cut list

these are based on my own AutoCAD drawings, and differ from the BG101 numbers by a couple mm here and there, even after all the tweaking with it i could stand.
the first cut is the steerer length, likely tomorrow evening.
i did a dropout braze today into a scrap fork blade with 56% silver, went quite well. did some destructive testing with a big cheater bar. the dropout bent rather easily, although some small cracks eventually formed on the sides, on the chain side and the opposite.

[in mm]

max headset stack 40
HT length 163.20
crown height 18.5
=221.70 of 240

fork blades (along steerer axis)
axle-crown bottom 370.62
axle-crown top 389.12

head tube
overall 163.20
DT hole, center from HT bottom 23.20
TT hole, center from HT top 35.00
between holes c-c 105.00
between TT/DT edges 72.00
to TT top edge 20.00
to DT bottom edge 5.00

top tube
c-c 562.56
top edge 531.10
bottom edge 530.77
front miter to 31.7 @ 74°
back miter to 28.6 @ 74.5°

down tube
c-c 628.86
bottom edge 594.35
top edge w/o ST miter 612.52
top edge w/ ST miter 593.83
front miter to 31.7 @ 60.19°
back miter to 34.79 @ 90°

seat tube (to TT top)
c-t 570.09
back edge 560.19
front edge w/o DT miter 560.17
front edge w/ DT miter 543.34
bottom miter to 34.79 @ 90°
secondary miter to 31.7 @ 59.69°

cooking vs. brazing [rant]

besides working with metal and wood to make stuff, my passion is cooking.
i learned to cook the only way i can imagine: from watching and cooking with my mom. then i started to experiment on my own when i got my first real apartment a couple years ago. and i worked as a waiter before that, which taught me about how to combine ingredients like a good restaurant does.
a mistake a lot of people make when cooking is that they're scared of undercooking meat, especially chicken. i make chicken so it's undercooked when i take it out of the pan. there's two factors in play: the chicken continues to cook after the heat is turned off (not a lot, but enough that it's noticeable) and chicken tastes best when it's just barely cooked all the way--a little overcooked and it can get tough. so a little pink in the pan is a good thing. it takes a few tries to see how much pink is just enough.
the best way to get a well-cooked thick slab of meat is to brown the outside with high heat (like on a grill) for a just a couple minutes, then turn the heat down to about a medium-low (like in an oven) to fully cook the insides while keeping it tender and juicy. this is how restaurants do it, the good ones at least. i used to always wonder why the cooks always ran between the grill and the oven until i figured this out.

in the same way that a brazed joint can be cut open to reveal how complete the braze was, food can always be tasted or cut open a little to determine both how completely it's cooked and how it tastes. i taste constantly while i'm cooking, and i've learned to associate specific tastes with the way the food looks and cooks. this verifiability is important to me; it makes both processes less daunting.
learning to cook is mostly developing a sense of what's going on inside the food, by extensive trial and error. i sense that the same thing is going on while i practice brazing. i'm at a gross disadvantage because i have nobody to watch and take mental notes from; i would have taken many more years learning to cook without having my mom to emulate. i still call her up for advice sometimes. she's cooked everything, and she gave me a Joy of Cooking so i can look things up on my own. the framebuilding equivalent is the Paterek Manual, although even that doesn't come close to the exhaustiveness of the JoC. here's a blog about a woman cooking every recipe in the JoC

my favorite thing to do is to bring one cuisine in and incorporate it into an unrelated cuisine. this weekend i tried blackened salmon sushi rolls, which was pretty successful. sorta like a cajun version of spicy tuna roll.
i'm very much influenced by other cooks. my grandparents' friend Jimmy Chu used to be a cook at a nice restaurant in Taiwan. he went with me to buy my wok. he showed me how to slice meat thinly, marinade in special soy sauce with sugar and black pepper, then throw it in the wok with garlic, ginger, and spring onion, all sliced super thin. cook on high for about 3 minutes, then throw in some chopped vegetables, and serve over rice. i've been riffing on this structure for a couple years now. i've tried every kind of meat i can get, changed the marinade, used other vegetables, etc.
i still come back to the original quite often. it's an artful way to cook and eat--simple, healthy, pretty cheap, delicious, with plenty of room for variation. and the wok is an incredible tool to use. it requires great care in storage and use, because it's very thin non-stainless steel. a properly heated wok comes to cooking temperature in about 15 seconds. removing it from the heat for 10 seconds to flip things around causes the heat inside to drop significantly--the polar opposite of another of my favorite pans, the cast iron skillet.

anyways, this kind of riffing and influencing is what i find myself doing when i work in the shop as well. a big part is learning the technical side of things, how to use each tool well, learning to cook. but there's always the question of _what_ to make, and for that i always try to pick up ideas from where i work and live, from what surrounds me, or from what i wish surrounded me.

i discovered about a year ago what an amazing culture Ethiopians share. we have a lot of Ethiopians and Ethiopian restaurants here in the Shaw neighborhood in DC. i've asked friends for recipes, figured out the staples of Ethiopian cuisine. it actually has several European influences, Italian and Portugese among them. i've found the markets near me that cater to local Ethiopians. i come in and ask for berbere, the orange-red spice mix, and kibbeh, the flavored butter. i always get funny looks because i'm white but i know a few Ethiopian words, and because i'm usually dressed like a biker.

