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Framebuilding classes in Italy

Old 05-25-20, 08:43 AM
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EamonPVD
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Framebuilding classes in Italy

Hi! I知 looking for a bit of an adventure. I own a small shop in Rhode Island and have been sorta eager to learn how to build frames in the off season. The idea of learning the trade in Italy sounds like an amazing opportunity. Does anyone know of any frame building classes? Either through a smaller builder or a school or something like that?

thanks!
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Old 05-25-20, 10:46 AM
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Is there a specific reason for choosing Italy?
I did a frame building course with Doug Fattic recently and it was great!! He is located in Niles, Michigan.
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Old 05-25-20, 08:36 PM
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Are you fluent in Italian? Do you think that some "Euro magic" will rub off and onto you?

I will second the US classes as I have taken a few over the decades. I have always felt that there are people who produce and those who teach. It's rare to find one that employees both qualities. Andy
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Old 05-25-20, 09:52 PM
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Google search shows one in France and 3 in UK
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Old 05-26-20, 06:25 AM
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The true expertise in teaching framebuilding is in the U.S., as is the bulk of the framebuilding talent in the world. But the food would be better in Italy, no doubt
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Old 05-26-20, 08:40 PM
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The Op states a dream that some of us have heard so many times over the years. To dream is good, and needed in these times. But before spending large sums of $ and time one really needs to find out the reality of both the dream's start and the finish.

I alluded some to the start in my first post. Can the OP communicate at a level that will allow for the minutia of how to hold a file or when to call a joint filled with brass. Will "he" be able to accept a limited amount of time a builder can afford, as there are so few "schools" for building if any there, given that the builder has a customer to make happy and their own bills to pay from that frame. Is the OP willing to bend to another culture's manors and customs both in the work place as well as in their place to live during the time there. (There's a big difference between tourist and immigrant worker)

Then there's the take aways. Does the OP have any idea what it's like to build a real business where the product is them? Where there's many others who have less time/cost pressures but have greater customer capture skills? Will the type of business change the lease/insurance/working space and tooling they already have (I assume the shop is a bike shop here with standard commercial retail insurance and lease)? This bike making thing is littered with the remains of many before who have found out that real life building is far more about business management and less about filing and brazing. Will the building take away from more profitable service and sales? Take away from stocking parts/bikes space or work stand space?

There's so much more to speak about but these are some starters to consider. Even here in the US there are only a few building teachers that can focus on becoming a frame builder (as opposed to being able to build a frame in the class, a big distinction). Doug Fattic is one I have spent much time with. There are others but not many.

If the goal is to spend a few weeks in a new place and gain some skills then go for it. But to learn how to be a frame builder I strongly suggest staying here in the USA. Andy
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Old 05-27-20, 07:36 PM
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Just tryna have a good experience in Italy. You guys are are a bit crazy. Thanks for the input.
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Old 05-27-20, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by EamonPVD View Post
Just tryna have a good experience in Italy. You guys are are a bit crazy. Thanks for the input.
No we try to answer what's asked and give our views on the topic. That you come back with this off hand reply suggests you weren't very forthcoming in your op. Andy
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Old 05-27-20, 10:33 PM
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I think it would be a lot more fun to go to Italy with one of the many businesses that have bike rides there.
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Old 05-28-20, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
No we try to answer what's asked and give our views on the topic. That you come back with this off hand reply suggests you weren't very forthcoming in your op. Andy
you had a page and a half reply to my short OP asking one question...
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Old 05-28-20, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by EamonPVD View Post
you had a page and a half reply to my short OP asking one question...
If you know of a class or shop, great! I壇 like to know! If not, I dont need an angry bike guy lecture, I知 an adult.
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Old 05-28-20, 08:10 AM
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One of the benefits of using this medium is the flow of the discussion. Much like when people are talking in person and ideas come out that were not part of the initial comment/question that started the discussion. My first post was very direct to your initial question. And is was short as my views at that point were pretty basic. But then another poster, replying to your op shifted the flow of this thread enough to jog my thoughts more, hence the second post of mine and it's length. This isn't a key stroke limited medium. We here generally appreciate the nuance and scope of our topics and that these reflections are often not simple and short thoughts.

When you offered your second post and you seemed to reject our opinions and views I felt you were a bit off base. And i suggested this. We are a framebuilding forum and we tend to think and reply with this theme . Were we a vacation forum I suspect Eric's second post's comments might have come earlier.

Do understand that when you ask interested experienced people about their passions and craft and then you complain that they take you seriously that you might get some feedback that is not nice to hear.

