Accountability Mechanisms

I have a concept what I call ‘accountability mechanisms’. It’s not too different from what others talk about. These are tools that keep me working hard and in good ways without having to ‘pay’ someone to do that. An extrinsic motivator; a teacher, trainer, or editor, would (hopefully) do the same thing but those come … Read more

Numerical Suspension Modeling

I’m probably known best these days for my hardtail mountain and all-road bikes. What some may not know is that I have a long history riding and tuning suspension bikes and sport motorcycle. I’ve had big enduro bikes and downhill bikes. I’ve changed shims, fluid, and springs to alter the performance of these systems. This … Read more

The Fixturable Sine Bar

This is a project that I had been working on last year. It’s a fixturable sine bar for use on fixturable fabrication tables. Sadly, I got distracted before finishing it but it might be at some point. For that reason, I delayed posting on it until now. With a good design and an hour at … Read more


I started this project about a year ago, almost to the week. It was going to be a big undertaking for me as I haven’t done a lot of this kind of work, or at least properly. I’m happy to learn new things but it can take me a bit of effort and time to … Read more

Good Work

I try to do good work. I know a lot of folks that do good work. Folks like us generally want to know each other. I’m sure this is because we are a minority. It’s easy to see good work when someone points it out to you. They point. You look. It’s seen. Easy. Then … Read more

Industrial Craftsmanship

I design and produce quite a few things as a hobby. Bicycles, motorcycles, & skateboards and the details that surround them. I do other projects but the short list is probably the most elegant way to describe it. I could get even more discrete when I say ’tilt steer vehicles’, but that requires more explanation … Read more

Microscope Holding Upgrade

I just recently got the chance, again, to post microscope images of some failed handlebars. While I’m not into having failures, it’s nice to use my neat setup microscope. Images like the ones that I took are extremely difficult to obtain. Holding a handlebar (or portion of a handlebar) the long way, rigidly, under the … Read more

Bean Can 2022

Careful readers of my blog will know about the ‘bean can’. It’s a simple enough device that protects the delicate top tube of a bicycle frame when proper hand grip placement may produce damage in a crash. When everything goes ass over tea kettle, the front end swings around wildly, looking for something to stop … Read more

The PVD Wheel Lacing Fixture

I think it was 1990 when I built my first set of bicycle wheels. I was a young man of 20, working at Fat City Cycles in Olive Square in Somerville, Massachusetts.  We manufactured very fancy bicycles there. On the side, I had just constructed a fixed gear road frame for use getting around Boston … Read more

Porting equations from Excel to SolidWorks

I develop a lot of equations for use in my designs. Math is behind most of what I make. Generally, I’m using MS Excel while going through the math and drawings to arrive at the system that I want to use. That gets added to master spreadsheets along with all my other calculations that I’ve … Read more

PVD WOPR Frame Fixture

This is the holy grail of the plate style fixtures and is the third iteration of a bicycle fabrication fixture that has developed from modern bicycle design principles. The 2020 Cyberdyne System fixture changed everything. By building a fixture on a breadboard surface, precise fabrication could be done with a lesser investment in tooling. The … Read more

Temperature Management

This is a another diversion within the CNC controller box project. Another opportunity to learn things that I’ve never bothered to in the past. The more time I spend solving these practical issues the more it makes sense and the pieces start fitting together. Electricity is hard. For my CNC controller project, I have to … Read more

Angles for Welding Tables

This is something interesting that came up in the shop yesterday. My friend, Tim Murko, has been working with wood in recent years. He’s been doing various furniture and wall art types of things. For a while, he was content with just wood and fasteners (along with some fun electronics as Tim is an electrical … Read more

CNC Control Box Power Safety Circuit

I’ve made it clear that I’m no electronics expert. This project is challenging my ability to learn at a later stage of life. Still, I’m getting used to all of it and it’s even getting fun. In my research on the CNC control box project, much confusion was made in the vague descriptions of the … Read more


In the last few years I’ve been needing real microscopy in my home shop. Fiber laser engraving, electronics projects, and analyzing 3D printing failures prompts this. There’s seeing and then there is really seeing. I feel foolish that it took this long. Had I known how much of a difference 90x magnification would make in … Read more

