Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A blast from the past to help the future....

I have been sitting on a box of these U-lock tools for a while so I figured what better way to get the ball rolling on the next big project ( Titanium Sheet Metal hydrogen fuel cell race bike ) then selling the last bits of these bad boys to keep the sparks flying and keep the titanium chips curling...

I decided this would be a great time to team up the U-lock tools with some T-shirts to really help fuel the project a bit quicker.

If you don't know much about the Ulock tool its a product from years back created with my buddy Dan Berlant from LA and myself, we were just sitting around drinking beers talking about making stuff and this baby came to be.

This is the tool, mounted on a U-lock
The tool is a 15mm socket that uses the ulock as a lever.

 It wasn't really a money maker but the idea was fun, unique and its still neat to see people around the world enjoying that on a daily basis.

Its kind of like having mini time capsules in my shop, it was a very happy and weird time of my life back in the hood in Central Los Angeles when MLS was just coming to be and the future was so unclear....

The tool stays on your lock at all times and locks up just like normal.
You can see the 15mm Hex on the end

Without the T-shirts the last year MLS wouldn't have been involved in some crazy life changing projects some that can't be told on the blog and some that have or will be told,

 but you can be sure that it couldn't have been done without the press brake and some of the tools that were helped funded by T-shirt sales and people truely believing in my passion and love for my trade with the main goal to spread it to others and build for whats right. 

Shirt size
Ulock style
This is the button for Both a Ulock tool and a Shirt for the kids in the USA...

Shirt size
Ulock style
This is the button if it requires a bit of a trip around the world and needs some extra shipping...


Just a good old U-lock tool only...
Maybe you have so many MLS shirts but just don't have a Kryptonite Ulock tool.... Then you can just buy a Ulock tool here, shipping is included already.

Kryptonite Ulock tool

Bulldog Ulock tool
Maybe you way to many MLS shirts but just don't have a Bulldog Ulock tool.... Then you can just buy a Ulock tool here, shipping is included already.

T-SHIRTS only Below

T-shirt with some good old USA shipping

T-shirts because everyone loves them and it keeps the lights on and Gabe and I working.

Below is the classic T-shirt with some International shipping to throw it over the pond.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Hammer Time part 3 or something like that....

Gabe and I keep working on the Little Giant power hammer and all the other projects around the shop.... 


Like normal I am out having fun while he keeps working , its summer time..... cut me a break.....

Downhill MTB champ Greg Minnaar decided to give us a quick tour of Santa Cruz bicycles the other day which was super rad, we all drove down from Oakland to go to hang out in Santa Cruz, CA for the weekend.
These are Greg and Steve Peat's test bike swingarms from years back

We got to meet the Syndicate Race team mechanic Doug, who was getting all Greg's race bikes ready for the next World Cup races overseas in a few days and we also got to see the rad research and development dept, where all the custom creatures are designed and built by the cool cats around the shop.

The next stop for us crew was New Belgium Beers Clips of Faith movie tour, which was raising money for a rad group with a cool idea in the Santa Cruz, CA area.

This is the set up New Belgium brought to show the movie shorts for the night in the empty field.
Hundreds of people showed up to have a good time and drink beer.

The non-profit project is called Santa Cruz Project Bike Trip, which in a nut shell, its a group dedicated to bringing bicycle mechanics and repair classes back to high schools. Its neat to see a big company like New Belgium getting with small groups with a good cause and get kids turning wrenches again...

Gabe and I decided if we had the Little Giant apart we needed to replace the clutch
So with the new upgrade clutch material we wrapped it.

The way to learn to rig and lift stuff is by doing so I make Gabe do it.
Gabe has a blast driving that forklift.  

Here is front without the spring and nothing tight
The front isn't painted because it needs a guard welded
The guard protects you from the spring.

And thats the spring...
Don't want that blowing out hitting you in the face.
These hammers are known for springs blasting out if over hit.

