Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Fabrication - I take my hat off...

To people who can bash metal.
While I'm trying to make a new seat base (lost interest in the first one) to match up with the tank and tail unit, I decided to try and get the side panels in place so I knew what I was working with.
Over-thinking one aspect while knocking out another is slowing me down, but it's a learning curve I have to travel. Hey, Rome wasn't built in a day.

So, I'd already cut out panels from 3mm aluminium to fit in the side of the bike. They were a good fit and stayed in place with masking tape, but that's no good for the finished bike. I needed a method of holding them in place, and also to blend them into the top of the frame. I cut out some more pieces to hang over the frame, on rubber mounts, and set about attaching them to the side panels.

Here's a pic of the basic righthand panel. Both sides started like this, being bent to suit the angles of the frame and fitting flush.

I cut out templates from cardboard then cut them out of aluminium. I tacked them up, first on the bike, and then welded them up on the bench. The welding isn't brilliant, but it's something else I'm picking up as we go.

I purposely left the bits I was adding a little longer than necessary to prevent the ends melting away when welding. Some sort of heatsink underneath is a good idea. Once welded, you can cut them to size and dress with a file.

Although probably not necessary, I've welded the back so I can't break through the welds when filing the front smooth. Not pretty, but attached.

Out comes the file for a smooth finish.

Once smooth, I'll be working down through the wet & dry to get a clean, brushed finish.

Something like this.

Fits a treat. Sure, a decent fabricator would've knocked it up out of one piece of ally, but at this point it's the only way I can do it. And I'm liking it. Just need to sort out the other side and finish the seat. This weekend should be good.