Well it’s been a long time coming but I finally got to finish my 6″ suspension frame I drew up this frame on auto cad 2.5 years back wanting a bike that suited the amazing riding around my local area that I had just moved to , as always my bike projects get pushed to the back of the build Que when I have customers builds on . So time ticked on and I even resorted to using a building up a giant reign frame lent to me buy a good mate. But I never bonded with that bike and as a frame builder it was a Insult to my self to not be riding my own frames . So I set aside time to finish building and get this rig rolling .
I learnt a lot during the build of this frame and I got a chance to try out some new concepts along the way . I am extremely happy with the the way she turned out and how she rides , and though there are a lot of things ill do differently for the next build ( I have already started the next build ) this rig will be taking pride of place in my quiver for a log time o come
Well here is another build that is a little different , Ben asked me to build him a cargo bike that needed to fill a few specific requirements he wanted the handling and response that you get from a pull pull cable steering sys and a big carry bed but most importantly it had to be very strong as he would be carrying around his most precious asset his new born son. So I set to work creating his super cargo frame, I have been very happy with my cargo bike and but i was very glad to have this opportunity to improve a few things with this build. with all one off complex builds there are always many challenges to deal with and this build was no different but the end results have come up to and bettered my expectations and I am very much looking forward to seeing the complet bike built up and running. Well if you live in Brisbane look out for a crazy green cargo bike rolling the streets.
Well it has been a couple of years since I first came up with the idea of building a short travel bike . lots of time spent on auto cad working out angles geo and clearances, originally I had planed to get some plates CNC cut and have the swing arm as a bolt together unit but as happens I kept putting other (paid jobs) ahead of this build . I have been working on a new suspension frame design with a good mate who is a gun when it comes to suspension design so I figured now was a good time to revisit my half finished frame re working the swing arm design to be more in tune with the style of frames I am planing to build in the future. To this end I learnt a lot and I’m very happy with the end result, I’m looking forward to seeing how she performs on the trail.
Stay up right
I have 2 great passions in my life
frame building and coffee.
So when I got the chance to build a coffee roster I didn’t turn it down.
A good mate of mine roasts his beans using a bread maker and a heat gun (getting fantastic results too)
Anyway he came to me one day asking if I would be keen to build him a coffee roster (hell yes) having not looked into it before I started checking the net for info. there was a few designs available and I thought about the pros and cons of each design, in the end I chose the drum roaster as it was going to be the easiest to fabricate and worked well with the idea that was forming in my mind.
At first I was planing to build a double walk insulated stainless steel roast chamber and I found some good material at my local metal recyclers, then I remembered I had been offered a huge brass tube buy my powder Coater a few months earlier and I thought that would look the bomb on the roaster.
After checking that the drum was still available I went and picked it up and it was only when I actually did pick it up that I found out how heavy it was, the drum is 300mm OD with a solid 6mm wall and it was 900mm long that’s a lot of brass.
My first job was to clean the drum as it was from some form of heavy industry ( I’m guessing it was a massive bush bearing or a hydraulic sleeve) this was a big job at first I used 3 cans of degreaser and I had barely cut threw the surface grease! Much scrubbing later and I most of the years of industry cleaned off.
Then i had to work out how I was going to cut this drum in to 2 even pieces with a lot of measuring and masking tape I marked out the centre to be cut, next I went and visited my mate John from cycle under ground to use his big band saw as mine was to small to cut this size drum, cutting went very smoothly and very straight, I had been very concerned as to how it would cut so to have this process go so smoothly was great.
Next was how to face the drum? This proved quite hard as even though my lathe is big there was no way I was going to be able to hold such a large drum in it, so I ended up using my mill and slowly turning the drum then running a cutter along the face, painfully slow, when both drums where faced to my satisfaction I took
Them back to my powder Coater with the intension of getting them media blasted to get a uniform finish, after a quick test my blaster told me it was not going to work due to the many nicks and scratches in the drum so I hand sanded them to get a very nice brush finish.
