More monkey business.

Over a month without a word, and now suddenly two posts in as many days!  Well.  There’s a reason.

The other day I found myself sitting on the floor with a torch in hand looking up at the joint I was brazing, something that any MONKEY knows not to do (finally proof that I am not a monkey).  Sometimes the desire to get something done takes over, and I get sucked into dangerous situations..  I was looking up at the joint and the beautifully flowing flux, thinking, “wow, if some of that dripped on my face right now, I’d be really sorry.”  So I kept going.  When the flux DID drip, it landed on my thumb.  Flux, when it’s hot enough for brazing, and this was, looks and behaves a little like molten glass, and when a big glob of it hits skin it sticks.  My thumb only took about 25 seconds to cool it down enough that it wasn’t burning me any more.  He heee!  Fuckin’ idiot.

So.  Now I have this blister on my thumb that is roughly the size and shape of Antigua.  It’s making it a little hard to work.  So.  Some forced down time.  The side of my thumb is still working pretty well on the space bar.

I did manage, after that moment of stupidity, to finish brazing up NOSE BIKE MKIII before the blister swelled up enough that I could work.  And yesterday morning, I lanced the thing, drained it out, taped it up, tapped and faced and reamed the frame, and swapped the parts from MKII to MKIII.  I got a picture of the two side by side before doing the MKIII build.

The changes are these:  Most obviously, the rack is 1″ stock instead of 3/4″, an attempt to reduce the spring board quality of the rack (success).  The curve is now at the back where it will be visible when the crate is on, cleaning up what I felt was the real aesthetic downfall of the original design (are we even applying notions of aesthetics to such a goofy looking bike?  Yup.)  The only reason that I didn’t start out with this approach is that it makes the mitering and fixturing a good deal trickier (I spent several days, late last week, making a jig for mitering the curved section and another for holding it in place for brazing).  The new version has a bigger down tube, and an externally butted seat tube.  It also has the new dropouts that I designed, with which I’m awfully pleased.

I’ll report back on my full findings

There IS a holiday batch of fenders in progress.  It is going to be a little smaller than I had intended, however, due to this latest piece of idiocy.  When they go on sale, I think they’ll probably go pretty fast.  You’ve been warned.  I will send an email to the mailing list when they’re up.

5 Responses to “More monkey business.”

  1. ashley

    Boys and their toys! Seriously!

    I will remind my boyfriend of this parable the next time he’s running 2-inch boards thru the table saw without the safety guard. We’ve actually had this conversation. “Baby, wouldn’t it be really awful if you accidentally ran your hand thru that massive spinning blade that’s about a half inch from your pinkie right now?” And I get the smirk and the eye roll.

    And you – you would mar that smiling face with molten flux?? I mean really – what’s wrong with you guys??

    *sigh* So good to hear about all the working:)

    I hope Putney at least shook her head disapprovingly…

  2. kendall

    youch buddy.
    hmmm. trying to think of fun activities to do which don’t require thumbs…

  3. Heidi

    Gorgeous dropouts! (My favorite part of bike frame.Really.)

  4. Julie B

    Those are some super cute dropouts!

  5. Laurie

    You’re not a legit craftsman unless you’ve damaged some part of your epidermis or hacked off a bit of an extremity.

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