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  1. #1
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Lugged Steel Frames?

    I'm mildly curious about something, namely: how exactly are lugged (steel) frames assembled?

    I assume the lugs are welded somehow, but am not really sure how you'd put the whole thing together.

    And no, I'm not going to try this at home. I'm merely wondering how they're made.

  2. #2
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    lugged frame

    I've built several lugged frames. You polish the outside end of the tube and the inside of the lug, insert the two together, and using a torch, high temp silver solder together.

  3. #3
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    Ok, so do you coat the end of the tube with a little bit of solder, hit the lug with the flame, and the solder melts & forms the bond?

    I assume you also need to clean up the lug after that? Or do you just paint over it.

    (FYI I've done a little bit of brazing in my time, nothing remotely like building a frame though.)

  4. #4
    Which bike should I ride? bullwinkle's Avatar
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    Check out Mercian's web site. They don't go into alot of detail about it, but it should give you some idea.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Most British builders use brass solder rather than silver solder. Some, like witcombe, set up all the joins, then do the whole lot in one fell swoop in a furnace.

  6. #6
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
    Ok, so do you coat the end of the tube with a little bit of solder, hit the lug with the flame, and the solder melts & forms the bond?

    I assume you also need to clean up the lug after that? Or do you just paint over it.

    (FYI I've done a little bit of brazing in my time, nothing remotely like building a frame though.)
    To begin with, the tube ends are mitered so that there's no gap between the tube end and the tube you're joining it to. You use specialized fluxes on the tube end and inside lug surfaces, then heat the lug so the heat draws the melting silver solder into the area between the inside of the lug and the outside of the tube. You do spend significant time and effort cleaning up the lugged joint after you've finished with the torch, and frames that are to be chrome plated require more careful cleanup than painted frames since any blemishes show up through the plating, but paint covers up a sloppy cleanup.
    - Stan

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