All the weatherproofing I did this summer seems to really be working out here at Vallie Components. My shop floor has never been dryer in the cold November rain. Heaters are gonna heat, and I'm able to focus on work.
Back at the start of the month I had a stem body all welded up, and just needed to add some binders to it. After I receieve my Paragon M6 binders, I realized how big and heavy they are. There was no way I would put 6 of them on a stem. I guess there is a reason most people only use two of them..
This prompted me to get some 3/8" bar stock and make my own M5 ones. I made them .75" long, and they have threading halfway up them. It didn't take to long for my lathe to spit them all out. Then I mitred them for the OD of the 31.8mm handlebar clamp tube. As you can see here, I fucked up the first one, mitering a bit too deep, and exposing the threads.
After these were ready to go, I had a bit of time to kill, as I didn't have any suitable brass flux. Ross @ 78 Bike Co hooked me up though and gave me a small amount of Gasflux type B paste to get me on my way. Thanks Ross, you are too kind.
I then had to figure out how to hold 2 small binders AND 4 tiny binders in position during brazing. The two M6 binders were pretty easy, and I made a weighted plate to hold them down in the vise:
The four tiny M5s were a bit more daunting. I couldn't use gravity unless I was doing 2 at a time, and I wanted to do them all at once. I experimented with a threaded clamping jigs, and even a couple sprung ones, but it was hard to get all 4 binders perfectly aligned. Then I got smart about it. I just drew what needed to be done in CAD, and made the idividual pieces. Sometimes I actually forget I can make things so accurately. Here's the setup I came up with, of course this fixture ONLY works with this tube diameter, THESE binders with the depth of mitre I chose. I love excruiciatingly specific fixtures just as much as adjustable ones:
I was a bit spooked about melting aluminum, and galling of threads etc, but it all turned out ok in the end. After a few hundred file strokes and some emery cloth polishing, it was done. I even turned down an old Anodized purple BMX bar end plug to be a 1" specific top cap. The only thing left to do was paint it..
It always seems that just when I am feeling good about things, and looking forward to the future, the bicycle gods smite me to have a little fun.
You see, I was invited to the Premier of the MTB film 'Where the Trail Ends' and rode my trusty truckbike downtown to the theatre to see it. The entire time I was at the movie, I was thinking about my bike. How it was unsafe downtown on a Friday Night.. I was nervous in my seat as I watched what was probably the most epic Big Mountain MTB film ever made. When I came out of the theatre, sure enough, my bike was fine. What was I worried about? I hopped on, and began the ride home.
Sometime into the ride I heard a creak. I tried to diagnose it while softpedalling out a separated bike path, but couldn't put my finger on it, and chalked it up to SPD pedals. At the next light I was trackstanding waiting for the light to change. When it did, I stood up and mashed as per usual.. However my bike didn't accelerate as it normally does, and it actually felt like I had slipped on leaves.. Then my chain came off and I was left straddling my bike in the middle of Main St. wondering what happened. .. well, THIS happened:
As I sat there on the bus on the way home, I was super bummed. Not only did I have to take the bus, but the stem I had been working on was now for a broken bicycle. Immediately I got a hold of my friend Morgan, who (lucky for me) was selling his identically sized KHS Flite 100. So here's my new commuter:
While Morgan sees this bike setup to be perfect, it leaves a lot to be desired for me. I just cannot ride it like this, so I've basically got to strip it completely (even the stickers) and build it up to my own spec. INCLUDING my newly painted custom stem. This is sort of where I'm at now. I've also got got another bike build on the go too. I'm working on my 2007 Seshin Megatron BMX, trying to get it down from 27.31 lbs to a more modern 25lbs. Its pretty fun being able to attack every component on it with my milling machine.
More on this soon. I'm pretty excited to have a double new bike day on the horizon. Especially one where I don't add anything to the stable.
|< Prev||Next >|