Those Red Files
One of the things I miss about the ANT shop is the multitude of tools. Mike just has so many, accumulated over the years of course. But these files with the red plastic handles are fairy new. He got one of them around the time we started on my frame (the large, half round I think) and we both liked it so much that he later completed the collection. These were easier for me to use than the files with wooden handles. The red plastic handles are extra fat with a non-slip texture to them, making it easier for me to hold them tightly. Seems like such a small thing, but it made a huge difference. I will try to get a set of my own, as soon as I find out what they are.
1:11 pm • 20 January 2013 • 1 note
Not sure whether I’ll be able to call this one #01. Hope so.
11:26 pm • 17 January 2013 • 1 note
That Gum You Like Is Coming Back in Style
I noticed this mixte at Circle A Cycles and asked where they got the lugs. Mixte lugs like these have not been available in some time. Framebuilders have either been getting their hands on NOS sets, or making their own by modifying diamond frame lugs.
Turns out, this is newly available from Ceeway. It’s kind of hard to find on their website, but it’s here, listed as “Berceau Lug Set.” No illustration. There is also a “Ladies Lug Set,” for a step-through frame. These are all stamped lugs. I contacted Ceeway and the cost is £10.88/set on both of them. I might get one of each, though I am not sure that I’ll use them.
The lugset looks good to me. Perversely, I prefer these pre-fab reinforcers to the fancy handmade ones. Maybe it’s just because they remind me of actual mixtes from the ’70s, whereas the handmade beautiful neo-mixtes of today always look a little off to me (my design included!). Maybe I will find a way to use these after all.
1:20 am • 17 January 2013 • 1 note
Sometimes fate takes a strange turn. A week ago, I was contacted by Paul Carson, who runs a framebuilding space at the Artisan’s Asylum. This is a rack full of frame fixtures that he built. We are working out an agreement for me to use the space. Everything is there: fixtures, tools, gas. This place is relatively new, and it’s right in my neighbourhood. Too good to be true?
3:54 pm • 15 January 2013 • 1 note
SCUL’s Lair, Titanium ‘Ship’
Saw a couple of Ti bikes when I stumbled upon SCUL’s lair at the Artisan’s Asylum. A “nerd gang that builds and rides mutant bicycles,” SCUL is led by Skunk, a graphic designer (and formerly welder?) at Seven.
I saw his work space, but not Skunk himself. Some day I am sure we will meet.
5:18 pm • 14 January 2013
Water Under the Bridge
I came across this picture of a brake bridge today and had to laugh. I had thought that I’d made mine uneven (thicker toward the middle) by filing away near the joints too much. Apparently it had that shape from the beginning and I just hadn’t noticed…
11:10 pm • 11 January 2013
Been Lugging These Thoughts Around…
I’ve been trying to put my thoughts on lugs into words for some time, and finally gave it a try. Many Lovely Bicycle readers seem to assume that I came on the scene with this pre-existing lugs/wool type of mentality and then was somehow either “seduced away from it” or “made to see reason” - depending on the reader’s perspective. But the truth is, I had no perspective at all in the beginning; I didn’t know anything about anything, including that lugs were called lugs. I learned about them and grew to love them in the course of a year. Then the next 3 years allowed me to see things from other points of view, to think more critically, and finally to experience different methods of frame construction for myself.
At this stage, I am not even sure what I think anymore. My next frame, if there ever is one, might be lugged, or it might not. Though in the end, lugs probably suit my personality best: They allow for shortcuts and hide the mess. In a good way.
10:57 pm • 11 January 2013
VO Rando Rack Modification
When designing the frame, I had it in mind to use the Velo Orange randonneur rack with integrated, detachable decalleur (here) on this bike. Once the frame was built, we mocked it up, and discovered there was no way to make it so that the rack’s bracket would clear the Paul Racer brakes AND the struts would reach the fork blades. So Mike sawed off the original bracket, and welded on a new one, after shaping it to clear the brakes.
Bingo. So cool that he can just do something like this in minutes, and can comfortably switch between TIG-welding and brazing.
PS: Ignore the mess around the fork crown; this picture was taken before cleanup.
12:47 am • 6 January 2013
Steerer locking mechanism on Brian Chapman’s Oregon Manifest bike. Brian’s work is really something; holding my breath to see what’s next.
12:29 am • 6 January 2013
Fork Crown Cleanup
My favourite picture so far. It took me a while to get the fork crown area to this state after brazing. The outline of the Grand Bois crown makes it tough to get in there with the file, so figuring out how to clean these areas up was challenging. Mike was out; it was just me in the shop working on this for hours. Couldn’t even ask him “Does this look even?” or “Did I overdo it here?” In the end I got it. By the time I got it to the point where I could live with myself, I did not have the energy for pictures. But I took this one when I was almost there.
12:15 am • 6 January 2013