I recently found out that one of my coworkers, Smalls, jointly rents warehouse space with a welder, drill press, bench grinder and other such equipment for metal working. She told me she was about to start work on her first bike frame. I immediately got very excited and pressed her to show me this warehouse and told her I was very interested in getting involved in exactly that.
After work today she asked me if I wanted to come by and see the place. I very excitedly said “Yes!” and the adventure began.
We walked just down the street from her house where there was a large warehouse that looked abandoned, with broken windows and boards covering the windows. Then she unlocked a door and we entered. The first thing I saw was a large van parked in the entry way. I looked down to see a dirt floor and objects strewn all over the place.
We went down a narrow walkway and then Smalls said “watch out for the dog poop.” I looked down to see a large pile of dog poop in the middle of the walkway. Then Smalls opens a gate and I see a bunch of large pieces of machinery, drill presses, welding equipment and a table with a guy sitting at the table in the dark staring at his computer screen.
He perked up as we came in and Smalls talked to him for a little and then introduced me to him. She said I was interested in welding. And then in a belabored way he asked me a few questions, including twice asking me if I had every done any metal working.
My response both times was, “none at all.”
After hearing this he debated some with himself, noting my mechanical experience and said that it shouldn’t be too hard for me to jump into it. This was how he talked throughout our whole conversation. I felt as though he was more debating facts with himself more than talking to me, but I knew that he meant what he said, and I felt as though he was putting an immense amount of weight and seriousness on this conversation.
He then showed me around the place and pointed out the different tools and trying to explain the purpose of them to me, trying to give me a very small understanding of frame building. He said it was very important that I check out the following websites. This should be my first project before I get started anything else:
He tried to embark additional knowledge to me including this tidbit: “Make something that you can’t buy; because you can always get it cheaper used.”
I will start to learn welding to weld in the next few months, a dream I’ve had for some time. My 5 year goal is to make myself a recumbent tandem bicycle frame.