So in my methodical madness I made my first frame for somebody else.  I wanted practice before I plopped me fat arse on my own frame.  Unbeknownst to Frank the founder of I built the frame for him.  He had no idea, he just knew I was sending him another one of my projects.  In the past I sent him a custom Velominati Pint Glass…

and a custom name badge and some Velominati stencils.  Anyway, he got the frame last night and was overwhelmed with gratitude and how “f***ing awesome” it is.  Now his wife wants one so I guess I’m a professional frame builder now.  He actually had his wife Michelle video tape the opening of the package and his reaction so hopefully he’ll send that to me soon and I can post it up.

I’m really stoked!  Basically the frame is finished.  I just have to clear coat the wishbone stay and glue it in and then go to the bike shop to have the BB and head tube “faced and chased”.  For not knowing how to braze when I started and never building a frame before I’m EXTREMELY please with the result of the first frame.  I would like to thank those that helped me out on the project – Kurt at for the awesome die cut stickers and Brian at Kelson Bikes for the TIG weld on the seat tube connector tube and checking the alignment on his alignment table.  Without further ado, I give you serial # 0001

Clicking on the images makes them bigger.

So after having Brian from Kelson Bikes TIG the seat stay connector tube on all I had to do to “complete” the frame is braze on the rear brake cable stop on.  I decided to ge a little artistic with the connector tube too so with a little creative Dremeling and filing I give you the results below.  Oh, I tried to get a little artistic with the photography too.



Cavendish Wins Again!

Bacon Saved

Posted: January 11, 2012 in Lugged Bicycle Frame Construction

So I went up to see Brian Kelson of Kelson Bikes yesterday to have the seat stay connector tube TIG’ed on and fortunately for me he threw his little cantilever measuring jig on the bike.  I just assumed that the wishbone stay would be the right length and that the cantilever posts would be in the right place in relation to the rim.  But in hindsight I can see why it would be long to give one some leeway depending on what drop-outs they are using.  I would have just got the frame back from the powdercoater and glued the stay in and been totally screwed when the brakes would have not been able to be adjusted correctly.  I need to chop about 10mm off of each leg of the seat stay before I glue the clevis pins in.  Whew!  Thanks Brian.

Speaking of Brian – totally nice guy and he laid a sweet little bead down for me.  He also put my frame on his gigantuan alignment table,  The thing is like 4″ thick solid steel.  He was saying that industry acceptable for mass produced is 4mm (unless you are Specialized and then you let anything fly) and custom builders shoot for 2mm or better.  Mine was within 1mm so I’m pretty stoked!  He just did a quick little cold set of the left chain stay to bring everything up to snuff.

If you’re in the market for a sweet custom frame – steel, titanium, carbon – I would drop Brian a line.  He knows his stuff.  Oh, and he was gracious enough to give me the adhesive I need to glue the stay in one I get the bike back from the paint shop.

Thanks again, Brian

I’m Back

Posted: January 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

I got really busy during the holidays and going to Boise to meet up with my cycling coach but anyway I played hookie yesterday and finished things up. Amazingly, getting the bottle cage bosses and the cable stops straight was harder than you would think. I’ll have to come up with some sort of jig to make things easier. The other issue I ran into was that the seat stay connector tube is oval and the programs that give you a miter template are based on round tubes so I just guestimated with a sharpy to rough the miter in and then filed until I got it right. I also was having heartburn with the additional work that was going to be required to attach cable guides/stop to the carbon seat stay so I ended up drilling a hole in the right clevis pin (that attaches to the right rear drop out) and the left side of the wishbone to route the rear derailleur cable housing internally through the seat stay. Once again, sorry for the blurry pictures.

Bidon bosses


Cable Stops


Cable Routing at Drop Out


Cable Routing at Wishbone


Now I just need to have Brian from Kelson Bikes TIG the connector tube on and then glue the seat stay in and it’s off to the powder coater.

So I got the rear end brazed up and mocked up the carbon wishbone seat stay and a rear wheel.  You can see from the images that things came out spot on as far as alignment goes.  Basically I just need to braze on all the doo-dads and clean things up and and it’s off to the powder coater.

Almost looks like I know what I'm doing

IT IS ALIGNED!!!! Aka, auto focus still sucks.


The High Life

Posted: December 17, 2011 in Lugged Bicycle Frame Construction

So I got up this morning and brazed the rear drop outs onto the chain stays and now I’m getting ready to go for a ride with some racer friends on a relatively warm December day in southeast Idaho and the roads are clear and there is no wind.  I hired a cycling coach that is a pro with a UCI licensed contential pro team and things are going really good with training – this will be the first year since I started riding seriously six years ago that I’m actually losing weight over the winter – so I’m pretty stoked about starting my first season as a Cat 4.  Now the way the coach is working out I’m even thinking Cat 3 might be within reach.  After I get back I’ll braze the chain stays on and the frame will basically be ready to install the carbon fiber wishbone seat stay.  Life is good.  Oh, and my Velominati Gillet (wind vest) and Specialized podium shoes that match my S-Works cycling shoes came in to so I’m pretty much a pimp.

Auto Focus Sucks

I finished brazing up the front triangle tonight and I’ll work on the rear end over the weekend.  I still neet to do a little cleaning and filing of the lugs but all in all I’m pretty pleased with the results.

Looking pretty pimp with the Ritchey fork


Posted: December 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

The Ritchey Carbon Pro cyclocross fork just showed up.  I need it to set up the rear triangle of the bike and get my BB drop and all those kind of measurements right and I didn’t think it was going to get here in time to work on the bike this weekend but it just showed up so it’s on!

So as per the instructions in the book (Lugged Bicycle Frame Construction, A Manual for the First Time Builder) I bought me a cheap little MAPP gas torch for about $60 bucks.  It works fine and accomplishes what it is supposed to but I was only able to get about two and a half lugs brazed up before the oxygen tank went empty.  No biggie but the tanks cost about $10 at the Home Despot so that will be about $30 worth of oxygen per bike.  I also did not like that the flux would get all sooted up before it heated up to temperature.  So I just when down to AirGas and bought me a little Oxy-Acetylene torch for $160 and a little oxygen and acetylene tank for $120 (first fill on each was free).

WORLD OF DIFFERENCE!  No soot and it heated things up WAY faster.  You can really control where the heat is going a lot better with the oxy-ace.  I brazed up the bottom bracket/seat tube and the down tube/head tube.  As you can see from the picture below the results were markedly better.  Less silver all over the place and a much cleaner appearance.  There is a little blob on the bottom point of the DT lug and then a little gap at the point but I’ll just flux and heat up the point and move that blob down there (in theory).

On a completely different note – one issue has been my eyesight.  I’m getting long in tooth and I wear bifocals. But in reality I don’t really use the bifocals and just look over the top of my glasses.  When using the MAPP gas torch the flame wasn’t very bright so I was using my prescription sunglasses as safety glasses.  The problem was that they are not bifocal so I couldn’t get in close to see clearly what was going on.  However, the oxy-ace is lots brighter so I needed to use the supplied goggles and now I can just leave my glasses off and get in close enough to see what is going on.

Anyway, I submit for your approval the foray into using the good lugs and tubes…

Just got to dress that bottom point up a bit.