In-between all this I had been ordering various bearings and mounts that I planed to use for the workings of the track and main axel drive, also sourcing that heating elements fan unit and controller to do the cooking all these units had to work with everything else and fit in the drum, so I was very busy on auto cad designing all the CNC pieces and this was a fairly arduous job as there where a lot of changes as the design grew and changed.
But this stage I was ready to place the order to get the plate work cut with John from cycle underground, I had planed to build 2 units one for my mate and one for me but as the cost started to go up my mate decided to pull out so I was left wondering if I should proceed with the project. This was when Andy from fyxomatosis offered me a spot on at the first hand built bike show, with only 3 months to get ready for the show it struck me that the roster would make a good show piece, so it was full steam ahead with the roaster.
While John was cutting the plates I had some large decals cut for an idea I wanted to try on the brass drum, my plan was to get my logo blast etched into the side of the drum, working with John from advanced powder coating we worked out the process to get the logos on the drum, and the results were amazing.
When the plate work came back it needed to be dressed before being sent out for anodizing ( another fairly laborious task) another week to get anodized and I had pretty much all the fittings together.
Well every thing started to go together slowly as there was a lot of manual machining that had to be with each component, but as it started to build up it was pretty cool to see what had been an idea and a 2D drawing on screen become a working product.
I managed to get it all built for the show and she looked the part on my stand, I have not roasted a batch of beans yet and I have a few small additions to add before I do but I’m looking forward to learning the fine art of coffee roasting real soon.
Stay up right
Well this is Keir’s third frame with me this time round it’s a beautiful stainless steel lugged road frame. Keir had been talking to me for some time about creating his own marque frame and after a lot of back and forward we came up with the design. The frame uses KVA SS tubes matched to llewellyn’s clean cast lugs, with brush finish rear stays and custom decals this was going to be a very high end build.
The SS tubes are always a bit of a challenge to work with they are super hard and very tricky to miter, so with delicate hands and good patience the frame started to take shape and soon we had the raw build done, for the forks also used llewellyn lugs and Columbus straight blades these matched the frame lugs to give the bike a complete look .
A lot of time went into the braze on fittings and brushing out the rear stays to a uniform finish.
Next it was of to star enamelers to get masked up and sprayed down , while Peter was working his magic with the paint Meg from candy cranks came up with the custom McLennan logos for the frame, when the art work was finalized the decals where cut but Greg softly and Peter applied them to the frame before the clear coat went on .
All in all this frame turned out beautifully and I was super happy with it when it was all done, did a fantastic job of building up the bike and was kind enough to let me display the bike at the ACBS.
Keir will be marketing these McLennan frame and fork sets to buy in a range of sizes and color options so check out the photos on McLennan cycles face book page.
This project came to me from Bob at Stanmore cycles . The original request was to replace the seat tube on his custom XC hard tail , when I got the frame and saw the rust that had eaten thrue the seat tube and the fact that there was other rust holes on the seat stays I was loth to repair what was very lightly to be a rust bucket thrue the rest of the frame as well , after extensive discussions with Bob we decided to build a new frame . Bob wanted the geo to be exactly the same as his previous frame , I clocked it up in my old jig witch I like to use for this type of build as when it is all set up it stays clocked till the new tubes slid in and presto a dead copy is born , after clocking the old frame up I did find some pretty funky angles going on (75deg seat on a XC frame ? ) and a pretty high BB but even though I tried to convince Bob that a few Tweaks to the geo would make for a better handling bike more comfortable ride he was set on keeping to the original design so I did just that , the only changes where room for a slightly wider wheel and the addition of disc tabs and a brace bridge to support it . With the additional disc tab + bridge and a slightly thicker wall seat stay to handle the loads of disc brakes we where only 10 grams heaver than the original frame ,happy with that .
She is off getting the star enamblers beauty treatment at the moment and Bob should be riding her very soon .
