[CR]British bike building techniques

Example: Events

From: OROBOYZ@aol.com
Date: Mon, 21 May 2001 09:46:49 EDT
To: bob.reid@btconnect.com, Classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Subject: [CR]British bike building techniques

In a message dated 5/21/01 5:29:23 AM Eastern Daylight Time, bob.reid@btconnect.com writes:

<< Know your breed - see this article >>

Thanks Bob for that scan...

That is a neat albeit cursory report of the basics of British bike building of a bygone era..

Interesting in a few areas; odd that they mention that specialty bikes use bronze and silver to allow a lower temperature.. apparently unaware that bronze and brass are the same and use the same temperature range. I wonder if and when the silver joining compound was used, was the open hearth method was utilized? Seems hard to imagine silver (if a decent percentage of actual silver) could be controlled in such a method. But no mention of hand held torches. Certainly some builders of the immediate post-war era advertised that they used silver; Harry Ferris comes to mind in the 1950s and Stan Pike later were known to use silver on their frames.

That also raises the question in my mind if anyone still uses the open hearth "coal gas" method? Is it correct tom assume that the open hearth method was used by larger concerns doing higher production, and that the small, one man or so shops used hand held torchs? I have heard that Mercian is the last practitioner of the open hearth approach. Anyone know if that is still the case?

And while we are wondering, I hear no mention of earlier Italian frame makers using the open hearth method. The Custom Bike book tends to categorize some of the builders interviewed as to methods and as I recall only British builders are identified as using the open hearth....

Dale Brown <A HREF="http://www.classicrendezvous.com/main.htm">Classic Rendezvous</A>