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  1. #1
    Michigander
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    Getting started in frame building.

    They say the best place to start is the beginning but I'm not quick sure where that is....

    The Community College in my area offers classes on welding but I'm not sure what kind of welding is common for bike building. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    I'm particularly interested in lugged steel frames, though brazed are nice too.
    Last edited by insub2; 03-13-11 at 06:59 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member mudboy's Avatar
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    TIG welding is most common for bike construction and would be a great place to start. Many of the core competencies behind lugged & brazed framebuilding are also necessary in TIG, i.e. mitering, layout, measuring, etc., so you'll use what you learn.

    I wish my CC offered welding courses, I'd love to learn how.

    Pete
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  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Expensive part : own a house so You can have a Shop to work in.
    then collect tools
    Just want to build one ?, there are frame building classes you can sign up for.

  4. #4
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    Well, I would like to build a bunch of them.

  5. #5
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    UBI has a good reputation: http://www.bikeschool.com/

  6. #6
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Since you're in Michigan, you may want to check out Doug Fattic's framebuilding classes.
    - Stan

  7. #7
    Senior Member sannerbikes700's Avatar
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    Take a look at the newest VeloNews buyers guide. It lists out the reputable framebuilding classes:

    Bamboo Bike Studio, Brooklyn.
    R+E cycles, Seattle.
    Bohm, Tuscon.
    Fattic, Michigan.
    Flanigan, Massachusetts.
    Brew, North Carolina.
    Sanner, Austin. (although we are not running classes right now).
    Hot Tubes, Massachusetts.
    UBI, Ashland OR.
    Yamaguchi, Colorado.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    It can feel a bit aimless at times but the most important thing IMO is to start using your hands. Get your hands on some cheap scrap tubes and learn to file and miter them. Buy some cheap lugs and learn to work with them. Find a way to hold onto them and file and shape them. Miter the tubes and set them in those cheap lugs and braze them. After brazing cut the joint in half and see how well you did in getting it full and absent of voids.

    My point is that nothing will substitute for experience and time at the bench. You will, just like everyone else, make lots of mistakes and that is the point really. You will learn from them what works and what doesn't.

    The schools out there can give you a good basic intro to how stuff works and shorten the process a good bit and may be worth it to you (based on your time and money available) but even after school is over you will be alone at the bench figuring stuff out on your own and learning to solve those problems is key.

    Dive in and make some stuff. It will be frustrating and fun.

    Dave

  9. #9
    I'm in shape! A round one spacerconrad's Avatar
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    If there isn't a framebuilder or class nearby, check the Experimental Aircaft Association website for aircraft welding classes. They move 'em around the country and we use chome-moly tubing in many designs. Other than a different structure and that we don't really use butted tubing for planes, the training applies both ways.
    Also, if you're marketably skilled at bike frame welding, you'll be able to work on airframes as well (experimentals, though, unless you're working under an A&P mechanic or for an FAA approved Repair Station).

    Oxy-Aceteline is a real popular method with us, too, though other methods are used.
    Last edited by spacerconrad; 07-09-11 at 02:42 AM.
    "I drank WHAT???" -- Socrates

  10. #10
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    Are there any framebuilding schools which are accredited? I have an education award from doing AmeriCorps service which can be spent like monopoly money at accredited institutions. Right now I'm enrolled in a six week welding (stick, tig, mig, no mention of brazing?) course at a community college but I can't see how to get a frame building class paid for outside of some convoluted independent study process.

  11. #11
    Senior Member mudboy's Avatar
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    I know Brodie is teaching a college framebuilding course, but it's up in British Columbia.
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