Saturday, September 24, 2011

Autumn, day two

Yesterday was the first day of autumn, and blessed relief, it felt like it. After the wicked, wicked summer we just experienced, the cooler air is enough to make me want to weep with happiness.

And now, it is the weekend following that opening day, and I plan to take advantage of it. First up on the agenda,  a return to the garden. Nothing major today (though I have big plans for later in the season), but some general weeding and sprucing is needed before I can turn my attention to other things.

Though it would be a perfect day for a bike ride, I'm going to resist temptation. I went for a fabulous tempo ride yesterday, and tomorrow I plan to go out with the Lubbock cycling club, so today I'm giving myself permission--nay, ordering myself--to use this temperate weather to get out into the shop and work on my new bicycle. There is almost nothing I enjoy more than working in the shop during the fall months. I throw open the windows and doors, turn on the radio, and putter to my heart's content.

The replacement head tube came in yesterday's mail, and this time, I got the measurements right. Here are some photos:

Today, after the mandatory weeding, I'm going to go looking for some mild steel and a Mapp torch to start my practice brazing.

It would be better if I had someone to teach me how to do this, but I haven't been able to find that person (or a class nearby), so I'm just going to dive in. This may seem strange to people not used to tinkering, but it doesn't feel strange to me. After all, I have been a semi-serious woodworker for nearly two decades, and I'm very comfortable around tools. The worst that can happen is that I will fail at making a decent frame. (There is a need, of course, for understanding tools and for some advance research on how to safely use them, especially when fumes and flames are involved, but I have this covered.) Since I'm looking at this first frame as practice for the second, I am completely comfortable with that idea. A greater failure would be not to try simply because I've never done it before.

Sometime in the future, after I've got a frame or two under my belt, I'd like to take a frame-building workshop. This might seem backwards, but I think I'd get more out of a short course with a little foundation. (Plus, I'm too curious about it to wait that long.) I have one picked out, in Austin, and so I'm going to start saving my pennies for it.


  1. You know, there is just too much aversion to failure in our society today. I think you learn best and most thoroughly by failing.

  2. Cooler air during falls and spring are the best time to walk in the garden or riding bike. Totally agree with that! Hot summer air really make us gardeners easily to get tired.


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