It's just as well I took this on as a long-termer because due to money, time, and willpower, it's taking ages.
Cutting, folding, bending and welding metal is something I've dabbled with over the years, but not something I'd consider myself an expert on. Every time I make something I'm not really happy with, I question my ability. But if you stop at that point...
“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
And so we battle on.
Determined to do the metalwork myself, Im learning as much as I can along the way. I want an English wheel, but that'll have to wait. I want to make the petrol tank, but maybe on another bike. The seat/tail unit is the part I need to get sorted first - for my own sanity.
Compound curves for me at this point are nigh on impossible. It's going to be a while before I can even hope to get where I need to be, so basic curves are the go for now. The welding isn't brilliant either, but I'm learning more all the time. I bought a cheap LED tail light off eBay, and this weekend I made a few more bits to hold it in place.
This is the tail unit I began to make months ago. I make everything in cardboard, get it how I want and then mark it out on a sheet of ally. If it doesn't bend easily I warm it up with a blow lamp using the "soap-turns-black" method. Once annealed I bend it over my leg or something with a smooth curve, taking care not to kink it. This pic also shows one of the first mock-ups of the chain guard.
It's all trial and error, and I never work to a drawing/design; basically, because I'm crap at any sort of artwork! Anyway, back to my tailpiece. The light needed to be mounted, and then some sort of enclosure fitted underneath.
As you make the parts you work out what could've been made in one piece, rather than several sections that need to be welded together. I suppose the beauty of that is I need the practice with the TIG.
Less procrastinating, more doing and, consequently, more learnt for the next bike. Hell, this bike will be ever evolving so probably better off getting it on the road, and then change it as we go.
This pic shows the chain guard completed (smaller than the first template), and the tailpiece next to the seat section.
Looks wonky from this angle, but it's just sat on the frame rails. Don't worry, the end result will be much worse.
Haters are gonna hate the tank, but I love the lines of it and the bare steel too. Starting to look like a bike, which is good, I suppose...
More soon folks...