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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bitchin' :: Updated

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The pipes are finally finished. All that's left now is to trick it out. Sounds good too. A little less bass but it revs great. I've already figured out how to retain the bass in this short pairs, by running an inch sized pipe inside opening out to a one-fourth thick pipe. Least that's how my stock were set up. Now unless I want tanned underside legs I'd best find heat wrap condoms for these. To polish or not to polish..?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


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Couldn't care less about salvaging my stock pipes. These things are loaded heavy on the inside, including numerous shimmies lining up the rear pipe.

The previous design incorporates a 1 inch internal pipe for back pressure. Mebbe next time. Hehe. Decided to use the original necks instead but I also scored 2" to 1.5" conicals, what I need now is a small 1"x1.5" neck. The welds came out smooth and really nice with good penetration on the inside, looks really snazzy as it is without having to polish the darn thing. But I would eventually, or I'd settle for ceramic black with heat straps. I reckon it'll be summer all year round for my legs near these babies.

Bare metal really has its artistic appeal. Martin says it should look wicked in bare form even without paint. Anyway, mocking up, measuring, cutting and weld. Other than having to go to work I would've finished this in a few hours more. But the only hours I have are 12 past mids and since I'm nocturnal, I'm in my element.

Friday, March 20, 2009


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As in forward controls for Ed's bike, which by the way is turning out quite handsome. These suckers were copied off Gil's own forward controls. Quite a lesson learned this night. Let's just say it borders on the stupidly simple things. Off to my machinist tomorrow. I also did a test weld on the sample strip of neck and the notched downtube. I'm aiming for penetration here, not pretty, which I believe counts as a nice weld.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

How Not To

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It was drizzling a bit this morning as I lazily woke up from slumber and realized it was already past 1PM. I was spent during my last night's bout with a couple of obstacles I bumped into, that really made me think twice about how things are going. 9 out of 10 things I did and bought were either discarded or put away as failures. Discouragement and frustration set in. It was getting costly to make mistakes.

But then, you're only a failure if you choose to remain so.

I finally found the much elusive seamless tubing I was scouring the corners of the metropolis for. Exactly the thickness I needed and what was industry standard with professional custom frame makers. Most suppliers I asked carry pipes, as was my previous tests involved working with schedule40 seamless pipes, which I found to be very heavy for a bike frame. After getting a couple of test pieces home I hurriedly tested it on the notcher - bam! Broke the bi-metal teeth on the darn thing. Tested another size - and same thing came up. But I was already trying to come up as to WHY the tubing was chopping the saw instead, and came to the conclusion that I had to set it up with the right speed. I adjusted the settings, and it was already screaming more than normal, which indicated a red light. Still being the bullhead I proceeded to cut up the tube. Broke it again.

Failure was beginning to show me its notes. One was the experience of how not to do things, a far more priceless lesson on the road of discovery. These critters are not cheap. But looking at it on the positive side it's a lesson well worth the tab. I adjusted my settings again, and finally on the fourth try my notcher survived the ordeal and came through. Wow. I was finally looking at a notched tube up close. I was only used to seeing these things over some other people's pictures and stuff but here it is now. Yes it still needs cleaning up and sanding before welding but the essentials were there. Even the mock fitting already looked well and good.

This is my previous jack Pumpo's evil twin, Monstro. He's a 22-ton behemoth that can push a bottle of suppository well up your a$$. Pumpo couldn't do the job well enough last night so I had to put him up for grabs on the forums. I have other uses for him but for now if anyone's interested I can live without him. I kept throwing out calculations in my head as I struggled to sleep whether I would ask for less thickness on the tube or purchase a heavier jack with a shorter throw. A call to my supplier the next morning confirmed there is no other thinner size, and I thought "good" because I also didn't want to compromise the frame being less sturdy. So there was no other option but to get a bigger jack. I was scrambling in my head at the store, contemplating so many what ifs coz this sucker really ain't cheap, "I hope it will, I know it will.." was my mantra as I made my way to the counter. An inch and a half taller than the old one, I had to re-adjust my braces higher than before to accommodate the pull springs. The outcome was already way off what I designed in the CAD program, but I'll update those as well. I also had my doubts if the springs can do their job given the fact that it took both arms just to cradle Monstro to the car pool on my commute back home. But the properly rated springs held well. The measurements were spot on.

Fitting Monstro into the bender also presented another setback. I had to hack off half an inch on one side, so at 10PM when all the neighborhood was quiet and peaceful, the blaring noise of my grinder proudly made itself heard. Finally after putting the set back up - the fruit of perseverance. After some minor adjustments, the bender cranked the sturdy pipe into obedience with ease. There are still some issues about the die's clearance I want to address but its more on me being finicky about perfecting the design. For now the main thing is it works. It works good. I've always kept this story to heart ever since: Thomas Edison failed more than 900 times before perfecting the incandescent light bulb. When asked about failing so much and how he didn't lose hope he replied: "I didn't fail 900 times, I discovered 900 ways how not to make a light bulb."

There is something precious to gain even in failing if you look close enough.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Snaps :: 03.14.09

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Far from the curse of another John Lloyd movie, the seemingly irrelevant arachnid bridges the biological link between a hearty sinigang lunch, and some fritzy Sprite on deck. Gil's.. and some shop somewhere.

Ed's Stock

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After spending ample time at sickbay, Ed's bike was christened on a short ride down south one Sunday. It was resurrected from the dump after it was kept under sheets for so long by the previous owner. Good thing you didn't get duped into getting that "other" worn out steed.. Wonder what Ed has in store for his new toy? The bike's stock form lends itself to limitless possibilities.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Missing In Action Again

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Weeeelll... let's see now. Both Brutus and I had simultaneous bouts of separate illnesses since last week: one was carb, wiring and gasket related while the other was 4 nights of 39 and above fever chills and flu. Least I was feeling cool on those hot summer nights - literally - landing the fourth night on a Sunday THEREFORE allowing me to forfeit another ride and what could have been another graceful blog entry. Well I wasn't there but Brutus got to go, he needed the road test anyway. Drat.

BUT things do happen for a reason, this was obviously not the trip for me. First off I couldn't have gone on a Sunday (why the heck do they schedule these trips on a Sunday anyway..) I don't need to know why and how, I just need to say 'hey, thanks for saving me from something I could never foretell'.. I got to rest, and thankfully I'm typing this entry ill-free since the past week. 2 days into the flu I still managed to go to work and spend an overnight on the third, onto a client presentation the next day while managing to look smashing despite a raging fever. Wow.

Thanks to the folks who texted in to care enough to ask if I'm still alive.

Not the kind of person to spend the day on my back, I saw to it that I had things done while I'm down.
  1. After burning my fuse box I finally had Brutus rewired from the ground up, fixed my dampers to remedy my dancing chains, tuned to the detail the carb mix, to which now he growls way better than I've heard him do so. Great response. No slack. No lag. Pabs and Jan.. youz dem shiznitz..
  2. New tool acquisitions for the shop. Halfway through my tube notcher already after finishing the welding on the swivel hinge assembly. Looks great with dark gray paint.
Contracted to work on the rear end of a Hawk into a streetfighter's. I'm thinking of working on 2 pro bono bikes. After surviving last week I have plenty of nights to sleep on this one.


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