Day three was a break from filing which was badly needed at this point and it was time to start fillet brazing. We spent the morning practicing on various pieces of flat metal and then progressed to brazing tubes to flat metal and then onto brazing tubes to each other. There was no rush with this and Bryan was more than happy to let us practice as long as we felt we needed.
In the afternoon it was then time to tack and braze our own frames and this is when my nerves kicked in! All fine doing it on practice tubing but when it's your own bike it's a different story! I found the tacking of the frame to be the most difficult for me for some reason. This was done in the jig and left to cool and time for another tea break. Once cooled we then put the tacked frames into a workstand and got ready for fillet brazing the full frame. I chose to fillet braze my frame instead of lugs because the tube sizes that I wanted it wasn't going to be possible. By dinner time we had fully brazed front triangles which felt like a great achievement. Once we had dinner, the filing once again started.
Day 4 started with more filing and this continued for a while. We then started picking out the tubes for the rear triangle. As I wanted large tyre clearance it I had to keep checking my selection of tubes to ensure that they would clear the 40c tyre. The rest of the day was then spent measuring, cutting, mitring and checking fit at all times in the jig. Once ready we then tacked and brazed the rear drops out the drive stays. Once this was cooled and alignment was checked we then tacked the drive stays
Then more filing proceeded for the rest of the evening
Day 5 the plan was to finish the rear triangle and any braze ons for the frame. The start was of the day was meant to be brazing the drive stays but on checking my alignment and chainset clearance I could see I had put one of my drive stays out too far but thankfully it was only tacked so not too difficult to fix. Once this was sorted we then brazed on the drive stays. We then measured up the seat stays and decided whether or not we wanted to use Topeyes or mitre the tubes around the seat tube. I decided on Topeyes partially for looks and partially for the less mitring they involved!
By the evening of day 5 I then had a fully brazed frame including a brace I put near the rear brake and a bridge. These we both surprisingly easy in the grand scheme of things to mitre and braze.
The filing continued long into the night then.
Day 6 was then the day to get everything else finished! I needed to braze on the cable stops which was done with silver which heats up and flows alot quicker than brass done so it's a very quick process. Silver is also a lot more expensive so only very little is needed on these. We then continued with filing and then we reamed and faced the headtube, seattube and bottom bracket.
Once all of this was done we continued with the filing and sanding as much as we could. I found around the bottom bracket the most difficult for obvious reasons as it has more tubes. I could help but do a quick mock up with my fork and wheels in the workshop to see how everything looked
Pic of the three frames that were made on the course
Managed to leave the workshop about 4 and head back to London in the hope of beating rush hour. It was a great course and a great experience. Bryan was very knowledgable and on hand at all times with any queries or help that we may need. I would definitely recommend the course to anyone who is interested in building their own frame. Having met some of the people who have done the course at Bespoked the best expression I heard from someone on their third build was that it was like tattoos, once you get one you want to keep getting more. I would definitely love to build more frames but would really like to find a welding course in London to do so I can improve before the next frame. Hopefully I can find one over the summer to do and my plan is to then build another frame at the end of the summer.
My frame is currently waiting in the hallway to be dropped off to Armourtex in the morning to be powdercoated. Will post some more pics once the build begins. So far I've got Hope Pro 4 wheels, Shimano 105 groupset, Chris King Headset