44HQ Tactical Field Manual

A time to get political… standard

Like many of you, I’m a fierce advocate of conservation and preservation of our natural world. I volunteer a lot of my time and expertise to local conservation efforts and projects right here in my little corner of New Hampshire. It’s something small I do and I help where I can on a local level. But recent actions south of New Hampshire have been giving me pause as of late, and one such issue is public lands. If the locations which host our trails and more importantly our remaining open space are not maintained and preserved for future generations in perpetuity, we will lose access to that which we all hold so dear. I’ve been struggling to put into words, ...

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What I See standard

Occasionally, I take a picture of what I see. Not what it is that I happen to be working on, but what I “see”. A lot of what I see is often looking past the surface. And that gets at the type of work I do. It’s the type of work that requires you to listen with all of your senses. It’s the type of work where reliance on intuitive motion is essential. But it’s also one which requires a foundation of skills and a foundation of movement achieved through patience of time and dedication. It’s an immersion of your faculties. That type of motion where tool and muscle mate as one to an end purpose. A union of coexistence ...

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2016 in Review standard

2016 has had plenty of hills to climb. Reviewing my Flickr archive, which is pretty much where I catalog all of my work at length in addition to the words written here, there’s been a lot of great bikes that rolled out the door, an enormous investment in time and machining in making new tooling and most likely my favorite side project: Titanium. Overall I’d say that material has been incredibly rewarding as it’s been putting all my skills to the test and when I’m learning something new, I’m feeling the most fulfilled. It’s great to challenge your own process, problem solve and improve upon your own skill set. We had scheduled some bikepacking trips in between July and August ...

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THERMLX™ Branding Project standard

With the departure of True Temper as a U.S. supplier of bicycle tubing, many in the small niche of Bicycle Framebuilding had some concerns, including myself, as to who may fill that void. For myself, utilizing as many U.S. suppliers as possible is paramount not only for my own brand, 44 Bikes, but in a way I see it as a responsibility to support those who are committed to manufacturing right here in the USA. So when Vari-Wall stepped up to the plate with plans of producing high end tapered, seamless, air-hardening U.S. made steel tubing… I knew I not only wanted to be part of the project, I needed to be part of the project. So I reached out. ...

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Sunsets and Basketballs standard

When I was home over the holidays, I was reminded of just how sweet the sunsets are at good old 138 Jefferson Street. Being in town has it’s negatives compared to living off the beaten path (it does have some benefits too) but one of the perks of growing up where I did was the sunsets. East Greenville, along with adjoining towns of Pennsburg and Red Hill have the benefit of being perched up on top of a ridge and the area is in a bit of a valley with unobstructed views for a good ways. So when the sun sets, and the sky is clear, you’re in for a show. The above image, which was taken from our deck ...

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My First Precision Tool standard

The year was 1996. I was a student at Penn State University. I had recently been given permission to access a machine shop across the street from my studio on campus. I was turning and machining my own bicycle hubs and I needed my own dial caliper. The cheap one I had purchased from a local hardware store just wasn’t cutting it. So I called Starrett in Athol, MA and placed my order for a 6″ dial caliper. Red face. .001″ graduations. It’s measured parts on projects ever since then and never strays far from my Bridgeport or South Bend lathe. 20 years and still going strong. Thank you Starrett.

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Thoughts on Soil… standard

I feel really lucky to have grown up in the Upper Perkiomen Valley. There’s a strong Pennsylvania Dutch heritage there (of which I share) and as a youngster, my grandparents would share lots of stories, their stories, that painted a picture of times long gone. Part of those stories were a fondness for that “simple life”. Coming back home, you can still get a sense for it if you know where to look. One of those spots for me is back around the reservoir which has ribbons of single track which are cut through the woods. It’s a place I can escape to, find peace in mind and soul and take in the calm from the bustle back in town. ...

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Titanium : Looking Back and Towards the Path that Lies Ahead standard

So if you’ve been following along via Flickr and Instagram and reading along here via the 44HQ blog, you’ll have taken note that I’ve been working with and working towards offering Titanium as a companion material to the tried and true offerings in Steel. At first, I was hesitant to share my work and journey as I quickly began to realize that not only were potential customers really excited about the prospects about offering Titanium as a material choice but they were willing to wait until it was made available. Pretty much any time I’d share a little sneak peak at what I was up to, I’d get a lot of dialogue, questions and inbound emails asking “When is it ...

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Set the Example. Lead by Example. standard

Although I have lived a life so far of relative comfort, I haven’t lead a life of so called “success” in the most traditional sense of the word. I’ve had my share of steps forward only to be met by steps backward. Narrow victories followed by immediate and devastating losses. Improvements made while then faced with a tough road forward. And on occasion no way forward but to start anew. But no matter what the challenge, I’ve taken it head on, head up with a clear mind and emboldened resolve not to be beaten by the machinations pending or imposing. My shield: My determination. My weapon: My intellect. My way forward: My talent. Questioning; listening. Reflection; acceptance. Then, stepping forward ...

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Lessons in Plaster standard

I want to say it was my second year at Penn State which would be the fall of 1996. I still hadn’t discovered that whole industrial design thing which would eventually lead me to the Rhode Island School of Design’s I.D. Department. It’s funny how chance encounters can lead you in a new direction. But I had “reorganized” my pursuit of my education and had fully committed to Penn State’s School of Arts and Architecture. (I had originally declared my major in Biology…). It was a change in direction. I was feeling really inspired but a bit let down I had not gotten into the School of Architecture which I had applied to in my Freshman year. Actually, that was ...

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