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  1. #1
    Senior Member ftwelder's Avatar
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    Bike art or over-ripe fruit?

    About a week ago one of the crew started a thread about making a saddle from aluminum. I tried it a bit and basically failed. I lost control of the piece of metal for a variety of reasons and ended up tossing it. I had tried to do a "freehand" piece using just the dollys and hammers. Anyway, upward on onward.

    Yesterday I figured I would try it again with copper. I knew it would be useless but I was trying to have fun. I decided to make a new thread since it's really not a saddle (useless) and it's not aluminum.

    I drew a saddle shape on a piece of plywood. I have a lot of it around from a local cabinet shop. This wasn't a good place to start as plywood is layers of different types of wood with different properties. My type of fun rarely includes planning or correcting mistakes. I just go.

    By the time I had the camera out, I had the basic shape. I have a bandsaw and a variety of belt sanders. None are ideal for wood working. I shaped the contours with the belt pulleys while sitting on the floor. I ended up covered with dust!


    29 141 by frankthewelder, on Flickr

    This is about when I figured this too was a waste of time because the layers of wood were full of holes and super soft in places. I am thinking about epoxy coating and other things that take time and just went on with the wood.


    29 142 by frankthewelder, on Flickr


    I tried to use the bandsaw on the copper (25# roofing copper) and it almost got sucked down the hole by the blade. This stuff is like a slice of rubber. I ended up with aviation snips.


    29 144 by frankthewelder, on Flickr

    Because the saddle is round all over with reversing elements, I glued the copper to the piece of wood in a curved fashion to get one bend out of the way.


    29 148 by frankthewelder, on Flickr

    I found a piece of perforated stainless sheet while I was digging!


    29 147 by frankthewelder, on Flickr

    I beat on it with a hammer for a while and when I pushed one place, it would come up elsewhere. I used a mechanical "shrinker" to ravel it up in places. This is when I finally felt like I was making some progress.


    29 149 by frankthewelder, on Flickr

    I bent a piece of 1/4" rod to a visually familiar but useless shape and set the "thing" on it. Hey, it looks like a saddle!


    29 150 by frankthewelder, on Flickr

    I tried to make a device once that cooked a potato from the inside using metal rods inserted in a potato. This reminded me of that just a bit!

    I thought it might be a bit better if it were "butchered" so I went to the belt sander (wheel again) and the belt was clogged with wood and almost smooth. When the copper got hot the wood oil in the belt got hot and "gassed" I guess and made a brilliant color on the copper.

    A friend and local artist Jean Claude recently taught me a technique to color copper so I figured I would give this a shot. This may some secret recipe or standard art school stuff but I am not going to share this part. It was nice enough with the small dents from all the work so I just colored it, clear coated and went back to work on other projects.

    Here are some of my results:


    29 159 by frankthewelder, on Flickr


    29 160 by frankthewelder, on Flickr


    29 161 by frankthewelder, on Flickr
    1886 Surrey machinists Invincible, 1900 Nashua, 1937 Raleigh Golden Arrow, 1938 Raleigh Silver Record, 1951 Armstrong tourmalet, 1970 Motobecane Grand Record, 1971 Raleigh Professional, 1971 Gitane TDF, 1972 Legnano Gran Primio, 1973, Peugeot PX-10, 1975 Roberts, 1984 Battaglin Giro, 1985 Grandis Speciale, 2012 FTW

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  2. #2
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    Interesting and artful project. If I knew you had some much extra time I would have been sending you some forks to lengthen the steerer.
    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto (2), '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '88 Trofeo, '86 Volpe, '89 Axis, '79 Mixte SOLD, '99 Mega Pro XL Ti, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

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  3. #3
    Senior Member ColonelJLloyd's Avatar
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    Ha! That's pretty cool, Frank. It looks great.
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  4. #4
    Freewheel Medic pastorbobnlnh's Avatar
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    Needs an "FTW" imprint on the rear end!
    Bob
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  5. #5
    rhm
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    multimodal commuter rhm's Avatar
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    Visually familiar but useless! I love it!

    Frank, I trust you remember I have your Lauterwelder handlebar installed on my Fothergill, and it suits the bike perfect. Were it not for the latter fact (and it really is one of my most prized possessions), I would return it so you could make a Picasso-esque bull's head sculpture.
    Last edited by rhm; 08-19-12 at 07:44 AM.

