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northboundtrain 05-30-08 10:41 AM

Help me get started

I'd like to build my first frame -- for a steel touring/commuting bike. The bike will be for my wife who's 5'-4" and weighs 100 lbs, so the frame will be in the 46-48 cm range. I want to do this as simply and inexpensively as possible, but still get professional results. I own a mig welder and oxy-acetylene torch and I'm adept at using both. Since I don't currently have tig capability, I've narrowed my options to lugged constrution or fillet brazing. I'm pretty confident that I can build a good plywood/angle iron jig. Some questions:

1) What are the general pros and cons of lugged vs. fillet constrution?
2) Where could I get lugs for a more relaxed touring geometry -- 70-72 degrees for head tube and seat tube angles?
3) There are so many tubing options from several different suppliers. What's a good choice for a stout frame that will be carrying some additional weight when fully loaded for touring?
4) What's the best brazing rod and flux combination to use, depending on whether I do lugged or fillet construction, and where can I get them? My local welding supplier seems to know nothing about brazing.
5) What the minimum of other tools I'll need -- stuff like bottom bracket chaser/facer, etc.
6) Finally is there a book I "need" to get, or can I pull off my first frame without that additional investment?

I really appreciate any help you all can offer.

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