Saturday, June 18, 2005

Thursday, not Wednesday

Well, Wednesday came and passed without building. Thursday morning I called the painter to say that I wasn't going to have a frame to him on Friday.

Thursday it was time to install the top tube. It's a real trial and error struggle to make sure that the miters both fit without making the tube too short. I've learned not to miter the top tube according to the lugs. Instead, I fit the tube to the headtube and seattube. Then the lugs are trial fit. If the toptube still fits, we're good. Otherwise its time to scratch one's head and figure out what's wrong.

The upper head lug (as with the lower) is substantially big on the headtube. I don't know why, none of the other Walter pieces seem to have fit problems. But the fit dictated the use of bronze. This was another someone messy braze. I since spoke with Fred Parr. He says that with bronze, one basically is sweating a joint. Its important to heat up the whole joint at once, then add filler and let is run through. I've been trying to generally heat things up, then heat the point where the filler is being added, and pulling the filler through with heat. Next time I'll try Freddy's technique.

Once things had cooled off and been cleaned up, it was time to check alignment. Eureka!!! The front triangle is as aligned as is possible to measure with my primitive setup.

Friday night I stayed up until 2:30 getting the chainstays built and installed. The bottom line is that alignment is a real nut if one doesn't have a jigxture (jig or fixture) to hold things together for pinning. For this frame, I used a version of Suzy Jackson's beam to the dropout. The problem I had was that this was giving me a good vertical plane for the dropout, it wasn't giving me a fore/aft or angle (sideway or up/down) reference. Maybe I can build that into the beam next time.

In the end, I got one stay too far into the BB while getting its angle set and pinned. So the left stay is about 2mm shorter than the right. I have horizontal stays so this can be adjusted for, but it bugs me. I'm going to be thinking about pulling the right dropout, cutting the slot deeper, and reinstalling the dropout. This should solve the problem, but is probably harder to do than to say.

I can also enlarge the slot on the left side, but I'm not sure that 2mm is feasible.

This morning, after I finally woke up, it was time to start doing the next level of cleaning things up on the frame. Lots of filing and sanding trying to get result that is semi-presentable for painting. The results are coming along.

Setting on the stand, all the frame is missing is seatstays and brake cable hardware. I haven't decided on: a) bare cable from headtube to seat tube; b) cable and housing over same distance. As a result, I need to hold off brazing. DA!

Anyhow, I still have some more lug cleanup to do, and decide on how to align the rear dropouts, install seatstays, and put on the brake cable hardware. Then its off to the painter.

BTW I'm waiting on AJ to determine a decal estimate. I should have got the info to him sooner, but I still hope to get the decals in time to go under clearcoat now that the build is behind schedule.

Other news: I bought a BB tool for my FSA exo-skeleton BB. May have said this before, but I don't like the idea of external BB bearings. I'd rather have the weight of a heavier traditional solid BB axle. The wheels and all parts are here (thank you Yellow Jersey both for accommodating my eclectic parts tastes, and hand building some nice looking wheels.

Assuming that I solve the chainstay alignment shortly, I should be ready for the painter by next week. Cool!

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