Thursday, October 4, 2012

Welcome to the Black Ship Cycles Blog

In the spirit of staying organized and making things more straight forward for customers, I split up the BSC blog into a Craft blog and a Cycles blog. In the next couple of weeks, I'll be moving cycle building and repair posts over from the Crafts blog to the Cycles blog, and posting new updates on work going on in the Black Ship Shops as we get ready for the 'gift giving' season. stay tuned!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Finished: Custom Speaker Racks for Tipsy

Did you see these new racks on Tipsy Bike at the Bill Murray Mobile Dance Party?

Mpls, MN - Even if you did, you probably didn't actually see them - they were holding 25lb speakers to the front of the bike all night, like a pair of fkn champs.

The back story:
  We were working down the wire, and I mean it, to have them ready for the ride. I worked into the night, woke up early, had some coffee, then proceeded to cut and weld all day.

   As the paint was drying, I affixed all the hardware and waited for Tipsy. Due to technically difficulties, they didn't have time stop by and attach them, so after working all day and night for 3 days, I dreaded the call saying "I don't think we have time to attach them, meet up at the Nomad"

   I was still reeling from the feeling of dissatisfaction with not having them on from the beginning of the ride. That would mean 50lbs less of bumpin power. I couldn't fit them on my bike and get there in time to affix them and ride...

   Nat got home after work and agreed, the party was to be big, the job too big to fail; it had to be done. She offered to help load up her car and let me drive them, and my bike, to the park to set the up before the ride left. So she pulled around to the shop and we loaded everything up asap and I made it there just after Tipsy and with help, and lots o' sweat & elbow grease, got'em hooked up, tested, and bumped that fkn ride!

Thanks Tipsy for an awesome ride and stay tuned for lots more pics! (i took about 30-50 alone)

Interested in your own set or other custom bike gear?
frames | racks | mods | wtf
hit us up:  blackshipcrafts [at] gmail [dot] com

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Black Ship Shop & new Custom Rack Project

 Here's a sneak peak of the new shop in Minneapolis and the first big fabrication project here; speaker rack mounts for Tipsy Bike.

The Black Ship Shop:
   is coming along. I finally have a TIG welder set up and working! A shop partner and I got it from an acquaintance that had intentions to use it but never did. We have access to a brazing setup and a small MIG as soon as i get time to set them up.

   Black Ship is ready to start brazing frames and welding custom frames, trailers, bikes, and whatever else we feel like (or you want!) We are still looking for bike building & tubing jigs, a pro bender, a drill press, bench grinder, cutoff saw, and some other stuff. Let us know if you've got something for sale/trade/loan.

Wanna see older projects by Black Ship (and that we're super-proud of??) just flip back through the blog for pics of bikes, trailers, etc we've crafted & built! Oh, and subscribe for future rad projects & info!

Speaker Mount Racks
   T.K. has two 25lb speakers (in the backround of photo) that he needs to mount to his already crankin multimedia bike: Tipsy Bike

We want the prototypes ready for the great Bill Murray Mobile Dance Party Ride of 2012 

After many long meetings and much deliberation, the prototype design was finalized and the rack started. The initial prep work and first tacking is done. We'll be working everyday to see how far we can get by Tuesday's ride..

Friday, July 20, 2012

MIA Bike Night!

 I wasn't formally invited as a frame builder, but I did stop in (and sneak the Maiden Voyage in) to see what the local builders have been up to. here's a little gallery from A-Train, Wyganowski, Speedhound, Peacock Groove:

We also had a little HUB tent to to quick safety checks and small adjustments./repairs, and Tick brought Tipsy Bike out to blast some jams. Good conversations and lots of hot bikes, we took to the streets as Tipsy blasted jams down Franklin Ave to our destination for wooden nickel night and jams on the sidewalk!
This year was fun, but next year I hope for an Alley Cat beforehand and movies again (last year's movies were awesome) See ya next time!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Roody and Anna's NE tour

I will soon be publishing a post about Roody, Anna, and Brody's epic NE tour with the bike and trailer we built! As a fair warning, the few pictures I've seen so far are enough to make me jealous...

Monday, May 21, 2012

Adjusting a 27" frame for 700c wheels

Will wanted his touring bike to fit 700c wheels. 

Here's how we made it happen:

There were other options; different brake combinations, etc. But, Will had made up his mind; we would move the mounts to fit a 700c.

First I got the bike and cleaned off most of the paint around the cantilever bosses with a flap disc, and sanded out the rest.

Then I used the torch to heat up the old filler metal (aka de-braze) and pulled the old canti's off with pliers.

Next, we filed/mitered down the new bosses to better fit his frame and forks.

Shimano recommends spacing your mounts at 65-75mm, center to center. His old mounts were more like 45mm, hard to even get a big tire through. Since the mounts we had were cut for wider frames, and we were already better off than when we started, we went with a 60mm gap and saved some time and work.

