So it’s taken approximately 3 months but I’ve finally tacked together my first frame!

Here’s the process from start to finish:

Surface preparation

I roughen up the bamboo by using the edge of a Dremel sanding wheel. For the steel I sandpaper first with 80 grit, then follow the same sort of deal as with the bamboo. This will provide more surface area and texture for the epoxy to key into.

I then coat the steel parts in a thin layer of pure epoxy and set them aside to get tack-dry.

Tack glue

Starting with the chainstays, I fill the rear end with epoxy and then squish onto the threaded rod I’ve attached to the drop outs. I then position the bottom bracket and stick the other ends of them to that (forgetting to sand back the epoxy on the BB… oops!?). Next comes the seat-post and the down-tube. The glue’s pliant for about 30minutes so it’s pretty easy to move stuff around if you make a mistake.

I then go to the pub for dinner and a few beers with mates while these parts take hold.

Upon returning and checking that all is well I then attach the head-tube to the down-tube, along with the top-tube to the seat-tube. The angles of the head-tube won’t be exactly 72°, but it’ll be close enough I’d say. I really need a jig that holds the head-tube in place!

Finally it’s the attaching the seat-stays to the seat-tube. Proving harder than it should be I find out that they’re not exactly even in length. I make a few adjustments and compromises on the seat-post angle and set them anyway. If it’s wonky in the morning I can always cut thru the epoxy and try again. Fingers crossed I won’t have to!

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