Ceeway order research

these guys make the rod and flux that Ceeway sells.  some info on their site, not a lot.

snipped from a Ceeway page:
Prices include UK VAT at 17.5%. Orders delivered outside of the European Union will be invoiced without this VAT i.e. Price divided by 1.175.

bikelist.org archive research: bags, racks, brakes (LONG)

***snipped from the surly LHT owner's group, on racks:

When it comes to racks, something that most people tend to forget about is
"triangulation", which provides for a much stronger rack.

Tubus racks has triangulation built into them; that's why they see to rock
solid. Triangulation helps prevent the rack from swaying side to side, which
is what you need when it is carrying fully loaded panniers.

How to tell if your rack has triangulation built into the design? Stand back
and look at it straight on from the rear. Do the sides slope inwards from
bottom to top? If so, it has triangulation built into the design, which
makes for a stronger rack.

I own a Tubus Logo rear, and a Tubus Duo front. the Logo is designed to keep
the panniers a bit higher, and more towards the rear, and the deck is about
an inch or so higher than the rails that the panniers will hang on to, which
I find very convenient for whenever I need to remove my Arkel Tailrider
trunk bag; easier to get at the tabs that way. The Duo is a very simple, yet
strong design for the front, which is what I wanted to end up with. The Nice
rack looks really skookum, but it also appears too bulky for my liking.

***on canti bosses:

Last night, in a posting about canti bosses I wrote.

"Then I stick the whole thing together with 56% silver, including the bolt."

In case there is anyone on the list that wasn't here for the previous
discussion on using silver for canti bosses;
This is a very critical safety area. Unless you are extremely confident in
your ability to get a perfect bond with silver, stick to brass.

Mark Stonich;
BikeSmith Design & Fabrication LLC

***on canti boss jigs:
> Does anyone have plan for a jig for cantilever brazeons?

A bar with two holes works great.

Just looked at Sheldons; way too much work and too many parts in my opinion.

Here's what I did. I had a scrap chuck of aluminum maybe 3/4" thick from
school metal shop. Everyone machines things in aluminum all the time so
should be easy to come by.
I measured the width of a current mtb's cantilever's. Look at / measure
more then one, also look at your own bike's stay/fork blade width. Want to
get a width where the brakes will work and can get a good braze joint.
Drill two holes (i think 3/8" drill) with a drill press (work up to a 3/8"
and hold securely !, Use a sharp, new drill to make sure the holes go
straight and perpindicular). If you screw up the width, just drill new
holes in same chuck of aluminum. Push in bosses (they should just fit snug)
and also hold them with boss bolts, line up little spring holes, and round
file boss bottoms until both profiled for nice fit onto stay tubes or fork
blades. Obviously you'll first need measure carefully from axle to make sure
you get the bosses in the correct spot and profiled for that spot. You have
some adjustabiliy with the brakes but obviously want to try to get in the
center of that adjustability. I would also double check the bike that is
your "master" to make sure the brakes are not at one extreme or another of
their adjustability. Finally once you get the filing done hold the bosses
in place with a c-clamp and another bar (I use a flexible thin almost sheet
metal bar) so that stays or fork blades are sandwiched. Measure. Tap to
move. Eye ball. Stand back and eye ball. Re measure. Then braze away.
Piece o cake and o so cheap. Kind Regards, John

***on brass vs. silver for braze-ons:

I was advised (AT)60 pair of bosses ago by a much more
experienced brazer than myself that silver didn't have
enough strength for the shear forces that cantilever
brakes endure. It also has worked out that most cast
or machined bosses absorb most of the heat and that
it's possible to get 1/16" brass to flow with minimal
reddening of the seatstay tubes.
David Feldman
--- t rodi <t_rodi(AT)hotmail.com> wrote:
> I prefer the speed of silver...that extra time to
> get the stay up to brass
> temp is just too much!!!
> (seriously, I just prefer the feel of the 50N versus
> brass)
> Tom

***canti boss brazing

I use Welco 17 for canti bosses. Have never had one come off,
no matter the circumstance. Silver would probably work, but

More important I think, than what you use to stick the cantis
oin, is how you do it. Canti bosses are EZ to misalign, and it
is easy to spot misaligned canti mounts on a finished frame.
Especially with V-brakes. Take your time and put them on the
right place the first time. If you miss, leave them where they
are, 'cause taking them off you'll likely cook a stay.

just my 2 cents


***another opinion
At 5:25 PM -0500 5/28/03, goodrichbikes wrote:
>I have a question for the builders that choose silver over brass for
>putting on cantis- why? Sure the higher melting point of brass
>takes a little out of the seat stay but do people think this matters
>given the stay is mostly under compression? Inquiring minds want to

Since you've asked I'll tell ya. I've always used silver because
that was what I was told makes for better braking because the silver
makes for a firmer joint than brass and you were less likely to
overheat the stay. I was also taught that you need to move as quick
as you can and make sure you have full coverage. I got my start out
in the alley behind The Bikesmith in Seattle brazing canti-bosses
onto old frames to make cyclocross conversions. We mostly used the
AVA bosses and a fixture made from a small piece of channel iron.
Before I could do them for customers I first had to try and destroy a
pair of bosses. This was done by brazing some on a junk frame and
then trying to rip them off with a BFC. The boss itself would tear
apart or the stay dimple and crumple before the joint came apart.
The next test was to do it to your own bike (old Lambert with a 27"
Bianchi fork) and try to destroy them. I was never able to and I
gave the frame to someone a few years back and he raced it with no
problems either and now it's a beater commuter.

I've been told the same thing about the strength of a silver brazed
canti-boss of brass brazed by a few other people over the years and
have never heard anything to the contrary until now. I think brass
would work just fine too if you're quick about it. I also think most
modern tubing is more forgivable as far as high temperature ranges.
I do like the idea of a larger radius joint you get with brass
filler. In the end I think they both will work fine if brazed
correctly. The only canti-boss I've ever seen fail in the joint on a
steel bike was one that was TIG welded, but I think the joint itself
was contaminated and there was little weld penetration in the stay.
Hope this answers some of your questions.
Missing the feeling of a torch
in his hand in Santa Barbara, CA.

***canti pivot spacing

I'm working from the 1999 Shimano book. The spacing between canti posts
depends a little on rim width. basically it's 77-85 mm, but on a road
bike you could probably go down to 75 and be fine..

I use 80 for mountain bikes and 85 for BMXers and bikes that are gonna
run V-brakes and wide rims.

