Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Future of American Transportation

As fast as American gasoline prices are rising ... we may soon be on par with European prices. If so, then we will soon be doing like the Danes and Parisians are doing ... riding our abandoned bicycles ...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Bolted to Frame

There it is ... bolted to the frame ... needs a few more parts ...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bottom Bracket 01b

I cut the tab pieces I welded to the bottom of the Bottom Bracket out of a strip of 3/16" metal that I bought at Lowe's. I clamped a piece of main tubing ... along with a piece of 1/16" cardboard between the 2 tabs (trying to make some allowance for paint thickening the width of the tube).

You can see my less than stellar welding job ... before I grind it somewhat pretty ...

Bottom Bracket 01a

This is one of those fancy cast bottom brackets ... if I grind away all those round thingies that the tubes were brazed into ... I'll have nothing but scrap metal left.

I should really ask Jack at S&B Recumbents where he gets his bottom brackets from. Nice clean new ones that really look nice ...

Okay, so I welded caps on them and ground them smooth with the hand grinder ... Jack would be proud that I'm not using a hand file ...

1st Set of Pillow Block Bearings

No rude comments about my messy workbench ...

I finally got in my first set of pillow block bearings ... they fit snugly but smoothly around the axle. I put 2 of them on the axles and set it on the rear frame to mark the holes with an ultra-fine tip Sharpie. Now I need to get some bolts, washers, and drill the holes ... before working with the next 2 bearings.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Getting Spokes

There are only 2 bicycle shops within a 50 mile radius of where I live. The first shop I took the partially laced 20" wheel into ... the guy starting hyperventilating and nearly passed out. He is a "new bicycle" only, TREK dealer. He said he hasn't tried to spoke a wheel in over 15 years.

The other bicycle shop owner (and bike mechanic) told me to leave it with him for a day or so ... he would measure the hub and feed the numbers into his calculation program ... and see if we couldn't come up with the correct length spoke. I then told him I'd be back with a similar hub and a 26" rim that we'd have to do the same thing for ... find the correct spoke length. He didn't seem too flustered by the request.

I did order one set of pillow block bearings. I'll use them to drill all 3 rear frames ... and order some more using my next paycheck.

An old riding buddy asked me how much it would cost for me to make him one of these DeltaWolf trikes ...

Hub & Welding

The drill jig I made up was designed so that when you slide the finished hub onto the axle shaft ... line up the drilled holes ... the shaft end is flush with the end of the hub.

Here's a quick shot of the MIG welder that I am using. I have a large roll of flux-core wire inside ... that feeds out when I squeeze the trigger. I am not using an inert gas (like CO2 or Argon) ... just the flux-core wire. It does splatter a bit (little beads of excess wire) that usually wire-brush off ... or can be knocked off with a file. And they leave little brown burned speckles all over my wooden workbench top. Which is why welders usually top their workbench with 1/2" plate steel ... to which you can "tack" parts to keep alignment before welding them up together. To get your finished piece off the table ... just grind off the "tacks." And use the portable hand-grinder to smooth the workbench top.

Step 2

WEARING A LEATHER WELDING GLOVE ... I pull the welded pipe & washer off the rod ... slide the next washer down the rod to the top of the vise ... invert the welded section ... and slide it down onto the rod (so it looks like the foto at left).

NEXT IMPORTANT STEP: slide a spoke or straight wire down through the spoke holes you drilled in the top washer ... set the end down directly in between two adjacent holes on the bottom washer ... and rotate the upper welded section until the wire or spoke is perfectly vertical (and still centered between the two bottom holes).

GENTLY attach ground clamp to exposed rod (so you don't move the vertical alignment) ... and make your first weld. Then check that things are still lined up as they should be (otherwise you have to grind it loose and weld it again -- correctly). Now proceed to finish welding as in Step 1.

Step 1 ... after drilling & countersinking

I had a piece of 5/8" rod left over that I clamped in the vise ... the important thing was to check it from all sides with the square ... just to make sure it is vertical to the vise top.

Then I slid one of the washers down the rod to the top of the vise ... followed by a 3-1/2" length of the black pipe (note pilot hole already drilled through the pipe).

I then clamp my welder ground to the top of the exposed rod ... and weld the washer to the pipe ... starting on this side ... then going to the direct opposite side ... and then alternately welding the ones in between ... until I have at least 8 welds connecting the pipe and the washer.