  6. #6
    MIKE is my name! puchfinnland's Avatar
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    it looks great!

    make sure to smear it with semichrome before every ride, it will only get better with time!
    My name is Michael, and I am a recovering bike addict, It has been 11 months since I purchased a bicycle for myself..
    (Im bound to fall off the wagon again, its just a matter of time)
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  7. #7
    Senior Member JPZ66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pastorbobnlnh View Post
    Needs an "FTW" imprint on the rear end!
    Actually, I was thinking it should have a relief of Lincoln's head on top, and "LIBERTY" across the back !

    Still, I applaud your effort. It looks pretty cool.

    Cheers,

    Joe

  8. #8
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    That looks fantastic! I think it should mount a bamboo bike that wll never get ridden and be used ornamentaly.

  9. #9
    working on progress treebound's Avatar
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    Ya know, secondary product lines have begun in similar fashion with the craftsman just playing around, then someone takes notice, works get commissioned, and an artist is born. Have fun, keep it fun, and pass one along to a good friend or customer from time to time.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member rootboy's Avatar
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    I knew it wouldn't be long after that thread when you'd get cranking, Frank. My only objection to this thread is your overuse of the word "useless". On the contrary. This artistic saddle may not be useable on a bike, but useless it aint. An interesting and beautiful object.
    Great work.

  11. #11
    Cisalpinist Italuminium's Avatar
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    Art! Thiswpuld go perfectly with the brass plated bike by dutch framebuilderm-engineering. Some real steampunk vibe.
    Pass the Dutchie on the non-drive side.
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  12. #12
    Keener splendor TimmyT's Avatar
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    That looks good. I like it. I'd ride a century on it.

    Have you thought about doing a planished one?
    Quote Originally Posted by Craigslist View Post
    Note to you BLOWHARD MORONS out there: The fork is not bent. Most PEUGEOTS of the '70s forks DID NOT line up with the head tube angle. This is normal. The last pic is from the 1972 Dutch catalog showing this EXACT MODEL in diagram. Keep your comments to yourself......
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  13. #13
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    A copper saddle cries out for leather rivets, even if they're strictly ornamental.

    I don't know why you'd call this useles. It may not be ideal, but I am curious enough to ride it at least once.
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

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  14. #14
    ^ JBC. jbchybridrider's Avatar
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    Hippy fixie riders will be knocking on your door now!
    2010 Custom Carbon JBC, 1990 Ricardo Pinnacle, 1988 Ricardo Elite, 1983 Ricardo Varsity, 1990 Peugeot Hurricane, 1977 Dawes Galaxy GT, 2007 Pinarello F3-13, Custom aussie made 1980 Columbus SL racer, 1975 Calton Rapide, 1995 Olympia Fusari, 1993 Basso Viper.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Paramount1973's Avatar
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    With regard to shaping wood, you might consider obtaining a good patternmaker's hand rasp with randomly oriented teeth. Either the Nicholson #49 or 50 will work. These are not cheap but they make the shaping of wood in any grain orientation much easier. I follow up with medium adhesive backed sandpaper on a wooden dowel and then free sanding by hand.

  16. #16
    Senior Member IthaDan's Avatar
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    Ooh copper! Copper has been my life this summer. I've been working for this guy- http://imgur.com/a/MJP41

    25# is pretty tough to work with. Everything we do is with either 16 or 12 pound. Your "color" is in a rather strategic spot, having a flex point there is probably just about right. If you have a gas flux line in that shop of yours, try heating the copper up to a cherry red, it should yield a vibrant red color.

    If you try this again, you might try making a negative form and pounding the copper into it, rather than over it.

    Shimano : Click :: Campy :: Snap :: SRAM : Bang

  17. #17
    Senior Member cbresciani's Avatar
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    Beautiful work, definitely art in my book.
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  18. #18
    Wood David Newton's Avatar
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    I think it will take a while to take the imprint of your sit-bones.

    But I like it, and I like to work in copper, making vessels. No, I'm not cooking moonshine.
    http://davidnewtonguitars.squarespace.com/

  19. #19
    Senior Member Flying Merkel's Avatar
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    We like the look. You need to make a non-functioning but aesthetically pleasing wall art bike to put the seat on. Maybe a faux- 1900's vintage racer? Wood rims, black Japan finish with gold leaf graphics. Nickel finish cottered cranks. Bigass front chainwheel.

