This Space for Rent

Jun 26, 2017

Gone shopping

Bringing back groceries from the big big store

A loaded test ride to verify that the rear triangle is properly attached to the rest of the bicycle.

Jun 24, 2017

Flat cat

Mavis tries to nap & pay attention at the same time

Mavis tries to deal with the heat wave

Jun 23, 2017

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Dust Mite does the final inspection

Inspecting the emergency randonneuse before taking it out for a very short (up and down the sidewalk in front of our house; I haven’t wired the lights yet) break-in loop.

Jun 22, 2017



Almost built up. Only a few things remain to be done to this machine:

  1. braze on rear canti posts
  2. cut off and reposition the seatstay fender mount (which, despite measuring, ended up about 1cm closer to the wheel than I wanted!)
  3. reposition the rear brake’s rear brake cable stop (it’s too far back – the cable needs to sinuously wiggle around to get from the stop to the travel agent.)
  4. braze on a Columbine chain hanger (I need to do most of the other stuff on this list before I do this, because it’s up at Framebuilder Supply waiting for me to pick up an order.
  5. drill wiring ports for the taillight
  6. braze on a mountpoint for the taillight
  7. build a new fork (the one here – the one from the kit bike – doesn’t have a steertube that’s long enough for this frame. It only sticks about an inch up into the stem, so the bicycle is only one fast stop or pothole away from the stem popping loose and flinging me over the handlebars into traffic.) I’ll stick lowrider mounts onto the new fork, too, so I can build a pair of lowriders & panniers for myself.

For paranoia’s sake (and for the sake of it being in the high 90s F this weekend) I’m not going to take it out of town until I’ve put a fistful of in-town trips on it. But soon, though, soon.

Jun 21, 2017


Almost a bicycle

Chainstays installed; now to cut and braze in the seatstays (and a whole bucketload of cable stops, brake mounts, and so on) and then I can build it up and start riding it around. (And eventually paint it, though if ex-ADP wants me to do more work I could probably scrounge the couple of hundred dollars I’d need to get it powder-coated.)

Jun 20, 2017

Half a frame

Approximately half of a frame

… now waiting on a jig attachment for the rear triangle.

Jun 19, 2017

Mavis on the loveseat

The fuzzy cat

She’s trying to nap but being pestered by someone with a camera.

Framebuilding, finally

A little jig of despair?

This time around I’m fabricating a frame jig to align the frame tubes (and lugs as appropriate) so that I don’t end up with bizarre geometry mixups like I did on the kit bike (though the criterium-style 74.5° HTA turned out to be lagniappe of the best kind) and it’s letting me catch glitches like this one where either I measured the TT as too long or the DT as too short before I’ve brazed everything together.

Also this photo was taken with my Pentax Auto 110/24mm lens, which has a focal circle that’s a juuust a little bit smaller than the sensor on my latest CBC (Sony NEX-3; last year’s model™ so the camera bodies, but not the lenses, cost about as much as a point-and-shoot camera) so there’s a small, but noticeable, lensbaby-style loss of image quality as the far corners of the frame.

Jun 17, 2017

Beware of cat

Super-Takumar Buckeley

Jun 16, 2017

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Pinhole mite

Pinhole mite

Jun 14, 2017

Pinhole camera of destiny

Rube Goldberg pinhole camera

Playing around with a rube goldberg-style lens on a digital camera back (a Sony NEX 3; no optical viewfinder – it does have a tiltable LCD display so I can use that as a waist-level finder – and my Loreo “lens in a cap” toy/art lens) to get photos of the quality that I was getting when I was first playing around with film cameras almost 50 years ago. I’m going to get an adapter so I can use my m42 & Pentax 110 lenses on this thing (including the “lens in a cap” lens, which has enough optics in it to mess up infinity when I’ve got the lens pressed against the e-mount ring on the camera back instead of floating forwards ~20mm to be at the normal m42 focal distance) but until I do I can kludge around with what I’ve got.

Jun 13, 2017

Rack #100, in an almost matchy-matchy paint scheme

Rack 100, painted FS green (which is not very much like the key lime green that Rivendell painted the Rosco Bubbes)

Frame #100, painted to almost match the Rivendell Rosco Bubbe mixte it was built for.

Fork, fork, fork!

A new fork for an old bicycle, #1

To warm up for a round of framebuilding, I’m building up some forks to go with some of the old frames I’ve been given. This Specialized Sirrus (ca 1990?) came to me as a lightly bent frameset (the rear triangle needs to be realigned) which was otherwise in too good shape to cut apart for parts, so of course I looked at it as a candidate for 650b conversion – it turned out that the only thing that wasn’t a good candidate was the fork, which was wide enough for Confreries, but not anything bigger. If I was going to keep the machine, this would be fine, but (a) I already have 2 (3 when I finish the emergency randonneuse) 650b rando bikes (4 if you count the GT) and (b) the American fashion for 650b is really fat tires and even 38mm tires are considered scandalously tiny.

