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October 06, 2010 1 Comment
While many of you admire and some ride wood rims, nearly no one has seen how they are made. So, you can imagine my pleasure when Antonio sent me a 20 minute movie in which he and his father, Giovanni, demonstrate their craft.
Watch some familiar wood working machines and some built 100 years ago, expressly for wood rims. There's nothing like true artisans with the tools of their trade.
We're grateful to Daniele Di Lodovico, a doctoral student at the University of Washington, for his partial translation of the Cermenati's description. Kristina Hjertberg applied the subtitles.
In this three clip session, you'll see the basic method for building a Ghisallo rim. Naturally, the details vary from rim to rim. Lately, the highest performance tubular rims are made from equal thickness, 4mm laminations with cotton cloth between each. These are thin enough to bend dry.
Of course, you can't see the decades of experience that guide these masters in selecting wood, orienting and matching grain, wetting and drying laminates, and shaping the final rim. It's as non-automated, a hands-on process as you will see: the handiwork of a family of dedicated artisans, in the name of cycling. Each rim contains a generous portion of their life and wisdom.
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