So here’s what Homebrewed Components is about.

9 09 2009

So you might be wondering “Who is this Homebrewed Components, and what do they do?”. Well here’s your answer.
Homebrewed Components was founded by me, Dan Wilcox. After being a Machinist/Engineer for my whole working life, i decided to start up my own machine shop. Granted, doing it in the height of the economic recession was probably not the best of ideas, but i figured what does not kill me will only make me stronger. Also, i figured it would keep me from making a bunch of useless crap that has flooded the markets partialy causing this predicament we’re in.
At first, i started making parts for other companies and building tooling for people i had worked for in the past. That was going ok, but it wasnt really what i wanted to do with my capabilities. Also, i take pride in what i do, and if i’m going to make something, i want my name on it, not someone else’s.
Now here’s where i started thinking… what do i like to do the most? Well, that would be creating things and mountain biking. How can i put those 2 together? Well duh, make bike parts! At first it was just going to be a hobby to cure some boredom in between the normal work. I started making chain tensioners using part of a design that i had made a few years ago. The only modifications i did to it were basically a little material removal to lighten them up. I posted them up on a web forum and got some decent feedback along with a few orders.
I decided it was time to expand a bit from there. I had some titanium kicking around so i whipped up a cog for myself and one for my buddy Rodd, who was moving to Wisconsin. I posted those up and once again, i got some pretty good feedback.
The next stage was fairly obvious, it was time to make some chainrings. It took me a bit to come up with a design i liked, but i managed to find something that was light, strong, and visually apealing.
Since then, the orders have been coming in fairly steadily. I’ve been working my ass off to complete all the designs, tooling, and programing for all the different bolt patterns and tooth counts. This has been a bit more work than i first thought, but it’s getting near completion. I seem to have a good process down and quality has been great along with cycle times. It’s still leading to a good 12+ hour work day 7 days a week though. Needless to say, it has become more of a full time gig and i have been treating it that way with how much i’m investing time and moneywise. I couldnt ask for a better job though, i’m really enjoying the interaction with all my customers. There are some really awesome people out there, and i have yet to have a “problem customer”, even though i’ve fallen behind occasionally when a design was taking longer than expected. Thankfully most of that is over now that i have a system” in place for designing and programing, plus alot of the sizes are already done. however, i’m still experimenting with speeds and feeds for cutting along with cutting tools, but that doesnt really hinder my work output though.
Also, i’ve begun anodizing my parts in tons of cool colors. Im going to start working on multi colored anodizing along with a possible camo ano. I’ve also switched alloys on my stainless cogs from 316 to a heat treated 17-4. This makes them LOADS stronger, however it costs me alot more in materials. That’s ok though, it’ll be worth it in the long run since i dont think anyone is offering that.
There are still tons of things on the drawing board from sliding dropouts to tensioners for converted single speeds to possibly complete cranksets. I’m pretty excited to see where this goes as i have TONS of ideas.




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