Steel Frames

 

Bill (966809 bytes)


Bill Lowes
 

 

Craig (442558 bytes)


Craig Woodhouse
 

 
 

Click here to read the Singletrack Magazine article about Bill and Craig's experience on the Framebuilding Course.

 


 

Thank you to Singletrack for allowing us to use the article


 

 

FEEDBACK

 

"Thanks to Dave's teaching background and frame building experience, his course creates the perfect opportunity for you to build your own frame to whatever geometry you wish, regardless of your hand tool experience you will end up with a perfectly good frame. If you don't know what frame geometry you want Dave will sort it out for you.



With Dave's help and guidance I can't imagine how anyone could fail to make a really nice frame for themselves.



The hardest part is deciding on the colour scheme!!"

 

Bill Lowes

 

 

 

 

Framebuilding Courses - Frequently Asked Questions

 

Can I build any kind of frame?

No! You only have 5 days, and unless you have lots of experience of framebuilding the time available is only sufficient for most people to build either a conventional lugged road frame and forks, or a fillet brazed frame only, either ATB or road.

You can only build a steel frame. You cannot build an aluminium, titanium, all or part carbon frame. You can use Reynolds 525, 631 or 853 for your frame, but you cannot use 953. You can make a frame with S&S couplings, but you cannot fit the couplings yourself, Dave must fit these to your tubes before the course. If you have the necessary experience you may be able to fit an eccentric bottom bracket or build a tricycle frame, but you cannot build a tandem, recumbent, BMX, 24" (or smaller) wheel, folding or suspension frame.

Stainless steel parts are becoming popular but are difficult to join for a beginner. Steer clear! For a first frame keep it simple and do a good job. If you are a beginner and particularly want stainless droupouts a solution would be for Dave to fit them for you.

 

Is 5 days long enough?

Yes it is! The emphasis of the course is "hands on" under close supervision. The system you will use to build a frame is a series of definite steps that start off relatively quick and easy to do. Jigs and fixtures help reduce a lot of the fiddly stuff. By the end of the first day you should have a set of sub-assemblies ready to start building the frame on the second day. Over 150 people have completed the course so far and all have taken away perfectly good frames at the end of the week.

 

Is accommodation or lunch included?

No. There are a number of B&Bs and campsites in the local area including:

http://castlelodge.net/  A local B&B used by many course participants, all of whom report it to be very good.

http://www.tattershall-lakes.com/  Camping, caravans and self-catering lodges.

http://www.willowholt.co.uk/  Caravan and camping park

For lunch there are local pubs, a cafe, take-aways and supermarket in Coningsby. For health and safety and insurance reasons we regret that lunch cannot be eaten in the workshop.

 

What clothing or equipment do I need to bring?

Work clothes including some stoutish footwear. All safety equipment will be provided, gloves, goggles, masks etc.

 

Is there any preparation I need to do?

Read the course handbook. Read anything else you can find, but with an open mind. Above all, don't worry! There are as many different ways of building frames as there are framebuilders. The course is designed to accommodate people with experience ranging from none at all, to those who have built frames and want to refine their technique.

 

Do I need to design my frame before the start of the course?

No. We will contact you approx 2 months before your course so you can give Dave an idea of what you want to make i.e. track frame, touring frame, audax frame etc. Whether you want to make a lugged frame and forks or lugged or lugless frame only, and if you have any specific requirements e.g. disc brake, Rohloff hub etc. Dimensions and materials will be decided by consultation with Dave on the first day of the course.

 

Can I bring my own tubes/materials?

In order to ensure that only tubes and materials of the highest quality are used, and to ensure that Dave can check and prepare everything before your arrival, all tubes and materials must be obtained from ourselves. We have a large stock of tubes, components and braze-ons for you to choose from.

 

What if I make a mistake and damage a tube?

The chances of this happening are slim. However, replacement tubes and components are available, at cost, from our extensive stock. You will be closely supervised, so usually you will be stopped before making a fatal error. Steel bicycle tube is remarkably forgiving and will tolerate a fair amount of abuse without permanent damage.

 

Can I take photographs?

Yes, we have no objection to you taking photographs of your job as it progresses.

 

Can I paint my own frame?

Painting is not included in order to offer course participants the widest range of options in finishing their frame:

The frame can be taken away at the end of the course to paint yourself.

The frame can be taken to your local sprayer if you have one nearby.

We can paint your frame for you.

If you know you want us to paint your frame for you, please let us know so that we can reserve a painting slot for you. This will ensure your frame is painted as soon as possible after the course.

 

Can I bring my bike, is there anywhere to ride?

You certainly can, there is a huge network of backroads to ride on. To the south towards Boston and beyond the area is pan flat. To the north you run into the Lincolnshire Wolds, which is pleasant rolling countryside without any major climbs. After a hard days graft in the workshop a short ride before dinner may be just the thing to clear your head. We can advise on routes.

 

Can I bring anyone else with me?

For safety reasons, onlookers are not allowed in the workshop. However, there is plenty to do in the local area, and we can provide information and advice. We can also provide details of accommodation.

 

What software do you use to design frames?

Dave uses the stuff that is hardwired between his ears! He has never used a computer for this aspect of framebuilding, and has no intention of starting now! If you wish to produce a design using one of the many packages available that is fine. However, you might have to be prepared to adapt the design when you come face to face with real pieces of metal!

 

Do you use a machine to mitre the tubes?

No. The course is based on traditional methods of framebuilding so mainly hand tool methods are used, Some builders use a milling machine or lathe to mitre the tube ends but not everyone has access to this sort of machinery. The traditional method of carrying out this procedure gives you the knowledge to be independent of machinery.

 

How do I book a place?

First, please get in touch either by email or phone (01526 343322) to check if the date you would like to attend is available. We will then hold that date for 3 days pending receipt of a deposit of £250. Our preferred method of payment is by bank transfer (account details will be provided on request) I am afraid we do not accept cards.