Archive for the ‘Welding projects’ Category

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So I had a desire to try my hand at a recycled material project. I really don’t know why, just had an itchin’. There has been a local club that has worked at creating a strong presence in the area as a place for anyone to come and participate in building and creating things. They are a fantastic group run by great people. Finding a permanent home in order to work from has been a priority lately so I decided to build them a shop warming gift for when they eventually secure a location.

I have access to lots of pallets and 55 gallon drums so I thought I would integrate those materials into a clock for the new shop. I didn’t have a really firm plan in place other then I was prepared, mentally, to let the fine details slide as I know that dealing with these materials things would not come out perfectly. I wanted to create an old school, vintage/retro, style clock that would be something you may see hanging in an old service station covered in dust.

So the following pictures take you through the process of what eventually turned into a shop clock. It just morphed into what it is today. I think it worked out to my liking and possesses the feel and look I was going for. On with the show.

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Once the pallets were all broken down and de-nailed all the good lumber sections were run through the planner to bring all pieces to the same thickness.

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All the planed boards were then run through the table saw to even up all the widths.

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Four sides done, 2 to go.

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All the lengths now went through the chop saw. Turns out I overestimated the amount of pallets required for the project. I will have extra.

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The dimensioned lumber was glued and clamped. My planer can only do 13 inch wide sections so the clock face would need to be done in 2 sections

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With the sections glued they were once again sent through the planer to flatten things up.

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With the 2 dimensioned sections they were now glued, clamped, and joined as one block.

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Broke out the jigsaw and trimmed out a 16″ diameter section from the glues pallet blank.

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The clock face was going to protrude from its metal surround therefore it needed to have a step cut into the circumference. Please note the quality looking radius guide I built for my router, you can tell I put a lot of time into it.

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Instead of hand routering out a pocket on the backside to accept the clock mechanism I opted to do a cleaner, and more precise, job using the mill..

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Since this is a recycling project I needed to come up with a clock surround. Opted to use the base of a 55 gallon drum. I bent a scrap section of 1″ flat bar and tacked it onto the barrel to act as a plasma torch guide.

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Slicing the base off a drum using the plasma torch takes less the a minute. Using the guide a clean line can be achieved.

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Trimmed off base is going to lend itself perfectly for the feel of the clock.

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Using my homemade plasma torch circle guide I sliced a hole out of the middle of the barrel bottom to allow for insetting of the pallet clock face.

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Here the 2 recycled materials are mated together. The look turned out to be what I had envisioned.

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Here we skip over a bunch of fabrication photos in order to get to this point. I wanted a “wing” type sign look to the whole project. I plasma cut out a backing by hand using guides. Then I fabricated “feathers” out of sheet metal.

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I struggled coming up with a good plan for the “numbers”. I finally settled on sprockets and machined round stock joined by round bar.

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With all the fab work completed it was time to move onto the finishing stage. The clock face received stain to give it a retro type look to it.

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A few coats later it achieved the look I was hoping for.

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The face was going to have the local clubs logo applied to it. I built a template on the computer and then cut out a stencil using my vinyl plotter.

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The logo was going to get airbrushed into the clock face. The stencil gets applied to the face, everything else was masked off, and then paint was applied using an airbrush.

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Here is what the airbrushed logo looks like. The vintage feel is what I was going for.

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With the wood portion complete it was time to finish the metal sections. The “feathers” needed an old school look so I decided to apply a rusting solution to them. Here they all got cleaned and sanded before receiving the treatment.

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Using a solution of hydrogen peroxide and vinegar I mixed up, and applied, a solution to the feathers. it took 2 treatments over 2 days to achieve the desired results.

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Rusted out feathers. Perfect.

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When it came to finishing all the metal everything was hung and then shot with a clear coat in order to preserve all the natural finishes.

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With some assembly complete the project was finished. Overall length is close to 4 feet. 2 mounting holes were drilled into the base at 32″ centers in hopes that if it gets mounted on stud walls 2 studs will contribute to the support.

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169-000

So I made the mistake of purchasing a 36” slip roll capable of handling 16 gauge (at least that’s what is advertised, I haven’t actually tried it yet). The mistake being that I am in a serious state of running out of shop space for equipment. The machine actually sat in the middle of my shop for a good 4 months until I finally decided it wasn’t going to find a home for itself. One Saturday I just sucked it up and built a steel frame for it and added some wheels so that I could stand the unit up on end and roll it into a corner.

