How It’s Made – Lemolo Nameplate

November 2, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Posted in Backpacks, handbuilt, Lemolo Bags, portland, Uncategorized | 7 Comments
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As the official launch dates seems to finally be approaching, I wanted to show off a bit of my hard work. The following is a photo set laying out exactly how each Lemolo nameplate is made. By hand, by me.

The process starts with a 6″x18″ sheet of brass shim. The first thing that needs to be done is to cut the brass down. I use a large metal cutter provided by one of my shop mates (thank you James). You have to carefully mark the brass, line up your piece and slowly, but forcefully, swing the arm down. It cuts at a very slight angle and takes a bit of getting used to. It’s not hard once you get the hang of it, but it can be rather tedious, especially when the pieces start to get down to their final size of 1/2″x2″.

Once the brass is cut down to the appropriate size the next step is to hammer “LEMOLO” into it. I had a custom stamp made for this specific purpose. A very hard, stable surface is required for this step. A heavy, purposeful swing is required when hammering the stamp to ensure a deep, even, well-cut final result. This can take a little practice to get the technique right. It is easy to get a accidental shadow image as the brass or stamp could make a virtually un-noticable hop when the stamp is struck. You only get one shot at this, so it has to count. At about 1/3 of the way through the process it is a real bummer to have to scrap a nameplate at this stage.

The next step is to round the corners on a grinder (thanks for the use of your grinder Jordan). Not much needs to be removed, so a steady hand and sharp eye is key here. The corners just need to be rounded a bit, that’s all. Once the corners are rounded you need to brush the  backside of the nameplate along the edges with the grinder to smooth out any burrs that may have formed.

Only one more step is required before you are ready to rivet the nameplate to a finished bag. For this I was previously using a handheld drill and getting acceptable, but not great results. My friend Blake stopped by the shop and offered the use of his heavy duty hold punch. You simply find where you want your hole to be and squeeze. It takes a short amount of time for each nameplate but your hand can get a bit fatigued if you have a relatively large quantity to punch. This has been a dream compared to using a drill (thank you Blake).

At this point the nameplate is finished and needs only to be riveted to a bag. I lay the nameplate where I want it then mark on the bag where to punch the holes. As every nameplate is made one by one and the holes are cut by hand there can be a slight variance in where the holes in the bag need to be. So, to be sure everything looks just right you need to be sure to mark the bag using the exact nameplate you intend to rivet to that specific bag. Once the holes are punched it is simply a matter of loading up the rivet press, lining everything up, and pressing it together.

This small run of backpacks and duffels were all sewn by real people, whom I have met, working at Portland Garment Factory in SE Portland. I am the founder of Lemolo, sole designer, and each and every nameplate was completely made from scratch and attached by me. Lemolo Baggage, all proudly made in USA.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, I hope you found it both interesting and informative!

-Elias Grey

Visit or follow Lemolo Baggage on Facebook and Twitter.



October 4, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Posted in handbuilt, Lemolo Bags, portland, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I am honored to be a part of Portland Garment Factory’s House Show. A celebration of 3 years running for PGF and introduction of their very first fall collection, HouseLine. A handful of carefully selected designers along with myself will be showing and present for the runway show, dance party, and pop-up shop. Enjoy light snacks and drinks (donation only). Come join in the fun and get a chance to shop for the latest in fall immediates from some really amazing local designers. All for only $10. This is going to be a really great show, I recommend buying your tickets in advance. Get your pre-show tickets direct from PGF here.

Hope to see you there!


Tool Roll: Version 2

September 25, 2011 at 9:46 am | Posted in bicycle, handbuilt, Lemolo Bags | 6 Comments
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Worked on the Tool Roll design a bit the past couple of weeks. Size-wise it is about the same. Changed the way it attaches to the saddle, strap that holds it closed, better elastic bands for tube, reinforced a few areas. Also, thinned it down a bit by doing away with the inside flap as it seemed less necessary than originally thought. Prototyped this version out of the same fabric as the previously mentioned handlebar bag. Man, those two would look good together on one bike! Check out some photos below. Drilled holes into the hand stamped Lemolo name plate and riveted it onto the roll after these photos were taken. Really happy with how it turned out. One step closer to final design and production stage!


