If you had a cnc machine what would you build?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    If you had a cnc machine what would you build?

    I want to start by thanking the forum community for being a great source of in formation and inspiration. I don't post much but have been reading for years.

    So my question /situation : I'm about to finish up a 2 year cnc technician program and I have about 6 weeks spare time with almost unlimited access to several Mills and lathes , manual and cnc , 5 and 4 axis attachments , live tooling , and all the cad/cam programs to go with them. I want to use my time to make frame building tools and accessories.

    I work in a machine shop aswell , and was able to make myself a frame jig by coming in on weekends and evenings. It was a great project , and I have my first frame cut and fitted in there just waiting for me to get a welder and finish it up.

    I learned a ton on the first frame , and look forward to improving my process on the next one. I realize that all these tools and jigs arent really needed and that good files should be priority, but having the access to these machines like I do at the moment may never happen again. And I already have files.

    So for those of you who have built many frames , what would you like to have in your shop the most? I'm leaning towards a tube bending rig like what anvil sells. Also a brake tab jig would be handy. I can see a chainstay mitering jig being valuable down the road aswell. I made some tube clamp blocks on the manual machines already but could probably make some more ,higher quality ones. I'll likely only have time to tackle one project so any advice would be great.

    Thanks for being a great resource .

    Ps where are canadians getting their tubes from ? I ordered enough for my first frame but nearly paid as much in shipping and duty.

  2. #2
    pvd
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    The real issue isn't your tools. It's knowing what you are doing with them.

    Read this:

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

    So, you should be doing a shit ton of cad work and bike setup prior to building anything. Learn to not waste your time building crap.

    Then, after you build some simple, bare bones, basic bikes....

    You can look into yokes and head tubes. Those are the money shots.

    https://www.peterverdone.com/sr-71-blackbird/




  3. #3
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    Thanks for that, the yokes are a good idea and something I have thought long and hard about. Same with a simple hood style dropout . The problem with those is like you pointed out, I havent yet built a ton of bikes, and so dont know exactly what I want to achieve from them. Making bb shells and headtubes would be a good option too i guess, but a little less inspiring on the cad/cam side of things.

    I have read everything on your website, I have a few books, read all of the paterek manual, followed many bike builders blogs, basically done most the homework a guy can do. Its time to start learning by doing. Also the machine shop Im working at (leaving soon though ) is a guy who used to make RaceFace and Syncros (back in the 90's) and where Knolly bikes started for the first few years. They have since moved and although the guy I work for doesnt ride, he has been a good resource in terms of the process and pitfalls of manufacturing.

    So I guess thats why im stuck on thinking of tools and accessories , theres no replacement for experience and I have a time limit. If I dont get something rolling the wife will set me on making xmas presents and cake stands !

    A little background info might help too: been a bike mechanic occasionally for 15yrs, riding for about 18yrs , vancouver rider, 99% mountain biker but I would like to build a road/gravel bike to load up with bags (think trek 920 but steel). The first bike in the jig now is a 27.5 fairly aggressive geo hardtail built to work with some of the parts from my knolly delirium, looking to build another hardtail that would be closest to a chromag primer ish. I want to move quickly into full suspensions as thats where my interest lies and I know what I want out of the bike.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails If you had a cnc machine what would you build?-img_20170903_211504_053.jpg  

    If you had a cnc machine what would you build?-img_20170903_211504_055.jpg  


  4. #4
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    If you are just burning up company time I'd say the chainstay jig.

    Also a few sets of these.

    MAGNETIC 'V' BLOCK UNIVERSAL VISE JAWS

    Tapered V block holders.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BS7FfSfg...by=cobraframes

    All sizes of tube blocks you might ever need.

    A variable sized dummy axle. One that can easily be adjusted from 135 to 157 thus you won't have to make another size down the line if you decided to build to any of the standards.

    But to Peter's point all the tools in the world won't make a better riding bike if the geo and fit suck.

    I've ordered my stuff from bike specific tubing from Nova and Henry James. Shipping and duty suck, but no Canadian source. For straight gauge I order from Aircraft Spruce in Ontario, I don't know of any local Vancouver sources for the thin gauge stuff and with the Aircraft Spruce you know it's going to be good quality.

  5. #5
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    Ah thanks shirk, I hoped you would chime in, seeing your bike build is what prompted me to just go for it and start a frame!

    Those tube blocks look really handy. When I was filing the chainstays I found myself whishing for a block that would hold oval pre-bent tubes securely too so maybe thats something to look into. Dummy axle is a great idea, I already fight with the one I made. Even mitering tubes with a file I can see how a chainstay fixture would be useful. I assumed a tube bender would be high on peoples wish list, I could have used it on my seat stays already.

