Frame building questions|Mentor needed for high school senior project- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Frame building questions|Mentor needed for high school senior project


    Hello everyone,


    I am a senior in high school and I am building a mountain bike for my senior project.


    One of the requirements for the senior project is at least one mentor. My school prefers that I meet with the mentor once, in person. I was going to see if I could meet with someone from the Frame Building School in Ashland, OR. I am not very good at in-person conversations though and, with the coronavirus thing going on , I think it would be acceptable to have a conversation online. That is where you come in.


    If you have any experience with building mountain bikes and would like to provide some input, opinions, or general impressions to help me out, check out my mini-presentation. PM me on Pinkbike at fanders (preferably) or comment here and I will try my best to reply quickly. Questions I have in the mini-presentation are in blue.




    Thank you,
    FINN


    Here is a link to a mini-presentation of the bike: View
    Here is a link to the Autocad file: Download
    Here is a link to the Autocad file in-browser (you don't need Autocad to view it):View

  2. #2
    pvd
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    You're going to have to work with email and skype for real file transfers and imaging.
    Also, you're going to have to get good at talking to people. Start now. Cowboy up.

    1. Google docs are good.
    2. We don't share .dwg publically. Use .pdf
    3. Couldn't open the drawing without hassle. Didn't bother trying.

    Get good at this stuff. Spreadsheets are your friend.

    Aslo, https://www.peterverdone.com/bits-of...-framebuilder/

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by pvd View Post
    You're going to have to work with email and skype for real file transfers and imaging.
    Also, you're going to have to get good at talking to people. Start now. Cowboy up.

    1. Google docs are good.
    2. We don't share .dwg publically. Use .pdf
    3. Couldn't open the drawing without hassle. Didn't bother trying.

    Get good at this stuff. Spreadsheets are your friend.

    Aslo, https://www.peterverdone.com/bits-of...-framebuilder/
    Yeah, I think email would be the best way to communicate however I do not want to post my email here. I could give my email in a PM either on Pinkbike or here though, which is why I mentioned it.
    The .dwg file is an Autocad file. If you do not have Autocad, then you can not open it. You can look at the model in-browser using the link I mentioned though.

    Thanks, for the link! I will take a look.

  4. #4
    pvd
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    Ok. I just opened the drawing. No good.
    1. Learn how to produce a proper print. Communication is way more important than fabrication or machining skill for you. You need to make a binder, not a bike really.
    2. Make a hardtail. You will have more than enough work to do on a documentation level. Keep it simple on the actual build side of things.
    3. You are learning to be an engineer. Focus on that.

  5. #5
    pvd
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    Quote Originally Posted by FINN ANDERS View Post
    The .dwg file is an Autocad file.
    No $hit. Get in the habit of making proper documentation.

    I looked at your presentation. You would do best to back way up and begin at the begging. Try to learn some about bike geometry and fitment and explain in those terms.

    What problem are you really solving? Keep that in focus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pvd View Post
    Ok. I just opened the drawing. No good.
    1. Learn how to produce a proper print. Communication is way more important than fabrication or machining skill for you. You need to make a binder, not a bike really.
    2. Make a hardtail. You will have more than enough work to do on a documentation level. Keep it simple on the actual build side of things.
    3. You are learning to be an engineer. Focus on that.
    I can make a proper print in a few minutes with Photoshop. If someone were willing to give me some input on the bike, I could send them all the information they want, including a proper diagram of the frame with all the geometry numbers on it. The drawing is just to give them an idea of what I am up to.

    I already had an argument over hardtail vs full suspension with someone else and decided upon a full suspension. Why would I start over with a hardtail if I have a complete, viable design for a full suspension? All it needs is someone knowledgable to look over it.

    Quote Originally Posted by pvd View Post
    No $hit. Get in the habit of making proper documentation.

    I looked at your presentation. You would do best to back way up and begin at the begging. Try to learn some about bike geometry and fitment and explain in those terms.

    What problem are you really solving? Keep that in focus.
    Most people who design and build bikes have Autocad or Solidworks, both of which open .dwg files.

    Maybe you are misunderstanding, the presentation is for fellow frame builders to see what I have designed so that they can give me input. The presentation is not at all what I will present for my senior project. That presentation will be much more in depth and detailed. I know lots about geometry, I researched the geometry for 20+ hours, I rode friends bikes with different geometries.
    My school is simply looking for interaction between me and a knowledgeable person in the field in which my project is focused.

  7. #7
    pvd
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    “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear”

    Good luck.

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    Finn,
    I think what you've provided is pretty good. You're not breaking new ground with the design, but it doesn't seem like that's the goal here. Don't let Peter scare you, he just holds everyone to a high standard.

