Saturday, May 28, 2011

1 bike down (good), 1 camera down (not so good)

It's funny how some people will read the sentence "Brazing stainless steel is difficult and should really only be attempted after you have developed good skills at brazing normal steel." as a sound advice and will go on brazing cheap bits of tubes until they feel ready to graduate to stainless, and some other people - like Jeff - will take this as a challenge to prove whoever wrote this wrong.
Turns out the guy was right :)
Brazing stainless is tricky AND expensive since it can only be done with silver instead of brass.

A couple of pictures down, you will be able to take a peek at Copenhagen's most expensive fork - doesn't mean you should steal it, it could still break for all we know! Only experts with a good eye trained at spotting cracks can ride this bike - the equivalent in silver of about 2 average danish women's jewelry box went into this.
After a lot of sanding and buffing, that stainless fork crown truly deserves its name! The contrast between the rest of the bike painted in "defect hide mat black" and the shiny crown looks really good!

One minor thing to deal with (really, JIS and ISO square tapper bottom brackets and cranks don't match??? What a surprise!!!) and this one is rolling! :D

Onto mine; a bit of TIGing and the chainstays were on, a bit of cold setting - meaning you grab the offending part and push/pull on it as hard as you can - and they were level and to finish off, a lot of time spent trying my hands at fillet brazing on what I can easily refer to as "the worst place on a bike frame to try anything for the first time", i.e. the seatstays/seat tube junction. It's narrow, you can't see well or place the torch at the right angle and as always, brass rarely flows were you want it to...
So it was the usual sequence: do it once, file it off, realise it's not very good, re-heat and do it all over again.

Apart from the fact that I kinda distorted my seat tube because of heat in the process (anybody selling an oval seat post??), it does look pretty good. I would show you pictures BUT

my camera is sort of broken...

I knew it would happen, it was just a matter of time and of how long one can carry an unprotected SLR in a backpack also containing a pump, a multi-tool and a 15mm spanner... It's just the screen I think so might be repairable. In the mean time I've been sent back to the age of film camera: I can shoot but i have to wait until I develop - sorry download - the pictures to see what they look like. And i'm stuck at 800 iso.

Last picture taken with a semi-broken camera.

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