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Framebuilders Thinking about a custom frame? Lugged vs Fillet Brazed. Different Frame materials? Newvex or Pacenti Lugs? why get a custom Road, Mountain, or Track Frame? Got a question about framebuilding? Lets discuss framebuilding at it's finest.

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Old 04-28-10, 08:39 AM   #1
pong_perez
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What Welding Technique is Best?

Hey people,

I just wanna ask what's the best welding technique commonly used in frame building? I do have plans someday to build custom frames as a form of business, since designing bicycles has always been my passion. But now, I want to find out from the pro frame builders regarding what welding technique is the best. Hope you pro frame builders could inspire me with your ideas..! )

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Old 04-28-10, 10:09 AM   #2
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TIG and brazing are equivalent. If you want to build with steel using TIG, you should also learn to braze.
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Old 04-30-10, 06:20 PM   #3
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TIG is the most time consuming, but the best looking by far, and the easiest to control heat penetration with. It's also cleaner and less brutish than stick/arc welding, and MIG just doesn't have the same finite control.
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Old 05-02-10, 09:23 PM   #4
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TIG is the most time consuming, but the best looking by far, and the easiest to control heat penetration with. It's also cleaner and less brutish than stick/arc welding, and MIG just doesn't have the same finite control.
-Gene-
This might be the reason why most manufacturers prefer to use TIG compared to other welding techniques...
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Old 05-03-10, 06:45 AM   #5
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TIG is the most time consuming, but the best looking by far, and the easiest to control heat penetration with.
-Gene-
opinion opinion opinion

TIG best looking? depends who you talk to.

and im not sure why you think TIG takes the most time, or that you have better heat control.
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Old 05-03-10, 10:07 AM   #6
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opinion opinion opinion

TIG best looking? depends who you talk to.

and im not sure why you think TIG takes the most time, or that you have better heat control.
Best looking? Also depends on who does it. I'll admit it. Takes the most time? Because usually when somebody cares about the bead they're laying they pay more attention, thus taking more time to do it. Any schmuck who knows how to TIG can fly through it, doesn't mean it'll be good. The same goes with heat penetration. Arc/Stick welding gets the source hot - fast. MIG and TIG are similar in their design so they'll heat the material similarly too, but it's easier to control the heat you emit with a TIG welder than with a MIG welder. At least, as you say, in my opinion. There are exceptions to everything.
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Old 05-03-10, 10:50 AM   #7
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and im not sure why you think TIG takes the most time, or that you have better heat control.
Because it does? GMAW welding is about an order of magnitude faster than tig. If you look at what industry does, you'll clearly see that anything that can reasonably GMAW welded is, and that tig is reserved for materials ill-suited for the common GMAW processes, or where appearance of the joint matters, or where precise control of the heat affected zone is required.
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Old 05-03-10, 11:14 AM   #8
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Because it does? GMAW welding is about an order of magnitude faster than tig. If you look at what industry does, you'll clearly see that anything that can reasonably GMAW welded is, and that tig is reserved for materials ill-suited for the common GMAW processes, or where appearance of the joint matters, or where precise control of the heat affected zone is required.
Correct.

GMAW is also well suited for robot controlled welding, which lowers production cost and is 2 to 3 times faster than GTAW, an important consideration for cost effective, high production runs.

Bottom line, there is NO single 'best' process. They all have distinct advantages and disadvantages.
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Old 05-03-10, 12:12 PM   #9
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"TIG best looking? depends who you talk to."

As usual the OP was vague enough that it lead to talk about TIG vs brazing, on that basis it is personal preference. But TIG makes far and away the nicest welds, if that is the issue.


"and im not sure why you think TIG takes the most time,"

It can be run reasonably fast, but that is not it's purpose. That is what we have MIG for, (or GMAW if you want to ensure nobody finds the thread in a search )


"or that you have better heat control."

"Better" is maybe not the best way of characterizing it it if: a) one is being picky, and b) one is talking about general welding vs. bikes. So what matters is that heat is correct, and that can be achieved with all the major methods and even some horrendous kludges. TIG's advantage is that heat is separately controllable, on the fly, without reference to the feed rate of the filler, a feature it shares with gas welding. Also, far more setting options are available on the more sophisticated sets. Probably some of those setting could be developed for other processes except that is the TIG advantage. Of course for bikes the heat control in TIG is the better option, unless one is using robots, etc...
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Old 05-03-10, 02:55 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by pong_perez View Post
Hey people,

I just wanna ask what's the best welding technique commonly used in frame building?I do have plans someday to build custom frames as a form of business, since designing bicycles has always been my passion. But now, I want to find out from the pro frame builders regarding what welding technique is the best. Hope you pro frame builders could inspire me with your ideas..! )


Pong P.
tig, braze, epoxy blah blah

it is simple
You need to go here http://www.bikeschool.com/
to get some faint idea and a start
and then if inspired
seek a job in the industry
relocate, slave, sweep floors, take each step over the years
rather than hope to be inspired by "Pro frame builder's ideas"
listen to full time/life time builders
read about their path ways
because a passion {hobby** for designing bicycles is not enough to understand the toil and perseverence required to make a living making bikes
and also the consequences of this
I may sound harsh but it is the reality of your dream
nothing wrong with the dream
but it is not internet shopping
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Old 05-04-10, 03:42 PM   #11
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You can weld a razor blade to a boat anchor with TIG,try that with MIG.
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Old 05-04-10, 06:25 PM   #12
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You can weld a razor blade to a boat anchor with TIG,try that with MIG.
Not to be argumentative, but I believe this is a tad exaggerated. I trained on, and later bought a Syncrowave 250DX, and can easily repair/patch an 12oz. aluminum soda can. But the difference in mass between a razor blade and boat anchor (not to mention the difference in composition), would render this a formidable task - certainly not a task I would attempt. And while you're on the keyboard, why not mention TIG's disadvantages? Such as:

* It's a busy process, often requiring BOTH hands and ONE foot to operate.
* The operator should have above average hand/eye coordination with excellent vision at 12" and less.
* Requires more intensive training than either stick or MIG to become genuinely proficient.
* Much higher initial costs - typically 2 to 4 times more expensive than MIG
* Higher operating costs.
* And lastly, you still won't be able to do lugs.
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Old 05-05-10, 11:24 AM   #13
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You could do lugs if you wanted too.

Preheat the anchor....

You CAN weld different metals together with Tig,even cast iron,which is different metals all rolled into one.

It's nice to be able to see doing any kind of welding

Practice make perfect

I'm just saying,tig is far superior to mig in everything except one,speed.

I'm from the old school,if you can oxy weld,you can weld.Tig and oxy welding are the same thing.One uses a flame,the other uses a lighting bolt.Pool dip,pool dip ect...

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Old 05-06-10, 12:29 AM   #14
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As usual the OP was vague enough that it lead to talk about TIG vs brazing, on that basis it is personal preference. But TIG makes far and away the nicest welds, if that is the issue.
Just speculating here, but my guess is that the OP didn`t realize that brazing is still a very common method of joining for low volume bike frame production. I doubt he was intentionally excluding brass and silver when he asked about "the best welding technique".

Or I could be misguessing
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Old 05-06-10, 02:07 PM   #15
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Just speculating here, but my guess is that the OP didn`t realize that brazing is still a very common method of joining for low volume bike frame production. I doubt he was intentionally excluding brass and silver when he asked about "the best welding technique".

Or I could be misguessing

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http://www.bikeschool.com/
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