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  #2266  
Old 05-30-2023, 04:09 PM
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David Kirk David Kirk is offline
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As you might guess by the photo this is not in any direct way related to bicycles.

My grandfather Ernest King took this photo while is was working as the head photographer of the Utica Observer Dispatch in Utica, NY. He got a call saying that he should make his way down to a local factory building where a deer had somehow gotten in to the building. The police were there and they had all the doors open as they tried shoo the poor deer safely out of the building. Ernie felt silly being there as the cops kept him out of the building and what kind of photo would he be able to get of a deer inside a building while he was outside the building?

Nonetheless he got his camera out and ready and he walked around outside looking for a shot. He heard a sudden noise and lifted his camera toward the window and clicked the shutter and it was over. The deer ran away and the cops left and that was that. Ernie went back to the office and into the dark room and developed his photos from the day. He was shocked to find that he’d gotten a perfect shot of the deer midway through the glass.

The AP picked up the photo and it went all over the world. It was published in LIFE magazine and was considered to be the finest photo he took during his long career. It was interesting to talk with him about it. He didn’t think it was his best work….most lucky maybe but not his best. He had other work he favored more but this photo is the one he’s known for.

When I was a young boy I told Grandpa Ernie that I wanted a BMX bike with rear suspension. He told me he’d buy me one but there were none available…so we went to the dump and pulled some bike frames out of the metal goods pile and Ernie cut them up and brazed them together with a spring in the middle and I had my suspension BMX bike. I could not have been more excited or proud. He didn’t buy it - he made it! When he was in his 90’s I reminded him of that and he got a big kick out of it knowing what I did for a living. Ernie died many years ago but I will never forget the love he showed me with that time in the shop cutting up stingrays and brazing them back together again…just for me.

Cheers to Ernie.

dave
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  #2267  
Old 05-30-2023, 04:58 PM
KarlC KarlC is online now
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WOW, cool stories, thx for sharing !!

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  #2268  
Old 05-31-2023, 08:49 AM
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AngryScientist AngryScientist is offline
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Cool story Dave. I suppose your destiny was set tinkering with rear suspension at such an early age. I grew up in a very happy family without a ton of disposable income, and I credit the beginning of my engineering minded career to projects I pulled out of the dump and off the curb.

No better compliment to a person than to have fond memories of them years after they are gone. Grandpa Ernie sounds like he was a great guy. The story also speaks to a different era in time where people were more self sufficient and well rounded. A news man photog who also knows how to braze metal is probably a very rare thing today.
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  #2269  
Old 05-31-2023, 12:42 PM
ERK55 ERK55 is offline
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Love this story!
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  #2270  
Old 06-05-2023, 10:03 AM
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David Kirk David Kirk is offline
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The following is a text from an email just sent out to those on my email list and I thought that there might be one or two people here who might like reading -


------------------------------------


Greetings from Montana –

This year marks a big anniversary for my bicycle company Kirk Frameworks. On June 3rd 2003, Kirk Frameworks was incorporated…that means it’s time to celebrate our 20th Anniversary. To do this I have decided to offer a special 20th Anniversary frameset. But what would it be? It needs to be special and unique and that really left just one option – Gothic Fillets. I designed and engineered the webbed fillet process and built the very first Gothic Fillet frame in 2016, and since then I’ve made less than a handful of them due to the extreme amount of time required to build them. I’m proud to say that an unpainted Gothic Fillet Frameset won the Best Fillet prize at the 2017 NAHBS in Salt Lake City.

But what color would my partner Joe Bell paint it? This was easier - I selected my favorite JB color, Legnano Green. It’s a lustrous and complex color that recalls classic bikes of yesteryear but with JB’s own spin. The color looks liquid and a foot deep and will show off the fillet shapes perfectly. Simple, elegant, and beautiful.


Here are the defining features of the 20th frameset –

- Gothic Fillet frame and fork set. Tubing is a proprietary mix of Reynolds 853 Pro and special Kirk fork blades, chainstays and seat stays that Reynolds makes just for Kirk Frameworks. Each frameset will be fully custom to fit the owner.

- Framesets will be built with my curved Terraplane seat stays and will utilize rim brakes.

- Stainless dropouts and stainless brake bridge all with custom 20th engraving.

- Joe Bell with paint them Legnano Green and hand number them.

- Framesets will feature a custom nickel and sterling silver head badge made by Jen Green for the 20th bikes. Each badge is numbered with that particular bike’s serial number.

- Unique 20th graphics designed by Massive Studios here in lovely Bozeman, Montana.



There are a few no-cost options –

- The Frameset can be built to work with a traditional mechanical groupset, Sram eTap or Shimano Di2.

- Framesets can be built to work with a short reach rim brake (for up to a 30 mm tire) or for a medium reach brake to fit up to a 35 mm tire.



I am offering just five of these custom Gothic Fillet 20th Anniversary framesets. After these framesets are built, Gothic Fillets will no longer be available and Legnano Green will be retired and no longer available on any of my work. The price for the 20th Anniversary Gothic Fillet frame and fork set is $7900. If you are interested in my building a 20th Anniversary bike for you here’s how to make that happen –

- Please contact me by email ASAP to express your interest. I will respond with instructions on how to send a $2000 non-refundable deposit. info@kirkframeworks.com

- Existing Kirk Frameworks customers have first option to purchase. If after 10 days there are any available slots, ordering will be opened to the general public. First come, first served based on the day and time your email is received.