I received Lea’s order through Steve hog of cycle fit he had fit her out for a light wight touring set up so i was off doing the rounds mixing and matching tube sizes and wall thickness to achieve the best results the end tubes selection was Columbas zona set with 8-5-8 butting on the top and down tube Columbus cyclo cross S bend seat and chain stays . The build went together very well with the usual many fiddly hours fitting all the assorted braze on fitting that come on a touring frame . The color choice was spot on and this frame really looks amazing . Lea is of on her first tour with her new bike and I look forward hearing about the trip
This is the second frame I have built for Terry ,
This time round we went for a lovely Columbas life tubed Phil woods eccentric BB single speed frame. In the past I have used 45% silver to fillet braze the aero tubes to minimize heat distortion on the tubes as you have very little play in the way of cold setting with the life tube sets but this time I chose to use mag bronze and a very careful tacking and welding sequence she came out perfect . Terry chose the color scheme for the frame and with all the rest of the components done in black this will be a very striking bike . Hope you Enjoy her Terry .
Stay upright .
Well I just got back from the first Australian custom bike show , and what a weekend it was . There was an amazing selection of beautiful bikes and accessories on display from all the builders in oz but the best part had to be that all the builders where in one room ( to my understanding it the first time it’s happened over here ) this gave punters the opportunity to put a face to the people they had heard about or been following and to see up close the workmanship on display , and from a builders perspective it was fantastic to see what others are producing and through around ideas on what people use and why . All in all it was an amazing event and may thanks go to Andy from fyxomatosis for organizing the event , and I’m already working on ideas for next years show . Hope to see you there .
For more photos of the show check out fyxomatosis.com and go to ACBS link or check out my primate frames face book page .
well this was a huge project .
Peter came to me with a couple of prototype frames that he had built him self (very nice work to) any way after talking to Peter and seeing his frames I took on the project of building him 2 frames one for him and one for his partner but i liked the concept so much i decided to make 2 more one for me and one for my partner. so now i had 4 frames to make
well after a lot of cad work i had all the fittings drawn up and then sent them of to get CNC cut buy John from cycleunderground, john did a fantastic job as always while he was cutting the fittings I had to design and fabricate custom jigs for each section of the frames 5 in total, This turned out to be a time consuming and fiddly job it took almost 3 months to complete them.
next process was to start to build each section again with 4 frames to do this was a long some times painful process but it was cool to start to see them come together .
whilst the building was going on I was working with Peter to organize the wheels , as the bikes use 12” wheels there are no options to build any sort of quality wheels with the rims that are available in the market so i organized to get some custom 24 hole rims made up for the builds ,but with the minimum order for custom rims being 200 units i have quite a few still under my house. next in the wheel saga was cutting custom spokes, peter used his cad skills to draw up the spoke lengths but what works on the screen does not always play out in the real world and lacing the wheels required several sets of spokes to be cut till i got the sizes right and let me tell you lacing and tightening 12″ wheels really sux . I was well happy to see them all finished .
As the design was not mine and every change that i had to make as i came up against them had to be checked with Peter to make sure it would not affect the operation of the folding , It was a big relief when i dry fitted the first frame together and it all folded as it was supposed to do.
I had Peter and his partners frames wet painted buy the master hand of Peter of star enamelers and as always they came up beautiful . for my frames I was trying out a local powder coated John at advanced abrasive blasting and powder coating with fantastic results he does amazing work and we are working on some very cool color options at the moment for the last frame that i will be displaying at the custom frame show in Melbourne in Dec.
one of the main faults with Peters original design was the handle bars the first time i rode his test frame the bars folded under my arms and i was only roiling around the car park so I spent a lot of time coming up with a simple yet very solid braking handle bar set up. the end result is very nice and i have no concerns about them letting go under me .
well the last thing is how do they ride, i have to say very well the design is very solid with very little flex threw the frame they fold down quickly and neatly and are comfy to cruz around on, the 12 ” wheels are not the best for holding speed and you dont want to find any deep pot holes but the frames will accommodate 20″ wheels but you cant fold it with the 20″ wheels in the frame. but I really enjoy riding my little bike and im looking forward to hitting up Melbourne on it in Dec .
All in all this was a monster project that took a year to complete and to many hours to count and though i have a lot of ideas to improve the design further I wont be going back to building these monsters any time soon.