Anyway…this post isn’t actually about the machine but more about just messing around with random stuff. I figured I should actually try out the slip roll since I paid money for it. I did not have a current use for it, only brainstormed ideas where it would be required at a later date. I plasma chopped a chunk of 20 gauge sheet metal out and set it up in the slip roll. The intention was just to watch the metal bend, be satisfied, and then recycle it.

Well the bending and satisfaction part worked out as planned but the recycling was harder to do. On a side note…I am a sucker for scrap metal bins. I know of multiple good bins in my area which I frequent. I have access to lots of brake rotors so I exchange what I take with rotors. The bins get paid out to whoever owns them based on weight therefore I make sure I leave more weight then I take. The point being that I feel sorry for scrap metal and find it hard to watch it go to the recyclers. I want to save it all and build it into something cool. Well I have learned that I am only one person and that I can not save all the metal on my own. I try to frequent the bins less often as I find the less I know the better off I am. The whole point of this is that I couldn’t bring myself to scraping my slip roll sample.

So this post is how I couldn’t let go of a chunk of scrap sheet metal. After I inflicted my Big Brother powers and forced the steel to comply with my agenda I took a second look and figured I may be able to turn it into something useful. The following pictures take you through an impromptu garage session. Meh.

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So this is how the unplanned project began. I simply wanted to see a section of steel get bent in my new 36″ slip roll. It started out so innocent.

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Once the steel was bent I figured I would weld it into a tear drop shape and then trim the top up, free hand, with the plasma cutter to give it more of a unique shape.

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This is what the shape came out to be.

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The time came to transform the tear drop cylinder into something more than just a shiny piece of metal. I used some ER70S 3.2mm TIG filler rod and started twisting it up and tacking it on.

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Just kept bending, twisting, and welding as I went along.

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Finally decided I was finished once I had a fairly uniform design built.

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Next I spray bombed on a clear lacquer finish to give the bare steel some protection, and shine.

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As you can see from the foliage poking out the top I recycled my steel into a vase cover. I used a glass cylinder with the proper diameter which slid perfectly into the tear drop as the holder for the water. My creation is simply a facade for the murky water that will inevitably appear.

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Personalized it with a gordsgarage decal.

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A friend of mine that works at the local Porsche dealer has been harassing, yes harassing, me to supply him with a gordsgarage automotive themed item for what seems like an eternity. My friend, who shall remain nameless, came to me with a Porsche PCCB center lock brake rotor that was taken out of service and requested that it be converted into a clock for his man cave. I said I would see what I could do.

As cool as clocks can be they always seem to be the default fab item for anything that is round. Brake rotor clocks have been done, and overdone, time and time again. If I was going to build a clock it needed to have a slightly different style then most. Even at that it is hard to come up with a truly unique way to display seconds that tick by.

The one thing I had going for me is that ceramic brake rotors weigh a 3rd of what cast rotors do. This will allow me to be able to tack on a bit more weight and still allow it to be hung on a wall. I’m not sure I am totally thrilled with the end result but the feedback I received from others appears that the design meets a certain amount of approval. It serves its function and fits into its environment as designed. The following post takes you through the build process of my version of a man cave brake rotor clock.

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The project revolves around a used Center Lock Porsche PCCB rear brake rotor. Because of the center lock design the holes, where the wheel bolts would typically go, are now equipped with red anodized wheel lugs.

Since I wanted to build something more then just a flat hanging rotor attached to a wall I started off by machining some pivots out of 1.75″ solid round 6061 aluminum. First order of business was to drill, and tap, an 8mm hole.

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Onto the milling machine where the center section got hogged out an inch deep and the width of the rotor.

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The beauty of swarf makes up for the waste it becomes.

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Test fitting of the rough machined rotor clamps prove to fit perfectly.

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To secure the clamps to the rotor a couple of 1/4″ set screws were fitted into each clamp.

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To complete the pivot assemblies a couple end caps and center spacers were spun out on the lathe. I opted to keep all the angles, and design, fairly clean and simple with no added cuts or highlights.

