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Old 02-07-2011, 07:55 PM
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silverbear silverbear is offline
The Boy Who Never Grew Up
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: northeastern Minnesota
Posts: 8,131
Default Re: Tinsmith's in frame gas tank for cantilever Schwinn.

The tank is taking final shape with the second side being joined to the top section. You can see how Dan has tacked it with solder at intervals as one would do in spot welding with steel. Same principle here. It allows him to have both hands free for his soldering, one to feed the solder to the iron and the other to guide the iron controlling the bead. Keep in mind that there is still an open section in the bottom of the tank, but most of the tank is together.
Time to try a test fit. Dan has already said he is afraid that we didn't allow enough clearance and his fear was justified. The tank is too big. Bummer. But it was meant to be a prototype to teach us how the tank wants to be made, what will work and what won't. We have learned a lot already which will leave us poised for an even better tank #2.
This is part of the process in making things yourself... starts and stops and wrong turns along the way. Keep this in mind when you ask someone to make you a tank or other part for your bike, especially one of a kind. A lot of thought and time goes into a project like this one, not to mention skill and experience. Sure this is just a gas tank for a bicycle with a motor on it, but it is also the culmination of a long tradition in making things of tin, with many generations of artisans coming before Dan ever picked up a soldering iron. It has been said that we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us, the artisans of another age and also the pioneers of bicycling and motor bicycling. it is a fine tradition of backyard mechanics and skilled craftsmen that you and I and Dan are part of. It is something to take some pride in, I think.
More will follow. By the time I got home Dan had already cut out tank #2 allowing another eighth on an inch or so for clearance. #2 will fit perfectly and when it is finished the copper tank will be next. Our thread will follow the process to the end. See you next time in Tinsmith's shop.
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Someday when I grow up I will probably lose interest in toys with wheels, but until then...
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