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Thread: #6, made in France

  1. #1
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    Default #6, made in France

    Bonjour everybody,
    after a few years of regular reading of this fantastic forum, i took a deep breathe and decided to post and submit for your comments. My name is Christophe, I leave in Lyon, France. My workshop is in the basement of my family house, at the bottom of the Grand Colombier, one of the toughest climb in France.
    I am a pure hobbyist, now just starting frame #6. I learned the basics a couple of years ago, spending 2 wonderful weeks with Dave Bohm, for one of my best learning experience in my life.
    Frame #1 is great, as it was done under the supervision of Monsieur Dave. With such a master looking over your shoulder and directing you, things are easy... But the tough reality appeared when i did frame #2, which is really a collection of mistakes. This bike hopefully belongs to my wife who rides it 2 miles a year (at best)
    I 've build 3 other frames so far, slowly improving my technics, a lot of this improvement coming from reading this forum.

    Now it's time to enter into serious things : #6 will be for my pal Fred, big guy (100kgs) who wants a road bike for gravel roads. The good news is that he is very well seated on his C'dale R700, giving me a good start for the design of the bike. After long discussions with Fred, i ended up with the following, based on RS UOS lugs and tubes :
    5piR6.pdf

    Now its time to burn some acetylene and cut some metal. My workshop is in the basement of an old farm from the 12th century, meaning low ceiling, bats shit and dust.
    DSC_0469.jpg

    I'm working on a flat iron surface, no jig. So i am relatively conservative and build sub assemblies. So here are a few pics of the first steps : tacks of the BB/ST on the table, check, brazing in the stand (by the way, am i the only one to burn the jaws of the park tool stand when braing ?), re-recheck, ...

    DSC_0532.jpgDSC_0528.jpgDSC_0519.jpg

    As opposed to what i've done on #2, 3 and 4 (Note to newbies and framebuilding school students : TAKE NOTES AND PICTURES!!! when you're on your own, you'll forget everything), i now drill and braze the braze-ons before assemblig the main triangle. So here it goes with my very old drill (130kg, 10mmm drill max) for the bottle bosses and the famous 121 mm from Monsieur Sachs ' derailleur tab

    DSC_0537.jpgDSC_0536.jpg

    I'll be honore to receive your comments. That's all for now, more to come hopefully in the coming days...
    A bientot

    Christophe Saint-Pierre
    Attached Images Attached Images
     

  2. #2
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    Default Re: #6, made in France

    Great stuff.

    Good looking work space in the old farm house.
    Brian Earle
    North Vancouver, BC
    Built a few frames in my garage.

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    Default Re: #6, made in France

    Beau travail Christophe,

    continue tu es sur la bonne voie.

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    Default Re: #6, made in France

    That bike would fit me perfectly !!!

    Nothing to add other than thank you for documenting this, it's one the things I like most on this forum, along with the experienced guy to help "hold our hands" with numerous technical details.

    Looking to start ding this soon myself although my workshop will be nowhere near as located to an amazing test ground.

    Good luck with the build, looking forward to future posts.

    Cheers,


    Simon.
    Simon Hillier

    Portsmouth, Great Britain

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    Default Re: #6, made in France

    Christophe,

    To keep from burning the jaws in my park stand, I like to fold a piece of plumbers heat resistant cloth around frame tube where I clamp it in the park jaws. The heat resistant cloth is used for sweating copper pipes close to walls, so you don't burn down your house.

    I forgot to put it in my clamp once, and melted the rubber too.

    Looking Good!
    Michael Gordon
    Shop Dog Cycles
    www.shopdogcycles.com
    Highland Park, IL

  6. #6
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    Default Re: #6, made in France

    Bonjour again. Thanks for the messages so far. Not much work those past days, as i went out riding (the trap : too much time in the workshop, not enough on the saddle).
    So it was mainly about setting the posts on the surface according to the drawing, and tube mitering.

    The set up is pretty easy : BB drop, Rear end length, front end length, height and angle.

    DSC_0541.JPGDSC_0540.JPG

    I use the BikeCad templates most times, especially for the top tube, to get miters in phase. I use a method described by Dave Bohm in a post on this forum to make sure that the length of the top tube is correct (use of a long caliper and tube blocks).

