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  1. #1
    Senior Member calstar's Avatar
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    Show us your frame jigs and fixtures

    I see jigs and parts of jigs and fixtures in different threads, I'm hoping you'll share what you use . I realize we can go to the Anvil, Henry James, etc., sites and see their offerings, but why not have a place on this forum that has easy access to pictures of jigs and fixtures being used by members here? Doesn't matter if you bought them or made them, big or small, simple or complex; I bet the folks on this forum would love to see them.

    thanks,

    Brian
    Last edited by calstar; 12-07-12 at 07:40 PM.
    "The older I get the better I was" (from Old Guys Rule t-shirt)

  2. #2
    Andrew R Stewart Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
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    While the current build I'm doing will show many of the jigs I use, a lot self made from none precision bits, my Flicker site has a few sets of builds and tools. So if you can't be patient take a look. Andy.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/73195587@N00/sets/

  3. #3
    Senior Member calstar's Avatar
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    Wow, thanks Andy. The handbuilt show on your flicker represents a lot of jig manufacturers, nice bonus, plus all the other pics of your visits to many shops.This is just the type of post I was looking forward to seeing. The pics of your personal tools are very nice. OK all you builders out there iin BFlandia, if you have pics of your jigs/fixtures please post them. thanks again, Brian
    Last edited by calstar; 12-07-12 at 10:26 PM.
    "The older I get the better I was" (from Old Guys Rule t-shirt)

  4. #4
    tuz
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    I've built quite a few tools so far; I mostly use home-made stuff. I've set up an album with captions here. You might find more stuff on my site.
    homebuilt commuter, mixte, road and track (+ Ryffranck road)
    bla bla blog

  5. #5
    Andrew R Stewart Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
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    Tuz- Cool tools. I like the SS top cap miter box. I might have to copy that one. I've been meaning to make some "T" tools for ft and rr but never got around to them. Maybe I'll add them to the queu. Andy.

  6. #6
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    I made a few jigs, and then bought an Anvil. So the jigs are no longer set up. My best one was 3 milling machine tables that are connected together. The main table is off a bridgeport size machine, that I mounted on lathe legs. Then I got a deckle table and mounted it on the back of the first table, then I mounted a small horizontal mill table right on the back of the main table. One can fixture the BB to the main table, the rear drops moved up and down on the horizontal mill table, and the neck and seat tube where positioned against the deckle table. This system was pretty good and highly precise, but it is really heavy and one can't position the tube at weird angles for brazing or welding.

    A jig does a number of things 1) allows one to design or visualize or mock up the frame (more a newbie or one off thing, but still cool). 2) allows one to place the tubes and measure and fit them (again, sorta a newbie or one-off thing) but it is cool if you can do the bike entirely from setting on a jig, and it becomes plans, and layout gear for that build. 3) Holds the tubes, preferably in any imaginable position, for welding or brazing 4) provides functionality that may reduce or eliminate the need for post weld alignment. That is what I was shooting for, but there could be other things. Many jigs do either none, or only one of these things.

    My point about a list is that while my list may not be your list, there are a lot of situations where people seemed just to build jigs, but they really achieved virtually nothing. Lack of accuracy, or long set-up times, being two problems. So know your process and be sure the jig actually ads something.

    I still use the mill table a lot. I mount vises on it. I have a wheel jig that work on it, etc... I think I was the main proponent of the mill table approach around here. And there are two good things about it. Metal is getting crazy expensive, at least at retail, but I paid a total of 175 for the 3 table, and maybe an extra 50 for the legs. They are worth more than that today. And even having upgraded to Anvil, I can't see being without my mill tables, whereas had a spent a lot of time on home made tooling in another form, I might now have something I would not use, that had cost a lot more to make. I have only seen a few home made jigs that are good enough to replace and anvil. Though there are some non-jig approaches that are highly viable. So cheap, and versatile. Bad thing is that it can be hard to find the parts. I spent a year looking, and then I found three tables pretty much all at once.
    Last edited by MassiveD; 12-08-12 at 11:51 AM.