    I will say I think that in the interest of simplicity, you may want to look into building a hardtail. While your CAD drawing looks like the basics are there, actually accomplishing building it in the real world is a whole other thing. Do you have access to a machine shop? You say you're going to have someone else weld it, but do you plan on doing all the mitering and machining of parts yourself?
    Myth Cycles handbuilt bike frames
    Durango, CO
    http://www.mythcycles.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erichimedes View Post
    Finn,
    I think what you've provided is pretty good. You're not breaking new ground with the design, but it doesn't seem like that's the goal here. Don't let Peter scare you, he just holds everyone to a high standard.

    I will say I think that in the interest of simplicity, you may want to look into building a hardtail. While your CAD drawing looks like the basics are there, actually accomplishing building it in the real world is a whole other thing. Do you have access to a machine shop? You say you're going to have someone else weld it, but do you plan on doing all the mitering and machining of parts yourself?
    My dad owns his own furniture company and he designs and builds the furniture himself. So, I have access to all of his tools and his CNC machine. I think I can manage all of the building/fabricating—except for the 24mm axle. For that, I can ask if my dad knows someone who a shop capable of doing that (I'm not too worried about that).

    My dad and I tried taking a welding class at our local college but the teacher was difficult to work with so we gave up. I will learn to weld in the college I am going to but I do not have time to learn now before I graduate. If I can not find someone who can weld the frame (e.g. a welder, a frame maker, or a friend), I do not think it is the end of the world; I will still have a project and a physical frame to present.

    FINN

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    Hi Finn, I haven't got that much to add here as i am very much a beginner in this world, i have just finished my 6th frame, all previous have been road or gravel/cx frames. So havent even built an MTB! I know not that much about MTB's at all and cant really comment on sus geo etc.

    However i feel i can add something on a more general note.
    I appreciate the presentation, i think it covers a decent starting point, there are many questions posed. The most obvious that stuck out to me is the question of how it should be welded. Long story short it pretty much has to be TIG. Someone, somewhere will claim they can mig your hairs together, but in reality the best chance of success will be getting a skilled tig welder to undertake any welding that is done. Consider that TIG is a challenging welding process, from first purchasing my tig welder it took about 6 months to get confident enough to complete a frame. Looking back, the welding on my first frame is $hite compared to what i can do now. And still i have many hours of hood time before i come any where near mastery.
    So if you do decide to do it yourself, expect some serious practice to get acceptable results.

    On that note, A full sus frame is a serious fabrication project. The idea of building one myself, even with some experience behind the files, send shivers down my spine...not in a good way.
    It will be a very steep learning curve if you do attempt a full sus frame. If you would like to come out of it with a ride-able frame, a hardtail will be a much more likely to succeed and i would encourage you to look into that possibility.
    as erichmedes said, this kind of project becomes very challenging very quickly when you reach a practical stage, especially for a novice.

    However its cool to see young people tryin stuff and i absolutely encourage you to keep at it. You clearly aren't an idiot and have made it a decent way so far, just gotta channel your focus in the right direction.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by hillm View Post
    Hi Finn, I haven't got that much to add here as i am very much a beginner in this world, i have just finished my 6th frame, all previous have been road or gravel/cx frames. So havent even built an MTB! I know not that much about MTB's at all and cant really comment on sus geo etc.

    However i feel i can add something on a more general note.
    I appreciate the presentation, i think it covers a decent starting point, there are many questions posed. The most obvious that stuck out to me is the question of how it should be welded. Long story short it pretty much has to be TIG. Someone, somewhere will claim they can mig your hairs together, but in reality the best chance of success will be getting a skilled tig welder to undertake any welding that is done. Consider that TIG is a challenging welding process, from first purchasing my tig welder it took about 6 months to get confident enough to complete a frame. Looking back, the welding on my first frame is $hite compared to what i can do now. And still i have many hours of hood time before i come any where near mastery.
    So if you do decide to do it yourself, expect some serious practice to get acceptable results.

    On that note, A full sus frame is a serious fabrication project. The idea of building one myself, even with some experience behind the files, send shivers down my spine...not in a good way.
    It will be a very steep learning curve if you do attempt a full sus frame. If you would like to come out of it with a ride-able frame, a hardtail will be a much more likely to succeed and i would encourage you to look into that possibility.
    as erichmedes said, this kind of project becomes very challenging very quickly when you reach a practical stage, especially for a novice.

    However its cool to see young people tryin stuff and i absolutely encourage you to keep at it. You clearly aren't an idiot and have made it a decent way so far, just gotta channel your focus in the right direction.
    Thank you! I appreciate your input.

    I looked into TIG a little bit and I agree, TIG sounds like the way to go. There is probably someone near me that knows how to TIG well.

    As for the hardtail vs full squish argument (seems to be everyone's favorite), it will definitely be a challenge. I am very mechanically minded though. I would rather take on the challenge and run the risk of the bike not being rideable than make a hardtail that would most likely be rideable. Also, many people build hardtails and they often look the same, a full suspension design is more unique.