    DSC_0549.jpgDSC_0553.jpg

    Then on the table, checks, checks again, and then a final check until everything seems OK

    DSC_0562.jpgDSC_0558.jpg

    Tack of the Top tube/ Head tube on the table, and brazing in the stand

    DSC_0568.jpgDSC_0569.jpg

    I'll post pics later on. Thanks for reading

    Cheers
    Christophe

    Christophe Saint-Pierre
     

  7. #7
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    Default Re: #6, made in France

    Bonjour -
    still working on the front triangle. Yestersay was mostly about MTB in the morning and braze-ons in the afternoon. For the water bosses, i can't think of a better system than an old heavy file a and Bohemian wooden block.

    DSC_0579.jpgDSC_0581.jpg

    I tried several systems for the cable stops. For a hobbyist, i think that simplicity is the best choice to avoid mistakes. My set up is then as simple as possible : a tube block and a flat iron bar to hold the cable stops in line. Palermo Cycles inspired me (check this https://www.flickr.com/photos/palerm...es/4446072181/). It works pretty well

    DSC_0582.jpg

    I started working on lug cleaning. For this, one system that i copied from Duncan cycles (https://www.flickr.com/photos/duncancycles/3796253768/) works extremely well to get a shiny surface :

    DSC_0577.jpg

    SO here i am now : HT/TT done, BB/ST done, all braze-ons done. Front triangle will be ready for brazing once i've gone through lug cleaning and prep. My very limited experience tells me ( well, I think that Monsieur Dave told me that many times too) that preparation is the key to a good joint, ie cleaning, filing, etc.. before moving on to the torch.

    DSC_0587.jpgDSC_0594.jpgDSC_0596.jpgDSC_0598.jpg


    I'll go into details of my brazing procedure in the next post (which will have to wait for a couple of weeks).

    Thank you again for this incredible forum
    A plus

    Christophe

    Christophe Saint-Pierre
     

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    Default Re: #6, made in France

    Everything looks amazing keep up the work.
    *I will pass by your house later this year. Maybe we can have a quick coffee on my way up that little hill ;) wink

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    Default Re: #6, made in France

    I found some time to do a little more work. So here it goes for the final run of the main triangle. I'll describe the procedure i'm following, which is a mixed of what I've learned with Dave, what I've read so far, and also based on my previous mistakes.... Maestros, please step in as much as you want to correct if needed.

    step 1 : I have done 2 sub assemblies so far. So i put everything on the table after cleaning/fluxing the inside of the lugs. When everything seats nicely in the fixtures, i slightly tack the backside of the seat lug, the point of the seat lug on the top tube (i also nail the lug on the top tube downside, and on the seat tube). Then i tack the head lug on the down tube and on the head tube.


    DSC_0601.JPG DSC_0602.JPG DSC_0600.JPG

    step 2 : At this stage, the down tube is held only by 2 nails in the BB. I then remove the front fixture from the table and check that the head tube is in the same plane as the seat tube. I do this with 2 cones coming from Cyclus (spare parts from their head tube reamers) and a 10mm rod (1 meter long). For this one, no correction was needed (lucky me). The frame is held firmly in the BB, and supported at 1 point under the head tube

    DSC_0604.JPG DSC_0606.JPG DSC_0607.JPG

    step 3 : As everything looks good so far, I remove the frame from the table and braze entirely the lower head lug. Unfortunately for me, in the middle of the brazing sequence, I ran out of acetylene. So i protected the joint with some clothe, wasted 2 hour to get more fuel, and came back to reflux and reheat the joint and finish it. What would you guys do in such a case ? would you do the same or clean and reflux ?
    Anyway, the final result didn't seem to be a disaster although not the cleanest brazing ever:

    DSC_0609.JPG

    step 4 : I then check again on the table with the alignement rod, knowing that the seat lug is only tacked, and the down tube is (almost) free in the BB. My lack of attention for fuel level and reheat of the DD/HT didn't have an impact on the alignement, so i'm up for the entire brazing of the seat tube :

    DSC_0612.JPG Attachment 67324

    Step 5 : back on the table with the front fixture (at this point, i don't think that i could realign the frame ) i tack the down tube to the BB, and then out for final brazing:

    DSC_0617.JPG DSC_0619.JPG


    this procedure is rather long, but each step allows some correction. My fixtures are easy to get in and out, so it is not painful at all (at least for a hobbyist).

