Shaping and preparing the bicyle frame

I now pretty much had myself a bicycle frame. It was a bit rough amd messy with glue so now came the fun bit making all the finishing touches and getting it shaped and smoothed out ready for a finish. I made some capping pieces to go on the top and bottom of the headtube and also on the seat tube. Becasue I did not want to see the join of the two frame halves on the front of the head tube I routed out a section and inlaid a new piece of brown oak. I also thought this might help bonding as it crossed the two halves. I also added some sxtra pieces to neaten up where the seat stays joined the seat tube and form a nice, strong area that would take the brake caliper.

head tube cut out

brake caliper
















All the shaping was done by hand with a rasp and then various grades of aluminium oxide paper as I smoothed out the curves and blended them into one another.

shaping the bike frame

I had a notion from the beginning of this project that I would name the two bicycles Lezard d'ete and Lezard d'hiver (Summer Lizard and Winter Lizard) It just sounds more fun in French and I recall loving the little lizards that ran around on the fencing when I was last in France. I also decided that I would like to carve a lizard on the frame, so I set about that next. I photographed a lizrad that I had carved on an oak burr many years ago, made it black and white, scaled it down, printed it out and fixed it to a piece of brown oak. The block of wood would have to match the curve of the frame, so I fixed some 80 grit paper to the frame where the lizard woudl go and sanded the block so its shape matched, then glued it into position before staring to carve.

lezard carving bicycle

lezard carving bike

















I carved 90% of the lizard with traditional carving chisels, using a dremel and fine bit to get into the tinier areas. It's a slow job, but hopefully worth the work.


lizard carving bike

lizard carving bicycle 
















lezard d'ete




© Christopher Thompson