Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Framebuilders
Reload this Page >

tube and lug kits / practice

Notices
Framebuilders Thinking about a custom frame? Lugged vs Fillet Brazed. Different Frame materials? Newvex or Pacenti Lugs? why get a custom Road, Mountain, or Track Frame? Got a question about framebuilding? Lets discuss framebuilding at it's finest.

tube and lug kits / practice

Old 01-16-24, 01:36 PM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
squirtdad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: San Jose (Willow Glen) Ca
Posts: 9,835

Bikes: Kirk Custom JK Special, '84 Team Miyata,(dura ace old school) 80?? SR Semi-Pro 600 Arabesque

Mentioned: 106 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2337 Post(s)
Liked 2,813 Times in 1,536 Posts
tube and lug kits / practice

I have been watching and am fascinated building my own frame.....not sure I ever will, but was wondering if anyone knows of supply places offering full kits of tubes/lugs? just seems to be a good base.

Only on I seen now is, Richard Sachs..... certainly would a a quality start


practice: any ideas for sources for practice 4130 ? or anyone willing to put scraps in usps box and send (pay for it of course)
__________________
Life is too short not to ride the best bike you have, as much as you can
(looking for Torpado Super light frame/fork or for Raleigh International frame fork 58cm)



squirtdad is offline  
Old 01-16-24, 01:48 PM
  #2  
Randomhead
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Posts: 24,388
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 3,687 Times in 2,510 Posts
Lugs are relatively expensive. Ceeway used to have a full kit, I think I recently saw they wanted $190 or something like that. Nova used to have kits, but they are gone. I used to buy their columbus SL kits, those were a bargain.

When I wanted to practice for using brass with lugs, I cut out some 4130 rings in lengths from 1/2" up to 3". If you can braze from one end of a 3" sleeve to the other, you can braze any lug.

Bike tubing is inexpensive for what it is. But one issue for practice is the butting. You used to be able to buy TrueTemper straight gauge, but they are long gone now. I feel like 4130 is better for practicing.

One more edit: I think a lot of people buy nice stuff for their first frame and then botch the frame and don't want to just cut it up. The nice thing about cheap tubes is you can go into building a first frame with the idea you are going to cut it up.

Yet another edit: you might look on ebay

Last edited by unterhausen; 01-16-24 at 02:01 PM.
unterhausen is offline  
Old 01-16-24, 02:24 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 954
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 321 Post(s)
Liked 263 Times in 212 Posts
I would practice on old bike frames. I happened to have a 4130 Trek that broke. By the time I'd cut it up into pieces a few inches long and welded them back together again at various angles I just about had the ability to make my first new frame. I TIG everything but you can probably heat the lugs off an old frame. Or make some lug-like things for practising. The steel alloy doesn't matter but the thickness does, especially for TIG: you need to be able to handle thin walled tubes.
guy153 is offline  
Old 01-16-24, 02:42 PM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 18,056

Bikes: Stewart S&S coupled sport tourer, Stewart Sunday light, Stewart Commuting, Stewart Touring, Co Motion Tandem, Stewart 3-Spd, Stewart Track, Fuji Finest, Mongoose Tomac ATB, GT Bravado ATB, JCP Folder, Stewart 650B ATB

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4195 Post(s)
Liked 3,837 Times in 2,295 Posts
Many of us did recycle old frames into practice material but the time it took to clean off the paint was taking away from the practice torch stuff time so speaking for myself I suggest raw tubing as a first choice. There are a lot of on line sellers of 4130 tubing. Aircraft Spruce, Stockcar Steel, McMaster-Carr, to name a few on my saved list.

I save my cut offs (sometimes called drops by the metal supply industry) for practice and small projects. I do have a box full right now and would send someone some of it (cost to be agreed on) if asked. Andy
__________________
AndrewRStewart
Andrew R Stewart is offline  
Likes For Andrew R Stewart:
Old 01-16-24, 04:56 PM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 823
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 472 Post(s)
Liked 332 Times in 258 Posts
Originally Posted by squirtdad
I have been watching and am fascinated building my own frame.....not sure I ever will, but was wondering if anyone knows of supply places offering full kits of tubes/lugs? just seems to be a good base.

