Friday, May 23, 2008

Jason's Bigwheel almost ready to roll :)

I paid my penance today for taking a day off to travel on up at 0345 to put a full day in at the shop and push Jason's frame through fabrication. Almost made it...gave up at 1900 to go home and get some grub ;)

Started the day off working on mitering up the seat stays...

I marked off the cut lengths from my fixture measurements and then took about three slow cuts to hit the stays right on the money. I struggled for a time with the Anvil seat stay fixture, as it was very different than the set up I had used for years. Kinda feel like I'm rocking it out now.
The stays fit up nice and tight, with good contact the entire circumference of the seat tube. Once I was satisfied with the fit, I tacked the stays in place to the dropouts at the top and bottom of the mitered slot. Tacking in the vertical areas keeps any lateral movement or pull from occurring and adding more stress to the piece.

Once the stays are tacked firmly, I silver braze in the stainless dropouts, giving them a nice scallop finish that will melt right into each other and give a super smoooth appearance once coated in some liquid love (paint, that is). One of the reasons there is an up charge for the sliders is that not only are they expensive, but it takes mucho silver to fill the ends for good adhesion and material removal for the scalloping.

Once the rear end is ready to be mated to the front triangle, I mark and drill the vent holes for the seat and chain stays to allow for gas expansion during welding as well as moisture evaporation for the longevity of the frame. These also allow me to coat with rust inhibitor once the frame is completed. A quick punch set and then drill it out with a #2 center drill and a bit of cutting fluid.
I weld up the rear end in the fixture to insure that all is held tight and straight. There are two little spots I cannot reach in the fixture that require removal of the frame to finish; under the inside of the seat stay and the fixture side of the non drive chain stay. The rear spacer is kept in place during this finish work to insure the heat does not shrink the rear spacing.

The frame then gets an oval stay brace placed and I'm outta energy! Still have to put in two Rohloff cable guys on the chain stay and braze on the hydraulic brake tabs and she'll be ready for post fabrication work; tapping, facing, reaming the seat tube and paint prep.

Kalten stopped by to briefly help out with prepping the Luv Handles for assembly by sanding off the mill scale from a few grip sections...

You can see he has a ways to go ;)

Mike's X frame is all repainted and ready for assembly, so I thought I'd share a few pics. This is a Ti 29er X frame that Bill fabbed up last year as his first bike in a long time. It took a beating in the last 365 days so now it is repainted and ready for another season of action.

I picked up Chris's tubing for his road bike build, some very nice Dedda Heat treated pieces that are uber thin....65/.45/.60 (that's hundreths of a millimeter folks) . Gonna have to keep the bead moving fast on that stuff.

Hope y'all have a good holiday weekend...I'll be serving the public at the FD Saturday and Monday and in the paint booth Sunday.



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