Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Holiday travels

We are going to be out of town for the next few days for a trip to the coast. We are going to stay in a cabin in La Push on the Quileute reservation, to celebrate with family and friends and enjoy some time from the day to day. A mini vacation of sorts.

We did this two years ago and had a great time. The cabin was as basic as you'd care to rent for any amount of time. Cold water, wood stove, hot plate, card table, one large bed and a bunch of slim foam mattresses in the loft above. Good, simple accommodations so you spend less time indoors and get out to enjoy the area. We took a long walk along First Beach and were granted a fine day with gorgeous weather.

Gorgeous weather? Yes. I've been out to La Push in July and experienced unpleasant weather. In '07 for Thanksgiving weekend, the sun shone brightly in a lovely blue sky. We had some drizzles and a little cloud cover too, but the temperature was mild and the scenery was breathtaking. One the morning we were leaving we took one quick walk along the beach and watched some hardy surfers playing in the waves amidst the dazzling sunshine.

This year the cameras are loaded with film, packed and ready for something good!
Perhaps we'll have a small taste of the nice weather this year. I hope so.

Back next week with news and updates!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Back from Oregon and back to work!

For Lisa C.:
These photos (and the associated build) are long overdue. Lisa, you have an angel's patience. This bike is gonna be great!

The photos are of the build process, starting with the fork and moving on to the lug preparations.

The photos are a jumble on the page because I don't have the best Blogger arrangement skills. I do, however, know how to build a bike.

First step is I rake the blades, basically bending the fork blades over a bending mandrel (form) one at a time to match the offset of the bike design. Since this bike will spend a lot of time as an urban porteur/commuting bike, the blades were offset a fair amount.

Next, I prep the blade ends and braze in the drop outs. I use the fork jig to hold things in place, though it is not set up for the final fork dimensions. It's just acting as a parts holder at this point.

Then I clean up the fork crown and prepare it for brazing. There's a before and after photo of the crown. I didn't take any pictures of the brazing process, since it really is a time sensitive procedure and I don't have any assistant. I don't have a timer on my camera either, so maybe it's time to pick up a cheap assistant. Ha.

I braze the fork blades and the steerer tube into the fork crown all at once to minimize the heat cycles the crown must go through. It may get a small touch of heating later on to install shoulder mounted threaded eyelets for the rack mounts, but this is a very minor amount of heat, so no worries.

Then I moved on to the lug preparation. They needed some clean up and I decided to reprofile the radii of the lugs so they have a better flow from one tube to its adjacent tube. There are some just brazed photos and a couple where I've begun the clean up. More to come on Saturday.

We are headed out of town again to have an early Thanksgiving celebration with family in Stanwood tonight and tomorrow. Then it's back to work work work. It felt really good to be back in the shop with the music blaring. I can't wait to get down there again soon.

Oh yeah, the Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show, put on by the OBCA was great. We had a very simple booth, comparatively speaking, and enjoyed talking with many attendees and other vendors as well. I really enjoyed meeting some other builders from out of town, especially our booth neighbors, Wade Beauchamp and Co. from Vulture, out of Bend, Oregon. These folks had a great booth, the best costumes of the show and definitely the most fun attitude. Thank you Portland for hosting and attending another great Cycling event an extending the warm hand of invitation to Boxer Bicycles.

Thanks again to my wonderful wife, Katie who participated way more than expected and was always quick to give me a break when I needed to clear my head. I'm so lucky to have you as my partner.

A huge thanks also goes out to our friends and super gracious hosts, Joshua and Britt. Your house is so lovely and welcoming and the dinner was to die for. Our time in town wouldn't have been nearly as pleasant if we had stayed elsewhere. Their dog Sofie is a sweetheart, and probably the most rambunctious dog I've ever met, and that's saying alot. Her reaction to the friendly Halloween Trick-or-Treaters was hilarious!