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Equipping the Bike - what's the best gear? Anything to do with the bikes equipment, saddlebags, etc. Questions on repairs and maintenance of the bike itself belong in the Brand Specific Tech Forums.
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Giant Loop Motorcycle Saddlebags & Motorcycle Tank Bags: Panniers, Soft Luggage for Adventure & Sport Touring

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  #1  
Old 21 Feb 2003
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Steel tubing for home-made racks

Hiya

I have a MIG welder and I'm not afraid to use it, however I am having trouble getting hold of 20mm mild steel tubing in the UK. All I can find are wholesalers who sell 'mill quantity' (still don't know what that is...).

Anyone with any clues?

Cheers

B
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Old 25 Feb 2003
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can't one of the wholesalers give you some of their reseller contacts? if not, try a good hardware shop and they should be able to order some. or find a local technical college that does welding courses and ask who they get supplies from. seek (a bit harder) and you shall find ;-)

its good to hear you're not afraid to use your MIG set, but are you any good with it? ;-) if not, get loads of tubing and practice a lot before deciding whether to make your own: there's a lot to be said for paying someone good to do a proper job as welds are quite hard to repair well - especially in remote settings. I don't mean to sound like I'm on my soap box, but to save you hassle when you should be having fun
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Old 25 Feb 2003
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Good quality pushbike tubing would be perfect I'd expect. Something like the old reynolds stuff. You can get all sorts of sizes, tepers, wall thicknesses and diameters. Look up a bike frame builder in your area and they might even order some up for you - other than that, give Condor Cycles in Gray's Inn Road, London a call. HTH

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Old 26 Feb 2003
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My steel tubing (20mm dia 2mm thick) came from a blacksmith somewhere near Bury ST Edmunds.
Probably not much help, buit it may be a small lead.
Geoff
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Old 27 Feb 2003
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POB - is Reynolds weldable? I thought it was chromoly and best brazed. also tends to be quite thin wall eg 0.6-0.8mm AFAIR. I'd go for 1.5-2mm so there's something substantial to weld to.
Rich
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Old 9 Mar 2003
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we have a compay here that deals with small orders on steel tubing. they have a very good selection of 4130 steel tubing as well as other products for the home projectteer. their address is www.aircraftspruce.com i'm pretty sure they'l ship international and i'm always impressed by their turn around time
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Old 1 Apr 2003
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In answer to my own post...

I found 20mm diameter 1.5mm wall thickness tubing available in 6m lengths from Goodman Steel in Reading. They were very helpful and even threw in some steel plate (for gusseting & mounting lugs) on the cheap.

On advice from an engineer friend, I bought cold drawn steel (CDS), with medium carbon content (AKA mild steel). The CDS process apparently aligns the grains along the length of the tube, increasing strength - particularly in bends. I chose mild steel as it is easily welded - increasing my chances of doing a decent job welding it together. Also mild steel requires only basic welding skills and equipment, meaning if it breaks it can be repaired easily.

It took me ages to find someone who would supply in relatively small quantities. I ordered two 'lengths' of 6.1m at a cost of £75 (or £6.25 per metre). Hopefully this will be enough to allow me to experiment and make mistakes.

My welding skills are progressing very well. I'm trying to practice for a few hours a week and have made myself quite useful building bits & pieces out of scrap metal sourced from my local tip. It's enormously satisfying and although I don't think I'll save money making racks and boxes myself, the experience is worth it. I'm confident that I will be able to do a decent job.

Next project is a tube bender - I'll post the results here.

Cheers


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