    The main triangle is right on spot, but the shorelines are certainly not of the highest quality : cleaning to comme will tell how bad it is. This is where i need to improve my skills



    A bientot

    Christophe
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Christophe Saint-Pierre
    Flickr : https://www.flickr.com/photos/5-pi-r/

  10. #10
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    Default Re: #6, made in France

    Spent some time on cleaning the front triangle. I'd like to get to the point where after defluxing, a little brushing would be it ... but in my reality, i get full penetration (i hope) and good alignment (at least so far), but my shorelines are not totally perfect :

    The good :
    DSC_0660.JPG

    The ugly (the one that I had to reheat):
    DSC_0657.JPG

    I mostly use a small rifler for lug cleaning, but i still struggle in the concave areas. What is your preferred way to do that ? Do you use abrasive disks on a dremel or similar stuff ?

    Thanks for reading

    Christophe
    Christophe Saint-Pierre
    Flickr : https://www.flickr.com/photos/5-pi-r/

  11. #11
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    Default Re: #6, made in France

    Fantastic updates, I really enjoy viewing your process.

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    Default Re: #6, made in France

    Quote Originally Posted by christo View Post

    Now its time to burn some acetylene and cut some metal. My workshop is in the basement of an old farm from the 12th century, meaning low ceiling, bats shit and dust.
    DSC_0469.jpg
    I dig it! Nice little space with everything in it's place.
    Kristofer Henry : 44 BIKES : Made to Shred™
    www.44bikes.com · Flickr · Facebook · Instagram

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    Default Re: #6, made in France

    Christophe, I'm really inspired by what you're doing and your methods. I too did Dave's course, and he directed me to your Flickr account which described your jigless method. I'm getting close to commissioning an alignment plate here in Australia, and I've bought a set of Alex Meade fixtures to use on it. It's really encouraging to see what you're building after doing Dave's course using this method. I hope that I'll be doing similar things soon.

    Ta

    Peter
     

  14. #14
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    Default Re: #6, made in France

    Rear triangle is on its way now. i put the front triangle back on the table, and prepare the stays and dropouts. Setting the rear fixture is easy, just have to make sure that the length is correct and that the dummy axle is at the right height. I use Alex Meade dummy axles :
    DSC_0663.JPG

    Then I braze the dropouts to the chainstays. I could have gone with silver here, but i decided to use bronze instead. But my flame was a little too hot, and my fillet was not really under control (if you guys take a look at my flickr, you'll see that i need to spend a few days back with Dave Bohm to practice my bronze fillet technique). I got good cover, but a lot to remove :

    DSC_0670.JPG DSC_0672.JPG

    Then back to the table, 4 nails in the stays, and check that everything is OK in terms of tyre clearance. With 32 tyres, it looks OK , no need to crimp the stays.

    DSC_0675.JPG DSC_0674.JPG

    I then tacked the stays to the BB and brazed in the stand. But I made a mistake here : after tacking on the table with the parts in the fixtures, I didn't check the alignment of the stays to each other and the distance between the dropouts (targeting 131). I went directly to brazing, leaving the dummy axle between the dropouts. When everything cooled down, the right dropout had moved in by 5mm, and the left dropout in by 2 mm. in addition, the right stay moved down by a couple of mm. Hopefully my rear fixture is rigid enough so that the stays are not pulled in the BB (and the 2 nails per stay help too), so the length is correct. So i had to do some cold setting to get back to normal.

    DSC_0683.JPG DSC_0685.JPG

    Next time i'll do the checking and corrections right after tacking and see if it helps. I might also tack at the upper part of the stays, and start my brazing on the lateral side of the BB to avoid the stays to move in. Any advise here ?

    I'll have to clean this a little now, i was not too bad with my torch with regards to shorlines, so it should be quick before moving on to the seatsays.

    DSC_0691.JPG

    That's all for now. Thanks for reading

    Au revoir

    Christophe
    Christophe Saint-Pierre
    Flickr : https://www.flickr.com/photos/5-pi-r/

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    Default Re: #6, made in France

    Bonjour everybody-
    I haven't been very productive those days, i should speed up so that Fred and I can grind some gravel in the Alps this summer.
    I am now working on the seatstays, trying to mimic Monsieur Richard (well, actually the entire bike is a pale copy of a Sachs)... but i am not RS, and I really struggle to get to a clean/neat/symetric/looking great/fitting perfectly stays attachment, as you can see on the pics. Filling a nice looking staycap is really really difficult, i guess it's all about a perfect control of the tool, and i'm far from there. This step of the build is for me a pure experience of humility:
    DSC_0705.jpg

    Positionning the stays is a little easier thanks to the table, but the getting a nice fit on the seat lug is another challenge :
    DSC_0708.JPGDSC_0714.JPG

    I am not 100% happy with the results so far. I'm gonna let it sleep for a few days and see if i can save the job or scrap the seatstays and redo the work.

