Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Slowly Catching Up

1) Check out House Industries at - good stuff.
2) Also read about Suzy of Little Fish Bicycles - quite a multi-talented women who convinced any number of folks that they too could learn to build frames.

3) Step by step, things are getting better.

On the personal front, I've managed a couple of rides in a row now without disc problems.  This is a win and a sign of improvement. that puts a smile on my face.

Currently I have a couple of steel frames under construction, hopefully I can get some pix soon.  One is a small MTB for my youngest son.  Fillet brazed with Cycle Design's LFB - interesting stuff with which to work, and I'm still getting the feel for it.  One thing I'm experimenting with is using Metax (an early Columbus version of Stainless tubing) for the chainstays.  Lots of careful timely cleaning is required before brazing this stuff to make sure of a good joint.

The other is a race bike for a rider who is strong in crits.  He's fair sized, so it uses 2XL tubes.  That's 31.7mm diameter for top and seat tubes and 25mm for the down tube.  Should be plenty stiff.  This one has a lugged BB w/ filet joints everywhere else.

I'm also getting a carbon frame ready for paint and should have finished pictures pretty soon.  So lots going on.

Meanwhile, plenty of maintenance needs doing.  The fuel line of Kevlar hoses sprung a leak, so after trying to repair it (hard to find small enough repair nipples), I went ahead an ordered new hoses and flash-back arrestors.   At the same time, I ordered a repair kit for my torches valves.  It's been dropped on the floor, and I think the O2 valve leaks when shut, costing me expensive O2.  Unfortunately, this is on back order so I'll hve to refill my oxy tank tomorrow.  Side note to this, my local welding supply is of little to no use regarding brazing supplies, or my torch (Smith aircraft torch) setup.  Even when I offer them the opportunity to order what isn't in stock.  I guess that I'm just too small a bit of business, but it also keeps me guilt-free when I order over the I-net. 

I've also ordered some plumbing for a small air compressor (like for a brad nailer) I own.  I'd like to start learning to paint frames via airbrush, and the first step is a clean reliable air supply.  BTW, anything larger than an airbrush starts a slippery slope: 1) buy a good spray gun; 2) which requires a bigger compressor; 3) demanding 220V circuit in the garage; 4) which is dependent on a new panel and upgrading house to 200 amp service.  I figure, by the time a I put together a basic spray booth with all the above, moving to spray guns would cost me at least $5K to start - which isn't in my current budget.  So, I'll start with with airbrushes, and working out doors - probably with water based paints. 

More soon.