'37 Elfman Streamline Deluxe

Apr 30, 2015
82
339
Hello, I've been watching this event from a distance for a few years now but I thought I'd toss my hat in the ring for the 10th running of the build off. I'm mostly a collector of antique bikes but I can't really afford the great bikes and I find myself dissatisfied with the offerings anyway. No matter how cool the bike is I find that there's always elements that I like an don't like or wish I could change about all the bikes that were built in the balloon tire hay day. So rather than wish I could find the coolest bike ever made, I figured I should just build it myself. Two of my favorite bikes are the 35-37 bluebird and the Huffman streamline frames from the same time period. I'm also a big fan of the sculptural construction of the prewar Murray built bikes and the 36 Colson Commander is inspiring as well. I did a full size drawing this weekend that blends my favorite elements of these bikes. Its a pretty daunting undertaking given my limited resources for tools but I think with enough determination I can pull it off. I have aspirations of building custom everything (tank, springer, rack, chain guard and yes even a horizontal spring seat) but I work full time and this event is over in a few months so if I can get the frame done and fitted with off the shelf parts I'll be happy. Here's a picture of my frame drawing and some tubing that I've managed to bend up with the tubing bender and a tubing roller I have access to. I've wanted to build something like this for years now so I hope this year I can make it happen.



 
Apr 14, 2015
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Great design hope you can pull it off . If so I'm putting in my order now for one of those frames .


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The Renaissance Man

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Great concept!

Like you said, you have a lot of work ahead! You'll be surprised at how quickly the deadline will arrive so stay on top of it!

When you can, let us know a little bit about yourself in the Intro section.
 
Apr 30, 2015
82
339
Thanks for the compliments. Trust me you don't need to tell me not to rush though. I'm a super fussy perfectionist when I'm making something and its kind of a handicap. I'm trying to adopt a more "doesn't have to be perfect" attitude for this project otherwise it will never get off the ground. And as far as putting in your orders for the production run, let me just get this prototype built first and then we'll see. I've made stuff before with production in mind but usually by the time I get one done my desire to build another is wiped out.
 
Apr 30, 2015
82
339
I'm starting with the top tube. I was just going to do a single 1" tube but then I was playing around with the tubing and realized I could do a cool double top tube like a Blackhawk (see pic) just with a different shape because I want to have a mono stay behind the seat post. I had bought some extra 7/8 tubing and made a matching pair and began fitting them together. I was going to leave a gap originally but I kept grinding away till it was gone and I'm glad I did. I like the double shotgun look.





 
Apr 30, 2015
82
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So I picked up this Elgin ladies frame a while back to use for a basis for this build.



It will obviously be undergoing a major transformation and only the head tube and bottom bracket shell with the lower "mono" stay will be making its way to the new bike. I just love these flared lugs though and I'm excited to see this taking shape.





I needed to add a bit more metal to get the shape I wanted


My goal is to make it all steel, no bondo because I may end up with the raw look. So for now I' just "fillin' it with metal" I have a lot of tedious grinding and shaping ahead of me.

 
Apr 30, 2015
82
339
I squeaked in a few more hours of progress. This project so far has mostly been an exercise in grinding.
Step 1) fill with metal (3minutes)
Step 2) grind metal (1hour)
I'm really excited to see this thing taking shape though. Maybe I'm just being a proud father but I think it looks even cooler than I'd hoped it would.