Workshop Dreams and ViceTrackWorld | Brodie Bikes

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There is something deeply absorbing about watching someone be deft and capable. And if you’re of a certain persuasion you’re likely to get quite excited about a nicely equipped workshop too. We have both for you here, thanks to Paul Brodie and his new YouTube channel.

Paul Brodie

Paul Brodie worked at Rocky Mountain as a frame builder before setting up on his own. Some of you might remember the Brodie Holeshot, an early hardcore hardtail. Inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall Of Fame in 2005, these days he’s teaching frame building, and making bikes for fun – quite often for the North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS). In the last couple of months he’s started making videos for YouTube, and they’ve got a nice low key feel to them. It’s like being there in the workshop with him, rather than there being tons of editing and B-roll cuts. That takes quite some doing – without edits, you need to get things right first time, keeping your commentary going, getting the task done, all without a re-take. Clearly he knows his onions. And his vices. And he unfeasibly nice handwriting.

This ‘how to get a dent out of your frame’ video is full of little tips that you only get from a really good teacher. File this way rather than that way because it stops you cutting a groove. Heat this way not that way to avoid overheating. It’s these little extras about technique that make the difference when you’re being taught how to do something. Even if you’ve not got the kit to go this far, the introduction where he builds a frame block is likely to result in a flurry of activity in STW readers’ sheds, as you all head out to build nice neat blocks to hold your prized frames just that little bit more neatly.

This video on making a frame alignment tool is also worth a watch, and those who enjoy making something fairly gratuitously beautiful instead of just functional will appreciate the effort that goes in to it. Or, skip to the end to see him using the finished to align a frame – this bit of the exercise looks like something you’ll manage at home. But you’re going to need a good vice, and a strong workbench. You probably need to go shopping now, don’t you? Or maybe you need to go talk on our Forum about vices? Or show off the last thing you made?

Whether you’ve any intention of using these videos as a tutorial for actual activity, or just want to appreciate some great skills and understand a bit more about how things are made, there’s a growing collection of videos here worth spending a little time over. Enjoy!

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