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  1. #1
    likes birds and bikes seagull.apollo's Avatar
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    UBI Frame Building Course

    I'm wondering if anyone has taken a frame building course at UBI. Specifically, I'm looking for first hand information on the cromoly-brazing course. Is it worth the fee they charge? You can check it out at http://bikeschool.com/. Any graduates of the program, your input would be appreciated.

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    There are a lot of opinions about whether taking a course makes any sense. I haven't, however, heard anyone say that UBI was other than excellent. They have a great reputation from what I have heard. Given that the fee is about the same a the cost of a top quality frame, it would seem to be a relative deal. The contrary position is you could outfit a lot of a shop for what it costs to go including all costs. But that sorta assumes a person wants a shop, and might have to budget their money which isn't true for everyone.

    Over the years I have self-taught myself many crafts, and taught a few courses to others. One thing I have noticed is that even the best seminar without a lot of follow-up practice, does not prepare a person for the actual task. Many people will do the project in the class but still lack the confidence to produce when they get home. The same applies to taking the skills to a job interview. What courses are almost always successful at is putting you in a place where you have an experience with other enthusiastic people. To really place the skills into your bady will take a longer process for most people. If a person really wants to learn they need to be able to follow up when they get home, or to already have the key skill in their pocket (brazing in this case).
    Last edited by NoReg; 09-07-08 at 12:47 PM.

  3. #3
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    While not the same as the hands-on experience to be gained from taking the class at UBI, the Tim Patarek videos do a great job of teaching, step-by-step, lugged or lugless framebuilding. At $90, the set of lugged framebuilding DVDs are a helluva bargain.
    - Stan

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    You can also rent those videos. There are a lot of things that can be done, but I'm not sure what the OP is after.

  5. #5
    Industry Maven Thylacine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterpan1 View Post
    There are a lot of opinions about whether taking a course makes any sense. I haven't, however, heard anyone say that UBI was other than excellent. They have a great reputation from what I have heard. Given that the fee is about the same a the cost of a top quality frame, it would seem to be a relative deal.
    It would only be a 'relative deal' if someone else was building it!

    Of course courses are a benefit, but everyone comes into them at a different level and comes out of it with different info. If you come from an engineering background and could lathe up a bit of rod before you could walk, all you'd probably get out of UBI is some procedural insight. If you've never held a torche before, I'm sure you'd get a lot more than that.

    All-in-all, UBI would be a worthwhile course, regardless. Just don't expect it to be the entire sum of your knowledge.
    Have you earned your stripes? <<click here / Questions about custom frames? Chat me! - warwickg71 (AIM/iChat) ThylacineCycles (Skype)

  6. #6
    likes birds and bikes seagull.apollo's Avatar
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    Thanks everybody. Does anybody have any insight into what it would cost to set up a shop? I suppose that financially that's the real measuring stick. I have a little bit of torch time under my belt, but it was a few years ago and I would definitely need a refresher.

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    Depends what you mean by a shop, are we talking tools here, or the stuff required to be in business, like insurance, and licenses, rent a phone, etc...? Walt works has some of that info in the FAQs of his site. I'm amateur and not in the know on that.

    The stuff required to make a bike properly is a torch/welder of appropriate size, some tubes and braze, and flux. Maybe a hundred dollars of hand tools. Some sort of vise. It depends whether you have anything. I have tons of stuff for various activities, so for instance if I wanted to hold a BB to a seat tube for welding I could put it in my lathe.

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