This Space for Rent

Jul 31, 2017

Another one (hopefully won’t) bite(s) the dust

3spf mockup

The 3-speed project frame (the replacement for the existing 3-speed project bike’s SE draft frame) mocked up this afternoon (the chainstays are merely press-fitted into the the BB shell – they need to be cut down so that the rear center is 420mm – and I’m using the kit bike’s fork as a scratch fork) and now waiting for me to braze the rear triangle, various cable stops, the rear brake bridge, a rack, and a taillight mount so I can strip down the SE draft frame and move all the parts over to this frame (and then I can strip down the emergency randonneuse & get it painted.)

Jul 28, 2017

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Dust Mite Pie

It’s the first cherry pie of the season. Yum!

Jul 25, 2017

At the jamboree


Jul 24, 2017

Half a frame, but still waiting on a pair of mail-order track ends

Approximately half of the 3-speed frame

With the original fork from the Trek to prop up the front end, and a paving brick to prop up the rear end so it’s more-or-less at the orientation it will be when I get the rear end brazed on. I decided that I’d rather not go down the path of doing a fillet-brazed BB cluster again (the first one wasn’t necessarily BAD brazing, but the BB slid sideways enough to make the frame unsusable) and snarfeled up a lugged BB of approximately the correct ST/HT/CS angles (both are about 1° too tight, but that’s an easy enough adjustment to make) to put into the thing.

Note that I didn’t drill the frame for bottle bosses yet; my previous attempt at a jig wasn’t very satisfactory, so I’m thinking about a way to do it better (without spending a stack of money on the thing – a commercial jig would be nice, but the ones that do tube aligning cost a large fraction of the cost of a hobby mill or small lathe) and until I figure it out this frame will just have to be unsuitable for randonerdery.

Stouter tubing, too (9/6/9 vs 8/5/8), so I can see if it makes any noticeable difference to the ride. I suspect it won’t – the mountainhack has a front triangle made of whatever super-heavy MTB tubing Trek did on the 820 that year, and it still has a sublime ride – because lightweight chainstays & seatstays are the way to go for a flexy-but-not-noodly frame.

The todo list for this thing to make it into a bicycle is

  • the rear triangle (of course), which is waiting on a pair of track ends,
  • shifter stops for the 3-speed hub (a Shimano 333; I do have a Suntour S-A hub, but it needs to be lubricated and it looks, at least according to the net of a billion lies, like S-A hubs without a grease port need to be disassembled to lubricate if you’re doing anything other than pouring lightweight oil into the shifter port on the axle?) I’d love to get a S-A 3-speed fixie hub, but the old ones appear to be few, far between, and expensive, and the new ones seem to have, aside from the ridiculous name, a reputation of becoming a freewheel hub under load(?!?),
  • brake cable stops,
  • a fork (the Trek’s fork would work, but when I braze up an xtracycle frame to replace the Trek I’ll want to put this fork back with the frame when I sell it) either made from scratch or out of my pile of forks,
  • HT reamed and faced,
  • BB reamed and faced

which is probably about 5 hours of work, or about 3 days of clock time, which means if I can do the timing correctly I can get this thing on the road in time to dismantle the emergency randonneuse for the final few frame tweaks (aligning the rear triangle, putting a wiring port into the DT for the rear light, and maybe adjusting the position of the shifter bosses) and painting.

Jul 21, 2017

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Inspecting a damaged shipping box

Dust Mite inspects a squashed shipping box (the box contained a rack that was being sent back for adjustment after the owner cracked one of the brazes when attempting to spread the fork leg stays apart; by the time it got into my hand this was the least of the problems with the rack – the cracked fork leg stay had broken completely off, the other fork stay had buckled just past the brace, the tombstone was bent about 30° back (one leg bent & the other leg had failed at the braze) and the fork crown stay was bent 90°(!!!) up and, of course, failed the braze. The box was damaged enough so the postman rang my doorbell to tell me that the box was already mangled when he got it for delivery, and I took advantage of that to open the box where he could be a witness to the damage) to document the first time that USPS has managed to do this sort of damage.

Yes, I have filed a claim with the USPS, because I’m going to have to completely replace this rack instead of just adjusting it.



Jul 20, 2017

Taking the weird out of Portland


The last bit of a muralled warehouse wall which was left standing until the rest of the warehouse it was attached to was demolished, just to taunt us with the hope that the apartment block that’s going to go in its place would have some character to it.

Jul 18, 2017

An ancient Schwinn

An elderly Schwinn

Not klunkerized, but just grinding out the miles as a city bike.

Jul 17, 2017

Network infrastructure


The DNS/DHCP/NTP server for my home network, now with a UPS after we had a power failure this morning that crashed the FS on its previous incarnation (crashed it in such a way that the fsck during the Linux boot process couldn’t fix it, which converted the machine into a very small boatanchor until I could reflash it with a more recent version of Debian.)

It’s going to be relocated so it sits closer to the wifi access point, because right now (~12 feet away) it’s distant enough so that the latency makes dns-intensive things really sluggish.


I want to believe

Roswell Market in Milwaukie Oregon :-)

Jul 14, 2017

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Wiring up the emergency randonneuse

Dust Mite helps me build some temporary (pre-painting) wiring for the emergency randonneuse.


