Guest Articles 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.

Make Your Own Framebuilding Jig

Make Your Own Framebuilding Jig

By Jonathan Thompson

My first experiences of frame building involved some sort of jig. This was some angle iron bolted to a sheet of MDF (for my tandem BMX and recumbent) and then a proper jig at Downland Cycles for their framebuilding course. To start to make frames at home I thought I needed a jig. Looking at the retail options was a bit of a financial shock. Lovely though they were, they were all well into 4 figures which seemed a bit steep. How hard can it be?

Framebuilder Tooling – Using a Lathe

Framebuilder Tooling – Using a Lathe

By Jonathan Thompson

I have to confess to being a tool buyer. I’ve generally found the sooner you buy tooling the sooner it pays for itself and generally it always does.
For me the lathe was always a desire. When it came to building my jig it meant I could build a custom one rather than forking out on prebuilt one or someone else making the round bits. I also have a full time day job, so getting to machine shops during the week is never easy and I love the chance of learning some new skills. It also just opens up a whole lot of other jobs that are impossible without the right tools.

David Mercer – Mercer Bikes, Cape Town, South Africa

David Mercer – Mercer Bikes, Cape Town, South Africa

I met David Mercer at the Bespoke Bike Show in London in April 2014. I was impressed with the bicycle he had brought to the show, a touring bike he called the Monkey King. It could definitely be described as multipurpose, with a lot of hand made details including custom made stainless racks. David is a Vet by training and now splits his time between working as a Vet and building custom bikes, racks and tools. He kindly agreed to answer some questions about his workshop techniques which interested me: