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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been wanting to try my hand at this for a number of years and finally gave it a go. Made a lot of mistakes, some small, some big and some just plain stupid, but it's coming together.

I did the frame in bronze but wizened up and did the fork in silver. Man, what a difference. The bronze just doesn't flow like the silver and made me work at it. The silver doesn't need as much heat, and just goes where the torch is pointed.
But for the filets for the brake mounts and attaching the dropouts, the brass really shines.

The frame is done and primed, I just need to prep and face everything for assembly. The fork is mostly done but I'm waiting for parts for the front rack that I'm building. I'm gonna need to put bosses on the fork legs for the rack but am waiting till I have everything I need to finish the rack before I decide where the bosses are going to go.

Any ways, here's a few pics.

Tire Wheel Motor vehicle Car Vehicle
Wood Flooring Machine Metal Gas
Bicycle Tire Wheel Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Bicycle wheel
Bicycle Tire Wheel Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Crankset
Wood Aircraft Engineering Gas Airplane
Wheel Tire Automotive tire Hood Table
Wood Gas Engineering Machine tool Machine
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Gas Wood Automotive tire Engineering Flooring


I'm looking foreward to getting it built and out for a ride.
 

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I know nothing about building or preparing for a build. Did you spec the geometry and they provide tubes at length based on that; or do you spec tube lengths based on your calculations for desired geometry? Where did you get the tubes and lugs?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I know nothing about building or preparing for a build. Did you spec the geometry and they provide tubes at length based on that; or do you spec tube lengths based on your calculations for desired geometry? Where did you get the tubes and lugs?
I wanted to build a 700c low trail rando bike and based the frame size off my Boulder All Road. That bike is 650b tho so the fork off set and trail numbers needed to be different; a bit more trail was needed for the 700c wheels. For the trail numbers I needed I went to Jan Heine's "The All- Road Bike Revolution" which has representative geometry and trail numbers for 700, 650 and 26" wheels.

The tube set, lugs, braze-ons and such are from Nova Cycles Supply (cycle-frames.com).
Some tools I bought on e-bay others and another tube set from Framebuilding Bicycles. Tubing, Parts, and Tools (ceeway.com).
Also a couple of things from Framebuilding – Rene Herse Cycles and Framebuilder Supply and Paragon Machine Works.
The frame jig is from Academy Tools - Low Cost Frame Fixture (LCFF) – The Bicycle Academy and the fork jig I made with plans from Bare Bones Bicycle Fork Jig : 11 Steps (with Pictures) - Instructables

If I was to build the fork jig again I would probably do it a little different.

For the cost of the tooling I probably could have bought a Weigle, but while I'll never have his skills, I now have the tools to build myself more bikes. And with any luck each next bike should be easier and of better quality. That's the plan anyway.
 

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Banned Sock Puppet
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Wow, what a project!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I also should have mentioned my research...

"The All-Road Bike Revolution" Jan Heine
"Designing and Building Your Own Frameset" Richard P. Talbot
"Lugged Bicycle Frame Construction, a Manual for the First Time Builder" and
"Construction of Lugged Bicycle Forks" both by Marc-Andre R. Chimonas
"The Paterek Manual for Bicycle Frame Builders, Shop Edition" Tim Paterek

Not necessarily in that order.
 

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I also should have mentioned my research...

"The All-Road Bike Revolution" Jan Heine
"Designing and Building Your Own Frameset" Richard P. Talbot
"Lugged Bicycle Frame Construction, a Manual for the First Time Builder" and
"Construction of Lugged Bicycle Forks" both by Marc-Andre R. Chimonas
"The Paterek Manual for Bicycle Frame Builders, Shop Edition" Tim Paterek

Not necessarily in that order.
Please keep us posted! This is great!


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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Those are downtube bosses, correct?
Why, yes, they are, thanks for noticing. I'm gonna put downtube shifters oh 'em too. I've got an old Dura Ace rear deraileur and levers, 6spd, indexed, collecting dust that'll find a home on the frame.

The only problem is the gearing on the Dura Ace free wheel I have. I have a 600 free wheel I'd rather use, but I seem to remember that Shimano might have spaced those differently back in those olden days. I'll try it and see, and with any luck I'm remembering wrong. If I can't make it work with the 600 free wheel, I'm running a smaller crank than I used ta did and that'll help, but if that ain't enough for these old knees those old levers have the option of running friction and I can run any free wheel. We'll see.
 

