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  1. #1
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    What's your favourite (and least favourite) part of building a frame?

    Whilst finishing a frame yesterday, I was thinking about which bits I do and don't enjoy and what I look forward to when I'm building a frame. I was thinking that if everyone says which bits they don't like or find hard, maybe someone else who does like that bit could help out (probably in another thread)

    So here are mine:

    Least favourite is seatstays. Just about everything about them, bending, mitring the whole lot. I'd be much happier if frames didn't have them.

    Favourite bit is braze-ons. I love getting it just right so I don't need to do any clean up work. (I'm also quite fond of downtube/headtube mitres as I just like the shape but I will limit it to 1 in each category)

    So what's yours?

    Matt

  2. #2
    Harrumph
    Reputation: G-reg's Avatar
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    Favorite:

    The first ride down the driveway with *just* enough parts for it to be bicycle shaped. I hope that impatience/need doesn't go away.

    Least Favorite:

    Yeah, seat stays. I've yet to be happy with any I've done.
    Slowly slipping to retrogrouchyness

  3. #3
    Moderator Moderator
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    Design work!

    Ok, the cop-out answer first: I like designing bikes way more than I like any part of the actual building. That's not to say I dislike building, I like it a lot, but there's not much intellectual challenge to it. Trying to get a customer on the perfect geometry is my thing much more than mitering tubes.

    That said, the non-copout answer is definitely:
    Favorite: Front triangle welding. Lots of room to maneuver, lots of ground to cover, looks neat when you're done.
    Least favorite: Seatstays. Getting them to be perfectly evenly bent and symmetrical sucks even with a pretty dialed process and they're simultaneously the least important and most-noticed part of the frame. Ugh.

    -Walt
    Waltworks Custom Bicycles
    Park City, UT USA
    www.waltworks.com
    waltworks.blogspot.com

  4. #4
    Shamisen Appreciator
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    I'll echo part of what Walt said...I love the design part of the process.

    S-Bent seat stays aren't much trouble but my SweetStays take more time than I'd like.

    My least favorite part is doing all the scotch brite finish work at the end. Every time I hand finish a frame (which I do on every frame), I'm wondering if I could make enough money building ti exhausts.
    Sean Chaney :: Owner/Builder :: Vertigo Cycles LLC
    flickr :: www.vertigocycles.com

  5. #5
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
    Reputation: shiggy's Avatar
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    With the few frames I have built I loved doing the seat stays. The chain stays, not so much.
    Still, like doing it all, from design to powdercoat.
    mtbtires.com
    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  6. #6
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    Without doubt, a love - hate relationship with the seatstay.

    I hate the fiddly way that I execute them, takes so long.

    I love them for the very same reason. My internal battle continues......

    Eric
    If I don't make an attempt, how will I know if it will work?

  7. #7
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    I'm glad I'm not alone in the seatstay hatred. I think Walt hit the nail on the head:

    "Simultaneously the least important and most-noticed part of the frame"

    I think a seatstay mitring fixture is going on my to do list

  8. #8
    Nemophilist
    Reputation: TrailMaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by G-reg View Post
    The first ride down the driveway with *just* enough parts for it to be bicycle shaped. I hope that impatience/need doesn't go away.
    This is a fairly well brilliant observation;

    Least Favorite Thing; Impatience. The impatience that causes me to screw up a part that I have spent substantial time on.

    2nd LFT; Compromise. I hate having to compromise my designs for production reasons. I have been fairly stubborn so far on some points, bridges mostly, purely for esthetic reasons, and it costs me the frustration of trying to figure out how to get it welded together without making a mess.

    3rd LFT; Welding. I love it, but I'm not very good at it. Not as good as I aspire to be, for sure. I might never do enough of it to get really good at it either, and it bugs me. Well... I've only built 2 frames (actually, 1.85 ), so....

    Favorite thing; Progression, when it's right. Front triangle tacked. Sit back; Looking Good. Front triangle welded. Sit back; Cool! Stays tacked in place, stand back; Sweet! All done and freshly sanded on the stand; Awwww Baby....YEEEEEESSSS!

    2nd FT; Details. Design touches and the effect they have on the overall scheme that make that progression so much fun.



    Most people ply the Well Trodden Path. A few seek a different way, and leave a Trail behind.
    - John Hajny, a.k.a. TrailMaker

  9. #9
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    Looks like there is a party in the anti-seatstay room I'll join. I don't mind bending them but the seatstay/seattube miter can drive me nuts. For my favorite, finishing a frame and thinking "On the next one I'm going to _____." While building I alway seem to come across ideas that I want to try so I start designing the next one in my head while working on the current one.

  10. #10
    will rant for food
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    Aspiring composites guy...

    Least favorite: sanding, filleting, bagging.

    Favorite: prepreg ply application. Super relaxing, listen to chill music while doing it.
    Latitude: 44.93 N

  11. #11
    Eric the Red
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    My favorite construction part is the brazing. I just love to do it. My favorite non construction part is working out the details of someone's new bike with them and hearing the ride reports and seeing the pictures of where they go on it.

    Right now my least favorite part is the way my shop is laid out. That's my fault though, and I'll be fixing that over Thanksgiving weekend.

  12. #12
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    Bamboo guy here.

    Favorite: Sanding the lugs to get the shape just right.

    Least Favorite: Chainstay

  13. #13
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    Least favorite: Chainstay mitering/adjusting, because they are never, ever the same length !

  14. #14
    Randomhead
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    least favorite: selling frames
    also, sitting around worrying about doing something difficult when I should be just working on it.
    not a big fan of getting rid of the little shoulder at the edge of a fillet. My goal is to never have to do that again.

    favorites: when the miter fits, the filler starts to wet out, and when the filler starts to show on the opposite side of wherever I'm feeding it in. I'm a little simple-minded.

  15. #15
    WIGGLER
    Reputation: todwil's Avatar
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    Favorite thing Hostless Ding Dongs and now there gone......a..mm...wrong forum sorry!!

    Favorite thin is the whole build! least favorite thing is the mess from all my favorites!!!
    PAYASO 36er.....Live the Circus

  16. #16
    650b me
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    One fillet-brazed frame is the sum total of my framebuilding experience.

    Favorite: hand-mitering the tubes
    Least: hand-filing the fillets! I spent waaaayyy too many hours!

  17. #17
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by golden boy View Post
    One fillet-brazed frame is the sum total of my framebuilding experience.

    Favorite: hand-mitering the tubes
    Least: hand-filing the fillets! I spent waaaayyy too many hours!
    The better your fillets are the less filing you need to do, and both take less time.
    mtbtires.com
    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  18. #18
    Plays with tools
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    My favorite is welding the seat stays. It's just hard enough to make me happy when they turn out really well.

    Least favorite is brazing anything, even bottle bosses. It's just such a messy pain in the ass. Why can't we just weld the whole damn thing.

  19. #19
    Eric the Red
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    Quote Originally Posted by customfab View Post
    Why can't we just weld the whole damn thing.
    You can, when was the last time you saw a titanium frame with brazed on cable guides?

  20. #20
    Squelch the weasel.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fanzy4 View Post
    Least favorite: Chainstay mitering/adjusting, because they are never, ever the same length !
    I'm happy to hear someone with real skills say this! Me too!

    Most favorite thing is, if it's a bike for me, and I did a good job, not the first ride, but maybe the 2nd or 3rd! (I've only made about a dozen bikes.)

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