  7. #7
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    I tried to figure out how to make a jig out of stuff, for quite a while. The two things that led me to a good design were figuring out that I could build a frame off of milling tables; And the second one was to figure out how to place tables at 90 degrees to the main table, with precision. Mill table have one or more T slots on the top surface, but they also have a t-slot on the front apron. This slot is not for fixturing, but for stops or drives. If one mounts the table so the front apron is at the back one can attach one of more milling tables to the back of the main table and fixture just about anything in space.

    Another useful thing I saw in another guy's 8020 jig, I think, was the idea of mounting the head tube vertically. This eliminates the need to have complex rotating protractor assemblies. Many bikes have the same head tube angle and seat tube angle, these bikes can be built with both these tubes on the vertical axis. Though offsetting a tube by a degree is no biggie. With this approach, all the angles can be dealt with through height adjustments to the drops or head tube.

    When I was doing my jig, for some reason, it was hard to find digital inclinometers. They had been in all the Home Depot style stores, but people may not have bought them. So for a while they were rare around here. Right at the moment I am seeing them all over the place, often at huge discounts. These are great for angles, rather than incorporating these capabilities in the jig.

  8. #8
    Andrew R Stewart Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
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    Let's see some jigs and fixtures for building that aren't for the whoul frame. Braze ons, seat bolt barrels, drop outs. How about pre brazing? Like mitering or butt gauging. There's more to holding things then the frame. Andy.

  9. #9
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
    Let's see some jigs and fixtures for building that aren't for the whoul frame. Braze ons, seat bolt barrels, drop outs. How about pre brazing? Like mitering or butt gauging. There's more to holding things then the frame. Andy.
    Here's one for holding the seat binder barrel:



    And one we used at Trek to hold those BB cable guides before routing the cables under the BB shell became all the rage:


  10. #10
    Andrew R Stewart Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
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    DSC00275.jpgHere's on of my funkier fixtures. I long ago went way from Dt levers and their bosses. It took too long for me to make this but now that i have it saves a lot of time and makes the job so much easier. One of the aspects that I found after i made this is that i can file down the stop's stand off bit by bit. I slide the stop onto the positioning rod and if it slides all the way up to the Alu block (w/out much slop) then the stand off height is perfect. It's easy to compare the two stops height this way. It's also easy to line up the stops on the DT and be properly postitioned. If i ever use a OS DT I'll have to make another block... Andy.

  11. #11
    Senior Member calstar's Avatar
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    Cool jig Andy. What are the rods made of and whats their diameter? Also the block appears to be made of wood, correct? thanks, Brian
    Last edited by calstar; 12-14-12 at 09:36 PM.
    "The older I get the better I was" (from Old Guys Rule t-shirt)

  12. #12
    Andrew R Stewart Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
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    IMG_1216.jpgBrian- Rods are steel, block is an old Bicycle Research Alu frame block (I have the other half floation around somewhere) and the end plate is also Alu. I braze up the threaded stop onto it's stand off first with this fixture (attached photo, I don't know how to place photos in the text just so). The threaded stop is a canti boss cut down, Stainless Steel in this case, slotted for cable removal.

    One of the design themes I follow with fixtures it to have as little precision needed process in their making. So i let the factory established dimensions be the right angles or the diameters when ever possibly. Some of my little fixtures are bolted together with some slop so that the alignment is only done once. Andy.

  13. #13
    Senior Member calstar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
    .... The threaded stop is a canti boss cut down, Stainless Steel in this case, slotted for cable removal.

    ....One of the design themes I follow with fixtures it to have as little precision needed process in their making.
    I assume the threaded stop is for a cable tensioning barrel, or??

    "...as little precision needed..." good advice, as in don't sweat the small stuff, KISS, etc., especially in cases like this where aerospace precision isn't needed.
    "The older I get the better I was" (from Old Guys Rule t-shirt)

  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    More basic,
    1/2 round wooden blocks to hold the frame tubes, in the bench vise worked OK, since I only did one..