    In the meantime i'll continue my test rides of bike #5 which appears to be a very nice frame ! More picture of this on my Flickr

    DSC_0694-001.jpg

    Cheers
    Christophe Saint-Pierre
    Flickr : https://www.flickr.com/photos/5-pi-r/

  16. #16
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    Default Re: #6, made in France

    Hello all,
    slowly getting to the end of this frame. The interesting thing is that this part of the build always takes me more time than i would expect : cleaning, braze-ons, checking, etc...

    So long story short : i reworked my stay-ends and got to an acceptable situation. I used Fillet Pro to braze the stays to the seat lug, and i have done a little mess there, as on the picture : an ugly blob below the left cap stay, and i revealed a gap between the lug and the top tube. Also, after soaking and a little brushing/filling, i got pits in the fillet. I think that i screw up with heat control, as i use fillet pro only rarely, and it is a little more difficult to me to get it to melt exactly like I want.

    DSC_0718.jpg DSC_0719.JPG

    More filling and cleaning is showing more pits in the fillet. Not sure if i leave it like that (my preference so far) or if i drop a little bit of 56%. Any advise here ?

    DSC_0721.JPG DSC_0743.jpg

    On a much more positive side, i was very happy with the brake bridge miter (a 20cm half round file is perfect for a 16mm stay). 2 rounds of 56% silver inside the bridge, little heat all around, et voila :

    DSC_0730.JPG DSC_0737.JPG

    Finally, Fred wants to carry a panier occasionnaly, so here it goes (this time i used 56% silver in place of fillet pro for which i need to practice a little more on scraps) :

    DSC_0747.JPG DSC_0751.JPG

    DSC_0748.JPG DSC_0755.JPG


    I need at least half a day to complete the frame now (more cleaning/reaming/...) and then i'll move on to the fork.

    Take it easy

    Christophe
    Christophe Saint-Pierre
    Flickr : https://www.flickr.com/photos/5-pi-r/

  17. #17
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    Default Re: #6, made in France

    Here it goes for the final run before painting : the fork. With a nice story for the beginners : check your parts ....

    I use the standard way for the fork : steerer to crown, dropouts to blades, and final assembly. I was more than happy with my bronze fillets this time for the dropouts, as on the picture below : well controlled, easy work to remove the excess bronze.

    DSC_0767.JPG DSC_0770.JPG

    I then cut the blades to length, using a straight and dished wheel, filing the blades until the wheel seats nicely and equally between the blades. For this one, i over corrected and ended up with a fork a little over 1mm shorter than expected.The new Talabot file than i recently found was really agressive, and i cut to much of the blades. Anyway, i decided to move forward, and put everything in my crappy fork jig, with 2 nails per blade, and a bad feeling about the total fork length :

    DSC_0771.JPG DSC_0773.JPG

    DSC_0777.JPG

    And then the real mess : when aligning the dropouts with the ParkTool gauge set, one dropout just snapped off the blade. The second was just as easy to disassemble as the first.

    DSC_0780.JPG

    We have a lot of words and expressions in French for those situations. After cooling down, i took a good look and noticed that the bronze only sticked to the blades and almost not to the dropouts for a simple reason : i just realized that the dropouts i used were made of stainless steel !

    So here it goes for a little rework with Silver this time. And I got back to the targeted length by adding a small steel ring between the dropout and the blades.

    DSC_0794.JPG DSC_0802.JPG

    For the crown race, I carefully use a Cyclus reamer, with lots of cutting oil

    DSC_0786.JPG

    Frame and fork are now done, ready to go to painting :

    DSC_0801.JPG DSC_0795.JPG

    I recently found a painter nearby (close to St-Etienne for those who know a little about old bike industry in France). More shots when i get it back from there.

    Cheers
    Christophe
    Christophe Saint-Pierre
    Flickr : https://www.flickr.com/photos/5-pi-r/

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    Default Re: #6, made in France

    Just think about how fortunate you are for having discovered your mistake with the drop outs now rather than out on the road. You'll never make that mistake again. Well done.

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    Default Re: #6, made in France

    You're absolutely right, Curt. I also checked that the rear dropouts are not stainless (it would have been really messy to fix).
    Christophe Saint-Pierre
    Flickr : https://www.flickr.com/photos/5-pi-r/

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    Default Re: #6, made in France

    You are a determined learner and this is commendable. What you share, comes back 1000 times in knowledge or so we hope.
    Go man go.

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