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Why is butt welding ok now?

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Why is butt welding ok now?

Old 03-09-12, 04:59 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
#1, TIG , Tungsten Inert Gas.. welding is not Butt welding .
Mavic, for example uses a butt weld of their rims at the joint, then machines
down the flashing from the welding.
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Old 03-09-12, 05:41 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Until about 1980, all Trek's frames were silver brazed.
I guess it was right after that they hired their firsrt cost accountant! Seriously, why did they bother? Except for seriously temperature sensitive tubing, there is no real benefit.
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Old 03-09-12, 06:15 PM
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It's all about making it faster and cheaper and then marketing it as better and charging more. Cyclists are definitely gullible to marketing.

How much do you think a carbon fiber frame costs to make in comparison to it's sale price? What does it take to train someone to lay up some epoxy plastic paper-mache cloth into a mold?
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Old 03-09-12, 06:57 PM
  #29  
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I think there was a lot of confusion because the bikes that were welded back then were made from low grade steel. When you see advise not to buy a welded frame, it may just be because those bikes were not very good more than any other reason. I didn't see all that many broken welded frames, but I think I may have permanently injured my back lifting them onto the storage hooks at the bike shop I worked at. And those bikes weren't TIG welded, or even welded by hand. They just lined the tubes up and electrocuted them.

Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
I guess it was right after that they hired their firsrt cost accountant! Seriously, why did they bother? Except for seriously temperature sensitive tubing, there is no real benefit.
most U.S. custom builders use silver. It works and isn't all that expensive. If the speculators in the silver market would go away, it would be even better, historically it has been a horrible investment. Having said that, Trek used silver mostly as a marketing ploy, and because that was what was popular at that time.

Last edited by unterhausen; 03-09-12 at 07:00 PM.
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Old 03-09-12, 07:05 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
.... They just lined the tubes up and electrocuted them.

Only in certain states, Others used Gas, firing squad, hanging, or lethal injection.
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Old 03-10-12, 08:12 AM
  #31  
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Nothing to add but thanks

Got answers to questions I'd privately raised regarding the use of welding vs brazing.
Many of us older riders seem stuck (or maby it's just me) in a time warp regarding new materials and techniques.
20 min. of reading the responses to the initial question shed a lot of light on the subject.
Thanks :OD!
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Old 03-10-12, 11:47 AM
  #32  
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The welded joint in an electric welded bike frame is a fillet weld. The heat affected zone next to the weld can be a problem in alloyed steel. Heat treatments can solve that problem.
A poorly welded joint can have undercut edges that lead to stress risers and fracturers.
The older cheap bikes may have used seam welded tubing. There a flat plate is run through a die and welded into a cylinder. It is a cheaper way to make pipe and tubing.

Last edited by davidad; 03-10-12 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 03-10-12, 12:18 PM
  #33  
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One more thought from the peanut gallery...

I can't help wondering if modern CNC machining of the tubes allows a closer fit, which in turn leads to higher butt-weld quality, especially in a high-production environment.

If the parts fit poorly, it is harder to make a good weld. Much easier to get a good joint in a lugged assembly.

I'm not a weld expert so I'm just thinking out loud. But the modern machining processes can make parts that fit up amazingly well, which I suspect makes welding those joints easier.

Perhaps somebody that knows for sure will comment!

-Tom in SoCal
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Old 03-11-12, 01:39 PM
  #34  
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A welded joint can be fine, but it is up to the skill and technique of the craftsman doing the job. After the weld is cleaned and painted it is difficult if not impossible to judge the quality of the joint. You pretty well have to rely on the maker's reputation. A lugged joint CAN be done badly, but it is very forgiving. Absent a very experienced weldor, or robotics, a lugged frame is likely to last significantly longer.

Mild steel, AKA hiten, can be mig welded nicely, especially in thicker "gas pipe" gauges. Those are the bikes we were being warned off of...it was the mark of a department store BSO.
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Old 03-11-12, 01:54 PM
  #35  
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As others have said 4130 has been welded into strong, safe aircraft since before WW2. Part of the technique is to work indoors in a heated, draft free shop. One book I have says not to even allow your dog to wag his tail...a humorous way of making the point that it is important that the joints be allowed to cool slowly. The copper plating commonly used on steel filler rods to prevent rusting can also cause problems with 4130, so you need to get bare filler of the correct alloy, and take measures to prevent it rusting.