Different V-brakes will have different tire clearances. This may not be
an issue with cantis.

Good luck


***nice specs
John Clay asked-
Do any of ya'll have a list of the industry standard dimensions of the radii
for locating canti bosses for common rim sizes (and 650b) that you would be
willing to share?

My reply-
700C(622) = 283mm
26"(559) = 253.5mm
650B(584) = 265mm
A post center to post center measurement of 80mm works best for most canti &
v brakes.

Curt Goodrich
Minneapolis, MN

***another view
I have used 45 or 50N for canti bosses on every frame I have built with
zero failures in 9 years. Both give you good penetration and a nice small
fillet without applying too much heat to the tubes.


Courtney Custom Cycles

***from fred parr
>From Freddy,
>I still use the Allstate 11 on the front fork and 45 or 56% on the rear,
>never had a bosse come off,
>but in the 60's they were all just yellow brass and they stayed on too..???
>only the old ones that were two pieces and needed to be sweated thru with
>brass were ever a problem.
>What Brandon is trying to relate is the condition of the mother steel is
>not effected by the silver solders like 56% and on a real thin frame could
>make a vibrating canti brake with high temp brass do to the softening of
>the steel, that was then this is now.. just not going to happen on bikes ..
>unless you want canti's on your time trail bike..
>Also note the Richards bike hold together for Champions day after day and
>He is one of the most careful and successful builders of all time..
>Brass is stronger but weakens steel in my opinion and careful fitting
>-skill and practice -and working clean make silver a safe and sane if not
>better choice.
>As I said, I worry so I use the Nickel silver on parts that pull during
>use, that is just me and I can sleep at night.

***rear hub spacing
If he buys pre-built road wheels, they will be 130. Its rare to have
a 700c with a 135mm axle (latest mtb spacing), likewise no non-custom
recent spec mtb wheel will use a 130mm axle. (however I own examples
of both pairings)

***more canti specs
The last time I asked about canti spacing, the number I got was 80mm
center to center, apparently from the literature of the big S. I
expect it should depend on the rim width, but they didn't mention a
correction. As to distance from axle, I was told 25mm less than the
bead seat diameter, which worked fine for the canti's I used.
(happened to be scott self energizing -- pre linear pull style.)

***brass vs. silver from the issimo
"Most people that learn to braze first have more problems
with silver than people that learn to silver first."

i agree. i learned to braze and build w brass but switched to
silver content rods about 5 years in. when you go through the
learning curve w brass as your chosen filler rod, you learn
more about heat, heating cycles, capillary action, and a whole
host of other topics that will help you troubleshoot down the road.
too often, 'brazing w silver' has this cache attached to it as though
you can do no wrong by dint of the lower amount of heat used. i
see that as a major problem and tangential to this thread about
canti post brazing.
it's hard 'to unring the bell', but if you're a silver content rod user,
trying turning up the oxygen, or using a bigger tip, or having some
doobage the next time your near the torch. the biggest crime you
can commit is being so careful that you assume that the rod will
do the work for you. when freddy says things like 'flow the joint'
(no pun intended...) i think it's great advice. get it hotter. work
faster. use 3 x more flux. it'll work out fine, trust me.
Richard Sachs Cycles

***more from issimo
i do all my cantis w 56% silver and lay up
a little fillet. no problems - that i know of!

the strength issue is irrelevent. it's cost.
it's more economical to use brass; once the joints
have cooled, that's it. use of silver alloyed rods is
a boutique-y thing, not an indicator of an improvement
or a quality establish-er.
the "skillful hands" part is the most germaine.
the skill is more important than the filler.

***whi is good for what
Brass- Loose fitting lugs, that will see a second brazing on top of them
(seat lug, ST/BB socket), Steerer/crowns, canti bosses, most bridges, rack
or fender eyelets which extend from the frame, drop out to stays/blades,
large dents or any area where I'm concerned about the strength VS surface
area or project where cost is an issue.

Silver- Close fitting lugs, Seat Stay to seat lug or tube, DT and CS to BB
sockets, blades into crown sockets, most braze ons, small dents (yes they do
happen), head tube "S", or any area where heat or minimal fillet size
matters and where cost is not a concern.

I do like silver's easier clean up and lower heat. I like brass's tolerance
of loose fit up and greater fillet ability. Brass flows better when the prep
is less then ideal. Brass costs less. Silver adds a "value" to the marketing
to most customers. I find myself trying to use brass more and more for my
own frames but still use silver for most braze ons.

Hope this helps. Andy S.

***on seatstay/seat cluster brazing from the big TP
> I always silver braze my seat stays to a silver brazed seat lug. Yes, I do
> get a crevice forming at the top where the line between the seat tube and
> seat lug can be seen. To take care of this problem, I apply a little extra
> flux to that area to keep it clean and then drop a tiny drop of silver in
> that crevice on each side of the lug. If you're skillful with the torch,
> that drop is so small that clean up never amounts to much.
> I have several tricks to attain maximum contact area between the seat
> stays and the seat lug.
> 1. Sometimes I file a groove into each side of the seat lug with about a
> 10 or 12 inch round file. This allows the stay to lay in a small furrow on
> the side of the lug which increases surface area.
> 2. I often use semi wrap around caps on the stays and curve them around
> the upper part of the lug. Just leave extra cap material extending beyond
> the top of the stay. Then shape it into a nice point that extends about 6
> or 7 mm beyond the top of the stay and bend it cold so it wraps over the
> contour of the lug. This provides lots of surface area for silver to
> gather under.
> 3. Full wrap around seat stays provide a generous amount of surface area.
> I do full wraps the same way I do partiel wrap arounds except I make them
> much longer and have them touch in the middle.
> 4. By properly positioning the frame during brazing and being gentle with
> the flame, I can depend on surface tension to hold a fairly large fillet
> between the seat stay and the seat lug.
> 5. I oftentimes attach the cap to the top of the seatstay with brass. This
> prevents the sub-assembly from melting when the stays are connected to the
> sides of the seat lug.
> Sincerely,
> Tim Paterek

***on silver brazing from fred parr
Dear James,
Yes the Nic is the tinning element, Here is the rest of the story..
The old silver 45% had Cadmium in it to enhance the flow, but still =
allow it to be plastic enough to fill small gaps..
Well with no Cad it is a lot more static about bonding.. the 50n is =
quicker to tin the parts and you may find it easier to make the tiny =
fillets you want?

