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Just a guy with a garage
I have a bike the same as the one in your Blog. The one that was made in 1935 by CCM and sold to department stores. I can’t quite make out the letters and #’s on it. How did you find out when it was made. Let me know.
Hi Dave, I have had others asking about how to determine the year of the Marshall Wells Zenith bicycles. I added a quick post to help clear things up. You can view it here.
I found a link to your site over on Doan Trevor’s Custom Rifles site (he is an incredible craftsman), and really liked the quality and content of your posts.
You might enjoy some of my posts at http://blog.gahooa.com, especially the ones on our custom rubber band guns (see the Tags). Also, I’ve posted a link to your blog, hopefully will result in a bit more traffic for you.
Keep up the great projects and posts!
I checked out the rubber band gun, well done! Your site has a lot of content. I may have missed some details, what equipment are you using for you machining work?
I’m using a Sherline 5400 model (http://www.sherline.com/5400pg.htm), which has been really nice. Some of the machining of the recent band gun I worked with a local tool and die company to complete, because it was a “short” production run.
Looking forward to the day that I can get a CNC machine, I’m thinking Tomark would be a good start for about $15,000 (http://www.tormach.com/). But first, I need to get out of the basement — I’m a guy with a basement, which is not suitable for big machines.
Question: what kind of general purpose welding equipment would you recommend for someone who has not welded before? I work mainly with aluminum, as well as general steel.
Hi Jason, I took a look at the Sherline, looks like a nice little unit. It looks as though you can get CNC kits for the model you have.
Basements are good if the main focus is machining, except it’s hard to sometimes get equipment down there. If you have to do anything loud or smelly you need some dedicated shop space. I am slowly running out of garage space so I had considered setting up the machining equipment in the basement. I did the respectable thing and ran the idea by the wife. I will be staying in the garage.
What welding equipment to start with is a tough question; everyone will have a different opinion. Before I bought my first welder I had previous MIG, Stick, and O/A welding experience. When I was looking for a welder I contemplated getting a TIG. I wanted more info. So I registered for a 6 week TIG night course at the local trades’ school to get some hands on experience. I then decided that the Miller Syncrowave 180SD (now the 200) was the welder to get. I bought, used, loved, and still use it, and still really love it. However…TIG is slow. I eventually bought a Millermatic 135 (now the 140) 110v MIG to help speed up some of my projects. I still have it and still like it but…it is too underpowered for what I am building these days. I end up TIG welding lots because it’s the only machine I have that will handle the work.
A mistake I made was when I shopped for the plasma. I settled on a Hypertherm Powermax 45. I bought, use it, and love it! But…the cutting capacity is way overkill, which I like, so it allows me to build bigger, better, and stronger. My little Miller MIG can’t keep up to the rest of the shop equipments performance level.
I have been eyeing up the Millermatic 252 which will be my next welder once the funds are raised. It’s capable of handling the larger stuff which I have got myself into.
To try and answer your question on which welder to buy it depends on multiple factors. What do you have available for input power, what kind of projects is it going to be used for? Everyone wants the aluminum option, machines that weld aluminum cost $$$. I have zero experience with MIGs that do aluminum. I weld aluminum with my TIG and it does a great job however it is typically not a process intended for beginner TIGgers.
I could write pages on my 2 cents surrounding welding machines; I’ll spare you the details. This is what I know;
1. I do not like flux core MIGs, I’ve used them and have had terrible results. I’ve seen others use them and get ok results. I think they are a waste of $$$
2. You get what you pay for. If you buy a cheap welder you will probably end up hating welding.
3. I love Miller and will probably never own anything but. That is not to say other companies don’t make great welders too, my experience is with Miller so until I have reason to change I won’t.
4. If I was starting over from scratch, never having welded, and in the market for a machine I would probably spend some time researching the Millermatic 212 Auto set. The machine looks like a good all around starter machine with aluminum capabilities (with the optional spool gun).
I’m not sure if any of this helps you Jason. These are just my amateur 2 cents.
Your advice is priceless, because it will certiantly save me time and trouble when the time comes to buy a welder, which will surely happen. I have a tendency to “wait” until I can get the right tool, so my shop is full of fairly premium equipment (not a lot, just high quality).
Just bought 14 acres last fall (stream, flat, mountain side), and have leveled about 1 acre for a building site. I have plans together for building a shop with dimensions of 70×40′ (options to expand, actually attached to the eventual house).
A lot of the considerations going into this project include some of the things you mentioned above. Power, room, ventilation, hvac, and a place for everything, and space to work…
So, I really appreicate your advice and have it archived to refer to when I go welder hunting.
