20140208

Showering With Seat Tubes

When I decided that I was going to build frames at home, I knew there would have to be some compromises regarding equipment.  Starting out, I only had the budget to get tools that were absolutely necessary - you can't make a frame without an oxy-acetylene setup, but you can forgo having a milling machine.  An alignment table is a must, but lacking a lathe won't stop you in your tracks.  A good jig is essential, but a soaking tank for flux you can do without.

Okay, so maybe I didn't think that last one through.  

I realized this when I needed to remove the flux on the bottom bracket after brazing the seat tube.  I don't have a dedicated soaking tank for removing flux - which really is no problem.  As long as you can with soak or run hot water over the area in some way, you'll be okay.  Perfect, I can just stick it in my shower!  

For those of you who don't know, California is in the middle of a pretty awful drought.  They haven't started really cracking down yet, but they have started asking people to lessen their water use in any way possible, so I'm trying to be really careful.  Leaving the seat tube and bb in the shower with the water running didn't really seem too responsible.  So I had to improvise a bit.

Yep, I showered with a partially built bicycle frame.  

It worked pretty well, I must say!  

All cleaned and partially filed! 
I know the idea of steel + water makes some people cringe, but soaking tubes in hot water was how I was taught to remove flux.  Multiple times I had my frame fully submerged, and if you're careful enough and everything gets dried quickly, you don't have to worry about rust.  

If you do happen notice a little bit of surface rust (which can happen in a humid environment), gently sand it off or use the magic of vinegar to get everything back to normal!  

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