I first set up a wooden jig, that i used to tack weld on Roody's bike before brazing. Since I don't have a welder in the shop yet, that didn't wotk (re: burning wood jig) so in a brainstorm I asked around at work the next day and Tom suggested using a rack mount to hold them in place.

Brilliant! Also, adjustable. I had to file out the slide to fit the M6 bolts that are required for mounting your brakes, but after a little elbow grease it all came together beautifully!.

The first couple of times I mounted them I used the filler metal that came with the mini shop Oxy-Mapp brazing kit I had just gotten. That stuff just peeled right off (I should have known better) so after asking around, I discovered Jesse found 54% silver filler wire at the Welna's Hardware store!

After re-cleaning and re-brazing with proper filler, They stuck like they should. Permanent-style.

And Will rode off into the sunset on the way to St. Louis, forever. Bye Will, hope you had a great trip!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Roody's Lugged Frame - Part 3: Finishing & Painting

Its finished! This lugged tour is going to get him, his dog, and his gear all the way up to New York and back (and hopefully more!) How did we finish it?

    Okay, where did we leave off? Right, braze-ons.

Brazing Frame Additions:
    The braze-ons I ordered from Nova (at a RIDICULOUS shipping rate, might I say) spent a few days meandering from California before reaching us in north Florida. Luckily, all of the pieces we needed were in the package.

   First, I check everything for fit, and scribe the miters on the rear brake cantilevers. Next, measure and mark the positions of all of the bottle cage mounts, cable stops, shifter lever bosses, canti brake mounts, rack mounts, fender mounts, chain hanger and cable guide.

   The cantis needed a little adjusting, so I opted to clinch them in a vice jig and file them with a half round, since there wasn't much metal to get through. Everything else was clean and ready to go.

   To hold the parts in place, I took a metal spring clamp and drilled and tapped one side to thread a bolt into. I also made a wood & metal jig to hold the cantis in place at an appropriate spacing (75-85mm) while I tacked them on.

    All I had available was a stick welder, so it was a bit splattered, but it worked.

We started with the bottle & rack bosses, since they did not require a clamp to stay in place. Next,  I used my modified spring clamp to secure and braze on the cable stops, chain hanger, and shift levers. I ran out of silver, and switched to some brass rods I had that were not ideal, but worked fine.

   We filled the gaps in the cantis and the fender mounts/braces. and touched up any spots in the lugs that needed it. Now that we felt like everything was sufficiently attached and all the gaps were filled, we started the cleaning and painting process.

   Roody got on top of sanding and buffing the frame. He hit all the spots were filler metal had pooled and any splattersor other imperfections. Next, he wiped it down with alcohol to remove and oils or other contaminants in order to prep it for priming.

   Went way better than the Maiden Voyage. We started with a self-etching metal primer. two thin coats. Then it dried and cured overnight. In the morning we lightly sanded that first layer, then added a second. Once that dried, we put on a few coats of satin black metal specific paint. We let it dry between coats to get some buildup. After those layers dried, we set in with a super hard flat clear coat, also made specifically made for metal. Everything sat really well, so we added a couple of decals and a few more coats of clear, then called it done and let it cure for a day before touching it. It looked great, and seemed like it had adhered better than the lacquer paints i tried on the first frame.

SUCCESS! It's finished. Check out the pics and feel free to comment or email if you have any questions/comments, including requests for custom frames and or trailers!

sorry this post took so long! i've had a bunch of problems with blogspot not loading photos AND not saving work several times and losing hours of typing and layout! hopefully i'll have better luck in the future!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Roody's Lugged Frame: Part 2 - Brazing the Tubes

Day 2: Brazing the front triangle

    After prepping all the tubes and lugs I checked all the fittings. You basically want all of the tubes to fit tightly into the lugs, but one that can still be pulled apart by hand. That way you get the tightest fit, with enough room to get a good amount metal in there to secure the joint.

    I put on some music and set up the brazing torch. I find it is good practice to take down and re-setup your torch every once in awhile. That keeps you aware of any problems with hoses or fittings, and helps you remember where your gauges should be set. The oxygen should be around 5 psi, and the acetylene/propane around 10 psi After checking all my fittings and pressure gauges, I grabbed my gloves and goggles and fired up the torch.

Getting the flame you want is pretty easy; barely open the fuel side, ignite the fuel, adjust until there is no gap between flame and tip, slowly add oxy, adjust until you have a whitish inner cone with a rounded (not pointy) tip, and a larger transparent blue flame surrounding it. [Need more help? Check out brazing vids on youtube]

   Starting with the seat tube and bottom bracket joint, then the head tube lug and top tube. once those were secured, I could put the rest of it together and align it on the bench. Once that was all in place, and aligned well, I set it up in the stand. One by one, each joint was separated, flux, and put back together.