I linked to your blog from the sidebar of mine, because I think your content would be of interest to my readers (I’m at a nearly 1,000 views/month). If you feel that my content would be of interest to yours, a seo-friendly link on your site to mine would be much appreciated. I get almost all of my traffic from Google, but still don’t even have a single inbound SEO friendly link… Not asking — just suggesting. Thanks!
And thanks for the tips. I’ll be reading your content as you post, so please, post more stuff!
I like your floor metal square tube bender.Do you manufacture this product for sale?
Hi Clifford, glad you liked the bender. I don’t build these benders to sell however I do one better. I encourage people to get out and build one for themselves. I am always willing to help out with information. The only thing I request is that for those who build one, with my help, I would like to see improvements made and then shared with me. :)
Hi Gord. Just started to follow you here, Very impressed! Is there photos or a video of the bender referred to above by Clifford & was curious of what the cost for your scroll bender kit is also? I am into building all sorts of things both metal & wood & do have some equipment for fabrication & dream of having mush more soon also!
Hi Robbin, thanks for the comments. The scroll bender was built from parts I had laying around the shop. At this point in time I do not offer any of my projects for sale. It sounds like you and I are similar in our needs for equipment therefore I slowly started to build, and add, to my collection as the years went on. If I need a tool, and it is not available to purchase or is to costly, I’ll build it. Fabrication is the driving factor.
Are the plans available for the roller
Hi Clifford, sorry I have no plans, I built the bender off the top of my head. If you have any specific questions I would be more then happy to try and answer them for you.
viewed your you tube video for your homemade metal bender for long arcs…..great concept….. am looking for something similar…..do you only have that one? I am looking to bend 3/4″ x 1/4″ x 7′-0″ long SS bar stock to attach to stone flooring as edge protector to disimilar surfaces…..it need to be portable as we are constructing a 50 story high rise office tower……
Hi Joe, thanks for checking out the video. I have multiple benders, some I have bought and some, like the one in the You Tube video, I have made. I think I understand exactly what you are looking for. My larger, homemade bender, may do the trick depending on how tight you ned the radius. It would be for simple for someone to fabricate a bender a would meet you specific needs, if I were to design it I would just make a scaled down version of the larger one and make sure it is light enough for portability. There is a company called Baileigh that builds rollers specifically for what you are looking for. Their model #R-M7 looks as though it may suit your needs. It looks portable and the capacity looks right. You can view the model here.
I don’t know if any of this helps you. Let me know if I can be of anymore assistance. Thanks!
Hi its Clifford again I live in Nassau the Bahamas. I am half hour to Miami. where can I locate the rollers used on the bender. the jack would be easy to find here.
Bahamas hey? Got any extra room for a winter months guest? :)
I custom made the rollers. I started with a section of 1″ alloy rod (I think it was 12L14) Mcmaster lists something similiar here http://www.mcmaster.com/#steel/=ce8m3d. The rod was used as the axle. I then machined the rod down just a hair so that it would fit through a section of 2″ seamless pipe with a .5 inch wall thickness. I TIG welded the axles to the rollers. The rollers were then mounted on a set of flange bearings. Mcmaster lists them here http://www.mcmaster.com/#mounted-bearings/=ce8kyb and here http://www.mcmaster.com/#mounted-bearings/=ce8le1. Hope this gives you some ideas.
I’ve found your blog when searching the web for some bender brake plans, but I’ve found much more interesting here. So thanks for lots of interesting posts here. Actually it’s your blog that I learned from that MIG welding is a much more versatile tool than welding just thin sheets of metal. Anodizing is one more theme that I’m very curious about. And I liked your bender machine very much (I guess I’m not the only one to like it).
So I’ve tried to build a model of it in a CAD program. This is not a not a drawing but rather a draft.
All the sizes are taken approximately. http://my.jetscreenshot.com/2767/20111125-kr8j-64kb
But there is a point where imho some more exact sizing matters, the initial placement of the rollers to each other. Here is the cross-section view http://my.jetscreenshot.com/2767/20111125-2vnh-145kb with the movable part set on 120 degress. I suppose this to be the initial position of the rollers (side rollers moved all the way to the center one, and center roller at it’s bottom position). How do you think, should it be changed?
Hi Louis, glad you found your way to my little world I live in. THe CAD mock up of the bender is FANTASTIC! Looks great, nicely done. I would be more then happy to help out with any dimensions, questions, or suggestions.
I know you said that the intial drawing was just roughed out and that you are in need of some exact sizing. What specifically do you need? It would be very time consuming for me to take every single measurement of the unit however if I know what you need I can give those to you.
