This week has been a whirlwind of activity. Catching up on blog posts now actually since I can’t seem to sleep. Too much swirling in my noggin’ at the moment. At any rate, I’ll be building up Patrick’s fat bike later this morning after I do some modifications to his crank and guide. But like I stated earlier, I’ve been putting some time in to my tooling and making some updates as well as creating some new special tooling. First up was redesigning my seat stay jig so that things are in phase and registered off of the length of the tube. The previous setup was tricky to setup with S-Bend stays. All of my stays have multiple bends and it’s a challenge to keep all that lined up. This will make that job a bit easier I believe:

Seat Stay Mitering : Almost

You can see that things have changed significantly since the last version. I’m excited about this update. Next was revising my fork jig. This was the very first tool I made and it was done on a very “loose” Bridgeport. So back to the drawing board on some parts that after i used it, I immediately wanted to change. Mostly with the dummy axle tower adjustments. Here’s a closer look at those updates:

All cleaned up and friendly

Tower of Power?

Updated Fork Jig Digs

New Fork Jig Digs

You’ll notice that I’ve got a 135mm axle mounted up. I’m going to machine the center relief of my standard front dummy axle to it matches a 135mm Anvil Dummy axle so they both fit. I’ve had a lot of inquiries regarding “when will you be making fat forks”. So I’m starting there but an upcoming build mentioned that they may want a fork… So let’s make that happen and anticipate some future builds!

With a fork jig, you’ll of course need a way to cut the blades. Personally, Unicrown is the only way to go when it comes to forks people. Lighter, simpler, less welds which = less HAZ in a critical point at the bike and well that makes for happy frame builder and safe bicyclist. So the next step was machining a monster base plate. This is what I live for when you get to use the whole mill table:

"It's Mill-er-ing Time"

Used the whole table today...

Dummy Axle holder

Fork Jig : Close..

Fork Mitering Setup

You’ll note that I have only a few more ops to do on this, take receipt of a few knobs, hold downs and hardware and then it’s GO TIME. A lot of work has been going into this and it’s those extra steps I hope all of my customers and future clients can appreciate. I want to be as able as your imagination for your dream bike to become reality. Once this is done, the next serious project I’ll be doing is what I’m referring to as my “Heavy 14″ project. 14 = CLR of my seat tubes. I just took receipt of two roller dies. One in 1.375″ and one in 1.25″ for tubing O.D.’s. Presently I bend my seat tubes a bit unconventionally on the bridgeport and I’d like to take the time to make a seat tube bending jig for both 1.375″ and 1.25” seat tubes. This will be the 44 Heavy 14. Stay tuned to Channel 0 for that one. Should be fun.

Lastly I’m almost out of seat tube badges. I think what I will be doing is eliminating two of the head tube badge options and only offering 1 version. So once they’re gone, they’re gone. But one will remain. But for the seat tube badges, I think i’m going to make runs in batches and change them each time I need more. So this offers some uniqueness to the run of builds but also offers me to change some things slightly from each batch of custom bikes. Here’s the art all prepped for the next seat tube badge:

New Seat Tube Badge Art

So that brings us up to date and back on track. My apologies for being tardy with the blogging. I’ve been slammed with work and builds as well as tooling updates. If I’m not posting here regularly enough for your liking, do remember that pretty much each day I’m Tumbling on the 44 Bikes Tumblr as well as posting picks to the 44 Bikes Flickr. So enjoy! And get out and pedal…