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Old 03-31-08, 05:35 PM   #1
jimmitch
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Cutting notch in threaded steerer

I'm making my first threaded steerer fork, and I'm trying to figure out how to cut the notch for the keyed washer. Anyone have a simple method?
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Old 03-31-08, 11:47 PM   #2
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"The simple method"....use a headset that does not need the notch at all. Chris King 2Nut for instance.
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Old 04-01-08, 08:44 AM   #3
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"The simple method"....use a headset that does not need the notch at all. Chris King 2Nut for instance.
Good idea, but too late. I'v already got an old Campy headset that I plan to use.
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Old 04-01-08, 02:53 PM   #4
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Milling machine? Lathe? if the part is steel your main added choice would be soemthing like a file or a scraper.
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Old 04-03-08, 02:34 AM   #5
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I can`t imagine cutting that slot without a milling machine, but I bet it would be fairly cheap to have done at a local machine shop. It only takes a few minutes to set up and cut a keyway on a Bridgeport- your slot would be pretty much the same. The only complication is that the shop folks might have to machne a chunk of round stock to slip inside your steerer temporarily in order to not crush it.
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Old 04-03-08, 07:20 PM   #6
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You can also just file a flat into the threaded portion and use a matching spacer.
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Old 04-03-08, 08:33 PM   #7
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I'm making my first threaded steerer fork, and I'm trying to figure out how to cut the notch for the keyed washer. Anyone have a simple method?
use a 6" warding bastrad*. if it takes longer
than 10 seconds you're wasting time atmo.

*spelled incorrectly to eff with the forum software.
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Old 04-06-08, 03:38 PM   #8
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Dremmel, cutting wheel.
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Old 04-07-08, 10:43 AM   #9
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use a 6" warding bastrad*. if it takes longer
than 10 seconds you're wasting time atmo.

*spelled incorrectly to eff with the forum software.


You must have really good steady hands! I've only done this once. I used a fine file, not a course b*astard cut because I was paranoid at screwing up the threads. Used the side of the file and was real anal and careful about it. Took me about 15 minutes. Tab on the washer fits in decent and headset adjusts nicely. It doesn't look like a milling machine or a pro job, but it works!
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Old 04-07-08, 11:27 AM   #10
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filing is the cheapest, Dont try it freehand you'll just mess up your forks. As mentioned earlier a warding or a needle file will suit. you want it clamped with a rest running down the fork so you have a guide for the file. keep the file hard against the rest. The biggest mistake people make with a file is to "rock" file. It takes alot of practice to file in a straight motion. It is very similar to the action of a pool cue, a beginner never has a straight motion the tip will rise and fall as they move forward and backwards.

Back in the steam days there were men who could do pretty much anything with a file and a hacksaw

having alot of experience in this area, unless you know someone getting it machined may be a little costly, most machine shops will be tooled up for larger work. I recommend befriending a machinist and pay him in beer, will be handy for future projects too.
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Old 04-07-08, 06:55 PM   #11
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You must have really good steady hands! I've only done this once. I used a fine file, not a course b*astard cut because I was paranoid at screwing up the threads. Used the side of the file and was real anal and careful about it. Took me about 15 minutes. Tab on the washer fits in decent and headset adjusts nicely. It doesn't look like a milling machine or a pro job, but it works!
"e-RICHIE" is Richard Sachs. I can't speak to the steadiness of his hands, but I'm guessing he does okay with a file.
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Old 04-07-08, 11:10 PM   #12
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filing is the cheapest, Dont try it freehand you'll just mess up your forks. As mentioned earlier a warding or a needle file will suit. you want it clamped with a rest running down the fork so you have a guide for the file. keep the file hard against the rest. The biggest mistake people make with a file is to "rock" file. It takes alot of practice to file in a straight motion. It is very similar to the action of a pool cue, a beginner never has a straight motion the tip will rise and fall as they move forward and backwards.

Back in the steam days there were men who could do pretty much anything with a file and a hacksaw

having alot of experience in this area, unless you know someone getting it machined may be a little costly, most machine shops will be tooled up for larger work. I recommend befriending a machinist and pay him in beer, will be handy for future projects too.