Here are a few things off the top of my head.
1. The distance between the 2 base rollers to how close they come to the center roller was determined by how close I was able to get the pillow block bearings to one another. For my minimum adjustment I grouped them as close as I could. I could get exact dimensions of you like
2. I designed the unit so that I could space my 2 lower bearings further away from the center roller to allow for a more subtle arc. I have found that I did not need to do this. I have always kept the 2 lower rollers adjusted as close to the center as possible.
3. It is crucial to ensure that the center roller has height adjustment like the way I built mine. It allows not only for different material thicknesses but it allows me to reset my jack height once I run out of ram.
4. One flaw with the unit is when it comed to adjusting the rollers. They all need to be parallel with one another to ensure the metal rolls through the bender straight. I have thought of multiple solutions for this however have not implemented them yet. One suggestion is to place a pair of adjustable collars, that have set screws, onto every roller. This way the collars can straddle the work piece and help hold it from creeping sideways.
Anyways…let me know what you need and where I can help out.
Thanks for your readiness to help, Gord.
Actually I was in doubt not about the exact dimensions, but the general alignment towards each other e.g. center roller alignment towards the hinge or side rollers towards the center one. Like with the bending brake where the hinge center should be aligned with the edge of clamp.
I suppose to make side rollers movable, but not sliding them, but bolting through preset holes, so I’ll have possibility to move the rollers and keeping them parallel won’t be a problem.
Considering your advice, I think I’ll place the central roller lower, so that I can start at not-so-low position and move it lower if I need some extra curve.
Hi Louis, I through some roller dimensions together for you. Hopefully this will help you with the information you are looking for. I did a quick mock up in AutoCAD that shows how the rollers sit in relation to one another. The dimensions I have listed is how I have been using the machine therefore the horizontal rollers are fixed with the specs I have provided. The vertical roller has lots of adjustment. The spec I gave you simulaltes a perfectly staight line sitting on top of the horizontal rollers which is what dictates the “rest” height of the vertical adjustment roller. Have I confused things? :)
If you look at this picture, https://gordsgarage.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/metal-bender-reference.jpg it shows the position of the machine in reference to the AutoCAD drawing. And if you look at this picture, https://gordsgarage.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/metal-bender-dimensions.jpg this is a JPG screen shot of the AutoCAD dimensions.
I agree with your idea about drilling preset holes for adjustment therefore you will be able to mantain a better parallel alignment. As well I would definitely place the center roller lower thereby allowing for you to reset the jack and gain more of bend radius.
Let me know how things go.
Just got this through one of my lathe e,ail lists and thought you’d enjoy it:
HAMMER: Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadays is used as a kind of divining rod to locate expensive car parts not far from the object we are trying to hit.
MECHANIC’S KNIFE: Used to open and slice through the contents of cardboard cartons delivered to your front door; works particularly well on boxes containing convertible tops or tonneau covers.
ELECTRIC HAND DRILL: Normally used for spinning steel Pop rivets in their holes until you die of old age, but it also works great for drilling rollbar mounting holes in the floor of a sports car just above the brake line that goes to the rear axle.
PLIERS: Used to round off bolt heads.
HACKSAW: One of a family of cutting tools built on the Ouija board principle. It transforms human energy into a crooked, unpredictable motion, and the more you attempt to influence its course, the more dismal your future becomes.
VISE-GRIPS: Used to round off bolt heads. If nothing else is available, they can also be used to transfer intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.
OXYACETYLENE TORCH: Used almost entirely for lighting those stale garage cigarettes you keep hidden in the back of the Whitworth socket drawer (What wife would think to look in there?) because you can never remember to buy lighter fluid for the Zippo lighter you got from the PX at Fort Campbell.
ZIPPO LIGHTER: See oxyacetelene torch.
WHITWORTH SOCKETS: Once used for working on older British cars and motorcycles, they are now used mainly for hiding six-month old Salems from the sort of person who would throw them away for no good reason.
DRILL PRESS: A tall upright machine useful for suddenly snatching flat metal bar stock out of your hands so that it smacks you in the chest and flings your beer across the room, splattering it against the Rolling Stones poster over the bench grinder.
WIRE WHEEL: Cleans rust off old bolts and then throws them somewhere under the workbench with the speed of light. Also removes fingerprint whorls and hard-earned guitar callouses in about the time it takes you to say, “Django Reinhardt”.
HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK: Used for lowering a Mustang to the ground after you have installed a set of Ford Motorsports lowered road springs, trapping the jack handle firmly under the front air dam.
