Old dog learns new trick...Welding!

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle Welding, Fabrication and Paintin' started by silverbear, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    Your positive comments and suggestions are much appreciated. This tank is turning out so much better than I ever imagined it might.

    Gnu, yes those are baffles. Dan felt they would help hold the two sides in alignment and make it easier to join the top and bottom pieces. I think it's a real good idea. He has done everything he could to make this a successful experience for me and it has been, leaving me with the feeling that "yes, I can learn to weld, too." That's the mark of a good teacher, to enable and inspire.

    2door, Dan told me that about overlapping the welds, but it is good to have that reinforced. I'll do that. And I was careful to mark down right on the tank the amperage (2) and wire speed (40) as it seems just right for these gauges of metal. I want the welds to penetrate into the steel, but don't want to blow through and make problems for myself. I can also see that with flux core wire it is important to stop often enough to clean up the tip and keep slag out of the way. I'm beginning to think that I may be able to make this tight enough to not need a sealer inside. I'm going to try!

    Tooljunkie, I remember babbit bearings from old cars. A mix of tin and lead, isn't it? So yes, your suggestion about the correction fluid to keep the solder from where you don't want it is noted. We also will use aluminum bolts while soldering the acorn nuts as solder won't stick to the aluminum. I'm not familiar with the T you mention , but can roughly picture it and can see how it would help to keep the hand holding the stinger where you want it. I'm going to mull that one over some as I can use all the hep I can get. Straight CO2, eh? I'll look in to that. Any way to save money and still get the job done. Lucky guy having your own lathe. If I'm not too old to learn that kind of machine work, I'm certainly too poor, but it sure would be a nice thing to have and know how to use it. Then a milling machine, band saw, heavy duty drill press, finger brake, etc. Ha! So many toys to ask Santa for...
    SB
     
  2. Ibedayank

    Ibedayank New Member

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  3. RicksRides

    RicksRides New Member

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    Who says you cant teach an ole dog new tricks all hounds can be taght with proper motivation !!!!!!!!! looking real good there SilverBear! bet youre wondering why ya didnt get one a long time ago
     
  4. thegnu

    thegnu New Member

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    SANTA , ....can I have a "fully equiped fabrication shop for christmas? pleeeeeaseeee?"
    Gary
     
  5. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    Well, we made significant progress on the tank today. We experimented some with sealing up the acorn nuts with solder. Dan tried paste flux with both 50/50 solder and also 60/40 acid core and found that the acid core seemed to work better. Even so, the soldering was rough going with the nickle plated acorn nuts in spite of the plating being ground away. If you look at the photo of the bottom showing two acorn nuts and the petcock you can see how much better the solder laid down on the brass petcock than the nickel acorn nuts. Same solder, same torch and heat. Our conclusion is that we'd have done better using brass acorn nuts and solder. True, we couldn't have tack welded the nuts with brass, but a good solder job should be strong enough. Either way, we're confident that the nuts are sealed up. If we're wrong then there's always tank sealer to save the day.

    With that done Dan marked the cut off line and trimmed the bottom piece to length. I tack welded it to the rest of the tank and clamped it for a snug fit, moving the clamp along as I went. And now the tank is together. I will grind the tacks smooth as on the top piece. Then it is time to fill in the gaps between the tacks. The welder is now packed up for the trip to Minnesota and after I'm home and settled I'll get to work welding the tank up, checking for leaks until I have it leak free. That's the plan anyway.

    Today was the season's last shop session. Saturdays at the Tinsmith's shop has been the highlight of my winter. I've learned a lot and now have two great gas tanks, a copper one for the Indian Hiawatha and now a bullet proof steel one for the Panther. Thank you, Dan!
    SB
     

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  6. tooljunkie

    tooljunkie Member

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    very nice,the solder may have needed more heat and flux to make it flow better.
    the chrome plating does funny things to solder,so does galvanizing.
    looking forward to seeing the finished product.
     
  7. fasteddy

    fasteddy Well-Known Member

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    Silverbear,
    That tank is first rate. Looking forward to seeing it person this summer.

    Steve.
     
  8. GearNut

    GearNut Active Member

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    I can only repeat what has already been said, The tank looks great! You have done an awesome job on it so far, not surprising considering the excellent tutelage you have received from Dan. Welding is alot of fun and can really open up new possibilities for your imagination.
     
