Productive Weekend

Mitered Down Tube
A very nicely-mitered downtube. By hand. In 15 minutes.

This weekend, I discovered the utter joy that is mitering templates. As you may have heard me talk about before, I do all my tube mitering by hand, with a pair of shears and a set of files. It allows for very controlled mitering. The downside is, it’s horribly time-consuming. This weekend, I decided to experiment a little bit with mitering templates — go to a web page, plug in the values for the tubing, and it generates a template you can print. Cut it out, bust out the glue stick, and (carefully) wrap it around the tube you intend to miter. Miter down to the lines. End result: a hand-mitered tube in minutes instead of an hour (or more).

The only downside is that it doesn’t handle complex tube shapes (like ovals or airfoil cross-sections), so I’ll have to either stick to the old, tedious methods, or give Eric over at Peacock Groove a half-pint of whiskey to run it through his mill.

One of the mitering apps is at the Nova Cycles website, and it handles things like offsets, seatstays, and so on. I used the Metalgeek version, though, as the printouts were darker and easier to read.

Anyway, with my new-found productivity on Sunday, I managed to get the two main sub-assemblies for my brother’s bike built, finish off the lugged commuter, and get Justin’s tubes mitered and ready for brazing (fillet). So next weekend, I’ll be doing the following:

  • clean-up on the lugged commuter
  • cold-setting and joining Paul’s sub-assemblies
  • brazing Justin’s 26er ST/BB and HT/DT sub-assemblies
  • doing the ST/BB sub-assembly for my pursuit bike
  • tubing prep for Andrew’s 29er

This week, I need to to do the math and blueprinting for Andrew’s bike and find a place to get a one-off CNC tube bent or find a place that does motorcycle exhaust and have them do it. We’re doing a curved seat tube, but he doesn’t want to do the True Temper pre-existing solution. And that’s fine. Need to decide on the downtube this week, too — am I sticking with a round one? Or am I doing a biaxially ovalized? If the latter, I’ll probably do that on Sunday, too.

Today I need to order some more silver (56% and 45% cad-free), another pound of low-fuming bronze rod, and a 5-pound tub of silver flux.

Tonight, I need to round up all my receipts for the expenses I’ve had this year, and get them in one location.