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Old 07-31-10, 08:00 AM   #1
ullearn
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Touring Framebuilding 101

I had previously completed my touring bike build that I plan to ride cross country, pictures of my titanium tourer in my profile, until Sanner Cycles moved from Palo Alto California to Austin Texas.

http://sannercycles.com/workshop.htm

Tim Sanner seems to offer a deal when it comes to teaching you how to build your own custom bike and I figured what better way to ride Coast to Coast then on a bike I built myself.

So today I start build day #1 of 4 with hopes to leave the class with a bike that can make it cross-country.

Tentative schedule:
Day 1-- Drawing, cutting all tubes
Day 2-- Braze seat stay caps, Final prep, jig setup, tack frames
Day 3-- Brazing main joints, aligning
Day 4-- Braze ons, etc.

You can see previous BikeForum folks who built a bike with Tim here - http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ding-Adventure and on his site.

I will try to keep this a running thread as I go through the process and results.
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Old 07-31-10, 11:17 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by ullearn View Post
You can see previous BikeForum folks who built a bike with Tim here - http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ding-Adventure and on his site.

I will try to keep this a running thread as I go through the process and results.
Thanks for providing the link - that was an interesting thread.

I am looking forward to following your build.
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Old 07-31-10, 12:56 PM   #3
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Great idea, 4 days is moving right along!

Fietsbob - Picture!! or ref to the loaded thread. THX
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Old 08-01-10, 07:45 AM   #4
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On Day 1 -

The first half of the day we determined our frame sizing customized to our body and what we wanted to change about it. I am using a LHT fork for the build and started with the LHT dimensions, then using a calculator similar to this - http://www.tiemeyercycles.com/fit.htm I determined what I wanted for a seat tube and top tube. Compared to the 56cm 700c LHT trucker sizing specs the difference in my frame will be slightly shorter chain stays and top tube. The chain stays to give a slight change in the touring tank feel, while still being plenty long for touring, and the top tube was brought in to reduce shoulder pinch and to fit my upper body measurements better. After we got this all nailed down we hit the drawing boards to learn the basics, apparently programs like Bike CAD can make this a lot easier but then you wouldn't learn anything.



Next was to started cutting tubes lengths, angles and mitering joints. Filing down the edges and making sure everything seated up right.



The grinder sparks can be extra friendly


On to Day 2, more updates to come.

Attached Images
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File Type: jpg IMG_0117.jpg (98.1 KB, 27 views)

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Old 08-01-10, 05:46 PM   #5
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So looking forward to the outcome. I always loved the surly line. Just wish they would have lugged frames to match the forks

Last edited by griplimited; 08-01-10 at 05:50 PM.
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Old 08-01-10, 06:09 PM   #6
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On Day 1 -

The grinder sparks can be extra friendly



On to Day 2, more updates to come.
I hope the general level of safety in the shop is not represented by those missiles waiting for lift off behind you.
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Old 08-01-10, 06:21 PM   #7
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I hope the general level of safety in the shop is not represented by those missiles waiting for lift off behind you.
Very valid point and one Tim admitted to being guilty of, he moved into the shop a couple weeks ago and getting things in order. But the safety awareness of the class has been very up to par and with having only two people in the class it's very straight to get the point across.
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Old 08-01-10, 06:47 PM   #8
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Day 2 updates -

Started off the day brazing the top eyes/caps for the seat stays, this part was a lot of fun since on a lug bike you don't get to throw in to many "custom" things as a beginner so what we did here shows in our end result.



We moved onto sanding down our tube ends and ensuring there was no left over cutting oil before applying the brazing flux and tack welding our frame together. Getting our frames right on the Jig took some time ensuring everything lined up well. Then a quick coating of flux (the white stuff built up around the welds in the pics) to ensure a clean welding surface and to prevent oxides from forming.



I attempted to wear the welding shades, but to my untrained eye it made it difficult to see the temperature the frame was at and when to add the silver weld.

(find pic)

At the end of the day I was pleased that I managed to get the frame to match up to the original drawing plans.



We are doing the weekend classes so the next big updates from day 3 and 4 will be next Saturday.