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Lots to check out in the links! Everything you need to turn out a bike that'll handle like the best, and pass the test of time! I'm ready to fire up my brazing torch. Nice stiff short point lugs, cushy flat fork crown, and silver brazed, like vintage top of the line. They said silver doesn't heat up the tubes as much and make them brittle at the joins, a risk with copper or bronze.

Those gossamer tubes surely ride as beautiful as they look! Nice work!
 

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Done
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I've been wanting to try my hand at this for a number of years and finally gave it a go. Made a lot of mistakes, some small, some big and some just plain stupid, but it's coming together.

I did the frame in bronze but wizened up and did the fork in silver. Man, what a difference. The bronze just doesn't flow like the silver and made me work at it. The silver doesn't need as much heat, and just goes where the torch is pointed.
But for the filets for the brake mounts and attaching the dropouts, the brass really shines.

The frame is done and primed, I just need to prep and face everything for assembly. The fork is mostly done but I'm waiting for parts for the front rack that I'm building. I'm gonna need to put bosses on the fork legs for the rack but am waiting till I have everything I need to finish the rack before I decide where the bosses are going to go.

Any ways, here's a few pics.

View attachment 482540 View attachment 482541 View attachment 482542 View attachment 482543 View attachment 482544 View attachment 482545 View attachment 482546 View attachment 482547 View attachment 482548

I'm looking foreward to getting it built and out for a ride.
Hey! That is fantastic!

Fun, isn't it? Now that you are all set up and have done it once, the second frame is MUCH easier. (And, yes, sliver brazing is the way to go if you can afford it).

What are you going to do for paint?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hey! That is fantastic!

Fun, isn't it? Now that you are all set up and have done it once, the second frame is MUCH easier. (And, yes, sliver brazing is the way to go if you can afford it).

What are you going to do for paint?
Thanks, I've seen your blog and posts here and appreciate your comments. And yes, it is fun.

The paint isn't going beyond the rattle can primer, too many things wrong to invest into paint. Cleaning and prepping the frame I found gaps where I didn't get good flow of the bronze and I'm also concerned that I overheated things, specifically the BB and seat lug, trying to get that brass to flow. While for filets and dropouts I had no issues with brass, silver becomes affordable when it comes to the lug work. Time spent, ease of use/assembly and outcome just make the silver worth the cost. And that's not counting the cost of the components or ease of cleanup compared to brass flux clean up

The fork, which had me on the edge of my seat with concern over difficulty went together, using silver, with ease. I'm putting together a front rack for a handlebar bag now and when that's finished I will braze on the bosses for the support legs of the rack and the spring retainers on the brake bosses and the fork will be done.

I've already got most everything for the next frame and know how that one and the two after that will be built.
 

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Thanks, I've seen your blog and posts here and appreciate your comments. And yes, it is fun.

The paint isn't going beyond the rattle can primer, too many things wrong to invest into paint. Cleaning and prepping the frame I found gaps where I didn't get good flow of the bronze and I'm also concerned that I overheated things, specifically the BB and seat lug, trying to get that brass to flow. While for filets and dropouts I had no issues with brass, silver becomes affordable when it comes to the lug work. Time spent, ease of use/assembly and outcome just make the silver worth the cost. And that's not counting the cost of the components or ease of cleanup compared to brass flux clean up

The fork, which had me on the edge of my seat with concern over difficulty went together, using silver, with ease. I'm putting together a front rack for a handlebar bag now and when that's finished I will braze on the bosses for the support legs of the rack and the spring retainers on the brake bosses and the fork will be done.

I've already got most everything for the next frame and know how that one and the two after that will be built.
I understand the paint issue - my first two were Rustoleum...which actually turned out pretty nice. With a clear coat it turned out sharp. They have a nice "Merckx Orange."

The other budget thought is going to Pep Boys and getting a couple of cans of Duplicolor auto touch up paint. I've done that as well. You get some really nice colors and it is a more durable finish than Rustoleum, which is pretty soft.
 

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FWIW, I’m riveted and I look forward to every post on this thread. Man, I’d love to see this process. Whatever your thought process, you have more than just me, I’m sure, that want to read it...


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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I understand the paint issue - my first two were Rustoleum...which actually turned out pretty nice. With a clear coat it turned out sharp. They have a nice "Merckx Orange."

The other budget thought is going to Pep Boys and getting a couple of cans of Duplicolor auto touch up paint. I've done that as well. You get some really nice colors and it is a more durable finish than Rustoleum, which is pretty soft.
I've would go with the automotive rattle can paint, that's what I used for the primer, but I'm going to hold off on the color for now. No good reason, beside the dominant stubborn gene I was blessed with.

