Saturday, July 30, 2005

Walk softly and carry a big tube

(alternately: 'Cause nobody conduit like Mixmaster conduit, or A man might casually refer to his "tube" or his "johnson"...)

The chopper build's been going a little slower the last coupla days. Maybe it's a simple matter of the progress being less visually apparent--you can easily see the difference between a stock fork and one with an extra six inches or so extension, but good luck seeing the difference between Taylor brakes (Chuck Taylor, that is) and actual functional squeeze-the-handle-and-the-wheel-stops brakes. It's still been an educational couple of days, though.

Yesterday's goal was to bend up a seat frame/sissy bar and possibly a bottom support for the seat. (The bike's cargo rack might work, but I don't have 100% faith in it, even though it seems beefy.) Things I learned: Ten feet of 1/2" conduit sounds like plenty. It ain't. Ten feet of 1/2" conduit sounds like a pain in the ass to carry home while walking a bike. It is. (The walk home is a perfect opportunity to think of all those things you wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole, though. Plus, snappy answer to an unasked question: "Watcha doin' with the big pole?" "Preparing to defend my knightly honour upon the jousting ground. Seekest thou to test me?")

Bending conduit with a bender sounds hard. It ain't. Planning your bends so you wind up with a clean-looking piece that uses bends in multiple planes, most of which aren't quite 90 degrees, straight horizontal or vertical sounds easy. Duh, it ain't. Thus the reason I have a kinked and likely worthless piece of twisted metal in the vague shape of what I want lying in the junkpile. (Sigh...)

So anyway, when I score some more conduit, I'm gonna start with the 180 bend in the middle for the sissy bar piece, go slowly and carefully and check symmetry and the like often. After which, I'm gonna bolt a bent serving platter from the loonie store as a seat, with the springs from the stock seat to give it some bounce. Hopefully it'll be a good compromise between comfort and style, and 100% homemade kustom.

In the "actual rideability" category though, I've got the handlebars on straight and the brakes working at last. Swapped out the pedals, too, thinking one of them was bent, but it must be the crank.

Also, I think I'm approaching the limits of the "drill it and bolt it" fabrication technique. Anybody out there in radioland wanna buy me a welder?

1 comment:

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