Wednesday, June 1, 2011

It's getting there.......

Before I could start welding the springer's forks together today, I had to do some preliminary get-ready work on the parts. First, I turned down some reinforcement slugs out of 3/4" thick wall tubing to go inside the crown and the rear legs. Then, I needed to make something to take up the gap inside the cups between their ID, and the front leg's OD.

The cups were 7/8", and the front legs were 3/4". I found a section of 7/8" DOM, and cut 1" "caps" out of it, then welded those to 2 1/2" long pieces of 5/8" OD thick wall tubing. I then turned the tubing down until they were a light press fit inside the front legs. I tapped those into place, and plug welded those into the front legs before I put them inside the crown caps.

This is how I started this afternoon's welding session, figuring out an improvised jigging to get everything to stay in place as I welded. I again used my mill vise to hold one of the spring rods, then I used the little tower that I use to hold axle plates in place for hardtails, a welding magnet, and a length of grade 8 allthread. Worked killer!

Here's the finished front fork. The photo makes the legs look like they're wider at the bottom, but they're plumb, and straight. Pretty good for an improvised jig, I'd say. All you really need is a way to hold everything in place as you weld, check and measure everything as you go, and take your time as you weld. As my Grandma always said "Haste makes waste....".

Crude jig, but very effective. This is as far as I got tonight on the rear fork - leveling, squaring and setting everything where it needed to go, and putting in the plug welds for the reinforcement slugs on the legs. I'll weld the legs themselves to the crown tomorrow, and hopefully get the upper angled sleeves for the rear legs shaped and welded in place. I'll use silicon bronze to put the sleeves on, so I can easily blend in the sleeves to the crown, and besides, there's a lot of trace brass in the area where they need to weld up.

If you look at the white arrows, they point to the old stick welds that held the original slugs in. I'm going to smooth those down, and come in with some pins in the other old plug welds, shown with the red arrows, to hold the reinforcement slug in that area from possibly moving. They were a light hammer fit, but why take a chance? I'll definitely be using some silicon bronze in that area. Hopefully, I can show you the completed springer tomorrow. It was a lot of work, but worth it.


Lonnie C. said...

Amazing work.

Chris K said...

It's great to see a guy who can turn old junk into something really nice.