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Ben Sherrill - Benediction Works


Let's go ahead as I often start out. Let's talk about some of your first experiences in. How'd you get into that? Well you know since I was born. I've been in a world where woodworking and carpentry and anything involving lumber tree products. I'm sure the hospital but I was born into because I was born in a hospital. I remember correctly had wood somewhere. Structurally was something. There's a history of materials and material science throughout human civilization pottery to the Bronze Age and so on but I didn't really start woodworking until after I started making bicycle frames. I have had a friend who names him. He worked similar to bicycle shop. So Tim is working with. The bicycle. Shop is very enthusiastic about bicycles. Learning about bicycles and bicycles are sort of like a system needs wheels and tires and brakes. There's all sorts of different ones. And then which one you might. Select of any component depends on all the other components. So it's sort of like a Rube Goldberg Machine. All these shirts cascading parts so the way that things put together and work and the function that they finally serve and then how someone experiences that function you know. The goal of a bicycle and fixing bicycles for someone to be on the bicycle be riding the bicycle and a continuous usage. Which is similar to like my spoons. You Know I. I have a few spoons that I didn't end up selling for one reason or another. And so they're sort of like decorative spoons wall art for the most part. I want someone to be able to take one of my spoons. Which I'm known for. We'll get to those reasons and have sustained the kitchen. It's available for them at any time. They can reach for it at any time. It's sort of an extension of themselves. That's an extreme exaggeration at the hopeful exaggeration. But it's something that's available for them continuously to use to accomplish whatever they want and a spoon is not nefarious. Like a weapon. It's in fact sort of neutering. Any potential has a weapon using sharp tools. That could be used as a weapon. You didn't know my mom. Did you know that woman could? We'll them week. I wouldn't have you know there's a good question is what you use it for is a is a certain thought so well. I could say that I have a spoon. But maybe it's ten feet long and has a really pointy end. It's like well. It's spoon like it has spoon traits. But it's also something that's being used to one exactly but the spoons that I make an especially. I mean if someone wants to try to hurt someone who's on my spoons. I can't stop them but I've always been interested in that sort of net result of how someone uses something in terms of case of bicycles. I started fixing them and that sort of was born of being a pin setter or bowling mechanic with those big tank like machines which were their own systems. That's where I sort of cut my teeth after being not handy at all my entire life. That was a student job when I was going to university and then went to bicycles and fixing bicycles then. I moved to Portland and I was like Oh. It'll be easy to get a job. I'll just be a bicycle mechanic able to survive. But then I wasn't able to survive in retail this expected treatment of people and there's these barriers of telling someone like you know flat tires are just how it is right of icicle. You've got to expect to deal with flat tires. Sorry that's harsh reality. It's like no you can't say stuff like that and then there's also like helping people out and there's barriers to even helping people out in the way that you want to help them out so I think I was destined to strike out on my own since I had all this bicycle. Enthusiasm and knowledge. The next step was to bill bicycle frames and that you might say devour of whatever knowledge is out there and they sort of anything you can do. I can do better in weirder or at least weird here. I can take everything that you've learned eventually. Gobble it up or ninety percent of it and then do whatever I want with it. Which is aggravating to some people who are teaching. You imagine you were talking about moving up here. You lived in the Central Valley California. Yeah I lived in Central Valley Central Valley. Which is like. Mercedes Modesto Fresno area. Some people might. I know those areas of just outside of Fresno just outside and we said only years. Yeah people argue about which places were all. Leave it at that Fresno's nine. I'm not going to get into that. 'cause ALL OFFEND SOMEBODY. I didn't I didn't enjoy it. It was a little too hot oregon sensibilities but I did like Christmas down there. Sixty eight degrees. You know. It was kind of Nice but so you got into all these processes and building things and the accuracy involved in that. How did that lead to woodworking so building bicycle frames or rather desperate to start building them and I bought some premade like heavy machinery. Heavy so to speak. I bought a mini lays for metalworking and a mini mill for metalworking. But I needed sort of benches and tool stands and all that sort of stuff so I was like. Oh how do I make those? I'll just you know I already have a band. Software cutting pieces of metal. I'll just loose freehand cut some using my crummy band saw some pieces of wood. That are lying around Oscar gloom together. But it would fit together so much better. If I had a hand plane then I go out and get some fifteen dollar hand. Plane from harbor freight get some anemic terrible shavings. And somehow that's and thanks to started to cascade from there to the point where I ended up getting a job somewhere in between my dedicating myself to building bicycle frames. I got another job at another bicycle shop. And it's like well. I'm working at a bicycle shop. Just make earning money so I can build more bicycle frames and it sort of felt reasonable to not work on bicycles all the time. So then I sort of got to woodworking more and more and more and more and more and then that sort of evolved into you might call it multi materials design and fabrication which is often. I'll make stuff just entirely out of wood or metal depends on what's appropriate but I do have plans for making A. Let's just say multi materials bicycle frame? That is sort of a redemption of the hardwood bicycles. That I was around and I worked at RENOVA bicycles. Which is anyone listening? Go look up multiple stories about that place including stories about what the players said. It was about and did and sort of the fallout after the company dissolved. You look up the reviews on glassdoor very interesting experience. I got out when I could. There are basically basic problems in terms of the marriage of wood to bicycles. And you know. I was very familiar with bicycles. And how they're supposed to work. I've always been sort of bicycle nerd and historian so I was around these hardwood bicycles and I was like well. I don't know much about would but I know this isn't coming together. The way that of icicle would especially a steel frame builder. Steel with the bicycle frame. You can cold set you can yank permanently bend any misalignment out a little bit just within reason tweak it but you can't really do that would especially with these complex. They were hollow would main triangles of the bicycle. The front end and there were various. If I were quality control checker at a regular bicycle factory frame building mass produced spate frame building factory. I would be like no. These aren't even within our mass production tolerances necessarily and other people who are working on a seven person operation. When I was there they were like. Oh it's would know it moves that's why things are misaligned whereas the there's a lot of narrative about what could be done or what couldn't be done and all that sort of thing so that's another place whereas around would before. I really got my first hand plane and then I was like This is really interesting. Maybe I'll figure out card scrapers

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