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Motorized Bicycle Welding, Fabrication and Painting - The Chop Shop Custom fabrication and projects, tanks, frames and more.

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Old 04-15-2013, 11:58 PM
Royale Royale is offline
Motorized Bicycle Member
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Colorado
Posts: 23
Default Turning a fake tank into a real one?

I just traded my Schwinn frame with some old hippy for a 1948 JC Higgins tank frame. It looks a lot closer to a board tracker now but I now have to figure out how to turn the fake tank into a real one.

I think I will try my hand at bronze brazing the tank together since I don't know how to weld, yet want to do it myself instead of paying someone else to do it.

Where I'm stuck now is whether or not to braze it straight to the frame and create one big permanent tank, or to make two tanks, one per side. Is there any concern with brazing straight to the frame. Could it anneal and weaken the metal?

Has anyone done this before? I searched with no luck.

Below is my new frame. I love the JC Higgins beehive springer.
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File Type: jpg 891583_10100341876474022_547177507_o.jpg (251.7 KB, 235 views)
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Old 04-16-2013, 10:43 AM
bairdco's Avatar
bairdco bairdco is offline
a guy who makes cool bikes
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: living the dream in southern california
Posts: 6,262
Default Re: Turning a fake tank into a real one?

silver solder should work as well, if you're not up to brazing. either way, look up "tinsmith's" posts and silverbear's. they've teamed up and made some great tanks.

i use Caswell tank sealer on all my tanks now. i can't say enough good things about the stuff. it'll seal any pinholes or seam splits you might end up with, and doesn't crack or peel like Kreem or some of the other sealers.

as for mounting it, a simple way is to use leather straps for a vintage look. cut up old belts or even dog collars to fit.

or you can buy conduit clamps and braze or solder some nuts to the tank and bolt it right one.

if the tank fits really tight, you can run a bead of silicon all the way around it will stay forever. in case it ever leaks and you need to repair it, you can run a piece of twine through it and saw it out.

i don't recommend brazing it to to the frame because of the possibility of leaks. it's much harder to repair when it's permenantly attached to the frame. but that's up to you.
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Old 05-12-2013, 05:52 AM
webbee webbee is offline
Motorized Bicycle Newbie
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 11
Default Re: Turning a fake tank into a real one?

This would be a perfect build to try building an inner tank from fiberglass using the Styrofoam mock-up glass technique. No leaks and no heat damage. My .02.
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Old 05-15-2013, 12:19 AM
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Velodrome Velodrome is offline
Motorized Bicycle Elite Member
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Phoenix-ish
Posts: 2,042
Default Re: Turning a fake tank into a real one?

THAT IS BEAUTIFULL!! Holy Cats!! ( loose the chain tensioner ) What a fantastic find. I have no direction on how to transform one of these to a real tank but this is one to do it on! Do you plan on a four stroke?
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