Framebuilding with Dave Bohm: Days 4 and 5

The last two days were all about building our forks. Dave likes students to start with the fork first because the brazing is relatively easy, but all of the steps we used to build the fork will apply to building the frame. The basic steps to framebuilding are:

  1. Clean your shit
  2. Measure (twice) and cut/file/turn/mill your shit
  3. Clean your shit again
  4. Test fit your shit
  5. Clean your shit just to be safe
  6. Prep your shit for brazing
  7. Braze your shit
  8. Wait for your shit to cool off
  9. Clean your shit again
  10. Check your shit for proper alignment
  11. File and sand your shit until it’ll look good under paint
  12. Grab a beer and daydream how next time you’ll do a better job cleaning your shit

It’s no joke that you’ll spend most of your time prepping and cleaning and very little time brazing. Good prep work yields a more accurate final product.

Because I’m beat from the last two days, I’m going to let my photos do most of the talking from here.

Below is one of Dave's laser cut stainless dropouts. It needed some love from the belt sander to clean up nice and to lose one of the eyelets.
Below is one of Dave’s laser cut stainless dropouts. It needed some love from the belt sander to clean up nice and to lose one of the eyelets.
The Grand Bois fork crown sold by Compass Bicycles will accommodate the 42mm tires I plan on using with plenty of room left for fenders. It has a compact design and simple lines.
The Grand Bois fork crown sold by Compass Bicycles will accommodate the 42mm tires I plan on using with plenty of room left for fenders. It has a compact design and simple lines.
The dropout slips deeply into the fork blade, which adds tons of strength and I think it looks good too. We raked the blades far too much by accident, so placing the dropouts deep into the blades reduced the offset to get it closer to my original number.
The dropout slips deeply into the fork blade, which adds tons of strength and I think it looks good too. We raked the blades far too much by accident, so placing the dropouts deep into the blades reduced the offset to get it closer to my original number.
The stainless dropouts were tricky to braze. Dave had to take over to finish them off because I was having trouble getting the silver to stick to the dropout. They turned out a bit messy as a result. Nothing a bunch of files and sandpaper can't fix.
The stainless dropouts were tricky to braze. Dave had to take over to finish them off because I was having trouble getting the silver to stick to the dropout. They turned out a bit messy as a result. Nothing a bunch of files and sandpaper can’t fix.
Here are the brazed dropouts after removing he excess silver. They cleaned up pretty well.
Here are the brazed dropouts after removing he excess silver. They cleaned up pretty well.
I seared the fork crown point a smidge but the rest of it turned out really well. Here you can see what the fork looked like immediately after brazing. I have to wait for it to cool before I can dunk it  in hot water to dissolve the hardened flux.
I seared the fork crown point a smidge but the rest of it turned out really well. Here you can see what the fork looked like immediately after brazing. I have to wait for it to cool before I can dunk it in hot water to dissolve the hardened flux.
To my surprise the fork needed very little muscle power to get the dropouts lined up properly.
To my surprise the fork needed very little muscle power to get the dropouts lined up properly.
A beauty shot of the fork after most of the work is done. I still need to add a special braze on under the fork crown for fender mounting, the brake bosses, the rack tabs, and the wire guides. Most forks don't need all this other stuff, but I like to keep things complicated.
A beauty shot of the fork after most of the work is done. I still need to add a special braze on under the fork crown for fender mounting, the brake bosses, the rack tabs, and the wire guides. Most forks don’t need all this other stuff, but I like to keep things complicated.

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