Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Assembling Bike Shift Levers

Prescott’s unusually wet summer of monsoon thunderstorms finally ended a few weeks ago, which allowed me whole days of casting our Bike Shift Levers. These Bike Shift Levers are designed for people who rely on their bicycles every day with just six common parts, two of which are cast from scrap aluminum. I’m starting production here in Prescott, but soon our partners around the world will get their own permanent molds so they can produce them for their regions.

This summer, I couldn’t cast if there was even a threat of rain because molten aluminum explodes when water contacts it. So I’ve done a lot of casting in these past few weeks to finally cast the shifters for our wonderful Kickstarter supporters. These supporters contributed a full year ago, making this project possible. I’m sure appreciative of their patience waiting for their collector shift levers from Mold #1!

Mold #2 will be back here next week after more refinements at the machine shop. Once I’ve caught up with our supporter shifters, I’ll start casting some for sale with that mold.

Not only am I finally sending these shifters out to our supporters, this ramped-up production offered some fun photo ops. Here’s a pile of shift lever parts in various stages of assembly, some still stuck to the extra aluminum from the mold sprues, others ready for assembly, others assembled ->

Sometimes these casting days stretched into the night, which wasn’t my preference, but at least I was treated to an incredible light show every time the melt was ready to pour – check out that neon pink!:

Here’s a photo of today’s assembly line as I prepared to assemble a batch:

I’ve still got several batches to go before all of our Kickstarter backers are taken care of. This has been a great reminder of how many fabulous folks stepped up to make this project possible. A huge thanks to all of you!

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