Tag Archives: sheetmetal work

It’s really annoying sometimes

I did the shopping thing again today, and I had a significant handicap while I did it. Longtime readers remember when I was building bikes that I didn’t always have the right tools so I “made do”. Well one of the ways I “made do” was forming the thin sheetmetal with my fingers because I didn’t have any other way of forming it, and because I had some scary grip strength back then. Well it has come back to haunt me, in that the minor tendon damage I had from using brute force and grip strength instead of the right tools has flared up in painful fingers and the tendons in my palm swelling and causing weak grip and limited finger mobility. The palm pain can be traced to using my thumb to bend parts to final shape because it was more accurate than the selection of hammers and beating tools I had, most of which I built from cheap combination open/box end wrenches I had lying around after getting good wrenches. Seriously those were great for smoothing out contours and adjusting small radius bends in gussets and the like (and repairing dents in bicycle fenders). But about half the time at least some work ended up pushing thin metal into position with fingers and thumbs. And today I had to pay the price for abusing my hands like that.

Fortunately I’m not a touch typist, more of a high-speed hunt-and-peck typist who sorta knows where the keys are and can get a few without having to look where I’m poking the fingers. The technical term is look and peck, a hybrid of touch and the other. But while I can still type pretty quick, it still hurts a little. Sometimes not so little, but I will live over it.

And I’m done kvetching for the moment, time for bed.

Got home late from a bike repair gig, post will come in the morning

I had a gig to repair a bike damaged in transport, including exercising my sheetmetal skills to pound out a dent without having to do a repaint. I wasn’t able to completely get rid of the dent, but I didn’t damage the paint any more than what made the dent did. The end of my big crescent wrench had just the right amount of curve on both directions and enough mass in the right places to smooth out the dent except where the original impact stretched the metal. I could have completely removed all traces of the dent with a small ball peen hammer and a flat dolly with a little heat from a torch to shrink the metal back to its original contour, but that would have required removing the powdercoat from the fender.

After finishing up some other work we had dinner and delivered some junk from the person I was working for to recycle, and some downed tree branches to the church to use in fire making. And now it’s after midnight and I need to shower and go to bed.

PSA, Opus