I need a tandem and the only way I can afford it right now is to build it myself.
I am really starting from nothing here so will try to use this thread for others that need to get a tandem rolling ASAP w/o much cash. I hope to keep the total under $100
After a week of calling every bike store in town, craig's list, and freecycle I tracked down a guy that had a rock hopper and some similar frames that he gave me. OMG! They have 3 piece Cranks so I can put in nice BBs, that was a must. I have an ultegra and Dura-Ace take offs from my Land Shark that have very minor water pitting from years riding in Ore. Then again I only have one set of cranks that fit those BBs and 4 sets of square drive. Hmm, well Square BBs are cheap I think... I have one I can rebuild and one came in the frame that I might be able to rework.
The frames are not luged which was the hardest part of finding frames. You need this so you can change the tubes around and have something to weld to. I will be cutting the bottom tube off one and making that my center bottom tube. The other angles look pretty good other than the rear seat stays. I need a max seat tube length of 14" for my 7-year-old. The frame is 16" This means I will need to lower them.
Now the question. Should I cut the seat says off on both ends and re-weld or just cut at the seat tube ends then heat and bend the tube near the dropout to get the 2" of lowering? It looks like there will be enough length in the stays and if needed the front bike has longer stays.
Will add pictures in a bit.
I had to buy a grinder, a pack of grinding wheels (Flap, grinding, cutoff), A square w/ angle thing like a protractor. I already had the tools for removing cranks, and BBs and other maint. stuff.
So far money spent $34
Wouldn't you know it the grinder wheels I drove all the way across town to get are the wrong arbor size. I had the right ones in my hand and the "helpful" salesman showed me a better deal.
Only 16 miles out of my way on tomorrow's 30 mile commute but Google says there is a bike trail going that way so something new. Wish me luck.