Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Rocky XXIV

Ladies and gentlemen! We have the Ultimate grudge match for you this afternoon. This is the fight you've been waiting for! Not since Rocky XV111 has there been this much anticipation of a fight.

(Sorry about the quality of the one below)

You'll be able to tell your grand kids that you were there the night when these two ferocious competitors stood side by side locked in an epic no holds barred battle to see who will win. Lets check with out ringside reporter on this fight...
So we are ready to introduce the competitors.

In the red corner we have weighing in at 90kgs and 186cm we have the challenger Aaron 'The p-far' Wray. In his last match against Steelie 'the hammer' Hammer he lost on a TKO but he's looking to make up for that humiliating defeat this afternoon.

In the blue corner weighing 40kgs with 4 arms we have the defending champion Hills 'The hoist' Clothesline.
Now 'The hoist' has a massive reach of around 2 meters but tends to use the same hook technique that 'The P-far' could use to his advantage if he's smart enough. The referee is about to ring the bell....

As the two foes eye each other off it's Hills 'the hoist' that swings first.
Oh no Aaron 'the p-far' has gone down in the first punch of the match. There is no point even counting it out he's not getting up! It's a huge and resounding victory to Hills 'the hoist' who triumphantly continues hook punching.

Anyone would think that he just walked straight into that hook punch. He'll never be able to hold his head high in the back yard again after this humiliating defeat.

Now we've got some time to fill lets look at why they were we locked in a battle. With the eminent arrival of the spoke machine I was working on spray painting the front hub.

Here it is in the buff.
With it's undies on
 Now it's dressed ready for action.
As you can see it's suspended from Hill's 'the hoist' who was lowered to exactly eye ball height.... as it turns out....

This weeks class I had a lot of dithering around and not much actual work. I did however work on the thing that holds the bearing case
This took longer than expected cutting it out of a square piece of pipe I'll drill the hole next week to bolt it on. 

Then I also cut out and tapered the brass fitting that holds part of the headset in place and acts as a bearing.

As the inside of the headset is tapered it needed to be cut to fit. 

It'll all make sense when I get the other bits back to show how it fits together with the backbone of the bike. Unless that smug bugger Hills 'the hoist' Clothesline has another go at me.

To take you out from this weeks blog I bring you some trick riding on p-fars I can hardly wait! Danny MacAskill eat your heart out.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Now with added disclaimer

After last weeks dodgy blog with no discernible point I thought I'd keep to the facts and nothing but the facts so help me Lob *. Tonight I got to class a bit early when one of my learned eager beavers told me about a wooden bike that he was informed that Good King Brett had made was in the library. So being goodie two shoes teacher pets we went and checked it out. It certainly is a beautiful bike.

For those interested here is a close up of the text about the bike.

I assume that is straight from the most reliable source of information in the known universe wikipedia.... I'm hoping there is a class to make it. But I think Brett might consider early retirement rather than have another class with me.

Speaking of information recently (nice segway hey!) I happened upon this sign from my friend bikesnobnyc, I know we are friends as I once emailed him something for his blog and he emailed back that makes us BFF's! 'Email' for those not of the twitbookplus era is sort of like carrier pigeons without the smell.
It's obvious what has happened here. The safety bike propaganda machine is trying to overthrow the strangle hold that p-fars have on the cycling industry. Bikesnobnyc agrees saying "I don't understand German, but I'm pretty sure that says that pennyfarthing riders are not allowed to get rad". Well I won't sit uncomfortably and ever so smugly 5 feet in the air for it! We've got to fight, for our right, to p-far!

So *ahem* back to the blog, we wandered back to class just to find it start off like a lot of other nights with some bike shenanigans. This weeks was EMBR (extreme miniature bicycle riding)

EMBR is poised to be a worldwide phenonmomenen (pretty sure that how to spell it) we are getting in on the ground floor.

Ok so back to p-far building. Well I'd like to say tonight was a stellar night of achievement but it wasn't so instead I'm going to talk about my forks. I spent a lot of time on the weekend and ekka holiday working on my rear forks and frankly I'm sick of them. Here is a photographic history of the forks.

They started out a a bit of pipe cut in half then a reinforced top was brazed on. 

I then cleaned them up and carved out enough space for the wheel a bit with MFTF (my friend the file), MFTPF (my friend the power file) and most importantly MFTG (my friend the grinder)  

I then cut out the inserts and shaped them using the aforementioned devices. 
This was a mock up

Then many hours later I got to help braze them together. 

Then they were a mess and needed cleaning one again *sigh*...

Many many many many hours later with all sorts of files, sanders, grinders etc I got a relatively finished product. 

All ready for attaching to the frame then paint. 

Easy poesy so they say. But they would be fricken liars.
* Disclaimer there are no facts in this blog it's just my ramblings I'm sorry. 

