A DAY IN THE LIFE OF ERIC BLOOMQUIST

...A BLOG ABOUT DESIGN, BIKES & OVERALL GOOD THINGS

 

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF ERIC BLOOMQUIST
...A BLOG ABOUT DESIGN, BIKES & OVERALL GOOD THINGS
  • So I redesigned my blog... (& learned some code too)

    So as many of you already know I started a blog not too long ago on Wordpress. Well, recently after using it I thought it may be fun to try my hand at designing a site with similar functionality from the ground up. Plus, why not stylize up my blog a little while im at it. I thought it would be an awesome opportunity to implement a fun user interface with modern HTML5 & CSS3 with the traditional comment and follow functions of a blogging site. This meant I also got the opportunity to learn a lot about the back-end server-based code that makes sites like a blog run. Granted this is a lot of the computer science and coding I dreaded in college, its honestly kind of fun to write something that actually works and looks good.  Well maybe not fun but gratifying at least! So after a few weeks designing the layout of my new blog and creating the site images, it was time to finally sit down and compile it all into a cohesive code of all of it's elements.  It was also important to me to do this all while maintaining a design system that was responsive across multiple platforms. It was for sure a challenge, but I definitely am proud of where it is at and it will only continue to get better as I maintain the Two Wheel Motive blog.

     

    So stay tuned to see more designs and feel free to browse the new Two Wheel Motive!

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    Way cool! Keep up the good work. I am looking forward to more new stuff.

    Posted by Vicki on Friday, 07.19.13 @ 03:15pm PST

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    SO I REDESIGNED MY BLOG... (& LEARNED SOME CODE TOO)

    30

    JUN

    13

  • So I made a cafe seat... (& posted this from the cafe)

    So over the last 8 months or so I have been in the process of rebuilding 1978 JCPenny Pinto which was manufactured by Puch/Kromag. (Don’t worry, there is a post still to come covering the build!) Well when I bought it it was about 65% complete and in need one of the most important items– a seat.  I decided it would be a fun project to fabricate my own in the Cafe Racer style, but that still complemented the lines and shape of the original bike.  I luckily came across an old Puch Magnum trunk, which is the Pinto’s big brother, and thought it would make an awesome starting point. It maintains the style of an original Puch race-stlye rear fairing and technically is OEM (Right?). Since the Pinto is significantly smaller than the Magnum I figured that by cutting down the depth of the trunk it would help maintain proper ratio for the bike. Then my next step was to create my shape; I used the width of the trunk for the rear and then tapered it  towards the front with a curve to mimic the front of the gas tank. I mocked up a cardboard template to see how it may look and was pleased with the feel.

    After cutting down the trunk I wanted to fill in the hole where the trunk door would go. I thought it would be cool to still keep its original  functionality, but to switch it up a little. Originally the Magnum would have a door that enters the trunk from the rear; well first off I didn't get that piece when I sourced the trunk and secondly I thought it would be a little sleeker if the fact that it was a trunk was hidden. Since I planned on making the upholstered seat-pan section removable from the seat I could create the entrance to the trunk right underneath it.  So I created the shape to fill the void and cut out a piece of 1/8” ABS to fill it in. I scored the side I was going to be adhering for a better connection, as well as placed ridges around the perimeter to keep it from moving at all once it was in place. I then taped the piece flush and used a hard silicone sealant and filled it all in from the inside. After the sealant dried I took off the tape and then proceeded to use some Bondo (for bumpers!) to plane the outer surface of the trunk. Once I was satisfied withe the shape it was painted, primed, and clear-coated to match the rest of the bike.

    Then my next task to create a base plate to mount the trunk to and furthermore mount it to the bike. This segment needed to be extremely rigid since it was only going to be mounting on the bike by about the first 30% of the plate and was going to be able to obviously support my weight. I decided to go with a 3/8″ piece of aluminum that I could then machine the base from.  I then cut out my shape with an angle grinder and then proceeded to machine 1/4”  standard round perforations to lighten the plate. I also created 5 larger holes; 2 to accommodate for travel of the gas canisters on the hydraulic rear shocks I was going to be using for the build, as well as one in the center for the end of the seat tube and 2 in the trunk section for more weight reduction.