Only on I seen now is, Richard Sachs..... certainly would a a quality start


practice: any ideas for sources for practice 4130 ? or anyone willing to put scraps in usps box and send (pay for it of course)
I was at one point thinking along the same line as you, had an oxyacetylene torch back then but the plan never quite materialized - too busy with too many things back then.
On occasions, I had seen lugs on eBay that were quite affordable. You may want to try checking.

Well, here you go:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/16648137608...Bk9SR-qPtseiYw

https://www.ebay.com/itm/30397920124...Bk9SR-qPtseiYw
Alan K is offline  
Old 01-16-24, 05:45 PM
  #6  
semi-retired framebuilder
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Posts: 28

Bikes: twenty-three at last count

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Liked 28 Times in 14 Posts
Ceeway still has a couple of options of starter frame kits, a standard diameter set for 188.95 and an oversized set for 194.95. They are very complete. See the scroll bar at the top of their website - Tube and Parts Bundle if you haven’t found it already. Peter gives excellent service.
Mark Beaver is offline  
Likes For Mark Beaver:
Old 01-16-24, 07:31 PM
  #7  
Team Beer
 
Cynikal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Sacramento CA
Posts: 6,339

Bikes: Too Many

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 114 Post(s)
Liked 159 Times in 104 Posts
I have a bunch of random lugs that would be good for practice. They came as part of a package of tubing and bit I bought during peak pandemic. Happy to send you several of them for postage. PM me if interested.
__________________
I'm not one for fawning over bicycles, but I do believe that our bikes communicate with us, and what this bike is saying is, "You're an idiot." BikeSnobNYC
Cynikal is offline  
Likes For Cynikal:
Old 01-16-24, 08:08 PM
  #8  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2021
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 81

Bikes: 1986 Schwinn Voyageur, SWB home-built recumbent and a couple other uninteresting ones.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 32 Post(s)
Liked 47 Times in 26 Posts
Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart
Many of us did recycle old frames into practice material but the time it took to clean off the paint was taking away from the practice torch stuff time so speaking for myself I suggest raw tubing as a first choice. There are a lot of on line sellers of 4130 tubing. Aircraft Spruce, Stockcar Steel, McMaster-Carr, to name a few on my saved list.
(Relating to another thread: incidentally, another great job for the induction forge is taking off the paint - the tube gets hot first, not the paint, so the paint just boils off. Brush, brush and its clean. Heating the other way cooks it on....anyway, I digress...)

Speaking as someone currently going through this - consider modifying an existing frame. I am taking a 21" and changing the stack/reach to test out the geo I think I want, before spending $400 on new steel. The only thing I purchased is a head tube (20 years ago, actually). For me this is proving to be a low cost way to try out the techniques, figure out processes and experience the joy of a fillet-brazing, where the goal post comes into view very quickly.

For new tubing to play around with, some places have mixed bags and drops for a discount, although at the end of the day the shipping is going to get you no matter what.
dschad is offline  
Old 01-16-24, 08:35 PM
  #9  
Banned.
 
Nessism's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Torrance, CA
Posts: 3,061

Bikes: Homebuilt steel

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2193 Post(s)
Liked 425 Times in 337 Posts
I don't have tons of spares, but I've got a few random tubes and lugs that may be helpful. Yours for shipping cost. PM if interested, and I'll pull out the spares box to see what, if anything, is of interest.

Ed
Nessism is offline  
Old 01-16-24, 11:37 PM
  #10  
Randomhead
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Posts: 24,388
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 3,687 Times in 2,510 Posts
I just went and looked at a couple of U.S. based suppliers. Cheapest tubes/lugs were at framebuilder supply. Columbus Cromor is really cheap, but chainstays and seatstays really add up. So you could just make a couple of main triangles.

I feel like Joe Bringheli could put together an inexpensive practice kit for you, but I haven't heard his status recently. Last time I ordered from him was a long time ago. He went out to the shed to look at what he had in stock and called me. I bought a batch of Zero Tre from him for practice, enough to get a quantity discount.

