Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Thanksgiving interlude

So I spent some time in the woodworking shop during the holidays, cobbling up a couple of whimsical bike doodads, because I was bored, or blue, or something, something. I dunno. Do I need a reason for whimsy? Or would a reason render whimsy non-whimsical?

Anyway, here's the first of the projects:

I had some shiny metal Velo Orange fenders on the Rivendell Betty Foy, but they bothered me. To my mind, they just looked too flashy for a bike I've named after my mother (Frances). My mother was not a flashy person.

So I ordered some elegant cherry fenders from Woody's Custom Cycling Fenders:
Once I put them on, however, the bike rack looked pretty pedestrian. I decided that the thing that would spice it up (without making it look too flashy; see above) would be a matching cherry deck. So I cut a couple of book matched slices from a chunk of scrap cherry:

Milled and glued them:

Cut an annoying "lip" off the rack (annoying because it was always getting in the way of my seat bag) and added a brace from some aluminum bar stock:

Finished things up by adding some cherry buttons to keep the rain out of the tubes, et voila!

The cherry has a little curl/flame in it, and over time, it will darken into a rich amber, close to the color of the leather saddle. Cherry is magic like that, and magic is good, in a non-flashy way.

Monday, November 7, 2011

My first fillets

I found fillet brazing to be a bit trickier that brazing the silver into the lugs, but it was also more fun. After I drew the silver filler beneath the seat stay caps, I lowered the flame slightly and began to build up the silver. The first time I did it, I didn't get enough filler layered on, and when I went to file down the joint, there were some big gaps. So I fluxed and fired up again, and laid down some more silver. Then I filed it all smooth. It looks pretty good, and I think it makes a robust joint. You probably don't need a fillet braze that is this big--the seat stay/seat tube juncture is supposedly a low stress area--but I didn't want to take any chances. It still needs a lot of clean up to look finished, but here are the pics:

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Framebuilding update: Fitting and brazing the brake bridge

It's been a busy three weeks at school, so I am behind in nearly everything, including keeping up with this blog. So as an update, instead of a wordy explanation of what I've been up to and where I am in the project, here is a sequence of photos showing the steps to fitting and brazing the rear brake bridge:

Fitting the miters:
 Fluxing before brazing:
 After brazing and before clean up:

 After initial clean up:

I've also been too busy to do much riding, but tomorrow looks like it will be a pretty autumn day, so maybe I'll get out and wheel around a little. If I do, it will slow the work on the frame down a bit, but that's OK; part of the pleasure is working without a deadline.