Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Don't panic...... we're back!

Finally after a long, long, loooong break during which Jeff got mega busy and I got seduced by the siren song of summer (plus keeping a seven year old from going feral) we dragged our sorry asses back into the shop. In the last two weeks we have successfully cut out the new design (in glorious five ply bamboo), prepped the parts and glued the stack laminate sub assemblies. It feels great to be back at it, back in the shop with the music pumping and that old synergy coming together. In theory having lots of time for a project is a great idea (we started this almost 9 months ago) but the reality is you need the pressure of a deadline to focus or it never gets done and our deadline being just over a month out is looming large. Despite the stress of such a tight timeline we feel confident that it will get done. The lessons learned from Model No.1 have guided us in the development of No.2. We understand better how to leverage the accuracy of the CNC router to ensure alignment and fit and Jeff has started to master the Tron era software and reduce the time it takes to toolpath. The new material offers some benefits in terms of stiffness and visual appeal (Birch, our previous choice, is the white bread of woods) and some downsides like vicious splinters and possibly a weight penalty but we will have to wait and see on that one. We are also experimenting with an alternative glue, Titebond 3, for the stack laminates. Billed as the world's ultimate wood glue and doesn't require masks or happy orange hazmat suits to apply which I appreciate. Unfortunately epoxy resin will come in to play very soon as we assemble the parts......maybe even tonight.
As for components we scored a crappy Cadillac badged beach cruiser for $300 on featuring a Nu Vinci hub with disc brake (okay, so it's the 1st generation but still). We can probably get 75% of the parts we need from that and I have been slowly amassing the rest. Found an old pair of GT bmx forks at City Bikes and Oregon Plating are stripping of the chrome as we speak in preparation for adding canti bosses. Also got two (yes two!) Ritchie Logic A-headsets (also at City Bikes). The fenders presented a problem in that we need a 26" for the rear and a 20" for the front. Luckily Clever Cycles sell the Civia Cycle Truck which features just such an arrangement of fenders and had some in stock to sell me thus saving us $40.00. Outstanding is a good looking chain set and pedals and seat post and saddle.
Some issues are still to be resolved...... like I have been unable to come up with a killer kick stand design that I can actually build. Oh well......... still a whole month to solve that conundrum.