Framebuilders - Working with "high strength" steel tubing
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04-02-11, 02:46 PM
I am considering the use of True Temper's "OX Platinum" tubing for a frame for a small, light rider, but am worried about the miters. I use hack saws and hand files for mitering and have heard that the extremely hard steels give troubles with hand tools. If necessary, I've been wondering if an oscillating spindle sander (http://www.cymaxstores.com/Common/Product/CatProduct.aspx?ID=283933&Src=PriceGrabber&SrcID=4773981&srccode=cii_5784816&cpncode=00-15538701-2) with interchangeable spindle diameters could serve as a poor man's abrasive mitering system.
04-02-11, 04:30 PM
I find filing hard materials is more unpredictable than anything. It will resist with a finer file and the tube will suddenly vanish under a course tool. With any type of grinding system, you need to be able to make your own axles or make an arc with a CNC. I still use hole saws and files and get great fits.
04-02-11, 07:05 PM
+1 hole saw and file.
But you'll be fine with a hacksaw and file, it will just take a little more elbow grease than basic 4130.
04-02-11, 08:24 PM
I just used OX Platinum for my third frame. I found it easy to work with using hacksaw and files for the miters. Although I don't have a lot of experience to draw upon, I found very little difference between it and standard Nova tubing.
If you are just doing a couple of one offs, one method that works well is to cut the copes out with the dime sized abrasive discs that come with the dremel tool. Particularly the strengthened ones. They make a super thin cut and it is possible to rough out some rather small copes if one is careful. They are rather fragile so eye protection and keeping the cuts as light as possible in any tight spots are good ideas. Use a tubing program to lay out the joint, rough to about 1/64", then you can file the rest of the way.
04-03-11, 07:28 AM
I work with 953 and S3 everyday and miter by hand. It's a bit slower to work with but a non-issue. Dive right in - it will be fine.
04-03-11, 10:15 AM
Thanks folks. That's the info I needed!
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