Doing a bit of research, and wanted to put it out to the hive mind as my google-ing is running into dead ends.
The question is, with many of these tube sets marketed as ‘Air-Hardening’ (or even some of the other high-spec sets), do any of the manufacturers provide any sort of welding procedure specification? i.e., do they give any sort of temperature targets, cooling rate, or good range of heat input?
I did find that Columbus (and I think I saw one from Reynolds at some point) at least gives a filler metal recommendation, but other than that I can’t find any real info available online. Maybe I’m just not important enough to get that information, hoping maybe at least that is some sort of privileged info that only ‘big’ builders get?
I do know that many builders trend in a similar direction with welding these sets, but due to the alloys being proprietary it seems the least they could do is provide welding recommendations.
The short version is a lot of the metallurgy of 4130 (and similar alloys), and typical welding techniques in the framebuilding community are contradictory. This of course gets worse when we add in mystical proprietary alloys.
Any thoughts would be appreciated!
You might want to reach out to Reeb and Veri-wall.
Reeb has a history of being a small batch builder and has an engineer on their team. They also built hard tails with air hardened Vari-Wall after True-Temper closed. Now they are out of building hard tails they may more likely to share learnings.
Vari-Wall is a small family business that say they are committed to American manufacturing so they are likely inclined to share more.
Maybe Adam Prosise from Reeb would be willing to talk about that stuff? He responds here pretty quickly.
Is Vari-Wall still in business? Repeated emails and calls from me and others have gone unanswered.
I thought they were out of business but their site is back up and there is inventory to order.
I have not purchased anything though.
Unfortunately Adam is no longer at Reeb but I’m sure he will answers questions about building.
There is some inventory on Vari-Wall’s site, but still a lot Out of Stock. I gave up on them because they were always Out of Stock and you couldn’t determine if something was Out of Stock until you clicked through a couple menus.
Have you tried reaching out to Columbus and Reynolds directly? Or maybe someone like @Carl_Snarl? I’ve generally found people to be pretty helpful if you ask nicely and can demonstrate that you know what you’re talking about.
Agreed. Unfortunately, Vari-wall made very nice tubes. They were very straight and well finished.
Curious if you were able to learn anything from these resources?
Still running into dead ends, although I haven’t reached out to the individuals listed above. Got distracted by other projects.
I still just think that the only concise way to really solve this problem would be to know exactly what the composition of the tubes are. But of course that’s likely going to remain proprietary in nearly all cases.
I’m also probably just barking up a tree that isn’t really worth it though. But my background is welding inspection, and being the one responsible for weld procedures, etc. so that’s just a totally different world than bicycle framebuilding.