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Thread: Who uses brass for lugs?

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    Default Who uses brass for lugs?

    Curious about the number(%) of builders that use brass for lug brazing, any guesstimates? Or how many use brass/silver in combination on frames. Brass for bottle braze-ons? Brass is not widely used(except for fillets) because of perceived superiority of silver or....?

    thanks, Brian
    Stay strong in this time of crisis and realize sadness and grief are part of the process Brian Clare

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    Default Re: Who uses brass for lugs?

    No pro here but a long time brass/bronze user. About half the lugs I do call for it. Gaps and angles with really small bikes can be hard to keep within silver's tolerances.

    Silver's "superiority" is a myth created by the early builders of this modern era (meaning 1970s to current times). Or maybe created by marketing, grasping for a differentiation from the Euro standards of the time. So many more lugged frames have been done with brass/bronze then silver and we don't see massive failure in them. Andy
    Andy Stewart
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    Default Re: Who uses brass for lugs?



    I don't only use bronze, but I use it frequently for lugged builds.

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    Default Re: Who uses brass for lugs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Estlund View Post


    I don't only use bronze, but I use it frequently for lugged builds.
    Yeah Eric, I know you do, perusing your Flicker site got me thinking who else uses bronze/brass for their builds(not including dropouts). Your work is always a pleasure to see.

    Andy, I am in 100% with you on this: "Silver's "superiority" is a myth created by the early builders of this modern era (meaning 1970s to current times). Or maybe created by marketing....".
    I can't think of any reason other than marketing; "keeping up with the Joneses" so to speak, "other builders use silver so I better if I want to keep my market share" mentality. Well I guess silver may be somewhat faster in terms of tube heating, or better if lug to tube tolerances are tight, but I don't know why silver is so dominant.

    Still waiting to learn who(other than Eric and Andy) uses brass, and what issues brass presents that keep it from widespread use.

    thanks, Brian
    Stay strong in this time of crisis and realize sadness and grief are part of the process Brian Clare

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    Default Re: Who uses brass for lugs?

    Quote Originally Posted by claritycycler View Post
    Yeah Eric, I know you do, perusing your Flicker site got me thinking who else uses bronze/brass for their builds(not including dropouts). Your work is always a pleasure to see.

    Andy, I am in 100% with you on this: "Silver's "superiority" is a myth created by the early builders of this modern era (meaning 1970s to current times). Or maybe created by marketing....".
    I can't think of any reason other than marketing; "keeping up with the Joneses" so to speak, "other builders use silver so I better if I want to keep my market share" mentality. Well I guess silver may be somewhat faster in terms of tube heating, or better if lug to tube tolerances are tight, but I don't know why silver is so dominant.

    Still waiting to learn who(other than Eric and Andy) uses brass, and what issues brass presents that keep it from widespread use.

    thanks, Brian
    The only issue that keep it (brass) from widespread use is that the niche has been reduced to a dot in contrast to what it was before nonferrous materials and frames made in a waffle iron became ubiquitous. I'm serious. Those legions of makers and shops who once populated the landscape, and who mastered brazing without the need to consider filler material - these people no longer go to the workbench each day after breakfast.

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    Default Re: Who uses brass for lugs?

    Clean up for sloppy brazing is easier with silver. That's not a condemnation, but certainly a reason. Some us builders toted it's superiority in marketing, and I think that became accepted. Brent Steelman was/is an amazing bronze production brazer. Andy at Strawberry still uses it predominantly.

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    Default Re: Who uses brass for lugs?

    My memory says that back when 1800g was light for a frame, Reynolds required that their 753 tubing be silver brazed so as not to compromise the heat treatment. I think that and the "qualification program" for 753 builders helped establish the idea that the best builders using the best tubing used silver.

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    Default Re: Who uses brass for lugs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Kelly View Post
    My memory says that back when 1800g was light for a frame, Reynolds required that their 753 tubing be silver brazed so as not to compromise the heat treatment. I think that and the "qualification program" for 753 builders helped establish the idea that the best builders using the best tubing used silver.
    I remember that in real time. I had already been at the bench a few years by then. I thought the "test" (in air quotes) and all the pomp re the material and the qualification program was the most hot air imaginable. Even to this day, it ranks up there with some of the better schemes I've seen.

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    Default Re: Who uses brass for lugs?

    Quote Originally Posted by e-RICHIE View Post
    I thought the "test" (in air quotes) and all the pomp re the material and the qualification program was the most hot air imaginable. Even to this day, it ranks up there with some of the better schemes I've seen.
    Yep, that's why I put "qualification program" in quotes.

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    Default Re: Who uses brass for lugs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Estlund View Post


    I don't only use bronze, but I use it frequently for lugged builds.
    Eric - Did you ring braze the lug in that photo?
    John Clay
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    My Framebuilding: https://www.flickr.com/photos/21624415@N04/sets

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    Default Re: Who uses brass for lugs?

