Posts

I can

get by with a little help from my friends…

Day 2 of the sprawling and indulgent design and construction of my new panniers. I’m inventing as I go, and making pretty notes with my own particular variant of handwriting. In B or B2 0.3. On 5mm dot grid. Claire Fontaine or Rhodia, only, ever. Pentel ORENZ NERO, the most inspirational creative weapon I’ve ever used. Cameras not withstanding.

Anyway, moggy, numero fluff, came to hang out with me in the heat, to halp out with things like materials testing in regards to thermal conductivity and fluff characteristics in hot weather, and I there quality assurance measures and tool control.

Lanyard woes
Came ratios and thermal conductivity of fluff in hot weather.
Testing!
Phelamination..

Necessity is the mother of

..Invention, as the adage goes, and of course, it’s true.

I recently had a theft and assault event leave me with a sore hand and my bike panniers being stolen, along with a scuzzy rainjacket and two well used and memorably scuzzy face masks. My bike light too. It’s the masks though, they had special sentimental and religious significance for me.

Needless to say that my brain went into construction mode and I found a company called MyTee who distribute (or manufacture) tarp to trucking companies and as such I can get oceans of my favorite material for .25 what local area dealers were willing to sell me a chunk of it. This is probably a well guarded secret in certain circles..

My brain works in such a way that I dream the final product and I already know what I need, to do it. The digits will come later, I know what I need the thing I’m making, to do; and I deconstruct my idea backwards until I reach a point where my hands catch up to my brain.

Invention had most of the tools I knew I’d need to build a set of panniers and finish up a bunch of other bag ideas that I cut but have been waiting to bond.

I use the industry standard Vinyl seement as ‘muricans calls it. In just gonna call it glue. HH-66, it’s amazing. It stinks something awful to ladies, but blokes like me smear it on before going dancing.

AFAIA no bike pannier maker makes a bag that is designed specifically to hold a fully crammed average brown paper 17x12x7 grocery bag which is waterproof and/or has a lid.

Considerations include: Material integrity and how much support I may need to design into the structure. Construction process and how I may need to build a brace to hold the folds I’m imposing on the material. This roasting hot weather and how awesome it is when the material is soft, can be formed and trained with a roller and tape, and that the HH-66 behaves like spring breakers in heat.

The basic design is in, now it’s time to play with the material and get a feel for how things may come together as the project progresses.
The dream becomes reality when my pencil hits the page.
I’m fervently pro metric system, and yet I built this entire project on SAE thinking. Every available component comes in SAE and I’m used to it and even have a few layers deep of fractions that I can mentally arithmetic with.
‘Halped’ of course, by Ada the cat, who just had to vet the very warm ‘new surface’ for a swim.
Testing how well my decade old tin of glue with a hem.
Ada since early childhood I have craved a metal hand roller. I finally got one, and it’s everything I ever wished for.
So I invented the tape batten.. I use it to enforce material rigidity so I can form a crease or fold in material that would otherwise just not play nice. Anyway it works. Really well.

Sunday project.

If I can avoid it, I don’t ever want to contribute to the combustion engine revolution of yesteryear. So when ebikes happened, I signed up and went in face first.

On of the issues with owning one in a city, is theft. The bike itself is big and heavy, and the likelihood of theft is lower than a nice analog bike. Components are, as on any bike, exposed and susceptible to theft, but typically they are attached at multiple points and don’t have enough resale value to benefit a thief that much. The Battery, however, that’s the money.

So it’s been on my mind to find or make something that at least interferes with the thieving process. However any cluey thief is going to have tin snips and a cordless grinder Ada the very least, in their backpack. Remember thieving is business. Personally, even in the worst of times I never nicked a thing. I hate it and if I catch you, I’ll break one of your fingers on your business hand. In the meantime, a piece of Steel strapping cut and folded, draped in Gaffer Tape, and a small, complex padlock, also draped in tape, makes for a compelling deterrent.

A hairs breadth longer than half a meter.
On opted to cut a bit further from the hole, for more material strength for any lock.
On bought a “Seaming tool” which can be found in the sheet metal snips area of your hardware store. It’s really difficult to bend 16 gauge steel even with tools, so no perfect beveled bends here.
Ifi had a grinder, I’d be rounded the ends.