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Where to start

Old 12-23-19, 01:34 AM
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Dawes_rider
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Where to start

I am looking for a good book that introduces someone into the world of frame building. I'd also appreciate any other useful information/resources you would recommend to get someone started building frames. I've welded and brazed before and have taken a college course sorta providing the basics.
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Old 12-23-19, 04:39 AM
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I got started after watching Pithy Bikes on YouTube. Beautifully made videos and bikes, and he shows his very first frame build on there so it's good for a beginner. He has a mini-mill and a mini-lathe, but you can manage without these. My recommendation is find an old bike frame to cut up and practice the welds (or however you're going to do the joints) until you're pretty confident. Start with 90 degree T joints but then move on to the angles and some of the tricker junctions you will get on a real frame. This is why an old frame is good-- you can keep cutting the seat-stays and chain-stays off and welding them back on again You will probably also want to make some sort of basic jig. When it comes to designing the frame you can use scale drawings, BikeCad, or this completely free option: https://codeberg.org/benc/framebuild.
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Old 12-23-19, 09:17 AM
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Paper page books I've had on my shelf are: Proteus Manual by Dr Paul Proteus, The Paterek Manual by Tim Paterek, the Talbert's book (sorry the name escapes me). Each has it's good and bad points. The Paterek book is the best of these three, IMO.

But as guy153 sort of alluded to the interweb and vids are the way most are publishing their stories these days. The Pithy series is quite interesting. I take issue with some of the advice but find his problem solving and tool making worthy looking at. There are many others too.

OP- Where are you located? I am beginning to teach a co worker about framebuilding. We're still on basic fillet brazing techniques. Andy
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Old 12-23-19, 06:54 PM
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I learned by reading the Paterek manual several times before picking up a torch. I did have basic high school brazing from shop class 30 years before deciding to build a frame, and remembered only a little bit of stuff such as how to light the thing off and the filler follows the heat! The rest of it came from the Paterek manual and some stuff I read in a magazine. If interested, I have the Paterek manual and no longer use it. It is his annotated version, a bit outdated, but still worth reading. Pay for shipping and it is yours.
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Old 12-23-19, 09:06 PM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
I learned by reading the Paterek manual several times before picking up a torch. I did have basic high school brazing from shop class 30 years before deciding to build a frame, and remembered only a little bit of stuff such as how to light the thing off and the filler follows the heat! The rest of it came from the Paterek manual and some stuff I read in a magazine. If interested, I have the Paterek manual and no longer use it. It is his annotated version, a bit outdated, but still worth reading. Pay for shipping and it is yours.

I would take this offer if I was in the market. Andy
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Old 12-24-19, 01:05 AM
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Thanks for the info gentleman. I am located in Oregon and it seems from your bio on your post your located in NY. And yes I'd be very happy to take the book of your hands and pay for the shipping. I've never done something like this but I'd assume a paypal account or something like that would be in order. Fortunately I work at the same local college I took those welding class's at, just down on the other side of the same building I work out of. So I can pick the professors brains with any brazing/welding questions i have. Let me know if you need my email or phone number in order to facilitate the shipping of the book.
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Old 12-24-19, 01:11 AM
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I forgot to mention I found this entertaining fellow on youtube. His channel is named Cobra Framebuilding now I am still undecided if watching him is worth my time he seems knowledgeable but his video organization seems sorta chaotic. I know this guy has some useful knowledge just wish his videos were laid out more like a course.
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Old 12-24-19, 03:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Dawes_rider View Post
I forgot to mention I found this entertaining fellow on youtube. His channel is named Cobra Framebuilding now I am still undecided if watching him is worth my time he seems knowledgeable but his video organization seems sorta chaotic. I know this guy has some useful knowledge just wish his videos were laid out more like a course.
I enjoyed his videos. He also has a bunch of machine tools (because that's his main business) but you can manage without this stuff. It's not a course but you will always pick some stuff up and it's fun to watch.

Something else you should definitely watch on YT is the three or four videos weldingtipsandtricks made with legend and pro Mike Zanconato. They showed how Mike TIGs cromoly, titanium and also silver brazing of a lugged joint, and how he mitres tubes.
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Old 12-24-19, 03:38 AM
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Yes, my long term goals are oriented around gathering special tooling such as lathes, milling and mitering tooling. I'd be plenty happy (and more or less obligated) crafting my first frames with basic hand tools, although it sounds like I'll need to acquire or have made/machined for me an alignment table and possibly some jigs. This journey is becoming quite exciting already and I look forward to seeing where it takes me.
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Old 12-24-19, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Dawes_rider View Post
Yes, my long term goals are oriented around gathering special tooling such as lathes, milling and mitering tooling. I'd be plenty happy (and more or less obligated) crafting my first frames with basic hand tools, although it sounds like I'll need to acquire or have made/machined for me an alignment table and possibly some jigs. This journey is becoming quite exciting already and I look forward to seeing where it takes me.
Homemade jig, hand mitring with templates and aligning with bits of string, by eye, and a good back wheel work. I've also found a cheap laser level useful. Those guys also had a lot of fun with bending and Cobra bikes guy makes a really neat double tube bender. But you can also just buy very nice pre-bent and shaped stays from both Columbus and Reynolds. ​​​Good luck and have fun!

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Old 12-24-19, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Dawes_rider View Post
Yes, my long term goals are oriented around gathering special tooling such as lathes, milling and mitering tooling. I'd be plenty happy (and more or less obligated) crafting my first frames with basic hand tools, although it sounds like I'll need to acquire or have made/machined for me an alignment table and possibly some jigs. This journey is becoming quite exciting already and I look forward to seeing where it takes me.

You should look through some of my Flicker albums for a lot of home made tooling bits and other images regarding building. I now am where you seem to be aiming for (except I only hobby build) and have gone through a lot of the steps that you soon will be. feel free to PM and/or start an off list discussion (I find it far easier to answer specific questions without taking into account the masses that read this forum). Andy (Yes Rochester, NY. Only 90 miles from Cobra but haven't met the guy as yet. At the recent Phily Bike Expo his display was pretty crowded so I kept walking).

https://www.flickr.com/photos/731955...57594353980745
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Old 12-29-19, 01:13 PM
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The books will only take so far. It is like learning to play piano by just reading books. Practice under the supervision of pro is the most effective.
I took a 3 day brazing course with Doug Fattic and canít express with words how valuable that experience was. Not just learning how to braze but how to build a bike using methods that have been develop with years of experience. You wonít meet a nicer person than Doug and he is a master teacher.
Read the books, burn some tubes then get some instruction from a pro. You will not regret it.
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