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 Post subject: Re: Fillet brazed frames
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 8:13 pm 
retrobike rider
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deejayen wrote:
Thanks, everyone. I'm a long way off being ready to buy a frame, so really just trying to pick up some info for now. That Overbury's looks lovely! Were there any mainstream manufacturers making quality brazed steel frames (a couple of names which spring to mind are Peugeot and Saracen)?


Looks like you've started the kind of thread that is like four people in the same room all talking, with three talking to one another and the fourth apparently talking to himself.

Hello! Can anyone hear me?

Fillet brazing does not really suit the kind of production that bigger companies require. However, if you look at early mtb's from people like Orange and Dawes, you may find some fillet joints, although this is not really my area, and others like LGF or Sinnerman could give you much more accurate information.

Don't be put off the hand built frames, they are really not that expensive, you just have to keep your eyes open for them. I have five fillet brazed frames, the cheapest was £100 and the most expensive £285 (newly re sprayed and with two pairs of forks), so they are not that much more than a good production frame.

Have a good search around the readers bikes section, there are some stunners in there.


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 Post subject: Re: Fillet brazed frames
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 10:03 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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Some early Saracens were brazed I believe. Think heathy on here has one actually.


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 Post subject: Re: Fillet brazed frames
PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 10:56 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 5:11 pm
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coomber wrote:
Some early Saracens were brazed I believe. Think heathy on here has one actually.


Indeed the '89 Kili Flyer was one viewtopic.php?p=1539658


All the reasons for fillets are mentioned above, to summarise:

Before the days of TIG weldable steel tubesets mass produced bikes were made with lugs and brazed.
Lugs usually cast or stamped have a high startup cost investment to make them at your desired angle.
Lugged bike cheap and easy to make - don't have to mitre tubes really accurately etc.
Braze is low temperature so doesn't affect the strength of steel (before steel improved)

Custom builders can't afford to have lugs made up for low volume bikes / custom angles so use labour intensive fillet braze process.

Hence the most desirable custom frames are fillet brazed.

American mass produced MTBs start to use newer steels that can be TIG welded (high temp) as its quicker and cheaper than building with lugs.

Small custom makers stick with fillet braze as it has a reputation and looks nice, and distances them from mass production.


Most mass produced MTBs would be lugged for cost reasons, and then TIG welded when the newer steels came out. The Saracen above is the exception that proves the rule ;)


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 Post subject: Re: Fillet brazed frames
PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 8:23 am 
Old School Grand Master
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I think you'd be hard pressed to TIG weld a tubeset on your lap the way KB and TR do when they are brazing their latest creation! :wink:

Having said that, I've never really understood the fascination/reverence for fillet brazing? I, along with everyone else, learned to do it at school when I was 13! :?


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 Post subject: Re: Fillet brazed frames
PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 8:30 am 
retrobike rider
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We_are_Stevo wrote:
Having said that, I've never really understood the fascination/reverence for fillet brazing?



It jus looks so purdy :mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: Fillet brazed frames
PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 10:37 am 
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NeilM wrote:
We_are_Stevo wrote:
Having said that, I've never really understood the fascination/reverence for fillet brazing?



It jus looks so purdy :mrgreen:


Use car filler before painting your next frame, that would keep them guessing! :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Fillet brazed frames
PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 11:45 am 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
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We_are_Stevo wrote:

Use car filler before painting your next frame, that would keep them guessing! :wink:


:lol: :lol:

I'm sure I read somewhere that at least one frame maker used to fake fillet-braze frames which had already been TIG-welded.


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 Post subject: Re: Fillet brazed frames
PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 3:46 pm 
retrobike rider
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andyz wrote:
I'm sure I read somewhere that at least one frame maker used to fake fillet-braze frames which had already been TIG-welded.



That's Jason Rourke on his 853 frames.

He does not believe that fillet brazing suits 853, so he TIG welds and then builds up a false fillet.

If you think about it, that is actually more work than just fillet brazing.

I love Rourke frames, I have two of them; an mtb which is lugged, and a fillet brazed 653 road frame that I am gathering quality parts for. I would very much like to own one of his 853 or 953 frames, but I would have to spend a mint on components to do it justice.


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 Post subject: Re: Fillet brazed frames
PostPosted: Sat May 25, 2013 4:35 pm 
BoTM Winner
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Well put by Big Lev .... Thank you.

As far as learning at 13, It is one thing to learn, it is another to be good enough that people seek you out often enough that you can have a good quality of life doing it.

Different angles and tubing made lugs not an option for the early builders.

I have never seen a tig weld that is prettier than a well done Fillet brazed frame myself. As a collector I need to decide how much space I are willing to use taking up my collection and then fill it with the nicest bikes I can find. I prefer brazed in my limited space.

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Fillet brazed frames
PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 4:44 am 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:42 am
Posts: 50
Here's an article you might find interesting, comparing various joint methods. (looks like it uploaded in reverse-order - sorry.) Although originally written objectively, this copy was reprinted in a newsletter for Rivendell Bikes, who's use of lugs is a huge part of their identity. So it was obviously selected because it favors THAT method. But it does say good things about fillets, too.

I have to agree that this is probably academic, and that the joints of any well-built frame will likely hold up under any reasonable circumstances - so it really is a matter of aesthetic preference. I've personally always liked lugs (which is why I have this magazine in the first place), and have sought-out bikes that have them. But I have to say this:

My two most recently acquired vintage bike projects both have fillets. (One, a '99 Joe Starck-built Riv All-rounder, actually has a combination of fillets AND lugs, which is the coolest looking thing ever. The other is an '87 Ritchey TimberComp which was, of course, built by the master of fillets himself.) And now, I've suddenly changed my mind completely - and think that fillets are the most beautiful.

By the way, that Santana is gorgeous.


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