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These are the rough machined pivot assemblies that will get clamped onto opposite ends of the rotor.

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Next it was time to move on the steel work and fabricate the actual wall holder. The rotor pivots were going to require a bushing to help provide the support. A couple of spacers were cut, and faced, from some 2″ seamless tubing I had remaining from my metal bender rollers I built.

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Each bushing received a 3/8″ hole drilled only through one side. Keep scrolling, the reason will be revealed.

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The pivot bushings required some support. I wanted to keep things simple and clean without making the unit look messy or chunky. Not to mention I needed to keep the weight of the entire project as low as possible. I opted to bend some 3/8″ cold rolled rod with a radius that would visually match the brake rotor.

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I sketched out the rotor on the bench to aid in the mock up. This way I could ensure that my clearances would work and that my center line would actual be centered.

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Since the rod support required something to actually be attached to I trimmed up a 19 inch section of 3″ x 1/8″ flat bar. I plasma cut the ends to get rid of the corners.

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I was kind of stuck for creative ideas to attach the rod to the wall support plate. Usually I like to get creative with sort of thing. I decided on keeping the brake rotor the main focal point and opted to fabricate some clean and simple support rods from some 7/8″ cold rolled.

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Concept revealed. Mocking up the components before putting the TIG to them.

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Everything was tacked and final welded. Time to move onto to the other parts of the project.

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The clock face was sliced from a sheet of 6061 aluminum using the circle guide for the plasma torch. Ironically this is the same sheet of aluminum that I cut my German tank sprocket clock face from years ago.

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To clean up the plasma cut, and to ensure the face was perfectly round, the aluminum was mounted on the lathe and trimmed up.

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The PCCB rotor hub has two 8mm holes threaded from factory 180 degrees apart. With a couple of spacers I would be able to mount the face to these existing holes. I programmed in the proper spacing on the DRO for the mill and drilled the face for mounting.

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Here the entire project was mocked up to ensure everything would fit. It does.

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Onto the art work for the clock face. I decided to build a tachometer themed time keeper. Using a combination of Draftsight, InkScape, and vinyl plotter software I came up with this.

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I vinyl plotted the entire face on black vinyl first to ensure it would work the way I wanted it too. I then printed just the “redline” section on red vinyl.

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It’s always so satisfying when I start to peel back the transfer tape to reveal the vinyl. I wasn’t sure what color background to use. I thought of powder coding the face white but in the end I opted to stick with a brushed finish. I think I made the right choice.

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Here is the completed clock. I use continuous sweep movements for my clock motors which not only gets rid of the “ticking” but also gives a more precision look to the second hand.

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Time to move onto the hub side of the rotor. Since this clock is going in a “man cave” I thought I would personalize it for Mike. Started by slicing out a 7 inch diameter section of mild steel to be used as a mounting for more vinyl decaling.

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Porsche uses a 5 x 130 wheel bolt pattern. Using the mills DRO I marked all the mounting holes and then finished them off on the drill press.

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Building using math is so satisfying as things always fit together perfectly.

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The time has come where all the fabrication work is complete and it’s time to move onto the finishing stage. I removed the hub from the rotor and chucked it up in the lathe in order to clean the finish up using Scotchbrite.

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Tractor Red powder is incredibly close to the same shade as factory Porsche red brake calipers. Since I know Mike likes red I figured using the color was a “no brainer”

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The rotor mount was wired to one of my oven’s baking racks and then fogged with the powder.

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With the pivot mounts sealed using silicone plugs it was time to bake the powder coating at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

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Here are all the components that make up the project before the assembly phase begins. Everything was either powder coated, polished, or brush finished.

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The hub side face received a personalized Mike’s Place decal so that you knew exactly where you are.

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The contrast between the red and the brushed finishes looks good. I was happy that the pivot still works with the added thickness of the power coating.

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Rotor mounted up and centered just waiting for all the guts to be installed.

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The clock face gets mounted using a couple of 5mm black socket head cap screws. Even though the screws are placed a bit far apart they still help give the clock face that”gauge” look. In order for the clock battery to be replaced the face will need to be unbolted from the hub.

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Since the rotor was mounted on a pivot it was important that all visible angles would look good. I like all the nice, clean, lines of the cross section.

