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Thread: Maietta Cycles

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Maietta Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by Chauncey Matthews View Post
    How about this: have you ever been asked to build something and had to tell the prospective customer, "No, I won't/don't do that"?
    I have not really been in the position to have that conversation yet, which I think is the product of a few factors. One of which, is that people who approach me to build them a bike, generally know what style of frames I build and what tube joining method has become my signature. Post frame #001, I have been an exclusive TIG builder. I have one lugged bike in my portfolilo and no fillet brazed frames, so when people look at my work or see it in person, they really only see Maietta TIG welded frames. No one has asked me for anything else, and as stated in a previous response, I don't have much desire to enter those worlds. I would consider building a lugged frame under the right circumstances, but I would refer a fillet brazed request to another framebuilder who specializes in that (or ask them to consider TIG). Most of the re-direction I have to convey to customers is with tubing preference; "I'd like a cross frame made from Columbus Spirit, I want the lightest frame possible, and by the way I weigh 215." I've had to talk people out of this, but they are generally really understanding when you explain one (likely) crash would dent tubes (or other negative factors too).

    In terms of styles of frames, I haven't turned away a request yet (not to say I won't, but I haven't been asked to make that frame yet...whatever that frame is). I don't put out there that I am an expert in fixed gear, rando, or townie frames, so the requests are few. When I do get one, I assess it case by case, but generally I tell the customer that I don't have knowledge in that area and will borrow principles from existing examples out there; or I ask them for a recipe on how to make what they want. The design of these frames is much more collaborative. With road, cross, and hardtail mountain frames the process is more centered on me designing and the customer trusting my knowledge in that area.

    From a painter's perspective I have to steer people pretty frequently. Whether its fade combos that they think will mesh well but actually will look hideous (they just don't know it), to false impressions of what an idea will look like on a round tube vs. a 2D drawing on paper, to designs that are simply too complicated to execute. While everyone might not like the paint on all my frames, I've yet to have an executable design be asked for that I think is just hideous. If I did have one such request I'd work with them to try and massage it a bit. Ultimately they're paying thousands of dollars for the bicycle, but my name is also on there too. I think its fair to have some standard for what you will and won't paint for someone.
    Anthony Maietta
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    "The person who says it can not be done, should not interrupt the person doing it."
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  2. #22
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    Default Re: Maietta Cycles

    I took some detailed shots inside my shop at lunch today. Some of the machines still need some scrubbing and painting, but theyre all setup and functional at this point. Here are the highlights:

    The wall of machines:


    Frame tacking station:


    Top tube, down tube & seat tube mitering:


    Chain stay mitering:


    Seat stay mitering:


    Brazing station & welding table:


    Paint prep; sandblaster, compressor, air dryer, paint cabinet:

    Anthony Maietta
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    "The person who says it can not be done, should not interrupt the person doing it."
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  3. #23
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    Default Re: Maietta Cycles

    Paint booth with explosion proof lighting and fire supression system:


    Complete bicycle assembly tools:


    Views from the inside:



    View from the outside:
    Anthony Maietta
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    "The person who says it can not be done, should not interrupt the person doing it."
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  4. #24
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    Default Re: Maietta Cycles

    Wow! that's a really cool shop Tony. Even a loading dock. I'm interested in the air dryer you show. Does it work well, and do you have a good line on one? ;-)
    It's nice to see you're a Larry Bird fan.
     
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  5. #25
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    Default Re: Maietta Cycles

    Dude...the new layout looks great.

    What are your plans for cross this season? Ready for the cat 3 upgrade?
    Mike Zanconato
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  6. #26
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    Default Re: Maietta Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Ryan View Post
    Wow! that's a really cool shop Tony. Even a loading dock. I'm interested in the air dryer you show. Does it work well, and do you have a good line on one? ;-)
    It's nice to see you're a Larry Bird fan.
    Thanks Craig. I have an embarassment of tooling, and a I feel fortunate to have the equipment. I see builders operate with nothing but a jig, a hacksaw and some files; others have setups such as myself. As long as the frame comes out sound and straight there is no wrong way to do it. Obviously I prefer dedicated work stations, but thats just me.

