Anyone tried making their own steel frame?

Home Forum Bike Forum Anyone tried making their own steel frame?

Viewing 27 posts - 41 through 67 (of 67 total)
  • Anyone tried making their own steel frame?
  • emanuel
    Member

    good stuff.
    You can get mtb specific lugs, ceeway has them, lm108 from memory.
    Get some practice in mitering (half round file, tube blocks and a vise is all you need)
    a good miter is key.

    Lugged is easier than brazed, Silver is easier than brass due to lower temp.plus it’s easier to file.
    make a full scale drawring,it helps.
    get as many built bits as possible, dropouts, etc.

    get some practice on scraps, the thicker the tubing the easier it is, you can get 1.2mm.
    the paterek manual is dated but has good advice.
    take your time, and remember good filing and a good paint job will make anything SEEM good-
    I’ve been apprenticing for over a year now and have learned more in that time than in the 15 years I’ve been cycling/mechaniking
    http://revanchebikeco.wordpress.com/

    Premier Icon mick_r
    Subscriber

    Tool envy 🙂

    It is great to be collecting everything into one thread – keep those pictures coming.

    I think the general lesson is that people improvise with the time and equipment they have available – which can range from a piece of string and a file to a full machine shop. Every method can produce good results.

    emanuel
    Member

    true that.it’s through improvisation that you progress.

    Macavity
    Member

    chunkymonkey

    If you do want to tig weld a frame then The Bicycle Academy might be able to help. Paul Burford (of BTR Fab) can teach tig welding thinwall tubes. Plus you can use the Sputnik frame fixture that they have, and the rest of the TBA workshop.

    http://www.thebicycleacademy.org/courses/tig-welding-masterclass/

    or you could learn to braze to a very high standard
    http://www.thebicycleacademy.org/about/fillet-brazing/

    If you do get a tig welder then its worth looking at the different types, since you will (probably) be looking at a minimum of HF start plus digital display.
    If you get a foot pedal then the digital display is not so important, but still useful to have.
    Foot pedals can add £150 maybe £200 onto the price of a machine. And not all foot pedals will give variable amperage control, some are just On/Off switches.
    Some cheap machines are surprisingly good and some machines are just no good for thin tubes. You need to be able to get good control at low amps, down to 20 amps.

    The torches that usually come with tig machines tend to be big and clumsy to use, but you can probably get a replacement WP9 (smaller) torch for £40 or £50.
    Not much is interchangable between different company’s machines. There is no standard plug type eg 7pin, 10pin etc plugs. So foot pedals and torches have to be machine specific.
    But gas lenses tend to be more generic, and worth getting for better gas coverage and cleaner welds.

    Also a cylinder of pure argon can be expensive.

    http://www.weldingtipsandtricks.com/tig-welding-bike.html

    ER70-S2 (in USA) = A15 (in the UK)

    This guy does a mix of tig and mig , but judge for yourself
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUnVeywtTXY

    Citizen Kane – Some nice pipe bending jigs there, so it can be done with a plumbers pipe bender, will just have to make up some rollers that fit the diameter of the pipe.

    Emanuel – I think I will buy the sliding dropouts from ceeway, I could probably make some, but will leave that for later 😉

    Macavity – Can you recommend a TIG welder? I think I will have a go on some scrap pipe first, if I’m no good I will go on that training course. Having looked at the video, it looks similar to Arc Welding which I did some of at uni, was pretty good at that. Interesting that the guy did not use a proper jig. Would be nice to get a TIG welder that can weld aluminium too but, they are a lot more expensive.

    I think my biggest problem is…. space! need to get rid of all the junk in the garage first. I will first design a frame on rattleCAD and get the angles, and start putting a jig together. I think that Bosch frame stuff would be the ideal start for the jig.

    Macavity
    Member

    If price is important then the R tech stuff seems to be unbeatable.
    http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/recommend-me-a-tig-welder-to-start-frame-building-please
    Even though the Rtech stuff does have all the features that you will want, it is a bit quirky.
    Normally you will set the max amperage that you want for fully depressed pedal, but when you plug the footpedal into the Rtech machine the digital display will stop showing the amperage. Not unique to Rtech but not really a problem either, just that some machines do give an indication of the max current that you are going to get if you press the pedal down fully BEFORE you go full throttle.

    If you are lucky you can maybe get something decent off ebay. But you really do need to have a go at tig welding first to see what is involved and what you are happy with.

    A machine with HF start is really the minimum, post-gas (adjustable 0-10seconds) for shiny welds, digital display if using the torch button/switch so that you get the precise current that you want (if you are used to a mig torch with a button in the torch then it will be easy to adapt to pressing the button on the tig torch), or get a foot pedal to control the current, slope-down / crater-fill is a good thing to have. Pulse is up to you but one-pulse-a-second is probably what most people prefer.
    There are other features that can be nice to have on a welder but if you do not have them then you learn to get by without.

