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  1. #1
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    looking for apprenticeship

    Does anyone know of any apprenticeship opportunities for a summer? Or perhaps a framebuilding class over summer? I know of a framebuilding college in oregon (the name escapes me) but seeing how it is a paid course i lack the funds for it =(. Il be a rising junior at the art school of Wash U in St. Louis and i hail from new york. im willing to go wherever an opportunity will take me so location is not important.

    thanks!
    andrew

  2. #2
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    Realistically, a summer apprenticeship is like, asking for a summer long free tutorial. There is very little in it for craftsmen to offer apprenticeships, and nothing for them if they are short. Some do do it just because they want to, but it rarely pays. The old system was like the army, they teach you a skill, you peel potatoes and paint rocks for a few years in return (or fight in Iraq). The key thing is it's a binding contract wherein once you learn all you can you stay and give back labour for the opportunity you received. While most modern "apprentices" stay just till the point they realize things are starting to get repetitive, and they leave. That's what one does for a job, but it's a looser for those offering apprenticeships. They incur all kinds of costs setting you up as an employee teaching you, and modestly paying you, when the payback is way beyond the time line most apprentices have in mind.

    I know a number of people who did serve apprenticeships, and they either depended on a personal network, or were personally able to influence/appeal to the craftsman. Either the person had extraordinary appeal, or they just hung around a shop long enough, refused to leave, cried, whatever it took to get in the front door. Or they married the craftsperson.

    I'm not trying to be discouraging, just to point out the economic realities in most cases so you can avoid bowing your first opportunity by sounding like everyone else who has already asked. Maybe you will succeed in finding a way into the building and hanging around long enough to learn what you need to know.

    The good news is that there are faster ways to learn. Get the Paternek videos for the style of building you are most interested in. That will really give you everything you need. Search out basic courses on welding, machine shop. Or get videos on those also. Hang out on the net. Get a job in a local metal fab shop. Save up money for tools. If you want to build frames it has never been easier to find out the info than it is today, the only downside to that fact is that a person who can't seem to figure that out is registering another black mark against their name when they go looking for a freebie. What you do need to do if you want to sell frames is get some experience in the business of selling frames, make some contacts, make an impression through local racing, clubs, whatever, etc... people have to know you exist and you have to know how to cost your services.

  3. #3
    Senior Member brice520's Avatar
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    Bike school in Oregon is UBI www.bikeschool.com

  4. #4
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    Best frame building class in AZ!

    OR...Come on down to Arizona!

    We have a frame building class that is more detailed and informative than UBI. I took UBI when I got into building, and it was good, but I have one on one classes or one on two at the worst, so we get to teach you more in less time. Email me with any questions.

    Take Care!

    Mojito

    http://www.mintcycles.com/new/classes_details.html




    Quote Originally Posted by awchu
    Does anyone know of any apprenticeship opportunities for a summer? Or perhaps a framebuilding class over summer? I know of a framebuilding college in oregon (the name escapes me) but seeing how it is a paid course i lack the funds for it =(. Il be a rising junior at the art school of Wash U in St. Louis and i hail from new york. im willing to go wherever an opportunity will take me so location is not important.

    thanks!
    andrew

  5. #5
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    Anything on this subject happening in the TX area? I have no clue which end of a tube to braze onto where, but it would be nice to learn, only to learn more appreciation of what true professional framebuilders do. I'm not into an apprenticeship, but classes would be nice.

  6. #6
    Industry Maven Thylacine's Avatar
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    Apprenticing is basically a dead art. If you want to learn, you have to pay, or go the DIY option. Or Both.

    The reason nobody is into apprenticeships, is basically because as an apprentice, you milk the 'master' for his knowledge, then bugger off and open your own shop, ending up in direct competition with the 'master'. You're no good to the 'master' for a long period of time as he/she teaches you the basics, so by the end of the entire experience, most 'masters' don't feel as though they don't get enough out of the deal.

    It's an understandable position.

    If you want to learn, your best bet is courses - bike specific or just brazing/welding/fabrication - or DIY using whatever resources you can track down.
    Have you earned your stripes? <<click here / Questions about custom frames? Chat me! - warwickg71 (AIM/iChat) ThylacineCycles (Skype)

  7. #7
    Dr.Deltron
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterpan1
    ... people have to know you exist and you have to know how to cost your services.
    +1!

    awchu...read and reread PeterPan1's post in it's entirety.
    Then send him $24.95 for the insight and plan he has spelled out for you.
    Do what he says and you will be building frames in no time.

    As another forum member asked;
    What's the difference betweeen a frame builder and a large pizza?

    A) The pizza feeds a family of 4!

    Just so you know...

  8. #8
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    Schucks, and the checks are pouring in!

    Kind of you Dr. D..

    Here is another statement along a similar vein:

    http://www.pjguitar.com/luthier9.htm

    In the present I want all intellectual property free environment the situation has gotten a lot worse. I'm in favour of free info, but there just isn't any role for stuff like apprenticeships unless there is a controled morket of some sort.

