Sunday, September 27, 2009

Not much left to go...

A few shots for ya as the frame gets done.
Loving the drops, but not as much as...
The seat cluster!
All those points come together quite nicely. I'm diggin the semi-wrapped seatstays points- a first for me!

The beauty of a lugged frame.

This was my favorite shot. The lighting is perfect, the angle, the transitions between hard and soft outlines...the freakin fly on the top tube! I was all set to make this my new header picture for this blog too!
Nature can be a know.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tune in for the dropouts

OK, I'll admit it...I'm a bit obsessed with rear ends.
Of bike frames! Get your mind out of the gutter already.
Anyway, rear ends, or rear forks, or as most people call them- dropouts. The dropouts are key to completing the whole look of a frame- especially on a fixed gear bike. Way too often you see a great custom frame ruined with cheesy premade drops that don't match the angles of the frame. This isn't to say there aren't some pretty nice drops out there, but if you want it done right.....

Towards that end, here's where Israel's drops begin- in a sheet of 3/16" 4130 steel. Much stronger than the 1010 steel most drops are made from. Three hourse of grinding, drilling, and filing nets us these (this is usually where I cut myself and today was no exception- a little blood in every frame, free of charge!)
How it looks about 30 seconds after the torch is shut off. I leave the seatstay tab a little wide so it can be shaped to the perfect angle later.

Stage one complete. Notice how the line from the top edge of the drop flows perfectly into the line from the chainstay scallop. When painted you won't be able to tell where the chainstay ends and the dropout begins.....that's money baby!

The Quality Control inspector agrees!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A new bike is born

Sorry for the delay, but for once it wasn't my fault- we've been waiting for a new modem since ours decided to self destruct (one month out of warranty of course) and that's kept me off line.
Didn't keep me out of the shop though!
Here we have Israel's new fixed gear just waiting to be cut and welded- all True Temper tubes. The first step is tube inspection- they are cleaned thouroughly inside and out and inspected for defects. Then the butted sections are marked and the bows (all tubes are a tiny bit bowed from the factory) are placed in the right orientation so they won't affect frame alighment down the line. Were talking less than a millimeter here- but it all adds up.
Here are the tubes laying on the frame drwaing so I can mark the cut lines on them- making sure all the butted areas are in the right place for maximum strength.

The first miter! 59.5 degrees to be exact.

Fork crown time. The points have been shaped to better match the lugs and a little design is drawn on per Israel's request.

A little lightning carved in and the crown brazed on. This will be a very subtle detail, one of those things you wouldn't see at first, but still pretty cool.

Fork's done!

Next up, custom dropouts for a custom bike.