July 2015 Posts

Oxy Acetylene – some observations from an amateur framebuilder

Oxy Acetylene – some observations from an amateur framebuilder

By Neill Hughes

1 – The projects:
I’ve built a couple of steel bicycle frames using fillet brazing as the tube joining method. I use standard copper based brazing rods and ‘Cycle design’ low fuming bronze flux for the main tube fillet joining and steel to steel lug brazing. All the braze-ons and dropouts were stainless steel in my projects. I used ‘tool-tip/stainless steel’ braze rod, and ‘Sifbronze tool-tip/stainless steel’ flux, for joining the dropouts. For the smaller, more delicate braze-on parts, such as bottle cage bosses and cable stops, I used a higher silver content brazing alloy, ‘Brazetec 5507’, with the ‘Brazetec D21’ flux.

Visit to Reynolds Technology

Visit to Reynolds Technology

I was fortunate enough to receive a tour of the Reynolds factory in Birmingham whilst attending an informal meeting regarding a proposed frame builders cooperative, which was held at the factory. The factory is a large warehouse building on a small industrial estate filled with a lot of vintage heavy duty and mainly British machines. As the factory is a very noisy place it was difficult to absorb all the intricacies of it’s workings but certainly gave me a better appreciation of where my tubes come from. Reynolds produce Steel tubes mainly but also Titanium. Most of the raw tubing is sourced in Taiwan where it is made to Reynolds specifications. Some Stainless tubes also come from the USA. The factory does most of the drawing and butting etc and final finishing to turn them into bicycle tubing, but also produces tubing for other uses, particularly motorsport. Most of their output is still steel tubing though use of titanium has been rising.