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Thread: Jumping in with both feet

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    Default Jumping in with both feet

    I have been reading about frame building for about two years now and just found this forum (not sure how it escaped me before that). I have never made a bike frame, but have used an oxy acetylene torch a great deal and when I was in college for machining, we took a week long welding and brazing class, so not a total newbie.

    I have always wanted to build frames and try out new bike designs. I have been looking at used and new torch setups and then happened across the many post Doug has made about Oxy propane with a oxygen generator. So I found a Devbliss 525 new for $790 shipped and it's on the way...Pretty impulsive, but if I don't make a move now I will just keep reading about it vs actually doing it. Thanks for the inspiration and sorry in advance for all the stupid questions we all know will come.
    Sean Stephenson

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    Default Re: Jumping in with both feet

    Hi Sean,

    The invasion of Ukraine has me busy contacting my friends in that country and organizing help. I've been involved with a charity bicycle project in Ukraine for 22 years. In fact making frames over there is what got me involved in using propane instead of acetylene. This development has prevented me from participating in normal framebuilding threads.

    Have you gotten your torch set up yet? Once you are playing with fire you will need to practice your skills. You might know this already but I recommend practicing silver brazing with short .058" slips tubes over longer standard tubing. For fillet brazing short mitered stubs on a long bigger tube works well.

    We don't know what you know or need help with so just ask and good luck and welcome to our club!

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    Default Re: Jumping in with both feet

    Hi Doug, thanks for the reply. My oxygen concentrator showed up yesterday. Now to get a torch assembled. I am slowly buying stuff I need on each pay check. I have some old bike frames I was hoping to cut up and practice with.

    I have taken a brazing course when I was in trade school, but that was a long time ago, so hopefully I remember most things.

    I want to thank you, as I almost purchased an old oxy acetylene torch. Your various posts on here enlightened me to using propane and a concentrator. I think that will be safer and more convenient for me as I don't live close to a large center for refills.

    I figured you were busy in light of the Ukraine invasion, from what I understand you have spent a decent amount of time there. Terrible thing that is happening there, I hope they can fight off the Russians or find peace somehow.
    Sean Stephenson

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    Default Re: Jumping in with both feet

    Quote Originally Posted by FLYBYU View Post
    Hi Doug, thanks for the reply. My oxygen concentrator showed up yesterday. Now to get a torch assembled. I am slowly buying stuff I need on each pay check. I have some old bike frames I was hoping to cut up and practice with.

    I have taken a brazing course when I was in trade school, but that was a long time ago, so hopefully I remember most things.

    I want to thank you, as I almost purchased an old oxy acetylene torch. Your various posts on here enlightened me to using propane and a concentrator. I think that will be safer and more convenient for me as I don't live close to a large center for refills.

    I figured you were busy in light of the Ukraine invasion, from what I understand you have spent a decent amount of time there. Terrible thing that is happening there, I hope they can fight off the Russians or find peace somehow.
    Yes I have been spending a lot of time dealing with the Ukraine situation. I've sent money to a former translator that is able to spread that money around including buying gas and food for those going to neighboring countries. Unfortunately our frame/bike shop is located in a terrible place where the Russians are stalled and they are making a mess of that area. I'm wondering if I can ever get back and if I do will there be anything left of the shop.

    Do you already have wood blocks to hold tubes for brazing? I'll attach a picture of a set of mine. Wood blocks have the right amount of stickiness and movability so that if you clamp a tube just right you can move it by hand but it will then stay put.

    I recommend getting some plain tubing from Wicks Aircraft or Airport Spruce. For silver and fillet brazing practice you will want some 1" X .035 wall 4130 tubing. Get maybe 3' or 4'. Also get some 1.125 OD X .058" wall thickness. You will cut off 2cm up to an inch. After cleaning the inside of the bigger tune and outside of the smaller tube, you will braze this stub over the long 1" OD tube. For cleaning get a "shop roll" of 1" wide emery. Unfortunately what builders call "emery" is not described as emery in catalogs. Don't get the cheapest stuff because it doesn't last long. You tear off a strip around 10" long and shoe shine the outside of the tube. For cleaning inside you get a small diameter dowel and cut a slot in the end. Wrap some emery around the dowel and put this into the end of your drill. That can clean the inside of the short piece of .058" wall tubing.

    For fillet brazing practice get a long piece of 1.25 OD X .035" wall. To this long piece you will brass fillet braze a short 1" piece of mitered tube. You can move the long piece with your hand always keeping the joint in the right position for fillet brazing.

    If you need suggestions for your brazing equipment, we can advise. It will take a bit of effort to get properly set up.
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    Default Re: Jumping in with both feet

    Sorry to hear about the shop Doug. Fingers crossed it is left untouched when this is over.

    I don't have any blocks like that, but I do have piles of scrap wood and some large bits, I could make some for sure. There is a metal suppler in the City that stocks 4130 seamless tubing by the foot, I bought aluminum off them when I worked in a machine shop, made a new steering mast for my recumbent bike at the time. Right now I am saving up again after buying my concentrator. Next item is the torch and propane regulator. Any advise on those? My suppliers are a little limited being in Canada, but I can usually find stuff if I put some extra effort in.

    I avoid buying in the US due to long times at the border. My last item from down south sat at the border for 2 months before they forwarded on to me.
    Sean Stephenson

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