This Space for Rent

Aug 30, 2016

Two racks

Pelican rando rack + lowriders (mockup)

… in the harsh unpitying light of the camera flash

Aug 26, 2016

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Buckeley & Mite

Sleepy cat, sleepy mite

Aug 25, 2016

Standard vs. oversized

standard rack vs O/S rack

The platform on the top is made from 5/16ths tubing, the platform on the bottom is 3/8ths. 3/8ths tubing is noticable stiffer than 5/16ths, so if you regjularly carry depleted uranium bricks it’s probably a better bet. I find it to be considerably more massive when I’m working with it, but when it’s put side-by-side with a platform made from 5/16ths tubing it’s not obviously huger.

One thing I discovered when I bent the steel for this O/S rack (and a smaller 10x7ish one that I did for practice) is that my 3/8ths tubing bender wants to twist the end of the bend down – it’s a somewhat lighter-weight bender, so there’s a tiny bit of flex in the rotating die arm, and I think when I’m getting close to 90° I start pushing at an angle. With 5/16ths tubing, I’d just clamp the corner in a wood vise (with a couple of chunks of wood to prevent marring) and cold-set it back, but this tubing is stiff enough so it actually mars the wood before starting to bend back into line. I need to (a) replace the wood vice with a proper metal-working vise (I have one, but haven’t removed the wood vise yet) and (b) tweak the way I operate the bender so that I push towards the center of the die all the way from 0° to 90°.

This O/S rack is going to have a 5/16ths tombstone, though, because the customer wants an offset tombstone and it takes a bit of tweaking to put the bends at the bottom of the tombstone legs in the right place.

Aug 23, 2016

Better than tape (I guess)

I guess it's time to get a new pair of glasses?

The left temple hinge thingie on my glasses snapped off today when I was poking at the glasses trying to center them (my family brought a cold back from Mississippi, which I promptly caught, so everything including the little muscles that do eye positioning hurt – my right eye is not completely happy with the focus that that lens gives, so it’s been feeling like something is tugging it inwards pretty much constantly for the past two days) so I had to fire up the soldering iron and solder it back into place. I’m not sure just wha sort of alloy was used for these glasses frames, but it was difficult to clean to the point where I could wet the surfaces properly when tinning them, and it ended up taking about 4 passes before I got a proper bond between the broken bits.

hopefully this repair will last for a couple of days (I’m working on a set of lowrider racks now, and I’ve got a deposit for another rack coming in) so I can go out and buy a new pair of glasses with that money (I’d love to get some sort of sunglasses so when I’m on the return leg of an e/w (or the outbound leg of a w/e) 200k I won’t have to squint for 4 hours, but bifocal sunglasses cost real money so that will probably not be happening unless I buy a pair of regular glasses and dip them in sharpie ink.) If not, well, I’ll just set up a jig and silver-braze the thing together. (This is also filed under “oh, I wish I had a nice CNC mill!”)

Aug 22, 2016

Trolley picture of the day

A southbound train pulls out of the Omsi-Water St station

These cars (the Bombardier/BN “type 1” leading this train) have been in service for 30 years now and it certainly looks like Tri-Met is going to keep using them for the forseeable future, thanks to that pesky continuing increase in ridership.

Aug 21, 2016

The judge

Mavis in the shadows

…and I’ll look down, and whisper “mew.”

Aug 19, 2016

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Sunglasses at night

Sunglasses at night

Aug 18, 2016



So why were my rides getting slower and more wheeze-filled? They replaced the oxygen in the air with pollen, but hopefully this combination of nasal spray and inhaler will do the job of letting my body pretend it’s not wading through the aftermath of a ongoing flower orgy.

Aug 17, 2016



The kitty litter situation was starting to get pretty dire, so I went down to the pet supply store and overloaded up with new clean litter. 80 pounds worth, which made the return trip more fun because the bags kept sliding sideways. It was sort of like riding home hauling a trailer full of uranium-enriched Jello.

Aug 16, 2016

I may not be able to breathe, but I can still (barely) ride

Multnomah Falls kit bike

But I think we’ve got some pseudoephedrine in the medicine cabinet, so I’ll try dosing myself with that before the next long ride, because breathing is one of those things that makes my rides faster and more comfortable.

