Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Tax Time

Well, its tax time.

Now I believe we all need to give Uncle Sam our due. That's what pays for everything we've got, like roads, parks, meat inspections, airports, medical research, and military spending. But, this isn't a good year to be owing extra to Uncle Sam - unfortunately that's were I stand.

Hmmm, looks like its time to tighten the budget. One item to tighten is frame-building expenses. I spent more than I thought last year, so it's time to build and hopefully sell a frame or two to recoup some of the expenses. Of course, this leads me into needing to buy insurance. I started the dialog with the agent today.

So what else is new?

I heard from Gordon, the bike ahead of me in the paint queue has presented some unanticipated challenges. Its too early to say what impact, if any, this will have on time frames. But, Gordon was clearly bummed - and I can easily sympathize with that. So its time to send good thoughts his way.

The tubes are ordered for my neighbors track bike. It's a mixture of Deda Zero & ZeroUno w/ ZeroTre chainstays. It'll be fileted with a lugged bottom bracket. The fork crown and steerer are coming from Ceeway in England, no one here in the states seems to stock these for 1-1/8" steerers. The rest is coming from Joe Bringheli. The top-tube will be 28.6mm as will the seat-tube, but for the down-tube I'm stepping up to a 35mm tube. It seems that my neighbor weighs about 15lbs more than what he looks like, and I don't want to risk flex with him - so big down tube and heavy thick chain-stays. With a little bit of luck I can start cutting tubes in a week or so.

Sarah's bike is held up right now for a lack of pins. I've got some stainless nails for stainless lugs, but don't really want to use them here. I did, however, find a source for what appears to be the right tapered cut nails. Hopefully these will be in tomorrow or Friday so i can get on with the rear triangle. The rims and spokes should also arrive in a similar time-frame, so building can commence on them. Yeah!

It appears to be confirmed that one of my carbon frames (to be custom built) will be a prize in this year's MS150, courtesy of an angel donor. That should give me a little publicity. Fun fun.

I think that the filet joint on Sarah's bike is done, although a little bondo may be necessary before paint. I'm pretty satisfied with it given my limited experience with this form of joint. Pictures are attached, but they don't seem to be positioning within the post the way that I've asked them to.

I've also begun the slow process of polishing the stainless head-tube. Dazza had a good description of the general polishing process over on the forum today, which was helpful. Because the tube has lots of open surface compared to a lug, I employed a palm sander for some of the work. A combination of sanding (down through to 600 grit), selective use of fine swiss-cut file, and some polishing with a mop in the grinder netted the results you see. The pictures probably don't fully convey the result, it has a very soft-looking finish and feels very smooth to the touch. There a couple of spots that need to go back a grade or two in sanding, and then it all needs to be sanded down to 1000 or 1500 grit before considering serious polishing. Still, the results so far are gratifying. It's also clear that until the frame is ready for paint, there's no point in further work on the head-tube. It's too easy to bump it in the shop and mess up the work. Nonetheless, I'm looking forward to the final result.

That's all for tonight, see you next time.

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