Tuesday, January 8, 2008

the process

ok, the ball is really rollin in the basement workshop, but I've been wrestlin' with thoughts of what the finished cogs should look like, what sort of finish I want to present. I figure I should share this with ya'll, just so everybody's on the same page.

I'm doing this project to fill in an empty niche and I'm kinda feeling a connection with the old school mtn bikers, from wayyy back in the day, cobbling together bits of bike in a garage or basement to make something work. A throwback to the heyday of boutique cnc'd small batch parts. Remember all those funky brakes, lego block derailleurs, homemade barends, blingy quick releases, etc. I'd like these cogs to reflect those bygone days, and retain the character of one off, hand finished parts.

That said, I've decided that I'm going to leave the finish be and send them out raw. Thought about hitting the backsides with a finishing wheel, to put some type of uniform grain into it (a few of the first I sent out do have this look), or maybe polish 'em up somehow, or bead blast, or maybe tumble..... But by doing that, I feel like each individual cog loses part of its character, each one just like the other.

I'd like the cogs to reflect the one at a time, hand finished in my basement workshop heritage. So, I'm leaving them be. When you get your cog, you'll see the surface markings on the back from me deburring each cog with a plain flat file, you'll be able to pick out where I cleaned up the edges here and there. The front side will reflect the handling of each piece from the marks on the raw sheet, to scuffs and whatnot from stacking, then into boxes, to restacking & shuffling and stacking and finally packing and sending.

Each one is unique, and that's how I think they should be sent out. They aren't meant to be a blingy high polished work of art for your hipster coffee shop bike, these are meant to be abused out in the woods, on the trail, thru the muck and yuk. These are about the down and dirty silliness that offroad fixing is, nothing more, nothing less.

peace.

8 comments:

Stephen said...

Great write up, I'm sure people will disagree but who cares, I'm waiting by the mailbox for mine...

matthew said...

raw sounds perfect to me. it's honest. im waiting by the mailbox also :)

DiscoCowboy said...

I like it, antibling, antihipster, antiposer, antifred, bring it!

raposu xusticieru said...

hey Tomi,
I like your idea a lot and I would like to give it a try. I am just a little bit concerned about chainline. How do you take care of this when you flip the wheel. Any suggestions on what i will be the hub options for this... I am building a new wheel anyway so..
thanks!

riderx said...

It's got the Tomi logo, that's finished enough for me1

Tomi said...

hey rap,

honestly, I've never measured the chainline. I just know that when I flip the rear wheel, it lines right up with the chainring in the 'middle' position on the crank. This has worked with both the ENO eccentric w/ a freewheel and the DT240 hub w/ a normally spaced cog on the freehub hub.

I guess I should pull out the calipers and get some hard numbers tonight...

If the chainline isn't perfect though, you can space out the cog from the hub with washers if you need to move towards the dropout.

Recommended hub? Personally I'm a big fan of the ENO, just pick your favorite, or just strip off the rear brake and use what's on your ss now. Hope that helps.

Fxdwhl said...

Mounted mine and it's looking classy. Finish looks fine since it'll be abused and filthy anyway.

matthew said...

before i ordered my tomi cog i pulled out the calipers and measured the difference between the dropout and inside of the cog on my freewheel versus the dropout and the disk brake mount. the difference was just under 1mm so i'm not too worried about chainling on my bike (monocog 29er).