This bike has been fighting me every step of the way. One step forward, two steps back. But we’ll get there.
Honestly, I’d rather have it fight me instead of it being smooth sailing. That way I can get a feel for what really needs to be done at each step.
Here it is, basking in the morning light on my desk, ready to be put in the jig and brazed together. Or so we thought.
Seven hours later it finally happened.
Although everything fit smoothly at this stage and lined up with all of the dimensions and angles of my full scale drawing, once the jig was set up with the exact same dimensions and the lugs and tubes were in place, very little lined up the way it should have.
This was taken right after I had to cold set the bottom bracket, the round fixture at bottom center where the spindle between cranks and pedals pass. Cold setting sounds glamorous (does it?), but it meant nothing more than me placing one tube against my chest and pulling the other tube tightly towards my chest. That helped close the angle between the tubes, as well as open up the connections a bit more so that the silver used in the brazing process would be able to completely surround the tubes.
Right now the main triangle is in the jig. It is now irreversibly joined at the five joints. I completed the brazing at the end of the day, with just enough time to close of the tanks for the oxy-acetelyne torch, complete a safety check and have the instructors lock the door behind me.
They sure are a patient crew. One, a custom bike builder for 40 years, the other a structural engineer with close to a decade of experience. Plenty of brains spending hours stumped at how stubborn this bike has been.
To the left are the chain stays, which will be connected tomorrow, as will the seat stays, which will complete the rear triangle. At that point it will be a bike frame. After that, it’s a couple of days of finish work to make it a rideable bicycle.
That is, once I’m done with all of the other frame prep work and cleaning to get it ready for paint.
I’ve been thinking of a custom label to put under the clear coat once it has been painted. Different options.
After today, it may just be “Stubborn”.