EIGHT-FOOT LONG DOUGLAS FIR 2X4: Used for levering a car upward off a hydraulic jack.
TWEEZERS: A tool for removing wood splinters.
PHONE: Tool for calling your neighbor Chris to see if he has another hydraulic floor jack.
SNAP-ON GASKET SCRAPER: Theoretically useful as a sandwich tool for spreading mayonnaise; used mainly for getting dog-doo off your boot.
E-Z OUT BOLT AND STUD EXTRACTOR: A tool that snaps off in bolt holes and is ten times harder than any known drill bit.
TIMING LIGHT: A stroboscopic instrument for illuminating grease buildup on crankshaft pulleys.
TWO-TON HYDRAULIC ENGINE HOIST: A handy tool for testing the tensile strength of ground straps and hydraulic clutch lines you may have forgotten to disconnect.
CRAFTSMAN 1/2 x 16-INCH SCREWDRIVER: A large motor mount prying tool that inexplicably has an accurately machined screwdriver tip on the end without the handle.
BATTERY ELECTROLYTE TESTER: A handy tool for transferring sulfuric acid from a car battery to the inside of your toolbox after determining that your battery is dead as a doornail, just as you thought.
AVIATION METAL SNIPS: See hacksaw.
TROUBLE LIGHT: The mechanic’s own tanning booth. Sometimes called a drop light, it is a good source of vitamin D, “the sunshine vitamin”, which is not otherwise found under cars at night. Health benefits aside, its main purpose is to consume 40-watt light bulbs at about the same rate that 105-mm howitzer shells might be used during, say, the first few hours of the Battle of the Bulge. More often dark than light, its name is somewhat misleading.
PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER: Normally used to stab the lids of old-style paper-and-tin oil cans and splash oil on your shirt; can also be used, as the name implies, to round-out Phillips screw heads.
AIR COMPRESSOR: A machine that takes energy produced in a coal-burning power plant 200 miles away and transforms it into compressed air that travels by hose to a Chicago Pneumatic impact wrench that grips rusty suspension bolts last tightened 40 years ago by someone in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, and rounds them off.
That’s awesome Chris, I have seen a similiar version in the past but I haven’t seen this one. I can relate to about 12 of those. I always thought a wire wheel was meant for something else however your list has cleared up any misconceptions I had, for some reason it all makes sense now.:)
Hi Gord. Can you assist my quest to pin a year to a CCM? It is a Rambler 500, red with 28″ wheels and the angular chain guard (versus the rounded design), Oddly, it begins with a letter in the serial number by the rear axle on the frame: # J320801. I am mystified, but it has been suggested by others it is somewhere between 1961 and 1967. I would like to precisely decode the year by this mystery number. Any clues? Thanks! Chris
Hey Chris, I am not sure I will be of much help on this one. It is odd that your number has a J in it as it would appear that CCM did not use the letter J in their numbers for some unknown reason. The second thing is that your SN has 6 numbers in it were as CCM typically used 5. THe earlier frames have the numbers stamped into the top of the seat tube. Mine was not visible until I took the paint off. Have you closely inspected the frame for any other numbers?
I just viewed your YouTube video for the square tube bender. Do you have the plans available for the bender?
Hi Ed, thanks for stopping by. I currently do not have any plans available. I have had a couple of offers from some blog followers to AutoCAD some plans for me however this is a very slow process with an unknown outcome. I am more then happy to help out with any questions you may have. My only request is that the questions are specific and not too vague or general.
Hi Gords, I have homework and I wanna make your homemade metal bender. If it doesn’t problem could u please send me technical drawing, it could be in solidworks it doesn’t matter or could u please send me dimensions..
Thanks for website….
Hi Gokhan Yara, I am unable to supply you with a technical drawing as I do not have any plans drawn up for it. If you read the comment section of the metal bending post you will see that a lot of your questions may have already been anserwed. If you have specific questions I will do my best to answer them.
Amazing blog, there is sooooo much here that inspires me. Exactly what I was looking for, keep up the amazing work.
Hi Jonathan, glad you found the small hole I occupy on the internet. Thanks for the kind words. Hopefully you take the inspiration and turn it into cool, shiney, welded, machined, and mechanical objects.
Gord you do some amazing work and it would be awesome if you could do some more videos on Youtube of doing these creations. Dont get me wrong i love the blog but it would be pretty cool also to watch you in action create these awesome builds. would love to hear your opinion, get tips and tricks, advice on how to do machining or welding etc. im currently subscribed to you (19charger74). and im also subscribed to other people that mainly do car builds and i have learned so much just from watching them and i get ideas for other stuff on my car or builds too.
