A while back, we, like most other people who are impressed with craft, tweeted this video about Shinya Kimura the bike builder.
It was the most retweeted item we’ve ever seen from any of our posts and was fun to watch people around the world respond to it the same way we did – with awe.
Impressed is to say the least about how we felt about Shinya Kimura, and the beautiful editing in the film had us almost in tears. It may also be important to state that one of our shop favorites is the Robert M. Pirsig novel, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. It’s all about quality. The pursuit of quality is something we strive for around the shop, whole-heartedly.
After watching the Kimura video, naturally, we wanted more. After some clicking around the ol’ interweb, we came across another beautifully crafted video from Etsy. It is one of their Handmade Portraits, this one highlighting the work of Adam Cramer. Adam Cramer is a character. He has a lot of emotion surrounding quality, intellect of craft, workmanship, and pride.
Cramer brings up a very interesting point in the first little bit of the video: what is the difference between a Phillips & a Flathead? We admit, we knew one was flat and the other with a cross-top, but the difference in functionality? Not so sure. So, we looked it up.
In brief, there was this guy, Henry Phillips, who refined the self-centering screw design off the hands of an acquaintance, John Thompson. Apparently Thompsson was burnt out on the design after some failed attempts at marketing it. So, Phillips did some tweaks and got a patent and next thing you know, one of its first customers was General Motors.
The Phillips screw proved itself to be more effective and useful for automated production lines. This automatically (ha!) strikes us, because we’re in the business of running machines and these little bits of fact really please us. So, now every time we tighten a Phillips screw, we’re going to imagine that our arm is really a robot and make a little riveting sound to accompany it.
We’re not quite sure what it is about knowing why there is a Phillips screw, but thanks to Adam Cramer, we’re super glad we do now.
Also, on this internet journey, we discovered the polite way to out a fool is to tell them to go fetch a left-handed screwdriver.
Whatever/whoever your God may be. As a collective, around the shop, we can agree that God lies in the details. Everyday, when we notice a new detail, really nail a detail we’ve been trying to make better, or feel enlightened by the quality of something we’ve printed, to us, that is everything.
Adam Cramer and Shinya Kimura build and customize motorcycles. We print.
Handmade Portraits: Liberty Vintage Motorcycles from Etsy on Vimeo.