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Recumbent Bike for a beginner welder

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  • Recumbent Bike for a beginner welder

    I am brand spanking new at welding. I have a Schumacher wire-feed flux welder. I am looking to build a recumbent bike from a couple of scrap bikes laying around. Is this unit capable? I see a lot of discussion on TIG with bikes. I plan on practicing a ton before I start that project. I do not need handlebars flying at my crotch from a poor weld. Does anyone have any suggestions. I still have to buy some items yet. I have a hand-held mask, a mask that is dark all the time, a wire brush and a chipping hammer. So, I still need gloves, auto-darkening helmet and practice. Other than that, what advice do you have.

  • #2
    Melt about a 100# of wire joining pipe together before you even think about the bike.

    Get a lot of practice in on "less ambitious" projects before you start on pipe/tubing.
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    • #3
      You do not need to spend for an auto darkening helmet. A regular helmet works just fine. Cut some tubing practice pieces and start welding. It would help tremendously if you could find a welder to give you a couple of lessons. Make a couple of small items from the tubing then go at it. You will know right away if your capable or not. It is only a bicycle & I'm sure being your first one it will not be great but the only way to get good is by doing. As for the welder I'm not familiar with that brand but if there is a way to hook up gas & use solid wire it would be easier. A tig is not necessary for this. List your location, maybe someone on here is near you.
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      • #4
        I would find plans using square tubing because it is so much easier to cut and join squarely (is that a word?) without a jig of some kind. There are many plans at www.atomiczombie.com. Many have built from these plans and seem to be satisfied. I have no connection to them other than I am a satisfied customer. I have the Delta Wolf plans but haven't had time to collect the parts to build it yet.

        It would be a great help if you could find someone to help as you begin to learn to weld. "Critique my beads" on the web can be a help but I think instant feedback by someone watching what you are doing is even better.

        With someone to help that knows what they are doing, you can learn a lot about joint prep and controlling warping.

        Please put your location in your profile, maybe there is someone that lives close to you that can help.

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        • #5
          Practice makes Perfect

          I think welding thin wall tubing would be better with a Mig. Weld scrap pipe together remove all paint and rust at weld points.. Practice take your time you can always buy some instruction welding books/CD's from this Miller site, click on Resources at the top of the page and go from there.
          Bob

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          • #6
            A mig welder with gas would be best. I have repaired a few home made bikes and they were welded nice but they broke. You sure don't want to crash on the highway because of a broken weld...Bob
            Bob Wright

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            • #7
              You need to make sure that the scrap bikes that you are using are welded together and not brazed. The braze metal can be farther from the joint inside the tube than you would think.

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              • #8
                recumbent plans

                Originally posted by akojsp View Post
                I am brand spanking new at welding. I have a Schumacher wire-feed flux welder. I am looking to build a recumbent bike from a couple of scrap bikes laying around. Is this unit capable? I see a lot of discussion on TIG with bikes. I plan on practicing a ton before I start that project. I do not need handlebars flying at my crotch from a poor weld. Does anyone have any suggestions. I still have to buy some items yet. I have a hand-held mask, a mask that is dark all the time, a wire brush and a chipping hammer. So, I still need gloves, auto-darkening helmet and practice. Other than that, what advice do you have.
                You can get plans at www.labentbyladue.com they call for using square tubing and a couple donor bikes. There are only a couple welds on light metal. The rest is at least 16 gauge.

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                • #9
                  I agree with Sundown; a bike is not the best thing to learn to weld as a 1st project. It's really easy to make a weld with MIG, it's another thing to make a strong weld with MIG. You can have good looking welds that have no strength whatsoever....

                  (Then again, you see a lot of trailer projects tackled by beginners, I shudder when I hear the words "trailer" and "newbie" used together....)

                  Another point; how do you expect your finished product to look? A MIG weld, especially by a beginner, will look like crap compared to a TIG weld, or even O/A weld for that matter. Most high end bikes are TIG welded or brazed for aesthetic reasons. MIG is best for fast, structural stuff where aesthetics don't matter.
                  Last edited by Jeffw5555; 08-28-2009, 09:40 PM.
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