  After double checking the alignment, mostly by eye, and a little with a caliper, I brazed the rest of the joints, and finished the front triangle.

   After putting the fluxed joints in a water bath, and cleaning up tools, I scrubbed off the flux with a wire brush.After re-checking the alignment, and being happy with it, called it a night.

Day 3: Rear triangle

Roody came out to the shop for the next session; fitting, aligning, and affixing the seat and chain stays.

   We started by prepping the pieces, then bending the dropouts slightly to curve inward, and set up the rear triangle. Everything fell perfectly into place on the bench. We used an old rear wheel to hold the dropouts in place, and a piece of plumbing strap to hols the seat stays in place. After checking the alignment, brazed it all together, bathed and scrubbed it.

   The basic frame was finished! Now to order the braze-ons!

[to be continued...]

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Building Roody's Lugged Road Bike: Part 1

Roody's planning a tour up the East Coast

   and he needs a reliable bike: to pull his trailer with, and that fits him comfortably enough to ride over a thousand miles in a month. So, we're building it.
   The kit I'm using is essentially a spare kit that a friend had boxed up the basement for a couple years and never got around to building. It's a lugged, straight gauge road kit for a 6 foot tall male. Perfect for Roody, who is a little shorter, but feels more comfortable on a taller frame. It'll be a little heavy, but tuff enough to weather the long trip, and a few more.

   Since I had to design a bike that worked with the kit, I laid out a rough drawing of the bike we were aiming for. Easy enough, we had previously taken his measurements and discussed what he was looking for in this new bike.

   Once I had a general idea of the sizing, I proceeded in cleaning the front triangle tubes and lugs thoroughly with sandpaper and a wire brush, and rough fit them together. Then scribed the tubes and mitered them with hole saws on the drill press. Easy does it.
    I didn't have the specs for the seat & head tube angles so there was a lot of guessing, trial, and error involved. After a few extra cuts and a little filing, it all came together. After cutting the breather holes and aligning on the bench, its ready to be brazed together!

[stay tuned...] 

Pin It

Monday, February 6, 2012

Trailer Building - The Barge: Part 2

     The final touches. Well, almost...

   We dug in early and finished touching things up. All the joints were hit with a flap disc on an angle grinder in order to clean it up for painting.

   I hung the frame up from a rafter and primed it, Roody picked out a few colors and we put on a base coat.

   At some point we decided we were just going to apply a temporary paint job so it would dry quick and Roody could put the canvas hammock on and ride it home and test it out. Since he isn't leaving for at least a month, we may want to add to it, and it'll probably get scratched up by then. Also, he's getting new canvas or some stronger material to make the bedding for Brody (the dog) and his camping.touring gear.

   To sum it up, we didn't want to put to much time and money into a nice paint job until it was closer to departure the date. I'll definitely post pictures when we do the final coats of paint and remake the bed liner.

    Finally, we put grommets in the canvas and tied the liner on with old bike tubes (again, temporary setup), hooked the the hitch, and took it for a test spin. I works great so far, and its super light. Looks pretty tough too. Should be just the trailer for a long trek up the east coast. Can't wait to finish the paint and liner and post pics of it!

   It's gonna be hot. Until next time..

call or email us for info on your own custom trailer from Black Ship!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Trailer Building - The Barge: Part 1

Roody asked me if we could fix the trailer he's had since he was a toddler being towed behind his dad's bike. Not a problem, just a simple bend and re-tack job, right? Well, he and his partner are planning a bike tour starting in Florida, going up the east coast, all the way to New York this spring/summer. So, why not make a BETTER trailer for months of heavy duty touring on the road?

   Rudy and I made a deal that I'd take the job, and he'd assist in the building process, and with another job I've got lined up.

   Starting with a with a skeleton of a frame, we drafted a plan using two more u-shaped tubes we had at our disposal. This way we could add a second dropout outside of the wheels, to reinforce the axles, and add a cross beam near the rear. Using canvas, we'd make a flat bed 'barge' trailer to transport a dog and camping gear.

   After drafting the plan, we started cutting the tubing we were going to use for the outer bars. Also, we picked out a couple of old forks to cut the dropouts and weld them to the frame.

    Next came mitering with a hole saw on an industrial drill press. I made some jigs to clamp the tubing to the press plate, and in the vice to keep it in place for filing. We filed down our miters with wide round files to get nice tight fits with our tubing. As it goes, we'd have to check the fits and re-file several times to get it right where we wanted it. Once we got the outer tubes fit, I tacked those into place.

   Fitting the dropouts came next. We decided to extended them a few inches since the trailer was originally made to sit flat on 26" wheels and we were building it to fit 20"s.

   To finish off the day, we set up a dummy axle using a length of all-thread, and set our dropouts into place. After checking all the measurements twice, I tacked them all into place and we called it a day.

  In the next sessions, we'll finish the welds, clean it up, and paint it!

[to be continued...]