Originally Posted by veryredbike
I just started on my first fork and decided after brazing the first (socketed) dropout that the tolerances really weren't tight enough for me to trust. Experienced framebuilders: should I feel comfortable de-brazing the blade and then using a new one with the existing dropout? <snipped for brevity>
OP; I am sure other posters will offer sound advice on your primary question (re-use of the dropouts).
So I will try only to add some broader conclusions for the catagory of "things which are helpful for first time builders towards building and honing skills needed to later build adequate or better bikes".
Fear not; I am making no comments regarding your post nor your effort on the current frame. But I think your post spurs a needed question for the community of beginning and about to begin builders. So here goes, below is my list; hoping others willl add, improve it and flesh it out. Would be great if each point could get a few sub-bullets added by others...
Hope this helps expand the discussion
> use the cheaper materials such that early mistakes don't hurt as much
> use regular, generic chromoly steel tubes and bits for same reason as previous
> use brass as it is a core skill, its forgiving, works extremely well and is real cheap
> use the good flux right from the start as it aids skill building and helps avoid some of the frustration
> start with fillet brazing as it is a core skill builder
-- Lugs can wait until you have you torch and stick well under control (and lugs are expensive too)
> ensure the metal to metal fit is credibly close to tolerance before brazing it
> measure 3 times, eyeball 4 times, then cut once
> avoid odd materials, odd designs and complex processes; at least until after the 20th successful frame
> do buy a good pair of gloves, a good set of googles, and a good leather apron
> think about ventilation and about waste management
> suggest consider starting with propane as a fuel (safety, availability, cost, transportation restrictions, simplicity)
> avoid purchases of expensive tools... a small torch kit, smaller tanks, simple fuels, a simple set of good files, and a minimalist jig (if any at all) will definately serve well enough for the first few years.
-- If you have studied business; this means to avoid high sunk costs for all but highly proven ventures...
> avoid buying materials in larger bulk/volume than necessary at the beginning.
-- thus if one is now planning to build the first frame, does it make sense to buy a dozen tube sets even in that would gain a 10% discount and save $20 in total shipping cost spread over 2-years of work to use up those tubes?
> Don't assume up front that you will want to continue building frames after the first few or that you will somehow have or be able to acquire the skills or that spark of genius needed to succeed.
-- Of course get started (everyone should try it, imho), but be a bit honest and a bit skeptical about the future.