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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 05-19-11, 08:04 AM   #1
meangreen
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copper bike?

Hey everyone, Do you think it would be possible to make a copper bike? I think copper is a pretty soft metal, but is it softer than some of the finer steels? Anyway, I was thinking about looking into this, but I don't really know where to start. I can to calculations, probably, to figure out wall thickness and tube diameter if I can get all the metal properties. I just don't want to do that until I know it is worth it. Also, how would you welt this? Anyone worked with copper before? Brass is an option, but I don't know if would patena.
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Old 05-19-11, 08:08 AM   #2
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Build a steel bike, have it copper plated and clear coated.
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Old 05-19-11, 08:48 AM   #3
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yeah... copper plating is best, it has been done before.

If you want to look at the numbers, check the Young Modulus, yield strength and density. Cu and Bronze have half the modulus of steel, thus to preserve stiffness, you need twice the wall or increase the diameter by 30%. And Cu/bronze weight a bit more (15%) than steel, so you can see where this is going.

Then Bronze has half, and copper 1/6th, the yield of steel. So you would need to stiffen up even more to leave a margin of safety... Copper and bronze can be silver brazed, and probably welded too...
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Old 05-19-11, 09:16 AM   #4
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Hey everyone, Do you think it would be possible to make a copper bike? I think copper is a pretty soft metal, but is it softer than some of the finer steels? Anyway, I was thinking about looking into this, but I don't really know where to start. I can to calculations, probably, to figure out wall thickness and tube diameter if I can get all the metal properties. I just don't want to do that until I know it is worth it. Also, how would you welt this? Anyone worked with copper before? Brass is an option, but I don't know if would patena.
You realize that a reasonably fit person can bend a copper pipe with their bare hands, right?
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Old 05-19-11, 12:33 PM   #5
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Interesting idea. As others have commented overcoming its mechanical limitations could be a challenge. It would certainly be unique. I'm not sure what fittings you can use.

Polished up I can imagine it would look awesome.

If you decide to make one send us a picture.

Cheers,
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Old 05-19-11, 01:31 PM   #6
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We had a tank of a mild acid, to clean copper and silver art metalworking stuff
fire scale, etc.

dissolved copper would jump on any steel piece put in the cleaning 'pickle' solution.

that is usually 1st layer of a 3 metal plated chrome part, the 2nd one, nickel,
so chrome on top is brighter.
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Old 05-19-11, 10:42 PM   #7
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Build a copper bike? Sure.
Ride a copper bike? NO!
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Old 05-20-11, 02:34 AM   #8
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There is a Brooks saddle with copper-plated steel rails that looks really classy. Its a good look, try it out on an old bike first.
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Old 05-20-11, 06:19 AM   #9
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Here is a copper and wood bike. http://www.dinosaursandrobots.com/20...nd-copper.html

This could be the same one
\http://www.cycleexif.com/ant-bikes-copper-and-wood


Copper plated
http://www.flickr.com/photos/concor-...lo/3901760080/
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Old 05-20-11, 07:21 AM   #10
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Thanks Guys,

It looks like if I was planning on riding the bike I should go with copper plated steal. I just need acid and desolved copper to do this fietsbob?

If i am thinking of making it from an artistic perspective: would be pretty cool.

I will upload pictures when I get working on it!
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Old 05-20-11, 07:25 AM   #11
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Flux and solder. Then you could fill your frame with water and forgo the need for carrying bottles.
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Old 05-20-11, 03:17 PM   #12
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Flux and solder. Then you could fill your frame with water and forgo the need for carrying bottles.
I dont understand what you mean. Is this a joke or something?
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Old 05-20-11, 03:19 PM   #13
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I dont understand what you mean. Is this a joke or something?
Consider the most common use for copper piping...
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Old 05-20-11, 03:20 PM   #14
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This could be the same one
\http://www.cycleexif.com/ant-bikes-copper-and-wood

This is awesome and exactly what i am looking to do. Is this copper plated?

Last edited by meangreen; 05-20-11 at 03:33 PM. Reason: I keep referencing the wrong link and misread the post. It was a long day.
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Old 05-20-11, 03:20 PM   #15
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I dont understand what you mean. Is this a joke or something?
Yes.
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Old 05-20-11, 03:34 PM   #16
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Consider the most common use for copper piping...
I see. What a great dad joke. :-)
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Old 05-20-11, 03:45 PM   #17
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One of his bikes that particularly spoke to me was this wood and copper creation, built for show, and what a showpiece it is. The Phil Wood hubs have been copper-plated, as was the bar and stem combo, lugs and forks. Mike hand cut the plates for the pedals which were then also copper-plated, engineered a spoon-style brake, and sourced wooden rims to match the main tubes. Wooden grips and a Brooks saddle with copper-plated rails are the finishing touch.
Presumably you can read since you're posting and replying.
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Old 05-20-11, 08:43 PM   #18
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You're thinking the wrong way... best way to go would be a cast bronze frame.
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Old 05-21-11, 10:23 AM   #19
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Just because I find this intriguing and I want to refinish my Salsa, I called some electroplating services.
A copper finish that can patina from a new penny to the Statue of Liberty over a period of years will cost about $500-$600 less sandblasting.
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Old 05-21-11, 05:02 PM   #20
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That's not too bad. Someone said something about about using an acid solution. Can you leave more information? I am a chemical engineer with materials research in stuff similar to electroplating. If you don't need a vacuum we could maybe come up with an at home sop? Maybe it would be too dangerous. I have an problem of never seeing the sky.
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Old 05-21-11, 07:14 PM   #21
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That's not too bad. Someone said something about about using an acid solution. Can you leave more information? I am a chemical engineer with materials research in stuff similar to electroplating. If you don't need a vacuum we could maybe come up with an at home sop? Maybe it would be too dangerous. I have an problem of never seeing the sky.
http://www.advancedplating.com/pricing.htm
^^^
Those guys quoted me that price.
Google comes up with some home kits that work in 5 gallon drums. For a bike frame though building the tank would be more trouble than I'd care to deal with--especially since I want to do just one frame.

edit: http://www.caswellplating.com/kits/flashcopper.html
^^^^
That's the home kit I googled up.
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Old 05-22-11, 12:33 PM   #22
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I wonder how they get rid of the cyanide? Anyway, I will have to look into that link. I was worried this would be impossible because of the hazards of cooper cyanide.
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Old 05-22-11, 02:48 PM   #23
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This is really interesting to me. I'm kicking around the idea of gun-bluing the main tubes on one of my bikes and having the lugs copper-plated. I think I'd have to blue the whole frame, and I really don't want to go to the trouble of a traditional rust-blueing. There is a process called 'fume-bluing' where the part is placed in a cabinet along with separate, open containers of hydrochloric and nitric acid. Apparently when they combine on the steel it can give a very deep, lustrous blue. Phil Pilkington, the inventor of this process, claims it can be painted and plated over with no ill effects; and I'm thinking that if i do a phosphoric acid wash before bluing it will provide some greater measure of rust protection. Of course, so would a good coat of carnauba wax and not riding it except on the sunniest of days.

Now that the bike shop season's in full swing and we've got the financial rubberbanding straightened out, I can afford to spend some money on stuff other than the bare necessities. Hopefully I can get back to y'all with some pics of how it turns out.
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Old 05-22-11, 02:59 PM   #24
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Thanks for sharing this artwork ...


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