First Frame - finishing advice and corrosion protection

G’day all,

First post, first frame. This build began in March 2022, when I did a class with Brett Richardson in Queensland, Australia. I have wanted to build my own bike frame for years and the coarse was a gift to myself for completing my mechanical engineering degree.

Cad is drawn by me, geometry is based on my current steel roadie that I love. The components were sourced from the ugliest carbon Merida road bike on Facebook marketplace at the time.

Some progress photos

Currently, I am working on sanding/cleaning all the brazed joints and I’m really enjoying this part of the build. The single-focus-brain-off sanding and filing has been great for my mental health. The only problem is putting it down for 2 weeks, coming back and the surface rust making it look like it’s been neglected for years. Does anyone have any tips here or do I need to do this process faster? I am rubbing the tubes down with a rust-protecting lubricant, but it seems to last a few days at the most.

Im having a ball, but I am struggling to know when enough is enough with sanding and filling of the lugs. Another question, I am assuming I need to fill the vent holes that were drilled in the seat stays, what is typically used for this?

Looking forward to finishing this one, already thinking about Frame02.



There are schools of thought pro and con about filling seatstay vent holes. Me, I braze a plug (a small tapered nail) into the hole I drilled, shortly after finishing the seatstay attachment. Never any problems with this. Others will leave the holes empty and spray some anti-corrosion stuff into the stays. Both are valid options. Leaving the holes open, and not treating the interiors, isn’t.

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Glad you’re having fun! Don’t worry too much about the surface rust that forms. But do be careful with that file! Looks like there are some big gouges in the seat stay that could turn into cracks at some point. File marks are a big no-no on the tubes. Try using emory cloth over the file instead of the file alone - or something else under emory cloth to match the surface your’e working: a finger, a vinyl tube, a wood dowel. If you were to spray that seat cluster with some flat spray paint you would quickly see how deep the file marks are, especially in the softer lug steel.

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Keep in mind it’s your first frame and don’t stress too much if you messed up, bound to happen! The surface rust is inevitable with brazing after soaking. The file marks, yeah that looks pretty deep on the seat stay. I’d be tempted to lay down some bronze there. I like plenty of tube ventilation so I definitely don’t fill in vent holes. Spraying some protectant in on the interior is a good idea, after you’re completely done with braze-ons of course.