Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Rear Fork Ends

I would say dropouts but that would be inaccurate since the wheel won't. Drop out that is. Bicycles of this age don't have a slot for the axle to slide into, rather they have a hole in each fork end and the forks are sprung apart to remove or insert the wheel. This trend continued for some years on the front forks of the new fangled safety bicycles. Indeed in the farthest, darkest reaches of the Empire, such as here in NZ, the habit continued right into the 1920's. Now of course, thanks to those most excellent members of society known as lawyers, we are back where we started with those little 'safety' tabs (aka lawyers lips) to prevent the front wheel from dropping out of the drop outs when installed by a moron.

Actually, I'm being a little unkind to an entire profession here since I own a bicycle made in 1906 that has captive washers on the front wheel to prevent the wheel dropping out. I'm sure that this isn't the first instance of the system.

1906 Royal Enfield with a captive washer front drop out design. 
If the nut becomes loose the wheel cannot fall out.

There's nothing new when it comes to bicycles design.  But I digress.

I made the fork ends just before I went on museum leave but I didn't get around to blogging it, so here is a set of photos to remedy my slackness.

Mill a scrap 1/2" plate of mild steel to profile.

Mark out the shape of the fork ends...

...and cut them out.

Mill away as much excess as possible...

...before hand finishing with a file.
Note the the tips have been bumped over to the correct angle
with a large hammer, easy to do with mild steel.

The unbrazed rear forks nearly complete.

I still have to hollow out the stubs and also make the step to braze to the left fork leg.

In other news, I cycled to work today and nearly died from the effort. I've had an extended break off the bike, my first in years, and being of more mature years I find that my fitness disappears quicker than my friend Brian when it's his round at pub quiz. Eh Brian?

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