Seems to me that my past is largely unknown to a lot of my readership , if I may be so bold as to call it that. The reason for this is because my role in the world of framebuilding is realatively insignificant outside of my small circle. I think people have the impression that I am a fry cook as opposed to a gourmet chef in the framebuilding kitchen. Ou contraire , folks. I can understand someone equating building simple welded racing bikes as the cheesburger in the world of haute-couisine cutom framery. If you think that, I would like to see you try doing my job for a week.....maybe better just try it for a day. These cheeseburgers have to be just so in order to win national cheeseburger titles. Pictured here is a stainless steel lug. Yes, a lug , and it was used in a frame that I built in 2006. Yes, I do build lugged frames and for the first 6 years of my framebuilding sentence that is all that I did, lugged frames and forks. Was I making a living at framebuilding at the time ? No, I was still a hobbyist selling a frame now and then. All told I'm not sure how many lugged frames I have built but it is in the hundereds......at least two hundered anyway. So what made this lugged framebuilder change to the tool of the devil, the tig welder? I would call that change a result of having an open mind, something that a few of my fellow builders do not seem to posess. Heck, I was trash-talking tig, aluminum , mountain bikes , clipless pedals, shock forks , index shifting , anything that I was ignorant about was dogshit. I can't really say exactly what made me look inside myself and see what an ignoramus I had become but I venture it was around the time when I turned fulltime at framebuilding. In order to make a living at this stuff I had to answer the phone and say 'yes' to just about every request. I was building tons of fillet-brazed handlebar stems.....I can't tell you what a time toilet that was , especially at $ 4-5 and hour -at least that's what I was maikng on a good day. Suddenly I realized why big companies were tig-welding stems, frames and forks-it was fast, it was cleaner and the results were every bit as strong as brazing , as long as you knew what you were doing. There is as much to know and plenty of challenge in any form of framebuilding, it's just that more traditional methods do take more time and make it more difficult for the builder to earn a living wage. I have some good friends who still build in the tradition in which they, and I started . It wasn't like now-a revival of sorts-back then it was the way it was done. The few folks who are left building in the same way they were 30-40 years ago have nothing to prove....they are as they have always been . They never saw the need to change - a good bike is always a good bike. I still have a few of my first 13 odd bikes in my shop. They are still rideable and when I get the rare occasion to pull one down and take it for a spin I'm always surprised at what I notice....the old thing still rolls......the thing still feels good. What could I sell it for ? Probably not much at all , but it's not for sale so it dosen't matter. I guess my point is that maybe I'm making a lot of fast food these days but back in the day I could cook up a nice chateaubriand.....just don't ask me to make one now. For that I can reccomend a few master chefs , some of which you may already know.