I adore torch work: especially brazing and soldering. I find it intensely relaxing. If the joint comes together nicely, it's like a little opera singing a tale of clean surfaces, properly fluxed and lovingly heated.
I also adore cycling, especially if the bike runs silent. If, in the course of my not-so-regular maintenance, I manage to quiet all the creaks, clicks, and squeaks, then I feel like I've done a good job and my bike likes me. I tend to pedal harder and faster if my bike likes me.
So this week we get an article about brazing together a bike frame. I am having some difficulty containing my glee. However, despite the cool picture of the Fletcher Blowpipe, the article explains how to do the job with a charcoal fire. I'll repeat that for emphasis. This article gives detailed, step-by-step instructions for brazing a bike frame of all glorious constructions over a charcoal fire. How's that for a party trick?
Before you go geeking-out all over this thing like you should, I will mention that I had to look up "Spon." It's at the end of the first paragraph depicted above, and used in much the same manner as one might refer to Machinery's Handbook or Salaman. I found that not only had one Ernest Spon produced a compendium of workshop recipes, but that it is now entirely free to read. It's brimming with every kind of useful concoction from casting metals to draughting ink. You're going to want a digital copy on your virtual bookshelf, but don't take my word for it.
Disclaimer: Articles in Work: The Illustrated Weekly Journal for Mechanics describe materials and methods that would not be considered safe or advisable today. We are not responsible for the content of these magazines, and cannot take any responsibility for anyone attempting projects or procedures described therein.
The first issue of Work was published on March 23rd, 1889. The goal of this project is to release digital copies of the individual issues starting on the same date in 2012, effectively republishing the materials 123 years to the day from their original release.
The original printing was on thin, inexpensive paper. There are many cases of uneven inking and bleed-through from the page behind. Our copies of Work come from bound library volumes of these issues and are subject to unfavorable trimming, missing covers, etc. To minimize harm to these fragile volumes, we've undertaken the task of scanning the books ourselves. We do considerable post processing of the scans to make them clear but please bear with us if a margin is clipped too close, or a few words are unreadable. We would like to thank James Vasile and Karl Fogel for their help in supplying us with a book scanner and generally enabling this project to get off the ground.
You are welcome to download, print, and pretty much do what you want with the scan for your own personal purposes. Feel free to post a link or a copy on your blog or website. All we ask is a link back to the original project and this blog. We are not answering requests for commercial downloads or reprinting at this time.