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/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.


Rapha Tool Wrap: Version 2.0

September 4, 2010 at 9:15 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Worked with my friend Carey from Rapha recently to create the second incarnation of the Lemolo/Rapha Tool Wrap. Keepin’ it simple was still a main ingredient.

They will attach below the seat in the same way the first round did (with a toe strap). A slightly lighter weight (500d) fabric was used for the insides this time, although I stayed with the 1000d Cordura for the outer layer. The inside now has much nicer feel and look to it. Stitching along the sides was also added to give these wraps a natural fold along both sides ensuring a secure hold on your goods. The printing was done here in Portland at Oregon Screen Impressions.

I am entertaining the idea of producing a Lemolo version of the Tool Wrap simmilar to this if there was enough interest shown…


future home

May 17, 2010 at 3:03 pm | Posted in Lemolo Bags, portland, Uncategorized, What's New! | 1 Comment
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Out with the old and in with the new! As of June 1st Lemolo World Headquarters (aka The Lab) will reside in a new space. I have enjoyed my time at Radius Studios, it is truly a great place to work, bursting with talented people creating all kinds of art from pottery to painting to sewing. It is truly a diverse place filled with lots of positive energy. That being said, I am very very excited about my move.

1515 SE Ankeny St. will be the home of my new studio space. Very soon I will have the pleasure of renting a small room located in the front of Mr. Hufnagel’s shop. I’ve been friends with Jordan for quite some time now and we are both pretty stoked to be able to make this convergence happen.

As you can see from the photos above I was able to spend some time painting in there today. Three of the four walls I will soon be souronded with were painted a terribly bright mustardy-yellow-ish color. The fourth wall (the one you see when you first walk in the door) is currently a light baby blue color, one which I plan on leaving. The other three only need one or two more coats of white paint to bring the room back from the brinks of insanity.

As I mentioned above, I am very excited for this move. I think it will be very good for me and for Lemolo in a lot of ways. This will be the first place I set up shop where I have not had to share a room. I foresee this new space boosting my creativity and productivity a lot in the coming months.


Special Project

February 13, 2010 at 5:24 pm | Posted in Lemolo Bags | Leave a comment
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Working on a special project for Embrocation (see their blog here). Check out a sneak peek photo of the baggage in-progress below…

Sorry for the lack of words the past few weeks. I have been very busy inside and outside of Lemolo. One notable happening outside of Lemolo is that my brother Lucas just got hitched to his long time partner Rachel! Congratulations you guys, I love you!

I hope to start posting more regularly again… we’ll see how that goes.


More backpacks…

December 30, 2009 at 11:21 am | Posted in Backpacks, Lemolo Bags | 2 Comments
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Just added a couple more backpacks to the For Sale Page of the new site. Check out some pictures below, email me if you are interested in purchasing one!

email: lemolobags[at]


Basket Bag: Re-designed

October 25, 2009 at 2:09 pm | Posted in Basket Bags, Uncategorized, What's New! | 6 Comments
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I am happy to announce that I have finally finished a long overdue re-design of the Lemolo Basket Bag. This was one of the earlier bags I started making and since then a few other companies have followed suit. I have felt for awhile that I should re-think my Basket Bag to once again set myself apart from the rest. I believe that this second generation Basket Bag is a vast improvement over the first and follows a pattern more in line with the direction my new designs have taken.

Like the previous generation, the current Basket Bag is designed for and fits perfectly into the WALD #137 Basket and will feature a removable handle for off-the-bike use. I am now using different hardware to make attaching and removing the shoulder strap easier and quicker than ever. The way the bag attaches to the basket is better integrated and less bulky than before and stays almost hidden to the untrained eye, even when the bag is out of the basket! The new version uses my signature roll-top-and-flap design I first introduced with the Lemolo Pannier over a year ago. This bag still features a floating liner to help ensure your goods are kept clean and out of the elements.

It’s important to be seen out there, now more than ever as we enter the dark fall and winter months. The Gen.2 Lemolo Basket Bag now comes with a highly reflective stripe that runs across the entire front of the bag to help keep you safe on that, at times, dark and treacherous commute home.

There will be a slight price change, but my goal is to keep this bag below the 100 dollar mark and I think I can do that. Hope ya like it! See pictures of the bag and how it works below…

At under $100, the Lemolo Basket Bag would make a great gift for a loved one… or yourself! Keep an eye on the For Sale Page, I hope to get few of these built soon and have them ready to go for the upcoming holiday season.



August 25, 2009 at 10:51 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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My friends at Rapha presented me with the opportunity to collaborate with them on a little project. This isn’t the first time I’ve had the pleasure of working with them. I feel very fortunate to have gotten to know this tight-knit group on a personal level and work with them on a professional level.They are really great cyclists and fantastic people.

On to the good stuff…

Lemolo-made Rapha Tool Wraps. I made about thirty of these little babies for their Continental Team this summer. And, judging from the pictures, it looks like they all got some use. A Pretty basic, light, tool wrap that that is carried under the saddle and holds just the essentials for quick fixes and flats.




Follow Rapha’s Continental riders throughout the U.S. via their online road journal. Link


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