There is a group of us on Youtube that essentially we all love to build and create stuff, work on cars, or whatever projects we like to show. Here is one of the guys. His name is Greg Porter and has VW Karmann Ghia that he is restoring in his garage and help create the garage gang you tube page. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zLAzkkbfYg awesome guy check him out when you get a chance.
i currently dont have any videos myself but after watching alot these guys i really got motivated and im probably going to start making some soon. so i hope to see some more videos from you and keep up the awesome work. Thanks Alfonso
Hey Alfonso, I took a look at Greg Porter’s link you sent me. Looks like a really good idea, I watched some of the videos. It’s good to see how other’s approach projects as there is never just 1 way to get something done. I never consider myself an educator as my methods are typically self developed. I typically look towards all the professional industries as the standard I strive for. Unfortunately I never have the training, tools, nor time to compete on their level. Anyway…it never stops me from trying. I will have to ponder over whether or not I have something I can contribute towards the utubegaragegang. Perhaps you could lead the way and share some of your talents? I would love to see them. I’ll keep you posted should I choose to complete the mission.
Hey Gord, yeah thats kinda the idea of all of us contributing by makeing the videos, to get different perspectives on how to do something. most of the people im subscribed to do bodywork or paint their own cars or work on classic cars, and even though it could be 20 different people with 20 different techniques sometimes its good to see what trick each person has up their sleeve. there are some professionals on there but also alot of DIY guys that pretty much self developed their way of working. i currently dont have any videos but i want to start soon. Just as a way to document the stuff that i work on and hopefully motivate others. i guess that’s the ultimate goal of the people that contribute to the garage gang. By also leaving positve comments or leaving advice on each others videos on how to do approach what you are currently working on or to give words of encouragment especially on long projects as you might know, sometimes you just dont feel like working on it anymore. well i hope to start videos soon and hopefully kickstart the Gord Garage channel lol. In the meantime subscribe to some of the other users on the channel or that leave comments and check out some of the stuff the work on.
Hey Alfonso, I am in full agreement with getting different perspectives. It’s nice to have a community that is all in the same boat. I also stongly believe in helping set a positive tone when it comes to leaving comments of both advice and encouragement. The cyber support given, and revieved, can have a strong motiovational impact on projects that people feel either alone or overwhelmed with.
I’ll observe for awhile I try and detrermine an area where I may be able to contirbute. Thanks for all the great info.,
Hi Gord, thank you for sharing your work online. Great ideas and great work.
I am attempting to build a tube bender similar to what you built and wonder if you could share the dimensions of the 8 inch channel in your design.
Great website. I am putting together my metal bending machine. Would you be willing to share the size of the 8″ channel pieces u used?
I love the benches you did for your lathe and mill.
Hi Kristof, no problem sharing the dimensions of the 8″ channel sections. I saw you initial comment and wasn’t ignoring you however I am out of town for the week and was waiting till I got back home before I replied to you. I should be able to get the dimensions to you by the weekend. Thanks for checking out the site. I’ll be in touch.
Hi Kristof, the lengths of the 8″ channel are as follows; base plate section 33.5″ long, upper pivot plate 16″, roller support plate is 16.5″. Hope this helps, good luck!
Gord, thank you for dimensions .. initially I calculated them to be a bit larger but it is great that I can scale down.
I looked at your exhaust project. I would suggest that you try to keep length of the exhaust pipes the same. Difference in length will affect negativelly how the engine runs.
One modification you could do is to allow for 2 into 1 into silencer design.
My 2¢ 8-)
Great site Gord – I absolutely love your attention to detail and the variety of the projects you tackle. Followed one of your links here off a welding forum – then killed way too much time reading past posts. Subscribed immediately and I’ve enjoyed all your posts. Really well done, so I wanted to make sure to thank you for taking the time to share your projects. I also took the liberty of sharing your latest post on my car (Peugeot) forum. (http://www.505turbo.com/forum/index.php?/topic/2355-cool-diy-blog-site-gords-garage/) h
Thans Rabin for the kind words, I appreciate the comments, and the posted link. I checked out the Peugeot site, looks like there is a lot going on in the forum, some pretty cool cars. Reminds me of a few of my friends and there BMW E30s, they turbo the cars, blow them up, rebuild them and then repeat.
Thanks for checking out my site.
I have started following your Blog after searching for information on a top-end rebuild for my 1965 CB160. I see that you have a project bike under way. Lucille runs great as is, apart from the need for oil every “little” while and the changing of fouled plugs. This will necessitate valves and rings at least. I am not a mechanic or a “professional” either, I am an explorer. Whether it be installing three separate kitchens (2 for us and one for my mother in-law) or working on Lucille. You are into your rebuild and I will be tearing Lucille down over the winter to get better acquainted with her.
