I have cut my stable down to one bike in hopes to make room for a roadie.
Framebuilding for a beginner
So I'd like to get into frame building, but have limited space and money. I was wondering if I could practice brazing parts together with a soldering iron (they are cheaper and require less space than a torch, duh). I mean if the soldering iron has an 800F tip that is hot enough to heat silver solder (correct me if I'm wrong about this). Can I also get a little bit more advice for a beginner?
That won't work. Unless you are soldering very small parts like electronic connections, and even then... I made a rack using a MAPP torch, and that worked to a certain extent. OA torch is @ 6500 degree F. That is required to transfer heat quickly to larger parts. More gradual heating also works with a LARGE flame. To use the MAPP torch to do larger parts like tubes is iffy, has been done, tends to be at the ragged edge of what can be acheived while getting proper adhesion and not burning impurities. The point is that you heat the part, and the part heats the brazing rod, just melting the "solder" will not get it to penetrate the expanded pores on the surface of the part.
There are a number of things that can be done on the cheap. The problem is that most of them are attempted by newbies on a budget, narturally, and they tend to involve advanced skills. Another example would be stick welding bike frames, maybe even with a cheapo AC unit. No problem but harder than welding with the "right" rig.
Well, there's A LOT you need to learn to build a frame. There's some engineering sciences of metallurgy. And trade-stills like brazing, welding, finishing and painting. And some pseudo-black-magic stuff like frame-geometry. If you don't want to sit in a class, then look to intern or apprentice for a good framebuilding operation. Issue is that guys like Moulton or Eisentraut have limited space and time. But you maybe able to make a pitch that might be convincing enough.
Yeah there are Community Colleges and Tech centers but I'm just finishing up college and DON'T want to sit in on any classes.
HTFU and go take some classes. Specifically, welding or machining classes. The ones I've taken are long on practical, hands-on experience; not much classroom or lecture. Of the two, machining involves the most classroom, but it's all stuff you'll want to know at some point...