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Top Fillet Brazing Vintage (New one)

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Top Fillet Brazing Vintage (New one)

Old 08-19-22, 09:29 AM
  #126  
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So many great frames!
I had a local-ish hobby builder make a frame for me around 1990. His name was Gordon Borthwick, and was a retired mechanical engineer. Most of what he built were tandems, as they were rather popular back then. As such, he favored fillet brazing, and carried that over to his single frames. At that time, lugs were standard and a nice fillet brazed joint was rather exotic!
He didn't build a ton of frames, but did nice work.

a shot of the head tube joints...



and the seat cluster....


I suspect the fillets are larger than needed. Since Gordon mostly did tandems, and was an engineer, I suspect he leaned towards a conservative design.
The bike is still being ridden, and it has accumulated over 60,000 miles so far. It was designed in a different era, so it can't handle large tires. It does manage 23mm tires under SKS fenders, so it does get ridden in all seasons.

There was a mention of Ritchey frames, so I thought I'd add a 1991 Bicycle Guide article about one of his fillet brazed road frames.









There was also mention of Jack Taylor, and he's gotta be one of the first well known builders of fillet brazed frames in the C&V era.
(edit: "Jack Taylor" was actually a business run by the three Taylor brothers, IIRC.)
As noted, he was fast and not known for making art frames... he was trying to make a living! Still, with the fillet brazed joints and the box lining, these frames can be quite impressive!
Here's a lovely touring frame/bike that was displayed at the 2016 Classic Rendezvous gathering..



Steve in Peoria

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Old 08-19-22, 03:37 PM
  #127  
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I have two fillet brazed machines. Both are nice bikes but neither is a top end machine. One is a 1972 Schwinn Sports Tourer; the other a late 50s Claud Butler Jubilee that I need to build up one of these days. Both use straight gauge tubing as well; chrome moly for the Schwinn and likely Reynolds 531 for the Claud Butler. From what I've read, the Claud Butler used fillet brazing on the Jubilee model as lugs were relatively expensive in the UK in the 50s and so it was cheaper to build the bike with fillet brazing.


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Old 08-19-22, 04:45 PM
  #128  
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My browser keeps cutting off the full title to this thread on the tabs, so I keep moving to this tab and expecting to see something about steaks. A lot of these fillet braze frames are cool, but I guess I'm hungry for a nice grilled fillet. Too bad real steak is too expensive for me at the moment.
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Old 08-20-22, 02:00 AM
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Originally Posted by himespau

Too bad real steak is too expensive for me at the moment.
Fuel prices may be falling, but the prices at the supermarket seem to continue the upward trend. While grocery shopping this afternoon, I couldn't believe my eyes when I noted a box of Triscuits cost almost six dollars - wtf?

DD
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Old 08-20-22, 05:41 AM
  #130  
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Originally Posted by Drillium Dude
Fuel prices may be falling, but the prices at the supermarket seem to continue the upward trend. While grocery shopping this afternoon, I couldn't believe my eyes when I noted a box of Triscuits cost almost six dollars - wtf?

DD
…Look on the bright side….$6 for a box of Triscuits that can be eaten in one sitting (with a good supply of cheese) makes $300 for an old brazed frameset look…like a deal! 😉
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Old 08-20-22, 12:30 PM
  #131  
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Indeed, soon a really nice fillet-brazed frame will be cheaper than some filet mignon. Not sure I could use that to convince my wife that I need another bike, but...
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Old 08-22-22, 03:10 PM
  #132  
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I'm going through my pictures to illustrate my presentations at the Auburn Bicycle Classic this week end. My photo album is filled with student made frames. Here is some pictures of a fillet brazed frame one of my students did on his very 1st try. It is amazing what someone can do when they have the proper training. The right instruction can really shorten the learning curve. Natural talent helps too



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Old 08-22-22, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Drillium Dude
Fuel prices may be falling, but the prices at the supermarket seem to continue the upward trend. While grocery shopping this afternoon, I couldn't believe my eyes when I noted a box of Triscuits cost almost six dollars - wtf?

DD
Where you shopping? Whole Paycheck?
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Old 08-22-22, 06:29 PM
  #134  
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Originally Posted by Atlas Shrugged
As a certified welder and journeyman Tool & Die Maker (5 year apprenticeship) who has spent decades in custom metal fabrication there is nothing special about frame building and especially fillet brazing. The fact that there are one and two week courses that teach it to complete neophytes pretty well explains it. You never see fillet welds in Aerospace, nuclear, high pressure or any other areas which require certification. Frame Building is much like the Wizard of Oz a lot of marketing and superfluous fuss yet nothing special behind the curtain.
Yeah I mean I hate to say I agree with the general sentiment, just not the delivery. I've been through it too - learn about framebuilding and you find out there's a ton of lore, fuss, and mystique that doesn't amount to much. BUT (and here's the big but) you mostly hear the false lore and fuss from insecure beginners and those who've never held a torch and don't understand the process. Not the really good builders.