However, your blog is dovetailing nicely with a new read I have found called, “Shop Class as Soul Craft”. It examines the slow declined of skilled craftsmen like yourself who connect with the materials they use and offer tangible results that endure.
I look forward to seeing more examples of your craftsmanship, invention and exploration. (In Canada? Not many people know where Cambridge Ontario is)
Hi Andrew, thanks for sending the comments my way, I appreciate the words. Glad to hear we share some common ground when it comes to bikes. I find that one of the great things about the older Honda engines are that they are great projects for people whom may possess a more elementary skill level. They are not the least bit complicated and if a person has time, patience, and a passion for understanding mechanics and machines then these engines can be worked through with great success. The nice part is that doing a top end rebuild involves very little disassembly of the rest of the motor. Parts are still available, with some searching, on EBay and the costs are not outrageous. I am hoping to post the progress of my engine rebuild in the upcoming weeks. Perhaps it may assist in some confidence building for you. If there is a specific photo of something that you want to see, as I reassemble, let me know now and I’ll try and snap them and post them.
I am familiar with the book “Shop Class as Soul Craft” and in fact I have a copy. My problem is that in order to find reading time it typically means giving up shop time, this is a problem for me. I suppose it is important to maintain a healthy balance in life so perhaps once the snow flies I’ll need to dedicate some reading time. Maybe I’ll just read it out IN the shop, it’s a win win!
Thanks for following my blog, nice to see a fellow Canadian in the scene.
I do believe that when the time comes, I too will blog; for Lucille.
No fears about pulling her apart. As of this evening’s garage time I am coining new phrase, “Auditory Timing”. Static with a light, dynamic with a gun and auditory with a snap of the throttle and my undivided attention to her response. I also use a mirror and a garden hose to balance her carbs. I have developed an ear for her.
Looking forward to more details. Also where to find a local intro to welding course in the Burlington area. I have the bug.
Drew over here at Velmoto Customs, I am just a young guy starting out and would appreciate you following my blog as well. I look forward to sharing your work on my blog thanks.
Hey Drew, the blog looks great, I subscribed. Looks like you have some pretty cool things on the go. I look forward to the progress.
Thanks again for subscribing, I hope good things are in our futures!
Hello there, I’m curious about your homemade metal bender,and I was curious if you are selling it.
Hey Mike, the metal bender is not for sale however there is plenty of information located throughout my site that will help in building you one.
Hi Gord, I stumbled across your blog awhile back and really like your write up on your Honda project. I’m curious to know where u got your anodized aluminum powder coat color. I’m in the process of rebuilding an old 650 triumph and like how that color turned out.
Hi Jeff, I am unsure if you saw my post outlining my extensive hunt for the “right” color however all my sample spraying paid off. The anodized aluminum is “the one” for me and really lends itself well to a factory look. I am unsure how Triumph colors compare however the Anodized aluminum gives a nice mechanical/industrial look and not so “showy”. I bought the color from Columbia Coatings, you can view the color here. I like to give companies credit for things that they do well. I do not believe in putting my efforts towards bashing businesses that I feel have let me down therefore I will not expel any energy talking about Columbia Coatings. You can read between the lines.
Thanks! And good luck with the Triumph. Post some pics!
Gord. I have very much enjoyed your blog the last few days, catching up on what has taken you years to accomplish. I am amazed that you can have so many projects, so much imagination and so much discipline to execute. Its very motivating for me. I’m no slouch but have had my fair share of incomplete projects but have near made such a cencerted effort as you to change that. I’m ashamed to say that I just accepted a strong start and a lack luster finish – not a metephor for sex… Anyways keep up the good work in your garage and God bless your wife for giving you so much time to spend there, pro-bono. I am curious how much use your daughter’s racer got?
Hey Ron, thanks for the kind words. I think our types all suffer from similiar discipline issues, we collect too much junk, we get too many ideas in our heads, and we have troubles finishing projects cause we always get distracted with new projects. I am guilty of having incomplete projects hovering over me, my 1935 CCM bicycle restoration has not been given the attention it needs and my paint booth still needs to be hung from the ceiling for storage. I have learned that projects always take longer then anticipated and I try and keep that in mind whenever I start something new. Completion takes discipline but the benefits are big. The sense of satisifaction is well worth the effort involved in completion.
Stick with it Ron, don’t set your sights too high since even the smallest of projects are worth doing.
