Sunday, April 26, 2009

Good Weather and Hard Work

Lately, things have warmed up here in St. Louis, bringing in the flocks to the shop as well as low electric bills. The bike trails are hitting critical mass, and street lanes are getting flooded with both cyclists and people on bicycles. So in the spirit of last year and commuters dusting off their bikes everywhere, I'm posting the sequel to the original "Do The Test" video. I know I'm preaching to the choir, but share the video with a friend or family member, and maybe raise some awareness. I wouldn't mind hearing a few less honks or choice words on the way to work, but I definitely would like to at least make it to work.

But in other goings on... The weather really is awesome. We were sitting outside a couple evenings ago, and just decided to stay there. So we busted out the tent and some sleeping pads, and camped on our back lawn. Working in my workshop is always more cheerful when I can open some doors and get some fresh breeze in. Justin's frame is coming right along. I even have some H2O bosses on the *correct* side of the seat tube! The fork is done, the tubes are mitered and set to go. Just need to spend a good day prepping and brazing this baby! Then it's some smoothing of the welds, making some chainstays, and a few last details, and she'll be ready for paint. Maybe a couple weeks to go? We'll see how long those last details actually take...

Smoothed out fork crown

Smoothed out seat tube collar. This took a lot of careful filing to get the edges rounded off like this. Trying to keep the lugged crown and seat tube collar matching with the overall smooth filler brazing feel this bike will have.

Tubes all ready to be a frame...

And as always, check out more pics here.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Rainy Vacation, and New Things

The last two weeks have been busy and trying, so the lady and I were going to go for a nice backpacking trip in the rain. We even bought the last couple things we needed for a totally waterproof hike. But the morning that we were scheduled to head out, they were calling for some severe thunderstorms at night. I was all for a good hard rain, but didn't really need to find out how conductive my titanium plate is. So we ended up just pretending, and loaded up the gear and had a good 8-10 mile hike in the rain. I'm not exactly sure, as our map wasn't very good, and the trail wasn't marked very well, so we got lost on a number of occasions.

But thanks to a good compass, and what map we did have not falling apart in the rain, we were able to make it out, and not turn a backpack simulation into a survival trip. And we did get to see some cool things, including deer tracks, a large cat tracks tracking the dear tracks, and what appeared to be either a beaver or a fresh water otter. He took off too fast, and I couldn't get a good look at him. And we stayed comfy and dry the whole time. This whole era of waterproof breathable materials is just too cool. So after we make it back, turns out the whole thunderstorm thing was a bust. But oh well, it was a great hike, and nice to re-charge the batteries.

So with the fresh start, I got to building today with the same outlook. The botched seat tube gave me an opportunity to take a different direction. The dropouts have a double curve detail (that I just hope will show up well after paint), and the *new* seat tube collar will have a curve detail that goes along with the fork crown. I even threw a little "FB" in there for fun. It's still got some finishing touches to go, but it's pretty close. The fork blades are all evened up, so they won't hold the wheel in crooked, and they're drilled and ready for the final assembly of the fork. And once I get done with the new collar, braze it in place, and drill the waterbottle mounts on the correct side, this thing will be just about ready for a big day of fillet brazing. So I might be running a tad behind schedule, but should be smoother from here on out.

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