We've been working on moving Vanilla under the same roof as Coat (our paint shop) for about three weeks now. One big reason is so that I can be present with both businesses and both sets of employees. Process and efficiency is a big deal, especially when you get in to runs of bikes (Speedvagen) where instead of doing one thing slowly and kind of wading our way through it, we might be doing that same operation 30-40 times. Extra time on that one operation x 30 makes something that was once comically slow with one bike into a huge drag on the overall goal... getting bikes to their owners. This is the kind of thing that I never fully grasped until I started doing batches. Anyhow, this kind of thinking; looking at every little step and breaking it down and refining it is something that we are looking at daily and having everyone in the same place gives us a better connection which will make the whole situation more healthy.
Another (probably the most important) benefit of the remodel is finishing out a space for Coat. It is all built out now and 98% finished with new benches, frame hooks, shelving etc. Most importantly all rooms are dry walled and sealed with caulking and glossy paint that’s easy to de-dust on a daily basis. The floors are sealed with an off white epoxy paint that is super bomber and is light enough to show dirt, dust bunnies, etc. The key to a paint shop is cleanliness and they’re now dressed for success.
this is the dirty prep bench. Sanding between coats of primer and color, pre-bead blast masking, etc. There are work areas for 3 people at this bench. The frames hang above this bench when their next step is at this bench.
Powder oven to the right. Misc. supply storage behind the oven
Powder oven. it's 12 ft long, 10 ft wide and hangs out around 400 degrees. Um...That's what she said?
entrance into graphics masking room
Still needs to be finished up with shelving and supplies. This room is where masks are applied after the base color is laid, and before graphics are sprayed on. This room is accessed directly from the paint room, so that a frame doesn't have to go into the dirty prep area until after it gets the final clear and is cured.
Scott, Beans, Mike and I are still working on the front of the shop where Vanilla will reside. The build out is done, painting is done (except for some touch-up), I spent the day clearing stairs and leveling the plywood flooring in the office loft area so that I can paint it and it won’t look like I painted over shitty ply with a bunch of voids. Clean, sand, sweep, vacuum, putty (like mud for drywall), putty, putty, putty, repeat, repeat, repeat. It’s drying (well, it dried overnight). Will my wife notice if I disappear from the multiple Easter parties to go paint it?...
beans running conduit above the paint boot into the Vanilla space for our mills and lathe.
Working on building out a shop reminds me that I am a professional framebuilder and I am proficient at that and that there is a reason that I pay people to do what they’re good at. Don’t get me wrong, it is interesting to learn to mud drywall, re-surface floors, etc. But there are people who are good and fast at those things and, well, that’s kind of what makes society great, right?
Regardless, we are close. We’ll be moving this week (which is a huge project in-and-of-itself) and I hope to be back in the swing of things next week.