Fillet brazed steel bikes, handcrafted in Oklahoma.

Archive for January, 2010

Cleo’s 29er

Now I’m starting the much awaited mountain frame for Cleo. It’ll be here first actual new mountain bike in 20+ years of riding. It’s also going to be my first bi-laminate bike. Bi-laminate construction is a combination of lugged and fillet brazed joints. It’s a pretty time consuming process, as the frame joints are basically done twice. You’ve got a short piece of tubing brazed to the adjoining tube, with a fancy treatment cut into the other end. A smaller diameter tube is slipped into the stub, and it’s brazed like a lugged joint.  Ritchey Annapurnas were done like this, and they were some of the most expensive and sought after frames of the time.

I’m going to do longer points,

Like that. It starts out as a piece of 4130 chromoly tube 1/8″ larger than the frame tube itself. In this case, the sleeve is cut out of 1 3/8″  with a wall thickness of .058″. That gives you an inside diameter of 1.259″, which is .009″ larger than the down tube. That .009″ doesn’t sound like much, and it isn’t. It’s just enough room for the brass to wick into when you braze them together. Since the sleeve doesn’t need to be that thick, I turned it down on the outside, from .058″ to about .030″. It’ll look a lot better, and it will still have the right dimension inside.

That’s the sleeve slipped over the tube to see how it looks.

Add flux

Add heat

Add brazing rodIt looks pretty burnt, but the flux starts off grey so it looks worse than it is. This is some new stuff I’m trying out, and so far I like it except that the flux is harder to get off after brazing. The Gasflux stuff I’ve been using comes off pretty good with hot water, but this has to soak for a while and seems to require a bit of elbow grease. Not the end of the world, but I like time savers. Once the sleeves are brazed on the tube ends, I’ll just build the bike like a normal fillet brazed bike. The other option is to braze the sleeves onto the head tube and proceed like you’re building a bike with regular lugs, like this example.

That one’s not my work,  it’s a pic from the Flickr page of Engin Cycles. Anyway, that’s it for today. You can probably expect more timely updates, as I’m trying to get some progress made on hers and a few others.


I’m alive!

Yeah, it’s been a while since I’ve updated. I’ve got some new stuff to show you though.

First off, Brent’s frame is done. I’m waiting on a 100mm dummy axle for my fork jig so I can build his fork. Should start happening in a few days. I’m also starting a 29er for Cleo. Here’s the pics, because I know that’s what you come for.

This is Brent’s wishbone, with little tube scraps brazed on the ends of the tubes. I’ve filed a radius into the tube ends, so when you cap them with a piece of tubing and file away the excess it makes a nice cap.

After that, I brazed the upper rack bosses in.

Then the fender mount.

Then it’s ready to put on the frame.

Next, it needs a brake cable hangar so I made one on my lathe.

Brazed it on a piece of tubingand then it goes on the frame, along with a stainless chainstay protector. I cut a piece of tubing into 3rds lengthwise for this.

File it a lot, and braze it on.

The last thing is the head tube badge.

After that it soaks, and I break out the 80 grit. I’ll get some good pics when it’s all together and Brent comes to pick it up.