About Me

My photo
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.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Ruiz's New Paint

Not sure if any of you remember this frame that I built for Jonathan Ruiz about a year ago but anyway this frame was the first that i ever painted myself.  I didn't know anything about painting then but he was willing to give me a shot and while it turned out ok it wasn't as high quality as what Paul from Ace's Wild was doing.  Jonathan races alot of crits and I believe that sprinting may be his forte.  A couple of weeks ago he sent me a video of a sprint he did and somehow he managed to pull the wheel out out of the drive side dropout and it widened the dropout spacing a few millimeters as well as scraped off a little paint on the inside of the chain stays.  When I got the frame I was kind of surprised that the paint still looked similar to when I had finished it except for a handful of spots that had been chipped off from this and that.  Don't get me wrong, it had some wear but it looked cool to me because I love the look of a bike that has been ridden hard and his definitely had that look.  It actually looked more like a cross bike that had been raced hard for a couple of seasons.  So anyway I straightened the frame for him and we agreed that a new paint job would be better than trying to do touch up and match new paint to a used frame and the photos below are the result.  I've learned alot about painting since  painting JR's frame last summer, leaps and bounds.  I'm using new epoxy primer for starters, I bought some good spray guns, a compressor, and mainly I just have so much more experience from making mistakes and learning from them.  Now I have a process more dialed in with some really good painting products and it makes all the difference in the world.   I'm not about to say that I can paint as good as Paul but most of what I know I learned through him.  He has been overly helpful in troubleshooting any problems I've had and has taught me a ton of stuff.  Lots of people would not want to share the information that they've worked so long and hard to learn however that wasn't the case with Paul.  He told me everything I needed to know and helped me out whenever I needed it.  Thanks Paul!

So here it is.  This is definitely the best paint job I have done and I'm glad that its on Jonathan's frame since he was the first one to give me a shot at painting my customer's frames.  It turned out extremely well.  The lines are pretty tight, everything turned out 
even, and just overall was a good experience for me.  Is it perfect?  No, its not perfect but its as close as I've gotten yet.  As my friend Bob Davis always says, "At a 100 mph you'll never see it."  Another one of his sayings that he used to tell me when I would ask him if my fillet-brazing looked strong enough was, "You might break that if you dropped it off the Empire State building."  So far no one has dropped one of my frames off the Empire State building and hopefully if they do everybody will get out of the way.  I can always repair the frame, however there's a good chance that if it lands squarely on a really large person it might not damage the frame at all.  Lets just cross our fingers.  That might be a bad joke so don't take it too seriously, I'm only kidding.  Now lets check out this frame.

I wasn't gonna tell Jonathan this however after I finished this paint scheme I immediately thought about a pack of Marlboro cigarettes.  I always preferred Winston myself.  I don't smoke anymore but at one time I had planned on painting a bike frame to look like a bunch of cigarettes.  You know, the top tube, down tube, and seat tube.  One end would be the filter end with the beige color and the little white dots and the other end would be the tobacco end, so the main frame would basically look like 3 big cigarettes end to end.  I never got around to it.  I used to enjoy smoking for whatever reason but now I don't need it.  Its actually kinda crazy if you think about it.  Smoke is about the worst thing that you could put into a body.  
The body doesn't handle fire very well to start with since its basically all liquid, and whenever you're around smoke you're always covering your face and trying to get out of it, coughing, eyes watering, etc.  I can't even really imagine how the first person that smoked decided that it would be a good idea.  You know the first big puff that he took burned his lungs and made him cough his head off so you'd think he'd stop right there, but no, he did it again and again and somehow managed to get his friends to do it to.  They put way too many chemicals in it these days.  I imagine within about 10 years that medical marijuana is gonna be legal over alot of the U.S.  I could care less one way or another, the world could use a little mellowing out in my opinion.  Lets move on.

Front view, just in case you didn't know which end of the bicycle this was.  When I was a kid I had a friend that used to sit backwards on his handlebars and ride his bike around the neighborhood, so when he ran head on into the front end of a truck it threw him backwards through the windshield and sat him down right next to the driver.  He never even got hurt, he just told the driver to drop him off at the 4th house on the right and they'd call it even.  Ok, I'm making this up. He really did ride his bike backwards but the whole crashing through the windshield is custom fabrication.  But once he did have a motorcycle crash and spent about a month in a coma.  He wasn't quite the same after that. I had some interesting friends growing up.

This would make a great photo if I could hold a camera straight, but then it wouldn't be a MEECH Custom photography shot would it?  Actually the head tube turned out nice.

Such a lovely rear end.

I put a little royal carbonification on the chain stay for some superior slaption protection.  "So what exactly is royal carbonification slaption protection?"  No earthly idea but this should pretty much cover it if it exist.

Red, white, and black has been done quite a bit in the last couple of years however this is actually more of a red/orange.  Like alot of paint colors it appears different in certain light conditions.  Overall i really like how it turned out and I wouldn't mind having this paint scheme on my ride.

How artistic is this?  When the frame turned out exactly like this drawing I couldn't believe it.  "That boy's gonna be president."  The sketch is just for reference purposes only.  Too many times I will get a paint scheme in my mind only to forget where I'm going with it once I start painting.  The quick sketch makes all the difference in the world.

Somehow JR managed to remember that I love the Avocet O2 saddle and he sent me two of them.  Talk about getting on my good side.  First he buys a frame from me and gives it rave reviews all over the internet and then he sends me two of these.  Its all I can do to hold back the tears.  I think this brings my grand total of Avocet O2 saddles up to about eleven. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ll7rWiY5obI 

Dizzy got a new bed the other day.  We were just going for our normal morning walk and we passed a neighbor's house who was having a yard sell and she just gave it to him.  I had to carry it about 300 yards with him hanging onto it trying to take it away from me.  He was like, "Hey man, she gave it to me!"  Hopefully now he will start to sleep in his own bed and give me a little more space.

NEWS FLASH:  Yesterday I saw a bear coming out of our neighborhood. I've heard that there are bears in this area however I didn't think they would be crossing the roads in our neighborhood.   Anne and I were going for a quick dip in the lake and as we pulled out of our neighborhood there was a black bear crossing the main road.  When he saw us he turned back around and shagged, back toward the neighborhood I might add.  It was about the size of a very large black lab, similar to my friend Larry Yancey's dog Huck, however I think Huck actually has bigger feet than this bear.  I may need to borrow Huck for a few days.  I would feel safer when I walk the dogs at night.  Dizzy is quick enough that he could get away however Pinky will look like a Hostess Snowball to a bear.  Huck would let that bear know that he needs to just move on down the road and let things be or things could get ugly, for the bear that is.  Alright, I'm outta hear for a while.  Tour is getting closer.  I can't wait.  I hope everyone stays healthy and upright this year.  Thanks for checking things out and I'll see you soon.  Chao.

MEECH Custom Bicycles
handmade and painted 
Mountain Home, Arkansas.

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