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Lo Pro or Funny frame ?

Rossin fork crown for a LoPro

Rossin fork crown for a LoPro

Rossin BB shell

Rossin BB shell

Rossin BB shell with filing

Rossin BB shell with filing

After much too-ing and fro-ing over a number of years my regular customer and visual artist Bundit has finally decided he wants me to build him a Lo Pro frame in the style of a Rossin.
He is so enamored with the brand that he has sourced original pantographed frame fittings. We have a fork crown, a Bottom Bracket shell and a set of rear chainstays with caps already joined. These haven’t been rescued from a crashed frame but from far flung Romania. They need a fair bit of work to get to a usable state but I am getting there. Based on sizing and preferences arrived at through other modifications I have done for Bundit in the past this will be a single speed frame for the road. It will run a 650 front wheel and a front brake. Given the BB shell had guide slots cast into it for the cables, and we werent going to need them I decided to fill these with brass before commencing work. Well, not quite. There is a lot of work involved in building a frame before I do any joining of tubes. I also had to do some serious work on the crown to make it fit. Rough wouldn’t be the word I would use here and I have come to the conclusion that these aren’t actually pantographed using the said machine as we might have always assumed but that the lettering is cast into them from the start. Anyway I will leave you with some pictures and get back to it. This has been a long time coming and the worst thing about it might be that it could be the last job I do for Bundit when it is finished. We shall see

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Posted by on May 31, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

A replica Major Talylor stem

This time last year I was putting my exhibit for the inaugural the Hand made Bicycle Show in Melbourne together. I had started out to build two replica stems from the 50’s and 60’s. One was the ATP Raygun stem, the other was a Major Taylor style adjustable stem. I only managed to finish the Raygun stem and put the bits for the other aside. A couple of months ago a customer picked up a repair and inquired about an adjustable stem. I dragged out the half finished bits and we decided that when I had time I should continue. The show came round again and while the stem is till not fully finished it is only short of plating so I figure what the heck. Last year I had a naked frame there. This year I will have a naked stem and once the show is over I will send it off for nickel. . If you want to see mine and the latest offerings from other Australian builders then drop by stand 20 at the handmadebicycleshow Australia . The Meat Market Craft center in North Melbourne April 26th to 28th   http://www.handmadebicycleshow.cc/show  Instgram #handmadebicycleshow

Major Taylor diamond stem

Major Taylor diamond stem

Tapered headtube with scratch made lug

Tapered headtube with scratch made lug

L'eroica rules

L’eroica rules

 

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Bikes for the Hand Made Bicycle Show 2019

The Hand Made Bicycle Show 2019 here in Australia is fast approaching and this year I decided to showcase two frames that span the years of technology. The first one is a traditional skinny tubed frame having its inspiration in the racing frames of the 1960,s and 70,s. It has down tube shifter bosses and a threaded steerer in the fork. I decided to aim this frame at the interest in L,Eroica and the vintage bike scene. With that in mind I decided to fit a pair of S and S Couplers, because if you are going to head across to any one of these events with a bike you will probably want to stay a little longer and have a look around.

S and S coupler

S and S coupler

S and S couplers and machined collars to save the originals from heat

S and S couplers and machined collars to save the originals from heat

Vintage style forks

Vintage style forks

Drillium fork ends

Drillium fork ends

Dragging a bike around with you gets tiresome for both you and your traveling companions. I know this is not a very original feature for a vintage bike, but the idea of cutting up your prized Bianchi or Pinarello without having any idea where the buts in the tubing are is a bad one. To make it easier to disassemble I have also fitted cable guides on top of the BB so you can simply unhook them. Anyway that’s frame number one, and it went off for paint this week

Frame number two is substantially different and on the face of things from another era. I had become increasingly aware that a modern frame has disc brakes. To do discs properly you need to have through axles and flat mounts. Forks made for disc brakes and made from carbon have tapered steerers. This means you end up with a large diameter head tube. My personnel idea is that these are ugly and no one makes lugs to accommodate this yet. They may never because tig welding is more dominate than lugged building I decided to make a tapered head tube lug from scratch. While the diameter is still large at the bottom it is still more proportioned than a straight head tube of the same diameter. This would allow me to use a 35mm diameter down tube and a Columbus gravel fork with a steerer that tapers from 11/4 to 11/8. While this is not as big as some,it does allow a bit more comfort than a 11/2 inc bottom bearing does..I have utilized Bear Components   http://bearframesupplies.co.uk/    through axle dropouts with an integrated flat mount Taking the opportunity here to promote them I have to say they are one of the most helpful companies I have dealt with. I am still working on this frame but it is getting there

Tapered headtube,Lug and downtube

Tapered headtube,Lug and downtube

Front half of the frame in the jig

Front half of the frame in the jig

So, two different frames with a number of firsts for me. I had never used S and S Couplers before. I had not built with through axles before and I had not built a lug to accommodate a tapered head tube before. Despite this I am happy with the way they have both progressed and the one constant in both of these frames is the fact they are both built with steel and most importantly Lugs. I look forward to showing them off on the weekend of the 27th and 28th of April

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

A deliberate action

A few months ago I was out riding with a friend. We were both riding vintage bikes. Bikes with toe straps and in my case gear levers mounted on the down tube. My friend had an early set of Campagnolo Egopower. At one time as I moved my hand down to change gears he remarked that it was a deliberate action. I rode home after 100kms thinking about how this statement applied to other areas of my life. While I don’t like to think of myself as a retro grouch I must admit to a fascination for things that require physical interaction. I have a couple of manual wind watches from the 50’s and 60’s. I like wearing them with the knowledge that if I don’t wind them ,they wont go. I enjoy using my turntable but not because vinyl has made a comeback. I enjoy placing the record on the platter and lifting the tonearm over and onto the record. I like the idea I have to pay attention to when it comes to the end, and not decide to leave the room and do something else beforehand like I would with a CD. It keeps me engaged.

