Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Frank's club racer

Here's some pictures of Frank's new club racer. It's made with Sachs lugs & bb shell. The fork crown is a stainless Pacenti crown. I still need to polish it before painting but I didn't want to show it after polishing. The lug edges always look strange due to the polishing rouge that builds up there. Of course, I could polish it, clean off the rouge then take photos of it again. We'll see. This frame is built with lightish tubes and takes standard reach caliper brakes. The bridges are equidistantly spaced from the axle center with fender mounts. This will allow for easier fender mounting if desired and the fender will follow the wheel radius.

The last picture is of my new head badges. I was running low on brass ones so I decided to get some stainless ones. Sorry no more brass ones for a while. I like these stainless badges. They're the same dimensions as my old brass badges.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Miters and stuff

The first three pictures show top tube miters. I miter my tubes with a 1952 Bridgeport vertical mill. I love that old machine. Mounted in the Bridgeport is a mitering jig/fixture that holds the tubes and insures the miters are in the proper phase. This is important especially with the top tube. The top tube is mitered on both ends and if the miters are out of phase the seat and head tube centerlines won't be in the same plane. That's less than ideal. So I make the miters as perfect as possible and the bikes are better for it.

The last two pictures are of a frame in the Marchetti jig. The front triangle is already brazed and I'm getting ready to braze the rear triangle on. The close up of the seat lug shows a little excess silver around the seat lug edges. That's called flashing and will be removed after all of the brazing is done. That cleanup is part of the filing and thinning of the lugs. If the lug was brazed cleanly like this one, the flashing could be left because it won't show under paint. But I like to remove it so if the frame is ever repainted by someone else he or she will be impressed with the clean work. That makes no business sense but it's just a source of pride for me.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Pete's Club Racer

I call this frame a club racer and it's sort of a model for me. It's built with light weight tubing and a geometry that is as well suited for pace line riding as it is for a long solo country ride. Designed around standard reach brakes so the frame will fit 28mm tires with metal fenders. Of course, if you only want 23mm tires there's no penalty to having room for larger tires. Speaking of fenders, there's eyelets for mounting them. No ugly clamps needed. The lugs, bb shell and fork crown are Sachs castings.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Price increase

Well it's long overdue. I haven't raised my prices in three years. That was a dumb business move on my part. So here it goes- Starting March 1st, 2008 the base price will be $2800 for a frame and fork with Sachs lugs and a single color paint job. Hand carving Pacenti lugs, stainless lugs and fancier paint schemes will add to the cost. This price increase has no affect on people in the queue. So if you're sitting on the fence about when to order you can save a little loot if you order before March 1st.

Stop or I'll...

paint my ear drum! I couldn't afford a real model so you'll have to look at my mug wearing the recently arrived breathable air supply mask. The mask is hooked up to a 50' hose which is connected to a small compressor. The compressor produces breathable air which is pumped to the mask. A useful safety piece of equipment because painting is a nasty bit of business. This breathable air system is one of the last pieces missing to my paint booth set up. I should be ready to spray soon! Now the real learning can begin.

The second picture is of two of my spray guns. The larger one is an Iwata LPH-300 and the smaller one is an Iwata LPH-80. They are expensive but worth it.