Having said all that I agree with Eric that spending time in Italy would be really fun and being able to ride a bike there would only add to that. I, too, have had a dream of much the same. But as this is a framebuilding forum I didn't think this view of mine was what you were looking for. Or if it was I would have thought your first post would have been more clear to what you wanted back from us. Andy
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Old 05-28-20, 09:28 AM
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Found one in Tuscany, Daccordi


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Old 05-28-20, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by EamonPVD View Post
you had a page and a half reply to my short OP asking one question...
If you don't have enough patience to read a couple of sentences, and get pissed when someone says something you didn't want to hear, I'm skeptical whether framebuilding is for you.
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There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
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Old 05-28-20, 10:30 AM
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I've found that is really difficult to predict.
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Old 05-28-20, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by wsteve464 View Post
Found one in Tuscany, Daccordi

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wW7811sQ7MI
thank you so much!
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Old 05-28-20, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
If you don't have enough patience to read a couple of sentences, and get pissed when someone says something you didn't want to hear, I'm skeptical whether framebuilding is for you.
its called over stepping. And you are doing it well.
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Old 05-28-20, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart View Post
One of the benefits of using this medium is the flow of the discussion. Much like when people are talking in person and ideas come out that were not part of the initial comment/question that started the discussion. My first post was very direct to your initial question. And is was short as my views at that point were pretty basic. But then another poster, replying to your op shifted the flow of this thread enough to jog my thoughts more, hence the second post of mine and it's length. This isn't a key stroke limited medium. We here generally appreciate the nuance and scope of our topics and that these reflections are often not simple and short thoughts.

When you offered your second post and you seemed to reject our opinions and views I felt you were a bit off base. And i suggested this. We are a framebuilding forum and we tend to think and reply with this theme . Were we a vacation forum I suspect Eric's second post's comments might have come earlier.

Do understand that when you ask interested experienced people about their passions and craft and then you complain that they take you seriously that you might get some feedback that is not nice to hear.

Having said all that I agree with Eric that spending time in Italy would be really fun and being able to ride a bike there would only add to that. I, too, have had a dream of much the same. But as this is a framebuilding forum I didn't think this view of mine was what you were looking for. Or if it was I would have thought your first post would have been more clear to what you wanted back from us. Andy
you responded with so much condescension. Do you see that?
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Old 05-28-20, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by EamonPVD View Post
its called over stepping. And you are doing it well.
Just "take things with philosophy", as they say in Italy.
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Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
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Last edited by ThermionicScott; 05-28-20 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 05-28-20, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Just "take things with philosophy", as they say in Italy.
i知 not sure what that means lol but i like it
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Old 05-28-20, 02:35 PM
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Italy is a fantastic place to ride a bike, it would be a shame to go all that way and spend your time stuck in a workshop - even building a frame. Build your frame at home (where there will be no language barrier) and take it to Italy for a cycling holiday
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Old 05-28-20, 02:49 PM
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Niles, Michigan where my shop and school is located is not a place known for adventure. I'm just north of Interstate 80 (the PA, OH, IN toll road). However I sometimes teach short framebuilding classes on a college campus near Kiev, Ukraine. We build bicycles for charity there. They have decent dorm rooms with good food in the cafeteria. I’ve had students come from Ireland and the UK (where they already had taken a class – one from Yates and the other from the Bicycle Academy) and also Germany and Israel. Some of them took back one of the fixtures I have laser cut and etched out of stainless steel in Ukraine. However the "off season" is cold in Ukraine. It has a climate similar to Michigan so that wouldn't encourage exploring around. Kiev is a very interesting city. Usually I go in the summer or early fall but the coronavirus has put a temporary halt to overseas travel so my next trip will probably be late fall if things are reasonably safe by then.

Taking a 1, 2 or 3 week frame building class puts a lot of pressure on getting enough information to competently make #2 . This means that the instruction has to be sharp with good presentations and demonstrations well organized to cram it all in. There is an awful lot to learn. Sometimes a student just wants to make a decent frame in class and doesn’t mind the instructor helping out more to reduce their learning requirements. And everything doesn’t have to be done in one class or at one school. I get a lot of students that have already taken a class somewhere else. Or come back again.


If I was looking for a European experience with the bonus that the whole trip is a tax write off, I would choose one of the schools in the UK. They are going to be better organized for beginner instruction than a master showing how it is done. Knowing common beginner mistakes and how to correct them really shortens the learning curve.

And now a comment to those reading this subject thread in the future that, unlike the OP, are wanting to travel as little as possible to learn framebuilding (the most common determining factor on school choice). Don’t base your decision on location if you have serious long-range goals. Instead find the best possible teacher where ever they are. I think it might commonly be underestimated how difficult learning to build a good quality frame can be. It isn’t just the volume of information required but also the challenge of developing adequate hand skills. It is easy to get really frustrated and/or discouraged while attempting to conquer both. Student work often reflects the quality presented and expected by their teacher so it just makes sense to prioritize finding a really good one rather than trying to save on travel expenses.
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Old 05-29-20, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by EamonPVD View Post
If you know of a class or shop, great! I壇 like to know! If not, I dont need an angry bike guy lecture, I知 an adult.
sure are not acting like one, you ask for advice and get it from a lot of guys with years of hands on experience. you are not liking what you are hearing, your choice: You can learn, absorb and think or be a jerk.
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Old 05-29-20, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
sure are not acting like one, you ask for advice and get it from a lot of guys with years of hands on experience. you are not liking what you are hearing, your choice: You can learn, absorb and think or be a jerk.
ok thanks squirtdad. I did not ask for advice actually. I asked if anyone knew of frame building classes in Italy. Unsolicited advice about how hard frame building is not needed.
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Old 05-29-20, 06:17 PM
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We were supposed to go to Italy this fall. Looks like it will be a bad idea.
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