Course Reviews Posts

Introduction to Milling – another Axminster skill centre course

Introduction to Milling – another Axminster skill centre course

At the end of November I attended a two day course as an introduction to using a milling machine. This will be another machine to complement the lathe in producing custom bicycle parts. Now I will be able to make things that are not only round, which is the limitation of a lathe. The milling machine enables the cutting of shapes that are square or curved or stepped, together with slots, so I should be able to make various types of dropouts and no doubt other things. It can also be used to mitre tubes. The course costs £275, including lunch and refreshments, a slight increase on last years fees. There were 4 students to one tutor and I was lucky enough to be taught by Bob Rolph who had previously taught the small lathe course.
Students use the Axminster SX3 machines for the course (other machines are available) and there is no hard sell to purchase Axminster’s own products.

Introduction to the small lathe – course review – Axminster Skill Centre

Introduction to the small lathe – course review – Axminster Skill Centre

This month I attended a two day course on operating a small engineering lathe prior to purchasing said item to enhance my frame building capabilities. Axminster tools offer several courses for prospective metalworkers from their skill centre in Axminster in Devon. Rather a long way for me to travel but I could find no one else able to offer a suitable course. The course runs from 9am to 5pm with a short break for lunch. Refreshments are provided. The course costs £250, which I think is very reasonable for what is provided.

Frame Building at Downland Cycles

Frame Building at Downland Cycles

By David Cabourn

I wanted to let you know about my experience as a novice frame builder when I took a course with Downland Cycles, who also exhibit at Bespoked in Bristol each year.

I had always dreamt of building my own frame and one Christmas decided to see just how practical making that dream come true would be. After a little internet research I decided not only was it achievable it was also within the modest budget I had available to me.

Downland Cycles in Canterbury run a five day frame building course at their dedicated workshop in Canterbury with the additional option of building a fork on the 6th day. So I booked my course and began dreaming of the bike I was going to hand build.

Bike Fitting and BikeCad at The Bicycle Academy

Bike Fitting and BikeCad at The Bicycle Academy

 

In March 2014 I attended a one day course on bike fitting and the use of the computer aided bicycle design software BikeCad which appears to be the market leader. I was unsure as to whether I wanted to purchase this without seeing it in action first as the online version would not run properly on my computer and in any case is limited in function. The idea of the course from a bike builder’s perspective is to learn how to fit a person to a bike and then transfer that information into the BikeCad program to design a perfectly fitted bike.