    To be quite honest I don't know how well the air dryer works at this point, just that it turns on. As of this minute I am still using the paint booth over across the hall (literally, not cyber) at Hot Tubes, but I forecast the paint booth will be up and running within the next few weeks. I do know that this air dryer is way oversized for the amount of air I'll be consuming when painting, but I don't think you can get the air too dry (its been about 80%+ humidty for a couple weeks here, so I'll take all the drying I can get). I got it in a trade with a neighbor in the compex, so I didn't pick out this particular unit for any other reason than I got rid of something I didn't need and got something I did in return.

    My wife and I are season ticket holders for the Celtics. I am a Larry Bird fan, but I was 4 the last time he won a title! We were there in 2008 for the title game; the banner hanging from my "rafters" is a nice reminder of those awesome memories. We were an Artest 3 away from winning it again this year!
    Anthony Maietta
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    "The person who says it can not be done, should not interrupt the person doing it."
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  7. #27
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    Default Re: Maietta Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by zank View Post
    Dude...the new layout looks great.

    What are your plans for cross this season? Ready for the cat 3 upgrade?
    Thanks buddy, its been a 2 year evolution getting the shop the way I like it and acquiring the necessary tools for my vision. I really like the flow and open feeling in there now. The first frame is going through the new layout and I'm keeping notes of where the time-sucks are now. At the end I'll make all the changes, but I don't want to bog down the manufacture of this frame with process and layout tweaks.

    For this upcoming cross season the biggest plan is building frames for the Goguen's Team CF. I built them frames for the road season and have been very pleased with how the partnership has worked out. We have added a team replica frameset to the Team CF store on their web site. 10% of the total purchase gets recycled to the team coffers. I will also have a few friends who own cross frames I built riding under the Maietta Factory Racing name and wearing my kit.

    My personal goals for the cross season are much more modest. Cat 3? Not sure about that my friend. I just want to have fun out there, and I don't forecast having the time to train and be competitive enough this year to cat up. I'm like a pre-2004 Red Sox fan, maybe next year...
    Anthony Maietta
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    "The person who says it can not be done, should not interrupt the person doing it."
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  8. #28
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    Default Re: Maietta Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by cardinal View Post
    Tony, how many complete bikes do you do vs. frames as an average? Have you though about ways to sell more complete bikes?
    I realized I never answered this question for you. It's about 90/10 complete/frame only. A lot of my customers are first time customers for a custom frame, so its a pretty big deal. They take the opportunity to "go for it" and buy new parts at the same time. I'd love to sell nothing but complete bicycles; there is a sense of completion when you see the whole thing go out the door. Even on the units that go out as just frames, I will test install most items from samples I have to make sure there are not going to be any issues. All threads are chased and approporaite things reamed and faced. With a complete bike going out the door you know everything is perfect, but with just a frame you leave that to someone else's hands. That being said, for some people just getting the frame is about all they can absorb into the budget, so they will make due with the parts they have; understanding that the frame will outlive whatever components they have. I am happy to sell just a frame, but always offer pricing on parts to build it up. I don't really know how to change the ratio much; I think there will always be people who have perfectly usable stuff hanging around.

    Thanks for the question Matt.
    Anthony Maietta
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    "The person who says it can not be done, should not interrupt the person doing it."
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  9. #29
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    Default Re: Maietta Cycles

    tony
    at fitchburg this past weekend i saw the cf team with maietta logos and frames/
    give us a little info on the team and the kids.
    these kids are really nice kids is the word on the street.
    anything special for the frames?
     