OK OK....
This is just a teaser for what showed up on a pallet at MLS the other day.....
Just wait.....

Friday, July 20, 2012

An email from Jesse James...

Thanks Jesse for enjoying MLS .....

it made my day..... ha ha
Your still a hell of a fabricator....

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Oh.... July..... Summer time & Projects ......

The last month has been a wide open cluster of projects filling the shop on a daily basis...

I have had to take a few brakes from everything here and there to enjoy the great West Coast summer and work on some personal projects.

The little giant hammer is coming along with a fresh coat of paint and some retro-fit pieces to make it run a little bit better. Theres a strong following to these Little Giant PowerHammers around and luckly they love the share the love and show how to do some of the rebuilds on them and make them run a little better.

So heres a update of the rebuild....

Thats the old connecting rod from 1927 on the right.
So using 2 giant bolts, I cut the heads off of them and used the cut off to make new safe and adjustable connecting rods. The old ones were really beat up and not adjustable like the new ones are.
This is a very important upgrade to the LG hammers that is a "must have" if your are rebuilding it.
The finished product.
Custom Tig welded and bolted " for extra safety " connecting rods
The old hammer adjusters limit the movement but making these connectors will double the amount of adjustment, making it possible to work some very large billets of steel safely.
This is the slide assembly with the 2 adjusters and all the retrofit bearing set up on it.
I am getting excited....
This assembly is about 200 lb of steel as you see it on the table. Solid !
The 1927 Little Giant 100LB power hammer is looking better everyday..
My arms and hands are trembling thinking about this thing running....

I am sure I will have to move as soon as the people on the block hear this thing...

Exile Cycles.... Another day at work.
Somedays I get a kick out of classing the place up by parking my sweet truck in the shop to stoke out Russell, he loves when my $500 dollar truck sits in the middle of the shop leaking oil and smelling like gas...

MLS is always growing
These are production punch presses that can hit 135 hits per minute with 25 tons per hit.
Almost 3,000 lb that punch weighs

Gabe has been learning to Tig weld and do sheet metal at the shop and is having a blast doing it.
This was a project for science museums to use Ipads for exhibits.
Really cool way to have a touch screen on the exhibit and a camera as well.

With a fresh white powercoat the Ipad displays are ready for action!

With all the orders for robots, displays and madness filled...
Jen and I jumped in to the New Belgium Beer van and headed north to Portland...
Time to relax and see the friends.

This is Robert the mad chef behind Chris King's in house kitchen for the employees.

We spent the weekend cruzin Portland with Nick, and Matt from King.
Then on Monday we made them and also Kyle at King give us a full tour of every square inch of Chris King, even got to stop in the frame shop and give Buck and the welders a hard time as they were welding the Celio frames. I had to QC the frames for errors.... But I couldn't find any.....

Jen and I both know Chris but he happened to not be in that day which was a bummer but we will be back soon to talk machines, biking, trains or what ever madness we have to offer.

This is Chris Kings in house " tooling dept " on this end of the building.
Theres about 90 employees making some really rad parts and doing a great job to show USA can still keep them machines spinning.

I don't know how I managed to snap this photo during our coaster brake race thur Portland...
Trust me, there was heavy tire smoke from all the heavy power skids around the corners.

Mr. Poe is still holding the shop down..
Sometimes I find poop behind the machines and I have to be a mean to him...
He wasn't stoked to get told to quit shitting behind the press brake....
Jen and I had some crazy box seats to the Oakland A's game...
( what ever value they hold )
But it came with a chef..... With style..... Plus for some unknown reason...
The A's happened to win... thats a rare statement.

Back to the grind of designing and building...
Theres some really cool stuff showing up at the shop to build so stay tuned

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Dirty Dave....

Building motorcycle gas tanks today and figured I should post something on the blog.

