Inspired by a fantastic 1/2-day class i took this spring, i’ve been wanting to make stuff out of metal for a while now. I finally picked up a cheap MAPP gas torch and some (overpriced, mild) steel stock from the local home warehouse and started re-learning how to braze steel.
I took metal shop back in high school, but i haven’t actually brazed anything in the 20 years since then. It came back surprisingly quickly (re-plumbing the basement with copper was good practice), though i won’t claim that my work is in any way clean. I will claim that the joints are sufficient to hold a full water bottle, because it has done so. Whee! Anyway, here’s the first little project:
Maybe i’ll take more detail pictures tomorrow, this is the best my pencam could do in the midnight garage light, and i couldn’t find the regular digicam.
It’s all built of 3/16″ steel rod, brass brazed joints. The design just evolved as i played around, trying to get a smooth round bend and working out how to mount it to the bars. The original plan called for strangely bent tubing to more firmly anchor it to the stem, but the tubes bent badly (no bender yet), and it would have been massive overkill… not like this isn’t. The two horizontal bars for the mount were originally going to be a flat steel strip, but i just couldn’t get it hot enough along with the rod to braze well, too much mass to heat efficiently, and no flux. It was interesting to see how much longer it took for the last couple of joints than for the first joints, as the heatsink mass of it increased.
The mounts are 1″ copper plumbing pipe straps, and they work quite well. The holes may stretch, in which case i’ll use the hose clamps i was going to use at first. It’s pretty rigid now, though i haven’t really tested it well yet. Weight is 150 grams, not including the mounting hardware.
It’s designed mostly for my Raleigh Sports, which has no other way to carry a bottle, and i thought this would be a nicer solution than strapping on a regular modern cage to the frame. It was inspired by the old French bar-mount bottle cages, though i designed it on my own, no attempt to copy anything.
Now to do a little 3-speed touring!
Next project: a rear rack – will require buying some good chro-mo tubes and some decent flux. The pre-fluxed brazing rods are pretty lousy.