Something new and kinda sorta 100 years old looking

Discussion in 'Motorized Cruiser Bicycles' started by fishguts, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. fishguts

    fishguts New Member

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    Sometimes you gotta laugh ... or cry. :-||

    As much fiberglassing as I've done over the years I thought I'd seen it all, epoxy and polyester. But today I saw epoxy eat up my styrofoam fuel tank plug. I switched to a faster hardener I hadn't used before and boy did it kick in - too fast and the heat shot up, melting the spray adhesive I used to assemble the blocks and then the foam as well. It basically all came apart and I ended up rolling it up in the plastic sheet I had on my workbench and taking it out to the driveway to cool off! Nice big mess.

    Oh well, I'll make a new plug tomorrow. This time I'll lay in fewer layers at a time and allow it to flash off before adding more. Patience, patience. That should keep the heat down.
     
  2. turtle tedd

    turtle tedd Member

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    Fishguts..you definitely got some good stuff going on
     
  3. IamTheBear

    IamTheBear New Member

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    that sucks on the tank melt down. But i just have to mention it that is one wicked volksrod. glad to know i'm not the only one playing with bikes and VW's.
     
  4. fishguts

    fishguts New Member

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    Thanks. I do believe I've seen a shot of your volksrod in the background here too some place - a very cool ride. I've taken a breather from Ratgutz to come play over here a bit ... easier, simpler projects that are kinder to my aching bod, too!

    I made a new plug today and laid on a layer of epoxy/'glass. All is well this time. Once it sets I'll add two more layers and then flip it over and do the top.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. IamTheBear

    IamTheBear New Member

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    aint' had the time or money for the volks rod but a motorless 67 for the project driving a 72 super and a 1970 westie only cars we own
     
  6. fishguts

    fishguts New Member

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    Here's an update on the tank project.

    I sanded it out some, rinsed it with acetone and got a second layer of fiberglass and epoxy on it today. One more layer to go.

    At this point I can see I didn't leave enough room between the tanks so it's not going to fit on the frame. The fiberglass is building up pretty thick, but then that's what I want. This really isn't an issue because I'll just cut it down the middle and bond it together at the width it needs to be later. This will actually make it easier to finish the valley area underneath anyway.

    Now in case someone is thinking this looks like a cheap and easy way to make a fuel tank, here are some things to ponder first:

    1) I've worked with fiberglass for years and have a lot of experience with epoxy, too, but this is one of the more challenging shapes I've had to work with. I'd say this isn't a good project for a beginner.
    2) All told - fiberglass mat (2 square yards), epoxy (one gallon), tank sealer, fairing compound, foam and fittings - the cost, not counting labor, is over $200.
    3) In retrospect, I'd only consider doing this if I couldn't weld. I also have metal fabrication experience and now that I see how complicated this shape is to fiberglass, I would weld it together next time. It would be cheaper, too.
    4) I do have to admit that I splurged on the fittings because I found some aluminum bungs and caps that look to be perfect, almost identical to Harley fittings from the 1910's, plus nifty anti-surge vents. I also picked up flanged aluminum fittings for the petcocks. That was about 1/2 the cost.

    So this is fun and interesting and a little pricey, but it should yield a good looking and functional tank. But yeah, next time, steel.
     
    #66 fishguts, Oct 12, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2010
  7. tire

    tire New Member

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    i'd have to agree about going with steel, though that is still an interesting project. i'd just worry about bung stripping or tank cracking over time. i'm a fan of giving oddball projects TLC and enjoyed reading your thread.

    to a smaller degree i'm modifying my cruiser as well, with a front fork suspension, rear rack (welded to frame), ammo can saddle bags, among others.
     
  8. fishguts

    fishguts New Member

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    I'm not worried about the tank cracking as it will be a minimum of three layers of fiberglass mat/epoxy lamination with several layers more than that everywhere pieces overlap, and that's in all the corners and along all the edges. My plan is to drill holes around the flanges of the bungs to serve as keys to resist turning. That should hold them.
     
