looking sweet so far and I’m looking forward to building this one.

Design wise I’ve
got a bunch of new rear tips designed for Candy Cranks frames and some Rohloff specific tips for a custom build I’m working on at the moment. Well that’s about it for now, I’ll put some shots up of the products and bikes as they become a reality, this lot are of the tig and the back purge system set up on the jig.