Today we are going to learn how to make Drillium! For those that are curious, drillium (and millium) are words developed to describe bike components that have been modified by means of drilling holes in them or machining them to decrease weight and add personality.
I'm not going to give a history of how drillium came about( frankly because I wasn't there to witness it), but it is my understanding that what was originally a way for the elite to save a few grams at the expense of durability became in itself a form of artistic expression. People could take components and customize the to their liking, possibly saving a couple (nearly inconsequential) grams in the process. Today we rarely see drilled/milled components being produced, but some manufacturers do make 'skeletonized' components (*cough* campy *cough*).
Drilling holes in critical bike components can lead to FAILURE OF THE COMPONENTS. I do not suggest doing this to your brake calipers (at first), stem, or handlebars or any other part of your bike for that matter. SERIOUS INJURY OR DEATH CAN RESULT FROM COMPONENTS FAILING. Seriously, if you're standing mashing the pedals, which is when parts are under the most stress, and the chainring lets go, you very well might faceplant into the handlebars and stem and crotch-plant on the toptube(ouch!). Or worse, lose control and veer into traffic. Please be careful if you choose to ride on drilled components!
That being said, it sure looks pretty when its done right!
and I've been commuting/riding mine for 3 months now with no issues.
Step 1: Gathering materials
So to make Picture 1 look like the intro picture, we will need:
-A bike crankset (or other parts)
If you are not pretty familiar with all the processes involved, I would practice on junk components first. Local Bike Shops sometimes keep a box of junk parts for "artistic uses" they sell cheap.
-A drill press (hand drill works but is more difficult)
-LOTS of drill bits. Or a sharpener. Sharp bits are wonderful things
-A countersink, (and some scrap wood if you need a handle like I did)
-Wrenches/Allen keys to remove bike parts
-CAD software (I used AutoCAD)
-Some stock material for patterns (I used 1/8" acrylic, wood can be used as well but the clearness was very nice.)
-A center punch
-Possibly bolts to fasten pattern to crankset
-A CNC router/drilling machine may also be used here, but alas I did not have access to one.
I'm sure this can also be done entirely by hand, or with a CNC machine, but unfortunately I did neither method and thus have no pictures/wisdom to share.