Working In A Vacuum

Posted: November 3, 2011 in Machining projects, Welding projects
Tags: , , , , ,

So I stepped back into the ring for round #2. My first go at the FJR1300 cruise control vacuum canister finished me off with some learned lessons. This time I took what was previously served up and planned on applying it towards total domination upon the canister creation.

For those who have no idea what I am talking about I had previously built an aluminum vacuum reservoir which had presented me with some challenges. The main one being getting all my welds to seal. On my second go I made some modifications mainly to the aluminum pre-weld prep.

I started off with a 4” length by .125” wall 6061 tubing and then sliced up a couple of solid 2” round bar chunks to be used as the canister ends. I machined a step into the ends, like I did on the previous canister, however this time I cut in a fairly deep and wide groove to allow for me to flow some aluminum filler into.

So with the canister prepped, the TIG dialed in, and the challenge accepted I laid down a couple of beads on both ends. Tossed the unit back onto the lathe and machined down the welds. Got a bucket of water and a hose filled with 120 psi of shop air I showed no mercy on the canister as I cranked the pressure into it. Ok…what’s wrong, where are the bubbles? Huh? Hmmm….I guess I can be learned. Looks like overcoming my fear of large weld grooves paid off. The aluminum filler flowed in great and I’ve got a submerged canister with contained pressure to prove it. First run of the welds sealed the unit up 100%. Now what? I had budgeted for issues.

So with success obtained early on I spent the rest of my time prettying the thing up. The ends got chamfered slightly and the whole unit was then polished to a shine. Sweet! Much more satisfying then my first go around. Since the canister is not required for install for a few months yet I opted to hang onto it and set it in front of my computer monitor so that I can stare longingly at it. Some day the two of us will have to part ways but until then I want to make every moment count.

  1. Very nice Gord!

    I will say though… You have pushed me forward on getting my Emco Compact 5 lathe up and running. I’ve ordered most of the parts I need and am currently designing a floor stand for it. I’ll have some pictures in the next few weeks.

    • gordsgarage says:

      Thanks Chris, the second one turned out much better. I worked on projects for years before I obtained a lathe and now that I have one I do not know how I survived without it. I highly recommend you step it up and get yours running. A person only has so many building days in their lifetime.


  2. Russ says:

    Hi Gord and welcome from the UK :^)

    Apart from being an object of beauty, I’m intrigued to know how your vacuum canister fits into a cruise control system for an FJR1300. Could you please enlighten us?

    Keep up the blog.



    • gordsgarage says:

      Hi Russ, thanks for stopping in and checking out the site. The FJR 1300 got outfitted with an Audiovox CCS-100 cruise control system. It’s an aftermarket unit that was designed for automobiles. The system is no more then a vacuum servo that contains basic integrated circuitry. To run the unit a surplus of vacuum is required under certain high load (low engine vacuum) situations in order to maintain the speed the cruise is set at. The vaccum canister is just Tee’d into the the system to ensure a reliable vacuum sourse is always present. If you Google search “CCS-100 and FJR” you will find information. I am unsure if you are looking for a system however on a side note…the cruise system comes with a control panel that is much better suited for automotive applications and not the bikes (it’s big and chunky). The system that I built the vacuum canister for got a small toggle switch mounted on the front side of the plastic housing right next to the left grip. I believe the European bikes come from the factory with a quick flash switch installed there (not sure). Anyway…it’s a three postion toggle switch that controls all the functions except for “on”. The “on” is wired staight into the bikes ignition so that the unt is always powered up with the key on in the ignition position. The toggle switch is a nice mod. since it is hidden, clean, and neat.

      Hope this answered your question. Thanks!


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