The Excelsior Project, 19: Front Forks
Checking to see that everything fits well before brazing >
Trying to rake the forks. In the motorcycle world "rake" is your steering head angle, while in the bicycle world "rake" is the amount of offset in your forks: the centre-line of the steerer tube to the centre of the front axle. I see the Excelsior as having a heavy duty bicycle fork, so here the forks are being "raked". The problem is the strength of the 4130; they kept springing back into shape and I didn't have nearly enough rake. The solution was to . . .
. . . heat them up to red hot, and then let them cool slowly. Little smoke in the shop, but no big deal. It worked.
Fork jig used to set the position for attaching the dropouts. This needs to be precise, otherwise your front wheel will be crooked a little or a lot! This fork jig was used in the early mountain bike days, and just got modified for Excelsior duty .
Here you can see the shapes of the fork crowns. This is a bit of a complex fork to make. During this process it was discovered the "S-bend" in the main fork tubes was too low, not leaving enough room for the linkages to work. I had copied the wrong fork, and will now have to re-order slightly different fork blades. Not enough time to get down about that one > there's now only ten days left to finish the bike before I leave for Davenport . . .