Framebuilders - Recommend a local place/person for steel frame repair? (Los Angeles)
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06-24-08, 12:43 PM
I've been thinking about taking my old/vintage Lotus frame from 1984 and fixing it up. The tubing is Columbus and it was considered the highest-offering from Lotus in 1984, so all considering it may be worth keeping.
-I'd like to repair a small dent on the top tube
-Remove cable leads/bosses and clean up the frame's appearance a bit
-Get it in for a good paint job....
It is currently a great fixed conversion (used for commuting), but I'd like to make it into a very clean looking single-speed for commuting and errands and such.
Do you have any recommendations? Perhaps someone local, ideally - I'm in Los Angeles (downtown area) and can reasonably carry the frame to the person within 40 miles.
Any idea of how much this may cost?
...or is it even worth it? Should I, instead, just get another frame altogether?
Oh yeah - and about the SS Couplers... The tubing seems pretty standard, and I would assume that converting this frame into a travel frame is possible. But is it worth it? And couldn't someone just steal half of my bicycle? :)
06-24-08, 07:48 PM
You might try contacting Gregory Townsend (http://www.townsendcyclesltd.com/) in Monrovia. If he can't help you, he may be able to recommend someone who can.
06-27-08, 03:42 AM
greg just repaired my bridgestone... hes amazing.... great guy... super nice.... lots of knowledge...
and he sends his paint out to JOE BELL.. that part may be the expensive part.... or you can opt for powdercoating from OLYMPIC or something for less than 100 including stripping and paint.
06-27-08, 11:17 AM
Yeah, I wrote to Greg but haven't heard back from him for a few days now :(
I've also been recommended to talk to Colin Laing (out of Arizona) - he offered a killer price, paint included, but he doesn't do the SS Couplers. If Greg's pricing is too far out of reach, I may end up moving the job Colin's way and have a bicycle without the Couplers. (Someone would inevitably steal half my bicycle anyway... which would be so lame.)
06-27-08, 03:22 PM
How deep is the dent? If it’s not very deep you can use some tube blocks to try to work the dent out, or leave it and fill with bondo during the repaint. Doing this kind of repair is far less intrusive to the frame than cutting out the tube – which often destroys the lugs.
Braze-ons can either be removed through heating or by simple filing.
If the dent doesn’t require tube replacement, I could help you remove the braze-ons and try to work the dent out some. I’m down in Torrance. Drop me a note if interested.
06-27-08, 06:39 PM
I'd DIY in your shoes. Braze-ons should be removed with a grinder and files. The dent can be filled with silver, which means you'll need a cheap Bernz-O-Matic torch from Home Depot and a coil of silver wire and jar of flux from Henry James in Redondo Beach. (Bondo works fine but doesn't stand up to the powdercoating process.) Filling the dent with silver is very easy: thoroughly clean the area with sandpaper, cover thoroughly with flux, heat until the flux turns clear and runny, then add silver until the dent is overflowing. After it cools, soak off the flux with a wet cloth and then contour the silver with hand files and sandpaper. Assuming you didn't get the tube glowing hot this doesn't affect tube strength at all.
After that, drop it off at Olympic Powdercoating for the $100 special -- including clear coat -- and you're back on the road. From start to finish, including tools, torch, materials, and paint, you should be able to do it for about $200.
07-11-08, 11:41 PM
From start to finish, including tools, torch, materials, and paint, you should be able to do it for about $200.
That sounds pretty good - the quote I'm running with right now is $150 :) It's been pretty hard to beat, too.
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