Re: [CR]Abilities of amateur vs expert framebuilders

(Example: Framebuilders)

From: <"">
Date: Tue, 1 Aug 2006 07:00:06 GMT
Subject: Re: [CR]Abilities of amateur vs expert framebuilders


So Steve, how many frames is a "lot"? Every person becomes

an "expert" at exactly the same number of frames, regardless on what

type of framebuilding they persue? What about previous background and

experiences, and more importantly what type of coaching, experience,

and teaching do they have access to? Everything is cut and dry,

right? I think you have missed the point of my message, while others

seem to be reading a lot into it. What's going on out there?

Brian Baylis
La Mesa, CA

-- Steve Leitgen wrote:

You need to build a lot of frames to be considered an expert. Period.

I've been cutting teeth for 22 years as a dentist. I have enough

experience now to consider myself pretty good. For the first five

years I didn't know diddly. Considering I placed in the 92nd

percentile on my boards and aced my regionals that's saying a lot.

(apologies to any old patients on the list) Having done my share of

framebuilding I can say that designing and building a frame can be


complex as anything I do in your mouth. It's the little magic tricks

you pick up over the years that put you on the path of being an


I have 16 years experience building and competing model airplanes. I

have a wall of local and regional trophies. I even once set a

national record. Expert? Not hardly. My backside is consistently

getting kicked by guys who have been doing it for 50+years. We are

just talking about gluing a few sticks of balsa together and


it with tissue. Certainly not as complex as a bike. Experts are


Now for the CR content (Dale). I regularly ride a couple of my first

bikes. Built in 1980(on topic). They are pretty good. They just

aren't expert caliber.

Basically if you haven't been doing for years and have a large


of frames under your belt and you call yourself an expert then quite

simply you don't have the experience to know the difference.

Steve Leitgen LA Crosse, WI

On Jul 30, 2006, at 6:25 PM, Greg Lone wrote:
> Hope I don't ruffle anyone feathers here , but I only partially
> agree with Brian Bayless on the need to produce a significant
> number of frames to really consider yourself an "expert" frame
> builder. I fully agree that there is no black art to frame
> construction , and many a fine frame has been built by novice
> builders. Just as Brian states the important factor is patience

> attention to detail . The "expert " builder however has sufficient
> practise at his craft where all the processes flow smoothly and

> basic steps become practically automatic. The expert is able to
> pick up the torch and adjust the flame just so in seconds, knows
> almost intuitively when the steel is just the right temperature
> regardless of the mass or section of the part. and a hundred other
> small but vital pieces of craft that a beginner agonizes over.

> as I can find my way around a lathe or milling machine enough to
> produce the part I need for my Norton, I would never describe
> myself as a
> machinist. The machinists I know would no doubt find my methods
> crude or at least inefficient. The resulting part may be as
> good ,but you can bet I took at least four times as long to do it
> {and probably three attempts}. So from my point of view I think
> Brian Bayless is mostly right ,the basic process is not that
> difficult. But for me to consider anyone an Expert at any
> skill ,implies that the person has a considerable body of
> experience and can produce a consistently high quality product in
> a efficient manner. There may be the rare individual who has it it
> all together right from the start but for the rest of us

> is invaluable.
> P.S. I am not a frame builder, however I have been involved with
> all welding and brazing processes over the last thirty plus years,
> including time spent as a welding instructor. Lots of light gauge
> fabrication and torch work.
> Greg Lone
> Langley B.C.
> Canada
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