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  1. #1
    Grumpy Young Coot veryredbike's Avatar
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    First Build Blog

    Ok, sounds like it won't bug anyone if I post links to my blog in this thread as I build my first bike.

    Background on me: I'm totally new to this. For the last few months I've been practicing mitering and brazing. I started on the frame proper once, and pretty quickly figured out that I wasn't there yet and that it was time to practice more and buy new tubes/lugs. It should be said: DON'T BLINDLY COPY ANYTHING YOU SEE ON MY BLOG, I DON'T KNOW WHAT I'M DOING. Hopefully seeing my screw ups and successes will be helpful, but if you're brand new, my methodology should in no way be a primary source.

    I'm using LFB for the lugs on the frame and silver for braze-ons and attaching the seat stays.

    To start out, my blog is at CurmudgeonBicycles.com. I'd love it if people read and commented, some of it should be interesting. I'm especially having fun teaching myself to etch copper to make a head tube badge, and have outlined how I did it in basic terms there.

    The blog goes a ways back, but I think the truly interesting stuff has yet to come. I'll post an update here with a little blurb each time I post to the blog.

    Thanks all! It's nice to see an active forum after the one I was using went down.

  2. #2
    Grumpy Young Coot veryredbike's Avatar
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    Badge Complete

    I just added a post in which I finish my head tube badge. Turned out very well. It's etched with ferrous chloride into copper.

    Here's the post!

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Thanks. I'm checking out your blog posts.

  4. #4
    Grumpy Young Coot veryredbike's Avatar
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    Thanks! I'll be going to the North American Handbuilt Bicycle Show at the beginning of the month, and will post the stuff I think is really interesting.

    I'm also going to try to get some professional help in the form of a few brazing lessons, and I suspect that will make for a few good posts.

  5. #5
    Grumpy Young Coot veryredbike's Avatar
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    New post up. I'm starting to plan an 80/20 jig. I doubt this'll be the last frame I make... and I figure that I might as well get something basic slapped together. I know it won't replace skill, but it should help me not to mess up my measurements.

    http://curmudgeonbicycles.blogspot.c...rattlecad.html

  6. #6
    Grumpy Young Coot veryredbike's Avatar
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    Some of the highlights of NAHBS 2012 from my perspective. Not at all complete, just stuff that caught my eye.

    http://curmudgeonbicycles.blogspot.c...ycle-show.html

  7. #7
    Grumpy Young Coot veryredbike's Avatar
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    I just made a fixture to hold the head tube and seat tube in line without using a full Jig. I also started playing with silver-brazing lugs.

    http://curmudgeonbicycles.blogspot.c...nd-silver.html

  8. #8
    Randomhead
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    the thing you need to remember with silver is that hurrying and heat are both counterproductive. The spill you got is mostly a result of heat control, but it's likely the tube wasn't quite up to temp and the lug was too hot. If you add the filler on the part of the head tube that you are going to cut off, it doesn't matter if there is a lump of filler there so you can test to see if the temp is hot enough a little further from the lug.

  9. #9
    Grumpy Young Coot veryredbike's Avatar
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    So, to keep the lug from heating way up before the tube is hot, should I keep the torch further back for longer?

  10. #10
    Randomhead
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    spread the heat out by moving the torch around. I like to go over the whole lug and start to get all the flux to at least crust over. Don't heat up the lug too much before you start trying to heat up the tube. So you should be moving the torch around on the lug and out onto the tube for part of the time. If anything gets too hot, move the torch. Flick it away.

    Usually, if there is anything tricky its that you have a thick piece you can't heat up without overheating something thinner.

    I'm really bad at explaining this because at this point I just do it and don't think about it.
    Last edited by unterhausen; 04-03-12 at 06:09 AM.

  11. #11
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    Keep practicing. It's good to see you cut into the joint to see how it looks inside. I know you may be in a hurry to see a finished bicycle, and you can go that route, but I'd consider taking about $750 to $1000 and buying the least expensive IC lugs and tubes you can find. Call gas flux and order a case of type U flux in lb. jars. They also have the brass rod and type B flux you want, so get it also. Make it worth their time and get enough to see you through the next year. Miter, pin, tack them just as if it was all coming out of your jig. Then braze them all up as if it was an actual frame.

    I say do it this way because I wish I had. Remember, those early frames are all forgetful at best anyway. If you think it's too much $ to spend, or too much time, stop now.

