making lights

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle Welding, Fabrication and Paintin' started by Agreen, Apr 29, 2015.

  1. Agreen

    Agreen Member

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    Back in the chop shop again. I'm all about some fabrication!

    Today I'm going to be making some custom lights. I went perusing through some stores today, looking for things of certain shapes and materials. Kind of like when I go junkyard scavenging. I ended up in this store called "World Market". Kind of a Pier1 knockoff? Anyways, I found a mini cocktail shaker for $5 and thought it would look pretty neat as a head lamp.
    [​IMG]
    Didn't get far tonight, but the plan is to just put a 6v LED flashlight head inside it and wire it to a 6v sealed lead acid battery of some sort so I can recharge it.
    [​IMG]
    Turns out, the top part of the shaker looks like a good candidate for a tail/brake light too :)
    [​IMG]
    The shaker top has strainer holes that make mounting it even easier:

    [​IMG]

    More to come.
     
  2. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    You have to love the members here. Innovation, imagination, talent and skills.

    A cocktail shaker! No who'd of thunk it?

    Keep those photos coming, Agreen. Amazing work. Thanks for sharing.

    Tom
     
  3. curtisfox

    curtisfox Well-Known Member

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    It may look better further up under the rack.
    That is sure a KOOOOL idea, love it .......................Curt
     
  4. Agreen

    Agreen Member

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    I was wondering about that. I was moving it around, looking for the best location. I think you may be right.

    I think I'm going to get a power wheels 6v battery if I can find the charger. Kids grew out of the little 6v cars, so they won't be needing it any more :D
     
  5. Agreen

    Agreen Member

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    Pay no attention to the worn out tire lol
     
  6. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    Worn out tire? Oh, I thought you'd ridden through some white paint. :)

    Seriously, I agree with Curt. The tail light would look better mounted under the rear rack. But that's just an opinion. Mount it where you want it. Wherever, I still applaud your creativity.

    Tom
     
  7. Agreen

    Agreen Member

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    Still working the kinks out. I browsed some stores today looking for batteries and lights, but I didn't get out of work in time and the remaining radio shacks were all closed. Poop. And the girls' power wheels battery has been dead so long that it won't recharge now. I guess I'll order a battery from Amazon.

    I'm still trying to figure out a creative way of mounting the front light that doesn't look like crap. Pretty hard to do with the lines of the bike, but I'll figure something out.
     
  8. Trey

    Trey $50 Cruiser

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    Am I the only one here to decry such use of a perfectly good cocktail mixer? LOL

    Agreen, that is awesome! Making things for these bikes is alot of fun.
    As far as mounting that front light, may I suggest that you move it up to the headtube because it will jiggle around less, and because you can send the light-beam farther forward for better sight. Maybe make a simple bracket (think stock bicycle reflector) and mount it between the headset washer and headset cone.

    Whatever you decide, post pics!

    Trey
     
  9. Agreen

    Agreen Member

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    That's exactly what I was thinking. I've been moving these lights around, thinking about where I'll be mounting them and you guys seem to be thinking the same thing I do all the time lol.

    I found some LED brake lights I have had I'm my garage for a loooong time. I was going to use them in my Rx7, but I ended up with the wrong ones and never returned them. Looks like I know where they can be used now :)

    The only problem I think I will run in to with mounting them like a front reflector is that the bracket may be a bit too flimsy for the weight. I'm thinking a 1" clamp around the stem would work best. Now I just have to work out how to attach the light to that clamp, and make it solid.
     
  10. Agreen

    Agreen Member

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    I finally got to make a trip to a good hardware store!

    I found a 3/4" conduit clamp bolts right up to the stem. I got some corner brackets and miscellaneous hardware to mount the headlamp. I looked at my motorcycle for inspiration, but found none there. The way it's mounted would only work if i had a triple, so scratch that. I guess i get the most inspiration by browsing through hardware stores, looking at things to see what i can work with.

    Anyways, this is where i left off for the night. I'm not going to show pictures of my attempt at welding the clamp to the bracket. Let's just say that went poorly. No biggie, ill cut it off and get a new clamp. Maybe I'll just bolt them together instead of trying to weld thin steel. All I ever do in that stuff is blast holes :D
     

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  11. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    Good start, but can I make a suggestion?

