Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Here's the right drop about 70% done. It will get further shaping, a rack mount, the hanger drilled/tapped. possibly a window, and stainless faces.......whew, maybe it's more like 50% done!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
Gotta get ready for my 15 minutes!
For those of you outside the NM viewing area, here's a shot of the super slick cable routing on Jeff's 29er to tide you over until I can figure out a way to link the video to here.
"No big deal", I thought, "I'll just take pictures of everything and do a couple of of massive picture posts".
Now, I know what you're thinking, I was asking for it- and you're right...I got it. Got it in the form of our second computer meltdown this year! All the pictures....gone!
So, while I get back up to blogging speed, here's a few words from John about his new fixed gear commuter (looks cool, dontchya think?):
I took the afternoon to finish building the bike. It looks fantastic. I debated the configuration of the handlebar -- drops OR more cruiser/city/urban. I decided that, since I already have a fast road bike with drops (a lugged aluminum ALAN) and an old Fuji touring, I decided to build the C. Matthews into a single-speed city bike. What resulted is a pretty aggressive city bike that maneuvers like a cheetah on crack. It's an awesome ride and everything about the bike just felt right. This will be my main get-around bike.
On the test ride, I received two compliments in a span of 10 minutes -- one from a neighbor and one from a roadie at an intersection. The roadie asked me where I bought the bike and I told him it's a custom frame and gave him your Live Wire blog site. He likes the the way the bike looks ("contemporary-retro" was his description), and he particularly appreciates the head badge.
All I can say is that John is lucky that frame didn't fit me.....I really like the way it turned out. Lugged fixed gears just speak to me. Many happy rides John!
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Naked frame all prepped for paint w/the badge masked off.
Sitting in the "hot box" getting the paint cured after two coats of slate grey Imron.
This last pic does a good job of showing the color and the lug shorelines....nice and sharp! I love shooting metallic colors lke this- the paint looks like it's alive and moving when it first goes down. Well, I guess you had to be there to see what I mean, bur trust me, it's a cool effect.
I stupidly forgot to get any pictures, but I took my first step towards fame this week when I was interviewed by the local Channel 7 news for their "Made in New Mexico" segment. It was pretty weird having a camera man and a news anchor follow me around the shop asking questions about framebuilding, but I guess all of us famous folk have to get used to that, huh? ;)
It's supposed to air in October so I'll have to post up a link then. Of course, I might be so famous by that time that I'll have to have my people do the blog post for me........
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
How's about this bridge? I took a couple of stock factory bridges, and here's what I came up with after a bit of bending, brazing, and filing. I figured that because this bridge might never actually have a brake on it, it needed to look cool by itself. It will also double as a fender mount after I drill and tap a couple of holes in it.
You can also se the upper rack mounts in this shot.
Head shot. The surface rusting you see will all be gone in a phosphoric acid wash prior to the primer coat. Not only does the wash clean all the rust inside and out, it "etches" the metal and makes the primer adhere better.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Seat tube brazed in here and getting one of the 40-50 alignment checks a frame gets through the build process. Nice and square here!
View from inside the BB after the downtube is brazed in- it's the little things......
Top tube mitered and fitted. I like to be able to rotate the frame for this braze, so the frame is clamped in a workstand that allows me to turn it whichever way I need.
A trip to the Morroni jig to get the chainstays fitted up. I love this huge chuck of machined steel, there's only one other jig like this in use today. But I do know where another one is sitting and can be had for a song!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
All brazed up! It looks like hell with the flux still on it, but trust me, it's a nice braze!
Lining up the angle with the blue print- spot on! If it were off, I'd have to cold set it (read: bend) something I absolutely hate to do and something I haven't had to do since my first frame. If the miter is right and the proper brazing sequence is followed, it will be right every time.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Here you see the initial cut out. It kinda makes the stay look like a big hypodermic needle, huh? A blurry pic of a scrap piece of seat stay brazed in place. I like to use this diameter because it gives the cap a more scalloped look.Excess tube cut away and a bit of file work later......and we have our cap!
Got to working and left the camera in the house for the chain stays and blades. Blades have been raked to 50mm, with a nice curve to them.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
After all the dimensions and geometry is hashed out, I draw up a full size blueprint for the frame- no computer needed.
Then, all the tubes have to be cleaned inside and out and inspected. I look for any imperfections, mark the butt lengths, check the tubes for straightness (by the way, no tubeset is perfectly straight), and orient the bows in the tubing so that when the frame is built the bows won't affect the alignment. I'm using a Dedacciai tubeset here, and as is typical for this brand, everything is very nice and within 1mm of being true.
Next: sub-assembly fabrication.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
So here it is:
Bridge is a 16 tooth cog with requisite lightning bolt.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
First practice run with one of the "big" boys.
Jammin' down the start ramp- the coolest 5 year old out there! ;)
Lined up and ready for moto 1.
Riding alone after a pretty good crash at the end of moto 2- turns out the new bike is so much faster he's catching air in places he was just barely rolling over before. Still ended up with a 2nd place trophy on the day, not bad for the first time out on the new bike!
Next up, the curved seat tube fixed gear I mentioned a while back.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Couldn't help it though, my son started BMX racing (he's 5) and his too-small dept store bike wasn't cutting it.
It was a fun project- fitting a 5 year old to a 20" wheeled bike is like fitting a 5 foot adult to a 29er...you end up with a funky looking frame.
This one was done with all scrap tubing: the top tube is left over from Jeff's GDR bike (the kid was adamant about wanting a curved tube!), the down tube is a former top tube that was too short, seatstays are 4 pieces of cutoffs, chainstaye are Zona seatstays, dropouts were made from a plate I found in my Dad's shop, the only new parts were the front drops and BB shell.
Nice lines on this frame, but no room for the skull and bones brake bridge I was planning.
The kid also picked the color...nice, huh? Check out the headtube decal- had to get a skull on this bike somewhere!
Vacation time for the next week, I'll have to post up some action shots when we get back.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
So, I let the yellow cure for a couple of days and then went back at it with sandpaper and a new color......much better the second time around. I didn't have the downtube decals on hand, but with the others on, I think that might be enough. I'm at odds with the clean look versus my child-like need for attention.
Anyway, here's a shot of the wishbone seat stay arrangement.
Head on shot showing off the curves and fork crown.
And my new requisite parting shot.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Classic segmented fork with .049" crown pieces and .058" "lugs", blades and steerer are Tru Temper offerings. So, what does this fork need to make it even sweeter?
Lightning baby! Check out the inside tangs of the lugs.....takes it all the way to 11! The three P's are next: polishing, primer, and paint!