The shop is coming together, this past weekend I rounded up some unsuspecting friends and we wrestled my alignment plate into the basement. It's 4'X3' and 1" thick so roughly one cubic foot of solid steel, not the easiest thing to get down the stairs. I spent the morning today cleaning it and gently knocking down any nicks and high spots with a stone. Now I just need my bottom bracket post and I can get started designing my other alignment fixtures.
The workbench is all set and if you look close you can see my bending ramp and the frame blocks I finished on Friday. With any luck my torch and tanks should arrive this week and I can start melting some metal.
I dug through some of my old lug pictures and here's a sample of what I hope to be doing in the near future. I cut these for my personal bike which was shown at the 2006 NAHBS. They are based on an Ephgrave, an English maker from the 50's and 60's. I was really captivated by the flowing style of these lugs and wanted to do this set in stainless to really highlight the design.
What I really loved about this frame though was the dropouts. I based these on an old casting by G.P. Wilson, and hand cut them from a piece of stainless plate. The dropout faces are stainless washers brazed on and slotted. I wasn't sure how durable they would be, but they held up fine for the last two seasons under my 200 lbs. Once I'm up and running I hope to revisit this design for future Ellis Cycles.