April already reported on Renovo's beautiful bikes from "locally" sourced hardwoods, and discussed how Renovo's wooden bikes may even save trees.
Now the ever-prolific film makers at Fair Companies just put out an interview with Renovo's Ken Wheeler about how and why he chooses to make his bikes from wood:
When CNC (computer numerical control) technology reached a point where wooden bicycles could be made- at least partially- by machine, Ken Wheeler- who is neither woodworker nor engineer, but a very advanced tinkerer- decided the time was right to start building wooden bikes. Wheeler built the first 12 and then set up shop in Portland, Oregon, where today, a CNC machine can build up to 1000 frames per year. Though the automated part is only the beginning. Once the frames come off the machine they need hand-crafted finishing work.
Much like the art of deep craft, there is nothing quirky or intentionally retro about Renovo's offerings. This is about using the latest technologies to rediscover the incredible properties that are found in natural materials—and then making better products because of it.