Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The actually fitted Frogmouth MkII

Another quick and dirty update;

Tonight's effort was to blend in the dropouts to the tubes as you can see below, however over the weekend I also modded the jig a bit as I was not happy with how square the dropouts were being held. Doing this also meant that the dropout spacing and centering is bang on now.

Also I just remembered that all this time I have neglected to tell you all about the tubeset that this work of art is being made from. It is all Thron OS tubing, which is a reasonably light, double butted, mid range tubeset that seemed to be the best compromise between weight and robustness. I have found a few references to how well suited it is for the amateur framebuilder due to its slightly better heat resistance, so it seemed the best bet. Time will tell I guess, but assuming that my welding will stand up to the job, then I am hoping the tubes will stand up to the immensity of Pogward that will be pounding it on a daily basis...

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

The mostly fitted Frogmouth MkII

A short but sweet update today as not much has been occuring - due to me basically falling asleep at every available opportunity and having little motivation to stand in a frigid garage with only the awesome weirdness that is Radio Ferrymead for company.

However, two nights ago I decided that I had better show willing for the sake of my vast internet audience (Hi Jones!), so I dragged myself down the hallway, and a remarkable thing happened....

Somewhere in the weeks of sickness I had totally forgotten about the actual, genuine pleasure that comes from removing little shavings of steel from tubes. There is something about the almost trancelike state and total focus that you achieve (mostly due to the fear of rushing and bolloxing it up admittedly) that makes the process such an incredible pleasure. The wee pile of filings that grow, the tangy curl of smoke you sometimes get during a filing stroke, the careful edging towards the right cut depth, it all contributes to the state.

But as much as anything there is the feeling of rightness that you are crafting something. It is not anything like the short term pleasure of buying a new gadget, you are actually creating the thing the you intend to use, and hopefully building genuine quality into it. If only more of life could be like that.

Anyway, enough misty eyed reflection, I am starting to sound like Mr Pirsig;

Clearly some more shaping and fettling of the dropouts is needed, and there are multitude of bits still to make, but goodness me that is looking very framelike.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

The Frogmouth MkII

The dropouts took quite a long time to get made, this is probably because I paid very little actual money to get them done, so this restrained me from ringing on a daily basis and chivvying things along... And this did not matter as it happens, because I have not been in anything like good enough form to do anything about it even if I had them to mess about with. The reason is that I had a serious bout of man flu. Usually in these circumstances I get about as much sympathy as one of the cats does when it has puked on the floor, but as my temperature peaked at 39.5 degrees I could point out that it probably wasn't psychosomatic, and that a wet flannel applied to the forehead just might help alleviate the hallucinations...

It took a full week before my consciousness felt like my body was something that it might think about inhabiting again, and today was the first day in a week and a half that I actually felt well enough to spend some time in the garage...

But to start, before I fell ill I did actually finish the fork jig;

And today I found myself contemplating this;

I had the basic shape machined out, but I still needed to drill and tap the axle adjustment and rack/guard threads. The trusty Grayson and it's plethora of attachments came to my aid;

I had to take all that very carefully as the steel was pretty hard and I was totally paranoid about breaking off a drill or a tap, fortunately things went swimmingly if a little slowly.

Once all that was done I gave the seat and chainstay tabs a bit of a tweak to align them to the tubes;

By which time I was pretty much shattered and had to come in for some tea and a drop of some very fine local beer...

Next job is to make the seat stays and chain stays fit the frogmouths. I have been wondering what to do with the top of the seat stays, I am deeply in love with the stays on this Sizemore;

But a straight copy of this would not exactly be stamping my mark of originality would it? I have a nebulous plan forming in the back of my mind as to what this could be, but we shall see in the fullness of time.