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The rotor lugs were originally anodized red from the factory. Since the finish on them was slightly worn, plus the shade of red would clash, I decided to strip them of the anodizing and give them a brushed finish instead.

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I try and add a “GG” somewhere to my projects. This time I applied a decal on the inside where the only time anyone will see it is when the clock motor battery needs to be changed. In this picture the mounting spacers for the clock face are evident.

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I’m a bit overdue for a blog update. January and February have been busy as I find myself in the middle of developing my basement. It’s taken this long to start construction as I had submitted, over the years, multiple requests to the boss of the house to develop part of the bottom floor into a machine shop. Even though I had followed proper request procedures my application had continued to be denied. It was only until now that I chose to accept my failed dream and therefore blue printed the space out to be a bedroom instead. I am trying to find the silver lining surrounding my defeat, I need more time.

As far as the CNC plasma table build goes it is still active but did slow down a bit. Good news is I still have the enthusiasm to see the project to completion. I have all the material sitting on the workbench for the next stage. I hope to be back on it in a month or so.

Around the holiday break in December I had a few hours of spare time so I cleaned up the shop area. Once everything was put away and swept up I looked around to see if I could scratch a creative itch I had. I found a used, but still decent, clutch disc out of a Porsche laying in a pile of junk. I set it on the bench and stared at it for a while. I wanted to build something, didn’t want it to take too long, and wanted a decent satisfaction level to result from my efforts. A Porsche technician had given me the disc and so I thought I would give it back to him but in a different state. Decided I would fab an old school shop clock, the following is what I came up with.

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Started by ring rolling a section of .250″ cold rolled steel

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I band sawed 12 little sections of .500″ cold rolled round bar then cleaned them up on the lathe. Each one received cross drilling on the mill.

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Next they all went back onto the lathe where they where all threaded .250″ deep with a 6mm tap.

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To ensure all my number markings would be spaced properly I created a paper template using a CAD program. The ring, with all the .500″ markings, got locked into place at the proper spacing.

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Next the .500″ markings got TIG welded into place.

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Here is the completed ring. I hid the closing gap of the ring inside one of the steel markers.

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Onto the face of the clock. I trimmed out a 13″ disc from a chunk of 10 gauge steel. Machined a center bushing in order to allow for a clock motor to be mounted. Then I ring rolled some 1″ flat bar in order to give the perimeter a more finished look.

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Clock motor bushing was TIG welded into place.

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I wanted to ensure the clock would hang flush against a vertical surface. A section of flat bar was welded into place to allowing for mounting to a wall.

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Here is the finished fabrication work. Next step will be the finishing and artwork.

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Old school Porsche meant going with a red a white theme. The clock components received powder coating.

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Here the clock face receives a 20minute bake session.

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The artwork was going to be applied in the form of a vinyl decal. I downloaded the proper Porsche font and designed the look of the clock face using Inkscape .

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I cut the 1 piece decal out using my vinyl plotter.

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With the decal applied all that was left was component assembly.

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Work on the homemade plasma CNC table continues to make progress. After hours of machining I finally have the Z and Y axis all mocked up and in an operating state. I often find that sometimes I need to shift gears slightly just to keep things interesting. Quite often I enjoy sneaking in side projects to break up the action a bit and keep the creative juices flowing. In the case of the plasma CNC build I was at a good stopping point to step away for a couple weeks and doing a few side jobs.

For 5 years now I have been walking into my daughter’s school to pick her up and for 5 years I have been staring at the same “remove your shoes” sign perched at the entry way asking people to do their part in keeping the school clean. The other day when I saw the sign, again, it finally dawned on me that there has to be something better and perhaps it was time for an upgrade.

The schools in my area operate on a tight budget and there is typically no money to be spent on “frivolous” items, especially “remove your shoes” signs. I talked to the principal and asked if I would be able to donate a couple of new signs that would replace the old ones. She was happy to accept the offer.

So this is where one of the side projects come in. I didn’t have a clear game plan and all the ideas I generated started to get to complicated and expensive. The one aspect I did know is that I was going to give my new shop equipment, a vinyl plotter, a workout and use it for all the art work. I decided to just head into the garage, see what metal I had laying around, and start cutting and welding.