    I also think anyone with a lot of online time who is interested in making it as a framebuilder, should look at other forums like Chopperhandbook, Bladefoum, dfoggknives, iforge, millerwelds. If you spent a few intensive days reading on these forums you would learn a huge amount of stuff that scares bike builders silly and is very useful in being self supporting and able to make your own decisions. If a person wants to be the next Richard Sachs, then it makes more sense to follow his path. But all these big names started at a much more self-sufficient base than is suggested for modern builders. That's where more basic info comes into it.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterpan1
    If a person wants to be the next Richard Sachs, then it makes more sense to follow his path.

    my path?!
    i'm not sure what that means, but one very, very important fact
    that folks should imprint into their psyche: back in the 70s, framebuilding
    was at or near the top of the pyramid. iow, framebuilders were at the
    vanguard wrt what they presented to the public as well as what was
    capable when market share and the like took a back seat to innovation,
    profitability, and/or model year mentality.

    all that changed (or flip-flopped) in the post mtb era that consumed the
    1980s. essentially, manufacturing techniques, materials, and many other
    things improved exponentially, making the need to visit a framebuilder
    almost unneccesary. keep this historical chestnut in mind: prior to the
    1980s it was almost unthinkable that your best bicycle (or the one you'd
    race on) would be commercially made. almost all came from framebuilders,
    or at least from the design corner of a large maker. innovation made most
    of this (that?) nearly obsolete.

    so where am i going with this? nowhere really. but the hidden message
    is that it's been a really long time since the average consumer recognized
    framebuilding as what it once was. many see it as an oddity, a side show
    to the industry, and one that's populated by undercapitalized shops that
    are not very focused. there are some that may survive and prosper. but
    as the luthier article mentions, "Start with this Undeniable Truth #1 of
    luthiery life: There are far too many luthiers in the world..."


    endnote: it'd be a hard row to hoe as a framebuilder unless you already
    are a framebuilder, and one with a long established skill set and clientele
    at that.

    fwiw, i cull all my opinions about this in my blog, and you might find a
    passage or two that helps you. http://richardsachs.blogspot.com/

    ps. that's quite a good read from the luthier link-ee-poo. i hope you're
    not chaffed if you see me paste it elsewhere.
    Last edited by e-RICHIE; 02-13-07 at 08:05 PM.

  10. #10
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    I can see your point, I'm not very clear. I think I was trying not to get into it and I should have refrained from using a name.

    All I meant is that frame building has it's culture and if a person wants to end up being refered to by Mike Barry, as he did you, as the perhaps greatest racing frame builder, in style terms, then maybe they should stick with the frame building culture. On the other hand, there are lots of others out there who know how to fit a few tubes together and make awsome stuff from scratch like say.... steel, you want to get a general education in being the kind of person who can do anything don't restrict yourself to the ways and means of framebuilding, it's a narrow path.

    Breaking newbie frame building down into simple terms it goes like this: Get some zona and a simple frame design. After that it comes to coping and joining some tubes accurately, and a bunch of other stuff. To the guy who wantsthat first leg up on the ladder there are a lot of places that can teach you those skills, and that "other stuff", and probably better in some cases. There are lots of painters, welders, metalsmiths, machinists, knifemakers, chopper builders industrial arts schools, etc... out there. I mean do we ever get a frame question, or answer, to a machining question on the Frameforum that sounds like it came from someone who had sat through a Rudy Kouhoupt video, to name but one source? Do we ever get a Q or A on heat treating that sounds like it was done by someone who had heat treated something? This has to be the only handy society where people spend big bucks for a square block of wood with an accurately drilled hole when they own milling machines... It's all good, I'm not knocking it as long as the narrowed focus tells in the product, it's a good thing.

  11. #11
    Dr.Deltron
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    Baaack to the OP's Q!...

    What he is asking is...

    Do any framebuiders out there need a hardworking college grommet to do all those repetitive, laborous tasks for you for free, so I can look over your shoulder as you build frames? I would love to help in any way I can, just to be around the art of framebuilding. I always work diligently and acurately, making sure all details are properly attended to. If there is any place for my help in your shop, please contact me anytime. Thank You, Andrew....

    OK, I ad-libbed for Andrew there...but I think that was kind of the gist of his question.

    So, if anybody needs some free help, contact Andrew directly.

    Oh, ...why did I say free help? ....I've never "paid" an "apprentice" money.
    an apprenticeship is "paid" in knowledge.
    There's the story of the steam locomotive mechanic....
    Maybe Andrew has other ideas, but to me, that's not an "apprenticeship".

    sorry, just had "Let's Roll" moment there..like the thread was being hij.....

  12. #12
    Industry Maven Thylacine's Avatar
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    Don Ferris at Anvil is looking for someone, but I think it's more of a dog's body type work, and he's not really building anymore as far as I know. Still, it's a leg-up, and he has all the equipment, so....make of it what you will.
    Have you earned your stripes? <<click here / Questions about custom frames? Chat me! - warwickg71 (AIM/iChat) ThylacineCycles (Skype)

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