Today, NextFab’s weld-master, Steve Webb, and his apprentice Jason Browne, provided a demonstration of rapid-sculpting of bike frames for a group of Philadelphians considering entering mobile sculptures into the upcoming Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby.
"After showing our visitors around the metal shop, we gave them an option of whether to make a tricycle or a parallel bike. They voted for the tricycle because it was more complex and would give them a chance to view a wider range of techniques. We took three bicycles to start with and we put them up on the welding table and lined them up and clamped them upright, in parallel. We pulled the one to the front to make a tricycle arrangement with our guests telling us how far forward to place the front frame. We cut the fourth bicycle frame apart with the oxy-acetylene torch and we took several pieces off of it for leaders to attach the front bike to the two parallel back bikes, and put these aside for later. Next, we cut a piece of square box tubing to go between the seat tubes of the second two bikes to hold them upright and apart from each other. We demonstrated how to MIG weld them by grinding off the paint first and then welding the corners. We demonstrated how to use a pneumatic die grinder to grind "fish mouths" into the two round tubes so they fit right against the side of another tube, just like a pipe fitter would do, and then showed how to weld around those joints. We took the assembled tricycle frame off the table and set it on the floor. We made sure that the front frame’s pedals were clear so when people pedal their heels would not get caught. With that, and just a bit of reassembly, the trike frame is ready to ride. And that was it!"
Steve teaches welding and metal shop classes and is the organizer of NextFab’s welding club. You can often find Steve buzzing around the metal shop.
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