[CR]that's one way to braze...

Example: Events:Cirque du Cyclisme:2004

From: dgranger@comcast.net
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Date: Mon, 04 Oct 2004 21:10:08 +0000
Subject: [CR]that's one way to braze...

Had a great time at T-town (thanks for the Cirrus, Tom!), and a great visit with Tom Kellog on the way home. My brother has alluded to a story TK shared with us about how Ross used to braze their hi-ten frames (I own a 1980 or 1981 Gran Tour and was asking him about it). I'll summarize it briefly. When the frames were assembled, rings of solder (can't recall what metal) were slipped over the tubes, which were then tacked to the lugs. The frames were then hung by the middle of the head tube, one right after the other, on hooks attached to a track above the factory floor. The frames moved along, and then up an incline (cue Bugs Bunny assembly line music). Next they travelled over, and down into, a huge vat of liquid salt (sodium chloride). Boiling liquid salt. The frames moved through the salt, and came up out the other side. The whole process took just a few minutes, and when they emerged, they were perfectly brazed (the solder having melted into the lugs). That's one way to braze... TK says the plant manager convinced him to try brazing a couple of the higher-end models that way, to save money. When they came out of the salt, they were brazed all right... but they were twisted worse than a pretzel because the boiling salt deformed the high-quality Ishiwata tubing they were using (which was, of course, much thinner than the hi-ten on the cheaper bikes).

While I was at Tom's shop, I showed him the Cirrus I bought from Tom Adams, gave him the history of the frame, and asked him if he could have Jeff Dusar build me a fork. He got a thoughtful look on his face, and started poking through boxes in the back of his barn/workshop. After a few minutes he goes "AH HAA" and proudly holds up some Reynolds 531 fork blades (unused) from the late '70s. He then proceeds to find an old Reynolds fork crown as well, and will use Shimano dropouts with eyelets (in case I ever want to put a front rack and/or fenders on). So when I pick up my newly painted Jack Taylor in six weeks, I will also be picking up a new fork made from 25+ year-old parts, and painted to match the Cirrus. Very cool.

Sorry for the length - my wife tells me there's no such thing as a short story when I'm telling it.

Duncan "Honey, I bought a frame too, but Ed spent more than I did" Granger Lancaster, PA