Jonathon Liddle of England sent me pix of a few cool Triumph covers he's been making. Honestly, the more I look at them, the more I like em! Especially the points cover with the skull. I'm not one for skulls on anything, but this is bad ass!
If you would like one of Jon's covers, ya can get them from his UK eBay. Links below.
Now that its done raining for a few days, and the sun is out from time to time, I'm able to put some coats on the damn seat. Added the plastic mesh over the rest of the seat today. Dried up enough in the sun for me to even put a second coat on. Going to let that dry over night. Need it to be dry enough now to sand. Changed the front. Decided to fill it in now instead of adding a pad plate later. May still need the pad plate, but it will be better like this to mount up to the glass seat.
Marked the high spots, resharpened the knife, and cut em all off.
Done carving! I was a bit nervous about the carving. I'm no sculptor. This was as easy as eating pancakes though. I only cut myself once when the knife was getting dull. Gotta have some blood with every project to keep it real!
First thin coat of drywall mud. Like frosting a cake.
This morning I went out and added a second coat of mud. Things were not as dry as I had hoped from last night. Looks like its done raining for a while. I may bring it up and put it out on the patio table in the sun. I also added a layer of plastic mesh over the seat area. One of these days, when its dry, I'll trim off the excess mesh, and add more to the sides and hump. Starting to look like a cafe seat! Stoked!!! I still have a good 1/4" of mud to float.
I took this pic at last years VVMC party. I don't know for sure, but if its not an original race tank, then its probably a repop made by my friends over at Air-Tech. http://www.airtech-streamlining.com/
Ive posted about them a few times over on my old blog. http://newbluecollarmoto.blogspot.com/ They make about every race faring, tank, and seat combo you can imagine for every make of bike on the planet! They use a high end jell coat sprayed on the mold to get some super high quality parts.
Why am I giving a shout out to the competition you may ask?
Because, they make some great stuff, but not in aluminum. I plan to be making my custom seats in fiberglass as well as aluminum. (not anything they make) I plan to do some racing tanks in aluminum. A few mods here and there I'm sure from what they offer. Like with the tank pictured above. I would move the fuel cap to the right hand side. On a race bike it doesn't matter since the bikes are placed on stands when parked. I'm making stuff for bikes on the street though. Kickstands on the left, gas caps on the right. In Ca, (and other states) ya are not allowed to use a glass tank anymore on a street bike. The pump gas eats it up. Now with ALUMINUM, ya can run what ya brung anywhere!
I'm already wanting to set up a foam plug for this tank! Gotta finish what Ive already started first though.
So to answer my question about why I would give a shout out to my competition. They are not competitors. They are people I have a ton of respect for, and I wont be making the same stuff they are.
Here she is with the $$$ foam from the hobby supply store, stuck to the tin backing with contact spray on glue/cement. I just cut the foam out rough at this point. I should of left myself a 1/2" less than I did around the outside. I'll have to remove that much to give the joint compound room to be spread on. First time is always a learning experience.
Here's a view of the wood runners I made this morning that set the seats profile. If I had gone with the styrene foam, I would of just had to carve it to the proper profile. I like this better. Less room for sculptor error.
Now to let the contact cement set up on the runners. I also have some screws holding it all together. I'll start carving the basic shape out of the foam tonight! Hope I get a chance to spread on the first coat of joint compound tonight as well. I should probably be using something harder than the joint compound to form the outside shape, but it sands easy. The plug only has to last long enough for me to make the mold. Once the mold is made, I make the seat pattern out of glass, and can always make more molds as needed from my master pattern.
Take some pounds off your bike with aluminum or fiberglass parts from Blue Collar Moto.
Haha. Came up with the idea for my 1st magazine add campaign this morning. Had to write it down while its fresh in my mind, so here it is. Gotta just figure out if they should be topless in the add or not? Also, should I have them wearing something like a Rat Fink mask? Creativity is blocked only by never ending options.
Pix coming soon! Soon as I can make my first tank...
Takes some time. I wound up with two patterns. One that can be bolted up to the factory frame using the stock mounting hinge and lock set up, and another one that would require the cutting off of all factory brackets. The first one that uses the factory stuff had to be a bit fatter than I wanted, so I made an alternative seat set up.
I'll make two fiberglass seats for each pattern. One for the aluminum pattern, and another to run on the bike being fitted for the seat out of glass. When I'm ready, I'll send out word to all who would be interested in having one of these seats on their bike. I'll give the loaner/donor the second fiberglass seat for the cost of the glass used to make it. Thats almost free.