I do have a question about your cutting of tubes tho. I hand filed the tubes, but have been wondering about a tube notcher for that task, your thoughts? A drill press capable of this use is not in the budget right now and the notcher caught my eye, but I worry if they have the repeatability and capability needed to hold close tolerances. If I have to dial in the angles with a file to build, it would really serve no purpose.

VEVOR Pipe Notcher Punch and Press Tool for 0-50 Degree Tube Notcher Tool Notches 3/4"-3" Round Tubing Bore Hole Pipe Knotcher Aluminium Frame Tubing Notcher for Cutting Holes Through Metal, Wood. - - Amazon.com
 

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You captured why I haven't bought one of these - the inexpensive ones aren't that accurate and you still need to hand finish and tweak things. They are great if you are building a roll cage in a hot rod.

How did you notch your tubing this time around? I used a die grinder and a good burr (with a paper template) and, frankly, after I got a few under my belt I could notch both ends of one of the main tubes in about 45 minutes, start to finish. That die grinder can move some metal.... I figure that, for a hobbyist, that is fast enough. A notcher might make sense if I was going lug-less and welding things up.

The one area where I might put my brain to work is down in the bottom bracket area, trimming the ends of the chain stays. The way that I have done it in the past is a lot of back and forth - jig it up, reach inside the bottom bracket with a sharpie and mark where it needs to be trimmed, take it all apart, and cut. Repeat until it is trimmed right. I've seen a jig that uses a bottom bracket shell and a hole saw - insert the chainstay in the jig (which is set up to place the chainstay at the proper length and angle), run the hole saw through the bottom bracket, using it as a guide, and it trims things to the correct length and angle.

I "get" going no paint for a while. I rode Number 1 for a while with just some decals - I spritzed it with WD40 every once in a while to keep the rust at bay. It looked cool, and I could quickly see if it was going to fall apart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
You captured why I haven't bought one of these - the inexpensive ones aren't that accurate and you still need to hand finish and tweak things. They are great if you are building a roll cage in a hot rod.

How did you notch your tubing this time around? I used a die grinder and a good burr (with a paper template) and, frankly, after I got a few under my belt I could notch both ends of one of the main tubes in about 45 minutes, start to finish. That die grinder can move some metal.... I figure that, for a hobbyist, that is fast enough. A notcher might make sense if I was going lug-less and welding things up.

The one area where I might put my brain to work is down in the bottom bracket area, trimming the ends of the chain stays. The way that I have done it in the past is a lot of back and forth - jig it up, reach inside the bottom bracket with a sharpie and mark where it needs to be trimmed, take it all apart, and cut. Repeat until it is trimmed right. I've seen a jig that uses a bottom bracket shell and a hole saw - insert the chainstay in the jig (which is set up to place the chainstay at the proper length and angle), run the hole saw through the bottom bracket, using it as a guide, and it trims things to the correct length and angle.

I "get" going no paint for a while. I rode Number 1 for a while with just some decals - I spritzed it with WD40 every once in a while to keep the rust at bay. It looked cool, and I could quickly see if it was going to fall apart.
Paper templates and files. I didn't want to use the die grinder until I got a little bit of a handle on things. Yeah, a good notcher wouldn't be a lot cheaper than a decent drill press and the drill press would be a lot more versatile.

I did the chainstays pretty much the same way. There were a few spots in there where the stay was a mite too long but I was able to clean that up with the die grinder once it was brazed up. That cleaned up real good once I chased the threads.
I like that idea for that chainstay jig, something could probably be put together fairly easily using t-slotted framing | McMaster-Carr, the same as the fork jig I put together. I'm trying to formulate something to position brake boses for center pull and canti brakes using that t-slot framing, so maybe I can figure something for the chainstay jig and put myself together an order for parts for both.

I just ran into a problem prepping the fork tho. The fellow who was gonna face the fork crown for the race wasn't able to get his cutter on it. I just wrote a friend with a lathe to see if he's willing to chuck up the completed fork and cut it.
Did you have any issues with this part of the prep? If so, what was your answer? I plan on getting the crown race cutter before my next frame so I'm kinda happy I ran into this problem before I had to buy the tools twice.

Yeah, I know the areas that I had the biggest issues and that I expect failures if or when and they should show up easily thru the gray primer. I thought of painting it yellow, Jobst Brandt liked yellow for that reason, easy to see cracks.
 
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