Jeff Del Papa

Occupation/Job Title
Catherd (manage computer programmers)  Current title is "Product Manager"

Have had company business cards that had "chief scrounge" in the title feild.

Nickname(s) (go on, even the bad ones)
Jeff, dp

Unusual Hobbies

Build and ride recumbent bicycles and tricycles.  Change ringer (very
rare in the US).  Played (badly) and built renaisance instruments
(stopped playing when hands acted up).  Still listen to the music, and
help run a summer concert series (

Built a fair amount of my home stereo kit.

Unusual skills/talents

Can actually find tools in my workshop.  (I am a beleiver in "gravity
filing") Design/build/fix bicycles.  Can break software without trying
(aka "a black thumb").  Prefer metric system (also unusual here).
good at finding unorthodox mechanical solutions to problems
(frankenbike's parts list includes an ordinary door hinge, a
skateboard wheel, and the carbon fiber shaft from a golf club).  Can
pick simple locks (desks, luggage).  Can tune harpsichords,
clavichords (built one) and some wind instruments.


Cycling, 1,000 year old music.  Cooking.  Building "stuff".  Addicted
to the printed word.  (we will have to move because we ran out of
places to put books about 5 years ago.  Don't need speed reading,
need speed bookcase building).  Amateur ergonomist.

Strange or amazing facts about you

When I started using computers, the documentation would fit in a
pocket, and it took a forklift to move the computer...

They tell me I blew my first fuse before I could walk. I took the
lawnmower apart at age 2 1/2.  I put it back together at age 9. (it
even ran).  Built a balista from truck springs and guardrail parts as
a teen.  (would fire a rebar quarrel thru 6 inches of concrete).

There exist bits of silicon that have my name in aluminum on them.
(helped design integrated circuts, and as is traditional, you hide
initials somewhere...).  Been using the internet since 1973.

Certified to teach bicycling safety ("Effective Cycling").

Seem to involve myself in hobbies that have 300 participants nationwide...



This will frighten you!  Don't worry if you can do none of the things
listed since we will make sure that somebody on your team can.

Welding (include types)

Can braze weld "great",  Can stick weld "ugly but strong enough".  Have tried MIG, but haven't had a huge amount of practice.


As long as neatness doesn't count, Great.  (I assume you mean torch cutting).


I bought a disk (angle) grinder about 4 years ago, and love it dearly.  Showers of sparks.... I am not the best at sharpening a
drill, but edged tools (knives, chisels, lathe bits) I am fine with.


Learned as a young child (young enough that I can't remember not knowing how to)


My arms get tired, and I don't get things that square...  I bought power tools to do most of it as a result.  (own table, band, and hand-held power saws)


Not sure what you mean by this one.  If it is "joinery" I can do "rough framing".  Have done some fine cabinet work (built Susan's Clavichord), but I am very slow at it.

If it is the art of fastening bits together, I am quite creative about it.


Need a drill press to get things square, but know how to choose speeds for metal...


Very good.  Can usually manage to turn to 0.01mm tolerances (but may take two tries..), have cut internal and external threads.  (in metal).  Used to turn wood, but haven't in a long time (unless you count turning wood in a metal lathe).  Prefer carbide insert tooling, hate 416 stainless steel.

General Mechanics

Been taking things apart and sometimes fixing them for longer than I can remember.  Do all the usual DIY tasks around the house (moving walls, installing wiring, plumbing).  Used to fix/rebuild cars, but have been lazy of late...

General electrics

Can wire a house, have done some industrial grade wiring, can use an oscilliscope. (and much in between)

Panel work (metal)

Not the greatest.  I do it, but it isn't pretty.  Usually restricted to covering holes in car floorpans, etc.

Familiarity with electric motors

Consider a pile of AC motors to be a required part of the shop's cruft pile. Can deal with PM DC motors (your basic windscreen wiper motor). Not particularly familliar with large (shunt) DC motors, or more complicated things like stepper or servo motors.

Familiarity with engines
I do fine until you add a fuel injection computer.  Have built my share of VW engines, and rebuilt the odd motorcycle...  Use car transmission bits to build machine tools.

Other (please specify include also professional skills)

Have programmed computers in a variety of languages, dabbled in IC design.  Can fix bicycles while technically asleep (a result of working the repair crew on large sponsored bike rides).  Can use most machinist measuring tools.  (micrometer, vernier, etc), run a vertical milling machine.  Have done minor amounts of blacksmithing. Can ride a motorcycle.   Certified Effective Cycling Instructor (#709)


Measurements (there is nothing sinister about this, even tho some of
the questions are a little peculiar!)   (for those that didn't see the
show, the team wears fitted jump suits)

Name:  Jeff Del Papa

Sex: Male

Date of Birth: 12 December 1957

Hair colour:  Mostly brown.  (have earned some white in my beard)

Eye colour:  Blue

Height:  (imperial measure) 5'7"

Head Size  (inches or hat size)   Around here its "XL"  (they gave up on numbered sizes)

Waist size 38-40" (depends on riding/cooking ratio)