Friday, August 28, 2009

One step down...

...many to go!

Got some good work done these last two days. The first miters were done for the front dropouts, as well as mitering the disk brake tab. Then it all went together with some brass. I think I was a little rusty after all the time off, so things went a bit on the lumpy side. But aside from a bit more work smoothing it out, it's tough as nails. (I guess tougher, as nails are usually a pretty mild steel) I will say I'm pretty excited getting this project going. So excited, I ended up waking up at 6:30 and starting into it today, just because I couldn't sleep thinking about how cool this is going to be. It's fun doing something as custom as a 650b specific mountain bike. Also, this will be my first try at a from-scratch, segmented fork design. After doing a little research, a little calculation, I called up my favorite aviation parts/supply company to order some stock 4130 steel tubing. It's pretty cool to see a few lengths of tubing that might have ended up building a piper cub, slowly turn into a rigid mountain bike fork that will have the crap ridden out of it.

(stock tubing... nothing special here)

(...but do a little miter work,)

(...check the angles,)

(...and now it's starting to look familiar.)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Paragon Machine Works

All the bits are in, and while I iron out the last details before getting out the files, let me tell you how excited I am about some small chunks of steel. First off, I am in no way sponsored by, a part of, or even get discounts from: Paragon Machine Works. But what I am, is impressed at the quality and seriousness that is taken to make some of the nicest machined braze-ons, dropouts, and other frame bits available. Not only are they cooler, smarter, stronger, and or lighter, but they're pretty enough that many call this stuff 'frame jewelry.' Competitively priced, they're making the ol' "Made in the U.S.A." tag mean something good again. If only the U.S. car manufacturers were that cool.

The reason I'm talking about it so much now, is that I've used the excuse of ordering one thing from them, to order about $500.00 of stuff from them. The sliding dropouts that helped put them on the map have now expanded to pretty much everything except the main frame tubes. And every bit is given the utmost in design and detail. So I'm happy to say that with the U.S. made True Temper tubing, flux and filler from Henry James, and everything else down to the B.B. shell made from P.M.W. this next project will truly be a "Handmade in the U.S.A." bicycle frame.

And as always, more pictures here.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Sometimes Hard Work Pays Off

Justin's frame is painted, reamed, faced, chased, frame-saved, stickered, packed, and should ship out today. Ok, so I was feeling pretty down on the whole 'hidden binder bolt' lately. It was just too much work, and a real pain in the neck. But now that it's all finished and painted, it does look pretty sweet. Not to say I'll do another one anytime soon, (or ever) but I think it is pretty cool. Thanks for being patient Justin. Hope it's not too stiff.

As always, more pictures here on my Flickr site.

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