Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Yesterday I finally un-boxed and assembled my Anvil Journeyman2 frame fixture. Although I received it in the snow -- on New Year's Eve -- I hadn't unpacked it because I already had a frame in process and needed to use my time judiciously. So, this is very exciting. With some help from Bicycle Forest's BikeCAD Pro program -- once I figured it out -- I've been able to miter main triangle tubes with a confidence in their geometry at a much faster pace than I was able with my old Bringhelli frame fixture. One clear advantage of the Journeyman is its easy to read -- and relatively precise -- angle indicators (to half degrees) for head and seat tubes and chainstays.
On the flipside, learning BikeCAD was less than intuitive. It did make me sign up for FrameForum, which is an excellent resource for frame builders at all levels. There are also regular posts from framebuilding greats like Richard Sachs and Carl Strong. The program itself feels funny running on a Mac, and it's relatively tedious to navigate its series of oddly shaped windows dimension query boxes. In other words, for someone who has learned little new software in the last decade, it's been a process getting proficient with this program. But, It should be amazing for rear triangle design -- especially in terms of crank and tire clearances.
Today I finished some nice tight miters for the front triangle of Owen's cyclocross bike. I'm still deciding whether or not I'm going to exaggerate the bend in the chainstays. Doing so would mean having to wait til next week for a bender -- since I broke the one that I made -- but it might be worth it. Not that it needs to be done, but I was kinda thinking of really big swoopy curves. The stays that I have would lend themselves well to a big ess, and the extra clearance would allow Owen to run some smallish 29'r tires. I think he will enjoy being able to rip mountain bike trails before and after cross season, and it so happens that I have an extra steel fork. He can swap the carbon one out when not crossing in favor of the rigidity and tire clearance of the steel. Nifty factor!