56% is not acceptable to me for this work, I have seen it let go on =
beginners frames where they did not provide for enough contact area.. =
but many of the current builders use it in their proven designs, with no =

If I make an intricate seat stay hook up, I almost always pin it =
somehow, to make sure it can't work loose. I have also pretinned with =
56% in hard to reach areas where the heating is uneven and then flow 45% =
over it.

The old Eutectic 45% was a lot stronger than anything we have today, It =
I saw some failures on sprint bikes that required re thinking the =
contact areas myself-- of course that was over thirty years ago.

Just remember a little common nail is stronger than the rest of the =
sliver joint and can prevent a seat stay from popping loose during an =
impact such as a pot hole at speed.

Unless some has has more problems with the 50n that I don't know about I =
can see no reason not to use it?

It still is going to depend on what you find for results under you torch =

Good Luck

***the issimo on alignment
i drive all the pins through all the holes while everything
is fixtured. sometimes, not always, i'll tack the headlugs
on the front area. but that's it. the pins, and the setup that
is yielded from the fixture, ensures that the geometry mimics
the blueprint. alignment issues are just that-seperate issues.
they are dealt with viv-a-vis the alignment table.

***freddy parr on flux and rod
To All,
Pre placed flux or jet flux is most effective. a flux coated rod is fine to
use ,but will often not clean long enough or deep enough for lugs.
This is old knowledge.. real old.
Allstate 11fc is for fast constuction of mild steel bike frames such as
Huffys.. but used with welco 17 or allstate 11 paste flux - will make a fine
strong joint comparable to any.
I still use 45% silver on the entire lug type bike and I have bikes out
there that have been ridden hard for over 35 years.
Hank's lugs are so close to perfect that 56% is fine -but when in doubt, use
a stronger one such as 45%.
The seat stays will be fine if they are bedded with a little care and have
at least 5/8 of an inch of fillet on the lateral (on the side ones)
I have known Hank since He first cast some fork crowns and His products are
able to speak for themselves. To flow silver into a good tight lug requires
cleanliness and heat control, having flux on the rod is not going to do
anything but leave the operator with more flux to clean off.

Freddy Parr

***seat cluster brazing
Warning: this is from an amateur currently working on
frame #'s 14 and 15. I pin seatstay plugs to the lug,
flux the whole area generously, and try to keep 90% of
the flame on the plug/seatstay. On the three frames
where I have put a real cap on the seatstay, I have
brass-brazed the cap. Four other frames of mine have
seat lugs that were brass-brazed for exactly this
reason. My luck has held so far in not overheating a
seat tube and only getting that little bulge below the
bottom edge of the seat lug once; that was with a
Genius MTB seat tube and a big, heavy-walled Haden
David Feldman--- goodrichbikes

***practice stuff, kinda old
From: "Jon Kendziera" <jkendzie(AT)hotmail.com>
Subject: RE: [Frame] Another lurker, looking to buy junk lugs / tubes for
Date: Wed, 9 Mar 2005 18:53:17 -0600

Kris and anyone else interested,

I have lots of extra/spare tubing lugs, etc that I won't ever get around
to using.

1" top tubes, double butted (9/6/9 ...maybe?)

22.2 Round chainstay's (1.0 at the BB end)

14mm (at the top end) seat stays

Oval fork blades (1.0?)

Tons of pressed BB shells (classic size tubing 1 1/8" st and dt, 22.2
round cs)

Extra rusty brake bridges and dt shifter mounts (a bit of emery will
make them work)

A few reject fork crowns (good for practice)

Seat stays

And actually some nice Tange cast head lugs:

All the tubing is unknown manufacture and I don't really know exact
thicknesses...but its on the thicker side of things. All in good shape
w/little to no rust. Great practice stuff.

I've been doing $20 + 6 shipping for a box full of two each of all the
tubing (that's two pairs of cs, fb and ss). Some BB shells, a fork
crown, some shift mounts, and some brake bridges. If you want other
quantities let me know. Some BB shells and a fork crown.

Tange head lugs=$10/set. They are actually nice and I plan on building
some frames w/them myself.



***vent hole drilling
This brings up another one of my early mistakes

when I got a can of FrameSaver, I realized that I didn't have enough
holes in my frame. While i left one hole in each ture for air pressure
relief, i didn't leave two holes. From now on I i will be using two good
holes in each tube, and at least one on each tube I plan to make the
lowest point- somehow for drip drying.

I discovered that while really cool, having the one breather hole of the
seat stays inside the brake bridge leads to much annoyance getting all
the water out. bad idea #473.

I just hope that soon I run out of bad ideas.....

ed westhead

***a window in to issimo's build sequence
>if you're asking how/when i file the drpoouts??
>the main triangle is made.
>i braze the dropouts into the chainstay at the proper confluence.
>i file them.
>i mock up the rear wheelbase w the main triangle.
>i cut seatstays to length.
>i pin the chainstays to the bb.
>i pin the seatstays to the seatlug and dropouts.
>i remove it all from the fixture.
>i braze the seatstays to the dropouts.
>i un-pin all the un-used pins.
>i file the dropouts into the seatstays.
>i re-pin the left and right stay assemblies
> into the bb and seatlug.
>i braze the chainstays into the bb and the
> seatstays onto the seatlug - w'o using
> a fixture. the pins are my locaters.
the main triangle is built and
completely finished/filed/machined, etc before
i do any of the stuff i noted earlier re the
rear stays.

***issimo on pinning
the pins hold all the parts in the proper angles
because they are wdged in air-tight. the entire
rear assembly remains pinned to the finished front
triangle. the two seatstay tops are pinned to the
seat lug, the finished chianstay/dropout assys are
pinned into the bb, and the seatstay bottoms are pinned
to the dropouts. i use a surrogate axle to space the
dropouts and a clip to keep the seatstays close together.
after i braze the setastays to the dropouts and then file
them up, all angles and dimensions remain true to the
fixture. after the right and left sides are done, i re-
pin them into the seat lug and the bb and braze those
areas. no fixture. just pins.

ah, fuck

those Strawberry blades are $14.48 per blade, not per pair as i had thought. still a deal, not nearly as good.

coming together

increasingly i feel like this thing is coming together, at least in my head.

for now my focus is mostly on the frame...i've started looking into where to get parts, which is a whole world unto itself, and a little daunting.
ordered practice lugs from Rivendell ($2 apiece after i became a member).
Strawberry has a great deal on fork blades i think: Reynolds 525, butted, for about $14 a pair.  i hope he's still got some when i want to order.
got a ceeway price list, so i'm slowly converting the prices i need into $.
Bringheli has got some damn cheap Deda tubes.  i bet i'll end up ordering most of my tubes from him.  ceeway is again my favorite for small parts.
been looking into funding, which has me thinking of ways to get the total cost down.