    Nope. Face fed. I don't do much ring brazing of lugs (though I use it elsewhere).

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    Default Re: Who uses brass for lugs?

    I learned to build frames with brass in England years ago. I use silver now. I've learned from teaching framebuilding classes that most beginners do better learning to build with silver. Brass melts at 1600 degrees F and silver around 1200. That extra heat can cause problems for those starting out because they haven't learned how to control both hands to work well together yet. Unevenly applied heat can warp alignment. Untrained hands can also easily overheat a joint. It can only take a second or two for the steel to go from acceptable red to orange or even brighter that damages the metal. When using silver and they mistakenly get the joint to too hot and it turns a red color and they then back off immediately, nothing terrible happened.

    As Andy has noted, brass works better when lugs have to be blacksmithed to fit the design because it fills gaps better. It is also much cheaper. However the $20 it costs to braze a frame with silver is not much in comparison to the total cost and time it takes to make a frame.
     

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    Default Re: Who uses brass for lugs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Fattic View Post
    ....most beginners do better learning to build with silver...
    I realize this is true, what I am asking why very few pros use brass, but with the dwindling number of framebuilders(one man shops or close to it) it's pretty much a moot point.
    Stay strong in this time of crisis and realize sadness and grief are part of the process Brian Clare

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    Default Re: Who uses brass for lugs?

    Quote Originally Posted by claritycycler View Post
    I realize this is true, what I am asking why very few pros use brass, but with the dwindling number of framebuilders(one man shops or close to it) it's pretty much a moot point.
    I can't speak for others but I can tell you why I braze lugs with silver when I learned with brass. 1st, it is easier to take apart a silvered lug when doing a frame repair with less chance of damage than a brass one. 2nd, the additional 400 degrees of heat does more to negatively effect the heat treatment of thin walled steel. And 3rd it is a bit harder to keep the frame in alignment with more heat - especially when using light heat treated steel that does not want to (or won't) bend back into alignment. Andy Newlands (I think) gets around the problem by using a much larger flame that heats the whole joint more evenly. You might ask Mark Bulgier who used to brass braze thin wall heat treated frames (if I remember right) for Bill Davidson back in the era when they made hundreds of frames per year. He is the moderator for the framebuilders email list (it is a Googles Group) and hangs out on the Bike Forums Framebuilders section.
     

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    Default Re: Who uses brass for lugs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Fattic View Post
    I can't speak for others but I can tell you why I braze lugs with silver when I learned with brass. 1st, it is easier to take apart a silvered lug when doing a frame repair with less chance of damage than a brass one. 2nd, the additional 400 degrees of heat does more to negatively effect the heat treatment of thin walled steel. And 3rd it is a bit harder to keep the frame in alignment with more heat - especially when using light heat treated steel that does not want to (or won't) bend back into alignment. Andy Newlands (I think) gets around the problem by using a much larger flame that heats the whole joint more evenly. You might ask Mark Bulgier who used to brass braze thin wall heat treated frames (if I remember right) for Bill Davidson back in the era when they made hundreds of frames per year. He is the moderator for the framebuilders email list (it is a Googles Group) and hangs out on the Bike Forums Framebuilders section.
    Good reasons.
    Stay strong in this time of crisis and realize sadness and grief are part of the process Brian Clare

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    Default Re: Who uses brass for lugs?

    Word is that Wanda and Lucille (pictured) used bronze to braze a whole shitoad of beautifully lugged Schwinn Paramounts into being.

    Last edited by thollandpe; 02-23-2020 at 11:54 PM.
    Trod Harland, Physical Educator

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    Default Re: Who uses brass for lugs?

    Quote Originally Posted by thollandpe View Post
    Word is that Wanda and Lucille (pictured) used bronze to braze a whole shitoad of beautifully lugged Schwinn Paramounts into being.


    They used Easy-Flo 45 according to my opinion.

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    Default Re: Who uses brass for lugs?

    Quote Originally Posted by e-RICHIE View Post
    They used Easy-Flo 45 according to my opinion.
    Maybe my memory isn't as sterling as I think?
    Trod Harland, Physical Educator

    Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring. -- Desmond Tutu

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    Default Re: Who uses brass for lugs?

    Quote Originally Posted by thollandpe View Post
    Word is that Wanda and Lucille (pictured) used bronze to braze a whole shitoad of beautifully lugged Schwinn Paramounts into being.

    That is Lucille Redman pictured. That pic became the cover of the March 1979 Bicycling magazine. She passed away just last March at age 96. Would be proud to ride a Paramount brazed by her with Easy-flo 45, or any other laxative.

    William Stekl
     

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    Default Re: Who uses brass for lugs?

    Damn. What isn’t silver or brass in Easy-Flo 45 is cadmium, 24%. If she lived to see 96 after working with that nasty shit she must have really known what she was doing.
    Trod Harland, Physical Educator

    Give a man a fish and feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. Teach a man to cycle and he will realize fishing is stupid and boring. -- Desmond Tutu

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