Friday, 29 October 2010

Operation Pugsley...

There`s been a small crack on the Surly pugsleys frame near the seat clamp for a few months now...
well actually 2 cracks as i discovered after removing paint there last night...

my fault removing a seized ungreased seat post using stilsons and getting a bit excited...it was fellow Scottish pug owner Gary who spied it a few months back...
last night i stripped off the racks and wheels and fired the frameset into the car and went to see my friend Kieth, a good friend for over 20 years we met through motorbikes...- shed guru and a wizard at making/building/and fixing stuff he still rides motorcycles and doesn't ride mountainbikes but does have a nice wee restored Raleigh Strika under a work bench, which was his 1st bike...



its missing its chain gaurd which im going to try help find for him...
also in his man cave getting restored is a compact agri tractor!

So what should have been a straight forward 2 minute frame repair took a good half hour and scratched heads...he reckoned beforehand a mig weld would be ideal...`bring another bit of bike part of the same metal to pre test` he said to so i brought the surly 29er fork,
its supposed to be 4130 cro moly too...and after a wee sand of paint to bare the metal the mig worked a treat and there was a lovely wee weld...
but trying to weld the frame it was according to Kieth like it was not earthing properly,despite burning off the paint around the seat clamp to get a clean earth...

puzzling as this too is 4130 cr-moly like the Karate Monkey..supposedly...
the mig just melted the frame and burned holes in it..yikes!

so we tried gas and brazing rod but even with a small jet there wasn't enough heat to weld...

Kieth thinks a 3 phase welder is required for this metal as it must have some alloy`s in it, this is what is needed for alloy tig welding...
So the only thing he could do is use the arc (gas/electric) but said the weld wouldn't be very pleasing to the eye...
im not worried about asthetics as its a bike for riding not posing and into its 3rd winter its only a few years until i will need to replace it with a new frameset riding it in salt water often so told him to do what it takes to fix...

theres something nice about the smell and noise of welding...



so the weld isnt exactly pleasing to the eye and some folk will be disgusted at the idea of that repair but im not paying alot of money for a frame builder to repair
a frame slowly rusting with all the exposure to salt water...

so now like myself Pugsley is scarred for life...myself from a fractured cheek bone from a nasty crash on the Red Bull Downhill mountainbike track at Innerliethen several years ago...

buts there s plenty life in the pair of us yet!
rebuilt tonight i have left the pug stripped of its racks and fitted a lighter seat and seatpost and narrower 8 speed chain...

ready for riding some special trails tomorrow...down in Dumfries in the Borders near where the bicycle was invented...watch this space...

4 comments:

  1. The famous Scottish Pirate "Bruce MacSparrow"

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  2. I can remember when my father and I chopped the roof off my old VW Beetle and then welded some parted we set the bugger on fire! That and the holes we "welded" into it before getting the knack of it.

    You'll need a fair lick of paint on that weld to protect it all.

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  3. Oh no. I'm glad you got it repaired though!

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