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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Building a new bike part 12

Shoe Polish used to Waterproof Seat

On the weekend, I spent a bit more time finishing the bike off.  To date it's only been used for dinky little rides under 20k or so and not for commuting. The seat was raw plywood without padding and there wasn't a lid on the tailbox and the cables from the handlebars got in the way of the view. 

So I started off the work by taking apart the seat.  The seat base is the only timber part exposed to rain as the rest is under the corflute plastic sheeting.  There wasn't anything conventional to coat the seat base with so I settled on a waterproofing shoe polish which proved to go on quite well.  Unpainted and exposed to water, the plywood seat would  swell and crack.  On my other bike I used fibreglass and epoxy resin to waterproof and strengthen the seatbase, but this bike has slightly thicker (1cm) timber on the base.
Lower Part of the seat Waterproofed
Not much more to add except that the seat padding is Ventisit or ACS10 and comes from EMP Industries.  I've tried to be tidy with all the work on the bike while simultaneously creating as big a mess in the back yard as possible.  Painting is next.

But fairly tidy bike

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Building a new bike part 11

Bike after Change
Yesterday I spent some time on some bike surgery.  The rear triangle of the bike wasn't as I wanted it as it included a bulky fork crown which ended up inside the tailbox.  This wasn't very good because sealing the tailbox from sprayed up water and removing the tailbox become difficult when the crown is so high.  So the surgery involved chopping off the seatstays, attaching a new crown and rejoining the new bracing part to the old top point of the rear triangle.

Today I went on the monthly B-Spon ride from St Kilda to Williamstown, a chance to test the new bike surgery and meet a few friends.  During Saturday I had bought an inexpensive tripod and was keen to use it.  I read the camera manual and found out how to do "with me in it" delay photos.

4 front wheel drives in a row, John's Xevon, mine, Warwick's Cruzbike, Robert's
L-plates using the Auto Timer.  I am at the left.
Graham S's Rotovelo: John K holds forth.
Ken Smith on the Trike and Graham S in front of the iconic "cow in a tree"

Steve's Seed Starter Part 2

Seedlings grown without (left) & with the seed starter

This is a brief report on the seed starter I made a couple of weeks ago.  You will need to got here to see the start of the story.  As I trial, I planted Salad Rocket and Pak Choi seeds in 4 pots of 2 different types.
  One of each of the styles of pots had a "Steve's seed starter" placed on top.  The trial took place during Melbourne's winter with some rain and temperatures from about 13 to 20 degrees C.  So the results can be seen in the photos.  "Seed starter" seeds which have had a protective, warming, humidifying cover over them seem to be doing a bit better than their "kept naked" counterparts.

My wife Christine was not aware of my experiment and planted a Purple Sage bush in one of the pots.  So the second photo is giving mixed messages!  All for now, I will report on further developements.
Not quite co clear cut!