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  10. #30
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    Default Re: Maietta Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveP View Post
    tony
    at fitchburg this past weekend i saw the cf team with maietta logos and frames/
    give us a little info on the team and the kids.
    these kids are really nice kids is the word on the street.
    anything special for the frames?
    Steve,

    Thanks for noticing the frames at the Longsjo. Theres a short story that goes along with how the partnership formed. Last summer I donated a frame to be raffled off for all the participants of the Major Taylor George Street Hill Climb in Worcester, MA. One of the Goguens won and their father, Ron, gave me a shout since I was away on business during the event. At the time they wanted a track frame that the boys could use during Track Nationals for spring 2010. Over time that track frame turned into a deep discount on frames for road racing. For those of you who don't know, the Goguens are a family of 11 located here in Massachusetts and they are virtually synonymous with New England amateur racing. I don't know if all 9 kids race, but it sure seems like it when you show up to a race and all you here from Richard Fries is their last name all day. I am positive at least 6 do, and they pretty darn good at it too. They are a very friendly group; everyone is polite, appreciative, and competitive. Two of the boys have cystic fibrosis (CF) and last fall they joined forces with a group from the mid-Altantic to form a team to raise the awareness of CF.

    I saw them at all the cross races in the fall and noticed Ron was carrying around a binder looking for sponsors for his new team. At the time I was pretty casual about it, but I told him to keep me in mind if there was a chance they would want to ride on Maietta frames for the upcoming road season (this current season). At this point I am really still trying to get the name out there and develop a reputation. They were all pretty hesitant to ride steel frames, honestly, but I guess pretty much everything fell through so they gave me a shout in early 2010. There were going to be 5 guys on the New England road team (Patrick, Manny, Peter, and Tom Goguen along with Morgan Hiller). I, along with Toby from Hot Tubes, convinced them that they would indeed be competitive on steel frames, and that they would not be tanks out there. The thing that really pushed them over the top was when they heard that each frame was going to be custom built for each rider. Custom anything in that family was really unheard of. In a family of 9 everything was a hand-me-down, so they were actually all super pumped towards the end of the planning. One of the sponsors was the ATA FitLab in Concord, MA and they were all fitted on the Retul system. This made my job real easy, basically just building to a recipe. We worked out a very competitive deal (I did not give them frames for free), and I painted the frames as well.

    They tell me the frames kick ass. They're freekin stiff. The frames are all Columbus LIFE. The three bigger boys have 1.5" down tubes and 1.25" top tubes. The two smaller boys have 1.375" down tubes and 1.125" top tubes. As with all my frames the top tube, down tube, chain stays and seat stays are sealed to prevent water and sweat from doing the things they do. The boys have already won a few races and placed on multiple podiums so far this season. We decided to offer similar frames on the Team CF webstore with 10% of the total sale being donated back to the Team. We are talking about doing something for the cross season, but I don't know if its gong to work out. Regardless, I have been very pleased with how the road season has gone. Its been great to get to know the Goguens on a more personal level.
    Anthony Maietta
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    "The person who says it can not be done, should not interrupt the person doing it."
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  11. #31
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    I mentioned in a post about my shop location about our building owner privately funding Massachusetts' largest private solar panel project. They just finished it a few days ago and here is a shot of one panel installation on our campus. There are 4 of these and they look badass. It was a monsoon on Saturday.

    Anthony Maietta
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    "The person who says it can not be done, should not interrupt the person doing it."
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  12. #32
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    Default Re: Maietta Cycles

    New website in the works.

    We just got a new computer, which has allowed me to upload some new content and an acceptable placeholder. The old Mac was 7 years old and lead a valiant fight to the end.

    The new site will have real time updated blog and Flickr streams (which the placeholder has now). Please check it out here.
    Anthony Maietta
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    "The person who says it can not be done, should not interrupt the person doing it."
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  13. #33
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    Default Re: Maietta Cycles

    Last night two customers came by to pick up their finished bicycles.

    1. Classic road bicycle. "All arounder". Built for the girlfriend of a previous customer. Second Maietta Cycling "couple", after my dad and his girlfriend. 2010 Shimano Ultegra gruppo, Chris King headset, Easton EC90SLX fork, Ritchey Pro, Terry Butterfly saddle. Custom painted on tinkerbells, light silver metallic faded to light green metallic.
    Full Flickr set here.