Day 3-- Brazing main joints, aligning
Day 4-- Braze ons, etc.
Attached Images
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Old 08-02-10, 07:50 PM   #9
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Very nice build take your time and you will have a nice bike.
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Old 08-07-10, 06:30 PM   #10
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Day 3 Updates -

We started off the day building the bridge for my touring bike so I can hang the rear fender in place, then put in some good quality time resting our hands.



We spent the rest of the day brazing all the welds, mostly with silver but the dropouts with brass.



I scorched a few spots, but luckily after I had already brazed the area so no harm no foul; just some more clean-up.



Also I am getting use to wearing the shades for the high temps of brass welding, but apparently I take this stuff very seriously by the look on my face.



3 out of 4 Days complete! I actually think I will be sad to see the frame building come to a end, though plenty of homework to do to prep it for paint.

Tomorrow starts Day 4-- Braze ons, Bosses, Water Bottle Holders, etc.
Attached Images
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Old 08-09-10, 06:04 PM   #11
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Day 4 Update -

Well it's sad to say the build is over, but the experience and learning was great, plus now I truly have MY bike (with a lot of www.SannerCycles.com knowledge). Before I go into the day's build I wanted to provide a quick review of frame building with Sanner Cycles.

I was not a previous friend of Tim Sanner and only came to know of him through a craigslist touring rss feed I monitor. His price was right to tempt me into taking the class, especially considering you end up with your own version of a custom frame that would otherwise cost you $1k+, along with the knowledge you gain through the build process.

Pros:
- Tim's patience as a teacher/instructor and the ability to make you feel no question is a dumb one (he will mock your ping pong skills though)
- He knows what he is doing when it comes to the build, I don't think I stumped him with all my questions.
- Quality material. Maybe this shouldn't be important, but even the tubing used is manufactured in the USA (True Temper 4130), can Rivendell make that claim?
- A nice plus for me is I also got to pick Tim's brain about bike touring, he has completed two Coast to Coast rides in the past 2 years
- Price (as mentioned above)

Cons:
- Availability; since Sanner Cycles is a one man shop so you may not find the time that best suits you to build
- The Shop; Sanner Cycles just moved to Austin so that shop was in progress (though the makeshift drafting / ping pong table was a nice addition - don't lose this )
- Tools for beginners; with any good frame builder their skill is in themselves but we did run into one slight incident where our newbie skills may have benefited from some easier to use drill sets

Sorry the review was longer then I expected, message me if you have any questions I would be glad to answer.

Started the day off by facing our bottom bracket and head tubes.



I spent a good portion of the day brazing on bosses, water bottle eyelets, bridges, etc... Then we got a quick homework lesson on how to clean up our frames and prep them for paint, I am looking forward to seeing this thing shined up before paint



Then we wrapped it up by spending the afternoon on the alignment table. I have to say this was my least favorite part, but probably the most important out of everything we did.



Ok we really wrapped it up by playing 6-8 games of ping-pong.

What's Next (homework):
- Soaking the frame to get the flux off
- Sanding & Filing to my desired level of perfection
- Return the frame to Tim to send to the paint shop
- Bike Build (I can't decide if I want to use most the parts off my Litespeed or build from a MTB direction versus STI).

Attached Images
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Old 08-09-10, 07:49 PM   #12
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Dustin, it was a pleasure having you, and points noted!
Thanks for being brave and taking my class in the new and unfinished shop.
Here is the new alignment table back from the machinist.
Feel free to come by the shop anytime to get beat up in ping pong.
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Old 08-10-10, 05:02 PM   #13
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Wow, what a great one-of-a-kind experience. Looks like you learned a lot and had a great deal of fun doing it. Are you thinking of building more frames or is this a one-shot thing for you?
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Old 08-11-10, 08:08 AM   #14
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I probably won't be building another frame anytime soon, but could see maybe 1-2 more in my lifetime. My goal for this frame is to ride it coast to coast (Trans-Am or Northern Tier) next April or May. I have a riders wanted posting on ACA & CrazyGuyOnABike if anyone is considering a tour, join me.

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Old 08-15-10, 03:00 PM   #15
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Just a quick update, before sending it off to paint this week I cleaned it up some and couldn't help a loose assembly.