Just about everyone in the heart of the motorcycle industry has a story about partying with Dirty Dave.
This is Dave on his Exile Cycles Army bike he built
The Army bike was so rad, this was taken out in Strugis I think 2007 if I remember right.
Dave was the mechanic at Exile cycles for years and is from London, dude can wheelie anything...
Think hes going for like 200 mph at the salt flats this year so watch out Harley Sportster guys...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Its back....

Maybe about 5 years ago or something my brother Jason Tiedeken and I wanted to build something to race Roland Sands ( our boss at the time and super fast AMA 250cc national champ) and Rodney ( fabricator and designer at Roland Sands Design also fast 1000cc road racer) to a little inter-company race called the "Canyon Carver Challenge"

All the bikes must be 500cc and less and " MUST BE BUILT BY THE RACERS", anything goes just as long as it can race in the canyons and not crash, mostly because we need you to work because the company relies on everyone so heavely and we can't have you crashing.

So the race was on, Roland started by modifing a Buell Blast 500cc in to a custom little road racer....

There was one rule also .....

You were not able to work on it at work or by paid employees not involved in the race... which for my brother, Rodney and I isn't even an option but Roland had the employees to do so, so we had to call him out a few times on that.

Rodney decieded his beast of furry would be a mid 1980s Honda XR500 which started to look cool and all super motoed out once he started chopping in to the frame.

I wish I had pictures of some of these old beasts.

My brother did the design of this creature and I helped team up on the build to fab and weld. The creature ended up being an odd ball due to its odd motor choice.

 It was a Honda cb360, these little motors have a good firing order and are very little compact twin side by side cylinder engines that just push enough power to get your fat girl riding the bike up to street speeds of 45mph and nothing more...

My brother Jasons design
The Canyon Carver Honda Turboed CB360
Back in the day when I worked at Edelbrock, I made these stainless turbo pipes on the Pines Mandrel bender. you can see the little 10mm turbo behind the motor kind of...

some of the detail on the front end and how the steering uses links

I like looking at my welding from years back and compairing it to my welding today
Still got it.

This is the side view of the where the center stand needs to go.

Jasons solidworks center stand down

and up

The front end needs to be a bit stiffer so I am going to make this front end support while its here at the skunkworks.

I will get in to more details about the bike in the future, but this week I have to hammer down and make the front end support and the trackstand before he arrives at my shop next week so I have to get to work....

Monday, July 2, 2012

A early Christmas gift...

I have been super in to forging over the last year and have been doing all kinds of studying about doing aluminum forging and steel forging so why not give it a try......

The power hammer work is something I have just started and taking the classes ( Old MLS post about the classes) that the California BlackSmith group offers gave me a little more insight in to everything.

While I was at class I noticed a cool little machine sitting in the corner not being used.

It happened to be a early 1900s Little Giant Power Hammer made in Minnesota, but not some random town I don't know of, it happened to be a few miles from where I grew up in a small city named Mankato. Just miles from New Ulm,MN which is my home town. So automaticly I was drawn to the brand and needed one... I have driven my truck by this address in Mankato hundreds of times and even know the building....
The ad from 1931 with a 100lb machine

Since I have have been hammering the last months non stop on robots, science museum stuff, gov. stuff and all power labs stuff, I knew I owe it to myself to buy a gift for me and my desire to learn.

This machine came up for sale a month back and once the dude Carl selling it, knew it was going to a good home.... He made the price right !

Carl was so stoked on his free forklift he wanted a picture with it...
I would like to show the picture of it in the rental truck but I am sure I would be blacklisted for destroying the floor in the rental box truck from hauling this thing, so just pretend theres a box truck in this photo too.
My new addition to MLS 
1927 Little Giant 100 LB Trip PowerHammer

Here is the pile of parts, as you can tell from the forklift photo, I have already done some major cleaning on it and getting it ready for the motor mount and paint.

The name plate says it all.
Mankato, MN
This is a video to show you how and what it does.