i am completeley blown away by the t rawson post text exposing the hetchins history. i never knew how all those tens of 1000s of lugs were cut; i never really pondered it. but i never understood how their business model could survive if each lug was 'lovingly' massaged by hand, thus imparting some of the maker's soul into the finished product.from reading the text, it appears as if cutting one lug at a time by hand was almost never done, 'ceptin for show frames or prototypes. i meeeean, where _is_ the mojo!!!??
through the ages, hetchins was the archtypical 'hand-made' frame company. they, essentially, put ornate lugwork on the map. and now, unless i missed something, i read that from the gitgo they explored methods to reduce handwork and to find ways to gain 'repeatability' in their lug making. from my vantage point 'riveting12 sheets of metal together to gang up on the design execution' (i'm paraphrasing here...) is not unlike casting the fancy cutouts and shorelines into the finished piece-and they did THAT too!
all this, juxtaposed against yesterday's "opinions" regarding the merits of, say, Nagasawa cast track dropouts or similarly pre- fabbed framebuilding parts...it appears to me that seeking efficiency and finding production methods that reduce handlabor have been part of this industry all along. the text suggests that it could've been pioneered by, of all folks, hetchins. (heard from the crowds, "ooos" and "ahhhhhs").
i am not writing this to troll. or to say that handwork never existed. or that it only existed until methods were found to circumvent them. personally, i like massageing and sculpting dropouts, and i like re- working dubois lugs into refined and elegant shapes. heck, i even think Pinarello Princes are cool.
on the other hand, from reading the t rawson post on hetchins' history at least THREE times, some of my questions are answered and many more new ones now come to mind. e-RICHIE Richard Sachs Cycles No.9, North Main Street Chester, CT 06412 USA http://www.richardsachs.com Tel. 860.526.2059