  9. Tinsmith

    Tinsmith Member

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    Gettin' a little personal talking about my tutelage Mr GearNut, but thanks for the kind words from all of you guys. It's real neat to have someone to share the fun and frustrations of these little bikes with and SB has become a very dear friend to Jackie and me.
    Dan
     
  10. curtisfox

    curtisfox Well-Known Member

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    That tank is AWESOME! You are learning thanks to a great teacher.....It was brought to my atention the maybe the acorn nuts should have been silver brazed. Keep it in mind for next time if needed..................Curt
     
  11. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    I couldn't help it. I have a lot of packing to do and a shrinking amount of time to do it in, but I had to take the time to grind out the tack welds and mount the tank to see how it's going to look. I couldn't be more pleased. I wanted to share a couple photos just taken... sure looks mo' betta than that peanut tank. Woohoo! Now back to work packing...
    SB
     

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  12. azbill

    azbill Active Member

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    looks great !!!
    and,,,YOU made it (^)
     
  13. Venice Motor Bikes

    Venice Motor Bikes Custom Builder / Dealer/Los Angeles

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    You've made something you can be proud of!! (^)
     
  14. GearNut

    GearNut Active Member

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    Simply perfect!
    You have always built beautiful machines and this one is no exception.
    I am looking forward to seeing what you weld up next.
     
  15. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    Thank you for the kind words, you guys. It really does mean a lot. I have Dan to thank for making the pieces fit and guiding me into welding. There's no turning back now.

    A word or two about this bike. I had the good fortune several years ago to find this 1950 Schwinn at the local landfill. I didn't know what it was, but recognized it as a Schwinn. It was you, Norm, who clued me in that it was a Schwinn straightbar which most of us here refer to as a "Panther", one of the bikes the frame was used for. It was one of the first bikes I stripped and painted and did my first upholstery job (poorly) on it's original seat.

    In it's first life as a motorbike it got the EZ Motorbike kit with a 50cc Hua Sheng 4 stroke and Qmatic transmission. At that time I had a Whizzer front fork on it, found an original rear rack on ebay. I also had Sportscarpat's very first panther gas tank, his prototype. I loved that bike and thought it was the cat's meow. So did a friend of mine who wanted one just like it. I found him a 49 frame on Ebay, bought Worksman rims, found a rear rack and in the end sold him the Whizzer fork and gas tank.

    That was when BarelyaAWake posted a link to a good deal on Suzuki heavy duty forks... which I bought, modified a Harbor Freight dune buggy lamp for the headlight and my Panther had a new look. This winter I replaced the anemic 50cc H.S. with a 99cc Predator engine and can see that the bike is entering into a new incarnation.

    With keen interest I've been following the development of Wayne Z's variable speed transmission using a Whizzer sheave and plan to replace the Qmatic transmission (will use it on something else) with Wayne's so that I will have something capable climbing steep grades with a sidecar.

    When it is all done and repainted it will also get a new identity, "American Flyer". I've located decals for the tank and already have a head badge for "American Flyer". With a new life it needs a new name. I think I'm going to love this bike when it is all finished. Although it will probably never be all finished. Next winter I'd like to make a drop stand with a keyed catch like Tinsmith came up with for his Worksman stretch. Harness leather saddlebags might be nice. I'd like to redo the seat now that I'm better at it. The elk hide grips are getting pretty worn. Sigh...no, you're never really done.
    SB
     
  16. thegnu

    thegnu New Member

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    satisfying isnt it ! to start with nothing an then have something that looks [email protected] good an works . an you made it .
     
  17. b-rad

    b-rad New Member

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    Beautious !! the product of persistance and patience
     
  18. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    Well, it's been awhile. I am now back in Minnesota, everything is unpacked and I have created a good work space to do bike stuff. I've been ready for several days to get at this gas tank, but it has been rainy, I work outside and have had to wait. Today's the day.

    I have been at it for the better part of the day and thought I would see how many leaks there are. I mixed up some soapy water, ran the compressor, dribbled soapy water on a couple of edges, shot a bit of air into the tank (don't want to overdo it) and felt like the bubble boy. Boy, what a lot of bubbles. And to think I had this naive thought that maybe there weren't any leaks. Dan didn't have to use a sealer on his gas tank and it was his first one.

    Well, this old fart is using tank sealer. I have several questions...
    First, what is a good tank sealer that will hold up to the new ethanol blends? Is there one which is reasonably priced, meaning pretty cheap? I only need enough to do one gas tank, so if someone wants to sell the remains of your sealer kit shoot me a PM.

    While I'm waiting to purchase a sealant can I go ahead and do a little body work on the edges with bondo and then paint it before doing the tank sealer or is this not a good idea?

    I'm anxious to get this tank on the bike and use it. Still am very happy with it and deeply grateful to Dan the Tinsmith for all his help. I have learned so much about welding through this project. One of the things I learned is that I still have a lot to learn.
    SB
     

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  19. curtisfox

    curtisfox Well-Known Member

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    Your tank looks awesome. Pro-15 makes a good sealer (auto parts store)and I think you can get it in small quanitys. As far as the bondo work go ahead I don't see what harm it would cause.......................Curt
     
  20. GearNut

    GearNut Active Member

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    Umm... POR-15, no offense intended towards curtisfox.
    IMHO, Caswell makes a far more user friendly and more durable tank sealer.

    My one, huge concern, is the ability of the sealer (no matter the brand) to be able to pass through the internal baffles inside the tank without sealing off the passageways in the baffles and also being able to flow enough volume to adequately coat all the surfaces.
     

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