Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Tyres, Teeth & Tuhoe

I've haven't had much time to actually do much this week although I have spent time working out how to make the backbone, more on this later.

The tyres are red, they are not pink darling.

I've had the tyres fitted to my wheels, or more accurately, the tires since I've used the American system rather than the English one. The English system uses a spiral of wire moulded within the rubber. The tyre is cut too short for the rim and and inch or so of the spiral exposed on either end of the length. Then by twisting the rubber the wrong way for the same number of revolutions as coils are exposed on the spiral, the tyre can be joined and the spiral screws into itself and the gap is closed. The loop is then stretched over the rim and is held in place by tension only. This is usually OK for normal use but recent batches from the UK have been a bit crap. This is what can happen when crap rubber is used, the Rider is Jack Castor from California, he was quite seriously injured but is now fully recovered. This happened on an NZ tour a few years ago, Jack was descending from the Otematata saddle between Omarama and Kurow, notice the 'loop' forming in front of the wheel before it all goes pear shaped.

In contrast the American system uses a rubber extrusion with an empty hole through the middle, the rubber is cut too long for the rim and wire fed through the hole. The wire is tensioned on a special machine in such a way that the excess rubber gets bunched up evenly around the wheel whilst leaving a short section of each end exposed. The two ends are trimmed and silver soldered together. When the jig is removed the gap closes up tightly. The rubber used has been sourced directly from the states and is of very high quality, it wears well on our rough roads but is still grippy enough to be safe in the wet.

I painted a couple of pinstripes on the rims before the rubber was mounted. I've been collecting images of original Victorian pinstripes for years now. Every time an original machine gets restored another unique reference point gets lost. But don't get me started on that. It is surprising how gaudy some of the Victorian machines were. We tend to think of the Victorians as very straight laced with stiff upper lips and little skirts around table legs lest the men think unseemly thoughts etc.. Actually, I'm not sure that the table legs thing is true but it's a good story. The point remains though, that to our modern eyes, some of the pinstriping and painted decoration seems way over the top. The double pinstripe on each rim is common, I've seen it on many original machines.

Tax free teeth?

Also this week, I've got the gears back from the gear cutter, he has done a fantastic job and I'm very pleased with the result. I will not say if he waived the GST when I waved cash, that would be rude. They need to be lapped to polish the faces but there is also a lot of machining to be done on both gears anyway. I'll oil these and set them aside for the time being as I focus on the rest of the frame so I can get the bike sitting on it's wheels.

This week I'm going to make some more rollers for my elliptical tube rolling mill, I need to make two sets. One for the elliptical backbone and one for the rear forks. The facile I am copying is a later model and has fully tubular fork blades either side rather than the half open style of earlier machines.

In other news, the family was at a loose end on Saturday so we took a trip on the MV Tuhoe moored at Kaiapoi.
MV Tuhoe.

It was fantastic in that old fashioned, slightly naff way. Sunday's trip coincided with the 'Super Moon' so the tidal river was very high.
Oh, that's super.

I particularly liked the way we were allowed free access to the engine room. If you find yourself at a loose end, I can highly recommend it, just wrap up well if an Easterly is blowing.

The engine room complete with engineer complete with engineer's cap.

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