No, you were right first time......I was brought up in the 'old traditional' way.......what you see in the photos of the now defunct frameshop at Thorns was a area large enough for up to six framebuilders, at one time they had four, until scaling down to just myself.
I did use their Italian frame jig for a while [it was crap] before I had my own design of setting up table made up, which is now with me at Woodrup's.
All my frames are made by brazing each joint 'free' of any restraining jigs.....after initial setting up and 'tacking'......they are not brazed on the setting up table/jig. Doing a tandem would involve making the front triangle first, then after polishing etc continuing with the next two sections.........only, on the Thorn Tandem I did it a different way by attaching the bottom tube to the back end [rear bottom bracket etc] first, then the final connection was to braze up the 'middle and back end' to the front triangle......it worked seamlessly, perfect alignment. I think if you look closely at the pics you can see the last joints to be brazed.
So there we are........I'm still a purist in the true sense [though never used string in my methods!]
West Yorkshire UK
> I am most impressed or should that be distressed, by the industrial set up
> that you had down at Thorns..Wow that really represents some investment ;
> had always thought that you were brought up in the length of string and
> rack-of-the-eye school of frame-building.
> Never having used industrial jigs for building I find it very difficult to
> understand how you managed to bronze-weld up both sides of the joints on
> frame tubes, without taking the frame out of the jig and brazing it free,
> thereby heating up all joints twice....Or am I missing something ?
> I haven't built many tandems frames from scratch. so have tended to build
> them like solos ie braze up a main triangle and then file up and polish
> welds..then add the next triangle and file and polish...but always with a
> file and emery strops...no power tools at all.
> I think that tandem-riding is on the increase in the Uk..possibly thanks
> the new types of MTB tandems currently available..and at the cost of the
> drop in popularity of traditional tandems - think Jack Taylor etc etc. One
> shop midway up the road from Woodrups to my place in Settle, Johns Cycles
> Ilkley, run by Jon Hargreaves, has been selling tandems, recently at the
> rate of over twenty a month.
> I noticed also, in the Loire valley area of France this summer, that there
> were noticeably more tandems on the road than in previous years.This trend
> could be similar to the one that convinced so many French couples to take
> the sport all those decades ago...or possibly its just that the thought of
> yet another package holiday and hours of drinking cocktails , in the sun,
> poolside with hundreds of other 'holiday-makers' is starting to lose its
> The last tandem frame that I built was a custom one for a couple of twins
> Lowestoft Wheelers - their order was typical of many I received for
> time-trials frames - 'We want something stiff..and fast..Oh by the way it
> has to be a double 21"..before we forget and drive back home"
> Shots of the finished frame can be seen at:
> will lead you to the first photo..another photo of the rear stays - a pair
> of aero forks ,is about 4 clicks further on in the series.
> I doubt whether this frame will ever end up touring the lanes around the
> vineyards of the Loire..oe even the Yorkshire Dales.
> Norris Lockley
> Settle UK