What skills will I learn?
The goal of the class (beyond just building a fun and safe first frame) is to give you a mental and physical toolkit that will allow you to safely build more frames in the future (either as a hobby or professionally). To that end, skills that will be covered include (but are not limited to):
-TIG welding (introduction to aluminum and titanium welding included if you are interested), fillet brazing, silver brazing/lugs.
-Mitering/coping tubing both with a vertical mill and by hand/file.
-Frame design, fit, and geometry using bikeCAD pro. Basic introduction to other software including Linkage (suspension design) and RattleCAD (free/open source frame design) is also available.
-Tube, dropout, and brazeon selection.
-Checking alignment and aligning subassemblies and complete frames using a variety of tools and methods.
-Bending and shaping both main triangle tubes and chain/seatstays.
-Jig and tool construction.
-Use and care of reaming/facing/chasing tools to prep frames for final assembly.
-Basics of operating a framebuilding business (if desired) and obtaining insurance and accounts with various suppliers/distributors.
When is the best time to come?
If you want to be able to ride (comfortably, on dry trails) the best time of year is June-September. I do offer April/May and October/November classes but there is a very high chance that trails will be muddy and/or snowed in during those times. No class offered December-February, it’s just too cold.
Do I need to know anything/practice anything in advance? Are there prerequisites?
No, with the caveat that if you come prepared with basic knowledge of TIG (and some practice time under your belt) you will learn much more from the class. I am a great welding instructor – but if we spend most of our time practicing welding, we will have to skim over many more interesting (and arguably useful) framebuilding topics in order to finish in time.
I offer a complete TIG welding setup (everything but the argon tank) that is available for rental for a flat fee of $100 (plus shipping costs) prior to your class if you do not have access to welding gear locally. Many students find that a local community college or makerspace is an ideal facility to practice. I’m also happy to supply (mitered or unmitered) scrap bike tubing for practice upon request.
How many students have you taught?
As of fall 2017, approximately 20.
Can I get a discount if I already know how to weld/miter/etc?
Sorry, the class is a fixed price.