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The benefits of doing repairs

Being a framebuilder who doesn’t mind doing repairs has its benefits. One of them is that you get to see people who own bikes they really like, happy again. Often they come to me in some distress. Their beloved bike has been damaged in some way and they want to get it put right.
Russell is a case in point. He really liked the mid 80’s/90’s Duell frame he had put together, but he had managed to damage it by attempting to attach a child’s seat to the seat tube. Columbus tubing doesn’t really like the idea of a cantilevered load clamped around it midway along its length. Russell wanted it fixed but didn’t really want to lose much paint in the process. Luckily it wasn’t a huge crimp and I decided that it certainly wasn’t compromised structurally. I decided I could make up a slide hammer with a piece on the end the same diameter as the seat post. I pushed it down into the seat tube with a good serving of grease and used the hammer action to get it out again. Do this a couple of times and, Wallah, nearly good as new. You can still feel the fact that it is out of round but it is hard to see.
Russell was rapt and I was really happy to see him that way

Russell's Duel

Russell’s Duell

Slide Hammer for a seat tube

Slide Hammer for a seat tube

Slide Hammer in action

Slide Hammer in action

 
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Posted by on April 5, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Bundits Frankenbike

February has been a little quiet. Not too quiet actually but it did give me time to do a few other jobs around the house. However ,Bundit came by with his latest project. He assures me that this is all leading to a complete frame with all the ideas we have toyed around with refined. I believe that this frame ( the one in the pictures) will be a very harsh ride. Front forks are much stiffer than rear stays, due to their bigger cross section and the fact that they are essentially self supporting. Rear stays can afford to be thinner because they are only part of a triangle. A true wish bone rear end is no where near as big as a pair of front forks. I will wait to hear from him as to the ride quality.

Bundit's latest

Bundit’s latest

Despite my claim that I was done with the Raleigh, there was still some adjustments to be made. Clearances to be added ( strange way of putting it I must admit ) and clamps to be refined. This is not only a unique frame but it has unique parts that have to fit. Nothing is ever straightforward  https://gdukehandmadebicycles.com.au/2016/02/29/rebuilding-the-raleigh/

 

Raleigh fit up

Raleigh fit up

Reduced height on the chainring bolt

Reduced height on the chainring bolts

Raleigh chainring clearance

Raleigh chainring clearance

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

2017

Its 2017. Christmas has been and gone. January is almost over and thank goodness for holidays.
Midway through December I got a request from North Queensland. Peter Kilmore’s daughter was planning a cycle tour. Her 26 inch Koga mountain bike had originally had a rigid front fork. During its life this had been passed over for a suspension model. He wondered if I could build a replacement fork. One to cover all bases. Magura hydraulic rim brakes OR a disc. Pannier bosses and room for a 50mm wide tire. The request was also to leave the steerer tube long so that they could arrive at a comfortable position before cutting it down. I set to work on the blades and dropouts while I waited for the crown. A couple of days before Christmas I got a very timely delivery from Ceeway in England and at Peters request set about milling my signature into it. Between Christmas and New Year I put it all together and then packaged it up to send north. Thankfully it got there safely and I got a very nice email in return.

Touring fork blades

Touring fork blades

Mock-up assembly

Mock-up assembly

Complete touring fork

Complete touring fork

Disc tab detail

Disc tab detail

Crown detail

Crown detail

A week was spent at Barwon Heads where all I had to do was walk the dogs, ride,swim and try to surf. More practice needed with the last one.
Back in Melbourne I put the finishing touches to the Raleigh https://gdukehandmadebicycles.com.au/2016/02/29/rebuilding-the-raleigh/.  Well, we will see there. It is complete though, and I am looking forward to seeing it mocked up with parts

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Other peoples projects

Its amazing how fast time goes. We are a week away from Christmas. The last month has seen a couple of other peoples projects get closer to fruition
Adam brought me two frames for work. The first was a Hillman low pro track frame that had been drilled for a brake. He wanted the bridge filled in. No problem at all. The second was a Takhion, a Russian frame built by the people that made many of the European low pro frames of the 80’s and early 90′. The type that had the handlebars brazed to the fork crown. Ironically given the presence in the shed of the Hillman, this one isn’t a low pro frame. Adam had bought it with a bent top and down tube. So replacements were in order. We did manage to save the head tube and lugs though. They have both come up quite nicely and are ready for paint.

Takhion track frame

Takhion track frame

Takhion Head Tube

Takhion Head Tube

Takhion,Head and Down tube

Takhion, top and down tube

Takhion ,alignment check

Takhion ,alignment check

Takhion with new top and down tubes and fork

Takhion with new top and down tubes and fork

A little before this Stuart had brought me his LeMans frame. This is a really nice frame from somewhere in the 1950s i would guess. I don’t know anything about its history and neither did Stuart. It originally had Oscar Egg rear dropouts which some philistine had seen fit to attack with a hacksaw in order to remove the spikes from the bottom. About three weeks prior to this bike turning up I had been to a swap meet. I had seen a set of these very dropouts for sale but in my foolishness couldn’t believe I would ever have a use for them. After contacting the seller with no luck, I decided my only course of action was to get some laser cut. I found a suitable photo on the web and taking into consideration some sizes I knew to be correct, like the axle slot for example, I used Solid Works to trace over the top of the photo in order to create a drawing of said dropouts. The things you learn when you have to. I could then send that to a laser cutter and have a set of new dropouts made. Now he wants a front fork built to match, but at least the frame is back to where it was once. That leaves me with two forks in the pipeline and some more work to do on the Raleigh over he Christmas break.

