Designers/Inventors:   Joshua Kampa (OPEN Bicycle) & Aaron Panone (aarn)
Packaging Design: Mike Dacey (Repeat Press)
After a year of development, incubation, and manufacturing research, Union Foundry is proud to present our first official product. The inaugural, limited first run of T0001 was designed on kitchen checks and cocktail napkins at our local. Days later, with the initial design still just a sketch, prototypes were milled and sent downtown to be tested by Boston bike couriers and other local riders.
Once the final design was locked, the tools were machined less than a mile from the place of their inception, then delivered, by bicycle, to be hand-polished by the same finishing shop that worked with Somerville bicycle legends Merlin and Fat Chance. The military-grade stainless steel parts were polished to a jewelry-grade finish then shipped off to our laser shop to be etched by the same machinists that cut titanium parts for Independent Fabrication and Seven Cycles. Upon their return to Union Foundry headquarters, the same building that housed Merlin Bicycles until the late 90s, packaging materials were hand cut and printed by local letter-press outfit Repeat Press, and then assembled and packaged for sale.
T0001 eliminates the need to carry a lockring wrench and chainwhip in your tool bag. Using a simple rotafixing technique, this tool allows for effortless removal and installation of lockrings using nothing more than your bicycle chain. The proprietary eccentric cutout allows for the tool to accommodate all popular lockring sizes, from the small Sugino type to oversized Profile type. The seventeen tooth cog on the outer diameter of the tool can also be used with a normal 1/8" width chainwhip when in the shop. The tooth profile on the outside of the tool stems back to the ANSI standard for half-inch pitch roller chains, allowing for optimal contact and power transfer from the chain to the lockring. Tired of breaking your knuckles using that Hozan to muscle off your lock ring? We were, too...
Union Foundry is a multidisciplinary design consortium based in Somerville, MA focusing on product development and the designed environment. We focus on how the things we use in daily life can be made more useful, more important, and more beautiful through better design. So many items that we accept as standard, that we use everyday without thought, can and should be reexamined, rethought, and curated. When all the things we need are designed to do their job elegantly there will be no fuel left for our disposable culture. UF knows that focusing on design and functionality in the day-to-day has tremendous power to improve our neighborhood and the lives of our neighbors.
The principal members cover a wide spectrum of experience and training. Together, core competencies in entrepreneurship, engineering, visual art, built environments and the unlimited networked skills of our creative community enable Union Foundry to approach any problem with a unique and valuable perspective. U/F projects start as ideas hatched by members of the consortium as well as members of our extended network and community. Ideas come in a flurry and are discussed, but few pass initial review. Those that do are brainstormed and partners with pertinent experience are recruited and consulted. As soon as an idea crystalizes, usefulness, marketability, and development/production costs are evaluated. If feasibility is at all in question, projects are reevaluated or mothballed...no time is wasted. Projects are always developed and produced as close to home as possible. We have been amazed by the talent and resources of Somerville and Cambridge, so rarely do projects need to travel further than a bike ride. The benefit, other than convenience, is the highly iterative and almost immediate feedback loop we enjoy with our partners. Issues, ideas, changes, and problems are always discussed in person and in real time. This allows us to move rapidly and accurately.