so many tubes

April 30, 2009

coming along

The second top tube went on with nary a hiccup.  Like any brazing job 80% of it was filing over and over to get the smooth transition between joints. I will now stop adding tubes before it becomes the bicycle equivalent of this.  While the bike is never going to be a Bombadil replica (I’m using 26 inch instead of 650 wheels) I would like to fit the general aesthetics of Rivendell’s bikes. That means the fork has got to be lugged.  At first i was at a loss because a lugged fork for a 26 inch wheel is impossible to get short of having one custom made ($$$$$).  As I was swimming through my junk pile like that monster from the Deathstar’s trash compactor, it came to me and I broke the surface gasping for air and clutching a fork for a 27 inch wheel. Surprisinglysceptical arn't you the measurements for both forks are almost identical right down the rake. The differences are; the fork blades aren’t round, there are no cantilever brake tabs, and the crown/blades are narrower.  Since I can only use 1.5 inch tall tires (because of height issues with the frame) the narrow crown won’t effect clearance. The canti tabs will be a little bit of work but not insurmountable. The only thing that slightly worries me is the blade design, those big round tubes on the original fork are supper stiff and can take a lot of side to side forces while the 27 inch road fork was designed for mostly front to back loads. If any failure happens I won’t be going very fast anyway given that the farm doesn’t have hills, but it is still something to keep my eye on. Really though the fork should be the least of my worries on this bike.  Now for more brazing (filing) putting on the canti tabs.


ugly face wednesday

April 29, 2009

join us or the kitty will get angrier

inspired by the best ugly face maker i have ever known

whiz bang kapowie zowie

April 28, 2009

these chickens won't pluck themselves

a new project has been added to the list for this summer. Plans and materials have been purchased for the most marvelous of modern inventions, a whiz bang chicken plucker. Basically the device resembles a washing machine that you throw dead chickens in.  If you want to pluck a lot of chickens in a short time and your name isn’t Ernest Hausen then this is the device for you.


April 27, 2009

This is the direction that I want the farm bike build to go in.  The double top tube is going to solve several problems. Namely that the top and down tubes are both slightly deformed  just behind the head tube. This didn’t even have to be from a very serious collision, the geometry of a frame so large makes that area  susceptible to  damage. The extra top tube will make a smaller/ stronger front triangle, allow me places to mount things like a shovel or tool holder, and make my bike  look really similar to one that cost more than all of my bikes combined. A old bike building proverb says that “three bent tubes are better than two straight ones

views of wallowa county

April 27, 2009

on the road to hat point coming up out of Imnaha


April 24, 2009

ya ya yah

It is not the most beautiful solution but the easiest, and probably the strongest. The “patch” came from seat tube of a crashed Bianchi.  The thinner walled tubing was easy to shape and blended nicely with the down tube.  Now on to the braze-on.  I committed a sin and stole the 3 hole cable guide from a perfectly good frame, I needed it and I don’t have the time to wait for one to come in the mail. The patch on the chainstay went super smooth.

and how

now to throw parts at it

views of wallowa county

April 21, 2009

windy much?

Apparently it has been this way for awhile. High winds coming out of hurricane creek canyon ripped the crap out of this barn.  This was one of the highlights from a November bike ride near Joseph several years ago.

projects ?

April 20, 2009

it's barntacular

There are lots of things on the big list for this summer. Among them are, furnish and get operational a small machine shop, micro-hydro power, build foot bridges, level a sagging barn (not the one pictured), and excavate a pond. Some other small projects round out the list but these are the heavy hitters.

farm bike build

April 19, 2009


I have a really hard time passing up free bikes, at first glance this one seemed like a gem. A large sized cromolly steel  mtb frame with a sealed bottom bracket, friction shifters and a triple chain ring.  I got the bike home and realized there were a few things wrong, namely two ridiculous holes cut in the frame for no real reason.oh that kinda sucks

this was kinda a bummer, there was a hole in the frame strategically placed where the braze on was.  I could probably fix this with a sleeve cut from another bike including the braze-on. Then I saw this………

holy mother of god

I’m not afraid of a challenge, so why not give it the old college try, with a approach similar to the fix for the rear of the bike. It might look hideous but how pretty does it really need to be?

Oregon’s Alps

April 17, 2009

looking south east toward Cheif Joseph Mt.

looking southeast toward Chief Joseph Mt.

People claim the Wallowa Valley is the closest thing to the Alps outside of Switzerland. This relatively high elevation area is made up of a mostly agricultural community surrounded by the Eagle Cap wilderness area to the south and west, Hell’s canyon to the east, and high plains to the north. These features form an “island” of  isolation – you only get there if it’s your destination. A perfect location if you’re running away from a city, even one as nice as Portland.