RONCESVALLES will be on the DT decals as of now.  maybe a sweet R headbadge.
it's the name of a town in Spain that my mother's family name comes from.  a Basque town, the site of a pass through the Pyrenees, and featured in the Chanson de Roland.
the bike will be in the basque spirit; it will be duro--strong, lasting.

most of my research these days is sourcing stuff for a parts list/budget spreadsheet.  my general procedure for this is to find every feasible supplier of a particular part, get all the price and spec data in one place, then decide what i want based on what i know at the time.  i'm learning every day, so my choices have evolved many times.
i'm working within a few constraints:
clearance for touring tires and fenders
my size
the geometry i'm planning on using
weight (not much of a factor)
wheelbase (have to ensure all the tubes are long enough, especially chainstays)
the frame's "feel" (i'm pretty much guessing here, taking ideas from pro FBs and production bikes)
availability of parts (Reynolds tubing in particular appears hard to get in the limited quantities i want)
compatibility of parts with one another (always a tough one, especially w/o photos)

nearly everything is at best an educated guess, since i'm new here and lack hands-on experience.  having more wrench experience would also be really helpful in deciphering the selection of components.

currently looking at:
72° parallel ST/HT (actual angles)
80mm of drop, maybe a bit less
74° ST & top HT lugs, Long Shen from Ceeway (meaning a couple cm slant to TT)
Richard Sachs fork crown (the centerpiece of the bike and the widest i've seen)
.9/.6/.9mm DT, Deda ZeroTre
.8/.5/.8mm TT, Deda ZeroUno
not sure on ST thickness yet, but single-butted
thick (~1mm) fork blades, steerer (25.4mm threaded), HT; mostly ZeroTre, whatever's cheap
longish chainstays, pre-bent if possible (been hard to find anything over the high 300mms, and i was thinking 425mm or so c-c.  yes, i know the actual tube will be shorter than the true c-c measurement.)
double-tapered seat stays, if i can find some cheap enough
plug-in top eyes, hopefully a wraparound-type cluster (always liked em)
stainless dropouts if i can get em with eyelets (got fronts, need backs)
triple TT cable routing, pulley for front derailer
rack mounts, canti mounts and bridge, SS & CS bridges (for versatility and mounting fenders), reinforcements on SS and at bottle bosses, front derailer tab, chain hanger, spoke holder (need a source)

the geometry is still in beta, pending me getting around to measuring myself.  i'm 5'11", turning 21 on May 13, 180-190 pounds i think.

my idea was to use the thickest stuff on the DT, CS, and blades for a solid feel, and where the extra weight will make the CG lower.  thinner, higher-end, springier steel on the SS, TT, and ST(?) for a springier cockpit.  i kinda feel like a marketing douche writing things like "springier cockpit", but it makes some sense to me, and it's my best guess guess right now.
the idea comes from some Lemond bikes i saw at my old job, with carbon tubes stuck into steel lugs and tubes, with steel forming the "chassis" and carbon for the "cockpit".  hopefully i'm not just talking out of my ass here.

let me know what you think of all this:
ethan { a t } fast50 { • } net


i got a bunch of stuff from bringheli today, so i'm adding his stuff to this parts list monstrosity.

anthony anagnostou



independent study

i had thought of taking intro to metal sculpture this fall as an elective, but i talked to a dude today who sounded cool with the idea of me doing an independent study with the metal sculpture teacher. so i can get school credit for building my new bike.

parts list .xls coming soon, to eventually include *everything* needed to build a bike from scratch.

now to decode the OS BB shell selection

i'm only considering OS shells with oval chainstay ports

R. Sachs ($35):
60.0° x 62.0° x 7.5°
30 x 17 mm CS

Pacenti PT-05W ($30):
59.5° x 62.5° x 8°
30 x 17 mm CS

from Ceeway:
Long Shen LB-106 ($???):
60.3° x 62.3° x 7.3°
30 x 17 mm CS

Henry James ($35)
59.0° x 62.1° x ??°
29.9 x 16 mm CS
specs taken from Little Fish's .pdf drawing of her Audax II, dated April '05
waiting for email from HJ to confirm current specs

for those of you just tuning in

i'm into the idea of making a bike pretty similiar to the Rivendell Atlantis, but cheaper and more custom-fitted. apparently the Atlantis' design mimics pretty closely some old-school sport-tourer designs, which have influenced me greatly in my short cycling career.
i had thought originally that i'd just buy lugs to fit the geometry i wanted--72° lugs if i wanted 72° tube angles. then i found that i was looking for 72° lugs but most were 73° or so. so i figured i'd just stick with the limited selection of 72° lugs, which would have to come from Taiwan by way of England and not be especially high-quality.
now, after reading
i realize i can do just what the author describes--use lugs not designed for what i'm doing. genius!
also, it's easier (i've read) for a lug to be bent to increase its nominal angle than to decrease it.
so 73°/73° lugs (the most common angles i've seen) could pretty easily be used to make a 72°/72° frame, with a roughly 2° sloping top tube. makes sense to me, and that's about the TT slope the Atlantis has.
as usual, i went from plan A to plan B to plan A.

canti spacing

canti spacing from the Archives


is available for download today from the sidebar to your right.
i needed to bring together geometry data on a bunch of old and new bikes to get an idea of how to design my frame. i also wanted to look at trail on lots of different bikes, but found the differences in tire width made it hard to compare apples to apples.
so i got all these numbers together, and i figure i might as well make this open source so everyone can benefit from each other's data. please modify/correct/improve at will, and send me the updated version so i can post here.

from fast50.net

old bike geometries

pulled from the bikelist.org archives:

R Sachs #5365 '81(?)
st 55.5
st angle 74
tt 55.5
ht angle 74
chainstay 41.5
wheelbase 100
rake 5.5

R&E Rodriguez #430 Touring 80's
st 53.2 c-c
st angle 72.5
tt 54
ht angle 70
chain stay 46
wheelbase 104.5
Rake 5.2

frame design:
my thinking currently is something along the lines of the Rivendell
Atlantis...that's certainly my dream bike du jour. but i want 700c
wheels, not the 26" they put on their 55cm.
i've read that the Atlantis is pretty close to the old peugeots, like
the UO-8 i rode every day this summer.