You could use coat hangers for filler, and shock cool the welds with an air blast and end up with a weld that will soon crack, but would be cosmetically identical to one done right.
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Old 03-11-12, 02:27 PM
  #36  
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Stainless steel filler wire for ChroMo is popular for that reason..
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Old 03-11-12, 07:17 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
Welding techniques and joinery got better. So did tubing...
Correct. Reynolds 853 is a great example of this. Perhaps 853 frames would be "better" if also lugged, but so far as
I know they are very strong when butt-welded without lugs.
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Old 03-12-12, 09:18 AM
  #38  
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Why do folks keep calling two tubes joined to form a "T" or some other angle a butt weld? A butt weld is two pieces joined end-to-end. A joint where the butt of one tube is joined to the side of another is not a butt weld. I would not buy a bike where there is a butt weld. Filleted joint? Build and ride them every day.
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Old 03-12-12, 10:01 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by reddog3 View Post
Why do folks keep calling two tubes joined to form a "T" or some other angle a butt weld? A butt weld is two pieces joined end-to-end. A joint where the butt of one tube is joined to the side of another is not a butt weld. I would not buy a bike where there is a butt weld. Filleted joint? Build and ride them every day.
You're right...and the tubes are usually inserted into holes in the adjoining frame tubes, which makes a stronger joint. I guess a better term would be fillet-brazed without lugs.
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Old 03-12-12, 10:24 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Because welding techniques have improved immensely, newer tubing alloys and shapes are better able to take the welding heat and brazed lugged assembly has gotten too expensive.
Welding hasn't changed that much in only 30 years for common alloys such as the low grade chrome moly or aluminum used in bike tubing.
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Old 03-13-12, 07:23 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by neurocop View Post
... the tubes are usually inserted into holes in the adjoining frame tubes, .
No, they are not. The cut (mitred) end of one tube is shaped to closely fit onto the face of the adjoining tube. There is usually a vent hole cut in the adjoining tube, but not a hole the tube fits into.
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Old 03-13-12, 07:43 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by davidad View Post
Welding hasn't changed that much in only 30 years for common alloys such as the low grade chrome moly or aluminum used in bike tubing.
With CNC mitering, automated welders and newer alloys, I maintain that welding "techniques" have indeed improved over the last 30 years. As an example I remember when the "7000" series of aluminum alloys were considered unweldable. Now there are techniques and modified forms of these alloys that can be welded.
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Old 03-13-12, 08:19 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
With CNC mitering, automated welders and newer alloys, I maintain that welding "techniques" have indeed improved over the last 30 years. As an example I remember when the "7000" series of aluminum alloys were considered unweldable. Now there are techniques and modified forms of these alloys that can be welded.
+1. And not only are aluminum alloys such as 7005 now weldable, it's been one of the most common aluminum alloys used for bike frames for quite a few years now.

As for steel alloys, air hardened steels such as Reynolds 853 and 631 are good examples of newer, very lightweight steels that aren't weakened nearly as much, if at all, by the intense heat of welding.
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Old 03-13-12, 11:16 AM
  #44  
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Guys guys lets not get caught up in the terminology of welding. Yes I know what TIG welding is and what an actual butt joint or weld is.

What I was actually asking about is lugged and non lugged joints. As I said cycling book in the mid 80s and before always described non-lugged frames as junk.

Of note someone mentioned tube materials say before 85. Remember that there were Reynolds and Columbus tubes that were state of the art that were as good as or better than we have today.
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Old 03-13-12, 11:42 AM
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yea, the music on the radio, some of it has not lasted the test of time, either..

As I said cycling book in the mid 80s and before always described non-lugged frames as junk.
just one Author's opinion, obviously ... probably didn't get out much ..
the author had not seen any of the JackTaylor [brother's] ,
Reynolds 531, hand fillet brazed, bikes, then..

Last edited by fietsbob; 03-13-12 at 01:54 PM.
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Old 03-13-12, 01:06 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Of note someone mentioned tube materials say before 85. Remember that there were Reynolds and Columbus tubes that were state of the art that were as good as or better than we have today.
Those older tubesets were good in the sense that they were light, had thin walls, etc, but not so good for welding because of the extreme heat. The air hardened steels I mentioned above (853 and 631) are good examples of newer steel alloys that aren't affected much by the high heat of welding, i.e. the HAZ isn't really an issue with these thin walled, lightweight tubesets. The marketing info says these air hardened steels are actually made stronger in the HAZ than the rest of the tube, FWIW.
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Old 03-13-12, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
Of note someone mentioned tube materials say before 85. Remember that there were Reynolds and Columbus tubes that were state of the art that were as good as or better than we have today.
Originally Posted by well biked View Post
Those older tubesets were good in the sense that they were light, had thin walls, etc, but not so good for welding because of the extreme heat. The air hardened steels I mentioned above (853 and 631) are good examples of newer steel alloys that aren't affected much by the high heat of welding, i.e. the HAZ isn't really an issue with these thin walled, lightweight tubesets. The marketing info says these air hardened steels are actually made stronger in the HAZ than the rest of the tube, FWIW.
Provided the older tubes were properly brazed, not welded, they are every bit as good as what's available today. But the new alloys allow welding with no loss of strength, and welding is more amenable to mass-production and automation than brazing.
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Old 03-14-12, 08:27 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by DCB0 View Post
No, they are not. The cut (mitred) end of one tube is shaped to closely fit onto the face of the adjoining tube. There is usually a vent hole cut in the adjoining tube, but not a hole the tube fits into.
True for the TT/ST and TT/HT and DT/HT joints, but I've had lugged bikes where the ST and/or DT joints with the BB were open. Any ideas about this sort of construction?
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Old 03-14-12, 08:53 PM
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On typical lugged frames, the seat and down tubes and chainstays are all open to the BB shell. That's because the shell is single complex lug and there's no continuous tube inside. The basic system has open lugs so closed joints only happen at both head tube, and the seat tube/top tube joints. There's no issue at the down tube because the other end is open, but the top tube is closed at both ends so needs to be vented. most builders opt to open it to the seat tube, figuring that the post will close the hole.

Also where tubes meet tubes, the tubes are mitered to fit their neighbors within the lug to make a stronger joint.
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Old 03-14-12, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by neurocop View Post
True for the TT/ST and TT/HT and DT/HT joints, but I've had lugged bikes where the ST and/or DT joints with the BB were open. Any ideas about this sort of construction?
FB answered this well, but perhaps a picture will help.
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