Bob Jackson's [NOT] shutting up

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
whoof
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Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 2:13pm

Re: Bob Jackson's shutting up

Postby whoof » 16 Oct 2020, 12:38pm

alexnharvey wrote:
Bikes`n`guns wrote:Given the amount of young frame builders around the UK at the moment They could not have tried very hard to recruit staff to carry the company forward.

You can't move for hipsters building steel.


Can't tell if you're being facetious or not?

How many young framebuilders do you think there actually are who are sticking bits of metal together, versus dreaming and talking about it? Maybe 20 or so in the UK?. How many of those would want to make it their career, rather than a hobby? Of those who remain, how many are in Leeds or are in a position to move there? Of those, how many will already be earning a salary higher than an apprentice framebuilder and willing to take a pay cut.

This is an exhibitors list from bespoke Bristol exhibition. Not all UK and some are suppliers but then on the other side not every UK builder would have gone.

https://www.bespoked.cc/

Marbles
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Joined: 18 Aug 2018, 2:02pm

Re: Bob Jackson's shutting up

Postby Marbles » 16 Oct 2020, 12:55pm

I’m genuinely sorry to hear the Bob Jackson are shutting down. They did a beautiful job of respraying my old Raleigh a while back and I was considering putting my commuter bike in to get resprayed next spring. (853 Genesis). I might be able to get it done now of course before they shut but is there anywhere that anyone would recommend as an alternative? The closer to Glasgow the better.

Marbles

alexnharvey
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Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:39am

Re: Bob Jackson's shutting up

Postby alexnharvey » 16 Oct 2020, 12:56pm

I think you've missed my point whoof. If you're already exhibiting at a show as a framebuilding sole trader/partnership, why would you want to start as an apprentice at BJ? Why would you go from completing custom/bespoke frames to (presumably) starting with the "apprentice jobs" at BJ before you're even let loose with a torch :)? You need to find people who want to be framebuilders but who haven't yet set up their own shops, or make some attractive offer to an existing framebuilder who would like to expand from sole trader to a bigger operation.

Nonetheless you can ask the same questions for the UK builders on that list. How many are able to move to Leeds to start a new job? (no slur on the place intended btw). I think only a few are actually UK framebuilders on that list of exhibitors, lots are either from abroad or make other related stuff, components etc.
Last edited by alexnharvey on 16 Oct 2020, 1:12pm, edited 3 times in total.

Bikes`n`guns
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Joined: 7 Jan 2018, 10:54pm

Re: Bob Jackson's shutting up

Postby Bikes`n`guns » 16 Oct 2020, 1:02pm

I certainly wasn't being smart.

If there are that many making bikes surely they could find someone willing to train as a bike maker. ( I never suggested a fully operating frame builder would want an apprenticeship lol, that would be stupid haha)

I'm not trying to slight them in any way, but I'm sure they could have found someone if they tried.

alexnharvey
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Joined: 10 Jan 2014, 8:39am

Re: Bob Jackson's shutting up

Postby alexnharvey » 16 Oct 2020, 1:06pm

Bikes`n`guns wrote:I certainly wasn't being smart.

If there are that many making bikes surely they could find someone willing to train as a bike maker. ( I never suggested a fully operating frame builder would want an apprenticeship lol, that would be stupid haha)

I'm not trying to slight them in any way, but I'm sure they could have found someone if they tried.


I think you underestimate the difficulty and overestimate the number of people who want to be framebuilders.

I hope they are able to find a few young people who are willing to learn and who live in the area or are willing to move there. I'm not surprised they've found it very difficult though. Maybe the news of the closure will help them identify people.

whoof
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Joined: 29 Apr 2014, 2:13pm

Re: Bob Jackson's shutting up

Postby whoof » 16 Oct 2020, 1:10pm

alexnharvey wrote:I think you've missed my point whoof. If you're already exhibiting at a show as a framebuilding sole trader/partnership, why would you want to start as an apprentice at BJ. Why would you go from completing custom/bespoke frames to (presumably) starting with the "apprentice jobs" at BJ before you're even let loose with a torch :)?


Because this demonstrates that there are people and a lot more than I would have imagined, in the UK building frames and they all started somewhere. This shows there is a good base of young people who are willing to learn this skill if given the opportunity.

I was speaking to a guy last week and he was over the moon at getting an apprenticeship checking fire-alarms. This mainly involves setting off the alarm from one of the 'called points' in a building and then when it sounds you know that one works. Next week come back and do the same with another call point and when all the points in the building have been tested start again next week. When I asked if he would find this a bit boring he said it was good to be able to get a trade and a secure job.

alexnharvey
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Re: Bob Jackson's shutting up

Postby alexnharvey » 16 Oct 2020, 1:26pm

whoof wrote:
alexnharvey wrote:I think you've missed my point whoof. If you're already exhibiting at a show as a framebuilding sole trader/partnership, why would you want to start as an apprentice at BJ. Why would you go from completing custom/bespoke frames to (presumably) starting with the "apprentice jobs" at BJ before you're even let loose with a torch :)?


