The last month has been filled with a number of small bike related jobs that are really more about getting around problems and helping people out of trouble. The last one involved crimping the chainstays on Gareths from http://www.essendoncyclery.com.au/ On One Pompino so that the set of Omnium cranks he had chosen would fit.
While these jobs don’t take long to do they invariably take a while to jig up for. Many people would have a tendency to say “it’s only a little job and it takes more of my time than it’s worth” or”its just a few dollars worth of work, I can’t be bothered”.
Way back when I was an apprentice toolmaker I worked at VDO instruments where we made car instruments for Ford ,Holden ,Toyota and others as well as a range of aftermarket gauges. VDO is a German based company and as many of you may have experienced the Germans have a very distinct idea of how things should be done. As each new model came along a new production line was assembled along with the required tooling. At some point I was asked to make 6 pointer lifters, a sort of reverse pliers in order that the production workers could recalibrate the instruments when they were a bit out. This tool was placed on the face of the dial and the slot you see in the picture under the pointer boss. The operator lifted the pointer off and repositioned it. I made them twice. My first efforts were nothing short of an abomination and when my boss walked over and dropped them in the bin I had the temerity that only a 17 year old could have and said “but its only a pointer lifter”. I have never forgotten his response and making them for a second time taught me a valuable lesson. So much so that when that production run finished and that lot of tooling was being thrown out to make way for the next model I salvaged one of my pointer lifters. I have kept it for over 20 years and It reminds me that no job is too small to care about.
I am off to the Meet the Maker seminar tonight as part of the Australian Custom Bicycle show. Should be good. I can always learn more