Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Dateline Tuesday December 15

Just a quick update.

Linda's bike is coming along and should get packed off to the painter within two weeks. I'm currently cleaning up joints and spilled epoxy from bonding the front triangle and the chain-stays. Then the seat-stays get fitted, bonded and a little cleanup, and we can ship.

Brigette's bike is held up waiting on a stencile. He name decals weren't opaque enough against the carbon tubes - so Gordon is painting her name. He lays out the name, and has a shop computer-cut a stencil from mylar. But, until the shop gives them up, we're stuck.

I got a couple of packages from FiberGlast today. I've been assembling materials from a number of sources to start practicing vacuum bagged joints on carbon tubes. This should allow me to make a stronger & lighter carbon frame while allowing my more flexibility in frame design compared to using tubes and lugs. I hope to have a production version on display in time for the Chicago Bike Show.

I'm also waiting for some more stainless tubing to arrive. I've assembled three frames worth of Metax tubing, except for the chainstays. And, I may have found a source (which is next to impossible) for one or more sets of single-bend Metax chainstays. At least one set of this tubing will be combined with Richissmo lugs, and hopefully this frame will also be ready for the show. By the time Linda's frame is gone, everything necessary will be in stock and ready to go.

I want to do another stainless frame using Slant 6 lugs and the new Columbus XCr tubing. Unfortunately, they are only offering a 38mm down-tube to start, and the SL6 needs a 35mm. It would be possible to use a Reynolds 953 downtube, but this formulation of stainless is more sensitve to staining in the presence of salt (sweat).

I am definately doing a Slant 6 frame using a set of Columbus Life tubing. This should be pretty light. Its being created to fit a friend who rides a Serrotta Ti frame. Nice bike. But with the right paint job, I think the Slant 6 will look much sexier.

Meanwhile, I've found a blaster to strip my steel road frame. I've decided to fix a couple of cosmetic issues and give it a decent paint job. The blasting is more expensive than I expected (quote of $150) so I may need to find another source long-term. But this will get me going for now. Then I have the first steel frame I ever built with a did a beautifully aligned rear triangle, it just isn't aligned to the front triangle. This was built pre-jig. The front looks good, so the back will come off and a new one will go on in its place. Oh, and Aram's track frame is close to having its filets cleaned up and being ready for paint.

Wow... that's a lot of projects. I better break the log jam and start completing some of them.

More soon.

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