    2. 100% road racing bicycle. Built for Tristan Baldwin, the latest addition to Team CF. F**king stiff, fast, and light. Complete with 1.5" DT and 1.125" TT 16lb 4oz. SRAM Red, Easton EC90SLX fork, Chris King headset, Ritchey WCS, ROL Racing carbon clinchers, Team CF paint scheme. Badass racing bicycle.
    Full Flickr set here.








    Thanks for looking.

    Tony
    Anthony Maietta
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    "The person who says it can not be done, should not interrupt the person doing it."
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  14. #34
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    This afternoon I received three pictures from a customer of mine in Italy. He purchased just a frame from me and built it up himself over the last 4 months. Truth be told, he is my first international customer, so the entire process was thrilling. Our meeting was a true modern event where he heard about me and my work through social media. He actually is a member of the VSalon and had followed my Flickr and blog for quite some time. I am positive this sale would not have happened 10 years ago...how would he have found me! While he orginally commissioned me to build him a titanium frame (back when I thought I could build one), we eventually developed a strong enough connection where he still purchased a steel frame from me after I made the decision that was my only currently available material. He had steel frames in the past, but had wanted the sexiness of Ti. Looking back on it now, he feels steel was the ultimate correct decision for him, its funny how things work out. The frame was a real collaborative effort and we exchanged numerous emails and chatted frequently on gmail. 28mm tires, fenders, and comfort for 100K+ rides were balanced against very responsive (almost race like) handling, light weight to climb mountains, and efficiency for 100K+ rides. He chose a nice Shimano mountain gruppo to go along with a Columbus carbon cross fork and Ritchey components. While the attached photos do not show the frame with fenders, they were supplied with the frame. He reports the frame is everything he hoped for and fits perfectly. This success was a very rewarding feeling on my part, having never had the chance to meet him face to face; a true testimonial for future customers who are hesistant about ordering a custom frame without having met the builder. The international transaction was effortless with PayPal for payments and US Postal for shipping (though the customs delays did cause a few tense days). We are already talking about a frame for his sister, and we contiue to chat about cycling in Italy, the NBA Finals, or pretty much anything else to get the other culture's perspective.





    Anthony Maietta
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    "The person who says it can not be done, should not interrupt the person doing it."
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  15. #35
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    Many of you commented and/or saw my snippet of a news blurb on my Facebook Feed yesterday afternoon when I had the pleasure of welcoming Senator John Kerry into my shop along with his Boston Assistant Greg. He is a huge cycling fan and he was having a Cervelo frame painted by Toby at Hot Tubes next door. I showed up at my customary time in the afternoon and thought I would pop into Hot Tubes to say hello; low and behold the Senator was standing right there. He absolutely has a presence about him; its pretty amazing. I'm not one to be starstruck, but I was a bit. I introduced myself and he said, "Hi, I'm John Kerry", and I'm thinking to myself...duh! I was thinking of telling him I voted for him in 2004 for President (which I did), but thought it would be weird. Toby pretty quickly said I had my framebuilding shop next door across the hall, and the Senator said, "Let's go check it out." So we did. It was all quite surreal and its quite cliche, but he really is a friendly down to earth guy. He walked into my shop and the first thing he said was, "This is very cool!". He was in there for about 20 minutes and I gave him a lesson on tube mitering, how I have dedicated setups for the different machines, brazing vs. welding, and how I do my own painting. The story has a bit of its own full circle moment. My wife and I have Boston Celtics season tickets and two years ago our seats were next to two lawyers from a firm in Boston. Eventually, though the course of the season, they became frame clients of mine and I found out one of the partners in their firm is Senator Kerry's personal attorney. I gave Senator Kerry my business card and I will follow up by mail with a thank you note. However, I did make contact with my customer at the law firm in Boston today; he said we should grab a beer with the Senator in Boston this August...so maybe I'll get to follow up in person. After his new yacht headlines this past week, he might want to trade his Canadian Cervelo for a Made in Massachusetts Maietta!
    Anthony Maietta
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    "The person who says it can not be done, should not interrupt the person doing it."
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  16. #36
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    Default Re: Maietta Cycles

    Snipped from my blog. This will be a multi-part, tell all, TMZ, photo expose on an S&S coupler installation. More to follow while I am in the Golden Prairie of central Manitoba.

