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    #16
    When I think of frame building, this image comes to mind - it's from Jeff Lyons, who built me a lugged frame about 40 years ago:


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    Note the nun for "proper motivation", and the flexall for the aftermath.
    BBSHD / BBS02: Nexus / Alfine 8: 1 2 3 4 5 6, Rohloff: 1 | PHOTON: Alfine 8: 1 2

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    • commuter ebikes
      commuter ebikes commented
      Editing a comment
      That is a classic image. It looks like the frame builder has really mastered lugs. Beautiful work.

      I had never heard of Flexall, but I see that it is a gel for pain relief.

    #17
    This is the first of a comprehensive series of videos on machine shop fun: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7Uv...69869E8CB708F2

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      #18
      A mill could be helpful for custom brackets, droupouts, and such. Things you do now with lesser tools, just nicer. Great forprecise notching, but I didn't realize you weren't familiar with tubing notchers. I've notched tubing with a heavy drill press and a hole saw, but it's a little messy. Easy to be off center, and you can't rework a 'fishmouth' tube end without changing its length, so getting this right on the first try is a huge plus. A tubing notching fixture would be a good middle ground, I think.

      You can even simply lay out the fishmouth shape from a paper template and hand shape tubes. I've done that, too. Frankly when I build, it's not bike frames, it's heavier stuff, equipment, motorcycle frame, car cage, things like that. I can fudge an angle or move a joint a 1/4 inch with no problem if I screw up an expensive tube and it winds up being a bit short. On a bike, that's harder. But a notcher will do fine for you I think. Practice with it until you know it.

      A lathe is invaluable for making spacers and such. A small cheap 110V lathe can do that fine. If you want to make axles, cranks and components like that, the heavier duty options will be more applicable.

      My lathe/mill is a 110V Smithy, and I built my own car with nothing larger. Bought what I couldn't make, and had tubing bends done for me.

      You seem pretty resourceful, but also are very picky. I think you can get by without heavy shop tools, but won't like some of the 'shortcuts' like having to manually plot and shape tube ends. I would suggest you look first at what you plan to build vs. buy, for components. If you are just making frames, OK. Come up with a list of operations you need to perform. Then, work out tool sets to support that. Seeing a list of tasks, with the assumed equipment needed for each, would help you plan efficiently, and would let others double check, and recommend alternatives.

      You may want to bend tubing? There are lots of options to do that, but thin wall tubes are hard (impossible to do well?) to form without an internal mandrel and perhaps heat. Is that operation within your target set? It may be the hardest one to tool up for, as far as operations go. I just fill steel tubes with sand, then heat and bend, but usually 1/16 wall 1/2-3/4" od or similar. Thick walls. Never tried on bike frame stock.

      This will be a fun topic to discuss.





      Last edited by JPLabs; 12-26-2017, 11:23 AM.
      Fabrication is fun! Build something today. Show someone. Let them help. Inspire and share. Spread the desire.

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        #19
        I am definitely limiting my scope to only this one frame design in 4130 chromoly. I will definitely experiment with clamping dropouts, and I may shorten the chain stays or increase the width of the BB or head tube diameter.

        I attached pictures of the only three tubing bends in the frame, all of which occur due to the integrated cargo rack. I don't know the thickness of the steel (.050"?), but the powder coated tubes are about 16.1mm. I will email the frame builder (Lance Portnoff) and ask him what tubing he used. Speaking of Lance Portnoff, he allowed me to use his design for frames for my own use only. I know that I would save loads of money by just having Lance build my frames, but I want to challenge myself.

        The frames I have are almost perfect for my use. I see that I can shorten the chainstays by 1 1/2" and still fit my 70T chainring. Going with clamping dropouts would make it a little easier to change a flat tire in the rear, but I get almost no flat tires nowadays. The current 44mm head tube seems to be big enough. The 100mm BB gets me a nice chain line, but with no room to spare.

        I will work with Anvil Tool to get tooling that can make these three bends for what I am now thinking is 5/8" tubing:

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          #20
          There is a lot of notching. It looks like the notching will be a full project in itself. I will probably buy the tool which maximizes my success even if that tool costs more.