I build frames the same way. I treat each frame as something different. I draw up a full sized drawing of each one. I file the tubes individually before brazing them up. I like the idea that each step is one of those deliberate actions and have no desire to automate the process. I like to be engaged. Having said that I am not opposed to modern stuff. I haven’t succumbed to electronic shifting yet but do enjoy modern integrated gears and clip-less pedals.As I mentioned last month  I am even in the process of building a frame with disc brakes and a tapered head tube and as long as its possible to build a frame that will accommodate these things and still be made the same way then I am here

Campag downtube shifters

Campag downtube shifters

Vintage manual wind watches

Vintage manual wind watches

Rega Turntable

Rega Turntable

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

A lug for a tapered head tube

It has become apparent that disc brakes are here to stay and that if one wants to use a carbon fork then the only real option is to have a tapered steerer and through axle. While frames that are tig welded or fillet brazed can accommodate these upgrades without much difficulty, (particularly if you don’t mind the look of a large diameter head tube) I rather prefer the slimmer look of a tapered head tube and lugs. Unfortunately lugs for a tapered head tube are non existent and to that end I decided I had to make my own. Given the lugs that are available, this does only mean the manufacture of the lower head lug. I decided that the best starting point was a flat sheet cut into the undeveloped shape I wanted to arrive at

Starting point for a tapered lug

Starting point for a tapered lug

Tapered headtube lug

Tapered headtube lug

. I turned up a dummy head tube out of solid steel and with a bit of heat to help me along I bent the sheet around the dummy. I brazed up the join and then set about making a fixture to hold things together.

Tapered headtube lug 1

Tapered headtube lug 1

Fixture for a tapered headtube

Fixture for a tapered headtube lug

Having a tapered head tube meant that I couldn’t take the angle off the outside of the tube. I decided to hold the head tube with the start of the lug on it between cones. I held the 35mm down tube port in a block at the same center height as the cones and set that block at the required angle. This let me file things up. Once that was done it was a matter of fillet brazing the said down tube port to the head tube ring and then dressing the lug to the way I wanted it.

Tapered headtube lug 2

Tapered headtube lug 2

Finished tapered headtube lug

Finished tapered headtube lug

I am pretty happy with the way this has turned out but if you want to see the intended end result you had better plan to be at the Handmade Bicycle Show in Melbourne next April. In the mean time have a great Christmas

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

Fork repairs and modifications

Sometimes it pays to put off a job until another day. I had a customer drop off a fork that had a steerer that was too short. he wasn’t in a hurry so I put it aside. Then I had another customer front up with a fork that had a damaged steerer.

Damaged steerer

Damaged steerer

Years of use. Years of having a quill stem tightened up inside it. It needed replacing. Right I thought. I will jig them up in the Deckel mill and bore out the crown. Why spend hours with a die grinder when you can get it right quicker. Sometimes there ARE more efficient ways to do things. So, cut them off, clamp them in the jig and clock them up vertically. Bore them out to the right size and then off to the fork jig.

Deckel boring of fork crown

Deckel boring of fork crown

More Deckel boring

More Deckel boring

Ready for a new steerer

Ready for a new steerer

Two forks. Two new steerers

Two forks. Two new steerers

The first one was fine. It was a relatively modern fork. The other one came from the 40s. It had ends that were manufactured by squashing the tubing and drilling the right sized hole . When I first built my fork jig I had a very simple dummy axle. Later I made one that would allow me to index the dropouts. I went to the cupboard and found that original axle because there was no way that the indexing one was going to work for that older fork. Never throw anything away

1940's fork ends

1940’s fork ends

Dummy axle options

Dummy axle options

However: you don’t ever seem to time things totally right. Just as I got both those forks done and put the milling machine back in to its normal state another set turned up with a similar problem. At least I know I can do it this time

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

The Chronicles of Bundit continue

I really thought we were there. I thought that Bundit #bunditpaungthong would be happy with the last creation. I was wrong. I am not complaining because all my creative energy is brought to bear whenever he comes up with a new idea, and that is great. This time he found a frame meant to take a small front wheel, so it was originally built with a long head tube.This means that the geometry is not upset with a modification
In order to further explore his time trial obsession I moved the top head lug down the head tube,cut it off and replaced the top tube with a longer one. The old one would now be to short. None of this is as straight forward as it looks. Lugs dont really want to be manipulated that far and that is why the tube doesn’t really drop as far as I would have liked. If the frame had been shorter in the seat tube to start with then it might have got there. It is also why the joints are a mixture of lug and fillet braze. The top tang on the lug was willing to bend that far but not the complete port. Therefore I decided to remove the bottom half of both the top tube ports and blend a fillet into the upper tang. We also changed the rear dropouts to fit a set of track style, rear facing ones and moved the brake bridge  up a little in order to accommodate a wheel further into the frame  Well, we actually cut the old one out and replaced it with a curved one without a brake mount. I am happy with how it came out and look forward to see how Bundit paints it given he is the visual artist in this partnershipIMG_3693IMG_3690IMG_3695IMG_3706

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2018 in Uncategorized