Sunday, 3 March 2013

Plating EQC Frames

I have a very good excuse you know.

I mean for not posting an entry for such a long time. The house has been repaired from the earthquake damage and we have been forced to take refuge in a B&B for the last month. B&Bs are OK for a few days at most, after a few weeks they become tiresome and after a month, positively ghastly. We turned the house over to the builders and my lovely wife (resident soft furnishings expert) chose new paint and wallpaper. We got lucky, our builder was excellent, indeed he is worth a mention. David Peach of North Canterbury Renovations did an excellent job, it's just unfortunate that the rest of the house looks a little shabby now. But I digress.

The B&B was at just the wrong distance from the house, it meant evening visits to The Shed were awkward at best and consequently I have made little progress. As promised, I have made a new seat post mount (at the correct angle this time) from a slightly thicker strap of steel. I wasn't happy with the old one but this one is good, much stronger. Also I've plated all of the saddle components which means the saddle is now ready for a leather top.

 If I've counted correctly, there are 48 individual pieces that have all had 
to be hand made in the saddle frame, no wonder it's taken me this long.

I plated the parts over three consecutive nights. I did the rails last and 
needed to borrow a Lego storage box from my son to get the length I needed.

Ready for a good leathering.

I was asked last time if I am going to make one or get one from Longhorn Leather here in Christchurch. This is a good question not easily answered. I can dismiss the Longhorn option immediately, not through bad workmanship, they are very good, but because I find their saddle tops too two dimensional for my arse. I've ridden a few 90km days on one of their tops and it just didn't fit my backside very well. A long time ago a friend of mine offered to make my leather top, so he could contribute to the project. Tim's work is first rate and at the time I happily agreed. Now though, after 20 months of this business, I'm of a mind to make it myself. I've done a lot of leather work in the past and even a few saddles. It also means I won't lose my precious frame in the post, a problem that unfortunately I have recent experience of. Tim is acting as my mentor for this stage, more later.

In other news, I had a disaster whilst we were out of the house. I have a pair of lovely wood rimmed wheels (28 x 1 3/8") or 700A, ETRTO 37-642. These have sat in my lounge for ages waiting for a suitably ancient frame to turn up. When we had to clear out I noticed that the rear tyre was soft so put 30psi in to maintain the shape and moved it into the garage. The next time I saw it, it looked like this:

Oops (and other, stronger words).

I will mend it but probably won't be able to ride it again. The sad thing is, I now have a frame that would suit these very well.

Also this week, two other projects are nearing completion. The fruit of Young Dylan's labour was brought round to my shed this week to get all the threads and bearing surfaces cut or cleaned up. I have one of these you see.
You are welcome to have use of it but it doesn't leave my shed.

I'm more than happy to prep frames for other people at no charge if they bribe me with sweeties, biscuits or beer. He's done a great job and I look forward to his report of the first commute on it. Not bad for a tyro ;-)

Tweed Pete has also brought his newly complete MkII round to my shed for the same purpose, this features 4130 chromoly tubing which Pete has TIGed together himself. Pete has also thrown some old parts on it so he can ride it tirelessly up and down his road with a big grin on his face. I can imagine his neighbours children commenting "Mum, that special man's riding his bike again". I'm not yet allowed to post a picture. It will be making it's debut once fully complete.

Sadly, both Pete and Dylan are unnecessarily tall and consequently I'll be unable to ride either one properly.

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