Tinsmith's in frame gas tank for cantilever Schwinn.

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle Welding, Fabrication and Paintin' started by silverbear, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. corgi1

    corgi1 New Member

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    Your welcome,love the tanks
     
  2. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    Dan got the copper tank together yesterday with nice results I think. I like it very much. No photos of it coming together because I forgot the camera. But I watched closely and learned a good bit, I think. Dan was not entirely happy with the soldering and determined that the big iron was too much for this job, tending to overheat and then glazing the iron (when that happens the shiny solder look changes to a dark scale and fouls the iron...). Then Dan would have to clean the iron tip on the sal amonica block, let it cool down some and proceed in starts and stops. A rheostat switch would have given a means of controlling the heat. It was interesting to watch how impossible it was when the conditions were wrong and how smoothly the solder flowed when conditions were right (clean tip, the right temperature and presence of flux). Even so, I think the tank looks great before any cleaning up. The two holes you see on one side of the tank are the same size as the petcock fitting on bottom and they are for a sight gauge which was kind of an afterthought inspired by the one on Barelyawake's Rollfast build a year ago. This is his idea, not mine. What will fit into these two bushings are a pair of 90 degree angled brass hose barbs pointing toward each other with a section of clear line between... a simple and elegant sight gauge to see at a glance how things are with gasoline. We would like to have placed the holes a little differently, but punched them when the tank was together minus the bottom piece... so this was the best we could do with the limitations of the tool. Had I thought of this sooner we could have placed the top hole higher up and the bottom hole lower down. Next time I will.
    Next comes the cleanup including getting rid of some of the excess solder. I . would welcome suggestions from anyone on how best to do this. Anyone? I was thinking perhaps to sand down the couple dribbles with the dremel sanding drum. Baird, what did you do? I'd like to get rid of a good bit of the solder somehow, leaving the actual seams, of course. I have started cleaning with very fine steel wool and the luster of the copper is something else. More photos will follow later as cleanup progresses.
    SB
     

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  3. corgi1

    corgi1 New Member

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    I remember some flat woven wire called wicking that was used to remove excess solder,might ask Dan first,it was good for cleaning up circut boards on tv's and radios
     
    #103 corgi1, Mar 6, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011
  4. timboellner

    timboellner Member

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    Re- heating the joint and wiping with a dry cotton rag is a bit risky.
    I balked after popping a seam back open.

    I trashed a couple of flat files, but better yet get some emory boards like the ladies do their nails with.

    They come in different degrees of abrasive.

    You can also bend them to follow the not so flat , flat parts.
    Followed up with some super fine sandpaper or 0000 steel wool.

    Now you've made me want to build a second tank. This time out of copper.
    I've got a really thick sheet downstairs in the basement calling my name..

    Love the sight glass idea too...
    I hope you don't mind if I borrow it.

    Working with metal is pretty cool stuff, once you "understand" all of how it
    wants you or how it doesn't want you to work with it. If that makes sense.

    It lets you know what you are doing right or wrong some how..

    Awesome job!!!

    I wish we were neighbors...

    TiM
     
  5. Tinsmith

    Tinsmith Member

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    I'm thinking some rubbing compound used for body work. And we are kinda neighbors. My wife used to work in Towson many years ago. It's about an hour and 15 minutes I think. Maybe we can get together before SB heads back north for the summer. Thanks for the input and support. Dan
     
  6. MarkSumpter

    MarkSumpter New Member

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    SB try to use the abrasive rubber wheels made for the Dremel tool at a medium speed. This is the method I used to use when building brass tanks for model planes. The thing is that the lead is much softer than the copper and these will give you a better control to remove the lead without abrading the copper to a finish that cant easily be polished out later like the sanding wheels will.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    You also might look at these cylinder polishing wheels for a more course cutting action without scaring the copper too badly:

    [​IMG]

    http://www.widgetsupply.com/page/WS/CTGY/dremel-polish-rubber-cylinder

    http://www.widgetsupply.com/page/WS/CTGY/dremel-polish

    This is a great site for lots of good compounds and cutting tools...
     