what i liked about the UO-8 was how it felt ready for both a casual
ride and a hard sprint. i used to take it out after work (waiting
tables, so like 1-2 am) just to unwind, relax, explore the
neighborhood. but i also used it to get to work nearly every day, and
i was usually running late, so that meant riding hard and fast. the
thing was a beast. it was old and beat-up but felt like it had
decades of service left in it.

i thought it was a little slow for me. it was definitely heavy.
compared to the Bianchi San José i have now, it didn't feel as nimble.
the Bianchi is way better at dodging potholes, jumping over shit, and
bounding over rocks and curbs.

so a combination of these, and a boatload of braze-ons. inspired by a
style of bike that hasn't been made in 20-30 years, but taking
advantage of all the advancements that have happened since then.

i've been looking all over for listings of old bike geometries. think
i might just resort to an email to the Classic Rendezvous list.

i've also been wokring over the past week on an Excel speadsheet with
geometry and trail data for loads of bikes, to use as a reference and
guide in designing this frame. i'll host it and post it soon.

also thinking about what to put on this thing...what to call it, what
name to put on it.
i'm pretty sure i'll stay away from my last name, Labowitz, as it's a
little clunky.
maybe my first and middle names: Ethan James
or my 3rd name: Rounsevell
i kinda like that the best. sorta like Rivendell.
i'd also thought about a logo of 50 done like in italics and with
lines to make it look like it's going fast.

i'm thinking i'll powdercoat the frame, probably with a custom decal
from http://www.vcgraphix.com/
need to price that.

on the topics of geometry and trail:

ceeway lugs

since i'm considering some more laid-back geometry than the HJ lugs
can provide, i'm looking for other options. i'd like to avoid bending
investment cast lugs, since it sounds like a big pain (hard to do,
takes time, hard to get the angles perfect i'd think). also ceeway
lugs will probably be cheaper.
and if i end up buying lugs from ceeway, i might just get dropouts and
braze-ons from them too, although i'll have to look at shipping costs.
the LS 200 series are medium-point, part oversize, and come in a
couple attractive angles. 71• & 72• HT, 72• & 73.3• ST, 61• & 62• DT
also the saba 51 series. 72• HT, 72.3• ST, 60• DT

looking for a way to get geometry specs for old 70s bikes i've
ridden...specifically Peugeot UO-8 and Raleigh Gand Prix.

a sweet find from josh putnam


i need a way to hold the stays and fork blades for filing and brazing. hand-filing means lots of time with the tubes in a vise, so it'd be nice to have blocks i'd imagine, istead of just the soft jaw covers.

check with city bikes about what finishing tools they have (like what size steerer can they work with) and how much they charge
can they check and set alignment?

cheap chinese rifflers: http://www.sciplus.com/singleItem.cfm?terms=7098&cartLogFrom=Search%20%2D%20Category%20Filter
similar: http://www.contenti.com/products/files/231-999.html
cheap diamond files

blankets, rags to wrap around stuff when storing


interesting profile of steel bike tubing from a materials science POV

sweet ss bridge

looks like a good spot for a brazed-on bottle opener, too.


source tubing--emails sent to Reynolds, HJ, Merry
source files
use of Corcoran space in August
budget proposal

research on the bikelist.org archives

calculate trail on various frames, compare.

i've covered a wide range to provide some reference points; some of
these bikes are nowhere close to what i'm building, but i wanted to
get the extremes.
trek 520 21": 64mm trail
surly LHT 56cm: HT 72deg., rake 45mm
surly cross-check 56mm: HT 72deg., rake 44mm
bianchi San Jose 55cm: HT 72.5deg., rake 50mm
novara randonee 55cm: HT 72, offset 5.5
Little Fish 55cm (1 & 2): HT 72.5, rake 45mm (57mm trail)
specialized allez pro 56cm: HT 73.5, 43mm (56mm trail)
apecialized sequoia 57cm: HT 72, 50mm (58mm trail)

same for chainstay length

Josh Putnam Steering Geo. printout


Archive-URL: http://search.bikelist.org/getmsg.asp?Filename=framebuilders.10505.0135.eml
From: "Andrew R Stewart" <onetenth@earthlink.net>
Subject: Re: [Frame] Tubes for touring
Date: Thu, 5 May 2005 20:14:03 -0400

Mike- Large diameter and not thin wall. I'm just a bit lighter then you are
(but prob. make up for it with pack weight) and replaced my touring bike
last year. The old had std road diameters and med. walls (.9-.6), it was a
smooth ride although the flex was disconcerting at times. Oh, it shimmied
too. The new one has only slightly more relaxed ft end geometry, a bit lower
BB and 1.-.7mm walls of still std 1" and 1 1/8" diameters. It is more solid
feeling, still is comfy (32mm tires) and while I haven't fully loaded it yet
at about 40 lbs. load is has no shimmy. If I were to do it again I think
that I'd use a 1 1/8" top tube and a 1 1/4 down tube. Even though I have
considerable loaded touring miles I have been reluctant to stray too far
from the standard road model, for better or worse. If I were bigger or going
to go even more "world tourist" I'd want a bike even stouter and dent
resistant. I've thought of straight gauge top tubes as both a stiffener and
a won't get dinged by porters idea. Andy S.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Mike Shih" <postpetrol@yahoo.com>
To: <framebuilders@phred.org>
Sent: Thursday, May 05, 2005 5:13 PM
Subject: [Frame] Tubes for touring

> I'm new to this list and I've only built 2 frames so far. I'd like to
build a loaded touring bike based on 26x1.5 tires and made of lugged steel.
It will stay almost completely on road. I'd like some advice on tubing, lugs
and bottom bracket choices. I'm a 140 lbs and my 57cm Heron touring has
served me well and has lots of miles left. I'd like to try 26 inch wheels. I
recall wanting a Bridgestone XO-1 or Paramount touring or Trek 920 back in
the day. I like the Atlantis but it needs longer chainstays.
> thanks
> ---------------------------------
> Do you Yahoo!?
> Yahoo! Mail - Find what you need with new enhanced search. Learn more.
> --- StripMime Report -- processed MIME parts ---
> multipart/alternative
> text/plain (text body -- kept)
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Archive-URL: http://search.bikelist.org/getmsg.asp?Filename=framebuilders.10511.0259.eml
From: "e-RICHIE" <richardsachs@juno.com>
Date: Wed, 16 Nov 2005 14:19:23 GMT
Subject: RE: [Frame] Forks for touring bike

yeah what anvil-issino said.

