Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Catching Up

This week has seen some progress. Carbon 1 is in the paint shop. They should call me in a day or two to apply the decals. I'm hoping to have this one built up by next weekend. It'll have a blue/yellow/red stripe - the colors of a local racing club. Carbon 1 will be built up with:
- Record rear derailer
- FSA compact front derailer
- Chorus Cassette
- Cane Creek integrated headset with tall collar
- Deda Power compact crank
- FSA Platinum Ti BB
- Cane Creek brakes with Ti hardware
- Deda Newton Stem
- Deda 215 handlebar
- Deda Super Carbon Seatpost
- Sella Itala SLR 135 w/ Ti rails
- Deda Tape (probably blue and yellow)
- Campagnolo Zonda wheels (I have some Ksyrium SL3's in reserve is the Zonda's are too heavy :) eh)
So, this should build up to a fairly competitive machine.

Progress continues on 010106, and some photos are included above. The first shot gives the overall look of the frame in the jig. The next couple of shots show the rear dropouts. I've started to shape them - but will finish filing after alignment/brazing/cleanup is done. I'm going for a crisp angular look.

Next are some shots of the BB. This is post soaking (to remove the flux) - and clearly not all the rust has been cleaned off yet. Then there are some headtube shots, and a picture of the attachment of one seat stay.

The seat stay is a story in itself. This is the first time I've tried to use a top eye. For those who don't know, this is a solid plug of metal which is brazed into the end of the seatstay as a way of finishing it. Anyhow, I blew this first attempt.

I got the stay and plug put together and cut to length. I wanted an effect where the end of the top eye was rounded and the backside hollowed out so that it just seems to grow out of the seat lug. After working the top eye to fit like this, I fluxed up both ends and put a ring of silver into the bottom of the stay.

Unfortunately, when the stay was fluxed up, it was hard to tell which side of the top eye was which. I didn't even notice this, and apparently thought I knew which side was which. Whoops! I brazed the bottom end fine (the top was pinned to the seat lug). Then I started heating the top. As the flux became transparent, it became obvious that the stay was on backwards.

At this point, a decision had to be taken: Reheat the bottom and turn things around, or braze the top and file the top eye to a more normal profile. I don't like heating up the dropouts or stays too many times. Its easy to distribute the heat unevenly and cause a bent stay that throws alignment off. So, I chose function over esthetics. There will be another chance to produce the top eye I want.

Looking at the photo of the seat cluster, you'll see that most of the excess metal is removed from the top eye and now I can work on creating a nice flat taper. I used silver to attach the stay to the seat lug. Some people recommend against this, but I flow 56 silver right where the top eye and lug touch, then use Fred Parr's special filet silver to build up around that. So far, this is a winning combination - no problems.

The macro photo with flash hide nothing. Believe me when I say the edge (which isn't yet done) of the joint looks much better in real life. I think this is going to end up being a very attractive joint yet.

The other point of interest is that my joints are requiring little cleanup - after flux cleanup they have nice crisp edges. This is a point that required practice and experience to achieve. I'm not perfect yet, but I'm pleased with my progress.

Well, that's it for now. More soon.

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