    #106 MarkSumpter, Mar 6, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011
  7. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    Lots of great suggestions to look into and experiment with. Now that I've given it all a going over with super fine steel wool I'm pretty fired up with just how beautiful the copper is. It glows and the solder looks good, too, I'm deciding. If there had been a way to solder this tank from the inside then the soldering could be close to invisible, but this tank can only be done from the outside. So be it, then it is part of the look of the tank and makes a statement about how it is made. There are some spots I want to address, but most of it on the top and sides looks good to my eye. The bottom isn't seen unless I happen to run over somebody while they're admiring the bike. So the bottom is not a concern. That doesn't leave all that much to address. I'll post a photo later today of the initial cleaning so you see what I'm talking about.
    This tank is not going to be painted. I like the look of the copper too much. The debate now is whether to leave it alone once it has been cleaned up and allow the natural oxidation process to darken it and eventually turn green in spots as it weathers... or shine it up so that it glows and carefully give it coats of clear coat to preserve it that way... 'Nubian gold with a border of silver', in my imagination at least.
    A year ago I had stripped down a 39 Elgin to bare metal and thought how beautiful the frame and parts were like that. I went ahead and gave it a paint job of cobalt blue, but somehow the paint was less than and not more than it was as a bare machine. Someday I want to do a bike with no paint, but also without rust... everything clear coated to make it look factory fresh as a statement of "I am a clever machine made of metal, come ride me". Ha!
    Anyway, Dan says to let it do what copper does when left alone to time and the elements. I don't know Dan. It sure looks purty all shiny. And I am part raccoon, you know, mightily attracted to shiny things...
    Tim, Dan is right... Towson isn't all that far away. We should get a ride together toward the end of the month or early next.
    And looking further on into April, Virginian, if you're reading this thread, let's get a spring ride set up. And Crazy Horse, aren't you getting stoked for a spring ride? What about you boys in southern PA? Davis brothers, you ready to ride? Let's celebrate spring and the beginning of the riding season in our part of the world! Dan is the only forum member I've ridden with, a few weeks back when the weather was nice... some fun! Maybe we can settle on someplace central to everybody. Maybe a state park or some nice back farm country. Dan's part of the world was nice farmland with gentle hills and winding back roads. Up my way it gets awfully hilly here on the mountain. I'm just talking about a day ride, not a formal rally or anything. I'm smiling just thinking about it. Woohoo!
    SB
     
  8. jose Pinto

    jose Pinto Member

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    SB hello your tank is very nice, if the idea is to keep the finish on copper, I think you'll always have this problem of tin, but if it helps, in my time frame fitter electrician for electrical jobs transformation manually applied copper bars to 630 amps, the mechanical grip was made with parafuzos 12 m and in the contact area was not to oxidize tin and hot tin co aida spent cotton waste in the area where you remove all the tin tin exec. try this one retalhpo of copper plate and check the results, is a highly polished surface
     
  9. bairdco

    bairdco a guy who makes cool bikes

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    nice work sb!

    i use the sanding discs with the dremel. they usually last for about a minute and then disintegrate, so i take sandpaper, put masking tape on the back, and cut out a quarter sized circle and make my own.

    you don't have to be all precision and make a perfect circle. i just cut them out freehand.

    320 grit cuts right through the solder. it'll scratch the copper, but if you're not heavy-handed about it, you won't do any damage you can't polish out.

    i use a fine 3M finishing wheel (remember those from the rusto builds?) to take out big scratches, and a worn down fine wheel will polish it pretty good, too.

    as far as the look you're searching for, you can leave it natural and watch it age, and if you don't like it, polish it up later.

    you can also let it darken up, then clear coat it when it gets to the color you want.

    i've done all of those things, and i like the natural look the best. it seems to age with the bike. i mean, i haven't got to the point where it's 50 years old and green and crusty yet, obviously, so it might look weird in 5 years or so...

    the biggest thing is to keep fingerprints off of it. all the other little stains from fuel, dirt, etc, look cool, but to me, fingerprints look bad.
     
  10. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    Thanks for the tips, guys. Just a reminder here that I did not make this copper tank, Dan did... his first one, too. I'm just the reporter and take pictures. I also get to keep the tank! My own tank will first be tin and hopefully I'll come closer to finishing it this next shop session. A copper tank won't happen for me until next summer, but now I have a good idea of how to go about it, thanks to the Tinsmith.
    I was at Lowes yesterday for other things and picked up the little abrasive buffs made for Dremel rotary tools. I bought two packages, each $3.00+ so I could try both the coarse and the fine. These work nicely, but I would skip the coarse one which dug right into the copper. The photos show results from less than an hour's cleanup work, hitting the drips with the little buffs, followed by super fine steel wool to take out most of the scratching on the copper from the buff abrasion. I was not able to find the rubber wheel with abrasive embedded in the rubber, suggest by Mark. They may be better yet for this application.
    For the heck of it I tried some of the aluminum and mag polish Fasteddy and I used last summer on our canoe sidecar project and it works great. No doubt any polish with a mild abrasive in it would do the same... auto rubbing compound and probably even toothpaste. The shine came right up and looks great, I think. I decided that I like the band of solder as it is and did little to reduce it's width. A smaller iron would make a solder line a little less wide, so that is something I'll experiment with next summer. I did no polishing on the bottom, most on the top and the side with the petcock, very little so far on the side which will get the sight gauge fittings. Yummy...
    (cont)
    SB
     

