Thursday, September 20, 2007

Tuesday - D-Day

Tuesday was my D-Day. I had an appointment to drop two frames off with Duane for paint. Only there was a problem with the Path Racer.

Stronglight cranks (until recently) used their own proprietary crank pullers. I used to have one and believed it was still around. I could remember what it looked like and approximately where to find it in my old tools and components.

So, post shakedown, I started taking the Path Racer apart. When it was time to pull the cranks, a quick search found my Stronglight puller. Only, it was a Sugino puller. URGH!!!!! So the cranks are still in place (everything else is off). Apparently Stein is the only tool maker to still offer a Stronglight puller, thankfully they do. So I ordered one and a TA old-style puller as well. But until they arrive, the bike can't go to the painter.

Therefore it was time to come up with plan B. My first-ever frame was built without a jig or alignment table. The trick to this is to put a beam across the seat tube and either the head tube or down tube. Because the seat tube doesn't generally have the same diameter as these other tubes, shims must be used to keep the beam parallel with the centerline of the frame. Then the dropouts can be located laterally from the beam with a ruler.

I apparently calculated my shims wrong and ended up with a mis-aligned rear triangle. URGH!!!! From this I went on to build my next bike nice and straight. Now my frames rarely need a tweek of anything on the alignment table. Even when a tweak is required, it is in the build sequence and not afterwards. Knock on wood that things continue this way.

About 4 months ago, I cut out the rear triangle from frame numero uno and started over. This time withe nice stainless Henry James drop-outs. Even though this largely completed the frame, it's been sitting and waiting for final bits and cleanup.

Meanwhile, I have assembled a straight leg fork for this bike, with a polished crown and polished tips.

On Sunday I began final prep on this bike so that it could go to Duane's with the Randonneur. This included: thinning lugs; mounting a brake bridge on the seat stays; cleaning lug edges; polishing the dropouts; filing and sanding excess filler around the H20 mounts, double checking alignment, honing the seat and head tubes, milling the head tube, etc.

This kept me busy through Monday evening. Tuesday if was off to Duane's. Jody was there to help with color choices. Janet had already chosen a blue in the decals for the rando bike. Duane will use a slightly darker shade to outline the fancy Prugnat lugs. It should be pretty when done.

One the other bike, Jody helped steer us to a nice sage green metallic. We're going with a fairly fine grain to the metallic, and using silver lug lines. The silver will hopefully work well off of the polished stainless and the silver lettering in the down tube decals.

So it's time to clean up the shop again, and then start work on Charlies little carbon racer.

I took one of the Nervex arms with the stripped out pedal threads and gave it a quick polish. It looks nice. Clearly a better polish job is warranted, although it won't be possible to make them like new as there are some obvious nicks in the arms. Meanwhile, I drilled it out at a 150mm length and threaded it for the pedal. Next the old end will be cut off, the shape cleaned up with a file and sandpaper and then a real polish job. I figure the two arms are going to take a couple of days by themselves.

That's it for today - see you soon.

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