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.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Wet Paint

My blogging has slowed quite a bit here lately.  I've had too many things going on that don't jive with frame building and I've been trying to tie up all the loose ends and start spending some quality time in the shop.  One of the projects I've been working on is learning how to paint bike frames.  Paul and Wayne have been building a house and since I've always wanted to paint some of my own frames this was the perfect opportunity to get some practice.  Here are some pics of my third paint job.  The third time is not always a charm as I learned on this one, although it was educational and while I pulled a little hair out (...alot), I'm glad I worked through it and came out on the other side.  When I originally finished this frame I was pretty happy with it but then I realized that I didn't get good coverage under the top tube.  It wasn't really that bad I didn't think but the guys at the paint shop said it needed fixing.  Thats when the horses got out of the barn. So I taped off everything except what needed repainting and sanded the clearcoat off (..so I thought) and reshot the top tube with the champagne color.  About 10 seconds later major wrinkling started to set in.  I had no idea what was going on as this is all new to me.  "So what happened?"  I'm not exactly sure Virginia.  Apparently I didn't sand all of the clear coat off the paint and when you combine that with the fact that neither the paint or the clear was completely cured it just all sort of fell apart.  I actually did this a couple more times before talking to the paint guys and they said to let it dry for a couple days and then reshoot it.  So I did and that got me to this point.  

In the end the frame turned out pretty good.  After all the trouble I had I was afraid it was gonna be bad.  It does have a couple of imperfections and I still have a couple of small runs in the clear coat that I need to buff out but if that goes as planned (fingers crossed) it will be a success.  Still needs a head badge.

The rear end turned out nice from the start.  After reshooting the top tube with color I ended up scuffing the whole frame and giving it all a good coat of clear and I think that helped pull it all together.  Everybody loves a sexy rear end.  

This is a little 59cm frame I built a while back.  I put a sloping top tube in it to keep it tight and shave some grams.  Its got a 1" steerer with a straight-blade fork.  This is a solid, all-around ride that will fit a variety of riders.  For some reason as I was building this frame I kept thinking of it as a 16 gauge.  I don't have a need for shotguns these days but if I did I think I would probably buy an old Browning 16.  Do they make shells for those anymore?

It wouldn't be fair to not show some of the imperfections.  This is part of what got repainted and when I peeled the tape off the second coat of champagne base kinda lifted off.  Not sure why.  Maybe I didn't get all the clear off right here and the new base coat just didn't stick.  But if this little blemish slows you down any then you're not a racer, your a poser.  I've been both and a racer is much better.

Check out those super-red dropouts.  Yowsa mamacita!

The stencil layed down pretty good.  There is one spot above the "H" that has a little feathered look but everything else was pretty tight.  I'm ready to do a 3-color paint scheme now.

One time I actually did let some horses out of the barn.  My dad had a few acres north of Jonesboro and he let one of his friends keep their horses there to keep the grass eaten down.  I use to take my motocross bike up there to get a little speed work in on occasion.  So I pulled up to the gate and I saw the horses about 100 yards away, no worries right.  I'll just unlock it, jump in the truck, drive it through, and jump back out and shut the gate before a horse even thinks of leaving.  Besides, the horses weren't even paying any attention to me, so I thought.  So I unlocked it, pushed the gate open, and jumped in the truck.  Soon as I sat down I noticed the horses were kinda walking in my direction.  Hmmm, no worries, they're still 75 yards away and I'll just roll in, jump out and shut the gate.  Before I got through the gate they started trotting. So they're 50 yards away and I'm getting out of the truck and gonna make a run for the gate.  They decided to run too.  Good luck trying to outrun a dozen horses to an open gate.  They went by the truck, through the gate, and took a left on the gravel road before I started to run.  It looked like the start of the Kentuckey Derby as they rolled on the gas and there was so much dust in the air I lost sight of 'em.  First thought, the same one I had the time I accidently did a handstand on my motocross bike over the finish line jump in Covington, Tenn., "This is not good!"   So I unloaded my trusty little RM 125 and went looking for them.  About a  1/2 mile down the road they had gone up into the backyard of someone a couple of farms down.  Now I imagine the people were a little surprised to see a dozen horses come running up into their backyard that morning and I probably added to that surprise when I came buzzing up in there on my 2-stroke.  I rolled up in there about 3rd gear and the horses took off again, out of the neighbor's driveway, took a left on the gravel road (apparently these horses were lefties) and it was race on again, only this time I was on my horse buzzin right at their bums.  I couldn't believe my luck when they came to the entrance of the farm and hung a right and ran straight through the gate.  I was down-shifting and closing that gate at the same time.  Wheew! If there had been one car coming down that road it could've been bad. So you see Virginia, the other night when I told you I was a cowboy, I wasn't just whistlin' dixie.  Actually I'm a Redskin at heart. I don't care much for cowboys.

handmade in 
Mountain Home, Arkansas

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