Saturday, June 27, 2020

Workbench, improved

A couple days ago I was out on a ride and spotted a square metal panel with a thin foam backing. Computer part? I didnt know. But I immediately knew it would be just the thing to cover the rest of my workbench top with a metal surface that could stand up to grease and occasional pounding. So I slipped on my rack, held in place by my saddlebag, and took it home.
While pulling up the cheap plastic cover I'd nailed there 16 years ago with some carpet tacks, I knew I'd also want to solve the issue of the gap at the back, where things often fell down behind the bench. So I found a couple of license plates, cut them into the pieces I'd need, and fixed that issue as well. Fastened in place with long wood screws behind the new metal sheet, they were strong enough to support the various tins of spares I kept on the bench, and freed up more space.

It's not a big benchtop -- I'd never intended it to be back when I installed it in our newly-built shed -- but there's just enough room for me to spread a shop rag and clean a headset or bottom bracket, or rebuild a brake lever.

It's been nice to have time to go through the pile of parts and make more workable space in the Brain Trust this spring and summer. I'm looking for abandoned or donated frames to build up (and thereby shrink the parts pile further).

It's been hard at times, not being able to go out and participate in the protests and other community actions because of my compromised immune system. I figure building up bikes for people in need is about as good as it gets for now.

Which leads to this:

I'm looking for old mountain bikes and mountain bike frames in small to medium sizes that I can repair and/or rebuild for people in need. If you live in Portland and you've got something to offload, please shoot me a message at: to arrange drop-off.
Thank you.

Today might be cooler, at least for a little while. Ride solo, wear a mask and rubber side down!

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