(650)bicycle clutter

The GT & the emergency randonneuse do their part to clutter up the living room

Jul 12, 2017

All hardware sucks

Dead macbook battery

The battery on my 2012 macbook pro finally gave up the ghost (after staggering along for several weeks getting more and more flakey) so I had to salvage a battery from a macbook pro that was sitting in the deadline (because of the Pepsi Syndrome; replacing the keyboard will involve pulling the entire machine apart so I’ve been putting it off indefinitely) and swap it in in place of this one (which will, if I can carve out 30 minutes, be taken off to the recycling center along with all the other dead high explosive batteries I’ve got lying around the house.)

And, yeah, I noticed the warning. OH NOES IT WILL VOID MY (already expired for two years now) WARRANTY. But I’ve now got a once again functional macbook pro to take the sting of the voided warranty away.

Jul 09, 2017

Stealthier when it’s not painted

Stealthier when it's not painted

I took the emergency randonneuse down to Estacada this afternoon to see if anything would break. Nothing broke, but the usual crop of funny noises started happening while I was rowing my way (against, sigh, an annoyingly omnipresent headwind) back to Portland so I have to carefully check all the usual suspect joints before taking it out again (the BB started klunking when I was s-l-o-w-l-y (I’d taken some cold medicine before I headed off to try to knock down the sniffles, and it started to wear off around the time I hit Oregon City, with the expected side-affect to my moving speed) creeping along the final leg from OC to Westmoreland, so either a braze has failed (doesn’t seem to have; I can shove the BB sideways without a klunk or creak or crackling noise), something has slid a bit out of alignment in the shifting arrangement (possible; I tweaked the rear derailer tension in transit because the chain was rubbing on 48:14), or something in the crankset or the BB bearings want some attention.

Jul 08, 2017


Shopping (didn't manage to twist the rear triangle off this time either)

Off to Trader Joe’s for a “let’s try to twist the rear triangle off” shopping trip.

Jul 07, 2017

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Repairing an iPhone

Repairing Julie’s old iPhone

Jul 06, 2017



The GT looks downright traditional compared to the emergency randonneuse.

Jul 05, 2017


A pile of tubing lashed to the TT

Picking up a mess of tubing from Henry James (2 .8/.56/.7 downtubes, 1 .7/1.0 seattube, 1 .9/.6/.9 TT, and a 1" steertube for good luck) so I can pour them into making Yet Another bicycle frame after I finish the 3-speed frame, Feeling Lucky?, and a third frame from last year. Probably the xtracycle replacement (though now that xtracycle has pulled their frame specs behind an NDAwall I’m going to have to reverse-engineer the mountpoints for the saddlebag hoops. This is not as horrible as it sounds, even with my traditional complete and utter inability to detect a straight line, because there are a couple of changes I want to make to make the back end of the hypothetical-until-I-start-mitering-the-tubing longtail be more content around a 700×32c (Resist Nomad 35; a bit more footprint than the 28 for heavier loads) tire and be able to tow another bicycle without putting the axle mount waaaay out past the end of the rear wheel for maximum wag-the-dog effect) though I do reserve the right to use the tubes for an emergency replacement for the emergency randonneuse if I managed to fuck up a joint and it breaks before I’ve melted through enough brass to reach these tubes.

Note that the 600mm effective TT leaves me with lots of room to wedge long tubes into the front triangle without having them foul the rear wheel or the front rack; not intended, but a pleasant extra feature of this frame.

Jul 04, 2017


Clothing optional emergency randonneuse

Stopping at the Collins Beach sign by the junction of Reeder Road and the unnamed pair of roads that cut across to the Gilbert River boat ramp. It was a busy day on Sauvie Island; there was a constant stream of cars going back and forth (most of which were fairly chill about a bicyclist, except for one young man who suggested that I should not be riding on the road – in return I offered to have sex with him, but he didn’t see my offer) which made for fairly tight quarters once I was in Columbia County where the road no longer came with anything resembling a shoulder.

Jul 03, 2017

3-speed project frame, round two

Tubing cut to size and mitered

This one will be built on a jig instead of freehand. But the first step was to cut the tubes to length, miter them (though there wasn’t much cutting needed; the TT & DT are basically as long as the tubing blanks, so I didn’t need to cut the ends back before feeding them into a hole saw, and since the ST is extended I only needed to cut off enough so I could have some flexibility in case I give this frame away to someone smaller who wants a upright-handlebarred machine) and then dry-fit them to see if I’d messed up any of the miters.

(lugged HT, fillet-brazed seat cluster, probably fillet brazed BB cluster, though I reserve the right to fall back to a lugged BB up until the last minute.)

Jul 01, 2017

Valve’s-eye view

Every now and then I actually get the logos to line up

A through-axle disc wheel for sizing Hunter-Gatherer racks properly over semi-fat tires (I have a couple of 2.35" Vittoria “Sturdy” tires for fitting purposes, which work out to be more on the order of 2.5" when you include the tread) that I built this morning out of random parts in my bike mess. It does have a new T-A hub on it, so I didn’t have to try to work out how to fit the spokes into the dents left by the previous wheelbuild and could instead concentrate on lining up the spokes & hub so that (a) there was a proper window around the valve hole and (b) the valve’s-eye view of the hub was centered on the logo.

(Taken with my Pentax Auto 110/24mm lens on a NEX-3 w/o flash; the NEX-3 has to fight for photons when it’s a low-light situation, so the photo is pretty soft)


Obéir c'est trahir, Désobéir c'est servir