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Thread: A Father-Daughter Build Thread

  1. #21
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    Default Re: A Father-Daughter Build Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by shirk View Post
    ... I am more the type to leave it raw and rough and ride it till it brakes and move on to the next one, no patience for soaking flux and hand filling the fillets. I love the idea of practicing a joint a day I need to do it.
    That's definitely the smarter way to go about it! When it's just a hobby and the point is spent time, the soaking and finishing is weirdly enjoyable, I think. (I'm probably different from most in that I like tinkering with bikes more than I like riding them.) I do envy your just-ride-the-damn-thing attitude, though!


    Quote Originally Posted by claritycycler View Post
    Myself as well, thanks a lot for taking the time to share your process.
    For sure. It's selfishly helpful, too... Knowing I'm going to have to explain things in detail is making me really stop and think about what I'm doing as I go along. Thanks for following the progress!

    -Chris

  2. #22
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    Default Re: A Father-Daughter Build Thread

    Moving forward. Steps for today:

    Ö
    12. Check Frame Alignment
    13. (Align Frame if Necessary)
    Ö


    I only recently purchased my little alignment table. Up until my last couple frames, Iíd been relying on my fixtures and the various string/straightedge/frame-alignment-gauge methods to check alignment. The classroom at UBI housed a full-size BB-tower style alignment table; in both of my courses it served as a very heavy coffee table.

    I think the attitude there is that if you use good fixturing and processes, an alignment table isnít really necessary. I think I understand the wisdom in that. One of my favorite walk-around-town activities is one-eyed-squinting at the rear ends of production bikes that I see locked up to racks. Yikes. At least in terms of alignment, the bar isnít set very high. And really, I donít know enough about bikes to know whether any of it matters or not. Especially for the types of bikes that I build and ride.

    So, I ďalignĒ my frames to a level that my perfectionism will accept. Which--given that Iím new to making bicycles--is a pretty loose tolerance. Iíve put a couple of my scrapped frames on my little table and felt the amount of force that it takes to move a head tube even a half-millimeter. A triangle made out of tubular steel is shockingly strong. In essence, Iíve quasi-decided that: A. if something needs mild correction, it isnít worth me yanking the hell out of my frame to correct it; and B. if something needs major correction, I should probably just start over. So--as of right now--ďaligningĒ my frames is really just a way to gain a little feedback as I go along. I'll nudge dropouts, but that's about it. I use the alignment process as a tool for improving the work on my next frame, not as a way to correct my current incompetencies. I hope that makes sense.

    With that said, hereís what I check and how I check it. (Note: I didnít take photos of this until after Iíd finished the fillets, but I checked the frame before I started filing. Nevermind the shine for now!)












    First, I face the BB shell with my Park Tool facer. The Paragon shells are supplied .5mm long, which Iíve found to be about perfect for the amount of distortion I get at the BB while brazing. Taking off .25mm from either side results in a full, fresh cut around the BB.

    Once faced, I re-scribe the BB centerline onto the bottom of the BB, using my calipers. Then I mount the frame onto the alignment table. I use a little surface gauge/scratch/probe/thing and set it to meet the centerline. Then I compare this height to the height of the axle center.
















    Next, I set my previously-mentioned Compass gauge to the height of the surface scratcher. I use this gauge to check my head tube and seat tube ends.
    On the table, I found that my head tube was off-center by about 1mm, to the drive side. My axle center was off about 1mm as well (but to the other side). The head tube showed no twist, though, and the seat tube was fine. I make mental notes.

    Next, I take the frame off the table and clamp it in my vise. I throw some Park H-tools into the dropouts and check for parallelism. (Iíve never had even a slight problem here, for whatever reason.) Then I place a true wheel into the dropouts. I check (using a straightedge held against the head and seat tubes) the top of the rim for center (keeping in mind that my head tube is off-center and so this reading will be skewed). I also check the distance between both chainstays and the rim. And finally I check the dropout spacing. Everything here jived with the readings on my table. If they didnít, Iíd have to figure out what was off (other than what I already know to be off).









    Finally, I step back and do the fling-the-wheel and one-eyed-squint thing. Better than most bikes I see on the street, which is good by me.

    I make the conclusion that the dropouts need moving 1mm each, back to center. Iím going to leave the head tube alone for now, and check it again after I tack the mixte-style stays in place. Mostly out of curiosity.