fork jigged

all the ingredients are ready for the fork. i had been waiting on the blades to arrive from Florida, where John Clay generously raked them--John gets a big thank you.
John's also been bit by the French bike bug. after seeing the photos of his frames with the lovely tight curve starting right at the dropout, i knew he was the guy for the job. they're way better than the pair i screwed up; the bend is straight along the oval axis and the curve is smooth.
the blades are too long, but i took some photos of everything jigged up anyways. it was good to look at the setup and think about any problems ahead of any assembly.

top view, or as close as i could get. the jig is hanging off the edge of the welding table, with the top left edge weighed down by a big hunk of iron.
blades are Deda Tre .9 x 425 mm, steerer is True Temper 240 mm, crown is R. Sachs Newvex, dropouts are cast stainless with two eyelets, braze-ons are big honkin' hourglass things from Ceeway held in place by welding rod.

from the steerer's POV. it was harder than i thought to get the steerer clamped down right. when i clamped one end, the other end popped up the opposite direction. once i shorten the blades i'll have more room for clamps. there's a block of MDF along the steerer to pad it a little. maybe i'll make a couple concave wood clamping pads.

side view. the position of the braze-ons isn't exactly the way they'll ultimately look--i didn't have the numbers handy. the bottom will be 165 mm from one eyelet, the top will be 145 mm from the crown top.

at center bottom is the maple laminate rake block. it's 65.5 mm tall x 80 mm wide. the steerer centerline sits .5" above the backboard, and the axle centerline sits .5" above the rake block, so the rake block height is the same as the desired rake. i should have made it about 10 mm narrower to allow more room for nuts to position the dropouts.
above the rake block is the axle chassis made of 3/16" angle, drilled for 1/4-20 bolts on the bottom and for the 5/16" dummy axle on the sides. these were hard to make accurately, and because of them, the axle is ever so slightly out of parallel with the backboard. i could only notice it with a 12" dummy axle though, and then it was a mm off from one to the other. this is the fourth time i've made those angle bits, and this is the best iteration, so i decided it was close enough.
the idea is that everything but the rake block is reusable on a different fork, as long as it has a 1" steerer, at least 100 mm spacing, and roughly the same length.

looking up the fork from the axle.

what's wrong with this picture?

machining school

i returned Friday night from a 2-day trip deep into Virginia. i stopped in Charlottesville to visit family and a few favorite bars, then toured Central Virginia Community College Friday morning.
I had thought of getting an Associate's in Machine Tool Technology or somesuch from CVCC before transferring for an Industrial Design BFA degree, and i wanted to tour it before deciding. i'm glad i went, but now i'm leaning toward transferring directly to RISD. CVCC's grads seem to come from and/or go directly into industry, and i guess i want a more flexible degree and varied experience. i would like to take some classes at a purely technical school, maybe this spring. Applied Technical Math, Heat Treating, that typea stuff.
this is, again, only tangentally related. and some people reading this see this sort of thing every day, while some will barely know what i'm talking about.

Frank Stewart runs the program. he showed me around the shop and gave me a demo of their Hass Mini Mill by making a set of T-nuts.
Frank's been at CVCC since the early 70s. he's turning 62 next month and plans to retire soon, when he'll start working on his pet project, a motorcycle frame. he had a jig set up on I-beams in a corner of the shop; i regret not taking pictures of it.

here's one of their older mills, a manual machine with 2-axis CNC added--that is, the machinist controls the Z axis, the up-down of the cutting tool.
on a newer 3-axis mill he showed me how it's possible to program the tool graphically on-screen, with touchscreen controls and an animated "dry run" of the program.

here Frank's double-checking something on the Haas. Frank double-checked a lot. he also had to reposition the coolant hose (blue and orange thingy) a lot to keep it pointed at the tool.
they have just one Haas. it's about the size of a couple refrigerators and almost totally self-contained--there's a full guard so Frank stays clean and the chips just fall down into a big bucket; coolant gets recycled constantly. it's not a big stretch to imagine one in a garage, like any other household appliance. in fact he mentioned a guy who works nearby at a big manufacturer, then goes home and makes parts on his Mini Mill on the side.

Frank, lending some perspective, about to start the program, which is transferred to the mill from a PC via 3.5" diskette.

the tool spinning, about to make another pass. it took down the sides in several passes; Frank said cutting away that much at once wouldn't work.

now it's midway through a pass.
after cutting the sides away, the machine autmatically switched tools, drilled 3 holes, switched tools again, and finally tapped the holes. Frank paused the program often to reach in and make adjustments or add tapping fluid.

the finished part. this would be cut into thirds to make three individual T-nuts.

i thought this was about the coolest thing i had ever seen, and when i said so, Frank said, "You know, some folks come in here and see this and just like you they say it's cool. One time I had an English teacher in here and showed him this and he told me he would just hate to stand in front of a machine and do that all day."