Narrowing a White Tracker Ti hub to ~128old

Kitbashed NDS axle end for White TI hub

I’d bought this hub cheaply because the NDS axle end was missing (and White Industries doesn’t stock spares for these hubs anymore) and after trying to ride on it with a crudely machined aluminum axle end (I used a drill press as a lathe, but what messed it up was that I forgot to mill the part of the axle that sticks into the dropout, which meant that this thing could not be trued with any degree of precision) put it aside for about 6 months. But I had to pull the wheelset out of my bike mess and try to put it back into service because the 700d CR-18s I had been using finally reached the degree of sidewall wear that was teetering on structurally unsound, and I didn’t have any other wheelsets (or enough components to build a new wheelset) lying around.

So, a piece of .035 5/16ths tubing telescoped into a piece of .028 3/8ths tubing, with a pair of 3/8ths washers to support the hub against the dropout. It’s going to be brazed together to make it one big chunk (maybe I’ll use silver for the fun of it? I’ve got a small coil of silver sitting in the basement, and some silver flux) in the next day or so, but first I’ve got to ride on the wheelset to make sure nothing fails.

Note that 128mm OLD is pretty narrow for a modern(ish) hub. I spoked the NDS side 1x, with the spoke heads out to more equalize the bracing angles – I’m fairly confident that the White hub can deal with this, because when I originally laced up the wheel I laced the NDS so tightly that 4 of the NDS spoke nipples seized and stripped out when I was attempting to loosen them to true the wheel tonight.

Aug 14, 2016

A narcissistic test ride

Temporary wheels

I had to swap the wheels on the kit bike (and while I was doing that I adjusted the derailers & brakes to fit, then installed an allergy-attack – 11-28 – cassette and added a link to the chain so I could actually shift into the 28t cog while in the big ring), so when that was all done I took it out for a ride down to Oregon City. And I needed to stop at the Oregon City railroad station and take a picture.

It turns out that with wider rims the rear pockets on my practice bag foul the travel agent on the front brake. So I had to move most of the packets of energy goo that I’d stuffed that pocket full over over to the NDS side of the bike. There are still a few on that side (it’s easier for me to dig them out with my right hand when I’m on the move, oddly enough) but now the bag is empty enough so the DS cantilever can rotate away from the rim.

And the 21t cog on the Sunrace cassette I’d cut down to an 8of9 had a couple of bent teeth, so whenever I was on the 18t cog the chain would go *ting* every time that cog rotated. So I took apart the Shimano 8of9 cassette that was on the CR18 wheelset and swapped the 21t cogs (after first milling off the indexing pegs on the spacers that were going to sandwich this mismatched cog because of course Sunrace & Shimano put them in slightly different locations. Ah well, it’s not as if I was cutting down an integrated spider or something.)

Follow your dreams

Graffiti, #1

I’m not a Christian, but if I was I’d probably recommend against trying this. The Adversary is an angel, after all, and it’s probably not killable by anything other than יְהֹוָה. It would probably like the attention, though, and what’s the worst that could happen? 65 years of acne and oddly localized locust plagues? That would almost be worth it for gossip purposes in the thereafter.

Aug 13, 2016

The domestic sloth

The domestic sloth

Buckeley naps after a tiring day of napping in the windowsill.

Aug 12, 2016

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Inspecting the rim

The wheel inspector


CalPortland's 7450 dumps a load of gravel onto a yard pile

I foolishly decided that today would be a good day to ride Kevin Brightbill’s Dedalus Diggle Populaire (not a good idea for a couple of reasons; first, it was hot, which made the return leg of the trip somewhat more painful than usual, and secondly because Oregon has replaced the oxygen in the atmosphere with pollen, which made the outbound leg a festival of breathing difficulties.) Much to my surprise I finished the ride (the cutoff was 7 hours, I finished in 6h58) but it was all worth it because when I was looping around in the flatlands immediately east of Scappoose I discovered CalPortland’s Marion 7450 working on a gravel bed.

If I could have breathed you probably would have heard my squeals of delight as far away as Portland, but as it was I only startled a few grasshoppers and whatever other insects that are out when it’s so warm.

Yeah, stripmining is aesthetically displeasing and an enviromental trainwreck, but Dragline! OPERATING dragline! Oh, lord, I’ve died and gone to heaven haven’t I?

Aug 07, 2016


Now that's a fender failure I've not seen before

That hole is not intentional. I’d reinforced this fender mount with a little steel washer, which over the last 5 months of riding did what you’d expect when cuddled up next to a piece of sheet aluminum in a damp environment: the aluminum welded itself to the steel washer and weakened itself enough so the cup spacer that I had to space it from the brake-area bridge could act like a punch and punch out a neat little – but not little enough to be used to bolt the fender to the bike – hole in the middle of the fender.


