Thursday, July 24, 2008

Day 5: More fork work, etc.

Today was a pretty slow day, and none of us got very much done. We're all at different stages of our frames at this point and all looking to Doug for different things, so we spent quite a bit of time waiting around. We're also at the stage where we're starting to think we know things better than Doug — that we're expert brazers, even though we've only been doing it for two days. Naturally, a dangerous combination.

Despite this, I did get some things done. In the morning I brazed my fork blades into my crown with some success. Herbie watched me as I went and gave his usual gentle and helpful advice. It came out only very slightly less sharp than the steerer joint. I really like the way my fork is looking!

The afternoon was spent learning to braze with brass. I need to know how to do this for dropouts: I'm not using "plug in" types, so there are gaps to fill where the dropouts meet the fork blades and stays, and you need brass to fill gaps. Brazing with brass after learning to silver braze it a bit odd. With silver, you know you've overheated things when the steel turns red, and know you've completely ruined the metal when it turns bright cherry red. With brass, it's ready to melt at red and slightly overheated at cherry. I can see why silver is the preferred material! I did two practice brazes and will attempt the real thing tomorrow morning.

[More photos here.]

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