-- "Anvil Bikeworks" <info@anvilbikes.com> wrote:
Dave wrote:
"I just don't believe, nor has it been my experience that one has to
have a 1.125 fork or super heavy fork blades."

I have to pile on with Dave & the gimp (eRichie broke some ribs so
he's a gimp) here.

If I were building a steel bike lugged bike for touring, then I'd just
use OS tubes with a 1" steerer and cyclocross fork blades with a
touring style crown. If I was going to run front panniers, then I'd
also not slacken out the HTA too much and not run too much trail, I'd
keep it in the normal road bike range (57-59mm). IMO, Panniers really
slow down the front end of the bike and the steering gets too heavy
with slack angles and big trail numbers. For frame tubes, I'd select
from the thick end of the spectrum for TT and DT's to head off shimmy
when riding loaded at speed (descending).

Don Ferris
Anvil Bikeworks, Inc.
Littleton, Colorado
Ph: 303.471.7533 / 303.919.9073
Fax: 413.556.6825

-----Original Message-----
From: framebuilders-bounces@phred.org
[mailto:framebuilders-bounces@phred.org] On Behalf Of dave bohm
Sent: Tuesday, November 15, 2005 10:05 PM
To: 'Andrew R Stewart'; jmedlockclay@nettally.com;
Subject: RE: [Frame] Forks for touring bike

I don't think I understand this totally loaded touring thing at all.

This is the standard convention to recommend massive overkill on frame
and fork, but Richie's advice would be my advice too and 1 inch fork
would be fine as would a normal fork crown.

To put this in perspective, I have had people comment about how loaded
touring puts such stresses on frames, but I weigh 225lbs in bike gear
and then have carried up to 35 additional pounds putting me at 255
my bike made with normal oversize tube and thicknesses. If this was
issue it would show here. I venture to guess that most loaded touring
riders would not even match my weight with a light load.

I just don't believe, nor has it been my experience that one has to
a 1.125 fork or super heavy fork blades.

Dave Bohm

-----Original Message-----
From: framebuilders-bounces@phred.org
[mailto:framebuilders-bounces@phred.org] On Behalf Of Andrew R Stewart
Sent: Tuesday, November 15, 2005 6:39 PM
To: jmedlockclay@nettally.com; framebuilders@phred.org
Subject: Re: [Frame] Forks for touring bike

John- Get the heaviest blades you can. I hope you'll be using a 1 1/8"
steerer. Also OS main frame in a thicker gauge. Really, a few extra
onces of
frame weight will be unnoticed on a solid/secure bike laden with a
load. Besides if you do any fun travelling the chance of the bike
knocked about is likely. Andy S.
----- Original Message -----

From: "John Clay" <jmedlockclay@nettally.com>
To: <framebuilders@phred.org>
Sent: Tuesday, November 15, 2005 9:25 PM
Subject: [Frame] Forks for touring bike

> I need experienced advice as to steel fork blade wall thickness to
my camping bike.
> * 165#
> * pavement, cobbles, offroad
> Not a racer or gonzo rider - just a middlin tourist. Front and rear
panniers, loaded touring, 72 or 71 degree HT angle, 1.5" wide tires.
> What will flex enough but not too much?
> Thanks for the help.
> John Clay
> _______________________________________________
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stephanie monfrey

has this great site that i've seen links to everywhere, but all of them were broken.
i've been wondering who this mysterious stephanie monfrey is.
turns out she's got some Talbot illustrations...very cool.
the real address is:

tim thompson

has some sweet info on building an extruded aluminum jig.
Talbot uses 3/4" plywood as the base, which seems easier for doing one frame.
but Tim's got a lot of great drawings, and he's all about open source design, which is, as he would say, bitchen.


i modified this blog's description, reflecting a slight shift in my goals.

i've added a link to an incredible Excel spreadsheet by Martin Manning for designing nearly every aspect of a frameset. as i told Martin, it's going to take a while to put the whole thing through its paces, but i can already tell it's going to make my bike better and easier to build.

new comment on "it's sam hall's turn to be right" (scroll down) that sheds some light on the question of tubing strength. a much appreciated contribution.

thinking now about the nitty-gritty of this project...where to set up a workshop to do the assembly work. my parents might be able to spare a little space in their basement, but then i have to get an O/A setup. the Corcoran has the equipment, but i don't know about getting access to it.
it looks like i'll be in class basically through the end of july, but then i have a month off in August when i could potentially crank this thing out, or at least get some brazing practice, make test joints, work on jigs, etc. that would mean buying up the parts in the next 3.5 months.

fork crown: probably R. Sachs, H. James?...might look at some integral designs though
tubing: after reading more of Talbot, i'm thinking 631 might just do the trick...although i remember that their U.S. distributor (Fairing i think) doesn't have a lot of it in stock. any recommendations about where to get some oversized 631?
lugs/BB shell: HJ? Pacenti? Ceeway?
dropouts: almost certainly HJ horizontal with eyelets
brazing rod: Fred Parr, HJ

i've also been thinking about paint.
i'm considering just a single color, probably like a royal blue, with just a couple little identifying details. Talbot cut a T into his seat lug that looked awesome but time-consuming. i just don't care enough to do some serious decals. maybe a kick-ass headbadge is the answer.
the thing is, i kinda want it to look hand-built. pretty and all, but very different from anything you could buy in a store.
i like the idea of a framebuilder signing the frame, as if the builder is always riding with the frame. his reputation is on the line, because his name is right on it.
i read on the Rivendell site about how they make their lugs distinctive so that even when the paint is stripped off and the bike is 100 years old, it'll still be identifiable as a Rivendell.

i'm going to distill the Talbot book into a flowchart/to-do list, both for my own use and to publish for other newbies.

pereira cycles

check out this touring frame...lots of unique details:
internal cable routing for the hub dynamo light (pic also shows front rack mount on top of crown)
the front rack is just to support a h-bar bag, mounts on the stem and fork crown--really distinctive
brazed-on mount on stem for a sweet brass bell (see last pic)
SICK triple spoke holder on right CS
single-sided canti bridge
he did DT shifter braze-ons on this simpler tour bike, then added STI/Ergo adapters...total flexibility.

