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  1. #1
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    First time framebuilders

    Hi! So, I am interested in learning to build frames, mostly as a hobby, though as a profession would be pretty sweet, because I would love to get paid anything to work with/on bikes. I was wondering about how/where to learn to build frames. There are like 7 or 8 professional framebuilders where I live (portland, or) and I know several of them, and have asked about learning and they were like 'I'd love to, but..."
    I can't afford to but a custom bike, so I thought it would be awesome to build my own. Anyone got any tips on where/how to learn/practice?
    thanks so much

    Peter

  2. #2
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paloewi
    Hi! So, I am interested in learning to build frames, mostly as a hobby, though as a profession would be pretty sweet, because I would love to get paid anything to work with/on bikes. I was wondering about how/where to learn to build frames. There are like 7 or 8 professional framebuilders where I live (portland, or) and I know several of them, and have asked about learning and they were like 'I'd love to, but..."
    I can't afford to but a custom bike, so I thought it would be awesome to build my own. Anyone got any tips on where/how to learn/practice?
    thanks so much

    Peter
    Is Ashland close enough?

    http://www.bikeschool.com/frame.htm
    - Stan

  3. #3
    Senior Member Nessism's Avatar
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    The number one place to gleen information is the Framebuilders mail list. Read, read, read...and use the search function to find answers to your questions - don't just ask "how do I get started" questions without first researching on your own.

    Some good sources of information:

    http://www.henryjames.com/patman.html
    http://www.frameforum.net/forum2/index.php?
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/rinard/framebuild.htm
    http://www.phred.org/mailman/listinfo/framebuilders
    Becareful buying/selling bike parts on-line. I learned the hard way. :(

    Good/Bad Trader Listing

  4. #4
    Bike Junkie aadhils's Avatar
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    I think I'm gonna really like this frame building forum...

    edit: Hey Scooper, Know any such classes near the San Jose/Santa Clara area?...
    Last edited by aadhils; 12-07-05 at 11:20 AM. Reason: spelling

  5. #5
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aadhils
    edit: Hey Scooper, Know any such classes near the San Jose/Santa Clara area?...
    Regrettably, no. However, some of the exhibitors at the March 3-5 North American Hand Made Bicycle Show at the San Jose Convention Center might know of local classes.

    I plan on attending.
    - Stan

  6. #6
    Bike Junkie aadhils's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scooper
    Regrettably, no. However, some of the exhibitors at the March 3-5 North American Hand Made Bicycle Show at the San Jose Convention Center might know of local classes.

    I plan on attending.
    That's gonna be exiting. I'll be ther too...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scooper
    Is Ashland close enough?

    http://www.bikeschool.com/frame.htm
    I second UBI. I haven't taken framebuiding classes there but I've took a mechanics class and will take another in June.

    Awesome place

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scooper
    Is Ashland close enough?

    http://www.bikeschool.com/frame.htm
    I've looked at UBI, but it doesn't work out so well. Ashland is like 5 hours away by car, and the classes cost about 2000+ dollars. Also, major conflictions with high school. Any other ideas?

    thanks a heap

    Peter

  9. #9
    Show Me What'cha got Blazinall91's Avatar
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    I know research before asking is a way to make myself better off, but i'm going to ask, as most frames dealt with in do-it-yourself frame sites are simplistic mountain bikes or road bikes. I want to make my own freeride full suspension bike, with somewhere around 6"-7" of rear travel. I'm not too concerned with having a design that's profoundly groundbreaking, i'm more thinking about going with an existing design and modifying it to my liking,and going with that. It just seems that if i pulled it off, the satisfaction of having a self built bike would be amazing. I want to go chromoly on it as well.
    "I'm; young enough to know the right car to buy yet grown enough not to put rims on it. I got that 6-deuce, with curtains, so you can't see me and I didn't even have to put tints on it."

  10. #10
    Style-challenged platypus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blazinall91
    I know research before asking is a way to make myself better off, but i'm going to ask, as most frames dealt with in do-it-yourself frame sites are simplistic mountain bikes or road bikes. I want to make my own freeride full suspension bike, with somewhere around 6"-7" of rear travel. I'm not too concerned with having a design that's profoundly groundbreaking, i'm more thinking about going with an existing design and modifying it to my liking,and going with that. It just seems that if i pulled it off, the satisfaction of having a self built bike would be amazing. I want to go chromoly on it as well.
    There are no questions contained in that post.

  11. #11
    Show Me What'cha got Blazinall91's Avatar
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    i was more looking for advice or input. Anyone that has made something similar, any experience with something besides simple single speed-ish or road frames. although those are nice, they're not my bag
    "I'm; young enough to know the right car to buy yet grown enough not to put rims on it. I got that 6-deuce, with curtains, so you can't see me and I didn't even have to put tints on it."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blazinall91
    i was more looking for advice or input. Anyone that has made something similar, any experience with something besides simple single speed-ish or road frames. although those are nice, they're not my bag
    Make your own thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by paloewi
    I've looked at UBI, but it doesn't work out so well. Ashland is like 5 hours away by car, and the classes cost about 2000+ dollars. Also, major conflictions with high school. Any other ideas?

    thanks a heap

    Peter
    Almost all of the professional framebuilders in the US that I've seen respond to this question, have all said UBI was the best. That's where I'm going this summer is I can work it out.

    rlong

  14. #14
    Senior Member bellweatherman's Avatar
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    2 Grand on a framebuilding school is quite a bit of money. It would probably do you some good to take some cheaper welding/brazing course down at your local technical or community college. That would be helpful even if you were to go to a framebuilder's school.

