More Seat Progress

| March 18, 2013 | 2 Comments

After picking up a couple 4 foot lengths of round stock from Lowe’s, I headed back down to the shop this past weekend.  My original inspiration for my seat came from a YouTube video I’d seen by Kott Motorcycles.  Here is the finished product he’d showcased at the end of part 3 –

seat-example

 

I watched his video one more time before I got started, and the first thing I noticed was that the bars placed under where the rider sits had a slight camber to them.  I asked my dad why he’d done this, and he explained that it’s added for strength.  His example was the bed of a semi truck trailer, where they use a cable stretched from end to end to help bow upward the bed to assist it’s ability to hold weight and not sag.  We unfortunately have not purchased the shapers used by Kott to create this. So, we improvised.  My dad’s air compressor is a 60 gallon tank, and was the perfect radius.  Using the leverage of such long bars, we were able to by hand bend the bar around the tank, and then tweaked them in a vice for perfect fit.

Added more round stock

I wish I’d taken better angled pics, because these don’t show it.

seat-pan3

seat-pan2

Just wanted to mention here that when finishing welds near any screw threads/bolts, it’s a really good practice to cover them up to protect from weld spatter –

seat-pan4

Next I needed to start on the sheet metal.  I’ve had to go 16 gauge, because I burn the shit out of anything thinner with my MIG.  I made a template for the seat with poster board –

seat-pan5

Transferred that to the sheet metal –

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And then used a hand held grinder to cut out my shape –

seat-pan9

I’d hoped to have been able to fold the metal where it angled upward but it was way too strong and I didn’t have the time to setup the right tools to accomplish it.  So, I ended up chopping that part off to include later, and then clamped the metal to the seat –

seat-pan10

This shit was stiff!  I needed the metal to accommodate the camber of the bars it sits on, and again couldn’t bend it manually.  So, I fired up my dad’s oxy-acetylene torch and gradually heated the metal from underneath to get it to bend.  I made sure that the seat bolts were in place to keep the seat frame from twisting while welding and torching. You can see the discoloration of the metal in this pic –

seat-pan11

 Then it was welding time. It’s at this point I really started to appreciate David Gardiner’s Metal Shaping DVD because his MIG suggestions really paid off.  I tacked all each side, then went back and filled in the welds.  Worked out beautiful!

seat-pan13

Again I’m wishing I’d taken better pictures.  This thing turned out so well!

 I have been toying with the idea of a car tail light, and I even purchased at a salvage yard a 1963 Chevy Impala tail light like the following –

prd_zm_554

– but after putting it up on the seat frame I decided to not go this way on this build.  I want the turn signals and the head light to be small, so this won’t do.

Now that I’ve got an even better idea of how to do this, and I don’t have any more round stock to add, I’m hoping to finish up the seat pan next weekend.  I’m still deciding on the overall paint scheme, but I got some great ideas from people on the Facebook page.  The frame will be a satin black is all that is definite.  Man, I can’t wait to get back to it!!!

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2 Comments on "More Seat Progress"

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  1. Dino Rinaldi says:

    Hey i had a question on how you got the leather upholstered.

    Once the Metal Frame was made for the seat, did you put somthing like plywood over it before you added the foam and leather?

    Thanks!

    • ucr says:

      Hey Dino,

      I ended up scrapping this seat and instead bought a fiberglass one. The guy that upholstered the new seat pan made a plywood base with screw holes so that I can remove the upholstery and get to the bolts that hold the seat on. On top of the plywood he added memory foam, and then the vinyl, which was stapled to plywood.

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