Drillium!?!

Hello fellow nerds. I welcome readers to my blog so I can share whatever random ideas are coming my way. Right now I am fixated on the environment and what is going on locally to preserve it for posterity. I am not a gung-ho activist (aka a tree hugger), but you could call be a genuine supporter. From what I can see, we need more people like me. When not contemplating the future of our planet, I like to roam the bike trails in search of cool adventure. Now you know who I am. Today I am going to elucidate you on a tool called a drill press. Why? It’s because recently when I was on a trail, I spotted a really interesting design on a chainguard of a biker who had just stopped for a slug of water.

I was intrigued as I had never seen anything like it. I asked the owner of the bike where he had got such a dandy item. The guy had done it himself with a drill press and some other equipment in his home shop. He was one of those talented people who can wield a tool with ease to create something of interest. I started to ask the guy from Woodwork Nation about the drill press and he explained how they make holes in metal among other things. When talking about this tool, he went off on a tangent about spindle speeds, rotation and tilting, a crank-operated worktable and a quick release clamp. When he was ranting about external positive depth stop and a 3-nut locking feature for quick adjustment, he lost me. I got so far as understanding that a spindle is supported by high quality ball bearings, and then I shut down and just let my eyes enjoy the design. I was going to have to clarify all this mumbo jumbo in the Internet later in the day.

The biker had mentioned “Drillium” and that caught my attention. I looked it up immediately when I got home. This indeed was a whole new world to me. Not to others. For any of you who live in the “biker world,” when you mention drilling and bicycle art, you hear this word uttered with respect. There was once a famous trialist in the UK known for drilling just about every inch of his bike from the seat pin, bars, and brake levers to the chainset–not just for a cool design, but to give the bike frame less weight. Now people care as much about aerodynamics as much as anything else. They have realigned the brake levers behind the bars for example and the stirrups behind the forks. Just bike talk, my friend.

Drillium goes back to France before World War I in actuality. Alf Engers just popularized it elsewhere. I bet he had a great workshop. I think this art is somewhat passé so I am just getting a historical perspective, but I did meet that one biker on the trail who had resurrected the old practice.