Join Date: Dec 2005
Bikes: orbea steel road bike, my very own track bike, penny farthing.
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the shorter the trail, the more "twitchy" or "responsive" the bike will feel, the longer the trail the more "relaxed" or "sluggish" the responsiveness will be.
building straight blade forks, there are two methods that i know of. one is building the fork without lugs(unicrown, welded, etc) the other is getting a crown lug that has built in rake. henry james have i believe 3 degrees of rake built into his fork crowns, not enough for straight blade(maybe a track frame). other crowns have about 7 degrees of rake. when building the fork you have a little bit of play to adjust for the desired rake.
when it comes to using tacks in the frame. you should drill tiny holes first and use tacks that will fit in the holes snug to keep the joint from creeping. the tacks usually become brazed along with the joint, so the head should be filed down till its flush with the frame and is not noticable anymore, also, you dont want it to be too far into the frame because this part of the tack remains in the frame. i mostly do welding, so i am not an expert on the best nails, but i know that you want to use steel tacks.