Monday, July 23rd, 2007
So I came back from a family holiday to find Brian and Emily working on bikes. Shocking! Not sheetrocking. Not framing doors. Not painting walls. Bikes.
It felt like it would never happen. Five weeks of building out the new space, and the only bike I touched was when I was riding to and fro. I can’t tell you how good it feels to be doing actual work for actual people.
Not that I’m building bikes just yet. Later this week I should start an internally geared commuter for Mary, but in the meantime, I’ve been doing some repairs. The most elaborate was from Katie, a circle A customer from a few years back. She got whacked by a hit and run car – she’s fine, but the down tube was… not:
I know. Ouch. But hey, it was time for a repaint anyway… so first off I cut out the middle of the downtube. It’s easy to get the BB end out, you can just grind it away, but it’s very hard to grind out the head tube end, as the tube wraps way around the HT, deep inside the lug. So I drilled a hole thru the top end of the DT, and ran a bungee cord thru a nail stuck thru the hole, like so:
The hose clamp is to keep the top of the lug from getting pulled down. So with it under tension, I used two torches to heat the dt and the lug until the silver melted and BANG, the bungee pulled it out. Here’s what it looked like then:
Here the HT has been blasted but not the DT. You can see how the line of silver exactly matches the lug.
For the BB it’s just grinding out the old tube:
Here you can see the line of silver, sort of like a topo map – the gray above the silver is the shell itself, the gray below is the original tube. And then we just miter a new tube and it’s a frame again!
Also I just put new Henry James dropouts on a Pogliaghi, along with stainless faces from our local laser cutter. The originals must have been really soft cuz they were torn to shreds. As soon as the paint booth is up and running they’ll be painted and out the door!
So yeah. Back in action at the new space. It feels really good. Thanks to Brian and Emily especially, but to all who helped. Everyone really pulled together and it was a tough slog, but now it feels like home. You all rule.