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OT, How a bicycle is made (in 1945)

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  • OT, How a bicycle is made (in 1945)

    Interesting video of Raleigh bicycle manufacture in 1945 England.

  • #2
    i saw this a few months ago on fastcompany.com. pretty neat to watch. My favorite part is the poor sap that gets to dip the frames by hand in paint. I bet that man had to learn how to do everything with his clean hand and died with a painted hand.

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    • #3
      Rode a Raleigh all my life, oldest bicycle factory in the world, too bad they can no longer put 'Made in Nottingham' on them anymore.
      Max.

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      • #4
        Now we just need a Chinese factory video to compare!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by lakeside53 View Post
          Now we just need a Chinese factory video to compare!
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43jxnm5F5RY


          Least I don't see anybody with their hand dipped in paint
          I just need one more tool,just one!

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          • #6
            That was interesting. I'm wondering about the year, with 1945 still being a World War year. I also noticed no one that couldn't be termed "slim."

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            • #7
              You have 8-year-olds falling into vats of liquid chromium.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by lakeside53 View Post
                Now we just need a Chinese factory video to compare!
                Prolly very similar as far as the assembly goes but the actual manufacturing? Prolly not. The loads of craftsmanship and hands on is a lost art in the modern bicycle plant. Loved the Vid!!! Those bikes were made to last and had some processes that are not seen today. JR
                My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

                https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by wierdscience View Post
                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43jxnm5F5RY


                  Least I don't see anybody with their hand dipped in paint

                  What got me was not the hand dipped paint so much (but it was interesting) but the tank dip of the frame before the paint. The FUMES!! Guy was all in the fume cloud. And it looked like a steam cloud but I dont think it was water. I think it was a hot low acid bath for cleaning. Frame 5:17. The frame is dipped in a "special solution". Poor guy was washed in the fumes.



                  OSHA would have a field day. JR
                  My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

                  https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

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                  • #10
                    the plant in china seems state of the art. Obviously, not every step is shown...

                    I'm willing to wager this is a plant owned by a Taiwanese company, who probably makes 95% of entire world's bicycles. Unless the main company isn't trying to cut corners, the product should be pretty solid. What you see in the chinese plant is just assembly, most of what makes a great bicycle great is frame construction: notching and welding. All the other parts like hubs, bottom brackets, cranks, handle bars...etc, are outsourced anyway.

                    I like to be a fly on the wall in the welding area for Giant bicycle in Taiwan though. Even better, I'd be happy to weld for them for free for a few weeks just so i can get the chops of welding ultra thin (sometimes exotic) tubing. I'll be heading out to that neck of the woods later this year, maybe i'll tell them my offer in person hehe.

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                    • #11
                      All that manual work and that bike probably sold for less than $25.

                      JL....................

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                      • #12
                        But you ony earned 10 per week!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by robosilo View Post
                          i saw this a few months ago on fastcompany.com. pretty neat to watch. My favorite part is the poor sap that gets to dip the frames by hand in paint. I bet that man had to learn how to do everything with his clean hand and died with a painted hand.
                          How about the guy getting the steam bath!!!! I wonder what toxins he was breathing in???

                          JL...........................

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                          • #14
                            Most of the process of building a bicycle today is the same as it was 70 years ago. Much is mechanized, though. Initial tightening of the spokes for example. Saving a lot of labor with the robot. They still true the wheels by hand in that factory. The craftsmanship is mostly gone on the mainstream bikes, of course. Just like everything else that becomes popular, then mass-produced. You don't see real hand-carved wood trim in cars anymore unless you spend 6 figures, for example.

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                            • #15
                              Very interesting - thanks for posting.

                              I was surprised that they were using seamed tube for the frame. What’s the process?

                              Interesting to see that the bottom bracket is steel pressing (03.07).

                              I was surprised to see that the frame joints weren’t (apparently) cleaned before brazing. Interesting that after brazing the excess is removed by an electrolytic process.

                              The commentary’s somewhat adrift about the heat treatment of the crank spindles.

                              A 1960 ground-breaking film, Saturday Night & Sunday Morning ('kitchen sink drama' as it would have been called) featured Raleigh’s works, and this clip shows Albert Finney as a lathe operator making crank spindles:-

                              http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/video/4...God-Sends.html

                              You’ll probably see Sir John Stevenson in the background somewhere.

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