Monday, March 16, 2009

Let's do this

OK, finally a little time to sit down and mess with this computer stuff.
It's time to change the name, I created a new blog site so that this one can be around to point folks to the new address.
Head on over to
See ya there!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Fine Fresh Fillets

Still working on changing the name for this site, looks like I'll probably end up making a whole new one.

In the meantime, here's a couple shots of the ss and cs fillets from Jeff's new bike...still warm and on the way to the soaktank, erm, it's really the bathtub- don't tell my wife!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

What's in a name?

The idea has been dancing around in the back of my head for awhile, but the last couple of frames (and their owners) have spelled it out for me: it's time to drop the "Live Wire".

Why? It's not that I don't like the name, it's just that I don't think it conveys the right message for a made-to-order fully custom frame. As it's often been said when it comes to custom bikes, "You're not buying the frame, you're buying the builder". That's true when you consider that most every builder has the same access to the same materials, so what you're buying is that builder's knowledge and ability to assemble those materials into a form that is both functional and beautiful.

So, while using a brand might be fine for a big company, it feels a little impersonal to me. I put my heart and soul into every frame (usually a bit of blood too!) and it's only right that the bike should reflect that.

From now on, they will all be "Matthews" frames- thanks to John and Stephen for giving me the push I needed.

Now, while I try to figure out how to keep old Live Wire links active to a new blog address, I give you the latest shots from the shop:
A new 29" single speed commuter/trail/everything else bike for Jeff. Hand-curved top tubes, big 35mm down tube...this front triangle had to be perfect right off the torch. It's way too stiff to try to cold set it.
BB cluster still hot! I braze with the frame in a work stand for access, but I always like to pop the frame in back in the jig for a quick alignment check afterwards. It's not a matter if the frame has moved during brazing, it's a matter of did I control the movements so everything ended up in the right place...jig check says, "Yes!"

What are custom hand-bent, four piece seatstays good for if you can't swordfight with them?

Till next time...

Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Night Blogdown

The changes are coming, but I want to get a few things straight before I announce it here- in the meantime, here's a few more shots of Stephen's bike as it approaches the finish line.
Hmmm, can you tell who built the frame? ;) Drops looking slick- they still have the masking on the faces as the frame hasn't been clearcoated yet.
Tried to get a good shoreline shot, looks like I mostly managed to make the red look orange!

Curing in the hot box with the final clearcoat on, bet ya can tell what changes I'm talking about when you see this shot, huh?

Till next time...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Warts and all

You've seen it before: Been neglecting the blog lately/Sorry, I haven't posted much/Things are busy here so....yada, yada, ya frickin da. Who cares? I'm busy building bikes and we are having the greatest January for riding ever! You think I'm gonna sit around and blog about it or get out and do it?

I thought so.

So, here's some pics from last week- this frame is now curing in the paint booth.
This is what it looked like in it's ugly duckling phase: not much finish work has been done, so it's looks pretty rough.

Lots of braze ons on this puppy. Check out the handmade brake cable hanger- it uses a threaded boss to make adjusting cable tension easy. This bike will have road brake levers, btw.
The drops have grown some stainless faces and eyelets since their last blog appearance.

Laying it down on the on!

This frame also represents a bit of a paradigm shift for my framebuilding career- more on that's time to go for a ride!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

First frame of the year!

Getting back into the groove after the usual holiday slowdown and trip to the in-laws. Stephen's cross bike is close to done...just a few braze ons, some finish work and a trip to the paint booth left to go.
Dropouts came out nice, here they are after cleanup...still have to get the stainless faces cut and brazed on.
Full frame shot. It looks kinda rough, huh? That's because it just came out of the dunk tank. Closer inspection of the lugs will show they won't need much work to be ready for paint.
The goal is to have this done by next weekend...stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Here' s my tribute to our lady of the blessed chromoly, patron saint of the framebuilder.
Hope you all have a great Christmas, I'm outta here for a few days- stay safe and stay warm.