Cold Days and Winter Projects

Cold days and winter projects

New Year's Eve fire 2015 
I celebrated News Years Eve with a fire and I also set off a few expired flairs!


It was well below zero this morning when I got up. In the shop, despite the best efforts of my heater it was right at 38 degrees.  The fire’s roaring in the stove now and I’ll bet by 9 it’s toasty out there.  What a wonderful mix of bright or snowy, always frosty days we’re enjoying. I like the feel of 2015 already.  The summer teaching season is shaping up nicely with eleven classes lined up and several more in the works. Shop work is booked for the winter as well. I’ve finished the batch of designs I was working on and replaced them with several new projects.  I don’t think I ever really want to get caught up though. Shop projects start in the evenings with a glass of port, a warm fire and time at the drawing board.


I hope everyone is looking ahead to a brilliant 2015. Lets all look out for each other.

Puch Mixte Frame

I’ve started a new bike project. I’ll be building out a late 70’s Puch mixte frame.  In the background is a custom display cabinet in the early stages of construction. More on both projects as they progress.

Puch mixte frame stretch

Yesterdays, victory in the shop.  The spacing on the rear dropouts of the mixte frame I’m working on (where the wheel goes) is 120mm. That’s the old standard from the late 70’s.  The rear wheel I’d like to use has an 8 speed internal geared hub with a spacing of 135mm. That’s the modern standard.  Looking online and in a few books I’ve found a method to ‘bend’ the frame to the new spacing. Cold set bending.  Here’s my version of the process. I made some wooden blocks to fit around the seat and chain stays and used strong clamps to hold the bridges and keep the welds from stressing. Next I used a wooden clamp to spread the dropouts to 157mm. Once the clamp is removed the frame springs back to dead on 135mm.  Now I can use any wheel I want!  It does not sound like much but I’m very pleased with myself!

Kenyon Hills rock face

This rock face is just down the road.  I’ll bet the outcrop is 100’ high and at least 400 feet long.  The trail takes about an hour to walk if I stay on the path and leave my camera in the bag. Neither of which ever happens.