Sunday, February 20, 2011
One of my short term goals is to build a carbon fiber frame so whenever I am not working on someone else's frame I play around with carbon to learn a little about it. I have very little experience with it so I can't offer much advice but I can tell you with confidence that you don't want to breath a lot of this stuff, I don't want to breath any of it. As fun as it is to make stuff with carbon fiber, wet layup can be very messy and sanding the cured parts is even worse. Get yourself a good breathing mask and wear long sleeve shirts and pants unless your a glutton for punishment. This is just some PVC pipe to practice wrapping my joints before I start using the expensive stuff. I bonded them together with some ScotchWeld DP420 and then mixed up a little batch with some cut-up carbon tow to make a thick paste. Having a good fillet at the tube juncture will help the carbon patches lay better. I don't think those little craters in the fillet are a total deal breaker because they will be filled when the layered carbon is laid down, however they won't be on the next parts because I will pack it tighter. I am fixing to order a vacuum pump so that I can learn to vac-bag the layups for a stronger part. I am not breaking any new ground here, there are plenty of people out there who could teach classes about this stuff, but its fun experimenting with something you know nothing about. I never paid attention in Science class, all I did was dream about riding motocross. Isn't that the way its supposed to be, use your body when your young and strong and after your 40 you can start to use your brain. Thats how I chose to do it anyway. Just think, LOOK was making bicycles with this stuff 30 years ago. Anyway, I'll post some more photos as I go along and maybe sometime this spring I will have something rideable. I doubt anything will ever ride as smooth as steel but as the Pixies once wrote,
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Heres a little frame that still has wet paint on it from Ace's Wild Custom. This is a frame that I made a mistake on earlier and did a little dropout replacement. Yep, occassionally mistakes happen in framebuilding just like everything else. I used a pair of dropouts that I was unfamiliar with and when I got finished the chain would touch the seat stay when it was in the smallest cog. Unfortunately I seldom get to ride in a gear that tight. Anyway, it was my first dropout repair as a framebuilder and all I can say is that this frame is better than before, just like the Six Million Dollar Man. The wheel seats perfectly and the new paint job is much cooler. We put a different style logo on this frame for the heck of it, and yes its painted on. If any of you were motocrossers 30 years ago maybe you remember the graphics of the Yamaha YZs, well thats where the idea came from and I have a special frame that I am gonna use them on but I just couldn't wait to try 'em out. This frame has an Easton Superlight fork on it and with the FSA integrated headset and uncut steerer weighs in at 4.6 lbs. Not bad Virginia. True Temper OX Platinum is some sweet tubing. The new stainless Paragon dropouts are way better than the first set I used and did I mention the paint yet, Paul & Wayne did a killer job as usual. This frame is so fast that if I would've had this years ago when I ran my motorcycle through the new garage door my daddy never woulda caught me. It was actually a Yamaha 200 3-wheeler and I had been out playing in the snow all afternoon when I came flying into the driveway doing by best fishtail and when I hit the brakes there was nothing, completely froze up, brand new garage door totaled, and when my dad got home so was my arse. Normally i could outrun him but there was alot of snow on the ground and with those big heavy boots on I couldn't get away in time. I learned some new cuss words that day. Fly with MEECH.
Friday, February 18, 2011
Here is the upstart of a new cross frame for Mark out of St. Louis and we are incorporating a little S3 Superlight into the main triangle. I have a bit of a "love-hate" relationship with the S3 tubing. Its a pain in the arse to miter because its shaped and also paper-thin, not to mention its pretty tough on the files as well, but with that said, the shape of the S3 down tube is second to none and nothing looks cooler, so therefore its worth it. Its so light you can squeeze the down tube in your hand. An S3 tube is a great way to get someone's attention because you can smack someone with it and it doesn't hurt'em, it will sting a little though, I mean after all it is steel. I took some whippings as a kid that I only wish my dad would've used S3. In all fairness, I deserved every one of them and it made me a better person. My parents are the best and if it wasn't for them I wouldn't have the opportunity to work at something I enjoy. As much trouble as these tubes are to miter by hand they turned out pretty tight. See that little scuffed ring on the inside edge of the tubes, that gives you a good clean surface for the internal fillet and the scuffed outside is only natural for a good bond. No Virginia, I'm not playing here. I want these frames to be around after I'm gone. Stay tuned for the rest of the build. Chao.
Check out these wheels. They have been out for a while but I just discovered this video with the creator of these mad wheels and its pretty cool. Video is a bit long but worth it because they came up with a totally different way to build a wheel thats very interesting. I am Dyyyyyyyy-ing for a pair of these. They are only $2600 a pair, thats right, only $2600, and they are filled with little helium rocket ships that automatically fire up when an incline is sensed. Price doesn't sound so bad now does it. Actually when you look at all the prices of the top of the line wheels made these are fairly priced. They also have a 4-year warranty and a crash replacement. Let's see, should I get my leaky roof fixed or get a set of these and look cool riding uphill like Jose Maria Jimenez. No brainer. See you at the top. Viva el Chava!
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Here is Scott Taylor's ride all finished up. Frank and Sam from The Community Bicyclist in Little Rock did the build-up. They opened their shop around the same
time I started frame building and were nice enough to let me show some of my work. A couple years has passed since then and I am sure we have both learned a ton about our chosen field. Frank and Sam also do some frame building of their own so its always nice to deal with an experienced team. Check out their website and if you are ever in the Little Rock area you should go by and check out some of their work. Look at that Synergy Green paint job. Custom frame, custom stem, and he is even running my favorite saddle, the Avocet O2 Air. I have a wheel bag with about 8 of those in all different flavors inside. When I run out of O2s I'm done riding. Clip in Scoot and let me know how it feels. Thanks for looking. Chao.