Section 3. The Completed Frame

The Completed Frame...after 3 days

After 3 days everything was set hard enough to remove the frame and checkout a few things. The cable ties that held the hemp rope in place while wet were removed after a few hours (before the epoxy set real hard) but everything else was left intact. Three days is a long time to wait to see how things turned out but....needs must. A little bit of force was required to get things apart. I decided that I wasn't going to try and use the frame jig again, so I could be destructive with the jig and that was a useful decision. The jig is now in pieces and in the bin. First impressions of the frame is that it feels like any other - thats a great thing. There is no feeling of weakness, flexibility, or other scary bits - in fact the word "solidity" springs to mind. It is not light, but it feels real solid and rigid. Even the marrowest tubes (the seat and chain stays) have a very reassuring "knock" when tapped, and all joints are rock solid. Looking good. True, one side looks better than the other, but that is appearances rather than anything else.

First view of the completed frame in the fresh air
  • Removing the protective film and tape from the bamboo tubes
  • Some parts were stuck on the jig due to spillage of epoxy
  • The frame after 3 days and removed from jig
  • Frame with test wheels and fork
  • Frame with test wheels and fork - another view
  • Frame lined up against my titanium for geometry comparison - looks a pretty good fit
  • Another view against the ti - bike looks like it is the right size anyway
  • Weight of the frame only (not including fork) - not a light bike
The good side (or top side when in the jig
  • Frame as removed from jig
  • Head tube
  • Bottom Bracket
  • Dropouts
  • Seat tube
The not so good side - bottom side when in the jig
  • Droputs - excess epoxy resin (draining as it was the underside when on the jig)
  • Seat tube - excess resin, but more worrying is the exposed bamboo within the joint (bad wrapping)
  • Bottom Bracket - excess resin, but more worrying is the exposed bamboo within the joint (bad wrapping)
  • Head tube - excess resin, but more worrying is the exposed bamboo within the joint (bad wrapping)
  • Closeup of BB showing exposed bamboo and reinforcing wire
  • A few bits exposed at back of BB too
  • Underside of BB - I hope I have enough wrapping here to hold it all together

However after patch up things don't look too bad - actually they look pretty ok. I bought some hessian (sack cloth) material, as I couldn't find hemp, and quickly mixed some of my remaining epoxy resin and hardener, soaked the hessian, and using it like caulking, packed it into some of the more obvious gaps. Left it to dry/cure and then filed and sanded everything to get rid of general rough edges, the rough caulking edges, the excess hemp rope (protruding into BB and headset areas), the excess epoxy runs/drips, and just some general smoothing.

Some final pictures of the patch up results including some before and after shots
  • A lot of excess hemp filed from around BB in order to permit BB to be fitted
  • Hessian cloth and piece used for caulking of hemp rope gaps
  • Hessian closeup. Rough and coarse threads, not strong, but not required to be
  • Before and after bad side of BB joint patchup
  • Before and after bad side of Head tube joint patchup
  • Before and after bad side of Seat tube joint patchup

End 3. The Completed Frame

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