    With the dummy axle in place, I give the chain stays their 1mmÖ nudge.

    Once more on to the table and then I call it good.

    If youíre curious, I did put the little sample Cleary bike up on the table, too. Letís just say that Iím happy with how my frame compares. Or that--more likely--none of this mattered. Like, at all. Especially on this little bike.

    Like I said, feedback and perfectionism appeasement.

    Thatís it. Next Iíll finish the main fillets and begin working on the seat stays.

    -Chris

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    Default Re: A Father-Daughter Build Thread

    Onward.

    Ö
    14. Finish Main Fillets
    Ö



    To finish my fillets, I follow the method described in these two links:

    Steve Garro: Polishing Fillet Brazes
    Dave Kirk: Fillet Show Bike

    I start with round files, moving from larger to smaller. The largest file takes out all of my little bronze-dime edges; the medium and small smooth everything out. The smaller the file, the closer I get to the edge of the fillet, and the lighter I press. I avoid filing on the tube itself--I (try to) only file the fillet. Thereís a thread in this forum where Doug Fattic describes the filing stroke itself. Iíll have to dig it up--very helpful. Basically, I work in a short, almost side-to-side pushing motion as I file.











    Next, I use a piece of vinyl hose (with a wooden dowel shoved into the center for rigidity) wrapped with 80-grit emery cloth to blend everything together. Here again, I avoid sanding on the tubes as much as I can.

    To finish up, I go back over everything with my smallest round file, hitting any spots that need touching up. And finally, I use strips of 80-grit emery cloth for a final polish and to blend the edges into the tubes.

    As I work through the steps, a periodic swipe with some red Scotchbrite flattens everything out and helps reveal areas that need working on. On the BB, Iíll sometimes use my Dremel equipped with a little sanding drum (the same one that I used on my dropouts, earlier) to work on the nooks where filing is almost impossible.













    And thatís that. I know some people dislike filing fillets. I love it. Blast the newest album and have at it. My favorite evening of any build, by far.

    -Chris

  4. #24
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    Default Re: A Father-Daughter Build Thread

    Good stuff...Iíve always liked making things for and with my kids. I believe that when they observe you ďmaking/building/fixingĒ things; whether itís woodwork, artwork, cooking, sewing, mechanical repairs, etc., that they will more likely not be apprehensive about exploring and trying to ďmakeĒ things by themselves as well.
    rw saunders
    everything is connected

  5. #25
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    Default Re: A Father-Daughter Build Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by rwsaunders View Post
    ... I believe that when they observe you “making/building/fixing” things... that they will more likely not be apprehensive about exploring and trying to “make” things by themselves as well.
    That's the hope! This morning before we headed off to school, I threw a wheel into the frame and held it on the ground for my daughter to stand over. She observed that it was "Bigger than my purple bike! Because I'm growing?", which was pretty cool.

    -Chris

  6. #26
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    Default Re: A Father-Daughter Build Thread

    Hereís how things stand:







    Iím calling this one 33% done. Makes sense in my head. Main frame... then seatstays, bridges, braze-ons... then fork & stem.

    A couple things Iíve been meaning to mention:

    1. Iíve left the seat tube long for now for two reasons. First, my jig only goes so short! And second, Iím not entirely sure what Iím doing for a binder/slot/collar on this bike yet. (Normally, I would have brazed the binder and at least drilled the pucker hole before connecting everything.)

    2. I ended up going with a 68mm BB shell, 120mm rear spacing, and 16" (305 BSD) wheels. I wish I knew more about BMX parts, but I think I can make this work. Brakes are still up in the air a bit.

    3. I did in fact use the aforementioned ďseat staysĒ as chainstays. I also found a shorty 9-6-9 double-butted top tube to use as the down tube. Nice and light so far. Thanks to Jon in that Mentor thread for his advice.

    My next step is the seat stays / top tubes. Iíve been pondering these (along with brake mounting, bridges, etc.) the entire time Iíve been working on this little frame. I think Iíve got a plan.

    Definitely not going to finish both the Daughter and Father bikes before the New Year. Thatís ok. As long as Mathildaís is painted by mid-February. The other bike can come later.

    Back soon,
    Chris

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