my first time

i melted steel just a few minutes ago. i just wanted to start getting a feel for controlling heat, so i made a puddle of molten steel and pushed it around, first in straight lines, then into a rather pathetic-looking design. but, damn it's cool. and melting steel seemed at least a little analagous to melting brazing rod--it was hard to learn to control how molten it was. i went from just willy-nilly heating to having at least a little control in just the few minutes i was at it.

more progress...
today i drilled the axle block for the fork jig and glued it to the fork jig backboard. see the Talbot drawings to know what i mean. the disadvantage to the wooden fork jig method is that it's completely one-off: the rake is going to be near impossible to change now that the block is glued down. the advantage is the only parts i paid for are some angle iron to secure the steerer ($20 for 6 ft. at Home Depot, probably enough for the main jig as well) and some 5/16" threaded rod to simulate an axle ($2?). i did some calculations based on measurements made with the calipers to figure out where to drill the axle hole: it's set above the backboard by (65.5 mm rake) + (half of fork blade diameter at top, long ways) = about 78 mm IIRC. based on a video i saw on that Virtual Machine Shop site, i used the calipers to scribe the lines. the hole came out pretty square, maybe 1 mm off, so when i glued it down i made the axle parallel to the line i had drawn previously, rather than line up the axle block. more later, plus photos.

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