Originally Posted by DaveInDenver
lugs, dead sexy. Henry James, Richard Sachs, oh hell yeah.
My understanding of the brazing process is it takes a fair bit of practice to get it right on bike frames. If you use lugs, they are heavy, the tube walls thin and the solder temperamental so you can easily get too much (ruin the tube) or too little heat (bad joint). This is one reason why high volume frames and even custom frames now are TIG & MIG, a lot less black magic to attaining a good looking and safe connection.
But the hard part isn't even the joining of metals necessarily but fabricating a jig that lets you do it so the frame is straight enough and doesn't require much (ideally zero) cold working after to align. That is one advantage of lugs, they tend to be self aligning and all the tubes cuts are less critical. Fillet brazing and welding you'd need more tooling to cut the miters and hold the tubes. That is again why higher volume is lug-less, investment in the table or jig is one time and amortized over all the frames. For a one-of, lugs make sense.
Just a hint, you might want to talk to John Henley and Terry Holben. John is a wizard with artistic metal in general (and has made bike frames) and Terry has been threatening to build us all fat bikes for, like, ever. If we can get you two into a race maybe we'll finally start seeing some frames coming out.
Yes, lugs are awesome.
Planning on putting in lots of practice with 1mm tubing in a couple of different sizes so that one will slide over the other. From the research I've been doing the past couple of days, Columbus Chromoly Thron tubes are the ones to start with since they're a little thicker.
It's also possible to do it jig-less. A little more time consuming on the setup side but I've found a couple of articles that explain it. I came across an article last night for building a jig.
I'd like to start with something relatively easy and build a track frame. A fat frame would definitely be in the future. Wouldn't mind building something for the kids as well.
A lot of the setups I've been reading about use an oxygen concentrator instead of a tank. Refurb'd concentrators are readily available and not too expensive. I also like the idea of just being able to run to Home Depot for a refill. I just need a little shed or something in the backyard for storage to reduce the potential for the house going boom.