    Overall though, I think you're doing fine. Don't take what I said above as negative, just realize the learning curve is pretty long on this stuff. If you do the practice things will start to click for you. Actually, brazing is the easiest part.
    Craig

  12. #12
    Framebuilder/Mechanic
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    Awesome blog!
    I did the same and my thread was deleted?

    well anyways, heres my blog if you want to throw stuff back and forth: blackshipcrafts.blogspot.com. hopefully this sticks!
    JB


    *Disclaimer*
    I'm just a guy that works as a mechanic in bike shops and has built a couple frames and trailers and was offering up my contact info if anyone wanted more info. I'm not like a commercial business or anything even close to that! sorry if i used the wrong language and set of your corporadars. I'll try to be more subtle in the future. And, maybe someday I will be a full time custom framebuilder, and at that point i will make it clear. Thanks. -JB

  13. #13
    Grumpy Young Coot veryredbike's Avatar
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    Craig Ryan: I've been practicing for a while. Obviously I've got a good while to go. That being said, I think I probably don't have the patience to go through quite that long a time-frame. My plan is to practice until I have a pretty good idea of what it looks like when things work. Then make a frame... then ride it for a bit, see what I want to change... then cut it in half and hang the drive side half on the wall (after checking how my penetration was). Then do more practice and make another frame.

    Your way is probably a lot better, but a bit of compromise when it comes to keeping my momentum going may keep my head in the game getting into frame #2.

    Black Ship:
    Cool. Ha, we have the same initals.

  14. #14
    Randomhead
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Ship View Post
    Awesome blog!
    I did the same and my thread was deleted?
    none of your threads were deleted, but one of your posts was edited because it had your contact info. We generally don't let people's contact info stay even if it's not commercial, they can always PM you or you can say to contact through your blog. Sorry for the inconvenience.

    You can also put a link to your blog in your signature
    Last edited by unterhausen; 04-04-12 at 06:51 AM.

  15. #15
    Framebuilder/Mechanic
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    done.
    thanks for the info!

  16. #16
    Grumpy Young Coot veryredbike's Avatar
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    http://curmudgeonbicycles.blogspot.c...ck-part-1.html

    I started on a nice little cargo rack. Hopefully all of the little fillets will be good practice.

  17. #17
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    I can understand that, and it's why I didn't do it myself. But looking back I wish I had. We all need some gratification to keep us going, for me I had to make full frames. I suppose it's all good if you keep at it long enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by veryredbike View Post
    Craig Ryan: I've been practicing for a while. Obviously I've got a good while to go. That being said, I think I probably don't have the patience to go through quite that long a time-frame. My plan is to practice until I have a pretty good idea of what it looks like when things work. Then make a frame... then ride it for a bit, see what I want to change... then cut it in half and hang the drive side half on the wall (after checking how my penetration was). Then do more practice and make another frame.

    Your way is probably a lot better, but a bit of compromise when it comes to keeping my momentum going may keep my head in the game getting into frame #2.

    Black Ship:
    Cool. Ha, we have the same initals.

  18. #18
    Grumpy Young Coot veryredbike's Avatar
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    My custom cargo rack is starting to look like something!

    http://curmudgeonbicycles.blogspot.c...ck-part-2.html

  19. #19
    Senior Member calstar's Avatar
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    Many thanks for sharing all the info and processes you've gathered for your first frame build, it makes my path towards a first frame much more simple. Your blog is very nice. Oh yeah, where is Techshop located?

    thanks,

    Brian

  20. #20
    Randomhead
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    nice job on the racks, brazing looks good from here. I'm thinking that the cleanup will make you wish you had spent some time moving the filler around for cosmetic reasons.

  21. #21
    Grumpy Young Coot veryredbike's Avatar
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    Brian: Here's their list: http://techshop.ws/locations.html I'm using the one in San Francisco, SOMA. Thanks for the compliment! Just be sure to do your own research, I'm dangerously untrained ;-)

    Unterhausen: Thanks! None of the joints are done all of the way around, I just hit a side or two to keep it in place. When I fill in the rest, I'll definitely smooth things out a bit to avoid that particular penance ;-)

  22. #22
    n8b
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    Haha Curmudgeon Bicycles, I have a friend who I climb with we call the Curmudgeon. Anyway, I think I might make use of your idea to use copper. I had considered making a head badge for my bike, but hadn't thought through what I would use. I had considered Aluminum, but wasn't relishing the thought of etching with Hydrofluoric. I think I can even buy some thin copper sheet at a local hobby supply store!

    Very nice job on the head badge!

  23. #23
    Grumpy Young Coot veryredbike's Avatar
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    Thanks!

  24. #24
    Grumpy Young Coot veryredbike's Avatar
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  25. #25
    Grumpy Young Coot veryredbike's Avatar
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    Even more rack progress. This time it's a wooden deck that I made with a combination of a laser cutter and no woodworking experience.

    http://curmudgeonbicycles.blogspot.c...ck-part-4.html

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