Because this demonstrates that there are people and a lot more than I would have imagined, in the UK building frames and they all started somewhere. This shows there is a good base of young people who are willing to learn this skill if given the opportunity.



About 22 UK framebuilders exhibited by my count.

Does it show there is a good base of young people willing to learn? A good number of those Uk framebuilding exhibitors are career switchers and retired people.

Would any of you be encouraging your kids to take up framebuilding? I'd support mine to do it as a hobby but you only have to look at the number that can't make it work to see how tough it is as a career. What's the market for UK custom bikes each year? A few thousand? Not a very big pie to split up and to get your share you have to compete with the established names and the 'advanced hobbyists', retirees and sidegiggers.

pete75
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Joined: 24 Jul 2007, 2:37pm

Re: Bob Jackson's shutting up

Postby pete75 » 16 Oct 2020, 1:41pm

alexnharvey wrote:
Bikes`n`guns wrote:Given the amount of young frame builders around the UK at the moment They could not have tried very hard to recruit staff to carry the company forward.

You can't move for hipsters building steel.


Can't tell if you're being facetious or not?

How many young framebuilders do you think there actually are who are sticking bits of metal together, versus dreaming and talking about it? Maybe 20 or so in the UK?. How many of those would want to make it their career, rather than a hobby? Of those who remain, how many are in Leeds or are in a position to move there? Of those, how many will already be earning a salary higher than an apprentice framebuilder and willing to take a pay cut.


None I hope. Decent brazing, welding and silver soldering is a bit different to sticking metal together.

alexnharvey
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Re: Bob Jackson's shutting up

Postby alexnharvey » 16 Oct 2020, 1:47pm

Top marks for pedantry Pete. I'm surprised that the latter part of the sentence which you've failed to highlight didn't clarify the meaning for you! :shock:

I like to say that brazing and soldering are a bit like gluing things together with molten metal but I suppose that's lost on the overly literal amongst us.

Mike Sales
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Re: Bob Jackson's shutting up

Postby Mike Sales » 16 Oct 2020, 1:53pm

pete75 wrote: Decent brazing, welding and silver soldering is a bit different to sticking metal together.


Tony Oliver agreed when I suggested to him that frame building was just glorified plumbing.
Bad joints can show up in inconvenient places when the water drips out, and though gas is at a lower pressure, leaks are even more upsetting.

pete75
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Re: Bob Jackson's shutting up

Postby pete75 » 16 Oct 2020, 2:01pm

Mike Sales wrote:
pete75 wrote: Decent brazing, welding and silver soldering is a bit different to sticking metal together.


Tony Oliver agreed when I suggested to him that frame building was just glorified plumbing.
Bad joints can show up in inconvenient places when the water drips out, and though gas is at a lower pressure, leaks are even more upsetting.


Depends on the frame. Fillet brazing like that on Chas Roberts frame is a bit more involved than joining pipes with Yorkshire fittings.

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NUKe
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Location: Suffolk

Re: Bob Jackson's shutting up

Postby NUKe » 16 Oct 2020, 2:02pm

Good luck to all at Bob Jackson cycles wishing them a long and happy retirement.

In the same are there are still other offering the same service and still going strong .
Ellis Briggs
https://www.ellisbriggscycles.co.uk/
and Woodrups
http://www.woodrupcycles.com/

The art of frame building and fixing is far from Dead
NUKe
_____________________________________

pete75
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Joined: 24 Jul 2007, 2:37pm

Re: Bob Jackson's shutting up

Postby pete75 » 16 Oct 2020, 2:06pm

alexnharvey wrote:Top marks for pedantry Pete. I'm surprised that the latter part of the sentence which you've failed to highlight didn't clarify the meaning for you! :shock:

I like to say that brazing and soldering are a bit like gluing things together with molten metal but I suppose that's lost on the overly literal amongst us.


Maybe you do but I wouldn't like a frame built by someone who thinks he just sticking the bits together with a bit of braze. When I worked in maintenance at a freezer factory we had one fitter who we said just stuck things together when welding or brazing. His stuff never lasted.

Mike Sales
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Joined: 7 Mar 2009, 3:31pm

Re: Bob Jackson's shutting up

Postby Mike Sales » 16 Oct 2020, 2:14pm

pete75 wrote:
Depends on the frame. Fillet brazing like that on Chas Roberts frame is a bit more involved than joining pipes with Yorkshire fittings.



That deprives the builder of the chance to exhibit his/her file artistry on the lugs.

Mike Sales
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Joined: 7 Mar 2009, 3:31pm

Re: Bob Jackson's shutting up

Postby Mike Sales » 16 Oct 2020, 2:16pm

pete75 wrote:
Maybe you do but I wouldn't like a frame built by someone who thinks he just sticking the bits together with a bit of braze. When I worked in maintenance at a freezer factory we had one fitter who we said just stuck things together when welding or brazing. His stuff never lasted.


Indeed, good workmanship is equally demanded in plumbing and framebuilding.
A poor gas joint could do rather more damage than a badly brazed lug.