LeMans frame

LeMans frame

LeMans handpainted logo

LeMans handpainted logo

Very nice lugs

Very nice lugs

Original Oscar Egg D/O's

Original and molested Oscar Egg D/O’s

Solid Works model

Solid Works model

New lasercut Oscar Egg D/O's

New lasercut Oscar Egg D/O’s

Hope anyone reading this has a safe and happy Christmas break

 
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Posted by on December 16, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Loss of an Inspiration

It’s been a tough couple of months. I lost my dad. He was 85 and had had a pretty good life. He was also fortunate to have a kind end, but you are never really prepared. I wouldn’t normally post about this sort of stuff. However I probably wouldn’t be doing this if weren’t for dad. I wouldn’t be a bike rider if it wasn’t for dad. Dad rode a bike for enjoyment and fitness when almost no one else saw the point. He didn’t race, but he did follow cycling. I grew up knowing who Russel Mockridge and Sid Patterson were. Cycling was a minority sport back then and if he hadn’t exposed me to it and taken me out riding and then later driven me to the races, I would probably have been like most other suburban kids. Playing football badly and giving up on sport early because I didn’t enjoy it. I found what I loved in cycling because of him. I also cannot imagine my journey into framebuilding without him. Dad was an upholsterer. I spent many hours in his workshop, surrounded by tools and materials. He taught me to use them and to take pride in my work. No I can’t cover a lounge suite. I became a toolmaker. A different trade with different materials, but still one where you used your hands. The mindset remained and his encouragement to take pride in whatever you did has never grown old. This might all sound a bit one dimensional. Dad was far from that and above all he was a man of values. I wouldn’t have the ones I have without him.
Having said all that I did manage to get some work done and my apologies and thanks to Murray for his understanding about the time it took to build his fork, and also to Bundit with regard to his latest project

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Murray's Fork

Murray’s Fork

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Bundit's latest project

Bundit’s latest project

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

Forks, a Dawes and more Raleigh stuff

Richard had a rather horrible fork failure. He assures me he noticed it before it caused him any damage,for which I am most glad. Anyway he asked me to make him a new fork and after discussing the need to fit a 36mm tire and a long reach brake caliper we decided on the crown you see. These sloping fork crowns bring a lot more rigidity to the design than older flatter ones because they shorten the blades somewhat but that was by the by, Richard needed the clearance.

Richard's broken forks

Richard’s broken forks

New Fork bits

New Fork bits

Dropouts

Dropouts

Blades and crown

Blades and crown

New fork complete

New fork complete

A coat of black

A coat of black

Steve, who has done a lot of km’s on his beloved Dawes found a bulge developing in the bottom head lug along with a developing crack. I discovered that the head tube and head lugs were actually part and parcel. A single formed item. So, we decided to replace both the down tube and the head tube and lugs. Steve has asked me to do a couple of other bits and pieces to the frame as well so I will update the pictures when that happens

Steve's Dawes

Steve’s Dawes

Bulge and crack

Bulge and crack

Removing the downtube

Removing the downtube

Gone

Gone

Removing the headtube

Removing the headtube

New headtube and lugs

New headtube and lugs

Down tube / BB

Down tube / BB

Complete and on the road

Complete and on the road

 

Work continues on the Raleigh and it begins to look like a real bike for the first time https://gdukehandmadebicycles.com.au/2016/02/29/rebuilding-the-raleigh/

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

More repairs

A couple of Hillman frames came by for some tlc. One for a new rear dropout and one for a new set of brake cable guides.

A pair of Hillmans

A pair of Hillmans

Stuart brought over his 1966 OLMO for a new rear dropout. This one needed a Campagnolo long series dropout.The set I had in my stash didn’t have mudguard eyes so I carved the one off the broken dropout and brazed it to the new one

1966 OLMO

1966 OLMO

Broken Campag dropout

Broken Campag dropout

Replacement Campag dropout

Replacement Campag dropout

Paul at Lygon Cycles http://www.lygoncycles.com.au/ sent me this Moulton in need of a new tip on its suspension fork. The old one had rusted out and parted ways with the fork. I cut the old section off and turned up a plug style end for the fork. I brazed that in place and then put the original stainless steel dropout back in to the plug. Good as new and ready for another lifetime. Sorry there aren’t more pictures of this project

Moulton fork repair

Moulton fork repair

Work continued on the Raleigh  https://gdukehandmadebicycles.com.au/2016/02/29/rebuilding-the-raleigh/  With brazing having started

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2016 in Uncategorized