I finally settled on a chalkboard/sandwich board retro theme. Everything was going to go black and white to give it a bit of an old school look. Since there are 2 main entrances to the school I offered to double the recipe and build two signs at the same time. As usual the documentation of the project was done in picture format and is available below for your viewing. I am happy with how they turned out and I am even happier that I completed the entire project “in house”.

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This is one of the original signs that I have been staring at for the past 5 years. Although effective, and polite, an upgrade was in order.

 

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Started by building the blank slates. I had some scrap 10 gauge mild steel so I carved out a couple chunks with the plasma torch. Starting size was 14″ x 21″.

 

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90 degrees can be boring so I bent a section of round bar to act as a plasma guide and gave the tops an appealing curve.

 

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To give the sign some depth, and to avoid sharp edges, I added some 1″ flat bar to the perimeter. It all got TIG welded into place on the back side.

 

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I didn’t know what to build for legs so I just started to bend 5/16″ cold rolled steel and eventually came up with this design. I have no pictures to showing the machining of all the mounting pegs. 2 pegs are built to support the sign and the other 2 accommodate the feet. The pegs were cut from 5/8″ cold rolled, drilled and threaded on the lathe and then cross drilled on the mill.

 

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All the support pegs were neatly TIG welded into place. I love TIGing!

 

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These are all the rough sign components that have been fabricated. I will not explain the details since the remaining pictures will clear it all up. Onto the finishing stage.

 

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The dimensions of the sign were determined by 1 thing, the size of my powder coating oven. Before I started the build I measured the oven to see what I could fit in it. It turns out a 21″ tall sign will give me approximately 1/2″ of clearance in the oven. Here I am wiring the sign to my oven rack to get it ready for the powder fogging.

 

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Sign was coated with a matte black powder coat and is now ready to get baked at 375 degrees PMT for 15 minutes.

 

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Matte black sign finished baking and hung for a cool down.

 

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The legs were coated with White Glacier Full Gloss to give them some contrast.

 

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Here the 2 blank canvasses are set to accept the artwork.

 

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Using a combination of Draftsight, Inkscape, and WinPCSIGN software I designed the main artwork. The idea was to go for a chalk board/sandwich board style design.

 

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The decals were cut out on my vinyl plotter using white vinyl. The decals were then prepped and transfer tape was applied.

 

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My daughter had requested happy faces and I didn’t want to disappoint. I sliced a couple out of yellow vinyl, they are approximately 9″ x 9″.

 

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Final product. Decals applied and legs bolted on. Clean, simple, and hopefully, and effective design.

 

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I think the white legs with the white decals was the way to go. I purchased the stainless steel feet and added a rear cross brace between the rear legs to help with stability. An interesting build fact is that I calculated the angle of the sign so that it would be perpendicular with a persons line of vision at a viewing height of 5′ 6″ from 7 feet away.

 

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The happy face satisfied my daughters request. I also figured that because the entire sign was donated I was entitled to give my blog a free plug. If the school doesn’t like it they can peel the decal off.

 

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155 Title turbo

With the CB160 project complete I find myself floating between universes with no clear direction. I have more of my own project ideas that I would like to pursue but also find myself in idle mode. There is never a shortage of tasks to complete for others and although I have got better at managing the “request” list I figured I would take on a quick and simple project.

The Porsche dealership in the city was in need of some tool room organization and they required some way to store some large equipment items. The dealership is required to purchase, and needs, certain special tools that are available from the manufacturer. One of these special tools includes multiple large metal engine table lift adapters. Basically they are comprised of metal channel configured to adapt to different models of Porsche engines. The cradles sit upon a hydraulic engine scissor lift table and allows for removal of power train units for various models Porsche produces.

The cradle adapters are big, bulky, heavy, and awkward to store and to move. The have leaned up against a wall for years and all the related adapters just get thrown in a pile. Since the dealership is moving into a brand new facility they didn’t what to transfer the “tool pile” into the new tool room. Some means to organize, store, and move the tooling was required.

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The cradles, and adapters, that require storage are used on top of an engine lift table. Here is a picture of a Cayenne engine and transmission sitting on the cradle that is perched on top of the lifting table. The adapter is the gold colored contraption. Porsche has multiple of these adapted including Panamera, Carrera GT, and Cayenne.

