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  #2086  
Old 08-04-2022, 02:34 PM
brewsmith brewsmith is offline
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Cool history, and I can say you have the best fillets in the game!

I seem to recall an interview from Ritchey explaining how he was essentially self taught and his fillets are laid down in an organic approach, filling in where he needs as he goes to get an even layer of brass throughout rather than an a-b approach. Not sure how much his fillets are filed down after, but I am curious to know if you approach it in a methodical linear approach or go back and forth when filling in to ge things even/distribute the heat.
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  #2087  
Old 08-04-2022, 02:47 PM
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David Kirk David Kirk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brewsmith View Post
Cool history, and I can say you have the best fillets in the game!

I seem to recall an interview from Ritchey explaining how he was essentially self taught and his fillets are laid down in an organic approach, filling in where he needs as he goes to get an even layer of brass throughout rather than an a-b approach. Not sure how much his fillets are filed down after, but I am curious to know if you approach it in a methodical linear approach or go back and forth when filling in to ge things even/distribute the heat.
Good question -

When I first learned to fillet I worked forward and then back some. I'd be moving forward (right to left) and then I'd be unhappy with something I see where I just was and I'd go back and mess with it. This works of course but it tends to take lots of time as you chase the quality back and forth around the joint.

Now, 99% of the time I work right to left. This allows the flame to drop one bead of filler while preheating the area where the next bead will be dropped. I almost never go back. I make sure I'm perfectly happy with what I just put down before I move on. This means less messing around and the joint sees less heat over a shorter time period...both good things.

I hope I said that well!

dave
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  #2088  
Old 08-12-2022, 08:28 AM
RWHowe RWHowe is offline
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Fillet brazing

Hi Dave,

Who at Serotta taught you to fillet braze?

Regards,
Russ

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Originally Posted by David Kirk View Post
I owned my very first fillet brazed bike 40 years ago when I asked Fisher Mountain Bikes to make me a full-on custom race MTB. I didn’t know it at the time but it was built by the one and only Albert Eisentraut and the fillets were perfectly round and organic and looked stunning under the signal green paint laid on by Cyclart. It was wonderful.

A few years later I was sponsored by Ritchey USA and I was given a handmade-by-Tom fillet frameset and matching fillet bullmoose handlebar. The fillets were larger but every bit as beautiful covered in the blood red that the team bikes were painted.

A few years later I started working at Serotta. My racing days behind me, I focused on the craft of framebuilding. I wanted to learn to fillet braze and I hadn’t been working there long when I was given my chance. I learned that making those perfect fillets took real skill. My first fillets were large and lumpy but there was enough material to work with so that they could be finished down to a nice shape. At that time most Serottas had some fillet brazing so I had a ****-ton of bikes pass through my hands and over time I got better. I then learned “precision fillet brazing” which is similar to TIG welding. The amount of brass laid down was very carefully controlled and it was much faster. In time I was appointed to head custom framebuilder at Serotta and that meant that I would be the one doing the finish work on my own fillets. This was where the real learning happened. If someone else is cleaning your work it’s hard to see how it could be done better…but when you are the one shaping the fillets you laid down 45 minutes ago one tends to learn very quickly. In the end I’d brazed/built thousands of fillet bikes during my 10 years at Serotta and one could not have asked for a better learning experience.

That was 20-30 years ago and I no longer build in the numbers I did at Serotta but I still use the lessons I learned when building fillet bikes today. Today most of my fillet bikes are stainless with silver fillets and they show everything. In that way they are honest and that’s why my raw stainless bikes are called Onesto.

dave
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  #2089  
Old 08-12-2022, 08:53 AM
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David Kirk David Kirk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RWHowe View Post
Hi Dave,

Who at Serotta taught you to fillet braze?

Regards,
Russ
There were three guys who really taught and pushed me.....Chief, Joe Williams and of course Kelly Bedford.

dave
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  #2090  
Old 08-12-2022, 10:41 AM
RWHowe RWHowe is offline
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Fillet brazing

And who did you teach or mentor? I assume Dave Wages. What about Will Hallahan? I know he was another 753 certified builder there.

Last edited by RWHowe; 08-12-2022 at 10:45 AM.
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  #2091  
Old 08-12-2022, 01:46 PM
d_douglas d_douglas is offline
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That raw BB photo is what makes me love bike fabrication - it is just so gorgeous. Amazing craftsmanship, Dave.
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  #2092  
Old 08-12-2022, 04:55 PM
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David Kirk David Kirk is offline
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Originally Posted by RWHowe View Post
And who did you teach or mentor? I assume Dave Wages. What about Will Hallahan? I know he was another 753 certified builder there.
It's a long list of people that for the most part stopped building when they left Serotta. Dave Wages is one that I helped that is still out there doing world class work.

I don't recall Will ever having a 753 cert. I think I was the only one who went for it. I could be wrong - it was a long time ago.

dave
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  #2093  
Old Yesterday, 10:53 AM
Tim Porter Tim Porter is offline
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This bike won Dave the best fillet-brazed bike award at the 2010 NAHBS, where he displayed the naked (pre-paint) frame. Dave put the frame up for sale on his website and I was stunned to see its dimensions were perfect for me, down to the millimeter.

It's now been one of my favorite rides for 11 years, and I recently decided to upgrade its components due to age and the fact that it was my last bike with a 53/39 crankset. I had a bunch of recent 11 speed Campy components, including a 50/34 and the equipage for making it a little bit more of a climbing bike for my old legs. (Record mid-cage RD, FD and shifters, new Chorus chain, all new cables and housing, new Deda stem, Zero 100 'bars and seat post). I had some LW wheels with 26mm Turbo Cottons and an 11-32 cassette.

It's just stellar in this config. I have two other Kirks, but this may be my fave.

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  #2094  
Old Yesterday, 11:44 AM
callmeishmael callmeishmael is offline
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A bizarre optical illusion: it looks like there's no steerer tube inside the stem and you can see the wall behind it!
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  #2095  
Old Yesterday, 12:50 PM
Tim Porter Tim Porter is offline
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Funny, that's the silver spacer on the 1" steerer tube!
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  #2096  
Old Yesterday, 01:11 PM
ERK55 ERK55 is offline
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I’ve always loved loved the paint scheme on this bike.
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  #2097  
Old Yesterday, 02:17 PM
ERK55 ERK55 is offline
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And Tim, since (I presume) the fit on your 3 Kirks is similar, what do you think sets this one apart?
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  #2098  
Old Yesterday, 04:22 PM
robt57 robt57 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Porter View Post
Funny, that's the silver spacer on the 1" steerer tube!
I see the silver steer tube, but not any silver spacer in that pic?
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  #2099  
Old Yesterday, 04:58 PM
ERK55 ERK55 is offline
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I think Tim means a silver-colored 1” to 1 1/8” shim given that’s a one fork steerer.
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  #2100  
Old Yesterday, 05:24 PM
Tim Porter Tim Porter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ERK55 View Post
I think Tim means a silver-colored 1” to 1 1/8” shim given that’s a one fork steerer.
Yes, that's correct. The steerer is one inch and the spacer steps it up to 1 1/8" for the stem to fit. Shim is the better word.
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