W/C 31.05.21 Workshop Update: Prototyping, press tools and part-timers

Bonjour! Here we are, a little late but still unleashing a new blog on a Tuesday, as promised. Apologies that it wasn't up and ready for you all after your first coffee this morning, but we had the first day of forest school to contend with and that took early morning priority. And wiped us all out!


Hopefully you've all been keeping well and out of trouble, while managing to squeeze a few rides in? Us? We've had a weird week of varied work and it's been more fun than we've had in a while. What a marvellous lack of pressure ignoring bikes for a little while brings. Well, not ignoring them, but saying no thank you to a few.


First off, we put the 3D printer through the ringer, dialled in the pesky settings and started prototyping properly. We've been printing some pieces for a while, but only for a good friend who needs some CAD work doing. This time, we designed a spider to work with a Rene Herse chainring and Cane Creek EE Wing cranks and whipped up a 3D print to check tolerances and fit. The printer was a bit of an indulgence, but it's paying for itself now, as zero material or machining time has to be wasted when creating something new. The customer in question approached us after we'd made other spiders and with a little help from Darron over at Sven Cycles, who sent us a spare chainring, we are ready to check clearances and then get to machining from aluminium.

We also finally got to a job that we kept meaning to do for Colin over at AM Bike Co. He needed some Hope bearing drifts, so we made some time after hours, to get them finished up. Sometimes it's the small and simple jobs that are the most satisfying and these are going in the post tomorrow, over to beautiful Ireland.

While we wait for a huge hub shipment to arrive (don't talk to us about EORI numbers and bloody FedEx!), we've cleared most of our outstanding wheel orders. We managed to build a few pairs and it was nice that there wasn't a black spoke in sight!

We've had a pair of touring wheels based around an SP dynamo and old Hope Bulb hub, carbon rims onto polished Chris King R45s and a very vintage styled build around some NOS Shimano 600 Arabesque hubs with Pacenti Brevet rims.

And now for something contentious. We decided not to go ahead with putting our stem rack into production, but we are still open to making one off versions for good people and that's exactly what we did this week.


Steve is an existing customer that is always a pleasure to work with and when he asked for a stem rack, plus custom stem, we couldn't say no. This was all before the stem rack issue blew up into the royal shitshow it became anyway, but we're happy with how this one came out. It's being sent raw to Steve because he is having it painted to match an existing bike and we know he is a stickler for details, so we feel confident leaving it to him, but we rarely send products out unfinished.

We'd love to be able to say that Mrs A has done the new website and managed to create some screenprints etc, but that would be a huge lie! We are designing the company re-jig now and there are plans for the website etc afoot, but anyone with small people out there will know the struggle. You think you'll 'just do a bit after bedtime' and inevitably that's the night they don't go to bed until 9pm and once you sit on the sofa after a toddler battle, it's game over for motivation and/or energy. The idea is to have everything ready for August, as in the month, to tie everything together nicely. Oh, and to start populating the August Wheelworks Instagram page, but we've been, not part-timers per se, but enjoying focussing on more important things than just work. With bub having her new balance bike to play with, we find it difficult to justify locking ourselves away on sunny days. Work to live, not live to work and all that. Or as Mrs A's favourite motto states: "what we should be doing is working at life itself".


Right. We have a grumpy toddler to deal with, doughnuts to eat and emails to answer, so that's for this week.


Rad Peeps of the Week:

  • Joergen over at Parallel Handbuilt for sending us an amazing box of tamper fodder and liquorice sweets that Mrs A is obsessed with.

  • Everyone that bought us a coffee again! We'll never stop being grateful.

  • Everyone who couldn't give a flying fuckwad about another royal baby birth.

  • All our customers who have saint-like patience with regards to a total lack of parts availability.

  • Our daughter. Just because you're rad, little one.

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See you next time!