I'm moving to Seattle where it rains a lot and plan on using my bike for different purposes including commuting to work even in the rain. Now I'm a complete cycling novice, i.e. I know how to ride a bike but I've never taken it too seriously, but I like to build things and I thought it would be fun to build my own bike from mostly used parts. Ideally, the bike I would build would be a Surly Cross Check but I'm having a hard time finding any used 56cm frames. So I have two questions for people:
1) Do you think building a bike from scratch, having never done it before and not knowing that much about bikes, is a bad idea (even though I'm willing to do all the research)?
2) What other relatively light steel frames do people recommend that can be had for cheap that are in the same class as the Surly Cross Check frame, e.g. long chain stays, accomodates thicker tires, horizontal dropouts, disc mounts, etc.?