I'll be up front and say that I have no frame building experience. I'm very mechanical, work on a lot of bicycles and cars, and have made some rather nice trebuchets and ballistas in my time, but have never made a bike frame.
Now, I've been given a steel lugged frame with terminal damage on pretty much every tube. I only took it because the lugs/headtube/BB/dropouts/etc. are fine, it's the main tubes and stays that are junk.
Could I unbraze the junk tubes from the lugs and replace them with some nice hardwood dowels? I'd imagine some nice Hickory or Iron Wood would be plenty strong. I'd probably make the chain and seat stays from a board of the same wood (thicker than the original tube diameter), cutting them into a wishbone shape. The seat tube would have to be replaced, too, so I guess I'd just make the new dowel go straight through the lug and act as the seat post.
I've been checking out all the bamboo stuff going on and I really like it, I just really want a hardwood bike. I'm also familiar with Renovo bikes, although those are just a bit different than what I'm thinking of This is a purely experimental idea, so all input will be taken into account.
My main questions:
- Will it work?
- Will it be safe?
- Have you ever seen anyone do this before?
- What kind of wood would you recommend?
- What would be the best way to bond the wood to the steel lugs?