    -------------------------

    As I reported in an earlier post I am selling the bicycle I had on display at this year's North American Handmade Bicycle Show that integrated a real time GPS tracking device inside the down tube. The concept needs more development, so in the mean time I am going to sell this frame to help with some of the operating costs of Maietta Cycling. To imbed the device in the down tube I made a mixed material carbon/steel down tube with an S&S coupler. I did not feel 100% comfortable selling the frame as it was, so I decided to replace the down tube with a more standard/conventional version (a much lighter version as well). Over the next few posts, while I'm on a buisness trip in Manitoba I am going to photo document the process of replacing this tube and adding a coupler to the new one. The picture below shows the frame as it was showed at NAHBS.



    The tools needed to replace the tube are pretty simple: an air powered cutoff tool and some files.



    The process starts with very carefully cutting the down tube. Great care needs to take place; for your own saefty because the tool will jump on you if you don't hold it very secure and so you don't cut into the adjacent tubes. The tubes will pinch the cutoff wheel, which makes the work even more hazardous.



    You're left with stubs on either end. One thing to note in the picture below is the complete seat tube weld. When I build the frame I do a complete circumfrence weld on the seat tube before the down tube is welded. This ensures a more robust joint, and helps to keep the seat tube perpendicular to the bottom bracket. A customer will never know this unless the down tube is removed like this, so its one of those unseen features that goes unheralded. Things like this are the difference between good work and poor work.



    After I'm left with a large stube like this I will go back in with the cutoff tool again and remove as much as I can without getting too close to the other tubes. When I've down as much with the air tool as I can I will go in with hand files and get it to the point that you would never know a tube was there in the first place. I prefer to use hand files here because the amount and speed of removal is much more controlled. Using files is a lot more work, but its the only safe (for the other tubes) way to do it. I then strip all the paint off in the sandblaster and re-install into the Anvil frame fixture.



    The next installment will show the mitering process for the new tube with the S&S coupler and review some of the logic behind the placement on the tube.
    Anthony Maietta
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    "The person who says it can not be done, should not interrupt the person doing it."
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  17. #37
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    Installment 2 of X

    -------------------

    I left off last post with the old down tube completely removed from the frame and reinstalled into the Anvil frame fixture. The old down tube was 1.75" in diameter, and the new one will be 1.375". Not only is the new tube much lighter, but the coupler for the new sized tube is substantially lighter too. The first step in S&S coupler installation is to accurately mark the butting of the tube. For those reading this that are not familiar with tube butting; essentially the wall thickness of the tube is thicker at the ends and thinner in the middle. The outside diamter of the tubes is the same (save for some seat tubes), but the inner diamter changes. Each tube has a specific length of the thick section (called the butt) and a specific length for the transition to the thinner/middle section of the tube. Tubes have butting to add strength to the joints and remove material in the middle of the tube to reduce weight. You can see from the picture below that the butting length (indicated by the left most line drawn) is not extremely long; and on the particular tube shown the transition (the area/length between the two lines) is the same length as the butting. Also on this tube, one of the butts is longer than the other. For this frame we will want to absolutely use the longer butting length on the end where the coupler will go; near the bottom bracket.



    The first cut of the new tube is done without the S&S coupler installed. It is done at 90 degrees and uses a 1.5" hole saw to cut the miter for the outside of the bottom bracket.



    The first cut is made so as to remove as little as possible while still maintaining a fully engaged cut. You can see from the picture below just how little is removed by the crescent shaped piece dangling.



    The next cut is made at the seat tube / down tube interior angle. On this partricular frame the angle is 58.4 degrees, so I set the rotary table (that the tube clamping system is bolted to) at the correct angle. Most lugs are cast at 60 degrees for this angle, so if you were watching a lugged frame builder do this an intermediate lug cold setting picture would be inserted. With TIG welded construction I don't really care what this angle is, I just need to know what it is to see the cut angle.



