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Single Speed Junkie
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
While I have wanted to give frame building a go for many years I just don't have the resources to really pull this off. However I got the idea of customizing some lugs many year back after seeing some of the custom lugs that a builder "Bob Brown I believe" had done.

Since I really don't know where to begin, However I know where I want to end up if I take on this project. I'd like a 29er with the ability to run wide tires for attacking snow or summer trails. If I track back from the end goal I'm sure there are several steps taking everything into account such as ridability, tubing choice, geometry, and the like. I would just be interested in customizing the lugs by filing them to shape before final fabrication. Looks like in typing this I'm starting to ask and fabricate more questions than originally intended.

Where would be a good starting point for finding some lugs where I could start hand filing them with an end goal of having a frame out of the process?
 

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crux said:
While I have wanted to give frame building a go for many years I just don't have the resources to really pull this off. However I got the idea of customizing some lugs many year back after seeing some of the custom lugs that a builder "Bob Brown I believe" had done.

Since I really don't know where to begin, However I know where I want to end up if I take on this project. I'd like a 29er with the ability to run wide tires for attacking snow or summer trails. If I track back from the end goal I'm sure there are several steps taking everything into account such as ridability, tubing choice, geometry, and the like. I would just be interested in customizing the lugs by filing them to shape before final fabrication. Looks like in typing this I'm starting to ask and fabricate more questions than originally intended.

Where would be a good starting point for finding some lugs where I could start hand filing them with an end goal of having a frame out of the process?
www.bikelugs.com the internet is a wonderful thing! off to polish metal, steve.
 

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Premium Member
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Talk to the builder first.

Crux -

For your project, you'll almost certainly need a set of Pacenti Slant-6 lugs (the only ones I know of that are close to the right angles to build a 29er). But I'm no lug expert, so I think your best course of action would be to talk to the builder you want to do the final fabrication, and find out if they A) are cool with you modifying the lugs, and B) can help you pick out appropriate lugs so that you don't waste your time carving up something that won't work with your frame geometry.

I'm almost positive you'll want a set of the Pacenti lugs, but it doesn't hurt to confirm, and get the ball rolling with your chosen builder before you start cutting up metal.

Get ready for some tired fingers!

-Walt
 

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Single Speed Junkie
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3,116 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Walt, thanks for the reply. I really appreciate your insight and advice. I might have a few builders in mind and see where they would draw the line in modifying some lugs.

I can appreciate the tired fingers comment. A few years back I custom carved a walking stick with a small x-acto blade for the wife. I had bloody thumbs for about a month while in the process of carving that thing.
 

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Who turned out the lights
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Carving/filing/polishing lugs is not all that difficult in and of itself. Doing it right is a little more difficult. A big part is having an idea of how much you can file off and where, so that you're not leaving yourself locations where you're going to make a little can opener on the tube or file so much off the lug that it's not very useful any more. Please don't take me as an expert, but I have filed/cut/polished a set of Slant6 lugs. It's a lot of work, but it's fun.

Based on suggestions I read somewhere, buy a 1" dowel rod at the hardware store and wrap it in electrical tape until the lug fits tightly onto it. Clamp the dowel in your vise and go to town. I used a combination of a hacksaw, a dremel and some needle files to get the shapes I wanted. I drew my lines out with a sharpie. If you get the stainless lugs, buy 3M sanding pads and attack it with your air tools to buff that sucker out, along with plenty of emery cloth. Have fun.
 

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Bike Dork
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I built a single-speed frame using Kirk's Slant-6 lugs, now called Llewellyn XL compact lugs. They won't build a 29er unless you want to cut the lugs apart to change the angles or mind having a 15" high BB. They're also a pretty minimalist lugs to start with and aren't really conductive to carving. If you want carveable go with his Artisan lugs, lots of meat there.
 

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Bike Dork
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That should be pre-made "lugs limit." I've seen a bunch of the old-timers build custom lugs from tubing. It's like building two frames, but if that's the look you want it can be done. The most interesting one I ever heard of was over 5 years ago and they built a full front triangle with the right angles and big enough tubing tigged together then cut it apart. In the end they laid brass over the tig, carved the lugs, and then silver brazed the frame. I think it as discussed on the framebuilders listserve if someone what's to search.
 

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True

With enough work, you can make a lot of crazy things happen.

I think PVD's point is well taken, though. In practical terms, if what you want to do (as per the OP) is just carve some lugs, rather than fabricate them from scratch (or have them custom cast), there are some limits based on what's out there. 29ers and lugs aren't typically a good combo, though it can be done.

-Walt

swift said:
If we lived in a black and white world, I'd agree. As it is, I believe imagination and ability are the limiting factors. :thumbsup:
 
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