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Thread: bringheli jig comments/reviews

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    Question bringheli jig comments/reviews

    I'm considering getting a jig and don't want to spend a fortune and the DIY setups I've seen seem a bit hit and miss. I've seen a few people here mention the bringheli, which compared to most other jigs is quite affordable. I built my first frame on an artos, so I'm somewhat spoiled, but I also don't have 5k to drop into a jig for hobby building.

    How's the bringheli as far as setup and accuracy? From the photos, it looks like a tank, but was wondering what you guys thought of them for someone just starting out.

    Thanks!
     

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    Default Re: bringheli jig comments/reviews

    I built my first one on Bringheli, and later bought one of my own. I'm just now getting to use mine own.

    They work fine, it's not the tool it's the Tool you know. But i'll tell a thing or two 'bout my experience.

    First thing-no calibrations beyond drop. I use a digital level (way better than handyman angle finder) to set HT/ST angles. Most folks add a magnetic rule to facilitate finding X, Y coordinates. I've not done that yet-i fumble with a framing square/speed square to find those and I double triple and quintuple check it all. Repeatable measurements yo, none else count.

    I tapped some flat stock so that the "nut" would be captured in the channel-so that the quickie handles (those are the orange things on Don's stuff-what is the proper term?) would be functional. Joe's has a simple hex-nut, uncaptured, so that you have to use a wrench if you don't do a mod.

    Also note that the set screws will be mixed sae/metric. So i keep a couple of dedicated wrenches at the fixture. I expect i'll drill/tap and resolve that issue _or_ just make a bunch of thumbscrews.

    They work, but do eat a lot of time with setup/checking-with the digi level my first move is to make sure the fixture is plumb-every time i check angles. And it's a bit of a chore getting in/out with the headtube arrangement.

    And they're really easy to resell if you ever want to buy a more calibrated fixture. My pal in TX is still using the same one I used in 2009, and he's doing a lot more frame-building now.

    I wonder how far folks have gone in adding on calibrations and features to these entry-level fixtures. hell, let's see 'em. and I like Joe. I try not to buy chit from folks I can't get along with. I'm funny like that.

    methinks i'll get something nicer later, but their are soo many choices, Hank, Don, Jeff, Doug, etc. IIRC Doug Fattic has the biggest variety in his shop, plus the one he designed. So if you take a Fattic class you get to see many jigs in action.

    --
    what the hey? you're IN Ohio you must BY buckeye LAW get a least one JB frame jig...maybe more.






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    Default Re: bringheli jig comments/reviews

    I used one for 5 years. It's not a great production fixture. The money you save on the front end will be eaten up in setup time so if you're a hobbyist it will be a-ok. I only used mine to tack the front triangle and sort of "suggest" where the dropouts should go. I think you'll find the accuracy requires you to really focus on the process out of the fixture after tacking and that is probably a good thing for someone building frame 2. You really have to work and understand what is happeneing with the bringheli. If you're wanting to move towards joining methods or materials that require more accuracy you may want to start higher up the food chain.
    Last edited by Jonathan; 06-05-2012 at 08:51 PM.

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    Default Re: bringheli jig comments/reviews

    Yeah, with JB in Ohio I figured I could just drive up and pick one up, shop local and whatnot. Save some shipping costs and get a road trip out of it.

    If the drop is the only calibration, that would be fine. I can figure out the rest off that. The way I learned to draw out frames was to start with the drop anyway, so most of what I do is based off that.

    I did love the fully calibrated jigs at UBI. We had the Arctos, which is pretty slick. There were a couple Anvil's around and then a few Henry James jigs which were probably least intuitive of the options. Such big $$ though

    Having something that forces me to double, triple and quad check everything I do may not be a bad thing. I also learned that putting all your trust in a jig or fixtures calibrations can create headaches too, they're not always correct.

    Even with the Arctos I was only tacking in the jig b/c of clearance issues. I'll check into Doug Fattic's jig, I think I've seen photos of it before, but hadn't checked into price.

    Thanks guys!
     

