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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 10-24-10, 10:03 AM   #1
Fish_man
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Who makes their own parts?

I've been fixing bikes since I was old enough to know how and I'm technically a fully qualified engineer .... so If I ever need a non standard, difficult to get or expensive part I have no problem with just making one provided I can.

Does anyone else?

and I don't mean just bolting together I mean starting with plate, billet etc material and finishing with a part ?

I've just finished a 14t sprocket for my sturmey archer hub ( I know these are not non standard, difficult to get or even expensive but I wanted a practice piece for making chain rings eventually)

Ive made two stem's, one super long (2 foot) for my bent and one extra long for my twenty.

I made the whole SWB recumbent frame + many bit's for it

Various light mounts + a set of lights (although these were machined from existing torches rather then totally made)

Bash guard for my MTB (still going strong after 10 years and being welded up and re-drilled for a different crank twice)

Of course along the way I've had some failure's , some monumental involving many hours of wasted time and materials.

So I'm just wondering if anyone else does ? or do people usually just search for an alternative and/or reach for the wallet ?

Am I a freak?
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Old 10-24-10, 10:07 AM   #2
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I envy your machine shop, My Father's was broken up in the Estate Sale.

76 I built a DIY frame, 90's I got to hands on work with the guy [his shop]
I asked to help build my load bearing tour bike..
so was a few self designed components like:

Split extra wide Randonneur Handlebars, from 2 narrow ones..
and a 4" wide open face stem to put them together,
adapting an Odyssey hydraulic MTB steering damper,
and a pivoting rear wheel stand that holds the bike up
on campsites on soft ground that seems like butter to push your tent pegs into.

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-24-10 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 10-24-10, 10:14 AM   #3
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It's not a machine shop .. I wish I could afford one.

Machinery wise I have a pillar drill which sort of doubles for very light milling work, a very very small lathe (less then 2 foot long), bench grinder and welding machine all crammed into the under stairs in our little 1 bed flat.
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Old 10-24-10, 10:31 AM   #4
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I can only barely afford small apartments..
I keep going to Garage sales and they want to keep the garage..
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Old 10-24-10, 12:08 PM   #5
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I'd love to have the tools and know-how to design and build my own stuff. I would imagine that most of the guys on this sub-forum feel the same way. At work we have a machinist who's done some minor welding jobs for me and is VERY capable with the fabrication side too, but as far as making actual component parts, that's something that he has neither the time or interest in doing for me. He does work related stuff for us all the time and I'm always impressed with the quality and detail work he can do. I don't think I'm artistic enough to be a good machinist, but I may give it a go to a limited degree someday anyway. Bummer though that you seem to need quite expensive tools and a decent sized shop to do the really fancy stuff.

Oh, and you've GOT to post some pictures of everything that you mentioned in the OP, especially the sprocket. =)

-Jeremy
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Old 10-24-10, 12:31 PM   #6
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http://s12.photobucket.com/albums/a2...man/Recumbent/ thats the bent .. although the "good" stem isn't on there yet

The bashguard is at my mum's ATM

and the bit's for the twenty (lights, sprocket and stem) will have to wait till after I've finished dinner
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Old 10-24-10, 12:35 PM   #7
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Those are some not very good pictures of the lights
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Old 10-24-10, 12:55 PM   #8
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sprocket .... it's not very neat and still has the paper pattern stuck to it ... but functionally it's fine and as a practice piece was 100% successful ... If i was so inclined I could neaten it up .... but whats the point .. you can barely see it amd it's going to be covered in oil 90% of the time

extra long stem for the twenty .... there is another 4-5 inches in the head tube ... + the light's as they are now .... Ive fitted new bar clamps since that last picture.

XXXL stem for the bent ... The holow stem bolt is modified as well, in fact the stem was designed around the hollow stem bolt.
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Old 10-24-10, 01:46 PM   #9
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I don't usually fab bike parts but do plenty on keeping my old '76 plow truck going. Just made some stainless plates to beef up my neighbor's snowblower where it was rusted through.
I always have some basic steel stock and Aluminum shapes in stock. I wish I had a lathe. I just have the basics, drill press, oxy torch, mig welder, grinders, and a sawzall. I can use the 10' lathe and bridgeport at work, but prefer to not use up that good will unless needed, although our blacksmith has done some heavier or life critical welding for me.
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Old 10-24-10, 01:56 PM   #10
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Comforting to see that I'm not the only guy here with an old couch ( or is that an easy chair?) in the garage. Just need to find the time or opportunity to get it up to my brother-in-law's house. We're doing a spin class in our garage for the second winter starting this week and I really could use the extra space.

