It certainly took me a long time, but today i just decided to weld the foker up. Due to nervousness about majorly screwing all the work i put into this frame, my hand was shaking at first. I started with the BB/ST joint then moved to the other front triangle joints. I slowly gained confidence with more beads, and after over 4 hours I personally think it turned out ok for my first (solo) frame. By no means great welds, and some not so pretty welds, but I’m proud that I finally got the guts up to just do it and move on to number 2!
I ended up burning through two tubes, one small one in the headtube/downtube, and one larger one in the downtube/BB/ST joint. The highly acute angles on the 29er suspension adjusted frame are difficult welds. I also had some futzing with the amps. The heatsinks I used (and neglected to practice with) had me up the amps considerably. Instead of doing the welds at 32 or even 42, I was up at 56 for the BB joints and back at 46 for the other main tubes. I ended up letting the tubes cool down and filled the holes quick and well, and now I can’t even tell where they were. I’ll likely do a 2nd pass with the pulser to make sure i get good enough penetration and a better appearance. But really, i’m confident to ride this as is! Tomorrow I just have to cut the seat collar slot, braze on the braze-ons (h2o bosses, seat collar, etc.) and ream/face the headtube, seat tube and BB…and of course clean it up. Still lots to do but the hardest part is over! It’s funny how the welding is just one of SO many steps in the process.