Posted: December 6, 2011 in Front Triangle, Lugged Bicycle Frame Construction

So as per the instructions in the book (Lugged Bicycle Frame Construction, A Manual for the First Time Builder) I bought me a cheap little MAPP gas torch for about $60 bucks.  It works fine and accomplishes what it is supposed to but I was only able to get about two and a half lugs brazed up before the oxygen tank went empty.  No biggie but the tanks cost about $10 at the Home Despot so that will be about $30 worth of oxygen per bike.  I also did not like that the flux would get all sooted up before it heated up to temperature.  So I just when down to AirGas and bought me a little Oxy-Acetylene torch for $160 and a little oxygen and acetylene tank for $120 (first fill on each was free).

WORLD OF DIFFERENCE!  No soot and it heated things up WAY faster.  You can really control where the heat is going a lot better with the oxy-ace.  I brazed up the bottom bracket/seat tube and the down tube/head tube.  As you can see from the picture below the results were markedly better.  Less silver all over the place and a much cleaner appearance.  There is a little blob on the bottom point of the DT lug and then a little gap at the point but I’ll just flux and heat up the point and move that blob down there (in theory).

On a completely different note – one issue has been my eyesight.  I’m getting long in tooth and I wear bifocals. But in reality I don’t really use the bifocals and just look over the top of my glasses.  When using the MAPP gas torch the flame wasn’t very bright so I was using my prescription sunglasses as safety glasses.  The problem was that they are not bifocal so I couldn’t get in close to see clearly what was going on.  However, the oxy-ace is lots brighter so I needed to use the supplied goggles and now I can just leave my glasses off and get in close enough to see what is going on.

Anyway, I submit for your approval the foray into using the good lugs and tubes…

Just got to dress that bottom point up a bit.


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