Yes, it's been nearly a month since my last update. No, I haven't been a slacker... well, maybe just a little bit. But the overwhelming cause of this absence has been not due to a lack of activity on my part, rather I've been busy returning Natasha back to pre-vandalism state. Yup, you read that right. Unfortunately sometime during the night on the 29th of October, kids rocked the van back and forth until Natasha fell off the lift. Whether that was intentional or accidental is anyone's guess. But the long and the short of it is that I have spent the last few weeks slowly repairing the damage and replacing parts that suffered from the fall. There are a few residual scratches here and there, but she was never perfect to begin with. Scars are cool, right? Oh, and all I can say is Thank God The Tank Wasn't On The Bike! :)
In some respects her being damaged was fortuitous as it highlighted how weak the rear frame was, since it cracked and broke right off. But that was quite an impact, and the rear frame would have taken the brunt off the fall. Never-the-less I built inserts from 3/4" Sch 40 iron pipe (which conveniently has the outside diameter small enough to fit inside the 1" frame tube) and repaired the frame so that it is now substantially stronger than before.
Today I finished off the seat mounts by tack welding them in place while the seat was positioned on the frame. Then took the seat subframe off the seat and finished the welding at the bench, creating nice strong welds: there are a lot of forces acting on the seat while in motion, so I wanted it to be a little over-engineered. With the rebuilding of the frame I had also increased the rake/angle of the rear frame, which meant I could reduce the length of the seat mounts. Once everything was together, I marked and drilled pilot holes through the frame. Using a 1/4" drill bit I opened up the holes so that the 1/4" button handle lock pins would be a snug fit. After painting I am going to protect the frame by using 1/16" self adhesive foam to line the inside of the mounts. This should stop the frame from being rubbed in any lateral movement, but really the maximum the seat can move perpendicular to the direction of travel is 1/16", so I suspect it will be fine.
Current hours on build: 195.0