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Mind Bending

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  • Build: Natasha
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J. Sinclair/CONCEPIA LLC J. Sinclair/CONCEPIA LLC Measure three million times - Cut once.

So during this last week I've managed to put a decent number of hours into Natasha. I clocked up 10.5 hours since my last post; seven of those hours have been exclusively polishing components. In the next post I will show you the before and after shots of the rear brake housing that I learned a valuable lesson on: sometimes power tools are a bad idea when it comes to cleaning aluminum. :( Damn, that metal is soft! More on that later, plus the progress on removing the oxidization from the wheels and crankcase housings.

I cleaned up the oil sump gasket faces and used the liquid gasket sealant to see if I can stop the very small oil leak I have coming from there. I followed the directions but it just seems too easy for me to believe that it will work. We will see what happens when I fill the engine with oil and we go for a ride.

I started polishing the front forks. I was in two minds to maybe spray these flat black, since I seem to polishing everything just now. But I thought I would see what they might be transformed to with a little bit of work. I think I'll keep on with the cleaning/polishing for the time being. If Natasha is too blinding with all the shiny parts then we can think about painting some items.

The tubing arrived this week so it was great to return to this part of the bike and figure out a better solution than what I had previously. Looking at the angles of the seat and such, I figured I could fabricate a couple of small bends to taper the frame in, matching the shape of the seat. Cutting a small notch halfway through the tube, then using a 24" 1/2" drive extension as leverage, I managed to create a couple of bends that matched. When I had one piece tack-welded in place, I played with the other, grinding off the right amount of metal to match angles. Once satisfied with how everything looked, I welded both tubes in place. Next, I cut a small piece to complete the frame and trimmed it to fit. I have to say next time I will actually use a protractor and get the angles exactly right. That will save a lot of time going back and forth to the bench grinder trying to get things perfect.

With everything welded, I ground down the welds and used a 50 grit disc in the angle grinder to make them all smooth. I think when I have a proper shop I am going to get a TIG welder and really learn how to weld properly. The MIG welder is easy but it doesn't produce that pretty beaded welds you see on high end motorcycle frames, like a Ducati's for instance.

Current hours on build: 39.0

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