Day 1

The Workshop, cool eh?

All blog words and pics are as per Jan 14

Well this wouldn’t be much of a blog if there were no words to go with the pretty pictures. However, we’re typing some of this a couple of months after the event (cos we’re lazy) so a few of the details might be missing.

Anyway this was a bit of a dream come true for me (Henry), always wanted to build a bike frame and I finally got around to doing it. My Bianchi road bike is aging I wanted to treat myself to a new road bike so I finally had the excuse to go on a frame building course.

Before we launch into the detail, first, a big shout out to Pete and Rob (and everyone else!) from Bicycles by Design who treated us so well and kept the coffee and doughnuts coming!

Right, onto the blog. Where else to start but getting measured up on the jig in the fitting room……

Perfect fit
Henry looking pleased with himself

…. this was a real eye opener, going into this I was convinced that i wouldn’t notice a few millimetres here and there (on the top tube for example) but i was so wrong. Pete made small changes to the geometry with me sitting on the jig and I was amazed at the difference I could fee in just 5mm added to top tube or seat tube lengths. For both Si and I we spent a good deal of time tinkering until we both were happy. This even included Pete breaking out a plumb line to get the perfect stroke from our legs (measuring from the knee to the pedal spindle with the cranks level)

Practice mitre joint
Henry filing furiously

Before we were let loose on our expensive Reynold 853 tubeset we had to prove that we were capable of performing a tube mitre and then brazing it. For those that dont know, brazing involves heating up the lug (mostly) and the tube (a bit) until they are glowing nicely orange (bit not yellow, yellow is bad, too hot) at that point you start to feed in the brass moving it around the length of the lug. The theory is that capillary action draws the liquid brass through the joint. Its tricky and but we both mostly got it right.

We let Rob and Pete know what tubeset we wanted (853, what else) a well as picking out the lugs and braze-ons we wanted as well. It was all waiting for us when we arrived in a pile of lovely shiny tubes.

Raw materials before we bugger them up

Simon’s lugs required him to manually cut and shape the ends of his tubes to fit them before he later fills up the gaps with liquid brass. Lots of work.

Si’s fiddly dropout filing
Henry melting stuff
Yes? And?

My rear dropouts are much more simple than Simon’s, a socket in the dropout takes the end of the tube and is then brazed up.

Henry’s ends

Mitring can be done via a file or the quick way with the grinding wheel. Simon was braver than I and used it straight away, took me a while as i didnt want to remove too much material from the ends of the tubes.

Mitring, the quick way
First proper braze, as you can see, I’m relaxed
Hot enough?

That’s it for Day 1. Check out Day 2

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  1. Another most tidy and impressive
    creation… the website that is! The bikes frames created are obviously completely impressive

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