The joy of building and getting back to it

| March 7, 2012 | 0 Comments

From my father I learned that there is incredible joy to be had from making things.  We built a sand rail ( dune buggie ) before I was a teenager.  I practically grew up at the sand dunes of south western Utah back in the mid 80’s.  Before I was a teenager I knew things like how to tear down and rebuild a Volkswagen motor, understood boring out cylinders, and what having dual-carburetors accomplished.  I was also a pretty damn good driver. Come to think of it, not only could I use turn brakes, but I even knew how to ‘drift’.

In my teenage years we got into Windsurfing.  Gear was expensive as hell, so my  father fabricated fins out of phenolic, mast bases out of aluminum and brass, and made wooden jigs to replicate boards sold at MiloSport ( the first and last windsurfing shop in Utah ) that we couldn’t afford.  We  bought our own Styrofoam blanks, he cut and shaped them by hand, then glassed, epoxied, and painted them.

And most importantly, I learned how to build things that lasted.

This past weekend I was able to get down to his shop and continue my rebuild:

One of my brake disks was already to the point of being too thin, so we decided to try and turn it on his lathe for practice –

I’m keeping the existing seat pan and hinges on the frame.  I thought the seat looked like a blown up neck goiter, so I cut the existing vinyl off and pulled out the foam padding –

From the bottom it look like a little work was in order.  The top on the other hand made me want to barf –

Seat pan is gonna need some serious sand blasting as well as some bondo.

My father got the rusted bearing races out of the head tube by heating them in three locations with a torch, then cooling them quickly with liquid filled with a water soluble oil ( non Parafin I think it was).  They shrunk enough to come out relatively easy afterward.

For the battery I’m thinking of mounting it on the frame where the passenger would ride, and cutting a whole in the seat pan to accommodate it folding over the top of it. I’ve been told by someone  that moving the battery behind the rider will screw up the balance of the bike.  Not only have I seen this done regularly on other builds, but this is a far cry lighter than a passenger, and still where the sissy bars were you could place cargo in relatively the same spot, being much heavier, and still be fine.   I’ll put a cowling over this portion of the seat to hide it.

Fuse box and electronics will converge under the rider in a pan I’ll place hanging on the frame.

We still got a few more things to do before everything is ready for powder coating.  I’ll probably be able to get back to it in a weekend or two.


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