Shaping Up

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The beast. A 2″ (50mm) guided roundover cutter used to profile the outside of the tubes. I used it at full depth for the large 60mm down tube and retracted it by 1.5mm for the 40mm tubes to avoid cutting too far into the tube. They tend to be quite expensive but I got this one cheaply off Amazon.

This is after the first stage of shaping the outside. The stays and first pass at the drop outs are just pressed into place to see how it fits. Rating my excitment at this point, on a scale of 1 to 10, I’d say it was probably 11.5. It’s also feeling a hell of a lot lighter than it was a few hours ago but still not as light as I was expecting. I left drilling the holes for the head tube and seat tube until the end as I was nervous about using the big clunky roundover cutter on the exposed ends if they were hollow.

Close up of the head tube after initial shaping with the router. The darker patches on the maple and bubinga in these photos are where I ran the router too fast/ for too long so that it has burned the wood. These bits will have to be sanded down to give a nice consistent finish to the wood. As router bits get bigger, you have to run them at much lower speeds to avoid burning the wood. That aside, I think its starting to look pretty bloody sexy!

Drilling holes for the head tube and set tube. The drill is actually mounted in a press used for picture framing but does the job fine. The only thing to note here is make sure you remove dads computer, paperwork and stationary and wait till he goes out before using his desk as a work bench otherwise he gets upset about the sawdust.

Inside of the frame before joining the halves. I’ve got the cable guide in place for the rear brake cable. I suspect there could be a lot more lightening holes in it, and you can feel that there is a lot of extra weight in the corners, but I don’t want to make the joints too weak so i’d rather carry a bit of extra weight to be safe.

Fibreglass reinforcement around the bottom bracket. I put 2 layers of tape on each half of the frame to strengthen it.

I wrapped fibreglass tape around the head tube and back into the frame. I’m not expecting this small amount to carry the full load, the epoxy joint should do that, it’s more belt and braces for my piece of mind.

Final glue up. Plenty of clamps and tape to keep everything in the right place and don’t forget the shopping bags. I gave the whole of the inside a very thin coat of epoxy to seal it before I joined the halves together.

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5 thoughts on “Shaping Up

  1. I tried to send you an email trough the email at the end of this very nice site, but it didn’t work. Can you send me an answer with an activated email address with wich I can asked questions on the construction and plans.

    Thank you Pierrre Laplante from Montréal

    • Hi Pierre thanks for spotting that. I haven’t been using that address recently and it needed verifying again. It works fine now so please drop me a line at the same email address.
      Thanks
      Nick

  2. Hi Nick, the bike looks great I have been thinking about building one for a while now and yours has has inspired me to start it. Like you i love the look of the Renovo curved frames so i have decided on that designe, a racer for myself and my son wants a mountian bike. I plan on using ash & walnut for the racer and steamed beech with walnut for the mountian bike with laminated top tubes, fortunatly i am a cabinate maker and have the use of a workshop & cnc router. A couple of questions if i may ask, it looks like the rear ally drop outs are not parralel to each other did this cause you any prolems with fixing the back wheel in? Also what size height and thickness are the chain stays at the back wheel? Thanks Russ.

    • Hi Russ thanks for getting in touch. The rear dropouts in that photo were not fixed yet, just dropped in for the pic. In fact the one on the right is only the wooden template. I bent them on an inclined plane so that they are parallel and vertical. The chainstays are 18mm thick (3×6) and 25mm wide although I have had to chamfer the ends since I first made it so I could fit a larger sprocket for a hilly ride. Cheers Nick

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