Do you have any desire to branch out from TIG and do lugs or fillets? Also, do you like to paint or build more?
I really don’t have much desire to do lugs, and even less to do fillets. I sincerely appreciate the skill needed for all three and to become proficient in any joining method takes copious amounts of practice. The main reason I prefer TIG welding is the freedom to design a frame with no restrictions on tube diameter or joining angle. I would be lying if I said it didn’t have anything to do with post joining cleanup. I appreciate well executed fillet brazed frames like Steve Garro produces, I personally would prefer to TIG a joint; I just don’t see the need to do the former. Something that Carl String said in a blog a while ago really resonated with me, that for steel frames in this day and age many people don’t want to see the stacked dime look under the paint, they want it smooooth. I strive for that under the mask and many people ask me if my joints are fillet brazed. Thats about as good a compliment for a TIG welder as you can get.
To be honest with you I really don’t have a preference between painting and building. Each one has its own set of challenges. I find that I am able to express my artistic side (that a lug builder might do through custom shorelines) through the painting side of my business. Many of my customers understand this about and give me basic colors and ideas to use; while leaving the specifics up to me. It can be a bit intimidating presenting the final product to the customer without them knowing exactly what its going to looks like, but its worked out pretty well so far. Sometimes, its a hybrid, like the one from last week. He was VERY particular about the spacing of the down tube and top tube panels, but the rest was left up to me.