    A piece of steel turned to 1.5" is used to make sure the down tube is in the correct phase for the next cut. This cut is done with a hole saw of the seat tube diameter. On this frame the seat tube is 1.25", so I make a cut in the down tube at that size. I have developed a good eye for knowing where to make this cut so very little file work is needed after, but it does take practice. It is better to err on the side of caution and make the cut a bit too shallow, it easy to file to the right size. Making the cut too deep will create a nightmare of a weld bead to run later.



    You can see here the hole saw making it though the cut with very little burr and via a very clean cut. Take your time making this cut and use as new a hole saw as possible. It is very easy to catch/tear your tube making this cut.



    The sharp acute points of the down tube miters need to be rounded to flow over the seat tube / bottom bracket weld. The picture below shows the down tube fully mitered at the bottom bracket end. Notice the amount of butting left. We need all the real estate we can here, so do everything you can to cut as little as possible.



    The next step will be to install the S&S coupler. The down tube / bottom bracket miters are done first for a couple reasons; which I will highlight in the next post.
    Anthony Maietta
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    "The person who says it can not be done, should not interrupt the person doing it."
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  18. #38
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    Default Re: Maietta Cycles

    Nice machines, but they are greek to me.

    What's perfectly clear is that your bikes look cooler and cooler. Best TIGs I've seen.

    Maybe one day ... :)

    Mom: He was very sickly until he started riding around on that bicycle.


    Dad: Yeah... well... now his body's fine, but his mind is gone.

    -Breaking Away
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  19. #39
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    Default Re: Maietta Cycles

    More from the process snipped from the blog...

    ------------------

    We left off last post with the new down tube mitered at the bottom bracket end. As you are about to see, you really have to do this miter first since you won't be able to clamp the tube once the coupler is installed. To maximize the amount of the coupler in the butting section I install it as close to the bottom bracket as possible. There are a couple of things you need to take into consideration here though; on larger frames you need to place the couplers in a spot so that the halves of the frame fit into the box and with lugged frames you need to make sure there isn't any interference with the lug. This particular frame has a 54cm seat tube, so the frame will still fit into the S&S travel case with the couplers near the end of the tubes. As you know, this frame is a TIG welded frame, so I didn't need to think about lug interference. In the picture below you can see how close to the bottom bracket miter I position the coupler. Also in the picture below you can see that the half of the couple closest to the seat tube (on the top tube and the down tube) is the threaded half...this is important because if you put the other side on you won't be able to get the nut unscrewed enough to seperate the frame!



    A slight change in the perspective of the picture shows the seat on the inside of the coupler and the dash I made of where to cut the down tube. When the resulting stub is inserted into the cupler the tip will be about 1/4" away from the bottom bracket miter.



    I like to use a simple hacksaw to cut my tubes to length. An abrasive chop saw was gifted to me, but I think the hacksaw is cleaner, quieter and inputs less heat into the tube. Also, a hacksaw cut is pretty darn quick!



    After the hacksaw cut you're left with a stub of a tube.



    The down tube stub is then dry fit to the bottom bracket/seat tube. The tubes below look a little different because of the retrofit process. I don't do a lot of work here because you don't really know the final fit without the rest of the down tube on there and dry fit to the head tube.


    The picture below shows the coupler that will be brazed to the down tube stub that we just created. You can see the stainless steel disc that is supplied with the couplers. This is actually a seperate piece from the coupler itself and will create a water-tight seal when properly brazed. The coupler is stainless steel. Stainless steels love to oxidize with ambient air, so right before brazing a thin layer needs to be ground/filed/sanded off the inside of the coupler.



    The down tube is cleaned very throughly to ensure a strong brazing bond with the coupler. The stainless steel starts to oxidize pretty quickly, so after the inside film is removed from the coupler I flux the enitre piece and mate the coupler to the down tube stub. It is important to orient the coupler to the stub in the right rotational phase. You really have to go by your eye here, but you'd be surprised how close your eye can measure things like this.