    I just want to be clear here too, im not trying to cut in line as far as making a bike frame goes. I know the tools dont make the bike. The jig I made wasnt really a necessity but the boss threw us the keys to the machine shop and said "dont hurt yourselves". So my co-worker built a camera and I made a frame jig with the scrap aluminum we had. Actually scrap mic 6 and leftover hardware from when Knolly was in house lol.

    Geometry has been something ive studied since I started riding as a teen, and now I want to experiment with it. I think I have a good handle on fit and geo, but fully expect to learn a ton from each frame. Gotta start somewhere I guess is what im saying, cant ride an idea!

    Its not company time im burning either, im in school full time (work mornings and some weekends). I just pushed through the course and am done with 6 weeks to spare. I cant leave due to tests and such up coming, but I have paid for my time in the shop and plan to take advantage of every minute I have.

    Thanks for the confirmation on the tube supply, those are the sources I had been looking at already.

  6. #6
    pvd
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    1. Never make when you can buy. Paragon makes good stuff at good prices. Don't waste energy doing what they already do well.

    2. Everyone thinks they know about geometry until they find out they know nothing. Keep drawing bikes.

    3. Don't listen to framebuilders, magazines, or internet talk. Everyone is a total moron.

    http://www.peterverdone.com/forward-geometry/

  7. #7
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    I appreciate your input, even if I dont agree with your last 3 points! maybe i'll look back and think "pete was right" but i'll have to get there to look back.

    I want to steer this away from frame geometry and bike design as its not really the point here... I expect to make a few quirky bikes. This is more about the process of building and some handy tools that made life better. Even if its a clamp to hold tubes together or for lining up cable guides.

    I get what you're saying in point 1, but im a machinist. I make things. If I dont make things for myself, the school will get me to make things for them haha. Ive made bike repair tools, machining tools, a precision vise, vblocks , parallels, and an indexing head, all of which would have been easier and arguably better to buy but then id be a pretty useless machinist. This forum wouldnt exist if we just bought instead!

    Maybe Ill just follow your advice on point 3. and disregard you lol . You've inspired me to push ahead with my tube bender plan, it will have multiple dies and a dual die for cs/ss/fork legs and require lots of 3d surfacing. If its a success ill post it up, if not ill post it up as an example you can show to other aspiring builders.

    Thanks again!

  8. #8
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    I can make a frame using the most basic of tools and a file, saw, tube blocks and a vice is all you need to get a frame together. Geo has nothing to do with process. The thing that I really would like to have and if I had the oportunity that you have, is to have decent tube bending tools. You can get by without a jig, lathe, milling machine and anything else, but to be able to create a bend that is just 'so' is part of the craft that you have to have the right gear to do.

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

  9. #9
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    I've got a couple ideas for you, Emmerz. I sent a PM. Hit me up.

    -E
    Myth Cycles handbuilt bike frames
    Durango, CO
    http://www.mythcycles.com

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Malcolm View Post
    I can make a frame using the most basic of tools and a file, saw, tube blocks and a vice is all you need to get a frame together. Geo has nothing to do with process. The thing that I really would like to have and if I had the oportunity that you have, is to have decent tube bending tools. You can get by without a jig, lathe, milling machine and anything else, but to be able to create a bend that is just 'so' is part of the craft that you have to have the right gear to do.

    Eric
    For your builds, what would be the priority tube to be bent? ie: seatstay>seat tube>dt>tt

  11. #11
    pvd
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    The important tube to bend is the seat tube (if you have rear end figured out). You probably won't be figuring out a great solution for that.

    http://www.peterverdone.com/pvd-blac...ube-oem-order/

  12. #12
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    Easy answer.....nothing for bicycles that's for sure
    Last edited by compositepro; 11-03-2017 at 02:25 AM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by compositepro View Post
    Easy answer.....nothing for bicycles that's for sure
    ill start you a thread called "things I wouldnt make with a CNC" lol

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by shirk View Post
    If you are just burning up company time I'd say the chainstay jig.



    A variable sized dummy axle.

