Segmented fork build progress, tacked!

I got my first segmented fork all tacked up today. Here’s a pictorial of how it went.  Thanks again to Waltworks for posting a how-to back in 2007 on his blog.  I don’t know how i’d be doing this without that web-help.  Yesterday I welded the dropouts to the legs.  I should’ve practiced more before going to the actual workpiece…the welds went just OK.  I got the hood of the dropout a little too hot, but nothing I couldn’t fix. (Note to self: clean the dropouts really good before welding them up! Use 62 amps and be careful to cool it down a little for the edge of the hood! )

First, I made rough cuts of all the tubes like said before in a previous blog.  Then I used a Paragon 1-1/8″ tube block and put it in the vise seen above and cut a bigger hole out of the side at a 15 degree angle. I used a 1-3/8″ hole saw for this job, which worked really perfectly.  Any bigger and it’d be too close to the block’s edges.  I marked both sides of the block with a sharpie for easier angle finding next time.  I rough cut the 1-1/8″ x 0.045″ tube to 6 cm, ran the mill to cut one side, flipped the block in the vise to cut the other side, and that’s what it looks like below.

Once both sides are cut, i cleaned/filed the edges, etc. etc. and put it all in the fixture to size up.  Because of the fork’s rake, I had to file the segments on the side that joins the fork legs a few degrees forward.  Not too bad but took me several minutes for each side. These lil guys are hard to hold and file…and the vise seems like it’s going to crush them.  Maybe a lug-holder-vise thingy would be nice to have for this…but i don’t have one so the regular vise works ok.

After a little more filing, deburring, and much more cleaning, emory cloth-ing, and more cleaning, I set it all up in the fixture to tack.  I’m really not sure if I’m doing this in the right sequence with the upper “lugged” legs that will have to be brass-brazed…but it seems to make sense to do it this way.  I really like the look of this fork and how it’s turning out so far. I will likely make another right away since I’m not super happy with the dropout welds. Good practice though!

I never can seem to line up the tacks perfectly for some reason. But I hope it doesn’t matter too much if the miters are tight.

Pretty easy to tack up the legs in the fixture. The Anvil fork fixture is pretty damned sweet. The only thing I’d change is having some way (other than using a toe-strap) to hold the legs to that bar you see there.)  With the “spud” holding it in the bike stand attached to the welding table…can maneuver this thing in any possible direction.  They sell the “spud” which is just a big aluminum bar that screws into the back of the fixture so you can put the fixture in a bike stand for easier welding.  I didn’t get one with mine but no worries as I learned that the Henry James seatstay bar works really well!  Just had to cut a bolt the right size (3/8″ i think?) and loctite it in there and now it works for both the frame AND fork fixture!

Hope to weld this fork up in the next couple of days and get bike #2 done this weekend.  Cheers!

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