Sunday, January 29, 2012

Winter Play...

As I'm finishing another 3 day purgatory serving "the man", others have been getting out and playing.

Thanks to Mike for sending this pic of him cruising the Mohican trail system on his Groovy Kauai 650b 1x9, courtesy of Jason and his 15mm wide angle fish eye lens.

Got a cool pic you want to share with the Groovy family, send it in.  If nothing else, it makes me smile when I can't get out.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Collosial week done, moving forward...

"Our 18 month old patient will require .01 mg/kg of Epi (.1 ml/kg 1:10000) IV push circulated with cpr at a rate of at least 100 compressions per minute followed by a 2 J/kg asyncronis shock.  If Torsades persists, we will consider Mag sulfate..."

so went my week teaching pediatric advanced life support.  If it sounds like a mouthful, just be glad you're reading it and not expected to know what it means, let alone be on the opposite side of the table from this anal retentive instructor :)  It was a loooong week, spending 92 hours in the fire department and only about 8 in the shop, but I'm glad it's over.

The few hours I did have, I was able to get the steel rear end repair completed and ready for color.  This one will likely be a powder coat, so that it has increased knock around durability for it's travel heavy use.

Final parts are ordered for the bikes going to Nahbs and I'll be charging forward with those builds hard and heavy starting on Monday.

If y'all have not seen the Nahbs page yet, I've been trickling in some more pics to update the Exhibitor profile and keep me on the front page.  It's been fun looking through the hundreds of files on the laptop to find some cool bikes to put on there.  So many pics of poor quality though, I need to get a pro photographer in house to live under the porch and exist on table scraps so I can document these things before they go out the door.  Anyhoo, if ya wanna see what's on the page, there are a ton of cool builders to comb through...

See y'all soon,


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mix Mash of Work...Ti road and steel rear

I've been trying to clear my plate so I can focus on the next two builds, both of which will be traveling to Nahbs with me in March.

To move forward, I'm pushing out a Ti road bike and a steel mountain bike that needs a new rear end repair.  Once I get them out of the fixtures, I'll have a bit more breathing room.

So, a couple of pics of some of the work moving forward...

On the Ti road bike, the seat tube insert machined and welded in place, binder completed, front triangle mitered, and rear chainstays done...not a bad day.
This steel mountain bike is getting a new rear end, complete with Rohloff dropouts.  Starting with the chainstays, everything has been measured, cut and ready for dimpling to create a bit more clearance...

This little fixture is a two piece...the rear block is shaped to the outside profile of the oval stay, the inside block is machined on the centerline and shaped with a relief to provide for a gradual transition.

The final clearance....
Cutting to fit the bottom bracket...

and the beginning stages of creating the Rohloff extended dropout, soon to be smoothed, machined and finished into a seamless piece...

My parting shot when leaving for the day, a cool bus courtesey of my sis...

I'm off to work a 72 hour push at the FD, teaching 2 Pediactric Advanced Life Support classes in between, and hopefully getting a skoosh of shop work done...gonna be a busy week.



Thursday, January 12, 2012

I love my mill...

Yes, she may be old, but she's quiet, smooth, and makes me smile like a little kid.

Makes unicrown forks a breeze too  :)



Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Custom painted's in the details

Time has been passing quite fast around the shop.  I've had a number of projects in the works, but nothing that I felt especially compelled to share, as much of the processes have been detailed ad nauseum here in the past. I have had a few other builders email, wanting to know the best way to paint a suspension fork to match a it better to fully disassemble it, paint it and rebuild, if not, how do you mask it to insure full coverage without leaving any tight areas unpainted?

I've been waiting a looong time for a shipment from Fox to arrive, like months.  It seems if you do not want a trendy tapered steerer it has to be custom assembled, then year end inventory hit, then the Holidays shipping barrage, excetera excetera.  Now that they are finally here, one of the forks is going on Dave's bike.  Since the time lines have converged with the location of the show being very close to Dave's home turf, this one is gonna be in Sacremento, so I offered to paint it to match to give the bike a finished look.

I've painted a lot of sussy forks from all the manufacturers, some are easier to disassemble, some better to paint fully together; Fox falls in the latter category due to the necessity of replacing seals, tight tolerances during assembally that can mar your finish, and overall shape.

So, to get ready, the first item on the adgenda is to strip her of all the decals, wipe down with degreaser, and then sand the powder coat finish with 600 grit paper to give the base layers some mechanical grip for the coming colors. 
Once sanded, it's time to spend some quality time taping everything up.  I spend about a third of the total time it takes to paint a fork in taping prep, as the close tolerances are critical to the finished product.  Starting with the seals, I carefully place 3M thin blue line around the edge, pulling with just enough tension to nestle it down to the base level without stretching it.  To get in behind the brace, I use the tip of a sharpend spoke to gently push it down into place before applying tension to each side to set the adhesive.

The blue line is then covered with a wrap of Scotch Green mask tape, being careful set it just above the lower edge, then closing it up at the top.

Blue line goes at the top of the stantion tube, then green mask in the same process, then the stantion is covered in green tape to preserve it's coolio finish.

The top caps need to be unthreaded a turn or two, allowing just enough space to allow for a piece of blue line to pull under the edge, enabling just enough spray to get under the cap but not against the threads.  Yeah, takes a bit of practice to get it just right.  I raised it a bit here in the picture to illustrate, turned it down one notch before continuing.

 I then grabbed the calipers, measure the diameter of the inner contact points for the axles, and cut some happy little vinyl circles to mask off for the hub and thru axle areas.  More blue line and green tape over the lower knobs and a rubber plug to protect the threads of this little hole.

 Next up, it's time to shoot our color layers.  Here the base pink is applied.  You need to work the paint into the area between the stantions and the brace very carefully, turning down the inlet pressure and lightly fogging in the product from both lateral aspects to get even coverage.  Too much pressure or paint and you'll get a runny mess on the edges that will be a bear to clean up.
 For the next step, I made a little custom stencil out of some nylon hair and some vinyl tape.
 I then methodically went over the whole fork, overlapping my hairs, spraying through the stencil with an airbrush to create the darker pink overlay.
 Some more time with multiple airbrushes and some custom cut stencils gives us the cheetah is our fork with the work all sealed under a layer of clear.
 An after two more coats of clear with some intermittent sanding, dry time, and some careful mask removal, we have our matching fork.
Some tips on removing your masking...

In the small/tight detail areas like the blue line tape, it is easy to tear set paint away if you do not meticulously pull the tape back over it's self 180 degrees, so that it cuts the tape line rather than lift it. 

If you are using a Xacto knife to assist in un masking, gentle is the key word...lay the knife flat against the surface of the tape and gently slide the blade under the tape edge, then rotate up to lift.  This will prevent you from cutting into the underlying finish.

Most of all, don't get in a hurry, or you'll be revisiting parts of the process.



Sunday, January 1, 2012

Good Bye 2011...

Random shots from fabrication the last, no words  :)

See y'all next year,