    Shorten the bolts that you have through the housing so there's just enough thead protruding to get a stainless steel Nylok nut on. Better yet, stainless acorn nuts. Stainless so you can buff them up to a chrome-like shine.

    I realize the wingnuts are probably so you can adjust/aim the headlight but they aren't very attractive. You could leave the acorn nuts just loose enough to move the light to where you want it then disassemble the light and tighten them after the light is aimed.

    I know you don't have a triple tree fork but take a look at page two of this old build thread. It's an example of how I mounted a headlight. It might help explain what I suggested above. See posts # 13 & 18

    http://motorbicycling.com/showthread.php?t=44276&page=2

    Just tossing out an idea.

    Tom
     
    #11 2door, May 2, 2015
    Last edited: May 2, 2015
  12. Agreen

    Agreen Member

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    I swear you're reading my mind. I don't know how, but you're doing it.

    I'm wondering if i can figure out some kind of reflector to increase the light output. The red LEDs are a little weak. I may try something else.
     
  13. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    Aluminum foil. Shiny side out. It will conform to the inside of the housing and works pretty darn good as a reflector behind the lamps.

    Tom
     
  14. Agreen

    Agreen Member

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    OK, so how about a brake light switch? I bought a momentary pushbutton switch from radio shack. It's normally closed, so with the brake handle at rest, the button is depressed and the circuit is open. I tried to mount it to my mongoose dual pull lever but couldn't find a good spot to put it. I then considered one of those China kits that has all the cheap plastic lights, and all I would use is the switch that works off one of the cable mechanisms, but I want to see what else is out there before going that route.
     
  15. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    Here is some discussion on brake light switches. http://motorbicycling.com/showthread.php?t=36490

    I've used small 'micro-switches on several bikes. I used to have a link to a brake lever with a built in switch. Can't find it now but it seems it came from a place called 'Scooterworks' or something like that. It had 'Scooter' in the name anyway.

    EDIT: Check post #17 in that thread I posted above.

    Tom
     
    #15 2door, May 3, 2015
    Last edited: May 3, 2015
  16. Agreen

    Agreen Member

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    I sure wish i could find a dual lever with the switch though. I've found plenty of single levers with switches, but none of the dual pull variety.
     
  17. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    That I can't help you with. I'm not a dual pull fan.
    I like much more control over front and rear brakes. Those who use them seem to like them but I run discs on front and use them when I really want to slow down quickly but I avoid using them if I'm on a potentially slippery surface like sand or pea gravel. I'd rather my rear tire slide than the front one.

    Tom
     
  18. Agreen

    Agreen Member

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    So you have 3 separate levers? Or do you use a coaster for the rear?
     
  19. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    Two of my bikes have rear coasters, one has rear rim brakes. But I've built and owned several others with rim or coaster brakes on the rear. After some riding you automatically adjust to reaching for the right lever. On the coaster brake bikes I set them up to brake the front wheel on the right and have just the clutch lever on the left.
    On rim brake bikes the left handlebar shares the clutch and rear brake.

    Sounds confusing, I know, but you'd be surprised how quickly you adjust to switching your fingers to pull brakes or clutch. I typically pull in the clutch when approaching a stop, lock it in, then switch my fingers to pull the brake lever.

    Once you've used disc brakes you'll see how superior they are to any other type. You develope a certain riding/braking style with front disc brakes. Slowing and coming to a stop you tend to use both front and rear but with far less pressure on the front brakes because they are so much more effective than the rear brakes no matter what type.

    Your front brakes are always responsible for roughly 70% of your braking. Trying to adjust in that much bias with a dual pull lever is nearly impossible. And, it doesn't take into account differing surfaces. I like to make that determination for myself.

    As I said, the folks who use dual pull like them. They just aren't for me.

    Tom
     
  20. Agreen

    Agreen Member

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    It's legal now!!

    Details tomorrow. I'm tired and I'm taking it to a show early in the morning.
     

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