Australasia frame builders

Europe and Canada have a thread so us southerners should have one too! It can be pretty hard to get materials locally so if you have a source then please share here!

I will start:
For 4130 straight gauge tubing in NZ I contact AFWE in Auckland. If you email Sean he can send you a price list, some stuff is worth it and some is way out the back door and not everything is in stock, I snapped up the last of the 1 1/4*.035 the other day. Last I heard he had plenty of 1 1/2*.035 in stock for about $10/ft + gst.

@Krusso @DEVLINCC any tips on sources in the south?


Oz supplier of 4130:

Race tech steel


+1 for Racetech. They stock the Promolloy range. High quality. Obviously shipping over to NZ has to be factored in.

The bent seat tubes I recently ordered, I ended up getting from BFS in the US. Andy looked after me with great service and reasonable shipping. Nobody locally wanted to bend them for me. :man_shrugging: and getting a Cobra bender is cost prohibitive. I’ve tried making a bender but it needs work before it’s useable.

Hillbrick Cycles for Columbus tubing and forks as well as a good range of standard fittings.

I use BOC for my brazing rods and lately have been using the Tradeflame silver flux with great success. I pick that up at Bunnings.

I still am getting through my pale of Cycledesign bronze flux.


Niche Gas in VIC has all sorts of great torch stuff!

+1 on Hillbrick.

I know of one guy in Queensland that is willing and able to bend thin large diam cromo.

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Ive given up on getting Gasflux from them. Three times they sent flux that had gone off.

That’s whack! Hope you got your cheddar back.

BFS has been good for getting stuff to NZ too. Will have to look up Hillbrick cycles and Racetech and see if they post to NZ

No. I gave up in the end. Frustrating as they gave me great advice and sold me a great set of lightweight hoses to go on my Harris torch.

That’s another one…

These guys import the Harris range into Australia. I get the 56% silver from them and any torch parts for my Harris 19-6 handle on OXY/LPG setup.

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I’ve only made a handful of racks and no frames so probably not much help, sorry.

I did try and source some 4130 in rack sizing (<10mm) from Airport metals in Melbourne but they didn’t want to ship to NZ on a small scale due to customs. They sell bulk to a place up in Hamilton. I contacted them and was quoted about $25 a foot excl gst/postage. Tried a few other places and this seemed to be the norm. This was also pre covide, so would hate to know what the price is now.

There can be a fair bit of tubing that goes into a rack, especially if you make mistakes or just want to try things out as a beginner. If I was selling the racks and not just making them for myself and friends then I would probably look into 4130 again. As is, I’m using 1010 grade mild steel from HS white. It’s about $7 a meter for small diameter tubing. 1mm is as thin as it goes but for racks it seems fine. Theres probably a weight penalty but when you get a custom rack you do away with all the brackets and extra hardware so it probably isn’t that bad?

A couple of racks I’ve made are being used by people that are known to break things and I know for sure they are overloading them. So far they are still going strong but it will be interesting to see how long they last.

I do think the struggle for sourcing pretty much anything frame building related in NZ is tough. Even compared to Australia, so would be good to know of any suppliers. Thanks!

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With the rising costs in goods down here (Aus) I have found it on par or cheaper to buy a lot of things OS.

I use Cycle design for all brazing rods and flux as well as the Weldmold 880T filler rod, I priced it up against the local stuff I was buying from BOC and its now cheaper to get from Cycle Design including shipping, plus I think its better quality.

For gas i now use Air Liquide, they are amazing on price and deliver for free which saves me time, I used to use Bunnings but it was costing me 4-5x in gas and wasting hours of time.

For brazing torch I got all my stuff from Amazon as no one in Australia had a small torch when I started. Even got a Smith gas saver for around $120!

TIG consumables have gotten really good in the last few years with companies like Oz Welding Supplies bringing in Furick cups. Good service from those lads too.

Tubing I get a mix from Ceeway and Hillbrick, Airport metals for 4130 and Eastern Suburbs Stainless for small stainless tubes.

I think that’s most of the suppliers I use! I always struggle with a good cnc machinist, I have a habit of designing my parts hard to machine and always out of stainless haha.

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another kiwi here, my list of locals is mostly of operators willing to deal with me buying hobbyist quantities, as this is when the international shipping really bites.

+1 AFWE being a go-to, they’re always very reasonable with me, and I’m usually buying an annoying list of short cuts 800-300mm.

racetech (also mentioned above) in Aussie also keep aero / streamline profile 4130 in stock and have been happy to sell me cuts as short as 300mm for no extra charges.

Worth noting hillbrick also have good systems for delivering to NZ, I’ve found its always worth the phone-call, helpful service, heaps of knowledge means they can often offer a good alternative if something is out of stock.

Zipp plumbing plus keep easyflo flux paste and BOC prosilver45 (45%Ag) in stock, and are happy to sell it by the stick at trade price. the part number for a single stick of the silver is LTAT4563.

about a year ago I priced out what we were paying for argon through BOC at my workplace, and what it would cost for us to run double bottles from them to avoid downtime, and based on going through an F size bottle once every three to four weeks it was notably cheaper (and more convenient) to get two D size bottles from Bunnings. also worth considering they’re open till 7pm, and on Sundays.

ill throw steel on the mix too; often WAY more expensive than other sources, however, NZ based, fast shippers, (mine usually ships before i’ve paid the invoice, despite it being a cash sale) and happy to sell short cuts down to 30cm, so can be a lifesaver if you need one or two tubes.

Issac Woodbridge at Woodbridge industries in Petone is a tube bending and forming wizard. he usually works in stainless and mild steel , but has been happy to work with 4130 i’ve supplied whenever ive needed something I couldn’t pull off myself. (for example, 250mm CLR, 45deg bends in 1 3/4" downtubes, required filling with serrobend and section rolling, or oval profile bends for fancy seat tubes which follow the tyre OD’s on tucked track bikes. etc)

lastly, there’s a stash of straight gauge 4130 tube, aswell a range of sheet, owned by the vintage aviator in wellington, who as a company, seem to have all but disappeared following recent controversies. but the tubing still exists there, and whenever i’ve asked the guys I know with links back to TVA if I could buy small amounts ( 1-2m) its been easy. they seem to have a wider range of thinner wall sizes, especially in small stuff <1" OD than other kiwi outfits.

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