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Making frames the old fashioned way...

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Making frames the old fashioned way...

Old 09-14-09, 04:26 PM
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SoreFeet
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Making frames the old fashioned way...

I've seen all the stuff on the net about building a jig...Yikes...no!...I've seen expensive ready plug and play jigs...No freaking way...

And I've seen very few photos on the net of hand built frames with no jig. Yes this is art...This is what I want to do.

Why is it such a big deal not using a jig? I mean isn't it simply a matter of more time involved? I don't care I'm not a pro but I want to build my first frame out of recycled tubing from various bikes.

So is it possible? I have access to a torch from my uncle. I can by brass and flux/new regulator for the sake of saftey. And yes I will have a large fire extinguisher/gloves/mask etc...
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Old 09-14-09, 04:31 PM
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That could work fine for bikes meant to roll around at low speed, freekbikes and the like.

The resulting frames may not be as good for high-speed handling, unless you're really good or really lucky, however. Shifting might not be as nice if the rear triangle's not well aligned, etc.
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Old 09-14-09, 05:00 PM
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I built my first frame (30+ years ago) with little more than a good bench vise, hacksaw, a few files
a straight edge and a ball of string for checking alignment. It can be done, a little more easily if you pin the joints.
I wouldn't call it any more of an art that working with a fixture however.
I'd seriously consider buying a new tubeset however.
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Old 09-14-09, 05:07 PM
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I've built over 1000 frames using jigs, and ~6 without. There is no reason why you can't build a straight frame without a jig. Just be careful. A jig doesn't guarantee straightness, almost every pro has an alignment table.

Don't use recycled tubing. You can practice with it and make tall bikes, but making a new bike out of recycled tubing makes no sense.
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Old 09-15-09, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
That could work fine for bikes meant to roll around at low speed, freekbikes and the like.

The resulting frames may not be as good for high-speed handling, unless you're really good or really lucky, however. Shifting might not be as nice if the rear triangle's not well aligned, etc.
You obviously are not a framebuilder.
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Old 09-15-09, 12:26 AM
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The OP's building his first frame with recycled tubing from various bikes. It just screams freakbike builder to me. I personally would not trust something with that tubing source at 45mph. I suppose I could be jumping to conclusions, however. OP could be a great welder and fantastic at frame alignment, for all I know.

I'm thinking great practice bike. Grocery getter, perhaps. Race bikes to come at a later date....
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Old 09-17-09, 11:50 AM
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Get a new tubeset! Not all that expensive, and taking out old tubes will take forever and cause you a headache.

Yes you can build without a jig. You can build a flawlessly aligned frame without a jig, I still build jigless every now and again just to re-learn the basics.

The rear triangle is the challange FYI.
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Old 09-17-09, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I've built over 1000 frames using jigs, and ~6 without. There is no reason why you can't build a straight frame without a jig. Just be careful. A jig doesn't guarantee straightness, almost every pro has an alignment table.

Don't use recycled tubing. You can practice with it and make tall bikes, but making a new bike out of recycled tubing makes no sense.
Not meaning to hijack this thread, but what bikes do you build? What's the name of the shop?
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Old 09-19-09, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by SoreFeet View Post
I've seen all the stuff on the net about building a jig...Yikes...no!...I've seen expensive ready plug and play jigs...No freaking way...

And I've seen very few photos on the net of hand built frames with no jig. Yes this is art...This is what I want to do.

Why is it such a big deal not using a jig? I mean isn't it simply a matter of more time involved? I don't care I'm not a pro but I want to build my first frame out of recycled tubing from various bikes.

So is it possible? I have access to a torch from my uncle. I can by brass and flux/new regulator for the sake of saftey. And yes I will have a large fire extinguisher/gloves/mask etc...
Why not ?

I built my own jig in my basement when I was a kid using a drill press, aluminum plate, and a little creativity.
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Old 09-22-09, 02:53 PM
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Main thing with jigs is achieving quality with speed. A lot of DIY jigs will guarantee a slow build with low accuracy, or a huge investment of time and good quality, etc...

On the internet it seems as though most of the sensible information comes from pros. People who build a lot of frames and write about it on the net, normally have to sell them just to keep going. Pros have different needs, so if you read about their build style it will vary from what an amateur might reasonably work with.

When it comes to making a decent frame jigless it also matters what else is missing in the equation. In the OP's case, decent tubing. What about tools, welding or brazing skills, etc... Just not having a jig is pretty unimportant, if you have a lot of options in the rest of your skillset and equipment.
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