Wednesday, April 30, 2008

You can't tell me....

.......that this frame isn't coming together nicely. This is Scott's (dirt) road bike- it will run drop bars and have clearance for true mtb size tires. Scott asked for a curved TT and a wishbone seatstay arrangement, so how could I do all that and not curve the seatstays too? The seatstays are just sitting in place and haven't been cut to length yet, in case you were wondering.
Here's a shot of the fork crown and the wishbone. Cool how they match, huh? I have to thank Sabrosa Cycles for the inspiration for that setup.
Oops! I just looked a little closer at the pic and, no, I'm not flipping you off. The forks legs aren't brazed in yet so I was bracing against the other leg so the crown would stay at the right angle. Sorry about that!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Naked Curves

A few of the recents builds in their various stages...rockin full on Coconino style, huh? The first one on the table is Jeff's "all done except for some polishing" GDR racer. Frames like this are a lot of fabrication work, but oh so much fun. If you count all the individual pieces of the handmade cable guides, this frame had 28 braze ons!
Here we have Scott's bike in the jig being prepped for chainstays and my own 30's stlye 29er frame getting fitted for top tubes.
Yeah, I know, I have a tiny little shop full of random junk. There's just enough room for me and my dog when I'm working in there.

Late breaking news: I hand filed both the chainstays for Scott's bike at the same time and they came out perfect the first time. No adjustments needed. I came up with a little trick that I'll post about if I can repeat that result on the next frame.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

....and they said it couldn't be done.

Well, I was in a bit of a quandry over the top tube on Scott's bike. You see, the design called for a single curved TT, but it really needed to be an 1.25" tube for stiffness and aesthetics. Problem? bending a tube that big in my normal fashion ends up in a kinked tube. I tried to find an alternate source (another builder), but he was too busy to make them for others. I looked at muffler and chopper shops, but they were scared to try or had no clue in how to do it. I didn't really want to do the cerrobend thing (metal that melts at a low temp) too many noxious ingredients to that stuff and who wants to die for a top tube?
Finally, I went back to square one to try again. I made a new mandrel, packed in sand extra tight, and viola! A perfect bend! I realized that if if move the tube in the mandrel after the first kink starts, the tube is supported a lot better and the bend is finished nicely. The only issue with this is that you have to sacrifice the first 8-10" of tube for scrap. For that reason, I recommend starting with a 5' tube so your leftover section will be more useful- I used a 4' section and the remainder was too short to make another top tube. Bend and learn!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Ain't Dead Yet!

Just got an email that asked if I was dead or otherwise incapacitated....guess I've been neglecting the bog, huh? Same old story, the eternal struggle for free time. Between the family, the day job, and riding there's not much left over for the shop and the computer. But when it comes down to a choice between framebuilding and web surfing, the torch wins everytime!
Fortunately, the weather is getting much better, the days are longer, and summer is almost here- many updates are coming.
In the meantime, here's Joe's bike back from powdercoat: