Fillet Brazing with Bilenky

Metal Guru is proud to annlighting torchounce the return of guest instructor Stephen Bilenky of Bilenky Cycle Works, who will be teaching a course in fillet brazed steel bicycle frame building. The class will be limited to two students and Carl Schlemowitz will be co-instructor, so there will be a one to one ratio between student and teacher. The class will be 68 hours over 8 1/2 days. The two spring 2015 class dates scheduled are March 30 through April 8  and June dates TBA with no class on Sunday. The course cost is $3750. Interested students should please send an email to or call Carl at (845)883-4303 ext. 2. Students will finish course with a completed frame, ready for paint.

The photographs in the gallery below are fillet brazed joints done by students during the 2013 class taught by Stephen Bilenky at Metal Guru. A complete account of the 2013 class can be found here and here.

The Return of Frank.


Frank in evolution tee shirt 2012Metal Guru is proud to announce the return of mountain bike hall of fame inductee Frank Wadelton AKA Frank the Welder. Frank will again conduct an aluminum bicycle frame welding seminar. Frank will provide insight into tube preparation and welding techniques used to create high performance aluminum bike frames. This one day event will consist of lectures from Frank and also technique demonstrations of aluminum frame welding. Carl Schlemowitz will also demonstrate aluminum brazing methods. The date will be Saturday February 1st, 2014 from 9 am to 4 pm and cost is $275 (including lunch) and seats are limited so register early. Please email or call Carl at (845)883-4303 ext. 2.

To see a brief summary and some photos of the previous Seminars check here and here.

Brass Fed (Part 2).

This post further documents Rob S. and Dan W. as they progressed through their recent Fillet Brazed Frame Building Course with Stephen Bilenky at Metal Guru. Both students chose to build touring frames that will fit a 26″ x 2.3″ tire. The gallery below shows the steps they took from tacking through to the finished frame. To see their initial efforts check here.

A student list already forming for another class, please email or call (845)883-4303 ext. 2 if you are interested. A description of the class details can be found here.

Nice work!


Brass Fed (Part 1).

CoolHBStephen Bilenky the man behind the award-winning frames of Bilenky Cycle Works was recently in-house at Metal Guru teaching a Fillet Brazed Frame Building Class to two eager students. With 30 years of professional frame building experience, Stephen is extremely knowledgeable on the subject. He also has an excellent wit and sense of humor and his lectures were informative and technical but still engaging, and are peppered with good natured wordplay.

In our class discussions we explored how fillet brazing is a wholesome method of frame construction in regards to having unrestricted geometry, being strong and also visually pleasing. It wasn’t long before we began joking and comparing the fillet brazed frame construction method to wholesome food production methods. We then coined the phrase “brass fed” playfully implying that these bikes were pasture raised on brass wires. This of course conjures an immediate mental picture which lead to the illustration below. I do however feel it necessary to disclose at this time that Stephen Bilenky is a vegetarian.

brass fedDan W. and Rob S. both decided to build touring frames that could fit up to a full size 26” off road tire and full rack, fender and three H2O bottle boss mounts. Rob asked Stephen to install couplers so he could easily travel with the frame. While Dan opted to include provisions for a SRAM Hammerschmidt internally geared crank and a NuVinci variable speed internally geared rear hub. Both frames have geometry designed around a non-suspension compensated length rigid front fork. The following gallery shows their progress through the machining and tube preparation portions of the class.

A student list already forming for another class, please email or call (845)883-4303 ext. 2 if you are interested. A description of the class details can be found here.

For those who don’t know, Stephen Bilenky is the first guest instructor at Metal Guru to teach a frame course utilizing the fillet brazed construction method. Thanks for everything Stephen.


Silent welds.

Justin Shipp builds lugged bicycle frames in Chattanooga, Tennessee. His bicycle company is named Silent Cycles. Silent Cycles

Justin attended Metal Guru to learn the process of TIG welding bicycle frames. He arrived in style in a 1981 Mercedes turbo diesel station wagon converted to use waste vegetable oil as a fuel source.

Justin’s prior frame building experience gave him both the manual dexterity and attention to detail necessary to quickly master the bicycle frame welding process. He chose to build a ‘monster’ cyclo-cross frame in class that has disc brake mounts, clearance for a triple chain ring crank, a suspension corrected geometry and can fit full size 29″ tires.

Below is an extensive gallery that details Justin’s progress through the class and also a few photos of his wagon.

Excellent work Justin!!


Philly Bike Expo.

PBE_Green+Orange_Nov9-10-2013_RGBMetal Guru will be taking a road trip to the city of brotherly love to exhibit at the Philadelphia Bike Expo on November 9th and 10th, 2013. Stop by our booth and speak with us about your interest in learning the art of bicycle frame building and painting.

For more information please visit the Philly Bike Expo website.

We hope to see you there!

Orange Crush.

Sean a.k.a. “Burnsey” the single speed pirate opted to use a local powder coat painter for the finish work on his frame. The color he chose is called orange crush, which has a nice gold flake effect while still retaining the vibrancy of the bright orange. Sean is still planning to add logos to his frame and I’m curious as to what brand he will create to identify his new frame. Below is a gallery of the newly painted frame. Details of the construction of the frame can be found here and here.

The next step was to build up the frame and take it for a ride. In this gallery are some pictures of the fully assembled bike, followed by a couple of photos of Sean on his new frame’s inaugural ride.


Burnsey Blur

Burnsey Blur

Sean riding

Burnsey riding across a bridge

Vlad Cycles.

Vlad Dolinsky of Vlad Cycles posted a couple of accounts of his experiences while studying Fat Bike Frame Building at Metal Guru. Here are a couple of photos and links to his narratives:


drawingVlad mitering down tubeVlad welding 7setting the electrodebrazing cable guides 2Vlad with finished frame

A pirate’s new ship (part 2).

This post further documents Sean “Burnsey” as he progressed through his recent Fat Bike Frame Building Course at Metal Guru. The frame he chose to build was a single speed 29″+ that will fit a 29″ x 3″ tire. Other features include sliding dropouts, 44 mm head tube, bent down tube, short chain stays and a bent seat tube. The gallery below shows the steps he took from tack welding through to the finished frame. To see his initial efforts check here.


A pirate’s new ship (part 1).

Sean or ‘Burnsey’ as he is sometimes called recently completed a single speed 29″+ fat bike frame while studying at Metal Guru. Sean chooses to ride exclusively on single speed bikes. He has been dubbed the ‘single speed pirate‘, a name that arose and then stuck from the wild and unsanctioned races that he promotes. Details of his Pirate Cross Country Series events can be found here.

Sean has ambitions to become a professional bicycle frame builder. His course quickly became more than just about creating one great frame, but how to acquire the skills and tools necessary to make his desires develop into a profession. Fortunately his ambition is  matched by a keen attention to detail and good manual dexterity.

The following gallery details his progression through the class from initial design to tube preparation for welding. The conclusion of his class will be detailed in an upcoming post.

Great work Sean!!