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Old 06-17-2012, 07:01 AM
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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: Old dog learns new trick...Welding!

Well boys, after a good bit of rainy weather I have something for show an tell.

Following as best I could the advice from you guys, I did some practicing on a chunk of donor bike frame of the same vintage and made some incredibly ugly boogers of welds. I fiddled with the amperage until I was indeed blowing nice holes in the frame. Turned that down some. I also fiddled with the wire speed, the angle of the stinger to the work, the distance of the stinger to the work, how long I lingered as I tried to get weld to flow in a circular motion... and then... by George I got it!

So I ground down some of the previous welds on the Panther frame and went at it. I'm confident now that this time around I have good penetration and have made right what was wrong. Thanks for telling me what I didn't want to hear.

I stripped the frame down to bare metal with a wire wheel on the side grinder and hung it up in the donor lot for painting, first with a good primer and later with VanSickles tractor paint in gloss black. Love that paint which I'll show in the next batch of photos. It lays down nice, covers well and doesn't want to run unless you are really heavy handed (I'm borderline and not a very good painter, so need all the help I can get from the paint itself). Looks very much like powdercoat in luster. Today I'll tack weld the center kick stand which no matter what wants to eventually work itself loose enough to be aggravating. A few tacks from the welder should keep it in place along with the original mounting hardware. Then I'll touch that area up with paint and in a couple of days will shoot it with Van Sickles clear coat. I'm anxious to see how it looks of course, but more interested in how it looks after the next thousand miles of abuse. We'll see. It probably won't be the last time I paint this bike.

The tank is coming along. I found my 3M glazing putty and did a passable job of filling in the little imperfections in the Bondo. Once it was in primer I could still see some flaws, but figured it is good enough, as they say, for government work. I'm going to ride this and spill gas on it and bonk the front fork against it even when I try not to. And it will again start looking like what it is, an old bike that gets ridden. So I'm not going crazy with trying to be perfect.

I did lay down too much finish paint on the tank and it looks wrong in a couple areas so I'll do some sanding on that today, re shoot some finish coat and then leave it alone for a few more days as I start to address the other parts of the bike that need attention... such as new engine mount rails so that I can offset the engine a bit to draw the driven chain away from the repairs. By then I can clear coat the tank and by the time it's ready to mount the new gas tank it should be pretty well cured inside and out. If it leaks I'll just say goodbye now before shooting myself.
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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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