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Torches and Hole Saws

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Torches and Hole Saws

Old 02-05-16, 03:19 PM
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Torches and Hole Saws


I am considering entering the world of framebuilding. It might be fun to try it with minimalist equipment at first. I have an inexpensive torch - Bernzomatic TS4000. Will this be of any use?

I have considered being more "from scratch" then some of the options I've seen. In other words, even if I can't sculpt all parts (e.g. dropouts), I may be abel to do without a sleeve or collar that is commonly used. My question is: what hole saw or similar device can be used for direct tube to tube attachments and how much power is required? If I want to do all the metal sculpting myself what type of equipment should I have?

Thank you for your consideration,

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Old 02-05-16, 04:42 PM
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The Bernzomatic TS4000 appear to be a fuel/air torch, and as such may not produce enough heat to do a satisfactory job, particularly on heavy pieces like bottom brackets and fork crowns. Somewhat paradoxically, although the temperature of the flame may seem adequate, a low heat can actually create larger heat affected zones on the tubing because of the length of time needed to bring the parts up to working temperature. A hotter flame will allow the part to come to temperature quickly, flow the brass/sliver in quickly and get out before the heat affected zone spreads too far up the tubes. In short, I think you'll have a much better experience if you can get a fuel/oxygen torch set-up. Oxy-acetylene is a very hot flame, but oxy-propane is more than adequate.
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Old 02-05-16, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
Oxy-acetylene is a very hot flame, but oxy-propane is more than adequate.
There are some micro oxy-propane torches that use disposable cannisters, but I'd encourage you to consider picking up a small oxyacetylene torch. Or, with the oxygen tank and regulators, you might get away with a standard RV propane tank, at least the old ones would work with acetylene regulators.

Oxypropane tips are slightly different than oxyacetylene tips, and require a small hole drilled in the end.

In many places, you can snag a used torch, pair of regulators, and pair of tanks for about $300.

The tanks about 3' tall are virtually 100% owner tanks and easy to exchange (in the USA). The tanks about 5' tall are usually rentals. Don't buy them.

There are also refillable tanks, about 1 1/2 feet tall. They might be good for very occasional use.
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Old 02-05-16, 05:44 PM
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I agree that an O/A torch will give the best results and be the most flexible for varied needs. As to the tubing cutter question. A hack saw, bench grinder and files do a lot for real cheap. You'll be needing tube blocks no matter what cutting method you use. Wood ones are easy to make yourself.

Check out my posts here. I started out doing everything by hand and making full sized drawings. I have written about not jigs building and aligning before. Andy.
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Old 02-12-16, 01:01 PM
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I built frames as a hobby for a number of years using a MAPP gas torch. Both lugs and fillet, I brazed my last one in 2011. Had a helluva time getting it hot enough to braze especially around the fork crown and drop-outs. Then I found out that as of 2008 MAPP gas was no longer being produced. What has replaced it is not as hot. I had to borrow a Oxy/Acetylene setup to finish the fork and dropouts . You can get by just fine if you are using thin lugs and tubing with 45%-50% silver. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MAPP_gas

I tried a holesaw in one of those cheapo jigs you get from JEGS or Summit racing. Great for mitering .083 mild tubing in a race car. Lousy for .028 bicycle tubing.
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