Amazing how quick the humidity hits the tubes (before filing)



Couldn't help myself



Up close

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Old 08-17-10, 10:53 AM   #16
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Nice!
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Old 09-05-10, 12:02 PM   #17
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Frame back from the paint shop



It's nice from a distance, but up close I notice some blemishes. I won't got into the details yet as I want to first talk to the powder coating shop to see what can be done about the areas I am not to happy about.

Any ideas on how I should label, badge, or customize the white color?

One idea was on my USA coast to coast cross country ride is to take a special pen for folks to sign their name and city.
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Old 09-05-10, 02:17 PM   #18
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Sounds like a lot of fun, =)

One question: The downtube slopes down towards the FRONT wheel, is that intentional? Or, maybe the headset will fix that.
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Old 09-06-10, 08:58 AM   #19
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The headset should fix that, the fork is just resting in the head tube for the picture. Plus the rear dropouts are not all the way on the rear axle, another affect of the paint is that I now have to sand the paint out of the rear dropouts so that the axle will fit.
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Old 09-10-10, 05:53 PM   #20
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The bike is back from the paint shop, again. I am happy to say the paint shop gave me no hassles about redoing it and after another weeks wait I am glad I sent it back.

This is what it looks like when powder coating is laid on way to thick.

Here are some of the before / after photos

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More updates to come as the bike gets built out.
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Old 09-13-10, 12:31 PM   #21
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Much better. Yeah, the first paint job would have made me quite unhappy as well.
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Old 09-13-10, 01:39 PM   #22
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fascinating, the whole idea of both learning how to work with steel, and to build your own bike. I must admit, having taken a woodworking course many years ago and the large mirror-on-a-stand thingee I made still in my daughters room, mistakes and all--I actually would be reticent of riding a bike that "I" actually made.
I am sure given that this is not a mirror, but something his clients will ride down hills at up to whatever speeds, I am confident that the frame builder keeps an eye on the quality control like crazy, I just mistrust how well a job I would do (never having done any welding, only soldering copper pipe stuff for plumbing-and even that was messy looking)

all this is really just me thinking out loud. It must be a very neat feeling to ride a bike that you actually made with your own hands. Very, very unique experience.

thanks for putting up the photos to go along with the explanations of the varying steps. Would be interesting to see a final photo when it is put all together.
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Old 09-13-10, 07:05 PM   #23
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No kickstand mount?, I guess you don't plan on stopping but next to a shop, a building or tree...
I will still probably mount a kickstand, but not worried about it scratching the paint. I figure by the time I am done with a cross country tour I will have beat the crud out of the paint. Tim and I talked about fabricating one, but when it came down to it just wasn't important enough.

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I am confident that the frame builder keeps an eye on the quality control like crazy, I just mistrust how well a job I would do (never having done any welding, only soldering copper pipe stuff for plumbing-and even that was messy looking)
Yeah Tim watched over and checked each braze as we went and on the rear dropouts was the only actual place we did a full weld and ran the metal deep into the chain stay and seat stays. The beauty of Steel is if I do brake down pretty much any weld shop around the world can tack it back together.

I have almost all the parts to build the bike out now, but going to go back and re-face the head tube and bottom bracket just to ensure a nice snug fit before mounting the headset and cranks.
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Old 09-14-10, 11:04 PM   #24
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funny but for stands, I always couldnt get myself to put more weight on my touring bike, and would prefer to lean it against a wall or fence or whatever when all the bags were on it. I remember once at the top of some col in the Pyrenees, a big gust of wind came along and blew it over......ouch, but I always figured that a stand wouldnt have made any difference anyway. Can see how a two legged stand could be quite stable, but I dunno, just dont like the aesthetics of stands on a bike.

all the best with the build.
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Old 10-05-10, 09:47 AM   #25
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Build update

Having trouble getting the Trekking handlebars in from Nashbar otherwise the build would be complete. Here is the progress so far -


Full Size

FSA Triple Crank 30/42/53
Cane Creek S2 Headset
Salsa Stem (may be swapped out after fork is cut)
Bontrager Seat Post
Brooks B17 Saddle (needs breaking in)
Shimano XT Front & Rear Derailleur & V-Brakes
Alex Adventurer 36h Wheels with Shimano XT Hub
Shimano XT 9 speed cassette 11-34
Continental Contact 700c X 37 Tires


Full Size

Peace


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