"Some time ago", in 1977 or 1978, me and my brother sold the first Mandaric frame. At that moment we didn't realize what this favor to a fellow club member would come to be....

We actually made the first frame about a year before, in 1976. But the frame was far from something we could sell, so I kept it for myself. This is how it started ...

We knew only how to cut the tubes, but beside all our knowledge from university classes we still couldn't figure out how to braze the frame together. We spent months trying to achieve that, until my father found "Master" Ranko who was a retired aircraft welder. Ranko knew all the secrets of silver soldering, brazing, welding TIG; MIG; Gas, and could join any metal in any of those techniques. Yes, I saw him welding Magnesium casting, or Campy Record cranks, with a simple Oxy/Acetylene torch!!!

So, we took the assembled frame (tubes finely inserted in to the lugs) to Ranko one day and, to our surprise, he soldered the frame with such ease and elegance that it looked like a really simple procedure. Geometrically that frame was a mess, but mechanically it did worked then and it's probably still rolling somewhere (I have a trace of one of my frames made back in 1983 and they say it still rides just fine!)

With our second frame (the first "commercial" one was sold to Zika "Vrcinac", my clubmate with a super long torso and short legs - no wonder he couldn't find a stock frame to fit him!), the procedure was the same. We cut the tubes, assembled the frame, and took it to Ranko's place for soldering.

But in those two visits, I will quote Ranko's words: "You let them see something and they learn and steal the secrets so quickly, damn students..." He was right - we learned what Ranko was using, what the name of the solder was, what the name on the flux bottle was and we memorized all the movements and techniques he was using while soldering. So when we assembled the third one, made out of Reynolds 531SL tubing, for myself (but now with a more appropriate geometry) my brother Rodoljub (in English, his name means "Patriot", my father was a fighter pilot, and it was only 8 years after WWII when my brother was born) with all his arrogance and young hardheadedness, decided that it was time for us to solder the frame - ourselves! We already got a supply of the same silver alloy Ranko was using, we got the flux, and the new, proper Propane torch.
And we made it!

More coming soon...