All these bloody framebuilders eh

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  • Poppin' up everywhere!

    Anyways, I thought I would start a thread to record a bit of the very amateur framebuilding that i've been doing out of my shed. It's been a very steep learning curve trying to figure everything out and I thought getting a bit of it down might mean someone else saves some time not making the mistakes I have made!

    I have, for reasons I still haven't figured out, been tig welding my frames. I did a course at the bicycle academy just over a year ago, where i learnt to do all the stuff... fillet brazing, filing etc. when I got home I built up the frame and was super syked, as you do, rode it a bunch and then realised I wanted to build more. To this day I have no clue why, but i bought a TIG welder.

    Why not oxy-propane, or oxy-acetylene you ask? Excellent question, the only answer I can conjure up is clearly i must like to make things difficult for myself. Tig was the more expensive option by a couple hundred squids for sure, so that wasn’t it.

    I very quickly realised that TIG is damn hard and that Jody guy makes it look piss easy. It took awhile but eventually i got there and stopped blasting holes in tubing, took a few months though. I also built a jig, it’s well and truly plagued with useability and other issues, but it just about manages.
    Part of the reason it's a bit crap is i used a bunch of 3d printed parts that aren't super rigid, and so overall the jig suffers on the rigidity department. However I just started a new job, with access to a mill, so i will be making a load of new parts in due course out of aluminium, these should improve the rigidity.

  • The last frame I built is a fixed gear commuter, capacity for fat ish tyres (35c), slack geo for offroad commutes, and that's about it. Super basic, tubing set was cheap as chips to keep the cost down. I made a few mistakes and learnt a lot about applying tig practice to an actual frame. There is a big difference between welding little practice joints at the bench, and real welding on the frame. It's much harder to negotiate the chainstays and seat stays than I thought it would be :).

    The one major mistake I made on this frame was putting the st/ss cluster a bit too high on the seat tube, leaving little space for a clamp or slot. So i had to make a low profile clamp from some tubing I had around. The seat tube slot is a bit short, but thats that, if it explodes... it explodes.

    I’ve put up a few photos I took along the way, ill record the next frame in a bit more detail as I progress with it.

    The next frame will be a tt bike i reckon, with dropped seat stays, 44mm headtube and probably an isp. I’ve always fancied a proper tt bike, having done tts on my track bike for ages now, im feeling like more gears. I have loosely decided on tubing, but i need to have a think about how low i want to go with the seat stays and what tube i will need to facilitate that. I'm thinking reynolds might have a long butt seat tube i can use. The scribble below gives a rough idea of what i want to do.


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  • moar


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  • Ill take some nicer shots of it, but here is the frame all built up


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  • next frame...Roughly


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  • Holy seat tube angle Batman!

    Great job though; keep going.

  • Excellent work, subbed.

  • Beautiful work already..TT bike would look excellent with an aero profile down tube.
    My lottery win dream bike is a Rob English TT bike.

  • Looks awesome, as does your road bike. Is that the thomson stem i sold you? Glad to be part of it in someway!

  • That's super rad!

  • haha yeah, the other issue i had was a bit of slippage with part of the jig, which i only noticed post tacking. This lead to the seat angle being a bit extreme, but somehow it rides pretty nicely still so i'll claim i was aiming for that :)

  • thanks, Rob english's frames are amazing, definitely something to aspire to!

  • Hey! yeah thats the stem :)

  • Fantastic, really great to see other people just diving in and making frames. Looking forward to seeing the next frame!

  • Well i havent been doing much framebuilding because i got into sewing, so ive been making some bags for the bikes

    I also got some photos of the frame built up and ready for the dunwich dynamo tonight. Photos are a bit meh but you get the idea, also featured is a bag I made this week and a wahoo mount I made this morning when I realised my out front mount ain't gonna fit around the bag!. It’s a bit ugly but it’ll work

    If anyone’s going shout if you see me i’m always up for a chat!

  • pics


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  • painted!

    thanks @freewheely for the wheels


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  • also the tubing came for the next frame

    fat downtube is exciting


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  • Awesome man, excited to see the next one!

  • Which tig did you buy?

    Frame looks great. Love the GPS mount.

  • I deliberated a bunch but ended up getting an Rtech one

    https://www.r-techwelding.co.uk/r-tech-t­ig-mma-welder-dc-160a-digital-240v/

    I really like it,this is my first tho so i also have nothing to compare it to. However it is easy to use and works great, no issues at all. Has a 3 year warranty as well. The customer service was also really good, by this point i have spent a significant amount at rtech and no complaints, occasionally had to ring them and couldnt be more helpful. Overall pretty chuffed with it. It didnt come with a pedal tho, which is vital, i also got a new torch as the stock one was clunky as anything.

    So while the welder is £500 ish, there was another few hundred in torch/pedal/gear/consumables etc. These should be considered for sure as they make up a significant expense as well

  • thanks, Same! :)

  • Thanks. I've been deliberating over getting one myself for a while. Nice to have a recommendation.

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All these bloody framebuilders eh

Posted by Avatar for Biggles567 @Biggles567

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