1st segmented fork is finally done!

The fork is finally done! Turned out just OK, good for my first one maybe. It didn’t help I tried a harder than normal segmented fork style I guess! But that’s how I’ve always learned.  Win a beginner race? Move up to Sport. Win a Sport? Move up..and so on.  I guess I find it harder to learn this way but more fruitful and I definitely learn a LOT by trial, error, and just struggling through the process.  I now know that I will change my process for this type of fork pretty drastically.  Instead of brazing the legs on AFTER I weld the dropouts on, I will do it before i even miter the legs for the dropouts.  I’ll also braze the top-caps onto the legs BEFORE I weld the dropouts on so it all can be soaked and cleaned up (of flux and surface rust from soaking the tubes) well before tig welding anything.  That way, I can make sure they’re nice and clean on the inside and no annoying small piece of crystalized flux is trapped inside (…yep…).

Because I’m still learning to fillet braze, I probably overheated the legs of this fork.  But this fork will not be ridden much because of that.  I’m not sure the ‘limit’ for heating up tubes while brazing.  I had to take a few runs at the disc tab to get it completely covered, and since I had several pinholes or air bubbles or whatever they’re called, I had to file until they appeared, then refill with brass another time.  That may be due to dirty tubes or brass though so I just have to be cleaner and quicker while brazing.  So anyways…it’s not perfect (duh!).  I still love the way it turned out though! All said, it’s a hefty 2.4lbs with a 10″ steerer tube.  I think by using thinner ‘lugs’ (they’re 0.049″ wall thickness which are pretty much overkill) as well as butted main tubes for the legs (they’re straight 0.035″ wall), I could drop the weight a bit.   Or just not do the lugged design obviously.  We’ll see how it rides and then adjust.

The backside of the crown…

…and the frontside.

Getting brass into those ‘lugs’ was more difficult than I expected.  I’m getting better, much better, each time I brass braze, but it just doesn’t FLOW into small joints like silver does.  I’m not sure how much penetration I really got so I will be taking it easy on this fork and starting a copy of this fork soon.  I’ll likely silver braze the legs on next time and tig weld the disc tab.  As you see below, I fillet brazed the Willit’s design (Paragon made) disc tab onto the 1″ diameter fork leg.  It lined up pretty far to the inside of the leg, not perfectly flush so I mitered it a little bit.  There was a bit of space even after mitering the tab, but I didn’t want to miter too much since these disc tabs are already so slight! I love the form and function of these tabs though.  They’re desiged to spread more of the braking stress on the fork leg than a regular disc tab.  That’s why they have that long leg tapering up towards the top of the fork.

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