No announcement yet.

TIG vs SMAW for SS

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • TIG vs SMAW for SS

    I occasionaly get the urge to weld a stainless motorcycle frame. Typicaly they are TIG welded, and I assume the welders making them are backpurging their welds and otherwise babying the process. I have a TIG welder, so that is what I would do too.

    It's perfectly possible to SMAW motorcycle frames, lots of people do it, and special care needs to be taken. Are there any structural reasons why this can't be done with SMAW tech on stainless, and would a person avoid some of the issues that seem to affect tigging stainless tubing?

  • #2
    this has me curious, what manufacturers use SS on their frames. I have never seen one. Scott


    • #3

      go to the photo section
      Attached Files


      • #4
        I can't think of anyone who does it as a regular thing.

        Choppers Unlimited has them listed in their catalogue (do a thorough search before doing business with these guys)

        Chicago Choppers, which had a camon supplier at one time, has them as an alternative. Quite a few pictures on their site.

        Here is a thread with a stainless frame pictured:

        Since most people aren't using their choppers in a hostile weather environment the main advantage is that is gives you that shinny look without the cost or problems of chrome. Also if you are a meticulous builder, it allows you to let everything remain in sight. Then there are people who just love stainless. Cost wise it is a lot more for the tubes, and you probably need a private source for the head and plates, but they don't need to be complex to look great staight tubing with minor machining should work.

        Want to see a titanium frame? In knew you would! I'm not personaly into the the who skulls thing, but you have to love this:

        So while we are on it, how do you weld Ti?


        • #5
          As far as a purge goes, Most welds that are done on a frame are fish mouthed together and for the most part do not requir a pirge Now on the other hand ...lets say that you are looking to open but the weld to have maybe access to run wires and cable through then yea you should purge other wise the ID of the weld will crystalize and look as if some body balled up some metal and attched it to the weld,
          I like the idea of a stainless frame but have found in the past that stainless is a real B#&%* to work with IE bending welding ect.
          But let us know how you do.


          • #6
            i dont know about you guys but the way that the skeleton bike is set up it looks kinda of ***

            but that bike from chicago is awesome..........just right !

            seems that two many guys are worried about.........purging !



            • #7
              ***, and with trouble letting go of past relationships. I like the fork though.


              • #8
                Stainless will have less flex and will need a filler material with more elasticity or its like glass, guaranteed to crack when it bounces. The mild steel will give and cromoy will give less but when you get to SS its really rigid, and I would be afraid of fracturing! I don't do this type mechanical welding but I do understand the mechanical properties of the material which is why I would want to know what the others are welding with as far as filler and what process.

                Step cautiously I heard a story about a racing team making a bad choice of filler on a race chasis because it flowed better but in crash testing it cracked, this was cromoly and using SS filler but the premise is similar!

                CAUTION be your guide!!!!