  12. #12
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    Greetings,

    Have you considered building it out of wood? If you did choose wood your Dad could be your mentor.
    Lucky neighbor of Maryland's Patapsco Valley State Park, 39.23,-76.76 Flickr

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    Quote Originally Posted by shoo View Post
    Greetings,

    Have you considered building it out of wood? If you did choose wood your Dad could be your mentor.
    Very good point! I think he would love to build a bike out of wood but I already have my plans set for a steel bike. Definitely a good idea for the future though. I can prototype some of the parts out of wood first before actually fitting a steel tube.

    Also, although my dad would be a good mentor, my school prefers if I get some input from people who are not related to me. Forces me to communicate with strangers and have awkward conversations which are a good thing.

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    That makes sense. Do not forget to post some pictures when you get to prototyping.

    Have fun.
    Lucky neighbor of Maryland's Patapsco Valley State Park, 39.23,-76.76 Flickr

  15. #15
    nrj
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    On page 5 of your preso you listed your tube choices. Here's what I'd recommend for the front triangle:

    HT: Paragon Machine Works 44mm Buy it in the length you need. It's sufficiently beefy for a mountain bike. That tapered tube you chose is for a weight weenie bike.

    TT: 31.7 9/6/9 in the proper length. There's no reason you have to bend the tube. Make the design work. Nova Cycles will have the tube you need.

    ST: 1-3/8x.035" standard chromo and then top it off with this.

    DT: My best guess would be 1-1/2x.035" standard chromo, but I'll defer to those who've built full suspension bikes. Perhaps you could braze on a reinforcing sleeve at the pivot location, taking into consideration any stress risers that could occur with such a solution.

    BB: A standard BSA 73mm shell is fine since only the ST and DT are contacting it. You can consider a T47 BB shell which is 2" diameter for more tube contact real estate.

    CS: 3/4x.028" seems flimsy to me. I'd go .035" thick.

    Dropouts: Most plate style dropouts are at least 5mm thick. Your choice of using .071" plate seems to be way too thin.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by nrj View Post
    On page 5 of your preso you listed your tube choices. Here's what I'd recommend for the front triangle:

    HT: Paragon Machine Works 44mm Buy it in the length you need. It's sufficiently beefy for a mountain bike. That tapered tube you chose is for a weight weenie bike.

    TT: 31.7 9/6/9 in the proper length. There's no reason you have to bend the tube. Make the design work. Nova Cycles will have the tube you need.

    ST: 1-3/8x.035" standard chromo and then top it off with this.

    DT: My best guess would be 1-1/2x.035" standard chromo, but I'll defer to those who've built full suspension bikes. Perhaps you could braze on a reinforcing sleeve at the pivot location, taking into consideration any stress risers that could occur with such a solution.

    BB: A standard BSA 73mm shell is fine since only the ST and DT are contacting it. You can consider a T47 BB shell which is 2" diameter for more tube contact real estate.

    CS: 3/4x.028" seems flimsy to me. I'd go .035" thick.

    Dropouts: Most plate style dropouts are at least 5mm thick. Your choice of using .071" plate seems to be way too thin.
    Thank you nrj.

    I didn't think about using a straight 1.5" headtube but that is definitely the way to go. My brother's bike has one and I quite like the look of it. It will complement the other large tubes well.

    I think the 34.9 8/5/8 and the 31.7 9/6/9 are about the same in strength. The latter would mate with the seat tube better though so I will check that one out. That one happens to be out of stock right now, just like the 34.9 from Henry James.

    That ST collar is a cool idea. Since the ST I was going to get is out of stock, that seems like a decent alternative. Again, the bigger seat tube will work better at the TP, ST joint. My only concern is that the 3 1/2" length is not sufficient for a dropper post. Do you know if it is?

    Based on my expert knowledge on tube sizing (sarcasm), 1-1/2x.035" does not seem big enough for the DT to me. Amidst the arguing in my other post, there is some agreement on ≈44mm. The .049" thickness I chose could be a little overkill but I would rather not have the DT bend. Also, using smaller than 44mm would make mounting the pivot BB tricky.

    BB: After looking into the T47 BB, I think the standard one would be better. If I cut the tubes just like they are in the Autocad Model, the standard BB should work fine. I don't want to have to buy another BB.

    0.035" sounds fine for the chainstays. I trust your "feeling" more than mine.

    Dropouts: Yeah, I honestly had no idea how thick to get the plate parts. 5mm will be heavy but my Bullit V1 has a flexy rear end and I don't want this bike to have that as well. The thru-axle should help with that too. 5mm is too thick for the headtube gussets, right? What would be a good thickness for them?

    Thanks again, I appreciate your time. I have not ordered any of the parts yet but I want to order them as soon as possible. I'll see if I can get one other opinion on the tube sizes.
    FINN

  17. #17
    nrj
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    Henry James has been closing up shop for awhile now. They won't be restocking anything.

    Your best sources for tubes are
    Nova Cycles
    Framebuilders Supply
    Bike Fab Supply
    Torch and File

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