    I'm jealous. Can barely open a can of refried beans without making a mess of it.
    Pronounced "Murkle"

  20. #20
    rhm
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    multimodal commuter rhm's Avatar
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    Tom and Tim, I think you missed the point that the rails, though familiar looking, are not actually attached to the copper saddle.

    The possibility remains, though, to rivet the copper thang to a real Brooks (or similar) nose piece and rails. Frank, if you want me to do that for you, I'm up for it. It might be worth it, just to get Tim to ride a century on it! I rode a century on an untested saddle early in July, and it was what they call a pain in the @$$.

  21. #21
    WNG
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    Spin Forest! Spin! WNG's Avatar
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    Very neat piece! Sometimes guys must get creative, even if it's not logical.

    No details were mentioned why the aluminum failed, but I remember from watching a chopper builder creating a custom aluminum gas tank, that the aluminum sheet needs to be annealed with a yellow flame before pounding it into its rough shape, and then english-wheeled. Otherwise the aluminum splits and cracks.
    “You meet the nicest people on two wheels!"
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  22. #22
    Semper Fi, A way of life. qcpmsame's Avatar
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    I'm sorry but I can just see an update to this thread in a few months if Frank gets it completed and rides the saddle for a bit. Along the lines of "Why is my Butt Turning Green?"

    Frank it looks beautiful, you have more patience and skill than I will ever have. +1 for the leather rivets, classic is the only word for them.

    Bill
    "I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me" Philippians 4:13

  23. #23
    Senior Member ftwelder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
    Interesting and artful project. If I knew you had some much extra time I would have been sending you some forks to lengthen the steerer.
    That is easy work if you have an extra fork we can take a steerer from.

    Thanks PB and Justin!

    Quote Originally Posted by rhm View Post
    Visually familiar but useless! I love it!

    Frank, I trust you remember I have your Lauterwelder handlebar installed on my Fothergill, and it suits the bike perfect. Were it not for the latter fact (and it really is one of my most prized possessions), I would return it so you could make a Picasso-esque bull's head sculpture.
    I always like his work 'cause it looks crazy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paramount1973 View Post
    With regard to shaping wood, you might consider obtaining a good patternmaker's hand rasp with randomly oriented teeth. Either the Nicholson #49 or 50 will work. These are not cheap but they make the shaping of wood in any grain orientation much easier. I follow up with medium adhesive backed sandpaper on a wooden dowel and then free sanding by hand.
    Wood has always been a mystery to me. I have no problem buying Nicholson, thanks for the tip! I need to use something besides plywood also!

    Quote Originally Posted by rhm View Post
    Tom and Tim, I think you missed the point that the rails, though familiar looking, are not actually attached to the copper saddle.

    The possibility remains, though, to rivet the copper thang to a real Brooks (or similar) nose piece and rails. Frank, if you want me to do that for you, I'm up for it. It might be worth it, just to get Tim to ride a century on it! I rode a century on an untested saddle early in July, and it was what they call a pain in the @$$.
    Because of how "raveled up" that metal is (to get an idea try to wrap a piece of notebook paper over a saddle) it has sort of a weird tension to it. I think if we applied the technology suggested by three of the posters by planishing the sheet to the inside of a mold with thinner annealed material would be the hot ticket. I have a Ingersol air riveter that I made a tool with a treaded end that a urethane hammer insert screws into. That would flow that stuff in.

    I used 5052 that was like 060 or something. I am pretty good at annealing aluminum but my hammering skills are a bit rusty. I got a new 40" tall 18" diameter stripped log a while ago and haven't modified the surface yet.

    May be I can sell a few of these and get new tendons in my arms. Mine are shot.
    Last edited by ftwelder; 08-19-12 at 06:32 PM.
    1886 Surrey machinists Invincible, 1900 Nashua, 1937 Raleigh Golden Arrow, 1938 Raleigh Silver Record, 1951 Armstrong tourmalet, 1970 Motobecane Grand Record, 1971 Raleigh Professional, 1971 Gitane TDF, 1972 Legnano Gran Primio, 1973, Peugeot PX-10, 1975 Roberts, 1984 Battaglin Giro, 1985 Grandis Speciale, 2012 FTW

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    le prix s'oublie,la qualité reste ,(michel audiard)

  24. #24
    What??? Only 2 wheels? jimmuller's Avatar
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    I love it!
    Real cyclists use toe clips.
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