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    Default Re: bringheli jig comments/reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by prolix21 View Post
    Even with the Arctos I was only tacking in the jig b/c of clearance issues.
    The way to optimize any fixture and your skills is to only tack (rather than braze...) in it atmo.

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    Default Re: bringheli jig comments/reviews

    For the $ it's your best bet. I've used mine for about the last 40 frames and curse it regularly. We've come to understand each other. In the end it's just a way to hold stuff together while you get it mitered, pinned, and tacked. I've developed a different routine for the rear triangle, and I'm not sure I'd change that given another jig.
     

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    Default Re: bringheli jig comments/reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Ryan View Post
    We've come to understand each other.
    Goes for any tool.
    Still "understanding" my 3rd jig & it has over 200 frames out of it.
    - Garro.
    Steve Garro, Coconino Cycles.
    Frames & Bicycles built to measure and Custom wheels
    Hecho en Flagstaff, Arizona desde 2003
    www.coconinocycles.com
    www.coconinocycles.blogspot.com

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    Default Re: bringheli jig comments/reviews

    It's not a bad idea to build a few sans jig. Getting a feel for what you need a tool to do will help you narrow down the differences between the existing jigs on the market and better inform your purchase.

    A couple of stand offs and a reference plate can go a long way.

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    Default Re: bringheli jig comments/reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Estlund View Post
    It's not a bad idea to build a few sans jig. Getting a feel for what you need a tool to do will help you narrow down the differences between the existing jigs on the market and better inform your purchase.

    A couple of stand offs and a reference plate can go a long way.
    I have a feeling that is how I will start out and just see how things go. I kind of I wish I would have learned how to do it sans-jig in the first place. My first frame came out pretty awesome, but I also had access to just about every tool, jig and fixture I could think of. Now I'm home and having to reverse engineer the process. I'm sure in the end I'll sort it out and be a better builder for it. First frame took 2 weeks, the second may take a few months :)
     

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    Default Re: bringheli jig comments/reviews

    Since I sell a fixture, it isn't appropriate for me to comment on what else is in the market. My motive for having some made for sale is that I've refined a system over many years that works well for me and I like to make it available to my framebuilding class students too. I have several other fixtures in my shop and I keep in touch with former students that tell me how they like the various ones they have bought. I also encourage students to bring what they have to class in case they have already bought something. Some of them I would not want even if they were given to me.

    Without being too specific, here are some guidelines. The more you spend the more convenient calibrations you are likely to get and the greater the accuracy is built into the fixture. Unless you are buying one of the most expensive fixtures you won't be able to trust that a rear wheel will center perfectly in a frame if you are relying on the fixture itself to provide the accuracy. What I would do if starting out on a budget would be to first get a good flat plate (3' X 4' is a great size, 2' X 3' will work). On the plate I would lay out assorted V blocks or tubing holders of some sort to your design. After spotting the tubes together in whatever method you were taught, you can now use the flat table to align your frame in preparation to braze the next joint. Even if later you are able to buy a good fixture, you will always want that alignment table. it is possible to build an accurate rear triangle with a true wheel and other simple tools. it just takes longer.
     

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    Default Re: bringheli jig comments/reviews

    Wow...Arctos are $5k?? I had no idea.

    The Bringheli is a fine jig for the money. I've had one for about seven years and it has served me very well. It is a little bit of a PIA to set up right out of the box, as has been mentioned. However, as Wade also mentioned, I developed a way of doing it with X/Y coordinates that makes a huge difference. If you are interested, here is a little tutorial that I put together for some folks back in the original Frameforum days:

    Bringheli Jig Set Up

    My jig has always built a straight front end, but as Doug mentioned, getting a square rear end right out of the jig was not possible initially. After several attempts over the years, I have managed to get mine pretty darn good now. However, I still do not tack my right chain stays in the jig....I do that after I've checked everything with a true wheel. But then, I know guys with much more expensive jigs that need to use similar or other methods of confirming the rear end as well, etc.

