I was very excited to receive a frame sized box from the courier today and couldn’t wait to open it. I haven’t seen this since the course ended at the end of August as a bare steel frame. I asked Dave to paint it in a Cobalto Blue Metallic with a contrasting White head tube. So after some very careful unwrapping, I was able to see the finished frame.
“Happy” is an understatement! It is a weird feeling looking at all the lugs and details and knowing exactly how they were made and the time and effort that went into making it. This started as a box full of tubes – I still can’t believe that.
I always wondered how my work and brazing would look with paint. Paint will show any tiny blemish and from first look, my cleaning and filing has been worthwhile and I think I’ve done a good job. But I can see areas where I should have spent more time. Time and Patience definitely makes the difference to the final finish and next time, I will spend the time to get the cutting and filing perfect.
One of the most insignificant parts of the frame is the small 1 1/2 inch long chain stay bridge. It is just a small tube that spans the 2 chain stays to add a touch of support and stiffness. That small tube was an off cut of seat stay and took over an hour to fashion into shape. Now it is painted, it looks great, but I know exactly how hard that was to make.
One area of the frame I’m really happy with is the seat cluster – that is the seat lug and seat stay caps and how they fit together. I tried to get this to look very much like the classic SBDU over sized seat stays.
Now it is painted, it looks great. The work involved was very detailed. Lots of cutting, filing and manufacturing then lots and lots of cleaning up. The seat lug area receives a lot of work!
Before sending the frame back to me, Dave has faced and cleaned up the inside of the bottom bracket shell so it is ready to fit whatever BB I decide to install.
I am still trying to get my head around the fact that I built this from scratch. I’m currently designing a decal for the down tube together with a head badge design and hope to have those made a fitted soon.
I learnt so much doing this course and actually cannot wait to get a work area sorted and get the files out again!