I am toying with the idea of building a frame for myself. I have access to a torch and have a very basic understanding of how to braze.
First off. I wasn't wondering if anybody has a bent/trashed/just plain old lugged frame that the would sell to me on the cheap (or give to me... maybe) to unbraze(term?) and practice on.
After I do that for awhile and before I dive in to a full build i would like to replace the drop outs on my conversion with track ends and re-space the frame from 130 to 120. I've done some research and I am kinda unclear on what exactly needs to happen to re-space. From what I gather it involves; removing the chain and brake bridges narrowing the frame and re-brazing narrower bridges back in to the frame. Is this correct or am I way off base here.
I want to do the modifications before i actually build an entire frame as a confidence builder.... I ride it alot so if I modify it and it doesn't break on me then i would feel alot better about building the whole thing.
Yellowjeep..not sure if I have what you need but I live just on the north side of wichita..small town, and might be able to let you have something to practice on.....same area code , two eight three, three four nine nine...........it is a church os if i am not here, you can give the secretary (real or mechanical) a message.....peace
Most communities have some sort of "unclaimed" bike auction or some other means of getting rid of lost/stolen bikes where the owners can't be found. Quite often decent (not high end) lugged frames from the 70's and 80's can be found there. Also check garage sales and big or metal item disposal days. Old bikes are often free or very cheap.
Most auctions sell the bikes in lots, though, i.e. 100 bikes for $70. Check Craig's List or the newspaper for old road bikes. You might be able to salvage parts from the bikes to justify purchasing one.
I would suggest buying the Paterek Manual, it's really comprehensive, well written, and will definitely get you through if you are already familiar with things like brazing, mitering joints, etc.
As far as "unbrazing" it's actually fairly difficult depending on what the frame was brazed with initially. On lower end frames the braze is usually brass, which has a higher melting point when re-melted. Silver is easier.