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Story time

Hello boys and girls and welcome this this weeks show. We have an exciting show today with Mr Squiggle, Blackboard, Gus the snail, Bill the steam shovel and Rocket Ship. 
'So in this weeks show we are....
'Hurry Up'!
'What's that blackboard? You have something to say'?
'Yes I'd really like a story.'
'Well boys and girls what should I do about this winging blackboard who has been snorting too much chalk dust? I know lets tell Blackboard a story! What could be better than one about building a Rocket Ship? Since he's already halfway to outer space from snorting chalk dust we don't even have to make sense!'

Once upon a time in a far off mystical land called Bracken Ridge there was a class full of eager beavers and they were fearlessly headed up by Good King Brett.

'Oh Good King Brett what magical and supremely hyperawesometothemax things can we do this week' the eager beavers would say.

'Ho ho ho eager beavers this week I have a story to tell you about building a rocket ship like this one. This Rocket ship has magical powers to attach the frame to the thing that holds the bearing on for the headset' said Good King Brett aka GKB.
'Hooray' said the eager beavers 'you are so wise, smart and handsome'.
'Now now eager beavers you bunch of sycophantic lunatics that is true' said GKB. 'However even as all knowing as I am I'd like to pretend to need your help'.

'What help could GKB possibly need boys and girls? Johnny get that finger out of there!! Where was I? Ok lets read on'.

'Now eager beavers to get help to make a rocket ship we must seek out Trevor's magical mystery pockets'.
'Now Trevor' said KGB 'I am having trouble working out how to make a rocket ship can you check your magical mystery pockets for me'?
'Well' said Trevor rummaging around in his pocket. 'I just happen to have this jig in my pocket especially for making Rocket Ships with', said Trevor. 
'Yippee thank you Trevor you always have the most interesting things in your pockets'.
'You put your tube on the wooden dowel then scribe the marks to make a rocket ship' said Trevor.
'Thanks Trevor GKB is pleased' said GKB (worryingly using the third person narrative one of the first signs of egomaniacal tendencies).

'Now boys and girls what else do we need? That's right rocket ships aren't any use without fire. Lets see what we can find'.

'Now eager beavers we all know rocket ships need fire I've got a little story to tell you about GoldiAaron and the 3 flames'. (Wow a story within a story within a blog, we are cracking a new low here)

Once upon a time there was a boy named GoldiAaron. GoldiAaron was an oafish brute with two left thumbs and three right ones and pyromaniacal tendencies. He loved fire but only a certain type was good enough for brazing. One day he was lumbering through the forest quietly hitting his fingers with a hammer when he came across a fricken huge workshop full of flames. 'Wow he thought I wonder if they have some fire in there' (GoldiAaron wasn't the brightest pyromaniac around). He walked in and found fire (big fricken surprise there hey boys and girls?) 

He went up to the first one 'that fire looks too big'!

Then wandered around and found another 'That fire looks too small'.

Finally he stumbled across a third fire 'that fire looks just right I might use it'.

So GoldiAaron used it to do his first ever brazing.

GoldiAaron used the flame without setting the shop alight nor burning himself and this resulted in some rear forks (thanks to the expert guidance and support from Rook).

Once GoldiAaron had finished the three firemen returned to find the workshop mysteriously ablaze. Whilst they were distracted GKB sidled up to GoldiAaron and distracted him with a shiny object and took the flame to complete the rocket ship. So GKB defeated the oaf GoldiAaron and he and eager beavers lived happily ever after.

So boys and girls did you like that story? Yes that's right it did suck but luckily there is no more time in this weeks show.
Goodbye boys and girls and watch out for that oaf GoldiAaron

Tuesday, 9 August 2011


This weeks class dear reader started off ordinarily enough with some extreme horizontal ordinary bicycle cycling.

Then there was the exciting arrival of a new toy, a power hacksaw thing that would have saved us hours of cutting and inaccuracy if it had of arrived say 10 weeks ago....
But then gentle reader I was handed a hacksaw I have now dubbed 'the hacksaw of destiny' (THOD). THOD without any exaggeration changed the course of human history and created the idea for tonight's post.


I shall not release the name of the woman who passed me THOD for fear of ruining the whole case. The story begins when she handed THOD to me I started using it and noticed it was broken!

See a chunk! This normally would not be a huge issue except that we are currently experiencing the great hacksaw blade famine of 2011 and it was right in the middle. So I put on my tweed hat, jackets, underwear, lit my pipe and got to work as my alter ego Inspector Moose.

As any good sleuth knows the first thing you do is to blatantly accuse your prime suspect of the crime. It turns out denial is not just a river in Egypt but flowing through our class. There were counter accusations that myself Inspector Moose was responsible! Now gentle reader I'm sure you are as shocked as I am with these wild accusations. As this blog can attest I haven't actually done any work in any class up to now so unless I broke it whilst posing for a photo any sane person would find that hard to believe. So I turned my attention to the other class mates.

As you can see they are all suspicious looking being behind bars like that!