- Clients will be asked for their top three number choices of the framesets (1 – 5) and first choice will go to the first depositer and then down the line.

- I plan to start metal work on these framesets in the next few months and hope to deliver them at the end of 2023 or early 2024.



Attached are a few photos showing the shape of the Gothic Fillet joints and JB’s Legnano Green. These are not photos of actual Anniversary bikes as they will be made to order and don’t currently exist. Instead, they give a feel for the joint shape and color to be used.

Honestly, it’s hard to process that I’ve been walking into my garage and making bikes to ship all over the world for the past 20 years…a full one-third of my life has been making Kirks and I have to say I feel so very fortunate. One thing’s for sure - I wouldn’t have made it 1 year, let alone 20, without the help and support of so many people. There’s no way I can list everyone but I would be remiss if I didn’t list some of the most consequential. A huge thanks go out to: Ben Serotta, Kelly Bedford, Carl Strong, Joe Bell, Paragon Machine Works, Screen Specialty Shop, Reynolds of England, Ceeway, Jen Green, Ben Bennett, and my wife Karin Kirk…without her never-ending love and support this would have been over before it started. And lastly, I owe thanks to the hundreds of Kirk customers over the past 20 years that kept me working at the bench. Thank you so very much for the trust and the business.

I look forward to hearing from you and to putting my heart into these five special 20th Anniversary bikes. Thanks again for everything.



Be Well,

Dave
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg DSC_5007.jpg (39.4 KB, 247 views)
File Type: jpg DSC_2413.jpg (124.7 KB, 251 views)
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  #2271  
Old 06-05-2023, 12:32 PM
pdonk pdonk is online now
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I was hoping that this offer would be in 5 years, when I could realistically argue a need for a new bike, but with this year being bad health wise and potentially financial no chance.

Your gothic fillets have always intrigued me. I am sure people will be lined up for this level of detail and workmanship.
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  #2272  
Old 06-05-2023, 07:31 PM
tylercheung tylercheung is online now
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Wow....congrats, Dave!
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  #2273  
Old 06-05-2023, 07:48 PM
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David Kirk David Kirk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tylercheung View Post
Wow....congrats, Dave!
Thank you very much. It means a lot.

dave
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  #2274  
Old 06-05-2023, 08:02 PM
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AngryScientist AngryScientist is offline
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Wow, 2003 seems both so far away and not long ago all at the same time. Congratulations on that milestone achievement Dave!
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  #2275  
Old 06-05-2023, 10:16 PM
NHAero NHAero is offline
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Congratulations, Dave! You've been at the pinnacle of your craft for so long! Your knowledge and experience is matched by your generosity of spirit. We are all fortunate for your engagement with our community.

I can't imagine there will be open slots remaining after the first ten days to existing customers but I am tempted!
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  #2276  
Old 06-05-2023, 10:53 PM
NHAero NHAero is offline
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May I ask about the choice of 853 vs. stainless steel?
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  #2277  
Old 06-05-2023, 11:06 PM
Anthonys Anthonys is offline
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Amazing craftsmanship!
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  #2278  
Old 06-05-2023, 11:30 PM
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David Kirk David Kirk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHAero View Post
May I ask about the choice of 853 vs. stainless steel?
Good question - From the get-go I knew I wanted this bike to have color. Even before I knew it would be gothic fillets I knew it would be JB's Legnano Green. Once I landed on the idea of the Gothic Fillets I knew it would be steel and not stainless. This is due to the differences between working with steel/brass fillets and stainless/silver fillets.

With brass fillets you have a wide-ish temperature range in which you can work the fillet and add material precisely where you want it. The brass filler material goes from a hard solid, to a soft solid, to a thick liquid, to a thinner liquid...and finally to a runny liquid. So you can use the temperature to control the shape of the fillet with little risk you'll end up with a blob of molten metal on your shoe (or in my case my "workinstocks").

Silver is a completely different animal. It doesn't go directly from a solid to runny liquid but it's pretty close. It's much harder to work with and simple fillet shapes work best. Getting the silver to stand up into the Gothic Fillet shape could end up with lots of spendy silver filler on the floor.

So...as a pragmatic matter it's best that the Gothic shape be done with brass. And since I wanted them to be painted anyway using steel w/brass fillets was the best way to go.

Does that make sense?

dave
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  #2279  
Old 06-06-2023, 12:07 AM
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dave thompson dave thompson is offline
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David, congratulations on your 20th anniversary. Only a few and only the best frame builders have have made it that many years. You're one of the very best.

Looking back, it sure doesn't seem like 20 years since I watched you draft my frame in your studio. It was my first custom made frame, a milestone in my life.

Warm wishes for you for the future. I thank you.
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  #2280  
Old 06-06-2023, 07:42 AM
Tim Porter Tim Porter is offline
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Dave, where does the time go? Just yesterday I had a splendid ride on my 10th Anniversary model and it seems like I ordered it the day before yesterday! You are a role model for care and craftsmanship and I love the bikes you've built for me. This new one will be absolutely stunning and those folks will be lucky to ride such works of art. Congratulations, Tim
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