Saturday, September 11, 2010

Jos is Off, Back to Greg C

I dropped my Jocelyn Lovell bike off with Noah at Velocolour on Thursday. I brought my camera to capture the incredibleness of the Mariposa shop (where Noah paints)—but as usual, it was so very incredible that I forgot to take any pictures.

The best thing I saw was a replica of Greg Curnoe's Mariposa road bike that Mike Barry was recently commissioned to build. It was painted a truly beautiful and utterly un-fashionable mustard yellow colour. No one would even consider painting a bike that colour today. When I found out about this whole replica project, I was a bit surprised—since I had my own Greg Curnoe replica project in mind. But mine is a bit different—different bike, different "bike of a painting" concept.

Anyway, seeing that bike inspired me to get back to work on my Greg Curnoe bike, whose front triangle I've already finished. Time now for the rear triangle. It's pretty clear in the model-painting that the bike has "French-style" dropout attachments. I'd never done those before, but was looking forward to trying them, since if done right it seemed like they'd require almost no cleanup. At right is the dropout and the stay ready  to go. (I must say, I find this style of dropout attachment—and this picture—pretty gorgeous.)

As it generally has these days, brazing went well. I was able to fill the stay with perfectly even and smooth pools of brass, as this photo (with Curnoe's blurred out, self-portraited face in the background) shows:

But this photo, taken right after brazing shows something else.

In all my excitement to try out this new dropout style, I forgot to properly square my dropouts. You can see in this picture that the slots are not at all parallel. I did this yesterday and brooded over it all evening. Today, after a nice long ride out in the Goodwood area, I went in to the shop to fix it.

This too went pretty well. I put the non-drive dropout in the vise, heated up the joint (without fluxing it, since I didn't want my beautiful little pools to run out), and once it was red, just pushed the stay down. I checked it after cooling, and now it's pretty much right. This opened up a little gap on the top of the dropout/CS joint where I'd pulled down; I filled it with silver. This is a poorly lit picture, but it shows a now properly-squared dropout and some very nice silver-coated "pools."

I also did my trick of adding a fender-mounting boss to the underside of the steerer, and in fact got my fork crown/steerer joint tacked before realizing that Martin was closing the shop. It sits fluxed and tacked on the floor of the shop, waiting for my return on Tuesday to finish it off. Then I'll build the fork, then finish off the rear triangle (with its exciting fastback attachment!).

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