          BTW I enjoyed this guy's videos on how to make a bike frame https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ry8-...zUrjfIVvvoLC_5 He seems to really know his way around a mill and lathe.

          This video playlist gets right to the action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CZx...kWjRkH70wh8xVy
          Last edited by commuter ebikes; 12-26-2017, 12:23 PM.

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            #21
            So I will be using this Horizontal Main Tube Mitering System http://www.anvilbikes.com/portfolio-...m/#prettyPhoto with this Rotary Table https://www.mscdirect.com/product/details/09102575

            I do not understand what the power tool is in these pictures, although I imagine that it is a lathe. The red arrow is pointing to the tool. Can anyone please provide a link to a lathe such as this? I prefer Grizzly Industrial. All the lathes that I can find have a table that looks like it would get in the way of the mitering system. I can see in the photos that the rotary tool appears to be mounted on tubes emanating from the lathe. So I would buy a lathe with a table and remove the table, leaving these tubes or rails?

            The description for the mitering fixture says "Optimized for use on machines with horizontal spindles". Is that referring to a lathe?

            I suppose that I will be using this Rotary Table as in the photos below, which is to say "mounted horizontally". The rotary table can also be mounted vertically.

            So it would appear from these photos that I need a lathe.

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            Last edited by commuter ebikes; 12-30-2017, 11:28 PM.

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              #22
              In order to afford these framebuilding tools, I had to switch jobs at work! The job I had (UPS Clerk) is about 46 hours per week, and the job I just moved to (UPS Driver) is about 63 hours per week. My boss was not happy because now he has to train and certify a new full time clerk. Had it not been for the union labor agreement, he would have said no to the job change.

              My wife is only on board with this tool purchase if we pay off all of our credit cards first. At least she is on board, though.

              Comment


                #23
                Now I see why I will need a mill. This Seat Stay Metering Fixture http://www.anvilbikes.com/portfolio-...ering-fixture/ is shown in use with a quite large mill. I don't suppose anybody could tell me which Grizzly Industrial mill could handle this job.

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                  #24
                  It looks like it is about $20K in tools. That will take me over two years.

                  Comment


                    #25
                    Originally posted by commuter ebikes View Post
                    So I will be using this Horizontal Main Tube Mitering System http://www.anvilbikes.com/portfolio-...m/#prettyPhoto with this Rotary Table https://www.mscdirect.com/product/details/09102575

                    I do not understand what the power tool is in these pictures, although I imagine that it is a lathe. The red arrow is pointing to the tool. Can anyone please provide a link to a lathe such as this? I prefer Grizzly Industrial. All the lathes that I can find have a table that looks like it would get in the way of the mitering system. I can see in the photos that the rotary tool appears to be mounted on tubes emanating from the lathe. So I would buy a lathe with a table and remove the table, leaving these tubes or rails?

                    The description for the mitering fixture says "Optimized for use on machines with horizontal spindles". Is that referring to a lathe?
                    Hard to tell in the picture, but mills come in vertical and horizontal configurations. That looks like a horizontal mill to me.

                    Comment


                      #26
                      A mill or lathe is not specifically required, that tool is a fixture designed to work with something which can spin a tool on a horizontal plane. It need to be able to hold position, spin, be rigid, and feed axially to make the cut. But the specific tool need not be what they show, those are examples. It doesn't even really need to be horizontal. There are far less robust, cheaper machines which could do this, you don't need to pick the same industrial grade stuff they show.

                      Interfaces are tricky. The stuff needs to bolt together (fixture to lathe cross table, or to mill carriage, or to drill press table, etc). Accuracy is not supremely important here, so what if you are off 20 thou on a cut, the weld won't care. Their tools will have some interface designed to work with the rotary table they mention. Get that rotary table, and get it mounted to something with a spindle and travel (lathe, drill press, vertical or not) and there you are.