A new set of V-O Zepps would cost $65, so that’s not going to happen. Maybe a couple of pieces of spring steel, bent to the right radius & plastidipped, to use as bridgeplates?


Stopped by a train (1)

A Park Ave-bound train blocks my way at 17th & McLoughlin.

Aug 06, 2016

More racks

trois porte-bagage

A rack for a Velo Orange Pass Hunter Disc, the rack that’s going onto the Pelican with the fork I modified yesterday, and the prototype for the Velo Orange rack.

The Velo Orange rack looks like it does because it’s a redo; It’s part of a 5-rack order that I finished last month without first verifying the (if not for being a disc) brake bolt to fork leg mountpoint distances. Since I’d made a PH-D rack this spring, I was certain that the brake bolt to leg mount distance was 125mm (spoiler: it’s not), and I didn’t listen to the little voice screaming in my head (“VERIFY BEFORE BRAZING! VERIFY BEFORE BRAZING!”) and went ahead and brazed everything together before needing some reassurance.

I didn’t get that reassurance, so I had to redo that rack. Siiiiigh. But at least if I’m going to redo it I’ll make the customer happy by making the rack a little fancier, and what I did for that was to extend the center of the rack back a little bit so the tombstone can be offset from the perimeter and the bag can be supported by the perimeter on all 4 sides. And I did it twice because I wanted to see if my process worked. Which it does; it’s actually faster to make this kind of rack because the interior rails only need to be fitted once instead of piece-by-piece. I’m not sure if I like it better than my standard metal rectangle, but if it’s always going to have a rando bag plopped down on top of it all you’ll see is the rear of the extension sticking out under the tombstone.

(And, yes, it’s a bit crooked as is traditional; I’ve already patched that by the simple expedient of cutting the offending side of the perimeter and inserting an internal lug & tubing spacer to square the short edge.)

Aug 05, 2016

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Mite & Jellyfish

Dust Mite & a friend, in iphone-o-vision

Doing horrible horrible things to a rando fork

Doing horrible horrible things to a Winter fork

I’m building a rack for a Box Dog Bikes Pelican (one of the Winter production run) and as part of that process I’m adding a pair of rack mounts at the standard Riv/Rawland/Kogswell 140mm location. Shame about the powdercoat, but the owner of the bike doesn’t want the rack painted because he’s going to have it done locally (to him, not to me) so I presume the fork will get the same treatment at that time.)

Aug 04, 2016


1" threadless fork with pacenti pbp crown

When I finish up on the (small, and almost finished) pile of racks + (singular) rando bag I’m working on, I’m going to put the Pacenti PBP fork crown I’ve had kicking around in my bike mess to some good use as part of the fork that’s going under my three speed project bike. 700c (Resist doesn’t make a 650b Nomad), maybe low trail (French-style low bends courtesy of the plumber’s conduit bender I use to rake fork blades :-), V-brakes, and with Riv/Rawland/Kogswell 140mm spaced rack mounts on the legs.

Seems legit

Hello friend !!!!
I want to make friends with a guy like you !!! If you certainly will not mind.
I really wish that there was a friendship or a serious relationship between us.
Since I’m alone, but I really want to I already had a boyfriend like you !!!
Since when you have the other half to become easier to live.
And I would very much like to have you there with each other mutual sympathy.
And I very much hope for understanding. Now a little about yourself.
My name is Eva I am 30 years old.
I have blue eyes, blond hair. My height 175 cm My weight 65 kg. My parameters.
Chest 87 centimeter waist 59 centimeters and 90 centimeters thigh.
I do not smoke or drink alcohol and take drugs. Go in for sports go to aerobics, dance.
Just really like gymnastics. Here is a little short, I described you.
I hope that very soon I will see your letter.
Because if you’re lonely that you and I should build a serious relationship.
I think that maybe it’s fate? We must all try in this life !!!! I’ll say good bye !!!
Your future girlfriend Eva.

“Eva” (most likely Richard, from Stavropol, who’s pulling in some pin money by running a small botfarm), who is really interested in a relationship with a guy like me, but doesn’t actually know my name. And the photo they helpfully included (a Russian model named Polina Studilina, who I’m sure is lovely, but (a) not “Eva” or (b) a scammer) adds that additional touch of believability that makes me (not) want to throw my entire life in the dumpster in pursuit of Twue Wuv.

Now, shoo, back to the spam pit with you.

Aug 02, 2016

Still authorized

Still authorized, though I need to change the chain on the thing

The traditional photo stop on River Lake Road