Saturday, 19 January 2013

A Circumhorizontal arc, Mammatus, and a set of forks

At last the long awaited Himalayan-like pinnacle of frame building has arrived, actual brazing!

Well actually I achieved silver soldering, as I simply could not get what I considered to be a satisfactory joint with brazing, a situation entirely due to a lack of skill on my part no doubt. After the abortive practice joints with the brazing rod I went and purchased some 45% silver rods and some flux (at great expense I will have you know) and after a few significantly more successful practices I set to work with steely determination and not a little cold sweating...

I did the fork crown to steerer tube first, probably the hardest joint to do due to the thickness of the metal parts - and this was extremely stressful as a result. I must have not put enough heat in the flame, or not had the correct joint clearance, or some other obvious bollox up, because it took ages to get the silver to wick through, and I actually thought I had blown it at one stage and pretty much gave up. I then cleaned the joint and saw that in fact the silver had penetrated the joint pretty well - not 100% all the way around, but thoroughly enough so that filling again it from the underside has given what I think will be a strong enough joint. I have already been thinking about the second set of forks with a triplane crown and smaller radius bends, so if it is no good then I will bin them and put it down to experience, but I am pretty confident these will be ok.

I also managed to get silver pretty much everywhere, and spent a fair chunk of time cleaning all that off. This gave me an excuse to buy some more tools, to be exact a set of rifflers.

So all that happened in and around Christmas, so yesterday I decided that having a wee jig for the brake bosses would be a good idea, I threw this together pretty quickly out of random parts that were lying around, and the bosses got attached today;

All through this I spent a lot of time cleaning up the resulting joints, but clearly it is starting to come back to me as the brake bosses required fairly minimal clean up work;

If I didn't know any better, I would say that these look like a fairly convincing set of forks....

One day just before I went on my Xmas break we had a very rare and unusual cloud formation appear in the skies, and I tried to get a decent picture of it with my non existent photography skills;

It is Circumhorizontal Arc, or Fire Rainbow, and was really spectacular. We get a few unusual clouds in this area of the world, I took this photo of Mammatus clouds a few years ago;

Next job (apart from my new career as a world famous nephographer) will be actually welding the frame - aaaargh.

I have a few things to get out of the way first, so don't be looking for rapid fire updates, but I promise more progress very soon

In other news I have pretty much decided to sell the copperbike, this comes about because I thought one way to reduce the incredible amount of fat around my belly would be to go up the port hills and therefore use more calories than can be replaced by my regular beer drinking. Needless to say I failed due to me nearly always riding on the flat and the lack of available gears on the bike. There are a few functional issues based around my physical limitations as well, so I will sell it to fund the purchase of a Surly LHT. This has many gears and hopefully a better riding position... we shall see.

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