Stay and Finish

Second to last day of class.  The pace was been turned up to 11.

It’s quite tiring, but very rewarding.

Here is how I started my Thursday, shaping steel tubes for my seat stays, the connection between the rear axle area to the upper part of the frame just below the seat.  Hence the name seat stay.

Since I’m building with lugs, I wanted to make these stays similar to the ones that I had on my very first road racing bike that I bought back in the ’80’s.

Seat stay Triptych

That’s the making of the left (non-drive side) seat stay.  The right side is a mirror image.

At left is the tubing to make up the seat stay.  I filed and shaped it Wednesday afternoon.  The piece next to it is a piece of a larger tube that will fit the curve that I wanted.  In the middle, the curved piece is brazed to the tube.  At right is the finished stay, being dry-fit to the seat tube lug.  A few minutes later it was brazed to the seat tube lug, making the connection permanent.

Making these was zen-like.  Almost blissful.

By the end of Thursday, the frame was 95% finished.  Today is dedicated to the finishing touches, at least as far building goes.  Custom fitting the front brake stays, putting in bosses to mount the water bottles and bag racks, trimming the head and seat tubes and starting the long process of putting the finishing touches on the brazes before I send it to a painter.  I’m looking at another 15-20 hours of detail work to file and sand the silver away so that the seams look seamless once the paint is applied.

I look forward to it.


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