How To Build Vintage Bike Frames
Learning how to build a vintage bike frame can be a fun, yet a time-consuming process. The measurements, material used and welding practice are all important components to creating a successful and well-made vintage bike frame. The frame of the vintage bike is the most important part of the entire bike itself, because it is the core that is responsible for appearance, holding the other pieces together and overall riding quality.
In order to build a vintage bike frame, you will need:
- Steel tubing
- Sand Blaster
- Builder's Square
- Welding Equipment
- Take the measurements (or know the measurements) of a sample vintage bike frame that you desire. Lay out the steel tubing according to those measurements on the ground or a workbench. Make sure each piece is within the right distance from each other, because even an inch off could ruin the vintage bike frame's sturdiness.
- Weld the tubes together once you have the right alignment for each. Start welding at the head/front of the frame and continue welding through the seat area and clockwise thereafter. Complete each weld until the frame is completely put together.
- Check the measurements and appearance of the tubing that you just welded. If one piece appears to be off or put on sideways, cut the tube off and realign. Then, proceed to weld the tubes back together at the angle that you desire it at.
- Smooth out the frame by using the grinder and sand blaster on it. Continue this throughout the entire frame. Run one coat of primer over the frame once this is complete and follow that with several coats of whichever color paint you desire for the frame. Let the vintage bike frame sit in a dry environment for a 24-48 hour time period.
Strength and stiffness are important components when choosing the metal you will use to build the vintage bike frame. The flexibility and strength of the metal are factors in determining the final appearance and durability of the vintage bike frame. Depending on which material you use, some may bend more easily and thus tend to break. Avoid aluminum materials when building a vintage bike frame.