    I made some of these once but one of the internet wizards who had never made a ****ing thing in his life told me it was wrong and i shouldnt be selling things i know nothing about


    so i didnt , the adage never argue with an idiot sprang to mind but older and wiser its easier to just let them carry on doing their own thing

  15. #15
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    Our mill is showing up in a month or so. I'm going to make some legos perhaps out of titanium even. After that there's all kinds of R&D work lined up as well as some low volume tools we haven't managed to add to the product range yet.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emmerz View Post
    For your builds, what would be the priority tube to be bent? ie: seatstay>seat tube>dt>tt
    All of them. I saw some years ago a builder on his web site proudly showing a set-up where he had multiple die's in various Radius for each tube diameter from 1/2" to 1 1/4" and this allowed him to bend both tight, medium and gentle bends and I thought I would really like that set-up. Sorry, I cannot remember who it was. You also have the 3-roller type of bender for the arching type of bend to consider as well, but for using the available oportunity that you have, getting some of the complicated machining done would be my focus.

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

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by pvd View Post
    1. Never make when you can buy. Paragon makes good stuff at good prices. Don't waste energy doing what they already do well.

    2. Everyone thinks they know about geometry until they find out they know nothing. Keep drawing bikes.

    3. Don't listen to framebuilders, magazines, or internet talk. Everyone is a total moron.

    http://www.peterverdone.com/forward-geometry/
    4. Or Pete

    You know, there's a lot of stuff you can build and that's what you should do...just build whatever makes sense to you. Make some frames the way you think you want them, ride them, wonder if something different would be more fun, then make that. The more bikes you make, the more you'll either accept your building process or want to find ways to make it better. That's when you'll know what tools to build and then you'll go through the same revisionist process with the tools.

    That said, tube benders are great and most of the non-bike ones you can get off the shelf don't work that well. Diacros are great when you can find all the tooling you need for them, but it's pretty rare and you'll have to make dies for them anyhow AND they take up a lot of space. The Anvil benders are pretty great, mount on a wall and stay out of the way. If you make something that bends seat tubes, you could probably make a small business just selling those to bike builders since there's nothing readily available and most of us don't have the capacity to build a die with a 14" CLR that needs a 35mm ball end mill to cut it. I've made a handful of 12" CLR dies for 5/8 - 1" in 1/8" increments and my rotab was none too happy about it.
    Sean Chaney :: Owner/Builder :: Vertigo Cycles LLC
    flickr :: www.vertigocycles.com

  18. #18
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    I think its going to be the tube bender. Spent all day modeling a bending assembly, with interchangeable dies and rollers. One 3/4" die with parallel channels and roller on 7" CLR to bend stays two at a time, hopefully will keep them uniform-ish. Then a larger 32.7mm channel die (designed to fit the seat tubes ive been ordering) on a 16" CLR. Im not sure how tight I can go on the CLR, so id rather stay on the conservative side .

    Got all the programming and toolpaths figured out, then realized that the edu version of Mastercam 2018 on my laptop wont post out . Doh! And the school version is 2017 so ill have to re do everything, ugh hate computers. Oh well, lots learned along the way at least

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emmerz View Post
    I think its going to be the tube bender. Spent all day modeling a bending assembly, with interchangeable dies and rollers. One 3/4" die with parallel channels and roller on 7" CLR to bend stays two at a time, hopefully will keep them uniform-ish. Then a larger 32.7mm channel die (designed to fit the seat tubes ive been ordering) on a 16" CLR. Im not sure how tight I can go on the CLR, so id rather stay on the conservative side .

    Got all the programming and toolpaths figured out, then realized that the edu version of Mastercam 2018 on my laptop wont post out . Doh! And the school version is 2017 so ill have to re do everything, ugh hate computers. Oh well, lots learned along the way at least
    you can probably go smaller than that unless they're really hard. Also factor for springback. I guess you can always re-machine to get a smaller radius if you need to. Curious...I don't do much (any) steel, but what ST are you using with a 32.7 O.D? Isn't that just the top butted section?
    Sean Chaney :: Owner/Builder :: Vertigo Cycles LLC
    flickr :: www.vertigocycles.com

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by smudge View Post
    you can probably go smaller than that unless they're really hard. Also factor for sp
    ringback. I guess you can always re-machine to get a smaller radius if you need to. Curious...I don't do much (any) steel, but what ST are you using with a 32.7 O.D? Isn't that just the top butted section?
    I was reading it off of this chart : Columbus Tubi
    The Zona 32.7mm with a 33.5 butted end.
    Ive bought tubes from frame builder supply and will be ordering from them again

    https://framebuildersupply.com/colle...5-9-length-550

    I dont have a tube in front of me to measure unfortunately. And my last frame was built for a 30.9 post. hope im reading that char right! haha

  21. #21
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    Here's the last frame I built...........
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails If you had a cnc machine what would you build?-know-fear.jpg  


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