People who know me well are aware that I have a soft spot for bicycles as well as motorcycles, up until this point supacustom has been 100% moto but recently that has changed a little. Almost 6 years ago I built a bicycle frame, and to be honset that is where the addiction to customising bikes really began, I got a huge kick out of riding around on something that I had built myself, from there I progressed onto custom motorcycles but the desire to have another crack at a bicycle frame has been lingering ever since. First time around I built a really basic frame jig, it served the purpose and built a bike that was pretty straight but like everything I learn’t a lot of lessons with that first jig. I promised myself that before making another frame I’d build a new jig incorporating all of those lessons, after much planning and headscratching its pretty much done.
I decided right from the beginning that I wanted to build a jig that could work for a bicycle as well as a motorcycle frame, It took quite a bit of planning as I didn’t want the jig to be a bad compromise, it had to be great for both types of frame. I ended up building a vertical jig, more motorcycle styled as opposed to a traditional plate type of bicycle frame jig. The core of the jig is built from 100mm x 100mm 6061 T6 aerospace grade aluminium extrusions – some very serious chunks of metal. The extrusions have T-slots allowing for great adjustability in the jig. The front post is fixed permanently into the jig while the rear posts are free to slide back and forth. Everything is held together with 10mm 6061 laser cut alloy plates and angle sections.
The first bicycle frame I built was a fillet brazed steel frame, in my opinion this is the best way to build a steel frame. TIG is good and are lugs are cool but for me nothing beats a nice smooth fillet brazed joint. I used a big heavy torch that was pretty cumbersome first time around so for frame number 2 I decided to go all out on a new torch setup. This is a Smiths torch hooked up to a set of kevlar hoses – as good as it gets!
I picked up a nice big steel bench at an auction recently for an absolute bargain, got it all setup as a welding station, Oxy LP for brazing, and TIG for everything else. Nice to have this all sorted out, everything is set now, better get this frame brazed up. I’ll post up some more details on the bicycle frame soon, and yes planning is underway for a motorcycle frame…