Caletti Open House

Yesterday, I went to the Caletti Cycles open house in Santa Cruz. My wife and I had a nice little day trip. A few east bay stops on the way down and a sunset drive back up the coast to San Francisco and Marin. We enjoyed a quick ride in the trail network by UCSC … Read more

3018 toy router pro tune

A few months ago, for fun I bought a crumby hobby grade CNC router from one of my favorite low cost online suppliers.  I was working with some development 3D printed skate trucks and I needed to cut some wheel wells in a skate deck in a more precise way than I had in the past. … Read more

Ghetto CMM

I’ve mentioned using a manual mill with a DRO (digital read-out) as a ghetto CMM (coordinate measuring machine) in the past. Here’s a twisted example of what I’m talking about. Generally, when I’m talking about the ghetto CMM I’m talking about using the DRO to measure some points on a part so that we can … Read more

BikeCAD Pro 17.5 and BikeCAD FREE 17.5

BikeCAD Pro is the ‘go to’ program used by bicycle framebuilders, bike fitters, and riders around the world for designing and drafting bike setups and designs. It really is an indispensable tool that almost everyone agrees is crucial for working in this space. Few things can be agreed on by framebuilders and this is one … Read more

Feynman Technique

I was doing a quick spin on the bike today. The mind clears when you’re trying to ride down narrow singletrack as fast as you can. I was bopping through Hobo Trail and I was thinking about Richard Feynman and his learning technique. Study a subject Pretend to teach a concept you want to learn … Read more

Ring Sizes

I finally lost my wedding band. As a machinist type person, it comes off all of the time for safety. At the end a day last week it wasn’t in my pocket where I put it. Sucks.   It’s a pretty good design. Stainless is the ultimate ring material. Super slim and strong with a … Read more

Metric Design

I’ve been trying to learn to draw in metric for the last few years. It’s not as easy as you’d think, certainly not for an American. I’m now old.  50 years old so I have been thinking in a mix of old ways and new in the United States. I am able to  change my … Read more

Graphic Violence

Toolmaking has been a theme lately. After putting time into my frame fixture tooling and my press tooling and a lingering mandrel bending project. I’m hoping to get back to some go fast shit soon. I finished the leveling base plates for my Enerpac press a while ago. They have been an awesome improvement to … Read more

Unreasonable Men

History is rarely made by reasonable men…. – Terry Goodkind  We don’t get gifts in life. The golden ticket or silver bullet are things of fantasy. You’re not going to get ‘discovered’ while walking down the street. You’re not going to ‘invent’ a world changing thing casually after dinner on a Thursday. Success in life … Read more

Still Standing

I just finished a small project that is a pretty cool improvement for the shop. During COVID-19, I was forced to move a bunch of personal tools that I keep in the university shop home. I was locked out but I still needed to be productive. Obviously, I was able to produce the Cyberdyne Chassis … Read more


Using a fiber laser to mark the outside of a cylinder is relatively common. The EZcad software breaks a graphic into a polygonal cylinder and marks the part while indexing a stepper motor axis. It’s crude but works well enough for most work. The precision and expertise of the user will produce differing results, better … Read more

The full circle

When I was a kid, one toy ruled them all, Lego. Then in the late 70s and very early 80s, when I was in the prime age for using these, we didn’t have a lot of money in the family and Lego were very expensive. Still, Lego is a toy that provide a huge dollar … Read more

Laser accessories

Now that I’ve got my laser marking system up and running, it’s time to fit up a rotary attachment for doing radial marking. This is exciting as so many parts that I produce and encounter have some sort of cylindrical profile. This is an easy expenditure to make this far into the investment. Some marking … Read more

Laser Marking

More on the new frame fixture details… I started on this path when the employer of a friend took delivery of a fiber laser for marking parts. I would have been able to get some limited access to this but, sadly, COVID-19 ate the company up and that opportunity disappeared along with my friends job. … Read more

The finish line.

Advice for the aspiring designer; Have lots of patience, keep working hard, don’t ever stop! I’m currently working on producing a new fixture for making my bicycle frames (a mandrel bender also but that is another story). I need a tool that will work better than what I have been using for modern geometries, mopeds … Read more