Friday, August 31, 2007


It's pretty bad when I have to go back and look at my own blog to what I wrote about last time because it's been so long since I've posted. I've been back in full-on Bob Brown mode tearing apart our house, so I haven't had any free time to think, breath, eat, or write (well at least to write).

As I mentioned last time, I'm working on a simple project o re-do my stairs in the house. Well that scope has turned out of control, I have the stairs all turned around and functional, and I frames in a new closet and a new hallway, but I seem to keep finding more things to include in this project.
Here's a shot of how things are looking today, the stairs are sloped the "right" way now. I had to build three angled steps near the bottom to make the turn into the new hallway, but I think they came out pretty good.

I also decided to just frame in an entire room surrounding the furnace and water heater. The problem with having a metal shop in your basement is you make a ton of dust, and if your furnace is basically in the middle of your shop, all that dust makes it way into the furnace and into the rest of the house. Sooooo, I figured if I can section off that part of the basement and keep it clean, hopefully we'll have cleaner air upstairs as well. It also give us a really nice big storage area that should be free of shop-dust.

Of course after moving the stairs, I needed to relocate half the plumbing in the house since it was now located right where we'd be walking through. That ended up taking the better part of a whole weekend on it's own, but now about 75 % of the house has new copper plumbing. I was amazed, I sweated about 50 individual copper fittings during that process (there were a LOT of elbows!) and when I turned it back on, not a single drip. Guess all that brazing pays off when it comes to being a plumber.

Since I was on a role with the remodel, this seems like the right time to do my shop relocation as well. I'm taking over the other half of the basement to make the shop bigger and better. This part will be a long project I'm guessing since I can't really drop all my framebuilding right now to move the shop, so I'm slowing plugging away at it. I started with the heavy stuff though, moved the alignment table and all my tubing storage. Then with the help of local framebuilder and all around good guy Dave Anderson, moved my 2000lb horizontal mill across the basement and moved my new lathe into the shop.

Did I mention I got a new lathe? I picked up a really neat Clausing 5914 lathe from a 3M surplus sale. It's big, 12" x 36" bed, 1200 lbs of good old 'merican steel! Sorry I don't have any great pics of it yet, but once I have some free time to clean it up and get it wired I'll take some.
It's mighty nice, takes 5C collets right in the headstock with no adapters, has a true variable speed drive with hydraulic clutch and brake, turns about a million threads and has a nice big 1.375" spindle bore. In short, it's a true industrial machine, and I'm excited to give it a new home.

So this weekend I'm giving the basement the full court press. Gonna try to finish up the drywall and wiring on the house parts and get a bunch of my shop cleaned up and functional, and see how much stuff I can get moved to the new shop. I'm also planning on insulating and finishing off the ceiling in the new shop space. That should keep things quiet upstairs and give me more fire protection when using the torch. I'm still debating just drywalling the ceiling or installing a drop-ceiling with fire-resistant panels.

On the bike front, I'm still managing to get some work done, moved a couple coupler jobs out of the shop this week and one repaint. And I sold off the steel/carbon frame I posted here a few weeks back. However I do feel like I'm falling behind as I have a few 'cross frames I really need to get done before 'cross season really starts up.
Reynolds has been holding me up on some of that work though as they just shipped their August 953 production run this week (three weeks late), so I've been waiting for tubes. They're defintely getting better at delivering the stuff (a few weeks late is better than 6 months late) but it will be nice if they can actually get caught up and stock some 953.

That's about all I have time for right now, try to write again soon,


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