Take a look at the finished bicycle here..

Tuesday 13 September 2011 last.

Finally I am putting on the varnish. Each time I went to do it recently I found another little thing that I had forgotten to do. Just lots of little things like drilling the holes for the sheer bolts that will strengthen the rear stays. The big one was that I hadn't drilled the big hole for the seat post, and it was much more tricky than I had thought. Mainly because I didn't have the right clamps or bench to hold it securely in the correct position. So I gerry rigged up my workmate with a small pillar drill. It worked OK, but did cause a bit of vibration to begin with when I had the bit extension fitted, which caused the top of the whole to be , well, not round. So I took the extension bit off and managed to drill with the standard bit, just. But the damage was done, once the seat post was fitted I filled the wonky top of the hole with epoxy and sanded it back. Not perfect, but I have a seat post in now.
The seat post is permanently fixed in with epoxy, I thought I only needed to fit me.

See my less than ideal drilling rig.

I have done the varnish primer layer, thinned 50/50, I have done a first coat thinned 75/25 and I have done the first neat coat. one last coat and then wait for it to set. The varnish will take about 4 days to harden properly, then I can bolt it all together.

Varnishing in the dark....

The varnish making it look all shiny.

The way the varnish has brought the wood to life is amazing. I really didn't expect it to work as well as it does. I have used Hemple varnish and thinners and it has been great. Designed for boats, it is flexible, durable and has UV protection, hopefully that will cover every thing I need it to do.

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