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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am considering trying to weld and build my own frame. What do you guys think. I know it is a little bit impractical and i probably wont do it, but I want to learn more about it.
Where would i get the tubing?

-dM
 

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As for tubing, you can buy tubes from Henry James, one of the most reputable and respected sources for frame building materials and tools.

http://henryjames.com/

Don't be fooled by the boring and simple looking site, they have everything you need there. If you want to guesstimate the cost of the tubes, look at this page, they have kit prices:

http://henryjames.com/ttkits.html
 

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im definitely going to be doing this, im going to clemson university next year and im going to put some of my resources to use there and build one. Would it be possible to make a frame kig that i could just poor liquid aluminum into so then there would be so welds? i think that would be cool looking i dunno about how effective it would be though
 

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laxguy86 said:
I am considering trying to weld and build my own frame. What do you guys think. I know it is a little bit impractical and i probably wont do it, but I want to learn more about it.
Where would i get the tubing?

-dM
Here are some resources to help you
http://frameforum.net/forums/index.php?

look up the sticky for Suzy Jackson's web page. She did it all from scratch and came out with an awesome frame. There is also another link to a guy that built his own with little to no formal instruction

Go to the framebuilder's listserv and spend about a week searching through the archives

http://www.phred.org/mailman/listinfo/framebuilders

Just don't be a fred and send a post saying "I want to build a frame, tell me what to do." After scanning through the archives you will have a general idea of how to start.

There are very few books out there.
One is out of print by Talbot. Inter library loan may find it for you, otherwise it commands a premium price online and ebay. It has info geared towards a hobby one-off builder.

The Paterk manual
http://www.pacifier.com/~tpaterek/index.htm
is more geared towards production but it is more available and newer.

There are a few schools for frame building
UBI is the most well known
Yamguchi
Mint Cycles
Hot Tubes


It's doable without formal instruction as Suzy jackson has proven, but it also looks like a hard road.
 

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madhatter07 said:
im definitely going to be doing this, im going to clemson university next year and im going to put some of my resources to use there and build one. Would it be possible to make a frame kig that i could just poor liquid aluminum into so then there would be so welds? i think that would be cool looking i dunno about how effective it would be though
That would be cast aluminum, which would be heavy and fragile.
 

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skihillguy said:
I think thats very cool you wish to build ur own frame. Please keep us updated as to how it goes.
I just started making my own designs, although they are more like copied already good designs.
Specialized Demo 9
Specialized P.3
Foes Fly
 

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Its my understanding that framebuilding is somewhat capital intensive. Check out this site: http://www.anvilbikes.com/

They sell frame jigs and other tools necessary to get started. A couple thousand just for the jig, not to mention a welding machine and a mitering machine, etc.

There is also some how-to stuff here: http://www.anvilbikes.com/story.php?catID=3

You might want to check out a framebuilding class. Some of the mechanics schools offer them.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I think welding a frame might be a bit out of my league.
Although this refers more to road bikes, anybody have any input as far as building my own lugged frame? I understand these are soddered and are probably easier to do.
Thanks for all the input.

-dM
 

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Trek used to lug their steel MTB frames, and many great current MTBS are lugged (see oswald cycles and vanilla cycles). Check out the suggestion above - Suzy's page. Its at the framebuilder's site under the beginners forum. It looks like she did the whole thing pretty bare bones. I feel somewhat inspired to try it myself.
 

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Here's what you need.

Sounds like the budget isn't high here, so why don't you try building some townie/chopper type bikes first? You can do it with scrounged materials and a super cheapo welding machine - probably budget under $200 for everything.

You can buy the book here:
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0071422676/102-1415474-9931300?v=glance

The guy also has a website:
http://www.atomiczombie.com/plans.htm

Another thing to keep in mind is that if you only want to copy an existing bike, you might be better off just buying and riding that bike, and putting your energy into something else. Your first few bikes will be crap. There's just no way around it, unless you spend huge $ to attend UBI or sweep the floor for a local framebuilder for months.

So have some fun with some junk first, and if your first few tries aren't so hot, just cut 'em up and start over. Build bikes that you don't have any performance expectations for. Grocery getters. You can usually find piles of old bike frames at the dump or local recycling center - almost all of those tubes can be reused.

If you find that you've got a knack for it, or you want to move up to doing a "serious" frame, then call up Hank at Henry James and get some tubes, lugs, etc.

-Walt
 
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