Thursday, January 27, 2011

My first rack

I picked up my rack from Pat yesterday. I had it done in clear powder coat so I could gaze upon the details of my work for years to come.

I suspect real rack maker/brazer/crafts people would be horrified by my clumpy, poorly-finished brazing work, but I really like it. I feel good about the integrity of all the joints, given the relatively light weight duty the rack will serve.

Essentially, I built a copy of the rack the Alex gave to me a few years ago. The only things I changed were the back stop design; the height of the rack relative to the front wheel; I added braze-on to attach the fender to; and I added some wiring clips.

Everything turned out really well on it. I'm amazed at how well the fender braze-on lines up. I wish I could take credit for that, but Pat has this so totally half-ass-looking system of jigging up the bike and the rack with hunks of lumber and big clips that just seems impossibly error prone -- but it works really really well.

I need to lengthen one wire and shorten another to make it tidy looking.
I'll get right on that.
The wiring clips are so homely that I feel bad for them. But they're mine (of me?) and so I'll love them.

My goal was to learn to build a rack and I'm very grateful to Pat for providing the space and having the patience to walk me through it. The guy is a saint. Really.  I busted two drill bits, ham-fisted a bunch of cuts and filing -- likely screwing up some of his tools... he just smiles (maybe that's rage suppression technique?) and says it's ok... But really, the biggest hit here is a time hit. Pat is a busy dude, so to take a week night away and teach this class, essentially for free -- we paid for tubing and a measly "shop fee" -- is huge. Cause he's also running around during the week to make sure we have tubes and supplies and there's fuel for the heater and on and on. Anyway -- thanks Pat, I'm super happy with the product of my time in your shop.

Now, I want to build one for Liza's new bike. I've got a design sort of bumping around in my noggin, so hopefully I can get that done in the next year or so.


Pat S said...

The reports of my canonization are greatly exaggerated. Just ask my wife. But thanks for the nice words, John.

Great job on the rack, it was fun getting to watch both yours and Ryan's come together. The clear coat is great - I had several people comment on it between picking it up at the powder coater and getting it to you. Now thinking I will have to do one in clear at some point.

jim g said...

SWEEEEEET! Congrats! How'd you make the wiring clips? I need to do that today on a rack I'm (slowly) working on...

John Speare said...

Thanks again Pat. If you're no saint that you are the MAN, baby! how's that?

Jim: thanks.

Clips are wee little nails, bent just so and brazed into small holes. Easy Pat method.

You've seen Alex's right? Much tidier.