If you want to ride your first frame, put something really valuable in the top tube to motivate you to cut it up. I would say your wedding ring, but that might cause trouble. Maybe just a stack of Starrett hacksaw blades?
unterhausen is offline  
Old 01-17-24, 03:06 AM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 954
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 321 Post(s)
Liked 263 Times in 212 Posts
Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart
Many of us did recycle old frames into practice material but the time it took to clean off the paint was taking away from the practice torch stuff time so speaking for myself I suggest raw tubing as a first choice. There are a lot of on line sellers of 4130 tubing. Aircraft Spruce, Stockcar Steel, McMaster-Carr, to name a few on my saved list.

I save my cut offs (sometimes called drops by the metal supply industry) for practice and small projects. I do have a box full right now and would send someone some of it (cost to be agreed on) if asked. Andy
I still practice on all my drops And often use the ends of stays for bridge tubes. I just took the paint (it was powder coat) off with a "birds nest" wheel on a grinder which didn't take long.
guy153 is offline  
Likes For guy153:
Old 01-17-24, 10:16 AM
  #12  
Randomhead
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Posts: 24,388
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 3,687 Times in 2,510 Posts
I'm assuming a bird's nest wheel is called a "cup wheel" here in the states. I never had much luck with a grinder, always had to burn off the paint. Which isn't a good idea. I have a stack of tubes i want to get the paint off of. I was thinking about setting up a camping stove in the middle of the back yard and burning it off that way.
unterhausen is offline  
Likes For unterhausen:
Old 01-17-24, 11:00 AM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 954
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 321 Post(s)
Liked 263 Times in 212 Posts
Originally Posted by unterhausen
I'm assuming a bird's nest wheel is called a "cup wheel" here in the states. I never had much luck with a grinder, always had to burn off the paint. Which isn't a good idea. I have a stack of tubes i want to get the paint off of. I was thinking about setting up a camping stove in the middle of the back yard and burning it off that way.
I mean these things:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Removal-Gri.../dp/B08MVLHR87

They're very good at taking off the paint and only the paint. If you're actually stripping a complete frame for repainting (i.e. not cutting it up) then the work is all the tight bits you can't quite get to with the wheel.
guy153 is offline  
Old 01-17-24, 01:08 PM
  #14  
Randomhead
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Posts: 24,388
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 3,687 Times in 2,510 Posts
Interesting, I have some of those. I'll have to try it. The tubes I want to strip are cut out of frames already, so no hidden parts. Removing paint mechanically is much better than the alternatives
unterhausen is offline  
Likes For unterhausen:
Old 01-17-24, 07:49 PM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
Andrew R Stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 18,056

Bikes: Stewart S&S coupled sport tourer, Stewart Sunday light, Stewart Commuting, Stewart Touring, Co Motion Tandem, Stewart 3-Spd, Stewart Track, Fuji Finest, Mongoose Tomac ATB, GT Bravado ATB, JCP Folder, Stewart 650B ATB

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4195 Post(s)
Liked 3,837 Times in 2,295 Posts
I have to admit the whole angle grinder world is foreign to me. Andy
__________________
AndrewRStewart
Andrew R Stewart is offline  
Likes For Andrew R Stewart:
Old 01-18-24, 03:37 AM
  #16  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 954
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 321 Post(s)
Liked 263 Times in 212 Posts
Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart
I have to admit the whole angle grinder world is foreign to me. Andy
I know it's not the traditional framebuilder tool but I like it and use it for nearly everything. I don't have to worry about tube blocks because I can just hold a tube with one hand and cut it with the other (using a cutoff wheel). I mitre with templates and find it very quick and accurate just to sand up to the line with a 120-grit flap disk. Works better for me than filing. I also don't have to clamp the tube (and actually it helps to be able to roll it around a bit with one hand while holding the grinder in the other). I use the same 120-grit disks (when they're new) for sharpening tungsten electrodes. I also use it to clean up any flat parts like drop-outs ready for welding. And of course to remove tubes when modifying a frame or something has gone wrong.
guy153 is offline  
Old 01-18-24, 10:32 AM
  #17  
Randomhead
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Posts: 24,388
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 3,687 Times in 2,510 Posts
Angle grinders can be dangerous, so it's possible not having one is a good thing. I like to live dangerously, so I have 3. I recently got a cordless grinder. I have never used one on a frame though, I feel like my angle grinding game isn't up to something that aggressive. They are pretty useful for cleaning rust off of things before welding. Like our chimney cap that was rude enough to fall off.
unterhausen is offline  
Old 01-18-24, 01:57 PM
  #18  
blahblahblah chrome moly
 