    Macavity
    Member

    You can learn a lot from this guy
    Drew Guldalian
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/engincycles/

    emanuel
    Member

    chunky, re sliders.they’re good and will compensate for frame misalignement in the horiz. plane,but will be damned hard to file to compensate for misalignement in the vertical plane.
    I’d say build something easier first. a rack, a wheelbarrow,then an easy frame, lugged.
    don’t know much about tig as it’s all fillet br. and lugs here, but isn’t the equipment for brass cheaper?
    propane and oxygen, torch. you could make do with butane but I think you’ll be limited a bit.
    ask peter at ceeway for advice, or come over at velocipede salon.

    Premier Icon richmars
    Subscriber

    I think my biggest problem is…. space!

    Same here,that’s why I’m using the kitchen table in my first photo!

    bencooper
    Member

    chunky, re sliders.they’re good and will compensate for frame misalignement in the horiz. plane,but will be damned hard to file to compensate for misalignement in the vertical plane.

    Sliders are actually harder – normal dropouts only need to me straight for one axle position, sliders need to be straight over the full range of the slider. In other words, you need to get the sliders perfectly parallel, which can be a faff.

    The equipment for brazing can be cheaper, but gas can be more complicated to get and you have cylinder rental, so it’s much of a muchness cost-wise, unless you’re looking at a higher-end AC/DC welder (My ESAB was over £3500 with the pedal).

    emanuel
    Member

    true that, I’d not considered the possibility probability of misalignement in other than horizontal and vertical planes.Got three CX frames coming up with the ceeway sliders so I’m sure I’ll familiarize myself…

    bencooper
    Member

    Get yourself a spare set of the alloy inserts, then you can bung ’em in the jig and braze up without trashing the customer’s inserts – otherwise they get a little singed 😉

    Macavity
    Member

    On the subject of getting a tig welder. Some welding supplies companies have got tig machines that you can hire, just depends where you are and what you can get.
    One of the slight disadvantages will be that the welder will most likely have a big heavy WP26 torch. Not really a problem, just not ideal, its still possible to make a frame with one. It will be what a lot of people learned to tig weld with, so its a good thing to start with to see if tig welding is for you.
    If you were to buy a machine, and than decided that tig is not for you or you have successfully finished using it, then as long as it is a decent machine, you will be able to sell it easily on ebay.
    Or, if you get a decent DC machine, but then decide to upgrade to AC/DC you might be able to trade it in at a welding supplies company.
    There seems to be a fairly good demand for decent secondhand tig machines.

    emanuel
    Member

    We’ll be doing one for me as well, so guess who’s getting the singed inserts..
    There’s nothing a bit of filing won’t fix tho.

    Macavity
    Member

    As Ben points out to weld aluminum you need AC and then it starts to get more complicated and expensive.

    In this video it looks like he is using a water-cooled torch (WP20). A water cooler and good inverter AC machine is a lot of money.
    http://www.weldingtipsandtricks.com/tig-welding-aluminum-bike-frame.html
    Welding with AC (aluminium) is also very noisy , probably explains the music.

    citizen kane
    Member

    Another really useful tool is the expanding heatsink

    Hi All,

    Would i really need a water cooled torch? the welding runs are not that long…

    I would like to get a AC/DC tig, but for now would a 160A DC TIG do?

    Regarding the dropouts, i like the look of the sliging ones, but they are heavy, taking inspiration from the Curtis frames… but maybe i should go with horizintal slot dropouts.

    If i was to get a TIG, how would i put the cable mounts on? they seem to be brazed on usually… maybe getting the tools to braze is the better option? Though i really want a TIG welder!

    Having a lathe, i can skim the head tube externally and BB internally to reduce weight, is this worth doing? I have seen steel headtubes that have been profiled to save weight.

    Maybe i should learn to walk before i try running and just make a bog standard easy frame but i like a challenge.

    Having a lathe, i can skim the head tube externally and BB internally to reduce weight, is this worth doing? I have seen steel headtubes that have been profiled to save weight.

    Headtubes (that I’ve seen) are plain gauge tube, with a ring pressed on the top and bottom and brazed in place.

    Macavity
    Member

    You would not NEED a water-cooled torch its just a nice to have if you are getting an AC/DC machine.

    Macavity
    Member

    “I have seen steel headtubes that have been profiled to save weight”
    A bit like double butting. Yes it does save weight.

    For tig welding a steel bike frame a 160Amp DC machine will be fine. You are unlikely to ever need more than about 80 Amps anyway.

    Macavity
    Member

    http://www.weldingtipsandtricks.com/welding-4130.html

    http://www.lincolnelectric.com/en-us/support/welding-how-to/pages/chrome-moly-detail.aspx

    4130 is just a type of cromoly tube similar to bike frame tubes. Just that steel bike frame tubes are very thin walled. So the tig machine that you use has to be capable of a stable reliable arc at around 20 to 35 amps

    Macavity
    Member

    Don Ferris of Anvil has more experience than most on tig welding bike frames.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20061015205457/http://www.anvilbikes.com/?news_ID=22&catID=3

    emanuel
    Member

    How’s your project going?
    thought someone might like this:
    http://revanchebikeco.wordpress.com/2014/01/26/shiny-sunny-sundays-columbus-spirit-road/



    It came out allright.

Viewing 27 posts - 41 through 67 (of 67 total)

The topic ‘Anyone tried making their own steel frame?’ is closed to new replies.