Who are we? We are our stories.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

1410 Chaos and Birds

Our old house grew piecemeal around a 1907 12x16 hunting cabin. Five additions later the "new" foundation dates from the late 1920s or 30s. The ground level blocks are crumbling on the two lakeside corners. Modern builders no longer build concrete block basements. It took me a couple of years to find an old block layer with the skillset, equipment and crew to repair our home. I eventually got a bid and commitment from Steve Hamberg. This will involve beams to support the house and removing all the blocks from the top plate down to 5' below grade. Then pouring new footings and laying up new block walls. The thought of all this was a little scary when it is a quirky old home you love. One year later, this week our name finally came up on his list.

Front loader, backhoe, workers holling over jack hammers ... all on the same day as the first of Fall Warbler migration. I ran away, down the street to John Chesterman's to split, sample and critique a few IPAs as we regularly do. After the workers left and work day's dust settled, I returned, turned the water on. Lorna and I sat down on the Growlery bench to talk and wait for the birds. Damn surprising, a few actually showed up. 

Game on ! -Gunnar

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Laced leather bars

These are for my Chris Kvale "gentleman's cruiser"  bicycle - custom frame made for me in 2011. Wood rims, wood fenders, custom leather trimmed bag by Ely Rodriguez.

Bicycle with previous "old" bars. 

I was never really happy with the old brake setup so I found a set of modern time trial brake levers on eBay about a year ago and I am getting around to reworking it. This required replacing the 7/8" diameter bars with 15/16" diameter. That doesn't sound like much, but in my opinion the bigger bars have much better hand feel. The brake cable routing is internal in the bars, keeping the whole set-up clean and uncluttered.

The leather was originally red which I dyed with a wine or burgundy aniline dye to match the Brooks Colt saddle which is on the bike. After I laced it up the original red shows in the holes, but I can live with that.    I think.

For anyone who might care that beautiful nickel plated stem was made for me by Vincent Dominguez with a faux front lug to match the frame. 

Next, strip the satin anodizing off the brake levers and buff them to a mirror polish. Then mount the bar assembly back on the bike.

Obsessively Yours,