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most framebuilders have machining skills as well?

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most framebuilders have machining skills as well?

Old 06-02-21, 02:28 PM
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most framebuilders have machining skills as well?

I'm curious how common it is for a framebuilder to be an accomplished machinist as well; someone who is comfortable using lathe's to custom machine metal or various parts. Any idea? Seems, from the ones I've talked to (not many admittedly) that a smallish percentage are. Thanks-
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Old 06-02-21, 03:47 PM
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My guess is that the majority are comfortable around a machine shop. Particularly as it applies to making frames and frame parts. Does that qualify as an "accomplished machinist?" Maybe not. At least to the point of being able to make a living from that alone. But most independent builders are pretty darn handy with making stuff from metal.
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Old 06-02-21, 04:59 PM
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I do not have a metal working background. I have taught myself how to weld building frames and other things. But now that I'm going deeper I'm wanting to learn how to use a mill and a lathe and will will buying something in the next few years.
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Old 06-02-21, 05:06 PM
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I just learned the other day that the head machinist in the shop at the college where I work builds frames on the side.
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Old 06-02-21, 05:15 PM
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I think most framebuilders are amateur machinists at best. At least that's what I see on insta
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Old 06-03-21, 05:29 AM
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Building bike frames is an expensive business/hobby and making your own fixtures can save money, while also satisfying the desire to make your own things that brought some of us to framebuilding in the first place. I bought my mill and lathe to make it possible for me to make my own frame jig and fixtures and taught myself to make things with them. I use the mill for all of my tube mitering and I use both machines to make some frame parts, like yokes, dropouts and chainstay/seatstay bullets. I can use the machines to make the things that I need, but I wouldn't call myself a machinist.
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Old 06-04-21, 04:19 AM
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I wouldn't call myself a machinist but I do have a small lathe and mill.

Before I had these machines I was forever restricted, held back or frustrated as I didn't have, couldn't find or couldn't afford the part or tool that I needed.

Now I can just make what I need and I really don't understand how anyone making anything manages without them !!

I have only made a handful of frames, mostly I make knives, but in both cases the machines are at least 90% used for making tools and fixtures to resolve manufacturing problems or make things quicker/easier/more accurate. So it might not be immediately obvious what you might use a lathe for but once you have one, you will be using it all the time.
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