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questions for beginning framebuilding

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questions for beginning framebuilding

Old 10-20-09, 12:13 AM
  #1  
luno-pdx
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questions for beginning framebuilding

a couple of questions... i asked them in another thread but got no response, so i'm making a thread.

do i need a jig? i want to make more than a few bike frames, and possibly sell one or two at some point (after a ton of practice obviously). i want to make bike frames out of not only lugged steel, but aluminum as well. i also want to use oversized and aero-shaped tubing (after a ton of practice, obviously). will i need a jig to be able to weld aluminum frames, and will i need a special / weird jig for the oversized/shaped tubing?

if i do need a jig, what should my jig be? surface plate + v blocks? fixture? will they both be able to hold aero tube profiles?

i really want to build a frame out of aero aluminum tubing. this is obviously not how i'm going to start with building frames, i am learning TIG welding first and will practice mitering 1,000,000 aluminum and steel joints before i try a frame. but what's needed to build bikes with weird tube profiles, out of aluminum no less?
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Old 10-20-09, 12:22 AM
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unterhausen
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The Anvil jigs use the ID of the tubes and bb to locate the main triangle. The only problem with aero tubing would be the seat tube unless you are going to use a round seat post. In that case you could set that up before you make the main triangle. Even then, the cone that locates the top of the seat tube may hold the aero tubing properly.

If you want to build your own, you could use v-blocks set on edge.

You don't need a jig, but it makes life a lot easier, particularly if you are in production.

There are plenty of pictures on the web of people's frame jigs. There is a thread on mtbr forums right now about that.
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Old 10-20-09, 08:45 AM
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The only equipment you truly need to make a well aligned frame is a surface plate/alignment table and well trued wheels. Explaining how to do that is beyond the scope of a forum post and best shown to you by someone who knows how to do it. A jig will make all of this easier and faster, but not all jigs are well aligned so you'll probably need the surface plate anyway.

I highly recommend taking a class from an experienced builder. Yes, builders do learn on their own, but a class greatly shortens the learning curve and will save you money in the end by avoiding costly trial and error. I'd also avoid aero tubes, very thin tubing, or stainless steel for your first frame. You have a tremendous amount to learn in your first frame and it's best to keep things as simple as possible. I'd go with basic round, chromoly steel tubing on the first bike, not aluminum. Steel is much more forgiving of beginner mistakes.
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Old 10-20-09, 11:02 PM
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kaboomex
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Hey there luno,

Are you in PDX? Why not enroll in UBI? They just opened up a branch in Portland recently. Check here.
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Old 10-22-09, 01:41 PM
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"I highly recommend taking a class from an experienced builder. Yes, builders do learn on their own, but a class greatly shortens the learning curve and will save you money in the end by avoiding costly trial and error."

Very true, the only thing is that your objectives are not all that well aligned with a pro. Pros are relatively conservative, they care squat about home builders for the most part, or are scared of them, and they have different objectives and needs. Beginers are often drawn to some side issue in frame building and if you really want to pursue it you can end up on your own.

Paterek pretty much has a jigless approach. Sure he uses 20 jigs, but his method could almost be jigless. If you want to weld and sell bikes I would buy an anvil jig as soon as possible, it will pay for itself, and Don is a very useful ally.

The purpose of jigs is to help you establish tube lengths, help with establishing accuracy, hold them in correct relationship for joining, speed up your process. Most home made jigs don't have the accuracy, adjustability, format, to do any of that stuff. Ask yourself what your jig actually does other than look like a jig, before investing time and money in it. I built a home made jig using two milling machine tables, at least it is accurate, but it sure isn't fast. The good thing is that it is a wonderful base for just about anything, on the slow. Currently building wheels on it.
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Old 10-25-09, 12:11 PM
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luno-pdx
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OK, thanks for the info. to clear some things up:

i am definitely not going to build my first frame out of aero/thin wall / stainless tubing. i realize it'll get practice to get heat control down.

"Don is a very useful ally". Errr.. who is Don?

I am in PDX. I would take the UBI courses, but my family is having enough trouble keeping the lights on, so I figured i'd go it alone (i.e. no classes, learn from experience type of thing). however, it would definitely be the easiest to take one of those courses and that's probably what i'll end up doing.

i suppose for TIG i will eventually want to get one of those anvil jigs. again, money issues.

hmm.
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