    This last picture from this post shows the stainless steel disc inside coupler and how everything is fluxed. Flux keeps the tubes from oxidizing while brazing and keeps everything very clean at the elevated brazing temperatures.



    Unfortunately this will be my last post of this process for a few days. I am still on business in central Manitoba, Canada.
    Anthony Maietta
    Web Site | Blog | Flickr
    "The person who says it can not be done, should not interrupt the person doing it."
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  20. #40
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    Default Re: Maietta Cycles

    I am back from The Golden Prairie of central Manitoba. Felt great to get back in the shop tonight and make some more progress on the S&S coupler retrofit. I added another chapter to my blog regarding this: Part 4 of X

    Reposted

    ------------------

    I am back from my business trip in Canada and was able to get some shop time in this afternoon to get more work done on the S&S coupler retrofit. The last post left off with the coupler fluxed and ready for the brazing. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of some of the steps here, and I was unable to take a picture of myself actually brazing! The first piece I braze is the threaded side of the coupler to the down tube stub. You really have to be careful about the rotational orientation of the coupler on the stub. The non-threaded coupler is then brazed to the remaining portion of the down tube. The rotation orientation of this mating does not matter at all.



    In the picture below you can see the inside of the coupler and the stainless steel disk. Note the ring of silver around the inside on the circumference of the disk. This ring of silver shows that you have complete silver penetration since you add from the other direction and ensures that the tube is completely sealed.



    After a through hot water soak, drying and brief cleanup work we are finally ready to add the head tube miter to the down tube. For this next step the down with the coupler is treated as a standard down tube and mitered as a one piece tube.



    As you can see from the picture I mark a small dash of the top of the down tube to use when cutting the miter. It is a conservative eyeball measurement, so I always miter the tube long; knowing I can always recut if the tube is too long. The picture below is after the second cut and I was happy with it's centrality, tube length and mating. After this picture was taken the miter was fully deburred and the entire tube was cleaned.



    Since the stainless steel disc was brazed into the coupler if any water was to get into the tube it would have no place to exit the tube. Consequently, I use sealed water bottle bosses to keep the tube sealed. Adding sealed bottle bosses must be done before the tube is welded to the frame for two reasons: the air inside the tube will heat and expand to a point where it needs to escape and will blow a hole in the silver and you will likely have a rogue piece of flux rattling around inside the tube.



    With the sealed bottle bosses brazed in and the tube completely cleaned the down tube is now ready to be welded to the frame. With the rest of the frame in the Anvil frame fixture I tack welded the down tube in place. The first tack weld is directly under the bottom bracket and this pulls the down tube down to that it firmly seats into the head tube. The next tack is on top of the down tube; mating it to the head tube. Additional tack welds are added in alternating patterns in multiple places at the bottom bracket and head tube. Since the tube is sealed you have to cognizant of the air inside heating and wanting to escape. It will not have the same easy of escaping as you would with silver, but if you get the air in the tube hot enough you will get an eruption in the molten TIG puddle.



    I have become a very fast welder (you get faster with more experience), but I really have to take my time here with the down tube stub. If your miters are tight, as they should be, the air in the sealed tube heats up even faster. To get around all of this, I run quick beads about an inch long, do something else in the shop for a bit, then come back and run a few more beads.



    I actually leave the last 1/4" section of un-welded area overnight to allow the air inside the tube to settle back down to room temperature. I leave these welds in an area that is very easy to access and where the tubes meet at an acute angle so air has a more difficult time escaping. The next time I go back into the shop I am left with two easy 1/4" welds to make. I do them fast and get the torch out of the area; leave it there too long and you get a little volcano.



    Tomorrow when I get to the shop I will complete the afore mentioned two quick welds and then its cleanup work before I paint the frame. The couplers will get progressively more finely sanded; all the way down to 400 grit which will leave a beautiful brushed finish.
    Last edited by anthonymaietta; 08-10-2010 at 11:43 PM.
    Anthony Maietta
    Web Site | Blog | Flickr
    "The person who says it can not be done, should not interrupt the person doing it."
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