    Drilled a lot of holes in some steel flat bar, slotted between 2 , held the cantilever bosses, ..
    cast BB, and fork crown, were self aligning, well enough..

    still have the thing 30 years later..

  15. #15
    Andrew R Stewart Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
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    Brian- The stop is for the gear cables. Threaded and slotted for easy of maintenance. After a "few" years of shop wrenching i've learned to dislike how many manufacturers do their details.

    My preference for making small fixtures without need for precision machining is more practical. While i have a lathe and milling attachment I'm not a natural machinist. I do try to have the aspects of the fixtures as accurate as possible but tend to do this with the slop in the fittings and a one time aligning before tightening, then with spotting within a few thousandths of an inch before drilling a minimual clearance hole. Andy.

  16. #16
    framebuilder
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    Unknown.jpgUnknown-1.jpg
    The British designed their frames on a "sizing board". I brought one back after my apprenticeship in England that came with an estate sale of a framebuilder. Over the years I've spent a great deal of time refining its basic concepts. Eventually I put a number of bells and whistles on it and have them laser cut and etched out of stainless steel. The basic idea is that a "picture frame" of cold rolled flat stock steel is used to hold another 4 pieces of flat stock that represent each of the main triangle tubes. This does away with the need for a full scale drawing. The lower bar represents the wheel base line and the upper bar can be marked to show seat and head angles.


    I can actually put a real seat and seatpost as well as stem on the fixture in the same position that represents the customer's bicycle position. I slide the flat pieces that represent each tube around to match those components and fit the needs of how it will be ridden. In other words my fixture takes a bicycle position and converts it into a frame design. The miters can be checked against the fixture for accuracy and then the frame can be spot brazed together. Now it is placed on a flat table for alignment and then brazed free with frequent alignment checks in between. The rear triangle can be accurately put on with a true wheel and a straight edge with the addition of a simple T-tool to hold the chainstay/dropout at the right angle. That position is established by matching it to the fixture.


    In my shop I've also got a Bike Machinery Hydra and an Anvil Master. My framebuilding class students need to see options. They are great fixtures but my first choice is the one I've spent hundreds if not thousands of hours designing. It it very fast to set up and easy to use. I'll also add that while I love the features I've added to the basic concept for my own use they aren't necessary. All the measuring aids I've included that allow lengths and angles directly read off of the fixture can be eliminated and rulers and protractors used instead.

  17. #17
    Andrew R Stewart Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
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    Doug's sizing jig is a perfect example of what i was trying to say about precision and when it's not needed. His jig rests on a flt surface, which is the pricise element. The jig locates tubes and such by actual relationships, no decimal points carried out. The tube holders are adjutsible Vee blocks, adjustible to allow for different tube diameters/shapes. The precision comes from the flat surafce. There are other reasons to prefere his jig but these relate to my comments. Andy.

  18. #18
    Andrew R Stewart Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
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    IMG_1483.jpgIMG_1487.jpgIMG_1488.jpgIMG_1489.jpgHere's a couple of tool additions to my shop that you might find interesting.

    First is a quickly made fixture for holding a chain peg in position. I mount mine on the chain stay (that's where the chain falls onto when a wheel is removed. Never understood why a chain peg should dirty the fingers in use). I actually made this little tool after doing the brazing on my current frame project so the tool's fit into the drop out is not full. But with the 6 peg/axle dimensions I'm comfy with the next time being good.

    Second is the next step in my frame alignment systems. For years I've held the frame with the BB shell and compared the ST and HT's parallelness. Now with this fixture I can hold the HT axis as close to zero as I can and then see what the ST does. Alex Meade made the towers and cones. And a very nice job he did. The towers are within .002" of each other height wise and the fits to the shaft (cones included) are Campy like in their sliding snugness. I highly reccomend his work if you're in need. I added the base and wing nuts for ease of working with. With a couple of brass shims the shaft height is zeroed at either end. But when you mount a tube and zero one end the other reads out as off. This goes to show that the material we work with has it's tolerances. Just because we can measure a few thousandths doesn't mean that it means much. Andy

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