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  1. #1
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    Does anyone know anything about Frame Fabrication?

    I was considering taking a welding class or classes, at the university I attend. I don't now much about fabrication, but from what I gathered, they had a good variety of tools and machines available. There is also a smolting room. I'm not actually sure what the correct term is? There's a sand pit, etc..

    anyway, I was curious as to if anyone knows much about frame fabrication. I think it would be so incredible if I could make a mold for a bottom tube/top tube/etc.. poor aluminum and weld a frame up.

  2. #2
    BikeForums Founder Joe Gardner's Avatar
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    This may be a good start: http://www.damonrinard.com/framebuild.htm

  3. #3
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    I think it would be so incredible if I could make a mold for a bottom tube/top tube/etc.. poor aluminum and weld a frame up.[/QUOTE]
    Well, from what I understand, Aluminum frames are made similar to custom steel frames. The tubes are joined, held in a fixture/jig and welded. The tubes are extruded. This cannot be duplicated in a classroom, just like you don't just make steel tubes. They are bought by company's that supply frame tubes.

    I would think you are just limited to fabricating steel frames in a classroom environment with supplied stock. I could be wrong though.....
    "The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart."
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  4. #4
    Senior Member sydney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianallan
    I think it would be so incredible if I could make a mold for a bottom tube/top tube/etc.. poor aluminum and weld a frame up.
    Frame builders get their tubes from manufacturers and go from there.
    Last edited by sydney; 09-29-04 at 10:16 AM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Shroom's Avatar
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    if you are interested in playing with liquid metal and making your own parts, you might search the internet for sand casting.
    Sam

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by sydney
    Frame builders get their tubes from manufacturers and go from there.
    Is there an echo in here....here....here.....here.........???????
    "The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart."
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  7. #7
    The Red Lantern Rev.Chuck's Avatar
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    How much time will you spend in this class? I haven't done bike frame construction, but have done other welding fab up. If you do it right you spend A LOT of time getting everything to fit up and cleaning the weld points. You also need full scale plans and a tubing jig. You can save a little money on your BB and headtube by robbing them off another old frame
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  8. #8
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    to make a frame theres lots of jigs youll have to weild first, so you need all the specs. aluminum is advanced wielding it is not easy. you can buy cable stops and, dropouts from quality bike

  9. #9
    Stegosaurus Crunkologist's Avatar
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    I'm in the same boat as you. I got into welding and metal fabrication because I was big into cars, and I wanted to build my own Improved Touring Class C road race car. I made some exhausts, etc. But the car thing proved to be too expensive, and time consuming... stripping the car (CRX), building a cage, rebuiling engine, on and on...

    So I'm looking to get into frame building. Steel frames. Been compiling some good bookmarks on the subject. Can anyone recommend a good first book on the topic? The Paternak book is $75... a bit pricey.

    I think for my first frame, I'll use my MIG welder to tac the tubing in place, and then take the frame to a good weldor for final TIG welding. Or I'll learn to braze, and use Lugs. Not sure yet.

  10. #10
    The Red Lantern Rev.Chuck's Avatar
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    I have the Paterak book, it is good. Has stuff on building a jig out of heavy plywood.
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  11. #11
    Licensed Bike Geek Davet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brianallan
    I was considering taking a welding class or classes, at the university I attend. I don't now much about fabrication, but from what I gathered, they had a good variety of tools and machines available. There is also a smolting room. I'm not actually sure what the correct term is? There's a sand pit, etc..

    anyway, I was curious as to if anyone knows much about frame fabrication. I think it would be so incredible if I could make a mold for a bottom tube/top tube/etc.. poor aluminum and weld a frame up.
    I think it would be cool as heck to be able to construct your own frame! However, frame building goes far beyond measurements, angles and welding. It's almost like fine cabinetry, with an incredible amount of detail and planning before the torch is first lit.

    Most of the equipment and materials you will need are available from established sources that sell to the builders. There is a forum for people who are builders or interesting in learning to build frames: http://frameforum.net/forums/index.php?act=idx

    One of the best ways to learn what you are interested in doing would be to 'apprentice' yourself to a builder. Then you could see the exact steps needed in design, fabrication and finish of a frame that would be suitable and safe for you.

    Good luck, and have fun!

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