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.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Dedacciai Carbon Frame Build

Off and on the last few days I've been cutting and fitting the tubes for this carbon frame. Everything has gone really smooth except for the first step of bonding the dropouts into the chain stay.  I don't even have a picture of it here but I had to heat up the chain stay and pull the dropouts out.  Doesn't sound like much but breaking that bond was not easy. Luckily it wasn't fully cured. The ends of the stay were cut at just a slight angle that you couldn't see.  One end was angled one way the and other just the opposite.  It was only about a millimeter or so off  on each end however when you put the chainstay into the jig it wouldn't line up at the bottom bracket juncture that you're seeing here.  Needless to say, never assume that something is perfectly straight from the factory even it appears to be. Oh well, it was a good little lesson to learn and we can chaulk it up to experience.  Thankfully I didn't have to throw the rear end away and start over.  It's all lined up now and bonded into place.  The wheel seated perfectly so now I'm good to proceed.  Everything is cut and fit and I only need to bond everything in place.  I just included a few pics of the miter work for something to share.  I just recently started taking orders again and have a couple of frames to work on so I'm probably just gonna get this frame tacked together so i can free up my jig for a couple of steel gravel road racers and then I can come back to this thing in my free time.  This one is only a prototype for me to test out as I haven't been on a carbon frame in quite some time and I'm hoping this thing is gonna feel like the cat's meow going uphill.  I need something to make me feel faster, if only a little bit.  My poor bike that I'm riding now has been so neglected sometimes I feel sorry for it.  I've needed a fresh chain and cassette for the last 2000 miles.  I seldom even bother to lube the chain now and I figured it would've broken by now.  The wear mark was showing through on my rear tire so I just moved it up to the front and put the fresher tire on the back.  Doesn't really make any sense but I'm fixing to throw them both away and start fresh. 

So I basically just wanted to touch base with the blog and try to get back into the habit of posting some build stuff, and since the racing season is commencing it's probably a good time to get things rolling. I just got some new lighting in the shop so I can see well enough to work at night and with the longer days getting warmer I've got the itch to do some building and riding. Hope you enjoy the pics.

This 3M DP420 is probably stronger than I need to use.  After what I went through to get the dropouts unglued I really have no concerns about the strength of this stuff.  If it's completely cured it will take a temperature of over 350 degrees fahrenheit to soften this stuff up.  Of course that would burn up the resin that was holding the carbon in the tubes together, so if you mess something up you're most likely gonna be trashing that something and ordering new tubes, unless you're making your own tubes and then, well, you know.

I'm not accostumed to seeing any gaps in my miters but this was about as tight as I could get this.  I could've continued to work at it but it's got a good seat all the way around and these little holes will be filled with more DP420 and then have an epoxy fillet all the way around every juncture before laying carbon over it so this isn't much of a concern.

This was one of the tougher miters I've done.  I've still got some time to touch them all up with some emery cloth in order to make it perfect.

This tube will be seated much better after I remove that excess epoxy.  I can't stand to see any gaps in the joints.

This is how I like it to look!!!

I got to break out my Big Sticks for this build.  These things chew through carbon like a .... (insert your own favorite saying here).

This is all that was left after this frame was completely fit.  It is much more than it appears and this stuff is the worst part about building a carbon frame.  You do not want to breath this!

Got a nice little present in the mail yesterday.  Ok, so I bought it for myself. Every once in a while you need to treat yourself to some nice components.  These mountain bike cranks from Pauls Components are simply elegant.  

Been a while since I've pushed a 180mm.  The last time I tried on the road I couldn't do it.  I'm hoping that on a mountain bike it will be different.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

It's Only a Phase

I finally rounded up enough courage to come over here.  I've visited this blog maybe twice since the last post in Thanksgiving. I thought that probably nobody ever came here any more so I wasn't feeling too bad, but then the other day I checked to see and apparently people still come here from time to time.  They were probably lost but I appreciate them stopping by. I hope they found their way home.

 I just got done shaving my legs in the shower and for a brief moment I felt like a cyclist.  I also figured that you all are probably getting a little tired of playing that Arlo Guthrie song over and over so I thought maybe I should change the song for you.  It feels like I've been trying to change the song for the last 12 months now.  It's been one step forward and two steps back ever since moving back here to Jonesboro.  We've thought more than once that we screwed up.  I can't say for sure that we didn't but i think we've finally made peace with our screw-up.  Honestly I don't think it was a screw-up, it's just taken longer than expected for my wife to make peace with her job and for me to make peace with staying at home and looking after Jack.  We finally got him into a day school a few weeks back and that frees up a little time to go out in the shop.  I haven't quit framebuilding.  I just finished brazing up a 29er the other day.  It took forever but it's complete.  No paint or primer yet because the weather is a bit chilly for that but those days are coming and I can't wait.  Anybody that knows me knows that I don't function well in the winter time.  It seems to be getting worse every year.  This year has been really mild however I've struggled more than ever.  I've been sick for over a month now.  I've had two colds that weren't that bad but they just never went away, then a slight case of prostatitis that I seem to have gotten over pretty well, and then two nights ago I got hit with the worse case of vertigo that I've had.  It doesn't happen often but on occasion I get hit with some dizziness that just puts me down on my side for a while.  It's all I can do to walk to the bathroom.  The other night as I was sleeping I raised up real fast to move the cat off the bed and my eyes starting spinning like a slot machine.  Never been hit that hard.  It's taken a couple of days but I'm feeling better now.  If you've ever been hit with it you know how paralyzing it can be.  I think mine is inner-ear crystals moving around and believe it or not there are exercises you can do that work miracles.  

Anyway, so I shaved my legs and the shower cleared my head and I almost went out to get on my bike for a few minutes.  Nothing big but just a pass around the local streets here just to get some fresh air.  As soon as I went out to unlock the shop a rainy-sleet started falling and I happily turned around and went back inside and that's when I decided that I would write and say hey. Just wanted to touch base with anyone who is out there listening or possibly wondering where I have been and say that I haven't given up on the bicycle or frame building.  According to a couple of my friends it's only a phase and I imagine they're right.  Yesterday after the vertigo eased up I felt pretty good.  The cold has pretty much subsided and things seem possible again.  It's probably gonna take a while but I'm gonna try to get back to this blog more.  I think back how much I used to enjoy playing around on here posting photos and joking around and so I'm hoping to resurrect things this spring.  I just started on a new carbon frame the other day so maybe before too long I will have some photos to share.  In the mean time, I hope all is well with everyone and that you've been putting in some good winter miles.  We've got some good weather headed our way starting tomorrow so maybe I can get out for a little spin.  

Check out these colors.  Wouldn't look bad on a bike frame huh?
Thanks for stopping by!