Lemolo Handlebar Bag

September 4, 2011 at 9:18 am | Posted in bicycle, handbuilt, Lemolo Bags | 7 Comments
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I’d like to start off by saying that I don’t do much custom stuff anymore. Very rarely in fact does my busy schedule allow me to take on a fully custom project. I recently made a exception…

Bicycle handlebar bags have gained a lot of popularity it seems in the past couple of years. I tried my hand at making one for my friend Mitch (M.A.P. Bicycles) a few years ago (photos) which paired nicely with a set of small panniers I had also constructed for him. Pretty happy with how it turned out, but wasn’t ready to start producing at that time. I recently completed another. Sort of a last-minute project for my good friend and shopmate Jordan (Hufnagel Cycles). I could not have been more pleased with how the bag turned out. I’d like to, in time, have a very similar production model for sale. It will pair nicely with the improved Tool Roll (if we can ever manage to finish a second round).

As per Jordan’s request there is no leather on this bag. It is constructed mainly of waxed canvas and cotton webbing, with a bit of metal hardware here and there. A hand pounded Lemolo badge and custom hooks made by Jordan express, in my opinion, the simple and subtle hand-made elegance of the bag. This is a one-of-a-kind, enjoy…

I really really hope to have a production model similar to this bag in the future. It will take some time though. As always, feedback is welcomed.



December 12, 2010 at 10:21 am | Posted in handbuilt, Lemolo Bags, porteur, portland | Leave a comment
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Here are a few professional shots taken of the latest bike/bag project Tony and I have worked on together. This is what Tony has to say about it…

This is the latest evolution of what I like to call the Gentlemen’s Bicycle. Designed for urban transportation, this bike is equipped with integrated dynamo-powered lighting, fenders, cargo rack with custom bag and built-in security lock. Upright riding position is ideally suited for visibility in city traffic. As with all Pereira Cycles, the Gentlemen’s Bicycle is built to order for each rider’s needs.

All the photo’s in this post were swiped from Tony P’s Flickr page. Credit for these gorgeous photographs goes to Daniel Sharp.


Lemolo/Hufnagel Tool Wrap

October 8, 2010 at 10:02 pm | Posted in bicycle, handbuilt, Lemolo Bags, portland, What's New! | 3 Comments
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Straps to the back of your saddle with bag loops (or use VO Viva Bag Loops). Canvas main, cotton webbing, brass hardware. Comes with all the tools you hopefully won’t need to use for a long day on the road. See in person (and buy!) at the Hufnagel booth tomorrow at Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show. Show runs Saturday and Sunday. The bike madness begins tomorrow @Sandbox Studio, doors open at 10am both days. Should be a really great show, I plan on passing through sometime in the early afternoon. See ya’ll there.


Late Nights and Early Mornings

October 7, 2010 at 12:35 am | Posted in bicycle, bikes, handbuilt, Lemolo Bags, portland | 4 Comments

That’s how that’s how things get made…

Be sure to check out the Hufnagel and Pereira booths at the Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show on Saturday.


Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show

October 4, 2010 at 7:43 pm | Posted in handbuilt, portland | Leave a comment
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Be there.


Neighborhood Notes

July 10, 2010 at 8:49 am | Posted in bicycle, handbuilt, Lemolo Bags, portland | Leave a comment

Lemolo Bags was recently featured on the Neighborhood Notes Website along with a few other local, bike related craftsmen and women. Lot’s of thanks to Ken and Erin for making Neighborhood Notes happen week-in and week-out. See article here.

ANT Sighting

April 13, 2010 at 11:38 am | Posted in bicycle, bikes, handbuilt, portland | Leave a comment
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This hot little number caught my eye as I rode down Belmont the other day. I had to pull over and take a quick picture. It’s always nice to see a ANT bicycle out in the elements! Mr. Flanigan’s simple understated elegance never ceases to impress.


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