Wednesday, 29 March 2017

April 1st

April 1st we will be realising a new line of products.


Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Operation Tank

A few years ago I came across this tank at a swap meet and had to have it, even though it had a few dings in it and some filer, that didn't really matter. But I had no use for it, so I put it on a shelf in the lockup, leaving it there to wait for the right time. And that time is now.
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I've always liked the shape the wessel tank has and the flow it gives a bike. After getting this new frame into its roller state I threw the tank on to see how it sat.
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But how it sat was way too low on the frame. For me it didn't follow the lines from the bars to the seat, so it was time to cut the tank up and make it how I wanted it.
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First up was to cut the original tunnel out. Once I'd done that I could see there was a bit of rust internally, so I took a bit of time to clean all of that out, and as the tunnel was apart I knocked the dents out for the inside too.
That tunnel was in a bit of a sorry state so I decide to make a new one, picking up some fresh steel so I could bend the sheet. I didn't have a bender or rollers for doing this job so I did what I could.
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I used a piece of round tube I had that's the same diameter as the top tube of the frame, and clamped that to my work bench over the top of the steel. With a bit of force I managed to bend it round for the new tunnel.
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Now I had a nice new tunnel I needed to sort out what height I wanted to sit the tank at.
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I decided on something of a mid height, which seemed to fill the gap from handlebar to seat real nice.
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With moving the tank higher away from the tunnel it also left a good size gap at the front. So I made a nice little template of the gap,
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Cut it out of steel,
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Then bent it up in the vice to match the shape of the tank.
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I then got that all welded in nicely to fill the gap.
I'd been thinking about different ways on mounting the fuel tank, as I wanted to do something to hide the mounts so they didn't distract from the shape of it.
I decided to run the mounts through the frame straight into the tunnel of the tank, and started this off by making two threaded bosses to weld onto the tunnel.
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Next up was to make two bosses to run through the frame, with one end counterbored to allow an Allen Key bolt to hide inside.
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I drilled two holes in the top tube for the counterbored bosses to be fitted into,
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Leaving the top side of the bosses protruding from the frame so the threaded bosses in the tunnel have a square edge to bolt down on when securing the tank.
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With the bosses tightened down I next drilled two holes in the tunnel to fit over them.
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To give the tunnel extra support when the tank is full of fuel I made a secondary tunnel that will sit at the top of each boss and also weld this secondary tunnel to the original one. This will help to prevent the tunnel flexing.
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When the tunnel was in place I was able to put the shell of the tank over the tunnel and cut off the excess steel.
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When I had the tank securely in place I was really happy with the positioning.
I'd already decided to do a bit of metal work on top of the tank, again trying to push my abilities. My idea was to run an S shaped bead from the fuel cap down the lower part of it. I started by making the shape out of welding rod to give me a vision of what I could achieve.
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I went for 8mm round bar to make the shape as I wanted it to be an impact kind of feature. Again not having any professional bending equipment at the lockup I used what I had lying around to bend the steel rod for the top arch.
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I noticed one of the spare chucks for my lathe is roughly the same diameter as the arch on the original shape I'd mocked up, so using one of my bigger G-clamps holding the rod to the chuck I was able to get the shape I wanted.
After a fair bit of bending and hammering I finally got to this stage.
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Once I got to there I decided to smooth out only one side of the rod on the outside edge, leaving the inside of the rod visible.
I decided I wanted to use the weld to create a smooth transition from the tank to the top of the rod.
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Using my MIG welder I went about filling the area. I was excited about this process at first but, honestly, I soon regretted it was a very time consuming process of welding and grinding, followed by more welding and grinding.
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There are still a few small holes in the weld that I have used to fill the area though, so I'll use filler for these spots before going to paint.
To finish the tank off I decide to buy a new fuel cap and engrave it with my clothing company logo.
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Now I've finished the tank, my next job on the list is to mount the rear fender and make a sissy bar. Hopefully this won't take too long so check back soon for the next update.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

THE NEW FRAME BEGINS PT2

After getting the downtube in place I put the engine mount templates on the jig only to realise that due to the steepness of the angle in the downtube the engine mounts were too close to the frame.
So I moved the engine and transmission templates back an inch to make enough clearance between the engine and downtube.
Then next I had to set up the seat post, which I’d taken the angle off my stock frame for. Once I’d gotten that tube in place, I was able to get the top tube sorted but, as with the downtube, there was a lot of cutting and grinding in order to get the top tube shaped just right to fit the neck of the frame.