  9. fishguts

    fishguts New Member

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    Finshed the major part of the fiberglassing and cut it to shape with a 60 grit sanding disc. I'm pretty happy with the initial roughed-in shape. Next, I'll cut it apart, set the proper width on the bike and glass the top.

    [​IMG]


    Oh ... and did I mention that fiberglass work is a little messy?

    [​IMG]
     
  10. weekend-fun

    weekend-fun New Member

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    Like the light & sticker


    awsome !(^)
     
  11. fishguts

    fishguts New Member

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    Thanks. I'm hoping the brass lights will be the right finishing touch. Hard to visualize, tho, when it's all still in pieces!


    Got the tanks separated and removed the foam top panel. There will be about a 3/8" gap to fill where I cut things down the center. Here it is upright so you can get an idea of how it will look eventually.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  12. fishguts

    fishguts New Member

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    I turned the tanks upside down, measured the distance between them I wanted and the laid duct tape over the gap and carefully turned them back upright. Then fiberglassed the top, bonding the two tanks back together,

    [​IMG]
     
    #72 fishguts, Oct 18, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2010
  13. fishguts

    fishguts New Member

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    Now that the fiberglass work is done I roughed out the shape to get it ready for finish work, then mocked it up on the bike.

    Below, is an idea of where this is basically heading. It will have a different, older type seat, 36 spoke wheels with a front drum brake, Whizzer-type belt drive and the mud guards will either be moved down to meet the bottom of the fender or I'll shorten the fender to meet them. The rear fenders have mud guards, too, but on the back end for some reason. I'll move them to the forward end instead, behind the chain and belt. It will get a brass headlight and tail light and painted. Not sure what color yet.

    [​IMG]

    Nifty filler necks/caps are going to look good. They're not vented so there will be vents at the front end of the tank/s.
    [​IMG]

    In retrospect, it would have made a lot more sense to start with just a bare engine and no "kit" and a bare frame, too, but sense is in short supply here sometimes.
     
    #73 fishguts, Oct 19, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2010
  14. corgi1

    corgi1 New Member

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    did they put the rear fender on backwards?
     
  15. fishguts

    fishguts New Member

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    No, I just think they were designed for a "cool" factor instead of function. I don't know why they didn't make the guards line up with the bottoms of the fenders, either, but I can fix that.
     
  16. chad223

    chad223 New Member

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    That is looking soooo awesome! The gas tank is amazing!
     
  17. fishguts

    fishguts New Member

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    Here it is with the bodywork completed. The "body putty" was made with epoxy and microballoons. It's a much longer process than using regular automotive bondo-type body filler, but epoxy has to be used on epoxy. Other stuff won't stick.

    Next, I'll drill out for the filler bungs, flush out the foam with acetone and epoxy the bungs in place.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. fishguts

    fishguts New Member

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    I notched the flanges on the filler bungs (it's kinda hard to see) to resist turning once they're epoxied in place. Drilled out the filler holes and did the acetone thing, then epoxied the bungs in place.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I'm not sure where to put the petcock bungs yet. I should probably wait until the motor is in place to see what will work.
     
    #78 fishguts, Nov 1, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2010
  19. fishguts

    fishguts New Member

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    Threw some primer on the tank but then decided to have a little more fun with it. Sanded off the primer along the top edge and taped it off with some Gorilla tape (kinda like duct tape), double thick to act as a form. What I'm trying to do is create the effect of the top overlapping the sides. Then I made some "rivets" by dimpling modeling clay and filling the holes with epoxy. I'll epoxy them in place and then paint/antique the tank in copper. We'll see if this works.

    Hopefully I'm not posting too many pictures. I tend to record everything.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  20. IamTheBear

    IamTheBear New Member

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    wanna see how that turns out like the idea of the riveted look
     

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