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Working as a wrench again.

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Working as a wrench again.

Old 04-09-20, 04:36 PM
  #1  
52telecaster
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Working as a wrench again.

Bushwhacker in Peoria IL has its bike shop open as an essential service. Turns out they must be desperate for an initial build guy because they ask me to work for them again. Did 6 hours today and enjoyed it.

Commuter vehicle.
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Old 04-09-20, 05:24 PM
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Are/were you a full-time musician or weekend warrior?
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Old 04-09-20, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by texaspandj View Post
Are/were you a full-time musician or weekend warrior?
more like weeknight. I have toured and gigged all over the midwest. We lost a ton of gigs due to the virus but i took the job just to keep busy. They asked me and i didnt say no.
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Old 04-09-20, 05:49 PM
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How 'bout a weekly blog of all the wrenching goodness (and badness) during this bat wing plague?
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Old 04-09-20, 05:52 PM
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52telecaster
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa View Post
How 'bout a weekly blog of all the wrenching goodness (and badness) during this bat wing plague?
im just an initial build guy it would be boring. However i was burning in brakes on a windsept over pass in shorts... as it started snowing.
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Old 04-09-20, 06:36 PM
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Good on ya! I trust all is well and you folks are being safe in this silly period of our existence. Be safe and keep posting. Smiles, MH
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Old 04-09-20, 06:36 PM
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Nice build in 6 hours.
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Old 04-09-20, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by clubman View Post
Nice build in 6 hours.
actually 3 intial builds today with training on disc brakes from the head mechanic. It really was wonderful to ride an old motobecane home.
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Old 04-09-20, 07:02 PM
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I'll offer that I spin wrenches for my LBS when he gets busy....attempting to pay off my coffee bill. What he knows is I will not touch disc brakes, hydraulic or mechanical. It is a skill that I have no desire to acquire. We laugh about this often.

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Old 04-09-20, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Dean51 View Post
I'll offer that I spin wrenches for my LBS when he gets busy....attempting to pay off my coffee bill. What he knows is I will not touch disc brakes, hydraulic or mechanical. It is a skill that I have no desire to acquire. We laugh about this often.

Dean
i wish i could say that. Actually it hasnt been bad but i have only been trained on cable disc brakes. Hydraulic tomorrow.
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Old 04-09-20, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Dean51 View Post
I'll offer that I spin wrenches for my LBS when he gets busy....attempting to pay off my coffee bill. What he knows is I will not touch disc brakes, hydraulic or mechanical. It is a skill that I have no desire to acquire. We laugh about this often.

Dean
Ahhhh.... Disc brakes. It wasn't until I acquired this little tool, that things got easier....



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Old 04-09-20, 07:29 PM
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steelbikeguy
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....but are they paying you a good salary?
i.e. are they paying you in toilet paper??

Glad that you can make a few bucks and serve the community at the same time!

Steve in Peoria
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Old 04-09-20, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by steelbikeguy View Post
....but are they paying you a good salary?
i.e. are they paying you in toilet paper??

Glad that you can make a few bucks and serve the community at the same time!

Steve in Peoria
its more than minimum wage. With my pension and ssi i am fine no matter.
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Old 04-09-20, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by 52telecaster View Post
its more than minimum wage. With my pension and ssi i am fine no matter.
I was building bikes for a local LBS until one day I went to pick up a few to build, and the day manager said he didn't have time to grab me a few at the time I showed up. Nor would he give me a time to return saying he just didn't know when he'd have time. Granted, it was a Monday morning, but I had already said I'd be by the previous Friday. Well, it's an 18 mile drive from my house, so that was the end of that. If he doesn't have the time to take 5 minutes to grab me 3 boxes, I don't have the round trip 45 minutes (or fuel) to go home and back again.

I was only doing it as a favor anyhow, and had donated all of my previous earnings back to them to use for local charity bike donations. I never earned a dime, but did get a decent discount on parts/accessories I purchased. It was a learning experience, so that was good.
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Old 04-09-20, 07:49 PM
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52telecaster
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Originally Posted by UKFan4Sure View Post
I was building bikes for a local LBS until one day I went to pick up a few to build, and the day manager said he didn't have time to grab me a few at the time I showed up. Nor would he give me a time to return saying he just didn't know when he'd have time. Granted, it was a Monday morning, but I had already said I'd be by the previous Friday. Well, it's an 18 mile drive from my house, so that was the end of that. If he doesn't have the time to take 5 minutes to grab me 3 boxes, I don't have the round trip 45 minutes (or fuel) to go home and back again.

