Off and on the last few days I've been cutting and fitting the tubes for this carbon frame. Everything has gone really smooth except for the first step of bonding the dropouts into the chain stay. I don't even have a picture of it here but I had to heat up the chain stay and pull the dropouts out. Doesn't sound like much but breaking that bond was not easy. Luckily it wasn't fully cured. The ends of the stay were cut at just a slight angle that you couldn't see. One end was angled one way the and other just the opposite. It was only about a millimeter or so off on each end however when you put the chainstay into the jig it wouldn't line up at the bottom bracket juncture that you're seeing here. Needless to say, never assume that something is perfectly straight from the factory even it appears to be. Oh well, it was a good little lesson to learn and we can chaulk it up to experience. Thankfully I didn't have to throw the rear end away and start over. It's all lined up now and bonded into place. The wheel seated perfectly so now I'm good to proceed. Everything is cut and fit and I only need to bond everything in place. I just included a few pics of the miter work for something to share. I just recently started taking orders again and have a couple of frames to work on so I'm probably just gonna get this frame tacked together so i can free up my jig for a couple of steel gravel road racers and then I can come back to this thing in my free time. This one is only a prototype for me to test out as I haven't been on a carbon frame in quite some time and I'm hoping this thing is gonna feel like the cat's meow going uphill. I need something to make me feel faster, if only a little bit. My poor bike that I'm riding now has been so neglected sometimes I feel sorry for it. I've needed a fresh chain and cassette for the last 2000 miles. I seldom even bother to lube the chain now and I figured it would've broken by now. The wear mark was showing through on my rear tire so I just moved it up to the front and put the fresher tire on the back. Doesn't really make any sense but I'm fixing to throw them both away and start fresh.
So I basically just wanted to touch base with the blog and try to get back into the habit of posting some build stuff, and since the racing season is commencing it's probably a good time to get things rolling. I just got some new lighting in the shop so I can see well enough to work at night and with the longer days getting warmer I've got the itch to do some building and riding. Hope you enjoy the pics.
This 3M DP420 is probably stronger than I need to use. After what I went through to get the dropouts unglued I really have no concerns about the strength of this stuff. If it's completely cured it will take a temperature of over 350 degrees fahrenheit to soften this stuff up. Of course that would burn up the resin that was holding the carbon in the tubes together, so if you mess something up you're most likely gonna be trashing that something and ordering new tubes, unless you're making your own tubes and then, well, you know.
I'm not accostumed to seeing any gaps in my miters but this was about as tight as I could get this. I could've continued to work at it but it's got a good seat all the way around and these little holes will be filled with more DP420 and then have an epoxy fillet all the way around every juncture before laying carbon over it so this isn't much of a concern.
This was one of the tougher miters I've done. I've still got some time to touch them all up with some emery cloth in order to make it perfect.
This tube will be seated much better after I remove that excess epoxy. I can't stand to see any gaps in the joints.
This is how I like it to look!!!
I got to break out my Big Sticks for this build. These things chew through carbon like a .... (insert your own favorite saying here).
This is all that was left after this frame was completely fit. It is much more than it appears and this stuff is the worst part about building a carbon frame. You do not want to breath this!
Got a nice little present in the mail yesterday. Ok, so I bought it for myself. Every once in a while you need to treat yourself to some nice components. These mountain bike cranks from Pauls Components are simply elegant.
Been a while since I've pushed a 180mm. The last time I tried on the road I couldn't do it. I'm hoping that on a mountain bike it will be different.
Thanks for stopping by!