Retooling

So in 1979 I spent a lot of money trying to bolster my then plummeting self-esteem because it appeared to me that the trade was tooling up to beat the band and every European maker of any size or stature had a lot of fancy, heavy, big tools all over their shop floors in whatever catalog I opened. All I had was a bunch of files, some hacksaw blades, and a nice bench vice. I was feeling small and inadequate. My therapy was shopping. And during a trip to Milano I ordered a few fancy, heavy, and big tools from Bike Machinery and Marchetti + Lange. One of these was this amazing braze-on mobile that held all the small bits in place. At 200 plus pounds I had to put casters on it so I could roll it over to my brazing station when needed.

The braze-on mobile got mothballed by 1985 and lived life as a coat rack ever since. A nice Italian coat rack, but a coat rack nonetheless.

Two weeks ago I looked at it and thought wtf I could spend some time, get creative, reverse engineer the pre-OS era specs and make this thing work for the PegoRichie tube sizes and brake cable stops I use in 2017. Et voilà – I’m actually quite pleased with myself and how this dusted off fixture came out for an encore appearance.

It’s working well, as am I. The same can’t be said for nearly every maker whose brochure was in the piles I kept so many years ago.
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