i also love his about page
and the website is done as well as the frames, with php.
big props all over the place.


requested a copy of an Excel spreadsheet that helps with design.

from a frameforum post on braze-ons:
c-c BB-derailer tab: kirk says 150mm; 144mm works for 50 and 53 tooth rings
include brazeons in drawing

more books

i just made some more copies...David Wilson, Bicycling Science, on tubing properties (to give me some concrete data on this whole psi thing) and Gail Heilman, The complete outfitting & source book for bicycle touring , from 1980--great pictures and specs on a lot of old touring frames.
i've also rethought some of this bike's purpose.
i've never really done anything that could be described as touring.  i do a lot of riding; my bike is my only means of transportation about 95% of the time.  i carry a Chrome Metropolis messenger bag that's usually pretty full and sometimes really heavy.  and the San Jose is single-speed, so i've got myself in pretty good shape from living like this since January.  but it's not the same as packing everything onto a bike and setting out for a few days.
so i envision a progression of bikes.  keep the SJ as my commuter/around-town/every day bike.  build a practice frame, maybe with parts from a junk bike.  build my first real frame, a light tourer for up to, say, a week of mostly unsupported riding--light tent, light bedroll, a couple days of food, a pan, a change of clothes.  gradually increase the length of my trips until i reach the point where that frame doesn't do it anymore and i want to go on a real long expedition, then (actually before then) look at building a serious full-loaded tourer.
this light tourer will be a compromise between fast and long.  fender and rack compatible, but not for hauling the kitchen sink across the country.
the other thing i haven't really gotten to yet is funding for this project.

it's a grey, rainy day in DC

i got fired from the bike shop i've been working at for about a month.
basically i think i was made an example of. we had a misunderstanding about when i was working. lesson learned.
this means i need to find another source for cheap parts, tools, etc. maybe i'll work at the other DC bike shop, which is more my style anyways: city bikes.

Microcosm Publishing is a bitchin' distributor of revolutionary books, patches, stickers, posters, etc. i'm putting an order in this week for some sweet bike advocacy stuff.

jim g posted a link to an article about long-reach caliper brakes, which has pretty well convinced me that cantis are the way to go. i use cantis now, and the only gripes i have about 'em are how hard it is to adjust the pads and some chattering on the front brake, especially under a hard stop. the article was basically saying that cantis are a little more work to install and adjust, but there's a payoff in stopping power and clearance for fenders and such. it sounded like i could eliminate some of my gripes by learning more about how they work.

i need some drafting supplies to start working on a design drawing. Utrecht? maybe my architect uncle has some of that stuff.

now it's sam hall's turn to be right

damn, i have some good commenters on this thing and it's a week old.
thanks, sam. glad i could help.
you're right about the joining, and it brings up a good point: there's nothing like good brazing.
i don't have access to brazing equipment yet, but if i did i'd spend way more time learning to braze and perfecting my technique and way less time doing math. all in good time. Talbot has a big chapter all about brazing that i'm looking forward to.
my thought about Little Fish was that better tubing might have prevented such a break. better brazing would have been better still.
on the other hand, i bet Little Fish thought she was pretty good at brazing and thought that joint was solid. it was pretty solid; she rode 10,000 km on it. she's pretty meticulous about everything else, least as far as i could tell, so i wouldn't have thought she'd make a mistake like that.
it's the worst-case-scenario part of me that says, "What if i braze a joint, and it looks great but has a hidden flaw, like Little Fish's?" in that situation, i'd think stronger tubing would help. might even prevent a bad joint from turning into a break.
it's a hypothetical, a pretty remote one that i don't plan to encounter because i plan to do enough brazing to get damn good at brazing by the time i put this thing together.
on the other other other hand, there's steels available today that weren't around when Talbot was building, and i'd like to take advantage, especially since the new stuff is considerably stronger and not a whole lot more expensive.

reading this Talbot book is great. a very old-school approach. there's no discussion of anything but lugged steel. simple guide to fitting that seems like it would work well.
it goes into some cool math regarding fit and design. there's enough for dorks like me, but it never gets in the way.
next step may be some drafting.

last day of class this week...more research this weekend at LOC.

Welding Supply has cheaper silver brazing rods than Henry James...have to check if HJ's is better.

anonymous is right

forgive me, i'm a math dork.
price per psi is the kind of statistic i get off on.
i really almost certainly won't ever need the strength offered by most, maybe all, of the tubing i've mentioned here.
the think i worry about, because, again, i get off on worrying about shit like this, is: What if something like what happened to Little Fish happens to me?
That's the worst-case-scenario part of my brain talking, which is probably next to the mildly insane part of me that has decided to undertake this project.
The fact is, Trek, Surly, Rivendell, even Sachs and Vanilla--all of these are fine sources for a touring bike. I could have decided to work hard, save my money, and buy a frame from one of them.
But I didn't, no, I want one of my own. I want one I made, from start to finish.
And if I'm going to all that trouble, I'm going to make one hell of a frame. Why fuck around?
So while I appreciate the opinions and the experience of the people who came before me, I'll do my own research. I'l find out for myself. I'll fuck up a lot, but I'm okay with that.
And I'll take all the help I can get, so thanks anonymous.
It'd sure be cool if you mentioned your name, though. Really, why not? This is mostly here so I always have access to my notes.

I should add I wrote the last post around 3 yesterday morning, after not enough sleep and too much time researching arcane shit. Now I'm looking over the 1st 55 pages of Designing and building your own frameset by Richard P. Talbot, which I copied at Library of Congress today.

price per psi

i'm abandoning Zona in favor of True Temper tubing for the time being, probably Versus Heat Treated. Jury's still out on Reynolds, though.
these figures don't include shipping and other such costs, but even so, they're revealing.
i'm assuming 2 tubes of 28.6mm diameter and 1 of 31.7mm, all .8/.5/.8 mm thicknesses.
Zona is $54.72 from Nova, yields at 137,785 psi (950 MPa), so $0.000397 per pound per square inch.
True Temper VHT is $43.85 from Henry James, yields at 175,000 psi, so $0.000250 per pound per square inch.
True Temper OX Platinum is $81.60 from Henry James, yields at 185,000 psi, so $0.000441 per pound per square inch.