I was only doing it as a favor anyhow, and had donated all of my previous earnings back to them to use for local charity bike donations. I never earned a dime, but did get a decent discount on parts/accessories I purchased. It was a learning experience, so that was good.
the discount is great. We get qbp stuff for 10 percent over cost.
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Old 04-09-20, 08:31 PM
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Shortly before the plague struck, I scored a job maintaining a 60 bike rental fleet. Old mtb and less old Cannondale hybrids. And some new ti hybrids. Something fun to do.
​​​
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one general tip for when the exact hub cone is not readily available. discovered that the curvature of the bearing surface on the shimano 600 was a pretty good "skeleton key" for many applications. it would sometimes require a small change in ball size to make everything come out correctly.
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Old 04-09-20, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by seedsbelize View Post
Shortly before the plague struck, I scored a job maintaining a 60 bike rental fleet. Old mtb and less old Cannondale hybrids. And some new ti hybrids. Something fun to do.
​​​
i did that for a while. Share bike fleet of about 35 bikes. Cool job. Congrats!
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Old 04-09-20, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by 52telecaster View Post
the discount is great. We get qbp stuff for 10 percent over cost.
I am only a couple years from retirement, so I was talking to the LBS about maybe working there when the time came. I joked that I would probably owe them money after we settle up for the bike stuff I bought.
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Old 04-09-20, 09:52 PM
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52telecaster
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Originally Posted by Pompiere View Post
I am only a couple years from retirement, so I was talking to the LBS about maybe working there when the time came. I joked that I would probably owe them money after we settle up for the bike stuff I bought.
the staff is nothing but enablers.
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Old 04-09-20, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by 52telecaster View Post
i wish i could say that. Actually it hasnt been bad but i have only been trained on cable disc brakes. Hydraulic tomorrow.
Them hudrolick brakes are nothin after you do a few Ducati and SAAB clutches! Been shot in the face with Dot 3 brake fluid a few times it's no fun and the durn thing still has no pedal after that.

For the Shimano ones I've done, the process is the same as for SAAB and Ducati. I like to call it the reverse reacharound bleed. Reverse because you push fluid back up through the system from the caliper to the lever. Reacharound because well, you're reaching around, especially in a car. After that, it's all in how you flick the lever. Tell 'em you can use baby oil instead of the Shimano fluid, see what they have to say!

Full disclosure, I basically got fired from my very first job, as a builder at a chain bike shop in the twin cities, for saying stuff like this. Management warn't fond of my irreverence to doctrine.
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Old 04-09-20, 10:09 PM
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Last summer I was restoring a Raleigh Super Grand Prix so I went to a local bike shop to get the parts and was assisted by the store owner. While checking out we got to talking, he said he had a hard time finding a good mechanic. He then asked if I knew how to service headsets, bottom brackets, hubs, etc. I said yes, yes and yes. He then offered me a job. Now, I am not uneducated, I clean-up well and am currently employed so when I asked how much per hour I expected to hear something reasonable. His offer? $11.00 per hour, no benefits..... ooookay

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Old 04-10-20, 12:28 AM
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Originally Posted by 52telecaster View Post
the staff is nothing but enablers.
I wanted to go work at the Harley Davidson parts department, but my wife said "no".....
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Old 04-10-20, 04:57 AM
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After I "separated" on Halloween of 2013, I bought 2 old bikes which each got a frame up rehab which honed my mech skills. Over the following year I got into a position where a local LBS owner asked me to help him at a warehouse where he stashed his "vintage" fleet - some nice bikes but a lot of old Schwinns and entry level stuff. After a few months he asked me to come to the main shop and I went 'on the books'. Now I regularly work there one day a week, wrenching bikes, acting grouchy and generally being an old fart, but steady and reliable. The pay sucks but I don't care. As 52telecaster said, the employee discount is nice, the diversity of problems to solve is interesting and the people are a good team.

REALLY weird these days with all the guidelines but at least we're open and income is flowing. Feels like working in a speakeasy. I've even told the owner that if money gets tight he can delay my pay as I don't need it to live on. C&V hobby money.

We had a cute young gal at the back door recently with a bike for service. I mentioned that working out of the back door (knock, knock, Joe sent me) felt like working at a speakeasy. She smiled and HAD heard of speakeasys and agreed. Fun.
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Old 04-10-20, 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted by texaspandj View Post
Are/were you a full-time musician or weekend warrior?
52Telecaster once posted a video of his band playing a blues tune. He's a terrific guitar player (and the other players were great,too).

Hope all of us can get back to playing gigs soon.

Last edited by Trakhak; 04-10-20 at 06:06 AM.
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Old 04-10-20, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by branko_76 View Post
Last summer I was restoring a Raleigh Super Grand Prix so I went to a local bike shop to get the parts and was assisted by the store owner. While checking out we got to talking, he said he had a hard time finding a good mechanic. He then asked if I knew how to service headsets, bottom brackets, hubs, etc. I said yes, yes and yes. He then offered me a job. Now, I am not uneducated, I clean-up well and am currently employed so when I asked how much per hour I expected to hear something reasonable. His offer? $11.00 per hour, no benefits..... ooookay
honest to god, no bike mechanic makes much. Its a job mostly for kids or retired guys but seriously many of the mechanics I've met and pretty much all of them where i am working have a wealth of knowledge that humbles me. We as a society see bikes as toys but they are very cool tools in my book.
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