About Me

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Back in my hometown of Jonesboro., Arkansas, United States
My name is Dimitri Harris and I have been building frames for over 9 years now. I learned the basics after spending two weeks with Koichi Yamaguchi. He is one of the most interesting people I have ever met and I am thankful to have worked with him. Since then I have just been building one frame after another and learning as much as possible along the way. I build steel fillet-brazed frames that go by the name of MEECH, which is an old nickname that I have had since I was a kid. I build mostly cyclocross frames because I love their versatility however I also do road,single-speed, and mountain bikes as well. Custom frames start around $1400. All the frames are handmade by me here in Jonesboro, Arkansas. I am insured and guarantee all of my work so if you are in the market for a custom steel frame I would be glad to build it for you. I am also building frames from carbon fiber so if you would like to ride a prototype frame give me a shout. Thanks for stopping by. You can email me at meech151@hotmail.com or call (870)897-6703 or visit www.meechcustombicycles.com Thanks.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Carbon Frame Cut & Fit

While I am waiting on a few stem building components to arrive I spent a couple of hours cutting and fitting the tubes for my first carbon frame and other than sanding some of the rough edges off its pretty much ready to bond.  The main tubes I am using are from Enve Composites while the rear end is a Dedaccia Firefox from Nova I believe.  I bought it quite a while back and have forgotten which one it is.  While everything is pretty much the same process as building a steel frame so far I have been as easy on the tubes as possible.  After building quite a few steel frames I am pretty comfortable handling that material, being able to tell what you can and can't do with it. With the carbon tubes I feel like I am playing with crystal.  So far I have done all my cutting with my tube notcher and hole saws but you have to be extra careful.  You can see that I put masking tape around the ends to prevent it from fraying but you can also see the repair I made on the down tube up next to the head tube.  It was the first cut and I tried to push the hole saw all the way through and it frayed a couple strands of carbon so I took some epoxy and touched it up and will sand it down later.  It will be covered up by carbon patches so everything should be ok but after this initial mistake I started stopping the hole saw just short of a complete cut and then I took a Dremel with a little cutting wheel to finish it up and this proved to work better for me.  To fine tune my miters I basically just used these sanding drums in my drill and they did a pretty good job. It is always a good idea to wrap some tape around the ends when cutting or sanding because you can see where I let the sanding drum slide over on the side of the seat stay.  It just barely scratched it but it happens really fast. I am sure there are better ways of mitering carbon but these  methods got the job done you just don't want to get in a hurry.  I only had one down tube so I didn't need to butcher it.  The dust that comes from sanding these tubes is my least favorite part so far.  The stuff just feels toxic if you breath it and when it gets on your skin it can itch pretty bad, doesn't seem to wash off either so long pants, long-sleeves, and a breathing mask aren't bad ideas.  In time I plan on dialing in the process a little better but the mistakes are a golden part of the process of anything you choose to do.  I have to remind myself of this on a regular basis.  Anyway,  I am not far away from breaking out the Elmer's and gluing this bad boy together. Just kidding, I got some super aerospace epoxy somewhere in my junk draw that I have been saving for just the right moment, I think this is it. Time for all those intense gluing exercises from the first grade to start paying some dividends.  Just when you thought you would never need to know this stuff for the real world.  I have a few tubes leftover to start on the second frame.  I already know what kind of frame its going to be and who's gonna be riding it, factory MEECH cyclocrosser Larry Yancey.  Yep, I'm gonna build this first road frame for me and give it a little test and if all seems solid then the next frame will be a cross frame for Larry to put to the real test.  I just like to pussy-foot around a little on my bike but if you really want to try and tear something up you send it to Yancey.  Stay tuned.  Chao amigos.

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