Clamp a rest running down the fork? How do you do that? The steerer tube is round. What does this look like?
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Old 04-08-08, 04:59 AM   #13
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Clamp a rest running down the fork? How do you do that? The steerer tube is round. What does this look like?
A piece of angle iron about the length of the steerer would probably fit that bill. I dunno, though- it does seem like an awful lot of unnecessarry work. I still think it would be a cheap job for somebody with a milling machine. Or maybe worth buying a new headset- are Kings the only ones that don`t have the little lock ring? What would happen if the ring didn`t have the tab? Would a regular headset stay tight that way?
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Old 04-08-08, 05:03 AM   #14
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A small piece of angle iron would be one way (remember to always use soft jaws to clamp threads). Or even just clamp your forks low down in a vice and rest something a little less than half the diameter of the forks in the groove above the threaded area, a small peice of rod sat in the edge will keep it sitting at 90 degrees.
When undertaking a project you have 2 choices, tool up for production or improvise with what you have. If you want to do a decent job of this you need some tooling, like a good size vice, otherwise it is just bush mechanics. If you take your time, concentrate and do a basic setup you can do a good job. A file is just a cutting tool but powered by your arm instead of an engine.

Ive been taught to file flat and square to 0.02 of a millimeter and I have the papers to prove it
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Old 04-08-08, 11:45 AM   #15
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A small piece of angle iron would be one way (remember to always use soft jaws to clamp threads). Or even just clamp your forks low down in a vice and rest something a little less than half the diameter of the forks in the groove above the threaded area, a small peice of rod sat in the edge will keep it sitting at 90 degrees.
When undertaking a project you have 2 choices, tool up for production or improvise with what you have. If you want to do a decent job of this you need some tooling, like a good size vice, otherwise it is just bush mechanics. If you take your time, concentrate and do a basic setup you can do a good job. A file is just a cutting tool but powered by your arm instead of an engine.

Ive been taught to file flat and square to 0.02 of a millimeter and I have the papers to prove it




Ahhh! Angle iron! Nice tip. Thanks. So, without trying to sound clueless about this... Why not just file off the little tab on the washer instead of filing a new notch on the steerer? I've never even questioned what the notch and washer are for anyway. I guess for ease of headset adjustment, right?
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Old 04-08-08, 02:02 PM   #16
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Ahhh! Angle iron! Nice tip. Thanks. So, without trying to sound clueless about this... Why not just file off the little tab on the washer instead of filing a new notch on the steerer? I've never even questioned what the notch and washer are for anyway. I guess for ease of headset adjustment, right?
the notch is so you can tighten the the top locknut against the other nut without messing with it's adjustment, otherwise when you tighten the top nut you will also tighten the other nut against the bearings.
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Old 04-09-08, 12:52 AM   #17
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So the whole problem could be averted with an extra wrench and a couple more tries dinking around at the adjustment? Sounds like the winning option to me.
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Old 04-09-08, 10:12 AM   #18
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So the whole problem could be averted with an extra wrench and a couple more tries dinking around at the adjustment
Of course, but I wouldn't think you would undertake any frame building or modification if you are looking for the easiest option. Its all fun if it is your cup of tea?, yeah?

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A piece of angle iron about the length of the steerer would probably fit that bill
Yes I agree I was pondering on such things, when it came to me that imagination is the powerful tool required. Dream, then make it so.
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Old 04-09-08, 12:12 PM   #19
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the notch is so you can tighten the the top locknut against the other nut without messing with it's adjustment, otherwise when you tighten the top nut you will also tighten the other nut against the bearings.

Sorry to sound foolish, but wouldn't the easier solution be to file the tab on the washer instead of filing a notch on the steerer tube? And then like you said, if you have problems adjusting the headset... couldn't you then just use a lower headset wrench to hold the adjusting nut in place so it doesn't move while you use a upper headset wrench to tighten the locknut? Correct?
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Old 04-09-08, 09:09 PM   #20
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Of course, but I wouldn't think you would undertake any frame building or modification if you are looking for the easiest option. Its all fun if it is your cup of tea?, yeah?
People are funny that way (at least I am). Try to do stuff ourselves for whatever reason- learning experience, challenge, sense of accomplishment- then we get to the hurdles to jump and SOMETIMES welcome them with open arms, SOMETIMES kick and scream or "hire a taxi" to get around them. Go figure.
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Old 04-16-08, 07:04 PM   #21
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Thanks to all for advice & musings. I ended up using a combination of ideas: i mounted the steered tube in a vise and used the vise jaw as a guide for a dremel cutting wheel. It made a nice straight groove, which I widened and flattened with a small file. It looks pretty good.
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Old 04-17-08, 05:20 AM   #22
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Filing the tab off is the solution recommended in Barnett's Manual. I have a steerer tube cutting guide with a slot machined in it so that you can cut the groove with a warding file, but I prefer to file the tab off.

Chuck Lathe
cohobicycles.com
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