Friday, 11 April 2014

Levers part 5 - The end is nigh

Things have been progressing this shedweek, so much that the bike is very nearly finished, I'm just waiting for some paint to dry. But we're getting ahead of ourselves.

At the end of the last post I mentioned that I just had to glue the lever bits together. This proved to be mostly true, although in my haste I made a monumental mistake that had me getting all sweaty and grumpy.

I'd made a little jig to hold the lever pivot and the bottom con rod mounts in the right locations. Both of these parts are bolted to the jig with appropriate spacers underneath and then pressure is applied to the end of the lever with a set screw to hold everything in place. I had a short window of opportunity to get everything silver soldered up last weekend and arranged with Pete to borrow his gas set. In a great rush to get back to my domestic chores I set the jig up wrong and brazed the bottom mounts on backwards relative to the pivots.

You can't easily tell but the bottom mounts are wrong.
I realised shortly after I'd just brazed up the second one incorrectly.
Pete photo bombed my picture and he's not funny.

It's far harder to unbraze something as you have to get the entire thing hot enough to melt all the braze rather than just the bit you're on at the time. Pete helped enormously as I don't like making mistakes and was beginning to lose the plot a little. I then had to clean up the joints again, re-flux, re-jig and then reheat for a third time in the right place. Of course by now, I'm a little flustered so I forgot to take any photos of the jig to braze the pedals onto the levers. The pedals were bolted together at the same angle and then the bottom mounts bolted together with spacers to ensure that both side were the same. These were easy to braze on as the sections are small compared to the beefy bottom mounts.

I also asked Pete to TIG my broken right hand con rod. I'd chopped out the middle section and replaced it with a section of plate cut to width. The joints are Vee'd out from both side to enable full penetration of weld. Once one side is done, it can be flipped over re bolted down and the other side done. Time will tell if welding nitrided 4140 is a good idea or not.

Once again I forgot to take an 'after' photo. Just take it from me that Pete is a good welder. 
This just needed filing to shape after it had cooled.

Then just clean up the brazed joints, use a tiny amount of filler on the welded joints and prep. for painting.

Then of course it started raining and it hasn't really stopped yet. I had a brief respite where I managed to get a top coat candidate on before it started again. This means that the paint will take ages to dry.

The first top coat candidate, I've just checked and they will need another coat.

In the meantime I've made the nuts and bolts for the pedal rubbers. I cheated and started with some coach bolts, these just needed the square section machining off and a slot cutting in the cap. Then cut a new 2 BA screw thread at the right length. The nuts are just smaller versions of the same ones all over the rest of the bike. They require the special tool to do them up.

This picture is taken shortly before the acid bath to prep. them for plating. 

I have a line on some genuine ribbed pedal rubbers but in the meantime, I've fangled some from some milking tube.

There are two diameters here, one is a very good fit inside the other and the bolts slide nicely down the central hole
The rough sawn ends are very easy to clean up on a grinding wheel.

So I'm now just twiddling my thumbs waiting for the enamel to dry in rather damp conditions.

The 10 day forecast is for a little rain so I may have a wait on my hands. 
Everything is now made, I just need to do the final assembly.

In other news this weather means that we're having a bumper crop of fungi this year. My lovely wife found a giant puff ball as big as a space hopper. she took it to school to show the kids and now she receives presents of giant horse mushrooms from the parents that have paddocks. It's a rural school you see and I'm not complaining, I love mushrooms.

Our garden just grows large numbers of fly agarics but as I don't own a reindeer they go uneaten.

My lovely wife says I'm a fun guy, maybe that's why I'm kept in the dark and fed shit.
Oh dear.


  1. Is it all done yet? I've been checking every day.

    1. It is and I've ridden it too. I finished it yesterday and even though the roads were damp, I *had* to go for a ride. I blog it in the next few days.

  2. HOORAY! (throws hat in the air)