Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Overdue reporting

Life's getting busy again....

Pictures soon, but here's a status update.

The first joint is faired in and looks nice. The fit and angle are on the money. The seat-post binder is mounted on the seat-tube. The seat-tube, down-tube, and chain-stays are mitered to the BB. The bottom bracket itself needs cleanup. In particular the edges of the spigots need to be squared up and the chain-stay sockets adjusted to accommodate the 120mm rear spacing of a track bike. The rear forks (aka dropouts on a road bike) are installed on the chain-stays and cleaned up. The top-tube is rough fitted, but needs a few more file strokes prior to brazing. I've installed concave plates at the top of the seat-stays and just need to do the final filing of the edges to flow smoothly into the tube. So.... we're almost ready to braze things up.

But first, I decided to install stainless plates on the sides of the rear forks. The idea is to avoid paint here where it will get damaged from installing and removing wheels.

In fitting things up, a couple of issues came up: a) the plate isn't as long as the slot; b) the end of the plate sticks out beyond the top and bottom of the fork at its rear end; c) the axle tug (MKS) fits on the fork, but has no room to accommodate the plate. So, I figured to shorten the plates just a bit so the tug can fit on the end of the fork. Also, to trim the end of the plate to echo the curves of the rear fork. Then, another problem came up: if the inside plate is installed, then the tug won't work. The piece that goes around the axle has a guide that rests on the side of the fork. The rear of the tug fits snuggly on the rear of the rear fork, and won't twist to allow this guide to ride along a plate installed on the inside of the fork.

I decided to try mounting the outside plate only. Not ideal, but at least everyone passing by doesn't need to see paint damaged by axle nuts. Using three small clamps to hold the plate in place, it was time to braze.

Looking at the results, it doesn't look all that good. While others have found ways to use these stainless plates, I find them problematic. It seems like the best solution is a stainless rear fork.

In the meantime, I have to decide whether to remove the one plate, or build a new chain-stay. While I think about that, I'm going to concentrate on building a new fork. It's got a flat crown that will look much better than either of the sloping crown forks that I made. The crown has been fitted to the steerer, and the brake mounting has mostly removed. I've started fitting blades. Their sockets in the crown need to be opened up a bit.

This piece needs a good edit, but no time for that now. So let me summarize: The BB shell needs to be cleaned up and fitted for the chain-stays. I need to finish a new fork. The tops of the seat-stays need to be finished, and the right chain-stay needs to be resolved w/o stainless. Then everything can be brazed up, cleaned up, and shipped to Gordon for paint.

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