    Other things that I've done to make it more user friendly is to replace set screws with thumb screws, replaced the BB shell cones with machined inserts that have a nice square shoulder for the shell to sit on, brazed allen wrenches into the ends of various bolts so that I'm not always searching for a darn wrench, added a piece of bar stock and a bolt to the head tube bracket so that the head tube angle can be maintained while adjusting the TT length, and etc.

    As Doug notes, though, I think the first thing to get is an alignment plate or system, because, while the face of the Bringheli is machined flat, using it for alignment checks would be difficult at best IMO, and therefore, you'll still need a way to check alignment (No matter which jig you buy).

    So...I guess in general, to me its worth the cost. However, if you're not willing to work with it, or get used to it, or tweak it to your own method, it might be worth spending the money to get one with all of the bells and whistles. Frankly, I didn't know that Doug was offering a fixture and knowing that....I'd start there.

    Dave
    Dave Anderson
    Anderson Custom Bicycles
    www.andersoncustombicycles.com
    ACB on Facebook
    ACB on flickr

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    Default Re: bringheli jig comments/reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by WadePatton View Post
    I wonder how far folks have gone in adding on calibrations and features to these entry-level fixtures. hell, let's see 'em. and I like Joe. I try not to buy chit from folks I can't get along with. I'm funny like that.

    Wade, I just finished building a jig and calibrating/adding scales to it. It's a blatant rip off of the Arctos jig, and was a collaborative effort with another garage builder here in Seattle, my friend Alex Wetmore, the chap who ran the f'builders list serve for so many years. The jig is made from 8020 brand extrusions. I machined all the other odds and sods, except for a couple of crucial parts that were CNC'd by Alex.

    Because it's made from extrusions, I think the Arctos is often dismissed by some builders, and thought to be overpriced by others. Having built a clone of one, and having learned a lot about how it's made, and what it's made from, I'd say that $5000 seems totally fair, but maybe that's just me.

    That all being said, I went a different direction. I spent about $800 in materials, and about $2000 on a basic benchtop mill and some tooling, then I put the time in and built the jig myself. It took me quite a while, since I was simultaneously learning how to use a milling machine and how to build a jig. Steep learning curve, but I've always wanted to learn how to run a mill (I taught myself how to run a lathe a few years back, 9" SouthBend), and I've always wanted to build my own frame fixture, and now I have.

    Here's a few pic's















    For more of the same, here's the complete Flickr set, Frame jig. - a set on Flickr

    Alistair.
     

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    Default Re: bringheli jig comments/reviews

    If I had it to do over I would find a large cast iron surface plate or blanchard ground steel surface to work from. In retrospect, the ability to check alignment and make corrections prior to the final brazing will produce an accurate, straight frame and fork. I had heard and read respected framebuilders claim even the best jigs won't produce a straight frame, I now know it's true. Proper mitering and brazing sequence seem to produce the best frames
     

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    Default Re: bringheli jig comments/reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Buchanan View Post
    If I had it to do over I would find a large cast iron surface plate or blanchard ground steel surface to work from. In retrospect, the ability to check alignment and make corrections prior to the final brazing will produce an accurate, straight frame and fork. I had heard and read respected framebuilders claim even the best jigs won't produce a straight frame, I now know it's true. Proper mitering and brazing sequence seem to produce the best frames
    That's kinda how I'm leaning after all this discussion and too much thinking about it. Get a flat surface, go for it. I think I got enough feel out of my first frame to give it a shot. The jig and whatnot were a good crutch a the time

    You're right in that the jigs guarantee nothing. Even the Arctos and Henry James are a complete crap shoot, and those things are some serious $$. Heat is everything
     

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    Default Re: bringheli jig comments/reviews

    Alistair, when I priced out the cost of materials to make my own jig, I bought a used Bringheli. I don't have a lathe or mill yet, but do want both (not for framebuilding, but other things.) I figured building my own jig wouldn't be a good idea until I had at least 10 frames under my belt. Still currently at 1/2 frame LOL. Spring yardwork on an acreage with a recovering knee is very time consuming and gets in the way of my play time.
     