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When I’d gotten the front triangle set up I was able to make templates for the engine and front transmission plate mounts.
I made these out of cardboard first to get the correct shape, and I also made a template for the gusset that I’m going to put at the neck of the frame, and another for the supports that I’ll place under the engine mounts.
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With the templates sorted I was then able to cut them out of 12mm steel plate.

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The next step for me was to weld up the front triangle when I was happy with all the angles and sizes.
Once this was done I started work on the rear triangle – I’d already decided to shorten the rear end by one inch.
I’m using the dropouts from a Harley Davidson Softtail frame as they were easy for me to get hold of.
I mocked up the lower frame rails first to ensure that the dropout axel rail was parallel to the jig.
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Then I mounted the upper rail of the rear section. I found these rails a lot easier to set up compared to the lower rails as the dropouts were already in place.
When I was happy with the position of the rear rails I was able to make the rear transmission support stands.
As the downtube rail will be running under the engine and transmission, the support stands needed to be made a lot taller than the stock ones, so I machined them to match the machining already done on the neck.
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Then it was time to finally fully weld the whole frame and mock it up as a roller!
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It felt so good to get the frame off the jig so I could see it with the front end and wheels on.
I then couldn’t resist mocking the tank and seat up to give me an idea of the riding position.
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So I’m getting there. I’ll post more soon!

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Chris' new bike build

I’ve wanted to put all my ideas into a frame for a long time, to make it exactly the way I want it to be – it’s occupied a lot of my thoughts. When it’s done I know some people will think it’s over the top, but I’m not concerned with that, it’s going to be exactly what I like. So here we go…



 I recently went to the local steel merchant and picked out a bunch of tubing at the lengths I needed – which I’d already spent a lot of time working out!


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I’ve always liked little details that aren’t too in your face, so I started right at the front. I took the neck of the frame to a local machine shop – Arch Engineering in Newport – with an idea. They’re a great father and son team, Keith and Charlie, and they did a killer job of making my idea into a real thing. They also machined the single downtube of the frame with these subtle grooves that I was after, which came out really nice.

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Once all of the machine work had been done it was time to get all the tubes bent up into shape. I took most of these angles from the hardtail frame that’s currently home to my ’75 cone shovel.

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The next step was to set the rake of the front end. Over time I’ve become a massive fan of high steep necks, so on this frame I’ve settled on a 24 degree rake with 5″ up on the downtime.

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At this point I was already starting to get excited as I could see it all coming together!

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So I set the rake on the jig and locked it down, positioning the neck 5″ higher than the stock neck. Then it was a lot of work to cut the angles into the downtube to fit around the shapes in the neck. It was a painstaking processes to make sure I didn’t grind too much off.
So that’s where I’m at now.
The next step is to place the engine mount jig back on, set the seat post angle, get the top tube in place and then make the engine mounts.
I’ll write some more when I’ve done some more so stay tuned…

Friday, 7 October 2016

Summer 2016

We've had a busy summer which means we've been slack on updating our website. Back on the case now though so please keep checking back for me updates.

Here a few shots from the Sailor Jerry road trip we went on in July

All photos by Vince Persaud








Tuesday, 14 June 2016

The Hook Up Chopper Show

The Hook Up Chopper Show is taking place in a new and better location than last year. They have some amazing stalls and guests coming this year including special guest, Paulo from Joe King Speed Shop.


Go To: www.the-hook-up.co.uk for more info and to buy tickets