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  1. #1
    Senior Member calstar's Avatar
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    Frame jigs and tools

    I ran across this flicker site while following links, you might find it of some interest.

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/730314@N21/pool/

    and this: http://www.flickr.com/photos/duncanc...7604494651833/

    What can I say, I like seeing tooling and processes! Brian
    Last edited by calstar; 02-20-13 at 11:05 AM.
    "The older I get the better I was" (from Old Guys Rule t-shirt)

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    Randomhead
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    thanks, I love looking at people's shops and building progress. I went to the Engin Cycles shop and could have stayed there all day, but I didn't want to make a nuisance of myself.

    I still learn a lot from looking at people's work, it always inspires me to do better.

    I did learn something from those links, the centering templates you can get don't actually fit on a height gauge properly, I always thought I was doing something wrong.

  3. #3
    Senior Member calstar's Avatar
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    Here are some cool/simple jigs for cable brazeons, shift bosses, bottle mounts from the second link:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/duncanc...7604494651833/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/duncanc...7604494651833/
    "The older I get the better I was" (from Old Guys Rule t-shirt)

  4. #4
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Dropped in on the Gazelle company In Dieren NL , Production tooling,
    Their braze all of the tubes at once torch array jigs , for the main Triangle,
    and the push on the frame, part, into another jig, till the allignment is OK (indicator Lights) , while still hot,
    was quite interesting..
    this was the section making 531 road bike frames.

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    It is really important to have state of the art jigging if one is to do any good as a frame builder!

    This one seems to somehow to have allowed minimal success for 50 plus years...

    Prince Charles' visit during 50th anniversary year - 1986 - Tandem assembling - princecharles1.p.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by ksisler View Post
    This one seems to somehow to have allowed minimal success for 50 plus years...
    I've been 'mentally gearing up' to try my hand at framebuilding and was drawn to a vblock jig setup - I think it's a great way to get started at a reasonable entry-level price point, and allows funds for separate and more robust fork or rear triangle jigs. My question to you ksisler and others, is what am I missing when I look at these vblock jigs? They seem so simple, is it really all about ensuring leveled tubes and correct angles? What else is there hidden in those pictures?

  7. #7
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ksisler View Post
    It is really important to have state of the art jigging if one is to do any good as a frame builder!

    This one seems to somehow to have allowed minimal success for 50 plus years...

    Prince Charles' visit during 50th anniversary year - 1986 - Tandem assembling - princecharles1.p.jpg


    I know that Ron Cooper was taught and embraced a construction style that did not rely on frame jigs and that most of his work was freehand, we do the same thing when we are filet brazing to reduce the effect of the fixture on the work.

    The clamp and rod method of holding down braze on fittings is a very good one as is wetting the smaller parts before adding them... we are just looking at a brief touch with the torch to get these fittings secured.

  8. #8
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    I was taught to build without jigs - just a vice and a piece of string. Now I do use a jig to hold tubes for tacking, but the actual brazing is done freehand in a rotating bike stand.

  9. #9
    Randomhead
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    I have built bikes without jigs -- including my tandem. Build the hockey stick, attach the bb shell to the seat tube, add the top tube, and then add the rear end. The issue I would have nowadays with that method is that I have defects in my vision which preclude good judgement of straight lines.

    vee blocks are relatively inexpensive and a flat surface is pretty useful, so that's a good way to get started.

  10. #10
    tuz
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hausnfranz View Post
    I've been 'mentally gearing up' to try my hand at framebuilding and was drawn to a vblock jig setup - I think it's a great way to get started at a reasonable entry-level price point, and allows funds for separate and more robust fork or rear triangle jigs. My question to you ksisler and others, is what am I missing when I look at these vblock jigs? They seem so simple, is it really all about ensuring leveled tubes and correct angles? What else is there hidden in those pictures?
    Nothing much is hidden. You will need shims under the blocks to bring the tube centrelines on the same plane (0.088" per 1/8" increment in tube dia.) or you can use the blocks on their sides. Some people use a full size drawing to locate the tubes, but you can also use a CAD output and pre-mitre your tubes. Clamping the blocks can also be useful (it's easy if you have a slotted or steel table e.g. t-bolts and magnets) but it's not necessary, especially if you work with sub-assemblies. The trick is to have a big enough table. 2x2 feet is pushing it, 2x3 is fine. And you don't need a 0.0001", 700 lbs inspection surface. Anything within 1-5 thou should be fine.
    homebuilt commuter, mixte, road and track (+ Ryffranck road)
    bla bla blog

  11. #11
    Andrew R Stewart Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
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    To add to Tuz's comments- The frame's alignment won't come from the jig or clamping method you use. This method will reduce the amount of miss alignment at best. This method will help maintain the angular and locational aspects of the various tubes and fittings. But the alignment will come from the surface (or sighting method) you use to insure all is centered or is perpendicular and how well you control the heating of the frame during the joining.

    Doug Fattic has a really well thought out and constructed "sizing jig" which uses adjustable V shaped tube cradles and end cones to hold the tubes off a surface. Kind of pricey but if I had the space and was starting over I might give his jig a go. Alex Meade makes a tube block/stand off kit too. Still need a a surface plate of some form but is a cool lower cost option. Andy.

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    The V-block method isn't a jig it is just a method of measuring off a reference surface. In work there are several different ways of measuring things. Off components of the build, like using a tube as though it's surfaces were as reliable as a straight edge; or a line projected on the build, normally a center line. Classically stuff like chalk lines, laser lines, or strings; or, and this is more common in machine shop practice, from a reference surface like a surface table or a machined surface on a tool, set-up plate, etc...

    It is really overkill, or an affectation, to imagine one can work into tube fitting the tolerances of machine fitting, but it does no harm, and the cost of shop gear, is so low as to make this reasonable and effective. When I bought my surface plate. a 2x3, I was offered something like an 8x5 for a grand. It was something like 10 inches thick, and inspection grade. I dodn't have the space, or the ability to move it at my end. It eventually went to a guy who needed a pad for his wood stove, which in the scheme of things is not that far of a drop below a frame builder as far as precision needs.

    I have a general rule in the shop that, so far, has proven true. No investment in measurement tools is ever a waste of money. I may be pushing it in a few areas, but overall that has proven to be true.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hausnfranz View Post
    I've been 'mentally gearing up' to try my hand at framebuilding and was drawn to a vblock jig setup - I think it's a great way to get started at a reasonable entry-level price point, and allows funds for separate and more robust fork or rear triangle jigs. My question to you ksisler and others, is what am I missing when I look at these vblock jigs? They seem so simple, is it really all about ensuring leveled tubes and correct angles? What else is there hidden in those pictures?
    Hausnfranz; Not much. Just add a couple of decades of experience and some major amount of accumlated insight into the many details that separate an adequate bike frame from an awesome bike frame. If you look into these builders, you will see that they have got it! Many of the best American builders apprenticed or trained in that very shop.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Cassave's Avatar
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    Not to be pedantic but....... A jig is a device that holds a workpiece and properly positions a cutting tool, think drill jig using drill bushings. The device actually guides the cutting tool.
    A fixture holds pieces in proper orientation for assembly. That's correct manufacturing engineer speak. There, now you know.

    Now, stepping off the soapbox, I think the best fixture, if used for brazing, will allow the frame to be rotated for easiest access to all sides of the joint and help provide a gravity assist for material flow.
    I generally use Unters assembly method as well, DT+HT, ST+BB shell, braze the DT to BB shell joint then add the top tube. No locked stresses and an easy coldset before the TT goes on if required. Then add the rear end.

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