I had offered to weld up an A-frame style cart that would allow the larger cradles to hang. The idea would be to fabricate shelving for all the extra adapters. The only request on the dealerships part was that the cart was painted red. I basically was allowed to fabricate the cart any way I saw fit as long as it held all the necessary tooling.

So I lugged all the engine cradles and adapters home and started to measure and configure in order to come up with a plan. The engineering was far from complicated and the main focus was to make the entire unit as compact as possible.

It seems like it has been awhile since I have posted just some basic fabrication that I do in the shop. To some of you the pictures may be boring. For me I like seeing how others complete some of the most basic tasks and so this is what I have tried to show. It is cool how many different ways there are to go about accomplishing the same thing. The following shows you my way.

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Setting up my plasma circle guide to do some radius cuts on 8″ mild steel. The radius gets set to 4 inches.

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I love watching sparks fly. Some people have a horsepower and torque addiction. For me it’s all about molten metal.

155 rough cur 8 inches

This is the top tray and support for the structure built from 8″ wide by 3/8″ thick mild steel. I wanted to give the tray come nice lines therefore curves are in order.

155 bending edges

The top tray support needs some sides in order to prevent stored hardware from getting away. The sides were bent from 2″ x .125″ flat bar.

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The flat bar sides were bent in two sections then clamped to the base and welded.

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Here is the top tray support completed.

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With the top completed it was time to move onto the base. The stock was cut to size. The base was plasma cut out of 10 gauge and the perimeter is 2×4 steel tubing.

155 lower tray

Not a lot of fancy engineering going on here. The base is fairly basic. Just needed to be clamped in place and welded. The base measured 24″ x 60″.

155 caster spacing

I hate drilling for casters. It is boring and time consuming so I decided to make a jig to speed things up. I dialed in the caster bolt spacing into the milling machined DRO.

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With the DRO programmed I drilled a template with my caster bolt spacing.

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Now that I had a jig with perfect bolt hole spacing I was able to quickly drill all 4 corners of the base for fitting of the casters.

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Base complete. Nothing great to look at at but it’s functional.

155 clamping uprights

Time to connect the upper tray to the lower base. Lots of clamping and measuring before things got tack welded into place.

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Here the upper and lower got final welded. Everything measured out square. The Germans would be proud of me.

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Before going on I wanted to ensure the cradles would hang properly on the rack. Clearances worked out great.

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The peg clearance wasn’t left to chance, I calculated it all out before welding on the hooks.

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Last tray to complete. I planned to put a middle tray in to allow for more storage. This one was built from 10 gauge and featured a similar design to the top tray.

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Test fitting the middle tray before moving on. In this picture you can see the hooks I fabricated to allow for hanging of the engine cradles.

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Bending more sides for the middle tray.

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Clamped and TIG welded.

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Completed support. All it needs now is some color.

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I gave the option of sending out the rack for powder coating or I could just Tremclad it as a cheap option. They opted for Tremclad so although the finish prevents the final product from looking completely pro it was not in the budget. They requested red for visibility so the Fire Engine red got brushed on.

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155 Finished cart

Title frame

I continue to struggle keeping up with the blog posts. The work in the garage has not slowed down however writing about it has. Work and family life is busy and something had to give. I was, however, able to find some time to put together a post outlining what has been going on lately.

The work on the CB160 Cafe Racer continues to take place. My goal is to have it completed by spring and therefore progress needs to continually take place. I think I will be in good shape to make my deadline however there is always more work involved then one may expect. No time to start slacking.

My plan from the beginning was to perform as much of the fabrication work as possible while the bike was still in one piece. Once I went as far as I could I would then strip the entire thing apart and start the refinishing, and rebuilding, process. Well this time has come; I have come to the point where all the finishing needs to take place therefore the bike has to come apart.

Although the following pictures leave out a lot of detail they will at least provide the highlights of what has been going on in the garage. So I invite you to scroll through the following pictures and bring yourself up to speed.

Brake linkage

I am really going for the minimalistic look on the bike so stripping everything off that isn’t required is a priority. If I could get every cable off the bike I would however I have to stay realistic. I had already machined and tack welded a new rear brake cable support onto the frame (top right corner) however after rethinking things I decided to try for mechanical linkage for rear brake actuation. You can see my mocked up linkage from my rear sets to the rear drum. The pedal feel is much better and the linkage really cleans up the look. I will have to wait till the bike is at reassembly stage in order to figure out exact linkage length since chain adjustment will come into factor.

