Thursday, June 26, 2014

Back to the Bare Frame...

A week or so ago, I visited my friend Chuy so that he could place two additional fender brackets on the rear frame loop to secure the alloy fender. What I forgot was that I also needed a new bracket for the WES exhaust system. So it was back to Chuy's shop. Above is a photograph of Chuy at work...very lightly processed with my HDR program.

While Chuy was finishing up this bracket he suggested that I might want to add some new bracing around the swing arm. The problem was obvious. On the right side, the bracing had been removed (I can not possibly understand why...) and on the left side the bracing is present but it appears to offer no support or functionality whatsoever. It looks like the sort of perforated metallic ribbon that you see holding up plumbing under your house. Chuy fixed that oversight with two new braces which will genuinely make the area stronger. Unfortunately, the gauge of the metal and the heavy handed welding lend kind of an agricultural feel to the new pieces.

The bracket for the exhaust system was an entirely different matter. Chuy found some lighter gauge steel and the weld was significantly more delicate.

Today, I cleaned up the welds and removed a couple of the original brackets which have no purpose with the addition of the alloy fender and the Sammy Miller seat/tank unit. All that is left is to once again thoroughly clean the frame and get some primer on it before all of that bare metal starts turning a rusty red. I expect to have at least a couple of coats of black lacquer on the frame within the next couple of days.

The amount of work and sweat I have put into this frame over the past couple of weeks, and before counting the initial stripping and cleaning, makes me a little jealous of those guys you read about in classic bike magazines that simply send off their old frame to a power coating firm and receive back a perfect glossy frame a couple of days later. Is that better? Or is that cheating? Of course it's not cheating, but this is hard work!

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