Hand built bespoke bicycle frames in the heart of the Wiltshire countryside - dmoframeworks@gmail.com.
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Tuesday, 29 January 2013

The final injury (hopefully) - and the frame is done!!

So this weekend I added the finishing touches to the frame - but not before managing to set the workshop on fire!!!

There I was happilly brazing away when I thought I heard something drop on the floor behind me - I turned around - and nothing. So I continued to braze away.

Then I felt something drip on my back, and seeing as it was raining and the workshop roof isnt the most leakproof of roofs I thought nothing more of it - braze away I did.

Then finally stuff started to drip on my head, so I looked up and to my amazement an old tarpaulin was a blaze in the roof space and the dripping was molten plastic dripping on me!! Now the injury - unfortunately when I looked up to see where all the drips were coming from I got one right on the nose!!!

It turns out that I must have waved the acetylene torch a bit too close to the sheeting and set it alight!

Anywho - enough of all that - onto the exciting bit - I shipped the frame to Brian Rourke cycles this afternoon - result!!

Hopefully, in a little over three weeks time I will receive the painted frame back and be able to build the bike up.

In the meantime I have some prep to do for my stand at the Bespoked show and the headbadge to finish off.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

The highs and lows of building the DMO element..........

So the week just gone has seen the highest highs and the lowest lows yet of my frame building experience...

Last Saturday I was happily brazing away, adding the final finishing touches to the frame when I rather unfortunately managed to stick a red hot brazing rod to my lower lip - to date this is the single most painful injury I have sustained whilst building the Element frame.

Having finished the brazing it was time for a final fettle of each of the joints, 7 hours later I had a frame which was looking pretty much done. Next up it was time to think of how to fix the misshapen headtube - a job which if I'm perfectly honest I had been putting off!

So to try to re-shape the headtube I decided to make a stainless steel bung which was .25mm undersize - which I could then press into the headtube from each end.

So I made the bung at work and then plucked up the courage to take it out to the shed and try to re-shape the headtube.

To start with I caked everything in copper slip and then found out that the headtube wouldn't fit in my vice! So, essentially in desperation, I dragged the lump hammer out of my toolbox and went to work. To my amazement the bung went in really easily and square. Next up was to get the bung out - and again, to my surprise it came out pretty easily - why had I put off doing this for so long - it was easy!!

Next up I had to re-shape the lower end of the headtube. Same again the bung started going in easily, but then I heard a weird ringing noise. Another hit, another resonance of this weird noise - then my heart sunk. I've broken one of the internal cable routing's off in the top tube %$^&***&&^!"£$!!! - I thought.

By this point I had gone so far so my only option was to continue. The bung again came out easily, but while I was knocking it out something metallic hit the floor - by this point I was starting to think I must have done something bad to someone in a previous life!! 

I thought I had knocked off one of the braze ons - but a quick inspection showed them to all be still in place. Then I looked at the frame and noticed one of the bottle cage cap screws had fallen out - and then it dawned upon me - the resonating noise must have been the capscrew loose in its boss - happy days - the internal cable routing's had not broken!!

As it turned out the press tool worked a treat and I now have a headtube round enough to press the headset into - result.

All that needs doing now is a final fettle and polish and shot blast ready to send to Brian Rourke cycles for painting.

Wildcat Framebag Spyshot......

As some of you guys will already know, for the Bespoked show in April DMO Frameworks has teamed up with the bespoke bike frame bag manufacturers Wildcat Gear to get a set of custom frame bags made for the Element 29er frame.

Having sent off a template and some badges I was very pleased to receive an email from Beth of Wildcat with a spy shot attached of my framebag mid construction - see pic below.

The reason this picture was sent to me was to get confirmation of the badge locations - you'll notice my bag has been taped to the dining room wall at the correct angle at which it will sit on the bike - attention to detail typical of the guys at Wildcat Gear.

Anywho - for more information please check out the full range of bags at http://wildcatgear.co.uk/.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

The Element MK1 frame is finished................almost!!!!

So after a relatively intensive fettling and brazing session the frame is finished.......almost!

I say almost because there is one task remaining - to re-shape the headtube which distorted during brazing - but more on this later!

So the first task was to add the "braze ons" to the frame, this includes the bottle mount bosses and cable guides.

Clearly in order to add the bottle bosses I would need to drill holes in the tubes - I'm not sure how established frame builders do this - whether they do it before brazing the frame together or not I guess is the question. I decided that I didn't know to a sufficient degree of accuracy where I wanted the bottle bosses before brazing the front triangle together - as such I ended up having to drill the holes after brazing.

This wasn't too much of an issue but I did need to purchase a special 90 degree attachment for my cordless drill to enable me to get in to the tight spaces - see pic below:

As it happens this worked a treat with my trusty stepper drill, after centre punching and centre drilling pilot holes first.

In order to position the holes I just taped bottle cages onto the frame where I wanted them and marked the rough centre with a permanent pen - job done!

So with the holes in the frame (and in the correct positions) it was time to braze them in - I think this was possibly the easiest and most satisfying job I have done yet on the frame build - they essentially brazed themselves on - all it takes is a bit of heat and the rod just capillaries into the gap - job done.

Next up was to fettle and hand finish each brazed joint and fill any pitts with new braze and re-fettle etc etc.

The finished (except for one final final polish scheduled for this weekend coming) brazed joints can be seen below.

And finally for a full shot of the frame.....

As described earlier, next up is to straighten the head tube and then carryout one final joint fettle and polish and then she will be going off to Brian Rourke cycles to be painted.

Bespoked News.....

This is a quick up-date on the Bespoked bike show in Bristol on the 13th, 14th and 15th of April this year.

Early bird tickets at a discounted rate are available now at the following link -


Also this week I was sent a link to another website mentioning the new builders at Bespoked this year....

"Last year Bespoked showed off new framebuilders just starting out. This year some of the future talents include DMO Frameworks, Era Cycles, Ironworks, Libertine Bicycles, Oyster Bikes, Renwick Bicycles, Straits Dispatch, Sven Cycles, Teague Bicycles and Woodelo."

The full article can be found at the following link...


More details on the frame progress to follow very shortly.


Sunday, 6 January 2013

DMO Frameworks is Official(ish).....

Hello there - I hope everyone had splendid Christmas and New Years celebrations - I know I did!

As a result of the festivities frame production slowed somewhat, however one cool thing to occur just before Christmas was the launch of the 2013 Bespoked Bristol website - on which DMO frameworks features!!!

Please check out the following link to find out more....


This weekend I have been shaping the final two tubes - namely the seat and chainstay bridges.

I had thought this would be a relatively simple process however, as with so many aspects of making my first frame, this turned into a day of highs a lows.

The frame was all tacked up on the jig and then free air brazed using my bike work stand. Having made various steel monocoque chassis for cars (admittedly not out of tube so thin) I was aware of the capacity for structures to 'move' during joining however I had not expected the rear triangle to distort as much as it apparently had.

Looking back at the jig it turns out that the dropouts, although aligned well to one another, might not have been perfectly aligned to the front triangle. I think this error has crept in through me using wood for the main structure of the jig - which simply wasn't stiff enough to resist the loads applied to it during.

Anyway, enough of all that - please see the images below for today's progress - this week I will be adding the bottle bosses, the cable guides and doing any final fettling ready to send the frame off to paint next Monday.