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  11. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    Pictured below is the polish used, which I believe Steve (fasteddy) picked up at NAPA last summer. The fittings are what will be used for the sight gauge, are brass hose barbs with a 90 degree angle. I'm still looking for a good source for these. I have seen them before on outboard gas tanks and in my ebay search discovered they are also used on pressure washers. The ebay seller wanted more for the shipping than for the fitting and would not give a break for an order of say four of them. He's trying to make his money on the shipping, but it will be from someone else. I'll keep looking for a source. Anybody suggest a supplier? Mark, I'm wondering if these are used for remote control planes, maybe in hose sizes smaller than 1/4".
    That's it for now and I imagine this thread is coming close to it's end. I will post photos of my solo tin tank, good bad or ugly, once it is done. Thanks again to our own Tinsmith, Dan, who has been so generous to me and to all of us in sharing his knowledge of sheet metal work. I have some great tanks for my Schwinn cantilever builds as a physical reminder of his skill. And now, like you, I know how to go about it. Practice by doing will lead to some great gas tanks in the future.
    I began this thread speaking of the inspiration from Bairdco's pioneer work which made me want to make a copper gas tank. Now I know how. Thanks to all who have contributed to this thread and please feel free to return to it with your own observations, experiences or questions.
    Great as these tanks are, my friendship with Dan is more valuable yet. Thanks, Bud. Let's go ride our bikes... woohoo!
    Silverbear
     

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  12. curtisfox

    curtisfox Well-Known Member

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    Have you tried some of the parts stores like NAPA. How about ACE hardware. I will do some looking and let you know. Maybe even lawn tractor supply a lot of small engines use them.
     
  13. MarkSumpter

    MarkSumpter New Member

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    SB look into WW Grainger Supply as they carry a large inventory of barbed nipples like this in a variety of sizes for air cylinders and other industrial equipment and usually have local supply outlets near major cities... I buy most everything there...

    In particular:
    http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/COLORFLOW-Brass-Hose-Barb-4A491?Pid=search

    [​IMG]
    Details:
    Grainger Item # 4A491
    Price (ea.) $1.47
    Brand COLORFLOW
    Mfr. Model # 4A491


    This is the full category of 5 pages:
    http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/ecatalog/N-/No-0/Ntt-air+fittings

    Sorry though I think 1/4" is the smallest right angle barbed fittings carried in stock. Generally in models we use standard brass tube for 1/8" outlets and solder around the inlet. There are quick connect brass fittings 3/16" and 1/8" ID neoprene tubing with O rings in them and plastic slip collars but they are pricey and would probably be prone to melting and leakage if soldered in place or you tried to use with the much softer clear tubing for fuel as the OD sized would not be the same as neoprene air/vacuum tubing.

    Here is a 1/4"-1/8" barbed fitting but it is 60 day order:
    https://www.grainger.com/Grainger/Hose-Barb-6AFH0?Pid=search

    You can see smaller fittings here:
    https://www.grainger.com/Grainger/ecatalog/N-/No-0/Ntt-3~~~16%22+barbed+fitting
    and
    https://www.grainger.com/Grainger/ecatalog/N-/No-0/Ntt-1~~~8%22+barbed+fittings


    This is one with a brass collar:
    http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/WEATHERHEAD-Swivel-Male-Elbow-2ZKR1?Pid=search
    [​IMG]
    Specifics:
    Grainger Item # 2ZKR1
    Price (ea.) $25.90
    Brand WEATHERHEAD
    Mfr. Model # 1869X4X6S
     
    #113 MarkSumpter, Mar 8, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2011
  14. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    Hey Curtis,
    Yes, I've tried NAPA, Ace and a couple of old time hardware stores. Also Lowes. Remembering that I had seen one on an older Johnson motor remote gas tank I went to a local marine outfit here in Maryland, hoping to find them, but no deal. Maybe back in Minnesota a large marine supply would carry them. I looked in an online marine site and they were pretty expensive for high dollar yacht type stuff. I'd appreciate your keeping a look out.
    Snow about gone yet? I'm a little homesick now that flocks of geese are migrating, but expect to follow them at the end of April or beginning of May in time for the fishing opener. Is it the 15th? Hope to see you this summer, bud.
    SB
     
  15. timboellner

    timboellner Member

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  16. MarkSumpter

    MarkSumpter New Member

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  17. timboellner

    timboellner Member

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    Grainger's is 2 doors down from where I work.
    We get a lot of motors and HVAC stuff there.
    TiM
     
  18. timboellner

    timboellner Member

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  19. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    You guys both get gold stars for your foreheads! Excellent!
    SB
     
  20. MarkSumpter

    MarkSumpter New Member

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    SB they do have some smaller barbed fittings see the links above I just edited them...
     

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