    I then had to fabricate the ‘butt-stop’ which would transition the bottom of the seat plate 90 degrees to the top of the trunk. For this I needed a much thinner material and found a piece of 16g stainless steel sheet that was perfect. after cutting and rolling my piece from my template shape I cut a hole in the center of it with a torch for entrance to the trunk. Since the upholstered seat-pan portion I designed to be removable from the base of the seat you can then take it off and get right into the trunk (with just enough room for a few tools and a bottle of 2-stroke oil). The decision then was to figure out how I was going to mount the 3 pieces of the main part of the seat–the baseplate, the butt-stop and the trunk–together as one. I thought that rivets would look the cleanest and most professional as well as would maintain a flush detail inside and out. So I proceeded to ‘tack’ the three pieces together and riveted it all as one, using 90 degree mending braces to mount the butt-stop to the trunk.

    Now it was on to creating the fiberglass seat-pan that would sit over the base that would be then padded and upholstered. I first mounted the seat on a sawhorse to better work with while fiberglassing, and after smoothing all the edges with some card stock I sealed it up with a sheet of adhesive vinyl to keep all  epoxy off the physical seat, then it was time for glassing.  After it dried on the mold for a couple days I removed it and cut the shape down to size with a dremel. After it was cut down I used some industrial strength velcro to connect the seat-pan to the base while maintaining its removability to access the trunk.

    So far I am more than pleased with the result. The lines flow perfectly with the original shape of the bike and the  usefulness of the trunk has proved to be more than practical. However I am unfortunately at a point where I need the last few steps of the project, padding and upholstery, to be done my a professional. I sourced some leather at a fabric store and found a custom fabricator to do it. So I sketched up my idea of the design and look forward to getting this finished real soon.

     

    So stay tuned to see the finished project!

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    9

    SEP

    12

    SO I MADE A CAFE SEAT... (&POSTED THIS FROM THE CAFE)

  • So I rebuilt a forgotten Bianchi... (hand-me-downs live on)

    So Lizard had been in the need of a new bike for a while, long before the morning Twitch had it break down on his cross-city hungover ride. So for last Christmas I built her up an old Bianchi Brava that had had been unfortunately neglected. I got the frame, fork, and cranks from a buddy who had it laying in the back of his shop for a great deal and had a black Deep-V laced to a 9speed hub that I was willing to part with myself. First thing first it needed to be stripped and cleaned, I got to taking everything apart and removed all the paint with a little thinner and a soft wire wheel on my drill (was even able to remove a little surface rust as well!)

    I wanted to keep with the Bianchi scheme and since the rear wheel was black, and Liz said she didn't want a bike that was “too flashy”, I thought a black frame with a celeste fork–while having the rear and front wheels being respectively the same would look nice. So, I sourced a Montana color that was the exact same as the Celeste Deep V front  wheel that I had built up to a Bianchi branded Formula hub, and a nice clean black to match the rear. I thought it would be cool to lay a few coats of glass beads over the paint and under the clear coat, it gave it a really cool reflective characteristic when the light hits it, while keeping it more visible at night. To be honest I used a ton of paint, after getting the bike prepped and cleaned to the bare steel I primed and sanded, and then primed 2x more, sanded, color x~7 coats, wet sanded, glass beads x4 coats, lacquer ~8x coats & then a ton of wet sanding to get any of the orange peel out. After that, I used a cutting compound and buffed it, and then a polishing agent and polished it all up with a cotton wheel for my rotary tool. The end result was was honestly pretty impressive, considering I did it in my basement and with spray cans I couldn’t have been more pleased.