bulgie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,985
Mentioned: 92 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1172 Post(s)
Liked 2,567 Times in 1,072 Posts
Originally Posted by guy153
I know it's not the traditional framebuilder tool but I like it and use it for nearly everything. I don't have to worry about tube blocks because I can just hold a tube with one hand and cut it with the other (using a cutoff wheel). I mitre with templates and find it very quick and accurate just to sand up to the line with a 120-grit flap disk. Works better for me than filing. I also don't have to clamp the tube (and actually it helps to be able to roll it around a bit with one hand while holding the grinder in the other). I use the same 120-grit disks (when they're new) for sharpening tungsten electrodes. I also use it to clean up any flat parts like drop-outs ready for welding. And of course to remove tubes when modifying a frame or something has gone wrong.
There's a youtuber who goes by something like The Fabricator. I watched his video on notching tubes, which he does for making roll cages for race cars. He notched with a flap wheel in an angle grinder, quite crudely compared to what I'm used to, and said something like "There perfect tube notch!" Looked worse than the worst miter I have ever done, but I have no doubt it's good enough for the thick stuff he makes rollbars from. Thin bike tube would warp all over as those big gaps pull closed.

I trust your standards are higher than his, I'm not lumping you in with him! Also I will grudgingly admit that my insistence on "water-tight" miters is overkill. I probably do let Perfect be the enemy of Good sometimes.
bulgie is offline  
Likes For bulgie:
Old 01-18-24, 06:03 PM
  #19  
Randomhead
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Posts: 24,388
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 3,687 Times in 2,510 Posts
I watch car guys doing miters just to make myself feel superior. Same with motorcycle guys brazing fillets.
unterhausen is offline  
Likes For unterhausen:
Old 01-18-24, 06:17 PM
  #20  
blahblahblah chrome moly
 
bulgie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,985
Mentioned: 92 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1172 Post(s)
Liked 2,567 Times in 1,072 Posts
Originally Posted by unterhausen
I watch car guys doing miters just to make myself feel superior. Same with motorcycle guys brazing fillets.
Yeah, pitiful, right?





OK, maybe some of 'em aren't so pitiful.

Last edited by bulgie; 01-18-24 at 06:22 PM.
bulgie is offline  
Likes For bulgie:
Old 01-18-24, 06:45 PM
  #21  
Randomhead
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Posts: 24,388
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 3,687 Times in 2,510 Posts
The video I have seen of the guy using that method has horrible miters, so I can still feel superior.
I'll admit I don't have the patience for it.
unterhausen is offline  
Likes For unterhausen:
Old 01-19-24, 08:39 AM
  #22  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 954
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 321 Post(s)
Liked 263 Times in 212 Posts
Originally Posted by bulgie
There's a youtuber who goes by something like The Fabricator. I watched his video on notching tubes, which he does for making roll cages for race cars. He notched with a flap wheel in an angle grinder, quite crudely compared to what I'm used to, and said something like "There perfect tube notch!" Looked worse than the worst miter I have ever done, but I have no doubt it's good enough for the thick stuff he makes rollbars from. Thin bike tube would warp all over as those big gaps pull closed.

I trust your standards are higher than his, I'm not lumping you in with him! Also I will grudgingly admit that my insistence on "water-tight" miters is overkill. I probably do let Perfect be the enemy of Good sometimes.
Yes and no If it's a straightforward mitre it's very good, like you can't see any light there and it's really touching all the way around. But, especially on some of my earlier frames, I have had some bigger gaps with some of the trickier spots, like at the DT/ST/BB shell that has a double-mitre. Also the first jig I made wasn't great. But I welded it anyway (I'm quite good at welding across gaps due to my often not great fit-up but have never had any significant distortion post-welding, although I was quite afraid of it.