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    Default Re: bringheli jig comments/reviews

    If I had to replace my Bike Machinery Hydra I would look first and most seriously at a Sputnik fixture atmo.

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    Default Re: bringheli jig comments/reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie1 View Post
    Alistair, when I priced out the cost of materials to make my own jig, I bought a used Bringheli. I don't have a lathe or mill yet, but do want both (not for framebuilding, but other things.) I figured building my own jig wouldn't be a good idea until I had at least 10 frames under my belt. Still currently at 1/2 frame LOL. Spring yardwork on an acreage with a recovering knee is very time consuming and gets in the way of my play time.

    Understood. It's a bit of a catch 22. Buy a jig?/make a jig?/buy machinery to make a jig? We all have different starting points on the framebuilding continuum. Some come into it with almost nothing in terms of skills and equipment that are relevant to bicycle fabrication. Others are already highly qualified and just need some pointers.

    At some point you've just got to get started in whatever way you can and bootstrap yourself into the framebuilding process. No sense in building a jig until you know enough about framebuilding. I guess that's why so many newbies buy a pro jig (that's not a criticism).

    Starting off by building off a surface plate (or equivalent) makes sense to me but not something I ever actually did. I built my first frames using a Nortac jig, (checking with a surface plate along the way) which is a step up (in convenience anyway) from a surface plate. I ended up being frustrated enough with it that I started looking for a new jig. That's when I had to decide between buying a pro jig, or buying the machinery with which to make one.

    I chose the latter, because I though I would learn a lot in designing and fabricating a jig. This appealed to me as a solution, but I can see why it's not the way for everyone. We all have our own vision when it comes to how we envisage skinning the framebuilding cat.
     

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    Default Re: bringheli jig comments/reviews

    I would love to build my own but if you don't know what you need, it's hard to know what to build. I usually buy tools before buying pre made items. I figured the process needed to define the tool in this case more than most. Stainless and aluminum are about double the price in my area compared to us prices, so building my own would have cost almost as much as a used bringheli without factoring in machine shop charges, or the mill or lathe. Its very disappointing to me. I need a better excuse to buy a mill.
     

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    Default Re: bringheli jig comments/reviews

    Quote Originally Posted by e-RICHIE View Post
    If I had to replace my Bike Machinery Hydra I would look first and most seriously at a Sputnik fixture atmo.
    interesting.

    i started with a flat plate, bb post, a few cones with magnetic bases an a "T" jig. The next step for me was a jig, but none of my later frames are significantly 'straighter' than my first built without the Anvil that I now own from an alignment/tolerance standpoint (the Anvil built frames took less time to set up).

    One thought that I'll toss up that's been rattling through my head is this thought that a jig needs to hold a 'bike frame'. I had that image in my head way early on. The anvil/sputnik setup (drop/x/y axis etc) seems so simple and complete. however, the process can easily be a bunch of lesser sub-assemblies rather than the expense of a setup that holds a full frame.

    -Bernie
     

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    Default Re: bringheli jig comments/reviews

    I am not big on sub-assemblies as I feel joining them along the way introduces stresses that work against getting all details as dialed in as possible.
    My first 800 (or more) frames were built this way. Assembling a main triangle, finishing it as a main triangle, and then adding a left and right stay
    assembly is my chosen procedure atmo.


    Quote Originally Posted by einreb View Post
    interesting.

    i started with a flat plate, bb post, a few cones with magnetic bases an a "T" jig. The next step for me was a jig, but none of my later frames are significantly 'straighter' than my first built without the Anvil that I now own from an alignment/tolerance standpoint (the Anvil built frames took less time to set up).

    One thought that I'll toss up that's been rattling through my head is this thought that a jig needs to hold a 'bike frame'. I had that image in my head way early on. The anvil/sputnik setup (drop/x/y axis etc) seems so simple and complete. however, the process can easily be a bunch of lesser sub-assemblies rather than the expense of a setup that holds a full frame.

    -Bernie

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