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Get outta the fast lane!!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A friend of mine is thinking about buying a fancy TIG welder to do mountain bike and motorcycle aluminum frame repairs/welding.

I'm just wondering what the market demand is for this and if any of you guys are interested in having your frames fixed?

He's worked welding aircraft parts at Acro Aerospace. Titanium, magnesium, etc. Fully certified. This will be a sideline for him.

Let me know if there's any interest in this.
 

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I'm fully outfitted with my required equipment at the moment (auxiliary light brackets, auxiliary fuel tank) however, there is always a need when a new motorcycle arrives.

A quality, and qualified welder will never run out of work, once his reputation gets around!
 

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If he's going to depend on bicycles and motorcycles then he'll never get that thing paid off but if this is just one avenue for him then he'll make some nice coin out of his investment.

You could post his name and number (if he agrees to it) in the Services and Supplies sticky in Tech and Mods.
 

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I need some welding done on a restoration project of mine (1980 ford e-150)......(it's a factory 4 on the floor, that's why I'm keepin her)
 

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Get outta the fast lane!!
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the tips.

Bill from 5thgear said they do all welding in-house. I had asked him if shops do this work in-house or farm it out. I wasn't aware that the shops have experienced aluminum welders there. Welding aluminum takes $$$ equipment and a lot more skill than welding steel. Maybe Bill can pipe in on that one?

My friend can get the welder at a VERY good price.

Also got some responses from mountain bikers on the www.nsmb.com forum who said you need a heat-treating oven and chemical bath (paint removal?).

So... still getting info on this. Any comments are much appreciated.
 

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Fastronaut
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6061 needs a dip (weld, solution heat treat, align, delay, artificial age), while 7005 doesn't (weld, align, artificial age). "Most" bicycles are 7005 now; it became popular with the small frame builders who couldn't afford a big facility but wanted to change over from steel to alloy. You couldn't tell the difference between a properly processed 6061 vs. and a 7005 frame. They came up with 7005 so you could build large structures like buildings or bridges from aluminum without having to construct a massive tank to solution heat treat them.

That's the background, here's the bad news. In general bicycle frames are un-repairable. They are made of the same material as the aircraft landing gear but they're so thin they won't withstand another fatigue cycle from a repair and re-heat-treat.

While we're on topic though, I have a friend with a cracked RSV frame and he's totally gutted. Post up the info as I'm sure he'd be up for a fix.
 

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Did your friend ever get the welder? I have a hole in the boat and 2 custom motorcycle racks needing welding in the short term. Plus with any luck your guy is on the North Shore.
 

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There is good money to be made fabbing up aluminum sled decks for trucks and stuff... The base materials are NOT cheap though.

I can weld too, but I wouldn't go near the frame of a vehicle with a 10' pole. A trusted and skilled welder should be able to make money somehow, once word gets out.

ps. Anyone can use a rental wire feed and lay a bead that LOOKS good - that don't mean it is. Experience is everything.
 
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