pyro cycle

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pyro cycle

Postby gavin » Fri Sep 11, 2015 9:00 pm

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At shows I find the pyro-cycle great for making people stop and engage with you. And engagement often leads to a sale. Your feet drive an alternator via a fan-belt. You need a battery to excite the alternator. A resistor controls the output - 2 to 3 amps is enough to power a pyrography stylus, but not melt it. I happen to use Razer-tip stylus , but Peter Childs or any other will all work. The connection to the stylus is a standard phono lead.

Do get a bike frame with a low cross-bar so kids and short people can mount it. A quick-adjusting seat is also needed. A step-up mounting block will be useful. People will happily pedal it for you while you personalise the item you have just sold them. For instance, I make many pencils with the public and sell these for £3.

For at least half of those £3 pencils, I will up-sell the customer a further £2 by suggesting they pedlal the pyro-cycle so I can mark their new pencil with their name. After all, at £3 it will be one of the more valuable pencils they own, so clearly they will want to protect it!
If they baulk at that, I point out I am willing to pedal, but my writing becomes wiggly if I both write and also pedal. You can usually select one of the pencil-maker's party and persuade that person to pedal.

I find the pyro-cycle an astonishing quick earner, for it takes me about 30 seconds to write a name in the time they are on the bike. Do not let them write with the stylus - they often press too hard and break the tip.

If you suggest people take a picture on their phone, you begin to generate a crowd and interest. Which leaves you in the happy position of looking out for the next pencil-maker! When one child in a party has this, they ALL want it. They are far better persuaders of parents and grandparents than I am, so the hourly rate at this can be astounding.

For pencil leads go to
I happen to make my pencils with square-cleft blanks, a dowel-plate and wooden hammers, but this pyrocycle will work equally well for twig pencils.
Gavin Phillips

- teacher, demonstrator & supporter of greenwoodworking & human-powered turning
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