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Hey I was wondering if anyone could give me some pointers on building my own frame(welding). I know how to arc weld, but I don't know things like how to get the hub clamps on the back, bottom bracket chamber, front head tube, etc. Does anyone know where to get these things? Possibly a frame building distributor? Also, what size i best for jumping? Could I get some dimensions of the main parts with that if you could get them? Any other tips or reccomendations, feel free to tell me. Thanks! :cool:
 

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I am the owl
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bentimby said:
Any other tips or reccomendations, feel free to tell me. Thanks! :cool:
Recommendation #1: just because you can weld, don't think you will just slap a frame together easily.

Recommendation #2: Join the frame builders mailing list and sit back and read it for about a month before you even consider asking a question. You'll learn a lot this way. Then search the archives before you ask a question, because nearly all of the beginner questions have been asked many times before.
http://www.phred.org/mailman/listinfo/framebuilders

Recommendation #3: Check this site, this guy posts to the frame builders list and is an old timer who really knows his stuff.
http://www.classicsteel.net/

Another good site: http://frameforum.net/

edit: fixed my broken english!
 

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Give it a try....

I know you didn't say wanted to go into production building your own frames but I certainly can appreciate the fun and excitement riding something YOU built. (I've built 3 kayaks and have paddled them across a 20mile ocean channel to Catalina Is.)

You might want to look at 'Bicycling Science' by Frank Rowland Whitt and David Gordon Wilson (ISBN 0-262-73060-X).

At one time I looked into doing this as well but gave up since I realized the cost of the tools that you already have was too much. Plus, a lot of the time spent is on building the rigging to just do the welding. Also, finding suppliers for all of the tubing and joinery was too difficult.

Best of luck and HAVE FUN!
Jim
 

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Retired at 39
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Good on ya!

Don't let anyone discourage you. Remember:
"Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic."
Peace.
 

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Lots of good advice here already. I'd add that you might want to try to find some local home builders. I know we have a few guys around here that have an incredible jig that they co-op. It really cuts down on the cost of getting started.

Best piece of advice I think I could add is don't try to reinvent the wheel. There is a lot to learn, but there is also a wealth of information available. Study, study, study.

Good luck! It's a long road ahead.

~Drew
 

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Get ready for a lot of work!

Do you TIG weld? If not (if you're "arc" welding with a stick or MIG setup) you'll need to learn a new skill. For an experienced expert welder, it is just BARELY possible to weld bike tubing with a MIG. For anyone else, forget it. TIG is expensive and hard. But it's really the only way to go unless you want to braze your frames - which, if you're doing a DJ bike, isn't easy either (you'll have to fillet braze or modify lugs to get the geometry you want).

My sense (given that you don't know the names of pretty basic things like bottom bracket shells and dropouts) is that you need to spend a year or so reading up on what you want to do and practicing before you try building anything to ride.

Try to find a local framebuilder that will let you hang around and learn in exchange for shop-rat work or something. And read everything you can get your hands on. Good luck!

-Walt
 

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And last, but not least, there's

http://www.bikeschool.com

If I typed that correctly, it's the site for United Bicycle Institute and they have a few different framebuilding classes. Pay your money, learn how it's done, and emerge unscathed with a frame that YOU built.

There are others who offer classes, but UBI is most prolific.
 

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Frame building school in New England

I'm thinking of venturing in the same direction.

There is a place in Worcester MA that will teach you to build your own frame (road) and you can take it home.

www.hottubes.com

I joined the mailing list and there is a ton of information, but there are about 35-50 replies a day. I've gone and talked with a builder in my area as well, but he isn't looking to pass the torch on, or apprentice, kinda sad really.

Go to google, there is so much information out there.

I also bought the paterek manual, $85- from www.henryjames.com

good luck
 

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go to school

I built 20 or so frames before I went to UBI, I wish I had just started there, no regrets mind you but If I had gone to school to begin with I would have save a ton of money, time, and energy. Building a bike at a frame school will give you a start with a strait, safe, and good riding bike.
good luck, cheers, Wade
 
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