I teach bicycle frame building for two main reasons. First of all this is something my predecessor Tim Paterek did and was of just of a few builders who were doing so as part of their craft, and because of this I want to carry on what he was doing. Second this is one thing I feel strongly about passing on the craft, but passing on the craft based on the foundations that I had learned from both Tim Paterek and Terry Osell, which I beleive is not being taught by other builders and organizations who are also teaching this craft.
Bicycle frame building consists of a large volume of information, techniques, and tricks. My course consists of learning to fit a rider and determine ideal frame measurements, draw up a full sized blue print, then construct a frame and fork. During the course students will either build a lugged or fillet brazed frame, and also use a Tig welder as well as do a practice lug or fillet joint to familiarize themselves with the other types of brazing. I offer two different courses lugged silver or bronze fillet. Lugged construction is by far the best as it builds the strongest frames but has distinct limitations for what is available for lugs, although I go over a few ways to construct your own lugs. Fillet allows infinite frame flexibility, but like Tig suffers from weakening of the steels condition due to the high heat involved. Both Tig and fillet test exactly the same during destruction testing compared to lugged low temperature silver brazed of fillet joints.
The lugged course is 3100.00 and the fillet course is 4000.00. The time involved is 2 to 3 weeks I recommend 3 weeks for fillet courses due to the learning curve of fillet brazing.
The course encompasses every aspect of building a custom frame, with a heavy emphasis on brazing technique and the use files to fit tubes and customize lugs and braze ons. The course covers the following and is taught by me to one student at a time.
- The fitting and designing of a frame to the customer from body measurements and a current fitted bicycle.
- Drawing of a full sized blue print, you can always use a CAD program later but I like to drill new builders with this exercise and we will use it to build the frame in this course.
- Build a curved raked fork, one needs to know how to properly bend and tune a pair of fork blades. Straight raked forks are not done since little knowledge is needed to build one of those.
- The construction of a double diamond frame set in a systematic way that builds a frame with minimal or no residual stress in the finished frame set. Silver brazed for lugged frames and bronze for fillet.
- Simple fast way to accurately hand fit joint with files and cutting tools. I teach you how to effectively machine joints but we will focus on hand fitting for skill development.
- The use of chemical preps and cleaning for better brazing results.
- How to properly silver braze in tab type dropouts. I leave plug and socket type out since those are simpler to build with.
- Fitting and installing bridges and the installation of all braze on with silver.
- I verbally go over the industrial types of metal finishing for the prepping and painting of frames not commonly used by builders for better and more durable finishes.