Get your 110v welder ready and let’s begin welding bicycle frames! Whether or not you’ll be participating in a cycling competition or not, it would be so cool to weld your very own bicycle frame and design it!
For this project, you’ll need to know about Tungsten Inert Gas or TIG welding. Read the following tips to be able to weld bike frames easily:
Tip #1: Prepare Everything
It’s important to spend a lot of time preparing the materials. The pieces of the structure should be cut, angled, curved perfectly so that they fit together without any gap. TIG welding also demands the metal be sanded and cleaned with alcohol. You should get the accurate fit for your metal workpieces so that you won’t have a problem later on.
Tip #2: Design the frame
Don’t ever skip this part! You should first create a blueprint or design to guide you. This will help you know where all parts should be, what tubes are needed, how they should be joined, and what the miter angles and lengths will be. Designing the bike frame will also help you measure the hole-saw diameters.
It’s essential that you know how to design the frame first. If you don’t, you should probably consider reading more about TIG welding or attending a TIG welding class.
Tip #3: Practice proper hand position
To make a steady TIG weld, you’ll need to get used to the correct positioning of your hands while you work. Mind you; TIG welding bicycle frames isn’t just about planning and clamping metal pieces. You’ll need to keep the arc steady and concentrated on the weld joint while adding wire consistently. Your one hand should be as still as it could be, making only teeny-weeny movements, and the other hand should be engaged in a relatively steady motion with the wire. Seriously, you need a lot of practice to pull this off. But don’t worry, you’ll get it!
Tip #4: Working with aluminum
Most bicycle frames are made of aluminum so that they’re light. One thing you need to know is how much filler you’ll be needing. Well, you’ll need a bunch.
Tip #5: Control the heat
You should be aware that your TIG welding pedal is so crucial for this project. If you didn’t know yet, you’d be dealing with thin metal and joints. While some metals need to be cold, others need to be pre-heated. So you should know how much you’re pressing the TIG welding pedal down. Excessive heat will blow a hole in your weld, and little heat will give you a cold weld that has poor fusion. Bear in mind that the filler metal should be concentrated into the welding joint for the metals to join together effectively.
To get better fusion, keep the tungsten focused on the weld joint’s heat affected zone. Again, this will need a lot of practice for you to be precise.
Tip #6: Double the weld
Want to produce a stronger weld? Double up your weld! Doing so will only be possible if you were able to stack your welds correctly. If you’re a beginner TIG welder, then you’ll need more and more practice for this. Don’t worry; all your hard work will pay off once you see your bike frame stronger than you expect it to be. Plus, it’s an excellent way to make the most out of your welds.