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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Doodling..

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It Went As Fast As It Came

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I threw in more than 90% of what I got in my bonus into investing in my personal shop tools. A 2000W metal slicer, a drill press, some hand drills and air tools, bits and pieces of small but important measuring paraphernalias and a Fronius TransPocket 1500 TIG welder. This sucker is just as big as an AVR but packs a mean punch. Practicing on strips of steel angle bars, I often either burn through the metal or barely scratch the surface. It filler just rolls into a ball. It seemed really frustrating but I'm already here and I can only move forward. It took a while before I could lay out some decent beads. Persistence pays off. Now on to more practice.

Oh, and not to mention the big ass argon tank sitting in my garage corner. It really was a pain letting go of the money that I was supposed to splurge to treat the kids an out of the city experience but if I let this one pass now I'd have to wait till next year end again before I can start.

My first project consisted of my very own welding table. Made out of 40' angle bars, sans the table top - I'm P1,100 short. At least with this I already have the basic setup necessary to get going - even with a slow start. Next on the list are some square tubes for the final jig setup - and the bender. Then we rock and roll :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Impending Farewell

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After almost two years of blissful memories with Mandelbrot it is time to let her go. I've already talked with my employer about this, and he approved. So long as its the same selling value, and cheaper only if I plan to finish the proposed four year stay with the company.

So I'll be starting from scratch again. Gonna make myself some custom apes, white walls, large front wheel - same as rear, and new pipes, new paint job perhaps.. darnit.. once you start its hard to stop. I just hope these two babies are still up till I get to sell mine.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

From Bad to Worse

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After I had a new set of pipes made by a fabricator it all the more sounded worse than before. Only after I had a set of smaller diameter pipes inserted did the sound (slightly) improve. Well I'd rather take this than what I had when I rolled out of his shop. It sounded like someone banging on a Nido can lid. Anyway, nuff said. I'd just operate on the pipes again once I get the TIG welding unit. Hopefully this weekend.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Confused

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Do you know the adage if it ain't broke don't fix it? I got a recall on what that means when I had MityMike fabricate a set of hellbent pipes for me just two days ago. I dragged Jay into accompanying me to where Mike's shop was in Tondo, which mind you, is a labyrinth if you're unfamiliar as I am with its jeepney routes. Anyway, I came back early Monday - as agreed - so he can start good for the set 5PM pickup that same day. So the plan was I drive the bike over, leave it there so he could work on it, commute back to work in Makati, work till 4PM, commute back to Tondo for the 5PM deadline. Or so I thought.

Everything was going as planned up till the 4PM part, but I texted ahead to let Mike know I was coming. He wasn't replying, so I assumed he was good as his word and I left for the pickup. I was already halfway in Divisoria when he replied and told me he wasn't finished with the polish and that I come back for it 11AM the next day.

That was nasty. First of all, I am a customer. Second, you don't keep customers by breaking your word. Jay was right. You shouldn't leave when you have work for Mike and wait for it instead of coming back for it. Chances are, it won't be done. I travelled a heckuva long way, tread through the infested streets of Divisoria, got lost in the roads while walking, transferred through 4 jeepneys - and when I got there, Mike was in relax mode. If it weren't for the fact that I wanted to ogle his Honda Shadow 1100 and was already fidgety to get my bike back, I wouldn't exert this much effort into pushing through with today's agreed meeting. In fairness, the pipes looked wicked, even in its unpolished state. So I thought, heck I'd just wrap it with thermals again. (Jay later reminded me our contact Jeff could polish it easy just the same - which saved me another horrific trip back to Tondo.) Anyway, to make a long story short the pipes sounded awful, because Mike didn't consider back pressure in the first place.

Took a chance to have Cocoy look at what he could do to aleviate my suffering. Hehe. No dice. An ass is an ass for me. Went home dejected. Baffles? Naaahh.. might as well slap on my old straight pipes.

But I learned a whole lot about the business - of keeping customers. Right now the least of my problems is the sound of my pipes - but in consolidating all my contacts so I can finally gather all the tools I need to setup shop. Tomorrow I have a meeting with a welding supplier, next week I'll be talking with a machinist to commission my pipe and tube bender, then a drill press and lastly a lathe machine - which is the second biggest investment in my itinerary.

All in all, I only had enough time to smile as Jay went out of his way to visit me and assess for himself what the heck was wrong with the new pipes, which frankly I was ready to throw away. Tools on hand are the basic ones: a grinder, a hand drill, trouble lights, some minor tools here and there.. at least we're moving :)

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