I took them individually into a sound proofed room and asked them if they did it. Now there must have been some Vulcan mind meld thing going on as each of the other class mates and even the teacher indicated if it was anyone it was most likely Aaron who did it. Inspector Moose's main lead! Inspector Moose must find this Aaron person and question him. Inspector Moose was a little surprised by the overwhelming evidence of a dozen eye witnesses and images of Aaron breaking the blade. Inspector Moose kept his cool and asked for guidance from Mrs Marple and Sherlock Homey, 'what they would do in this circumstance'?

Using the Vulcan Mind Meld trick I learnt off my class mates Inspector Moose channelled Mrs Marple. After curling my hair I wandered around asking inane questions, I had a cup of tea then complained about my bunions. I was led to believe after that hey presto somebody confesses and then you all have another cup of tea and scones. (I guess that's what happens?).

So after some extensive sleuthing Inspector Moose's tracked down this Aaron character who blurted out his confession 'I broke it with the candle in the conservatory, I was trying to frame Janine because her bike was looking heaps better than mine and that confounded Mrs Whetherby changed her will leaving her the amusement park, that park should have been mine all mine! Mwhahahaha!' so Inspector Moose patted Aaron on the back, had a scone, then as he cuffed Aaron the finishing music finished this episode. 

Ps. Frankly this week I had a week of filing and sawing on the rear forks liner so it fits. It really wasn't as super exciting as all those other weeks where i have sawed and filed instead.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

It's my un-birthday

Like Alice in wonderland this week's class was held on my Un-birthday.

To celebrate we had a tea party. Including this rather fetching and without doubt classy cake.

And as the cake was lonely on it's own we had other goodies. Like the rest of this project I tried to keep to historically appropriate fare including ye-olde :
- Coca-Cola first introduced in 1886 as a medicine, (close to the same time as the invention of the safety bike, conspiracy theorists attack!).
- Corn or Tortilla or Tostada chips dating back over 2000 years,
- Chocolate from around 1100BC,
- Marshmallow that originated in Egyptian times,
- Cheese dating anywhere from 3000-8000BC.
- Sponge cake originated during the Renaissance, possibly in Spain

As a mark of deep respect I even had the likeness of Sensei Spongebob curated in cup form.

There was great merriment and we even joined arms and sang a traditional birthday song.

If anyone was wondering about the lyrics in my head they go -
Go Go Go Go
Go Go Go tirty-four
It's your birthday
We are gonna build penny farthings like it's yo birthday
We are gonna do grinding like it's your birthday
And you know we don't give a frog
It's not your birthday!

We then told old-timey jokes from Joe Millars Jest Book

SIR WATKIN WILLIAMS WYNNE talking to a friend about the antiquity of his family, which he carried up to Noah, was told that he was a mere mushroom of yesterday. “How so, pray ?” said the baronet. “Why,” continued the other, “when I was in Wales, a pedigree of a particular family was shown to me, it filled five large skins of parchment, and near the middle of it was a note in the margin :  ‘About this time the world was created.’ ”

A LUNATIC in Bedlam was asked how he came there ?
He answered, “By a dispute.” —
“What dispute ?” The bedlamite replied,
“The world said I was mad ; I said the world was mad, and they outwitted me.”

Oh how we laughed.

Yes it was a real traditional un-birthday fa-shizzle. Once da fa-shizzle was worn out it was time to step up and curate a p-far. Tonight I spent a little more time on the rear forks. I haven't really talked about those but they were a tube cut length ways with supporting piece brazed at the top to attach to the frame.

Mine is on the right just after brazing with the fires of mordor

Then I got MFTF out to clean it up 

Resulting in a bit tidier top.

Daryl made a suggestion in class that if we put some metal up the inside that will help stiffen it up which for a slightly built bloke like me sounded like a super idea. So from a solid bit of metal.

Then like 50 Cent I ground out a couple of rough shapes.

Then a few smidgens of filing.

This is the rough idea of what it will look like.

And like the Egyptian Marshmallows there you have it as an Egyptian fork. 

A critical aspect is ensuring clearance for my 18.5 inch rear wheel (including solid rubber tyre). Like all elements of this curate it's obviously far more complicated than if I had of say used a set of forks off a kids bike like a normal person would do. But we're through the looking glass here people! I've taken the red pill to remain in wonderland and see how deep the rabbit hole goes. Yes my friends normality is a very distant relative I don't even get a card from at Christmas.

The next thing tonight was another pointlessly and completely unnecessarily complex thing. I heard that you can make the rear hub a bit narrower. First off you talk Daryl into pulling apart your hub

Then you get Daryl to knock out the axle of the hub

Then you are left with the hub apart and you pick how narrow you want it.

Then Daryl wanders off claiming to have 'his own' work to do. So I was forced to step in and cut the axle and regrind the step in. Press the hub together, reassemble and viola like in Alice in Wonderland you have an incredible shrinking rear hub.

Oooor.... I could have say bent the forks a little wider to fit the axle. But that might have taken 20-30 seconds and this is the kind of logic that haves you coming back here week after week.
Go Go Go.

Ps. My birthday is actually 2 August the date I published this post.