Car people (working with thicker walled tube of course) tend to actually bevel back the cut edge a bit if they use a hole-saw. Not so there's a gap but at least somewhere for the weld to go. Some YouTubers I have seen making bike frames notch with a hole-saw and then don't knock it back at all. This means the tubes fit perfectly, but there's actually very thin metal at the joint. Then they weld it with "pulse and lay wire" which doesn't add much filler. I have my doubts about the strength of that. For welding there's nothing wrong with a tiny gap IME. You can even fill quite a big one and get away with it if you have the welding skills to do that. But it's all about the fun and satisfaction of trying to do the best job you can which for me does mean improving fit-up.
guy153 is offline  
Old 01-19-24, 02:05 PM
  #23  
blahblahblah chrome moly
 
bulgie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,985
Mentioned: 92 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1172 Post(s)
Liked 2,567 Times in 1,072 Posts
Originally Posted by guy153
Car people (working with thicker walled tube of course) tend to actually bevel back the cut edge a bit if they use a hole-saw. Not so there's a gap but at least somewhere for the weld to go. Some YouTubers I have seen making bike frames notch with a hole-saw and then don't knock it back at all. This means the tubes fit perfectly, but there's actually very thin metal at the joint.
I think it's widely agreed that you should knock back those thin feather edges for welding. Bikes too, not just "car people". No need to knock them back for brazing, doesn't matter much one way or the other because those thin edges don't hurt anything, but they don't add any strength to speak of either. I leave them on, since grinding them back (beyond just de-burring) would be an extra, unnecessary step. You can also start with the tube just a fraction too short, which results in a miter that looks similar to one that's had its feather edges ground back.

I'll never miter with an angle-grinder since I have at least 4 other ways to miter that are faster for me, and I think probably just a little more precise. Pretty sure I can have my miters done before you've even got your paper templates printed and taped on. But I have big expensive tools. 3 of my 4 ways (mill, lathe and belt-grinder set up for mitering) involve kilodollar expenditures and a certain amount of shop space that they take up, so they're not for everyone. Nice to have though, for things other than mitering.

My fourth way is filing, which I'm fast at because I made frames full-time that way for 2 or 3 years before we got a mill. No paper templates needed when you just "know" how the miter is supposed to look. Oh and you need the right sizes of half-round, that cut the correct radius "automatically".

I've told this story here a few times but here it is again: When we got a mill, I raced with Glenn Erickson, and he filed his faster than I got mine done on the mill. Maybe Glenn was a little faster than me at filing miters but I was close. I don't remember how many filed miters it took before I was good at it, that was 45 years ago. I don't think it was all that many though; I think the first time I did it (with expert supervision) was more than good enough, though of course slower than I got later with practice. I can't swear, from memory, that the accuracy was perfect, but I think they were pretty darn close since I was mostly making lugless tandems in those years, more demanding of miter accuracy than say lugged joints. We only got the mill because our tandems had one continuous way-oversized top tube that was pierced in the middle for the cap'n seat tube, which was smaller than the TT. That pierced hole was tricky and slow with a drill, die-grinder and files, piece of cake with the mill.

It's because of that experience filing miters that I think paper templates are a waste of time. Maybe useful for a first-timer, but after that they're slowing you down. With proper filing technique, the paper does nothing.
bulgie is offline  
Likes For bulgie:
Old 01-19-24, 07:45 PM
  #24  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 954
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 321 Post(s)
Liked 263 Times in 212 Posts
Originally Posted by bulgie

It's because of that experience filing miters that I think paper templates are a waste of time. Maybe useful for a first-timer, but after that they're slowing you down. With proper filing technique, the paper does nothing.
Agree that it's all about what you're used to. Personally I can get a better and faster mitre with a grinder than a file but I don't assume this applies to everyone. And I am still at the paper template stage (not a first-timer, but nowhere near as experienced as a lot of people either). Although I don't bother with it for narrower tubes, like the ends of stays and bridge tubes, because I am starting to get a bit more of a sense of what the shape should look like.

As for mechanical mitring I am using that for one thing: joining steerers to fork legs (for a segmented or a unicrown fork). I made a fairly robust jig for holding the arbour from a cheap "tube mitring" thing in and I can get a pretty decent cut that way. The angles for one of these are very tricky and you can't wrap paper around a curved fork leg if it's a unicrown.
guy153 is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.