My daughter’s racer was definitly exposed to the laws of gravity, enough that the tire treads are worn off. It is still in great condition however it is getting to a point were she will out grow it. The time will come were I will need to pass it on to someone else who can gain some enjoyment from it.
I found your blog some time ago and stop in quite often to see your progress on your CB160, I’m in the middle of my first CB160 build and have found your blog to be very informing. The quality of your build is outstanding and I cant wait to see how you progress. I’m having a small issue and had hoped you might offer some advice. During the removal of my head it seems that two of the rocker arm shaft have been driven in too far and are pressing against the head bolts, so as to hinder removal. The shafts have been in place for quite some time and have rusted in place. I cant seem to find any information on how to remove these and had hoped that you may have an idea to remove them. Any help is appreciated. I wish you the best on your build, and will continue to stay tuned for future posts.
Hi Manny, glad you were able to stop in and check out my projects.
I am a bit confused as to what exactly your dilemma is. I am reading that you can’t get the head free from the studs (or is the head off and you can’t get the rocker shafts out?). I can understand how the rocker arm shafts can contact the head studs however I am surprised that this would hinder head removal. Perhaps I am making too many assumptions. I assume you have the timing chain master link removed and the chain is free? If it is, in fact, the rocker arm shafts holding the whole show up I, myself, would soak them for a day or 2 with penetrating fluid and is they still don’t move I would put some heat to the head casting. I would almost guarantee that heat will do the trick.
Once the head is off the shafts can be carefully knock out with a punch and hammer.
I know there are others that have their own CB160 projects on the go that also follow this blog. Perhaps one of them could chime in just in case I am missing the obvious.
Do you have any more info?
I am really impressed with your excellent jobs of restoration. I am trying to couple two single cylinder 4 stroke motorcycle engines where I am facing following difficulties
1. Join cam shafts
2. Couple both heads and cylinders
3. Joining two crank case is the biggest chellange for me.
4. I want to set, gear between both cranf shafts (just like in honda parallel twin) but not sure, what would be the best way.
I will appreciate if you will share your experience, while working on such project or information of someone else, worked on converting single cylinder 4 stroke to parallel twin.
Hey Naveen, sorry for the delayed response, I was struggling with an answer. It sounds like you have taken on a fairly impressive task. As much as I believe, what you are trying to accomplish, is possible it certainly has it’s share of challenges. A project of this magnitude will no doubt take a certain amount of specialized equippment and know how. I am not sure I can even begin to address how to go about completing the task at hand as there are so many factors to consider. I suspect that if you are turning to me for advice you may be in over your head with this one as a project like this would certainly require a degree of engineering put into it. I am sorry to say but I could not possibly start to offer any valid advice in a blog style format. I encourage you to stick with it if this is what you are passionate about as I do believe it is possible.
Hey Gord, I’ve been letting them soak with PB since I posted the comment the shafts are definitely contacting the studs and as you lift the head off the tolerance is reduced which is causing the stud threads to stop the head from completly being removed with the cam still in the head you can’t use a long punch to knock them out I saw on a Yamaha thread about using some all thread inserted through the rocker shafts and small nuts being attached on the inside the using a slide hammer to remove the shafts to the outside I’m hoping this will work! -M
Hey Manny, this clears up my confusion. I thought the shafts could possibly get hung up on the threads, I get what you are saying about the reduced head stud diameter. Sounds like you may have a handle on things. I am certain that with penetrating fluid, and maybe some heat, they should free up. Good luck! Post pics!
What brand is your little bench mount ring roller?
Hey Gordon, the ring roller is “China” brand AKA “no name”
Cool, I have been thinking about getting the Harbor Freight one, but it says it only rolls up to ¼” round bar. I’d like to be able to go a little bigger than that. You said in you rolled some 3/8 with yours, where did you get yours? I thought about maybe getting it for the dies and making my own.
Hi Gordon, I bought my ring roller from a Princess Auto, a Canadian retailer that bring lots of their stuff in from China. Some of their stuff is okay and some is junk. You can view the roller here. The roller is not designed for 3/8 round and only 5/16 max however I can force 3/8 through it. The roller grunts a little but oh well…need to get the job done.
kindly send send sketch of this tool
Hi siddique, I am not sure what tool you are looking for. Typically I do not have sketches of any of my tools however many times there are pictures posted on my site.
Hi there I’m interested to know where you got your spray booth?
Hi corinna, I designed and built the spray booth myself. You can view all the posts here.
Say I have a question, how did you remove the chrome fork seal housing from the lower portion of the fork tube? I understand it screws on, but I’m finding it very difficult to budge. Any tips?