On the other hand, there's a lot of shade being thrown around in this thread. It's not nice of you to put down framebuilders, especially my friends posting in this thread. The guys posting the aero frames with the huge fillets are just fans of one style, so they didn't deserve to be cut down either, and that wasn't you. Whatever, it's all fine.

Here's what I don't get though. Why'd you do this rant in response to Gugie? He's on our side, man! Doing honest comparisons using quantitative techniques. Taking the mystique and fuss right out of it. Aren't you sorta agreeing with him? It doesn't even seem like you are being a troll, since you haven't been back to goad us.

I know that your post is weeks old, an eternity in the world of the internet, and you're probably off to greener pastures than this thread by now. I just wanted to mention it, in case you ever came back around. You're right, but so is @gugie .

I'll stop now.
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Old 08-22-22, 08:54 PM
  #135  
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Originally Posted by scarlson
Yeah I mean I hate to say I agree with the general sentiment, just not the delivery. I've been through it too - learn about framebuilding and you find out there's a ton of lore, fuss, and mystique that doesn't amount to much. BUT (and here's the big but) you mostly hear the false lore and fuss from insecure beginners and those who've never held a torch and don't understand the process. Not the really good builders.

On the other hand, there's a lot of shade being thrown around in this thread. It's not nice of you to put down framebuilders, especially my friends posting in this thread. The guys posting the aero frames with the huge fillets are just fans of one style, so they didn't deserve to be cut down either, and that wasn't you. Whatever, it's all fine.

Here's what I don't get though. Why'd you do this rant in response to Gugie? He's on our side, man! Doing honest comparisons using quantitative techniques. Taking the mystique and fuss right out of it. Aren't you sorta agreeing with him? It doesn't even seem like you are being a troll, since you haven't been back to goad us.

I know that your post is weeks old, an eternity in the world of the internet, and you're probably off to greener pastures than this thread by now. I just wanted to mention it, in case you ever came back around. You're right, but so is @gugie .

I'll stop now.
Thanks for calling me out and I stand corrected. I am impressed with frame builders especially the hobbyists who spend countless hours finishing and adding details to turn their frames into functional pieces of art. The OP’s obsession and ranting over Mercet frames with their ridiculous form over function details got the better of me. Now give me a simple perfectly TIG welded frame built with modern heat treated tubing.
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Old 08-23-22, 04:11 AM
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....

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Old 08-23-22, 05:15 AM
  #137  
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“obsession and ranting” over such beauty? I’d take that as a compliment. Not too much “function” in a Picasso either…but stunningly creative and gorgeous. To each his own.
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Old 08-23-22, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Sonofamechanic


“obsession and ranting” over such beauty? I’d take that as a compliment. Not too much “function” in a Picasso either…but stunningly creative and gorgeous. To each his own.
Thank you for helping make my point regarding form over function. If I would looking for a frame to display in a bike cafe, a Mercet would be on my list. However, just as I would not choose Picasso to be a cartographer or wildlife illustrator, I would not choose a Mercet to ride. For me, a bicycle should be function first.

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Old 08-23-22, 09:31 AM
  #139  
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The Mercet frames may not be my cup of tea, but you've got to admire the bold design. Lots of interesting "how did they do that?" features.

Fat fillets are a style. Tom Ritchey is a known adherent to that style. Earlier I mentioned that fillet brazing takes a lot of skill to get to the point where nearly no filing or sanding is required. Take a look at his handiwork!



Compare to my first few from 6 years ago:



Mine takes more filing and sanding.

If Tom's fillets are 8 out of 10 on fatness, the Merced fillets go to 11.
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Old 08-23-22, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by gugie
The Mercet frames may not be my cup of tea, but you've got to admire the bold design. Lots of interesting "how did they do that?" features.
I think a lot of such admiration can be found in these threads. However, a lot of it gets lost somehow.
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Old 08-23-22, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Atlas Shrugged
…just as I would not choose Picasso to be a cartographer or wildlife illustrator, I would not choose a Mercet to ride.
. LOL, touché. Brilliant analogy…see, now you could have “tig welded” a plain response back but instead you pulled off a brilliant, to the point “fat fillet brazed” analogy which even Mercet would have been proud of…😉
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Old 08-23-22, 10:21 AM
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((Ago15…I hope you are appreciating the irony here…)
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Old 08-23-22, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Atlas Shrugged
...just as I would not choose Picasso to be a cartographer or wildlife illustrator, I would not choose a Mercet to ride.
I dunno, something like this is interesting.


A famous Picasso bicycle design.


I think it's a prototype, since it's missing a few bits.
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