B4 disassembly

So here you have it. I think I have done as much fabricating as possible with the bike assembled. At this point the entire thing gets stripped down. Everything will then start to get prepped and refinished before reassembly will begin.

Under tank electrical

Something I never blogged about was the under tank electrical. The original horn and coil has been done away with and I added a new Dyna Coil with new mounting. The horn has been replaced with a high pitch one off a Porsche Cayenne and then I added a couple of relays to handle some of the new electrical.

Central electrical

The central electronics have all been moved, and hidden, under the seat. Components include the electronic ignition module, charging system “regulator”, power supply relay, fuse block, starter solenoid, and battery.

Tear down

Time to start tearing things apart. Strapping the bike to a saw horse provided enough stability in order to get the wheels and suspension off.

Torn down

So here it is, the bare frame. Not a single nut, bolt, or clip is left on it. Time to start laying down some final welds and clean up some existing ones.

Organized components

All removed components were separated into indivduals bins to help keep things organized. A bin for powder coating, a bin for chroming, an electrical bin, and then a misc. bin.

Prepped 4 chrome

I am not a huge fan of lots of chrome however since one of the distinctive features of the bike include the factory chrome tank covers I felt it was necessary to bring some chrome highlights into the bike. I chose some hardware, brake linkages, axles, and fork seal housings to join the tank covers in their display of bling. I had a local electroplating company strip the old chrome first. I then performed some touch up on all the parts and sanded out any rough casting marks. Once prepped the components were sent back to the electroplaters.

Completed chrome

Here are the freshly chromed bike components. If you look at everything to the right of the tank covers you will see that there is not a lot of chrome on the bike, just enough to help blend the tank covers in with the whole package.

Tank covers chrome

The tank covers turned out fantastic!

Original fuel cap

The fuel cap is stainless steel so I opted to polish it up myself. Here is the before shot.

Polished fuel cap

And here is the after shot and the results of 3 stage polishing.

Fuel cap rebuild

The tank cap is pressed together but I was able to “blow” it apart using compressed air. I then was able to clean all the old varnish and rust from the internal components. I was successful in pressing it all back together.

Fork rebuild

Something that had been weighing heavy on my mind was the front fork rebuild. I was unsure if they would come apart easily and I suspected I may have seal issues. Turned out getting them apart was a bit of a challenge. I needed to machine a tool in order to spin off the fork seal housings. Also trying to slide the rams out from the lower housing was not easy as they did not slide smoothly out the bores. More on this later.

Fixing fork nut

The front fork lowers have 4 threaded spacers welded onto them, they all support the front fender however one is the nut that secures the front brake drum arm. This one was broken off at the welds. Needless to say the front brakes do not operate without the arm securing attached to the fork assembly. I used the original threaded spacer and TIG welded it back on.

Fork hone

So here comes the story of why the forks had trouble coming apart. I knew that when I welded the spacer back onto the lower fork tube that the inner bore of the tube may distort. It turns out I was right and after TIG welding the spacer on the fork ram, and bushing, would not slide down into the housing. As I inspected a bit more closely it would appear that the factory welded spacers also distorted the tubes which is why I suspect the bushings were so hard to remove from the fork lowers. I am guessing that the factory must weld the nuts on after the rams are installed, this seems odd to me however I can not determine how they could have installed the rams into distorted fork lowers. I had to come up with a solution to help everything go together, and slide, smoothly. The fork lowers have a second tube in them to allow for spring support. This made for cleaning of the inside bore difficult. In the end I decided I would machine a pipe down enough to fit into the fork lowers. I then glued sandpaper onto the pipe to turn it into a hone.

Honing the fork

Here you can see me honing the side of the fork lower which has the nuts welded onto them. I was able to take off just enough material on the inside of the fork to allow the ram to slide smoothly. Lucky for me these forks are 1965 technology and they do not possess, or require, the precision of modern engineering.

B4 and after ram

The fork rams received a good polishing to clean up some of the old wear and tear. The rams inspected to be in good order with no major nicks. The upper fork is original and the lower is one that has been cleaned up.