Hi Robin, the chrome fork seal housing is fairly snug. I machined a tool in order to help with the removal and installation. The tool was built from a scrap piece of bronze I had laying around. I have attached pictures that should hopefully explain it all. The 4 “set screws” are designed to thread into the 4 holes located on the seal housing. I used a large pipe wrench to grab onto, and turn, the tool. Works great.
First off, great project. Ended up great.
I’m facing the same issue with fork seals. I was sent the wrong seals (I have the same forks as you have), and they just drop into the fork seal housing. Is there any way of getting a pair of those bushings?
Hi C.Mattews, I ended up with 3 sets of the wrong seals, HA!!!! I’m sometimes a bit slow. Before I opted to machine bushings I had actually tracked down a set of proper seals, part number 90755-222-000, from Ohio Cycle located here. The reason I did not order them is they only ship to the US plus there payment terms were a little funky. I see that you are located in the States so perhaps you want to investigate the possibility of getting the proper seals. The issue with machining another set of bushings for you is that I do not have the dimensions. I measured everything up when I had my forks previously disassembled. Ultimately I would have liked to get the proper seals. Hope this helps.
Gotcha. I had seen those for sale there earlier, just wanted to avoid the payment method as well. At least having only one option makes the decision easy. Thanks again.
Another question for you, can’t get a response on any forums.
I’ve torn down my forks to replace the seals, and the pistons have some scoring/grooves vertically, the fork tubes have some ‘marks’ but not anything you could feel with your fingernail. I see that you really polished up your pistons and tubes, how would I go about doing that?
Hi C Matthews, I performed an initial cleaning of the pistons on the lathe using scothbrite and 0000 steel wool. I then moved onto the buffing wheel for a 3 stage polish. I built an adapter for the lathe in order to clean up the fork housings. You can view the info in this post.
Gord, your stuff is just fantastic. I am starting a new business and need a display rack for my stuff that the local Ducati shop will like enough to put in their store. Any way I could get your help?
Hey Larry, thanks for sending comments my way. New business you say? I apologize for my incredibly late reply. I hope your endeavor is turning out to be successful. Did you get racking figured out?
Would you consider fabricating another set of spacers and light bracket for my own 2013 FJR1300? You seem like a very, very busy guy but I thought it might be worth a shot at purchasing a set from you. I love the attention to detail you have. Thanks!
Thanks for the inquiry David. Many times I have people asking for me to fabricate items that I have posted on my blog. My initial reaction is always that of wanting to do it. The problem I run into is that 99% of the projects I do are done off the top of my head. No planning, no specs, no design. The brackets were built with the FJR sitting in my garage so that I could measure and fit as I went along therefore reproducing them without the old brackets, or machine, to reference to is impossible.
You are not the only one that have asked for these brackets. I am currently working on a CNC plasma table build. Once the table is complete I may consider making a run of these brackets as cutting them on the table would not be nearly as time consuming as hand building them.
So for the time being I thank you for asking but at this time I cannot build them. Perhaps closer to spring time, no promises.
Gord — is there any chance you would consider a 160 piston mod for me? If so, what would you charge? That thing is stunning.
Hi Mike, Sorry but I do not do commissioned work. The original piston was done as a challenge and it did work out well. I suspect a local machine shop should be able to help you out.
I have begun metal working in my garage. Working only with aluminum to create amplifier cases and heatsinks for hi-fi audio. I have anodized the aluminum in the past using a song lye solution to etch it.
I have only recently learned how to polish aluminum to a mirror shine. I’m not perfect yet but getting there. The question I have is what do you use to clean the aluminum after the polishing process to ensure that it can get anodized retaining its perfect shine? I’m also in Canada (Montreal) and would love to know your process and products you use so I can get them myself and progress in this endeavour.
Hi Bertrand. Amplifier case projects sound awesome! Sounds like you already know the importance of cleaning before anodizing. The time spent prepping the aluminum is by far the hardest, and most time consuming, part of the whole process. If you want to see my procedure for cleaning you just need to visit the post I did which covered the entire process. You can find it here.
next year i will be in my senior year of metal fabrication and i was looking for a project to make when i saw your video on youtube about your homemade metal bench.mov and i wonderd if you have some drawings of this project and if you do i can maybe use them.
Hi decavele shany, thanks for your interest in the metal bender. Unfortunatly I do not have any drawings of the bender. The plans for the bender are all in my head. There has been lots of interest in the bensder and there have been many questions and dialogue connected to the post. You can view the information and what others have said here. Hopefully you can find some useful information.
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