I've recently decide I would like to learn to build lugged steel frames. I have some experience welding, most of which is tig. I have dabbled w/ Oxy here and there but no real practice.
I have access to a welding shop through my industrial design class. I was curious if I should just learn by purchasing some lugs and attempt building a frame, or just use junk tubes and just practice brazing on lugs w/ no intention of creating a frame.
I've looked into ordering the paterak manual and believe I'm going to get it.
I know I'll need to construct some sort of jig, but have really only begun thinking about this and want to hear how people got to where they are building frames.
My real question is, how do I land an apprenticeship under a frame builder?
Suggestions on equipment for purchase, what I'll need.
I'm here to learn, and hear what you guys have to say.
Doug Fattic in Niles, MI offers classes that I'm thinking about taking. Brew Racing, NC offers classes, as well as Yamaguchi in Rifle, CO and the UBI courses in OR. Apologies to any I left out.
As I heard often in (law) school, "Pay your money and take your chances."
No matter how much you learn in a frame class, you'll be scratching the surface, but you'll wind up with a frame. Not aware of any real apprentice programs. Most solo builders are too busy building to have to go in front of and behind somebody else all day. There are some smallish companies where a person might get a toehold and learn bunches, but I'd be prepared to sweep floors for a while...GOTTA love it.
There really aren't apprenticeships any more. You can search this topic it isn't new. I would spend the money on the Paternek DVD not the book. Tim is a good teacher, but he goes overboard on the detail so basically the videos are the best. They are really detailed in any case, but anything more tends to degenerate into Bridgeport mill envy.
The best way to learn frame building is to build frames. I'm on my fifth frame and I keep learning things everytime. There is no perfect place to start . . . just start. Lugs are a lot different from TIG, you have to learn how to flow brass in the lugs. Just start building R&D projects, your first frame is not going to be perfect, so don't put pressure on yourself to do so. Do what you can and move on to the next.