                      The rotary table would be optional, too, frankly, you can manually set it up and just bolt it in place at the right position for every cut. You are building a few frames, that's not too much work to save a grand on a rotary table, perhaps? Setting up the rotary table the first time would be just as much work. It's just easier to reconfigure for multiple operations.

                      Now, if you deviate from their 'recipe' you may need to be creative to make things go together. But, really, buying a mill or lathe new, as spec'd, for just cutting tubes, would be insanely extravagant overkill. At least consider a used lathe and rotary table. Not $20Gs on tube cutting tools, please!

                      If you needed to trim some rough edges on a part, would you grab a Dremel and sandpaper, or go get a laser trimming industrial setup? This is the latter, IMO. Perfect for the job, if you have deep pockets and a need to have a fast, repeatable process. Your situation seems to be the opposite.

                      I think you are going to learn you can do this for a lot less $$ than you think, as you learn more about what tools will do the trick. I certainly don't mean to discourage your plans, quite the opposite. I just think you are perhaps going overboard on the 'needed equipment' side, for now.

                      OTOH, if what excites you is the replication of the same exquisite process and tooling the pros use, with least complexity in figuring out alternatives, for your own enjoyment, carry on! I'm not telling you that's foolish, not in the least! Just, not sure that's really your top priority.




                      Fabrication is fun! Build something today. Show someone. Let them help. Inspire and share. Spread the desire.

                      Comment


                        #27
                        Originally posted by JPLabs View Post
                        A mill or lathe is not specifically required, that tool is a fixture designed to work with something which can spin a tool on a horizontal plane. It need to be able to hold position, spin, be rigid, and feed axially to make the cut. But the specific tool need not be what they show, those are examples. It doesn't even really need to be horizontal. There are far less robust, cheaper machines which could do this, you don't need to pick the same industrial grade stuff they show.

                        Interfaces are tricky. The stuff needs to bolt together (fixture to lathe cross table, or to mill carriage, or to drill press table, etc). Accuracy is not supremely important here, so what if you are off 20 thou on a cut, the weld won't care. Their tools will have some interface designed to work with the rotary table they mention. Get that rotary table, and get it mounted to something with a spindle and travel (lathe, drill press, vertical or not) and there you are.

                        The rotary table would be optional, too, frankly, you can manually set it up and just bolt it in place at the right position for every cut. You are building a few frames, that's not too much work to save a grand on a rotary table, perhaps? Setting up the rotary table the first time would be just as much work. It's just easier to reconfigure for multiple operations.

                        Now, if you deviate from their 'recipe' you may need to be creative to make things go together. But, really, buying a mill or lathe new, as spec'd, for just cutting tubes, would be insanely extravagant overkill. At least consider a used lathe and rotary table. Not $20Gs on tube cutting tools, please!

                        If you needed to trim some rough edges on a part, would you grab a Dremel and sandpaper, or go get a laser trimming industrial setup? This is the latter, IMO. Perfect for the job, if you have deep pockets and a need to have a fast, repeatable process. Your situation seems to be the opposite.

                        I think you are going to learn you can do this for a lot less $$ than you think, as you learn more about what tools will do the trick. I certainly don't mean to discourage your plans, quite the opposite. I just think you are perhaps going overboard on the 'needed equipment' side, for now.

                        OTOH, if what excites you is the replication of the same exquisite process and tooling the pros use, with least complexity in figuring out alternatives, for your own enjoyment, carry on! I'm not telling you that's foolish, not in the least! Just, not sure that's really your top priority.



                        There is a bit of an issue where I work long hours six days a week, so I would be inclined to pay more at the outset in order to be able to make the most of the 8 hours a week that I have to wrench on stuff. This is different than what I have been doing the last three years where I took a job that was only 40 hours a week and spent 20-30 hours per week building bikes. Those bikes are built; that was a ridiculous amount of hours, but it was perhaps the most fun that I have ever had.

                        However, I don't want to buy tools that I don't need. The Anvil Bikes fixtures are $11,360 plus shipping. The mill, lathe and bandsaw, if needed, are more of an issue with space than cost. The 2 car garage is almost half full now. The Anvil fixtures, mill, lathe and bandsaw would take up the rest of the space in the garage (and allowing the space to work) which is fine if those tools are needed. I have no car, and my wife now understands that she will never park her van in the garage.

