Being constructive…

18 01 2020

January is not really a month for big, long rides on the West coast of Scotland….it is wet, very windy and dark for longer than it is light. So, I’m trying to keep busy, making things.

1. The lathe. I’m trying to improve rigidity and motion of the various slides. I also wanted to move the milling attachment in relation to the chuck to give me a better range and position of the machine vice. So far so good. I put a bearing in the compound slide, a new brass gib as well and small bearings held by cup ended grub screws for the adjustment on the cross slide. I also altered the way the guides are held onto the carriage – by using longer grubs, held in with loctite and then nyloc, flanged nuts so it will hold its adjustment better. A steel plate was drilled to attach the milling attachment with M8 bolts and altogether I have a considerable improvement.

2. One of the purposes of improving the lathe was so I could make the Strap Deck ‘decaleur’ plate a little more easily. In order to make it slightly quicker to find the centres for the various holes it needs, I also invested in some transfer punches and transfer screws. The former are simply punches of various diameters so I can transfer from a drilled hole to a similar part and find the centres without having to accurately measure. The transfer screws are ace! little screws that fit different metric threaded holes and have a small centre punch that again can transfer to another part without having to measure. So good! unfortunately, my milling attachment still does not have the range for me to do all 4 holes with it mounted only once. I’m going to have to dwell on that as moving the part is time consuming and annoying.

3. I also spent some time hacking away at rhododendron and after many hours and sore limbs I have a new trail that forms a figure of 8 and keeps things interesting. Rhododendron is the Devil’s own plant though, it entangles everything and is irritant to skin and eyes. The leaves also seem to make the soil extremely slippery so I’m glad to be rid of at least a few hundred cubic feet of the crap.

4. A tool for removing the lock ring on 9point8 dropper posts. Read around servicing these posts (rarely needed and easy to do) and the one step folk complain about is removing the lock ring to get at the seal to grease it. I have used the work stand clamp to grip the part (it has no flats or other means to undo) but my Efficient Velo Tools Right Hand clamp is lined with leather and it doesn’t do it any favours. So, I made a tool to do it instead. First I shaped a delrin sheet, then drilled a hole and bored out a circle *just* smaller than the diameter of the lock ring. I then made a simple threaded handle part that compresses the delrin onto the lock ring and makes it easy peasy to remove. Next, I will counter sink the handles, and screw the delrin parts to them. I’ll also round the handles off and coat them in some sort of rubbery stuff so if (when?) I drop them it won’t take a chunk out of my frame.


6 08 2018

Further progress – then I messed up.

First step was to drill a 3mm hole right through the job.

Next, widen one end to 5mm the other to 4mm so I could tap them to M6 and 3/16″ respectively.

I test fitted an M6 bolt and the Dynaplug driver just to make sure and all was well. The next step was probably the most tricky. I needed to machine a flat surface on both sides of the central shaft, then drill it so they could hold both parts of a Quick link. Milling on a lathe is a complex issue. They are not designed to tolerate the forces milling causes and the rigidity is often wanting. You can get milling slides for the cross slide, but I don’t have one (yet).

In this instance, yet again, I was scratching my head to find a way to hold the job.

Eventually, I decided to try and thread in a long M6 bolt, abut the job against the (round shaft) tool holder and align it so the end mill in the chuck would cut across the job until the start of the flat section was formed, then use the cross slide to extend this down the job.

It went well at first, but I needed to go back and take a little more material off and in so doing….


Dissappointing to be sure! but I had actually come to realise that the central shaft wasn’t *quite* long enough so was intent on making V2 anyway.

I decided to follow through and finish it off just to see if I encountered any more problems. The second flat surface went well as I took less material off with each pass and then I corss-drilled it for the Quick links. V2 will have another notch for an O ring to hold them in place.

So, done with V1. Learned stuff. Need to be able to mill.

Machine Tools.

5 08 2018

Spun up the lathe today and made an initial attempt at a bar end plug tool holder. This one is almost a direct copy of one made by Menhir Cycles as noted in a previous post. It will hold either one or two Quick Links – to be decided – a dynaplug tubeless plug inserter and perhaps something else. I will make another for a Clever Standard Chain Barrel soon.

I learned a lot – the steps of the process are vital. I would have liked to remove some material from the middle close to both ends, but because I parted it off first, I could not hold it square in order to do so. Live and learn.

The slot for the O ring went well and I managed to get a reasonable surface finish.

More soon.


31 07 2018

A few months ago, I bought some extra insertion tubes for Dynaplug tubeless repair tools. I had been inspired by Nathan Riddle, who had been experimenting with a One Up EDC steerer tube tool kit and fitting in some Dynaplug parts.

I usually carry a Genuine Innovations Mountain Pipe pump. It is a great pump! it uses a small CO2 cartridge as the pump handle, but it can also accept this into the pump head which then works as an inflator. If I threaded a section of aluminium bar to screw into the CO2 canister female threaded hole in the pump, then drilled and tapped it to accept Dynaplug inserts, I could use the pump as a tubeless anchovy driver too.

Eventually, I found the correct Tap and die combination and went to it.

The first iteration was hand made with and a bit squint, but it worked. The second was more accurately made, on my then-new lathe, and I knurled the handle, which I made a bit longer than previously so I could use it on its own or in a pump if needed.

Recently, I was travelling so I wanted to add a quick link to my 11 speed Shimano chain. I had some KMC links, but had bought the Shimano ones, because I thought they would probably work the best. After a beast of a time fitting them and then 4 rides where I could not get it to bed in without a stiff link, I fitted the KMC. Nevertheless, I did buy the One Up chain pliers for their EDC tool as a ‘carry along’ option. Small and neat, they do work well, even though the leverage is diminutive.

In the kit, One Up also send a tiny adaptor to – wait for it! — thread into a CO2 canister female threaded hole and this is then drilled for One Up’s own anchovy fork – reminiscent of the Genuine Innovations one. I suspect they had seen what Riddle was doing and a light bulb came on – just like it had for me.

My next lathe project is some bar end plugs – similar to the Berts-a-like ones made by Menhir Cycles for a Concours de Machines project – also covered on Pinkbike from Eurobike (where I have taken the following picture from) read the article – it’s an interesting beast!

I’m *hoping* to get hold of a Clever Standard chain tool to mount in there as well….we will see if they come back into stock soon!

I’ll be back once I have made some progress.