Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Masking Fenders for Paint... and the Problem of Patience

I am a fundamentally impatient person. I am always rushing some project or other along, always driving it to completion. This has a variety of effects. Firstly, I am very good at getting things done. In a truly wide field of endeavour, I have established and made a great many things. But, secondly, I am prone to making mistakes of impatience. The first metal fenders I ever installed; the first student newspaper I established; the first coat of paint in a room — these usually bear the marks of hastiness.

This frame has mostly been a different story. I have learned patience in making it because I had no other choice. In Doug's class, I needed to wait for access to equipment or for help, and I simply wasn't able to finish the filing in the two weeks. Then I had to wait for a vise, for wood blocks, for files, for a place to do my filing. Then I was faced with the prospect of a long wait for paint. Of course, knowing one's painter helps — but even my comparatively short wait has been longer than I'd anticipated. Still, I've mostly stayed sane. More importantly, the frame bears no marks of hastiness: it looks exactly like I hoped it would.

Now that I know it's painted, however, (and no, I haven't seen how it actually looks...) that sanity is beginning to evaporate. Though (and speaking of evaporation...) the paint needs to "cure," the temptation is very strong to get in there and get the frame now. Then there is the question of fenders. I had wanted to get Noah to paint in the "channels" of my Honjo hammered fenders, but the cost was too high. So I decided I would paint them myself, with some paint Noah would provide, left over from the box lining, which he very generously offered to provide. Of course, paint has to dry — so once I get Niles and this paint, I will then have to paint the fenders, let them dry, and only then start in on the build. (Yes, naturally, I attempted to get in there today and get the paint, but, alas, Noah is a busy man.) So: once again, the experience of building this frame and bringing it to maturity forces upon me a patience that is unnatural to me.

I have kept somewhat busy at least masking off the "channels" in the fenders, so that when Niles comes home I can put the paint on right away.

I'll go and get him Saturday. That is precisely the extent of my patience.

(Another instance, and one less edifying, is the experience of my Velo-Orange Randonneur. I ordered this last October, when the wait was estimated at 8 months — so, July. Having scrambled to assemble my components for that date, I heard nothing in June, and when I finally got a response in July was told it would be ready in October — so, now. When I emailed Johnny Coast directly last month, and got my reply this week, I was told that it would be begun in January. This is a completely common experience in the world of custom frames, but no less frustrating for that. It would certainly make much more sense either to offer no specific estimates for completion time, or to over-estimate them (the wait will actually, according to current estimates, be about 15 months). I'd been planning on getting a good half-season out of that bike; in the time between when it was due and when I receive it, I will have learned to build a frame, built one, and could certainly build a second. If I don't get it before March, I will have to do precisely that.)

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