Building a frame on a budget, first time curious many questions
I would like to build a track frame. I will not build the fork since I already have one laying around. It is safe to assume I have never brazed before. I will be borrowing a torch. First I would like to practice on some old frames brazing drop outs, does that sound like a good idea? Would it be possible to recycle tubing from dumpster bikes and build a complete frame?
My greatest interest is to build the frame the old fashioned way without a jig and do as much work by hand. How do you join tubes without a jig? Is it simply a matter of sliding the tube with pins/lug together and hoping for the best? I haven't found any videos on youtube or too much info on the net about jigless frame building. It would be logical to use standard chromoly tubing instead of expensive exotic steel on a first time build. Is there a good book on the subject that isn't too over the top?
Old bikes are good sources for practice stuff, but they are nasty to work with- rust, grease, old paint, etc. You'll save a lot of time by getting new stuff from a place like Aircraft Spruce, of course it will cost a bit more than the old bike route.
It's no problem to build a lugged frame without a jig, it just takes more time (a good thing on your first frame). Check out Suzy Jackson's Little Fish site for a good description of jigless building and a lot of links.
You don't have to use a hole saw to make the cuts for holding the tubes (although it is a lot easier). You use V cuts or just support the tubes on flat wood. You can either cut the wood to the exact thickness or shim with washers and thin metal.
I don't mean to sound unhelpful but if you google "framebuilding" you will get lots of information.
Building your own frame is not too difficult but you need to do some homework. A jig is not necessary but some way of assuring your joints are straight is. A good straight edge is very useful (and I'm not talking about a yardstick here). I build frames using a chunk of steel that was ground to assure flatness. Miter tubes, pin/tack the joint together (using lugs), and use surface plate to make sure everything is in proper plane (coldset (bend) into proper shape) before doing the finish braze. A jig will speed things along but is not necessary.
Becareful buying/selling bike parts on-line. I learned the hard way. :(