Polished fork bushing

These are the bushings that need to slide smoothly into the fork housings. You can see the scoring on the upper bushing that was caused upon removal. I was able to clean up the scoring and give them a good polish before reassembly.

Seal compare

I have pretty much sourced every single part I needed for the CB160 project. I think I have only failed on 1 part and that is the fork seals. I was able to find a supplier however the logistics involved in actually performing the purchase transaction made it too difficult to obtain the seals. I opted for improvisation. The CB160 had 2 different fork seals. 1 for the early model (which is mine) and 1 for the later model. Turns out the later ones are still available from Honda. The difference between the 2 different years is the outer diameter of the seal. Lucky for me the inside diameters appear to be the same. The later models have a smaller OD which also turns out to work in my favor. So in order to adapt the later model smaller OD into my early model forks I opted to machine a press fit spacer as an adapter sleeve for the different seal. The top seal in this picture is the original. The bottom left is the newer seal with a smaller OD and the right is the completed spacer I machined to use as an adapter.

Fork seal bushing 1

I used a 1.750″ seamless pipe with a .250 wall thickness to machine the adapter from. It was hard to measure down to the thousandth of an inch in order to accommodate a press fit.

Fork seal bushing 3

This is the new style seal with the completed bushing.

Fork seal bushing 2

And here is what the seal looks like pressed into the bushing. I did not post pictures of the installed assembly into the fork tube however the press fit turned out great! Hopefully no oil leaks around the OD of the seal or bushing.

Seal housing o-rings

One other part I failed at obtaining was the O-rings required to seal the fork seal housing to the lower fork tube. They are a 38 x 2 mm o-ring and are no longer available. With some searching I found that VW uses the same size seal on multiple engine components including fuel pumps. I ordered a couple up from VW in hopes they would work. Turns out the fit was perfect. Problem solved.

Coating fork lower

So with all of my fork issues behind me all that was left was to perform the finishing touches before reassembly. The fork lowers got sandblasted and powder coated matte black.

Fork ready 4 assembling

Here are all the refinished components. Seat housings chromed, rams polished, lowers powder coated, housing honed, and seals installed. All ready for reassembly.

Forks assembled

Completed forks with aftermarket bellows added to them. Another “to do ” item checked off the list.

Blasted tank 1

It is getting to the point where I need to get some main components refinished. I started by glass bead blasting the tank. The clean up turned out fantastic. It was stripped of all the old paint and rust and upon inspection it would appear the tank had no dents or damage. There will be very little body work required.

Blasted tank 2

The underside of the tank cleaned up great too. Totally stripped of all 1965 color.

Polished tank filler

I thought that polishing the filler neck would give a more finished look plus it will tie in nicely with the polished fuel cap.

Tank repair kit

The tank had a lot of rust in it and was going to require some serious attention to get it all cleaned up. Earlier I had ordered a POR-15 fuel tank repair kit knowing I was going to have to attack my problems with chemicals. I used the kit however not exactly as the directions stated. Here was the sequence I used to achieve fantastic results;
1. Rinsed that tank with Marine Clean for 15 minutes
2. Rinsed the tank with CLR for 15 minutes.
3. Added approximately half a cup of glass beads and 2 cups distilled water and shook vigorously for 15 minutes.
4. Rinses and pressure wash the inside of the tank
5. Added another half cup of glass beads and halve a bottle of Prep and Ready and shook again for 15 minutes
6. Rinsed and pressure washed
7. Added straight Prep and Ready and soaked for half an hour while repositioning.
8. Rinsed and pressure washed.
9. Dried the tank for 4 days which included multiple sessions with a heat gun
10. Coated the tank with a sealer.
The whole process took time however the results were great. The tank cleaned up inside to bare metal and there were no leaks before, or after, the sealer.

Prepped frame

Although this picture is not overly exciting it shows the results of hours of work. I ground lots of the old, ugly, factory welds and redid them with TIG. All the crucial visual areas got ground and sanded smooth. The frame is now ready for sandblasting, a bit more touch up, and then paint.

Cleaned up downtube

This is one of the highlights of the bike. The down tube. For me this section of the frame needs to have a very clean look to it. A lot of the factory holes were filled in and then the welds were sanded smooth.