Thus this new threadless fork, built around a 7° angled crown and with rack mountpoints at the classic R/R/K 140mm down from the brake bolt hole. Left uncut, because if I give it away it’s not likely the recipient will share my idea of a comfortable riding position.

Jun 10, 2017

99 racks

Rack #99

Rack #99 is a 10x8 rack for a Rivendell Joe Appaloosa (mocked up on a Rosco Bubbe mixte because it uses an Appaloosa fork and I had access to one so I could use it as a rackmaker’s form.)

Being able to do a 4-point mount makes the rack amazingly rigid, even though it’s 516ths tubing. Normally I’d do a pair of braces running back from the midpoints of the fork leg stays to the rack deck, but I’m not sure if it’s even necessary in this case?

Jun 09, 2017

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

The rack tower

Ready to pack a pile (11) of racks for shipping to the east coast.

Jun 04, 2017

Found some time

Found some free time

One historical reenactment wheelset laced up (and now sitting in the basement waiting for me to build a fork with a SON SL-style insulated dropout) in a 3/2/1 lacing pattern (the front wheel is laced 1x, the rear wheel is laced 3x DS, 2x NDS) in something in the ballpark of 80-90 minutes. I’m not sure how durable the Pacenti Brevet rims are, so before I ride it I’m going to walk the spokes with a tension meter to make absolutely certain that I’ve not overtensioned the thing.

But it sure is silvery. It will look nicer after it’s been ridden in a bit and the shininess is hidden under a layer of road grime.

Jun 02, 2017

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Waiting for some free time

Waiting for some free time so we can build an historical reenactment wheelset.

Jun 01, 2017

Back to bagel duty

Back on bagel duty

Picking up a couple of dozen bagels from Henry Higgins. The Schwalbe G-Ones are a pretty good substitute for the flat magnets and, despite having a larger wind profile (‘cuz ~40mm as opposed to the 36-37mm of the Pari-Moto) still let me move along at a comfortable speed.

They’re also a pain to properly fit onto these Zac-19 rims. I still need to use soapy water and a pre-inflate to ~80psi to slide the bead into place all the way around the rim (I bring them down to ~45psi for riding; low enough so I don’t risk splitting the rim, high enough so I don’t spend all of my pedalling energy deforming the tires) so that’s either an argument for different tires or rims on this thing (so far the only tires I’ve tried that have just fit have been the Nokian A10 studded tires, which fall into place on the Zac19 as if they were developed on them. I suspect that the Col de la Vie tire would behave much the same, so I’ll need to try them out sooner or later) but not any of my Confreries or tubeless-ready rims.

May 31, 2017

A little brazing before going downtown

Maybe these tires won't be flat magnets?

The rear flat magnet on this machine found a michelin wire yesterday afternoon (and as a point of interest latex sealant doesn’t when the wire is embedded in the tire and continually poking at the tube. I got some lovely geysers of latex, but not so much in the plugging up the hole department) and my patience for the cruddy Zefal hpx-2 pump I had on the thing finally ran out (it inflates, but very slowly, and the valve seal leaks) and I decided to replace it (with a pump that was designed to be fit between two pump pegs, so I had to braze in a second pump peg first) when I got home that afternoon.

Well, I forgot by the time I got home, but when this morning came around I realized that I had naught but a fistful of co2 bottles to provide puff for the tire. So (since I had the rear wheel off anyway because I was replacing the flat magnets with Schwalbe G-Ones on the hope that they would be less magnetic) I took 15 minutes to sand a bit of paint off and braze that second pump post on. I still need to adjust the peg angle a little bit, as well as wirebrush away the gobs of flux that didn’t explode off when I dumped some water over the not-red-hot-but-still-pretty-toasty tube+peg+dropout, but no more hpx-2 and hopefully a pump that will be much less dramatic when the next flat happens.

May 29, 2017

I think they really mean it this time

The state of Washington is serious when they say this road is closed

Washington State highway 501 (south end) is being progressively eroded by the Columbia River; the state piled these jersey barriers up at the end of the (ped/bike; cars are stopped a mile south) road to let people know that, yes, they really don’t want people going any further and falling into the river if they misstep and a section of the road crumbles away with them on it.

May 28, 2017

Mass Production

Twelve jigged rack platforms

12 rack platforms built with the assistance of the rack jig I fabricated last week. It’s a lot easier to square the rails when I can just lay them out on a jig instead of relying on a ruler and my vision to line everything up.


Obéir c'est trahir, Désobéir c'est servir