    After the frame was painted I needed to finish sourcing the rest of the parts, she wanted townie bars but since the bike is so small at 47cm, everything I looked at were way too big for it proportionally. So I thought, flat pursuit bars flipped backwards. I could even use the bar-end levers and would look really clean, and it worked out perfect. Also since I was planning on only running a 1×9 group and I wanted the bike to have a vintage yet modern look I thought that by using a Suntour power shifter, but modifying it to mount on the bars would be a cool way of re-purposing an old style lever (that is still loved by all) in a more modern method and style.  The rest of the group was comprised of a Sram X-4 derailleur pulling across a Shimano wide-range 11-32 cassette with a 42t Brev chainring up front, giving it a nice range around the city.  Keeping with the vintage yet modern feel I found some Campy Veloce brakes that looked super clean on the set-up. I finished it off with a set of Vittoria Zaffiros and of course a pair of GMB  straps and couldn’t have been more pleased with the build. It really came together nicely and was gratifying as hard work paying off in the end. And think Lizard was pretty happy with it too!

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    12

    JUL

    12

    So I rebuilt a forgotten Bianchi... (hand-me-downs live on)

  • So it’s been TOO long and I’ve been TOO busy... (in a good way)

    So over the last few months I have been up to a ton of projects all across the board. Realizing I am becoming more and more drawn to the design and creation of tangible and tactile items through some of the more hands-on work I’ve been completing, I have chosen to pursue this avenue. Ever since I was a kid I have been building and creating, whether it was with my grandfathers Erector set in his workshop or the bins and bins of Legos in my bedroom.  For a long period of time and even entering college I wanted to design cars and actually started studying mechanical engineering. Although I soon turned my studies towards Graphic Design because at the time I felt I was more so interested in the creative process of design rather than the mechanics of it.  However now being out of school a few years while actively pursuing freelance graphic design work I have realized that art I am drawn to create in my free time tends to be these more tangible items and it shows that my passion for mechanics, and how-and-why things work, still burns inside me.

     

    Hopefully in the next few days I will able to publish some of the stuff I have been working on over the last few months and keep everyone tuned in!

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    JUL

    12

    11

    SO IT'S BEEN TOO LONG AND I'VE BEEN TOO BUSY... (IN A GOOD WAY)

  • So I made a chair... (& a blog)

    So the other day I came across this neat old Nishiki Mixte that looked like it had been the unfortunate victim of a front end collision. The top tube was all bent and in pretty bad shape. Originally I thought to myself what an awesome score, Dia Compe 500 Brakes and a Sugino GT Crankset. However, after a while I realized I was actually in for a better treat.

     

    I had seen rear triangle seats before that my friends and others had made, but I was yet to see a Mixte, so it was on! I also had another twist for the project–I wanted to add wheels. So with a little engineering I created axles for skateboard wheels on the dropouts and through the bottom bracket. The end product was pretty sweet and I am very happy with it. After a few rubber caps for the cut tubes and a paint job this thing will be a pretty sweet little shop stool, heck maybe even a Brooks saddle!

    All I need are some rubber stoppers to cover the cut tubing and there you go! The 5/8" Rod used as the axle Is the same size as used on a skateboard truck. The two additional washers help to fit snugly into the bottom bracket shell. I found washers that had an i/d of 5/8 that I was able to press into the original cups from the bottom bracket. With the axle slid into the shell and a simple hex nut added on each side to tighten it all the axle is extremely rigid. For the rear, I found these 5/8" flushing bolts at the hardware store that conveniently had square notches at the end which fit perfectly in the horizontal dropouts. I used just a bolt on the dropout with simple hex to keep the pressure off of the bearings while maintaining rigidity.

     

    Threw the wheels on and BAM!!

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    6

    NOV

    11

    So I MADE A CHAIR... (& A BLOG)

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This blog was coded and designed from the ground up.

This blog was coded and designed from the ground up.

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© 2012-2013

2012-2013

Eric bloomquist