Two weeks ago, I finally decided to do what I had been planning for years, to refurbish my 1994 Orange Clockwork.
About 1999 I managed to separate the drive side chain stay from its dropout. I welded it (TIG IIRC), rebuilt it and happily rode it for another year or so before moving onto another bike build - but it’s been at the back of my mind ever since.
I found lots of spares, my old Deore LX groupset (in great condition!), Onza bar ends and a pair of Pace RC35s that need some TLC.
Moist with anticipation I retrieved my old frame from its resting place in my parent’s garage and brought it back to mine. The plan was to strip and tidy the frame before leaving it in to be powder coated in something tastefully citrus.
Closer inspection revealed the cold flaccid truth…
On the bottom of the chain stay, just after the weld, there is a small crack all the way through the tubing. Apparently my annealing/stress relieving skills weren’t up to much.
I did a quick tidy job on the weld area and was able to trace the crack most of the way around the tube. The crack becomes quite shallow around the top of the chain stay and gradually fades out. I’m not confident about finding the exact start/stop points of the crack so that I can drill a couple of holes (to prevent further propagation).
I’m thinking about getting the frame TIG welded again by sombody else but I’d quite like some advice on how best to proceed. Should I first try to carefully force the crack into completion so that it can’t propagate under the weld? After the weld, what is the best way to relieve stress\anneal the stay so that I am not faced with the same type of failure again?
The other issue that may well be the end of it all is the two massive dents on each chain stay beside the bottom bracket tube. I don’t remember these happening, they look like hammer dents!
Can the dents be safely filled with some low temperature brazing? Or is this a rear triangle disaster waiting to happen?
The frame has sentimental value for me, I’d really like to get it fixed up and safe to ride – is it a lost cause?
I suppose option number two is an orange and white rattle can job and retirement to my wall of broken dreams…