Thursday, January 05, 2006

Has it been a month already?

Time flies.

It's been a month since the last post. Holidays, work, curling, family; it all adds up. So tonight we'll have a few updates, and then try to get on a more regular schedule of posting.

My jig is up and operational. For now, I'm experimenting with using it in a vice (vertically) and with lying on a table. I hope to have a trunnion for the back soon so that I can mount it in the Park stand.

It seems like the jig totally transforms the process of fitting tubes. Because they are not fitted one at a time - then brazed, we get to see the fit of the whole before brazing. It's also much easier to ensure that the fitted joint follows the plan. Working above a drawing is fine, but there's a lot of futzing around to make sure that the tubes parallel the plan and fit at the joints. I've actually started my current frame by mitering the top tube - which is backwards from my normal process. Tonight the seat tube will be fitted and tomorrow night the downtube. Then the front triangle can be brazed up out of the jig and we'll move to the rear triangle.

I'm also about to start a carbon (shock and horrors) from a kit by Deda. Actually, I'm going to try two kits. The first is a preformed monocoque front triangle to which seat and chainstays are attached. The second is a tube and lug kit that allows for some customization of fit. The idea is to not fight the currents. That is, I'd like to make a little money to support my frame-building. My guess is that these frames will be easier to sell at premium prices than steel (at least until such time as I establish a reputation as a great steel frame builders). I've already got 2 orders and a team interested in a common team bike. We'll soon know how good an entrepreneur I am. In any case, these frames will be sold under their own moniker in order to make sure that they don't undermine the values of my steel frames.

What else? A Park stand is now mounted to the workbench. My (mini) drill press is almost shaken apart from cutting tubing. It seems like a standard hole saw works as well or better than the fancy cutters I've tried. The edge of the cut needs some de-burring with a file when done with a hole saw, but the saw goes through the tube much faster than the cutters. I haven't given up looking for a better cutter, but so far this is where I'm at.

Kirk Pacenti has a nice old mill available for a reasonable price, but now isn't a good time for the investment, there's no space in the garage, and it weighs over half a ton. I keep telling myself that when I'm ready, another good deal will come along.

Well, it's time to get in the shop before going to curling.

See ya soon.

No comments: