> I'm not sure, but what I think the cats want is a place to go
> and become "official guaranteed OK frame building dudettes/dudes."
> Someplace to teach them, help them work things out to make what
> they want, and then additionally to give them confidence and back
> them up in front of the rest of the doubting world.
> As is there would be an industry "trade school" that would give
> them an idea of getting a guaranteed something after completing
> a stated curriculum and tenure of "X." There's nothing like that,
> and I don't know if there could be something like that, not in the
> world economy from which this would have to spring forth.

the "world economy" thing is key. it needs to be asked, "what is a
framebuilder and what role does fill now?". prior to the mtb
era, the need for a serious rider-slash-racer to get to a builder's
front steps was ever-present because the industry was pretty much
incapable of making high end and race worthy frames in a production
environment. well that hasn't been the status quo for at least two
decades. the advances in technology and manufacturing have all but
made getting a one-off frame in lieu of a store bought bike no longer
a necessity. factories and production frame shops are doing excellant
work. most are offering units whose quality exceeds what comes out
of many of the so-called custom shops. so - what is left? are you
selling the love? the "craftsmanship"? that fleur de lis or lug window
that took you 18 hours to shape? there's merit to all of this, but
there is no real market to speak of. and if there is no real market,
why herd? now don't misunderstand me; i am not suggesting that one
must be 1) a pauper to survive or 2) live a compromised existence.
what i hope the new guys think about is getting a job in industry and
learning all facets of the market and also of the sport. add some value
to what you bring to the table,and don't spend the next two years here
dissing seven and colnago because they sell easier, and for more
money, while you are in your shops lovingly crafting a super stiff 953
frame with an alpha q fork. i meeeeeeeeeen, this is not then, it's now. if
you want to be a framebuilder, learn all about bicycles, not lugs, and
not surface tables, and not mini fillets. all this talk about "being frame-
builders..."and grouping together to ease the way into a career
path. if you're not content to poke around online for the next 10 years
until all the search engines stop running, and if you are not brazing
and testing and riding and tweaking all your waking hours now in the
hope that you could be another sasha or zanc (to name just two guys
who i feel will survive inspite of never having worked in industry),
the best advice i will give, assuming you have read this far and want
more than a hobby out of this - is to get a job working in industry.
after you are bored shitless from the routine, find a more refined
arena to work in. some day you will be more accomplished than the guy
who took you in in the first place. that is how it works.