Started thinking about/wanting to build my own frames when I was cracking and breaking my Haro Masters back in the 80's. Really wanted to start building my own stuff when S&M, Standard and others started selling to the public. Went to UBI (tig) about six years ago and have finished nine frames since then. Mtn bikes, bmx, dirt jump, and a severely crooked 29er cruiser that just won't die. I've got a few friends who agreed to be test monkeys and are riding mtb frames I built. No disasters yet. All fillet brazed because I couldn't afford a tig. I finally got a tig about two years ago but I just haven't had the time to practice. Been lurking around this site for awhile now. Tons of great into and advice! I figure I'll try to tap into that a bit...
First: I'm still doing all mitering by hand including the slots in the stays for the do's and the miters to the bb/tt. I'm currently using the attachments on my jig (Bringhelli) to hold stays in place while I use a square to get lines drawn on the stays to cut the slots for the drop outs via hack and a bit of dremel. What is/was your method for getting those slots near perfect by hand? I almost always end up having to cut more material out of the slot than I should to correct the angle vertically or horizontally. Usually results in a stay that droops a bit, and that is really, really annoying to me.
Second: What is/was your order of tacking the stays to the front tri and do's? Do you braze the chain stays to the drop outs first or tack to bb first? I've done it both ways and on the last two frames tacking to the bb first has worked the best. I like it because I can add a tack or two if I need to pull the stay side to side to line it up to the drop out.
Third: I've been wanting to get a bench top mill for work on stays only. Anyone have a setup like this? Any recommendations?
Any advice or info will be very appreciated.