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Old 02-27-14, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by theery View Post
Have any of you taught yourself to build frames? That's what I'm looking to do, and just thought I'd gather any offered advice. What tools should I splurge on, what do I not need to?!
OP; I am sure many others will offer advice on most of the hand tools so I will stick with torch question. If you are only thinking of making a few frames, then a portable one is a good idea. Here is an excellent one by Victor including the pair of empty tanks for $291.

Thermadyne 0384-0939 Victor CSV-CPT Cutskil Oxy Fuel Tote Kit with Tanks:

If you plan to do quite a few frames, then a medium size torch probably makes sense. This one is awesome and includes the cutting head and the rosebud head also. It was a bargin at $209 w/ free shipping before Christmas when I bought it. It is Amazon-ing for $193 now (MSRP is $426.xx).... Staying with the Victor brand is highly recommended as many have had a lot of problems with imported torch kits. The price is so close, it makes since to go first class.

[/COLOR][/COLOR][/SIZE]Victor 0384-2530 - 250 Medium Duty Outfit, WH 270FC-V Torch Handle, CA 270-V Cutting Attachment, 540/510 250 Regulators - - Victor - VIC0384-2530

If your local welding shop is like the ones here in the mid-West, you can get a pair of brand new tanks for about $100 each (its actually a 10-year lease). Adding a fill-up of gases runs about $40 for a set of 40/80 cu.ft. tanks.

PS: I'll note that I was a bit shocked at the cost of Victor brand torch tips ($25-30 each). I took a chance on some lower cost ones from Amazon and found them to be effectively identical to the name branded ones in appearance and function. Yes the cheaper ($5 per) ones are clearly Chinese production, but work very well and I was able to stock up with several of each size without going too deep into the wallet. Find them here (this is an example for one size tip -- your study will indicate what size you should buy:

Welding Brazing Nozzle Tip 00-W-1 #00 with W-1 Mixer for Victor 100 Series Handles

OP; If you have plans to get into TIG welding also, post that as a separate thread for more info there.

re; "I'm reading the Paterek book, and looking at lots of bikes and studying their designs. Thanks

OP; I started with the now long out of print "Proteus Framebuilding Manual" which was $5 circa 1973 (it is still sitting right here by my elbow, although rather tattered now). It was only 1/2" thick and 127 pages long it was more than adequate. I recently bought the Paterek book also but found that it was too deep and complex for my plans. Since you already have it, then use it. I will note that I don't think one needs all the complex jigs and tools which that book recommends...imho,; it is geared more to setting up a frame factory.

Hope that helps
ksisler is offline