                        I will be pulling the trigger on the welder in late January. While I am saving for the other tools, I want to practice welding on scrap metal. Remembering that I have no desire to MIG or weld neither aluminum nor titanium, what specific model welder would I buy for TIG steel? I also don't know what nozzle, regulator or gas tank that I will need, although I am off to watch YouTube videos on that now. I definitely want to avoid buying a welder that I will outgrow, or a welder that can weld aluminum when I have no intentions of doing so, or a welder that is needlessly extravagant which would waste money and space.

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                        • calfee20
                          calfee20 commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Quite a few years ago I used to go to a local Voke in the evenings to learn welding and machine work. Perhaps you could do something like this. It would give you access to someone who could answer your questions.

                        • commuter ebikes
                          commuter ebikes commented
                          Editing a comment
                          YouTube has everything anybody would ever want to know about TIG, mill and lathe work. Tube bending and notching, not so much, but enough to get started.

                          It is great because if they mention something that requires further research, I just pause the video and open up a new tab for a Google search.

                          Every class at the bike school, in the instructor's introduction, they thank the students for choosing UBI among all the paths one can choose to learn the material, "not the least of which is YouTube".
                          Last edited by commuter ebikes; 01-01-2018, 11:04 AM.

                        #28
                        It looks like the Miller 150 has been discontinued. I am currently looking at these welders:
                        https://www.millerwelds.com/equipmen...welders-m30132 (STH or STL models) and
                        https://store.cyberweld.com/mitigwed...AaAo4hEALw_wcB

                        The 4130 straight gauge tubing that I will be working on may have between .032" and .050" wall thickness, although probably either .035", .039" or .049" http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalo...tubing_un1.php
                        Last edited by commuter ebikes; 12-31-2017, 01:15 PM.

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                          #29
                          Sure, that time constraint would drive a lot more 'spec buying' than workarounds, understood. Time is the most precious commodity!

                          I bought my Lincoln TIG from a local dealer who let me try one before buying it. I, like you, didn't know what I'd need. One visit to a welding shop set me up, in my case I spent $2k, but I can do ac/dc with HF for aluminum, too. And, it is a WONDERFUL stick welder for heavy coarse work, as needed.

                          I got the gas, regulator, etc with bunch of consumables. (15 years ago so specific model not relevant today unless you shop used). Plus, mine's an old type transformer machine, big and heavy. New solid state (inverter) machines are so much more compact, you will probably prefer that style. But, visit a shop or two and chat with the guys there. Pick a quiet time.

                          Here's what I have, and it would work for what you are doing, but is more than you need and as noted, pretty big. I'm SURE there are cheaper simpler smaller units to better suit you, but this is all I know. FWIW.

                          http://www.lincolnelectric.com/en-za...ncolnElectric)


                          EDIT: Huh, you can still get 'em new for $1350 on ebay, that's about what I paid.

                          Last edited by JPLabs; 12-31-2017, 01:10 PM.
                          Fabrication is fun! Build something today. Show someone. Let them help. Inspire and share. Spread the desire.

                          Comment


                          • commuter ebikes
                            commuter ebikes commented
                            Editing a comment
                            I was just thinking about visiting one of the shops in town when I saw your post. There are two shops right near my work.

                            The welder in your link seems to be perfect. Thanks!

                          #30
                          It looks like this lathe http://www.grizzly.com/products/12-x...ed-Lathe/G4002 and this mill http://www.grizzly.com/products/Heav...Machine/G0720R may be adequate for the task of working with the aforementioned Anvil Bike fixtures.

                          Edit: I will buy this mill http://www.grizzly.com/products/9-X-...ce=grizzly.com and this lathe http://www.grizzly.com/products/13-x...ce=grizzly.com so that I will never outgrow them.
                          Last edited by commuter ebikes; 02-02-2018, 06:06 PM.

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