VHT is thus the best value according to my numbers, by a pretty good margin. Zona's the weakest, but not the cheapest, so what's the point?
these numbers DON'T take into account weight, but i'm not a weight freak.
if a tube suffers a big hit, nothing matters except the strength of that tube...a broken tube isn't worth anything to anybody.
i imagine the strength increase from 175k to 185k must take a lot of work, or else True Temper wouldn't charge nearly twice as much for it.


looking at Josh Putnam's pages has got me thinking about rear triangle geometry...maybe i should lengthen the wheelbase by extending the stays. this would give more stability, but decrease stiffness and slow acceleration.
much of my design thinking so far has been based on the work of Suzy at LIttle Fish Bicycles, http://www.littlefishbicycles.com/
her pdfs of autocad drawings in particular have been really helpful.
furthermore, all of my recent cycling experience, really most of my cycling experience, has been on my 06 Bianchi San Jose single-speed ( http://www.bianchiusa.com/06_san_jose.html ), which is based on the Bianchi Volpe.
all of these (Suzy's and mine) aren't built for the kind of fully-loaded, full-fender touring i want to be able to do on this thing.
fortunately, i think i can keep the same main triangle geometry while making changes to the rear triangle, by using longer stays. it's a question of compromise. i need to look at other touring frames to see how they deal with this.
trek 520 21" vs Bianchi San Jose/Volpe 55cm
520 wheelbase is 38 mm longer, 1054mm vs. 1016mm
520 has 2mm more fork rake, 52mm vs. 50mm
520: 71.0 HT angle/73.5 ST angle vs. 72.5 HT angle/73.0 ST angle
520 has 25mm longer CS, 450mm vs. 425mm
the 520 is a shorter, longer bike.

welcome Frambuilders' email list members

hello, framebuilders from all over the world. let me know what you think, because you're the first people to see this blog besides me.

price per PSI

next project: develop a price per pound-per-square-inch/megapascal for
each make of tubing, from all suppliers, given a specific set of
dimensions. I'm thinking to start out with just main tubes, as they
will probably be a good indicator of the general pricing structure.
The harder thing to factor in will be shipping, especially with
overseas distributors like Ceeway.

tube pricing, strength

I've begun to select and price 2 competing tubesets: Reynolds 631 and
Columbus Zona. Leaning towards Zona at the moment.
Columbus' distributor in the U.S. is Nova, which will sell me the 3
main triangle tubes for $55.98, plus tax, shipping, etc. This price
is based on standard-size TT and ST, and OS (31.7mm) DT.
Waiting on a quote from Fairing, Reynolds' U.S. distributor.

Reynolds is frustrating because their catalog/data sheet doesn't list
a lot of things that Columbus does, like tube weight and how much can
be cut off. It looks like Zona has a higher UTS than 631; not sure
exactly what that means, but I think Zona is a little stronger. 631
UTS: 800-900. Zona: RM=950-1050 MPa.

Another option would be Reynolds 853, with a UTS of 1250-1400,
considerably higher than Zona.

cable routing

"The Filthy Animal" cross frame by Kurt Andersen, Framebuilders' list

cables routed on top of TT, using triple cable guide. brake cable over seat cluster to curved bridge. front derailer down ST, rear down SS.
very interesting...keeps all cables away from main triangle and BB, out of the way and out of the mud. also might prevent them from getting caught on a road hazard, and makes them more accessible for repair and maintenance.

research and notes: Nova Cycle Supply, Little Fish

Everest flat top fork crown for 1 1/8" steerer and 24mm road fork blades, $17

tube diameters from Nova:
Top: 25.4mm
Top/Down: 28.6, 29.5, 31.7, 33.0, 35.0
Down: 38.1, 42.0
Seat: 28.6, 31.7, 35.0

get some plain CrMo tubing to practice on....maybe practice lugs, too?

buy component gruppo now at shop discount, install when finished...price?

oversized tubing seems a good choice...does it limit lug options?

stainless braze-ons look good, harder to braze?

dropouts: add stainless faces, braze on eyes

Little Fish's 3rd frame CAD drawing shows regular (28.6mm) TT and ST,
OS DT (31.7mm)

Shimano 105 gruppo seems the way to go (after reading about why
Rivendell uses it)
debating between cantis and sidepulls, though. need to read up on
long-reach sidepulls.

research: ceeway crowns, braze-ons, bosses

p1 43mm clearance, no slope, clean old-school look 25.4mm steerer,
28x19mm oval blades
lc17 42mm clearance, "ideal for touring...very stiff fork", light
slope, same dimens.

chainstay bridges-
3 widths, 25.4mm, 26mm, 29mm
plus one on "what's new" page

saba canti bridges-
outside-outside 43, 58, 66, 70mm widths
stainless 65mm ("what's new")

seat stays...use "top eyes"...or miter and braze on?

bottle bosses--with end so water won't seep in..."what's new" page only

saba circles fork blade liner...adds pizzaz, opens up crown options

where i am now

i'm learning all i can without having the shop and tools i need. mostly that means lots of internet research, browsing framebuilding forums and email lists, drawing, writing, thinking, planning.

design specs thus far:
wide tire clearance, loads of braze-ons, cables routed away from the main triangle for carrying.
cantilever brakes.
vertical dropouts, since this will always be a multi-speed.
maybe a Jenn DePalma paint job.
spoke carrier, bottle opener, front and rear rack mounts, fender mounts, 3 bottle cages, canti bosses.
either bar-end or STI shifters...probably bar-end.
most likely triple chainring.

lugs- www.bigelugs.com, www.henryjames.com, www.richardsachs.com, www.ceeway.com; Columbus? others?
tubing- Reynolds 853, 631; True Temper OX platinum, S3; probably not Columbus, as they seem geared toward light/fast over durable/strong
braze-ons, bridges, etc: Ceeway
dropouts: henry james?
filler metal: leaning toward silver, henry james?

a former builder i work with mentioned that brazing can, and should, be done with a jewelers' torch, so i'll explore that as an alternative to oxy-acetylene.
i'm planning to miter the tubes by hand, with half-round steel files. i'll likely use a computer program to print out the curve and file to the line. a nice combo of new-fangled and old-school elbow grease.
i've been working with emery cloth lately and found it perfectly suited for the kind of shaping and sanding that the lugs will need. it gives a natural, hand-finished look and it gets into all sorts of tight spots.
i think i'll have to build myself a jig. that's going to be the main sticking point that will keep me from starting to braze.
i got some great advice about how to make a frame last a lifetime from the Rivendell site. they are great at what they do.

working on:
tubing/lug selection and purchase
project budget
homemade jig