    You already know like 8 builders in your area!!! Just get the Paterak manual, get some scrap tubes and start practicing on your own. I know you said that the builders near you are kinda busy, but just do it on your own. If you run into probs, then just ask them for help or get on that framebuilder's listserve someone mentioned. The money you save, maybe you could buy a fixture or buy a pizza for your local builder!

    Check out Suzy J's framebuilding tutorial. She is/was an amateur like yourself and totally self-taught. Quite an inspiration to all do-it-your-selfers.

    http://www.littlefishbicycles.com/

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellweatherman
    2 Grand on a framebuilding school is quite a bit of money. It would probably do you some good to take some cheaper welding/brazing course down at your local technical or community college. That would be helpful even if you were to go to a framebuilder's school.

    You already know like 8 builders in your area!!! Just get the Paterak manual, get some scrap tubes and start practicing on your own. I know you said that the builders near you are kinda busy, but just do it on your own. If you run into probs, then just ask them for help or get on that framebuilder's listserve someone mentioned. The money you save, maybe you could buy a fixture or buy a pizza for your local builder!

    Check out Suzy J's framebuilding tutorial. She is/was an amateur like yourself and totally self-taught. Quite an inspiration to all do-it-your-selfers.

    http://www.littlefishbicycles.com/
    One of four failed. I am not knocking her, I admire her. But it is not as easy as it seems.

    Archive-URL: http://search.bikelist.org/getmsg.as...10504.0054.eml
    Date: Tue, 5 Apr 2005 09:52:18 +1000
    From: <Suzy.Jackson@csiro.au>
    Subject: [Frame] What to do when a join fails

    Hi guys,

    After about eight months and 10,000km, I've found a bit of a problem
    with my Audax bike. Basically, the join between the bottom bracket
    shell and the seat tube is coming apart. I noticed a short crack in the
    paint at the lug edge a couple of months ago, and now (after a super
    series and a nine day tour) that crack has progressed around the front
    of the lug edge and round the other side.

    So what's the best plan of attack? I figure at the very least the seat
    tube has to come out, as I imagine there's all sorts of oxidation and
    rubbish in what's left of the join. I'm guessing I should cut the tube
    just past the lug and machine/file out the remains of the tube from the
    lug socket, then do the same thing for the seat lug, then clean it all
    up and put a new seat tube in... Is this the right sort of approach?

    I also checked my first frame, which has only done a few hundred
    kilometres in the year or so since I built it, and sure enough, it has
    cracks at the bottom bracket shell on both the downtube socket and
    seattube socket...

    Hmmm... Methinks I need a little more practice doing bottom brackets.

    Regards,

    Suzy
    _______________________________________________

    If I remember correctly she ended up cutting it up to find out what went wrong, and posted some pictures. Sure does ride alot 10k in 8 months wow.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Nessism's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oknups
    One of four failed. I am not knocking her, I admire her. But it is not as easy as it seems.
    Learn by making mistakes...well actually...it's not a MISTAKE unless you do it wrong TWO times.

    Regarding this subject in general, I've made a wopping total of eight frames so far (self taught for the most part). First several were tested and dissected after about one seasons of use. At this point though, I'm quite confident that the frames are robust, straight, and won't come apart.

    Aspiring framebuilders that are good at studying THE MANUAL (Paterek book), reading information on the internet (framebuilders list), and are willing to pratice brazing on their own can get along OK without spending $2k on the class/lodging/travel expenses.

    My opinion of course.

    Ed
    Becareful buying/selling bike parts on-line. I learned the hard way. :(

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  17. #17
    Senior Member bellweatherman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oknups
    One of four failed. I am not knocking her, I admire her. But it is not as easy as it seems.

    Umm, yeah you are knocking her specifically. That mistake she made could've happened to anybody, even somebody that takes a class. You think that the instructor (at any school) has time to watch over each student's brazing of each joint?! No way. Suzy made a boo boo, but learned from it, corrected and repaired her mistake. The point is, it didn't happen because she didn't take a class. It could've happened to anybody. She is still the shiznit when it comes to self taught frambuilding.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellweatherman
    Umm, yeah you are knocking her specifically. That mistake she made could've happened to anybody, even somebody that takes a class. You think that the instructor (at any school) has time to watch over each student's brazing of each joint?! No way. Suzy made a boo boo, but learned from it, corrected and repaired her mistake. The point is, it didn't happen because she didn't take a class. It could've happened to anybody. She is still the shiznit when it comes to self taught frambuilding.
    No I am not knocking her. Amazing that you think you have the abiltiy to read minds, and make judgements about my intent.

    I used her post mainly because she was the only person, that had the guts to be honest ( that might not be true as I posted that I thought my fork design was questionable in the my second post on this forum.) Also to point out that failures do happen, and failed to mention all was not without hope.

    Suzy, nor did I build anything without some prior knowledge, both of us lurked around and asked advice from other people. That is how you learn, ask questions, question the authorities. If you have not already taken the time to search the referenced list with "join failure" as the topic you should. It will be quite informative.

    Yes I do think that a school, or an apprenticeship would help prevent mistakes. If you think that you can build a frame without any prior knowledge, well my hat would be off to you. Nobody in this venture is truely "self taught."

    We learn from our own mistakes, and should listen to and learn from the people that admit thier own mistakes, that was my intent. If we listnen, ask questions, and learn we are less likely to repeat the mistakes that others have made before us.

    Hopefully I have not offended Suzy with this post. If I have offended Suzy, I make my apology public.
    Sincerely,
    SMP

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