The sun was pouring in, causing this blown out look.  I like it.
These wheels are beautiful enough to speak for themselves.  


Fork Crown Chronicles: Lets see if this works!

My goal for today was to test the crowns to see if they fit properly in the jig, fit properly with fork blades and a steer tube, and didn't explode when I tried to braze them.  

Surprisingly, it was fine!  
The jig test went perfectly, but let me back up a minute.  One of the other things I was looking forward to testing was the strength of the steel.  I'm used to how the tubing and brass feels when I'm working with it, but I wasn't sure what to expect from the castings.

Holy crap, these things are bombproof.  

This is definitely the hardest material I've ever worked with.  Not only does it take an insanely long time to file or sand down (it took three hours to bore out the center for the steer tube...by two millimeters) it also wore out multiple dremel sandpaper things and is pretty much immune to my shop roll.  This metal is not messing around - I'm not at all worried about the strength.  

Next was tacking and brazing.  Not meant to be pretty, just meant to check capabilities and all that fun stuff.

Silver flux is my enemy.
 The metal brazed well, and despite it's hardness didn't take overly too long to heat up.  I was able to do the dropouts and the blades, but the steer tube is just hanging out, though it's in there tight enough that it's not going anywhere.  

It's like a monolith
Brazing was like brazing any lug or dropout - nothing weird or out of the ordinary.  I whorked together a pretty basic fork without any problems, which is definitely a good sign.  The longest part of the process was honestly all of the machining.  

Full fork!
So far, everything is working nicely.  Next week I'll try adding a crown race and seeing what everything looks like then.  The dummy axle will hang out a bit until this test is finished.

Add caption
I sort of made a pseudo Takhion fork today.  Today was a good day.  


It's About Time

Don't worry, you're in the right place!  I decided to upgrade the old Blogger template.  Give me a few days to sort out any bugs, dead links poorly laid out pages and other issues.  Sorry for any inconvenience along the way, but hopefully this will be a bit easier on the eyes in the long run!  

Edit: so far it seems like the biggest issue is missing photos in some early entries.  I'll try to get it fixed this weekend. 

Also, links are showing up in caps, so it might seem like I am unintentionally yelling.  Sorry.  


Fork Crown Chronicles: The first (steel) prototypes

It's a bummer that I won't get these in the shop until Saturday, but I'm psyched to have them in hand!  They look great, but definitely need somme work.  Here's what I've noticed so far:

Machining: these guys need a lot of it.  There are printing marks (visible in the photos) and the tolerances from the casting and printing was a bit off.  I had to do some filing to allow the clamps to fit.  Other than that, I think some smoothing and possibly lathe work will solve everything.

Profile.  You can see some of the rough edges a bit better here.
Clamps: better ones are in the works.  These look nice, but I'd rather have them closer to the Takhion style clamps so that they could be interchangeable.

I made fork crowns!  That's super neat!
Weight: these guys are much heavier than my test crown.  I haven't put them on a scale yet, but I'll need to see what I can do to get the weight down.  They're made from 4130 steel, so they are strong!  That said, they also have the extra weight from the clamps to account for, so maybe this is a non-issue.

They'll need to be tapped.  That's not too bad, thankfully.  

The rest will be tested on Saturday.  I can certainly get them polished and looking a lot prettier than this, so I'm not worried about anything thus far.  And I won't be the only one doing testing - one of these is going to a friend of mine who will be helping me iron out any kinks that I might find along the way!


Winter Sunlight

I caught this at just the right time as the late afternoon winter sun was filtering in.

Within about two minutes the light had passed.
Just thought it was a pretty sight.


It's Happening

The awesome casting company I am working with just sent me this.

Two have been shipped to me to test, and I'll post updates as soon as I have them in hand!!  
Clamps are currently also being produced - there's the 3D printed option, but there's also something else in the works...
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