Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Christmas comes early

Yesterday was a bit like Christmas in my shed. Except that I had to buy all my own presents and I already knew what they were. And they weren't wrapped up. The companies I used to weld the lower fork legs and laser cut the bearing housings both phoned to say the parts were ready for collection.

Q. How did Darth Vader know what Luke Skywalker was getting for Christmas?
A. He felt his presents...groan
I used Pete's Customs & Performance Ltd. to TIG the chromoly tubing. Pete has a lot of experience welding 4130 for roll cages and he was happy to take the job on when I described what I wanted, he did a first class job with a very quick turnaround for reasonable money. After explaining to Pete that I wanted to dress the welds off to almost flush and he was careful to get complete penetration. Dressing off welds like this is generally a bad idea as it significantly weakens the weld. I've taken them as far back as I need to though and the parts aren't too stressed anyway.

Lovely shaped pair of legs
After the fun and games re learning some CAD skills, I was impressed what Prometal were able to do with the resulting files. It wasn't possible to laser cut the central bore of the bearing housing as the heat build up would have been too severe for the thin section remaining. This isn't necessarily a problem though as it makes marking out somewhat easier and boring a hole won't take long. Prometal were easy to work with and happy to deal with a small order like mine. I've deliberately stayed away from the Eastern suburbs since February as I don't want to be an earthquake voyeur. It's hard not to be shocked by the destruction to the general infrastructure in Bromley, one of the hardest hit areas. We have plenty of damage where I live but it's nothing compared to this part of town.

So now I need to get busy machining the bearing housings so that both the upper and lower forks legs are a nice sliding fit ready for brazing on. Also a 1.75" threaded hole needs to be machined through the centre. The threads are used to adjust the double row front wheel main bearings. More on this later.

This week, I'll mostly be bothering this chunk of steel.
During my enforced idleness, I've taken the opportunity to collate all the diameters and lengths of steel I need for most of the rest of the bike. I nipped around the corner to the local branch of Atlas Steel and presented my list, again they were very happy to help out with a small order which should be ready in a few days.

In other news, my wife later phoned to say that she'd seen some nice things in a furniture shop. I imagine we'll go shopping at the weekend to even things out again. I have a simple rule, "keep the women in your life sweet and the rest is easy".

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