Wednesday, February 18, 2009

preparing - continued

Installment number three:

By this time the genders had separated, unintentionally, into teams to complete the two bici-liquadoras. Well, my team was actually just me, what with Palo being who knows where.

The starship trooper alien bugs each needed a final leg attached, both for stability and to house the seat post. And as the sole representative of my sex i declared Team Man ready to go.

First i ground out a crescent in the bottom tube of the bike frame. This was to maximize contact between the pieces of metal and encourage a better weld. It took some time to get the top crescent and bottom crescent just right, the both had to line up to create the space for a true and plumb seat post.

Then the top tube (this being the word i was so painfully struggling for two posts ago) which i had previously removed needed to have the tube of the headset (not the header) welded to it to provide enoguh height for the seat post. In my inexperienced mind i thouhgt, i`ll just tack weld the two together and then bend it into place. So i did, but it did not.

When i went to bend it, knowing nothing of how the tube was constructed, the top part stayed and the rest, to my chagrin, popped off. Grrrrr.

So i hammered it off and started again. This time I was sure to weld the little bugger to the tube. My tack weld bend strategy worked well the second time around and i got the thing looking pretty straight.

Though with an unnattractive- but still strong- weld. The learning curve isn`t the smooth parabola that Mr. Teacher`s graph would like you to believe it is. Its a bumpy oscillating general upward trend.

I then cleaned it up some on the grinder, and stuck it to the rest fo the machine. Also not the prettiest weld on the block (it was last to be asked to prom) But a fair amount of grinding got it looking a little better.

I then ran into a problem that i`m not sure Carlos factors in during construction- the floor is not level. This translated into a rear seat post/ third leg that didn`t touch the floor. I wouldn`t have known had i not sat on it and almost fallen backwards.

With this new realization in mind i took it over to the most level spot i could find- the tile floored section of the hallway- to check it out there. I needed to remove just a little teeny tiny bit from the the center post. I ground it down, but apparently too far, transfering the important job of floating from the back to center. It also was pretty unstable side to side. Unsure of how importnat or not the center post was i decided to leave it for the morrow, moving on to the rear stablization.

I found some angle iron to run perpendicular to the bike, a measure that would surely stop the rocking. The iron was too big to put in the table cutter, so i had to use the hand grinder. The one of frequent use was too small, largely due to its frequent use. I fishec out a big one from the tool box and, boy, was it big. I don`t think my picture can do it justice. It was like holding up a 20 pound large-mouthed bass. (I was tempted to pose with it like my catch, but holding it by the cord is bad for it, especially with all that weight).

I set the iron against the bike, leaving the cut end to fall off, which is something you have to do to avoid pinching the blade and a possible kick back (not good).

Once cut i made a tack weld and took it to the level spot. I could see it needed slight adjustment. Hammering helped there. When set i took it back and welded it all on.

After I decided to get the seat post set up. First i cut a small slit in the top of the tube, this allows the tube to constrict and hold the seat post steady. I then put on the hardware i had pulled from another bike, it didn`t quite fit, so i jammed it open knowing that i could squeeze it back into pladce with the screw.

What i failed to take into account was the fact that the bolt for this apparatus is specially designed to fit and not move on one end (to make taking it on and off easier by only needing one hand to do so). This made it shoot off at an angle and miss the opening on the other side. So i tried to opend the other hole with a drill, it proved to slow and i thoughti might be wrecking the drill bit, so i just notched it out with the hand held grinder. Probelm solved. Uglyily.

Having the seat on I was curious to see the rest of it together, so i cut some square tubing Carlos left for me, set the tray on and found some decent handle bars.

The rustic DIY look actually really spoke to me, i like the slick painted ones too, but this felt a little more bad ass, like, i just dumpster dived me blender machine, uhhh, what!

But the dirty home-made look isn`t fashionable here like it is in the states, where people don`t have money they`d much rather look like they do. Which makes me wonder why so many of us in the states like looking like we don`t.

I opted for yellow.

I also opted for spray paint after seeing how the brush method faired.

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