*edit* Just saw the carpet and realized that it might not be your garage. It's so confusing when so many people keep bikes inside the house.

=Jeremy
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Old 10-24-10, 02:05 PM   #11
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House ... living room in fact ... though it does often end up looking like a garage.
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Old 10-24-10, 02:28 PM   #12
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No fabricating, but I've stripped bikes totally, rattle can painted, and re-built in my 1 room apartment.
The carpet at the time didn't show dirt or grease... good. But washers, bearings, and other small parts got lost in it.

I'm in awe of anyone who has the talent, and a suitable set of tools.
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Old 10-24-10, 08:18 PM   #13
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I've never made my own parts, or much of anything for that matter.

But I have been thinking of a few modifications of parts and things I'd like to try on a future build. One of them is welding or brazing a single splined cog over/around the fixed cup of a cup-and-cone style bottom bracket; in the rare event that you need to remove the fixed cup, it seems like a better means of doing so than using a wrench or vice on the flats of the cup, especially if you already have a chainwhip. I'd need to get someone else to do it, though.

I was also trying to think of something similar for the top race and locknut of a threaded headset, so you could adjust them on the road (say, while touring) with other tools that one is more likely to carry than two headset wrenches.
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Old 10-24-10, 11:51 PM   #14
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ahaa,nice garage
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Old 10-25-10, 12:00 AM   #15
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Where I get to work...



The frame jig is a little hard to see and the powder coating gets done in the back room.

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Old 10-25-10, 12:02 AM   #16
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And this is what comes out of this little shop... world class touring bikes.



And hand made hubs...

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Old 10-25-10, 12:06 AM   #17
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Hobbyist machinist with a lathe and mill/drill. I have made a number of parts for bikes including custom mounting plates for ring lock installations on a couple of bikes and both headlight and taillight mounts as well as my own version of the Hubbub adapter for installing a twist grip shifter on drop bars.
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Old 10-25-10, 01:33 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish_man View Post
I've been fixing bikes since I was old enough to know how and I'm technically a fully qualified engineer .... so If I ever need a non standard, difficult to get or expensive part I have no problem with just making one provided I can.

Does anyone else?
Did a back yard conversion from Ashtabula to 3-piece crank once. Took the BB shell from a frame beyond saving, used a lathe to turn a couple of old pipe fittings into adapter rings to keep the slimmer BB shell centered in the bigger one and welded it all together.

Converted a cup & cone freewheel hub into a cartridge bearing hub. Basically kept the hub flanges, knocked the cups out, enlarged bearing seats to match cartridge size. Had to cut the center out of the hub and fit a wider pipe to make room for the spacer that supports the inner races.

The most visible one and the one that sees most use, my DIY bike lights.
The plate is a piece of cutting board, The clips that holds the assembly to the bar are pipe fittings.
The lamp housings were originally garden lights. They had spikes at the back which were just possible to cut down and thread for the rear bracket, an aluminium strip out of an old printer.

3-way switch, for full + dipped beam. Full is a 20W Halogen, dipped is a 5W direct replacement diode with the same pin width. Full/dipped symbols are cut from fluorescent plastic.

Have some more silly examples of excessive engineering you might once be exposed to when/if I get them to work....
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Old 10-25-10, 03:19 AM   #19
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I have made a front lamp bracket from an old crank. I was able to use the square taper face as the fork crown mating surface and shaped the rest of the part with hand tools. The MkII bracket will incorporate a cantilever uphanger as well as a lamp bracket.
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Old 10-29-10, 09:21 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
Where I get to work...

Are you using the bathtub to shield the welding tank from sparks or something? And it looks like there are rearview mirrors mounted on the toilet seat? Neat idea, but it looks like you'd have to turn around anyway to use them.



Now you're just showing off.


Last edited by itsmoot; 10-29-10 at 09:24 AM.
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