I’ve started frame #8 and it’s going quite well! My welds are not too bad and the fork is already done! I’m still not using the pulser on my 1st pass on the tubes. If the frame needs to be aligned one way or another after the 1st pass, I’ll hit it with a 2nd pass with the pulser to try and pull it into aligment. If that doesn’t work (it has for the first 7 frames) then I’ll try to cold-set the frame (crank on it) but that has proved pretty ineffective except for forks. On frame 7, the front triangle was perfect, no 2nd pass had to be done. The miters were near perfect and that’s a huge contributor to good alignment. Unless your welding is uneven (heat-wise), tight-as-can-be miters are what make a straight frame.
This 2nd cross fork is a bit heavier than the last one which I think is a good thing (approx. 880 grams, with an uncut steerer). It’s going to be ridden hard on trails and in cross races by Heyride so I wanted to beef it up a bit. It is around 100 grams heavier entirely from the beefier dropouts (Paragon), and larger diameter fork legs (HJ). I silver brazed the dropouts into place (next time I’ll fillet/brass braze) and welded the unicrown after soaking off the flux and cleaning it up a bit. I love how the silver blends into the steel, the transition between dropout and fork leg appears seamless!
In other news, I built up frame #7 with the parts from my IF Planet Cross bike, all aluminum parts, nothing super light or special, and it weighed in at an even 20lbs. That’s a pound lighter than my IF but i used some light tubing and 14mm seat stays instead of 16mm. I’m going to start avoiding the 0.77/0.5/0.65 or similar butted tubing…it’s super light but man…that’s thin if the bike is gonna get ridden hard! I’m sure it’s ok but I’d rather add some grams and have it be a longer-term frame!