I'm thinking the first one after my CL360 will be for a CB750, or a RD.
Could even be for a Sportster?
The tank, seat, and faring for my RD400 project will one day be polished aluminum. I'll also be making side covers to fit the new rear end. I'm thinking, I'll just make the side covers out of plastic for now. The tank and seat have a bad fit up so my plan is to make an oil bag for the two stroke oil to fit the gap. The cast tank will have the oil tank inside. I'll also be taking a few inches out of its width to show some engine fins, and to make it fit up to the seat better.
I came across a question about hydro forming two stroke exhaust pipes on a motorcycle forum the other day. http://www.usa2strokers.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=37366&title=hydroforming-stamped-pipes-school
One of the guys replies got me thinking about casting a die mold to help form the pipe. Man, I was up all night last Sunday thinking about this. By using a die, you could make the parts come out identical to one another no problem. At the moment, I'm thinking a bronze die with an aluminum backing cast on to it. Just another thing I want to do. I better live a long time so I can get half the stuff I want to do done!
Heres a link to a set of pipes being hydro formed. Neat stuff!
Haha! When I started a thread over on the metal casting site about the idea, all the replies had to do with one guys avatar.
Just been so busy getting other things taken care of, I haven't had much time to be thinking about metal casting. Sux! Been checking out video on youtube of other peoples foundries. At least till I can get my own thing going. I was gonna start making some stuff despite my shithead landlord, but the other day the fucker turned off the power to my garage. The first time I go out there to work on my bike since January and the little prick drives by and does that to me. Still pissed off about it even though its been almost a week now. I guess he would rather I fix my clutch in his fucking living room area! So it don't look like I'm gonna be able to get much of anything going till after I go back to work and can get out of this place.
I'm sure Ive mentioned ARD before. Nobody makes them, are rarer than hens teeth, and twice as espensive.
My buddy Keven commented a few posts down about these guys making gas tanks cast from Aluminum, so I had to check it out this morning. Went threw every page in their blog b4 I noticed the translate bar on top of the page! Hahaha! Looks as though they have been casting seats and bird deflectors for some time now. Cant weight to see how they mount the Aluminum tanks. Good stuff from our motorcycle casting brothers in Japan! Go check it out!
Found this link today. The bike is bitchen, and I was thinking, another example of a pounded aluminum sheet tank. WRONG! I got farther down the page and saw the familiar parting line of a sand cast tank! Fuck yes, and it IS bad ass! Click the link for the build story and more pix!
How long has it been since one of these were made? If ya got one of the original ARDs hold on to it! I wont be casting the logo on mine. They also wont be selling at platinum prices either! Don't think I'm forgetting you Honda guys here! More on that on a later date.
Nuff said that there will be 4 castings, molds, etc, for one deal as seen in this pic, with at least three additional coated steel inserts that may have to be cast. Probably better off as a machine shop process, but non the less, a steel part cast inside an aluminum part will cause the aluminum to decompose. More research for me to do.
Notice how he filled the larger molds first, and then dumped the rest into an ingot form. Also how he used a smaller mold to weigh down the cope on a larger mold. Fine example of how to do it the right way!
I wasn't even thinking about making cannons till I read some of the posts over at Backyard Metalcasting about a contest they have going on. So, I got to thinking. What to cast into the barrel to eliminate the need for machine work? Shotgun barrel? Tennis ball cans? DOM steel tubing? Shitload of ways to make a super safe working cannon. Working and non working ones go from $50-$500.00 all day long. Should I change the name again to Blue Collar Motos Cannon Foundry? Hahaha! This is going to be fun!
This looks like the same type of cover Johnny Chop used on his True Blue bike. The starting bid for this item was $450.00 where I found it. I think I can do a little better than that. If there is something being made by someone today, I wont be doing a re-pop of it. Just wont go there! However if it's not being manufactured today, I'll consider it fare game. I think this particular cover is being made in Europe? I'll have to check on that though. I have enough of my own ideas that I will never get em all cast in my lifetime as it is. Why waste time even trying to rip off someones hard work and sweat? I sure as hell wouldn't like it if it were done to me!
Hell, even if I don't get to cast everything I want to there will at least be a pic of every vintage part I wanted to do on here!
OK! Got things changed over to the new address! Not everything is as clean as it was. I'm using Windows Vista now, and it didn't cooperate with me in changing over the info. The posts are broken up a bit but still easy enough to figure out, I hope. I have a bunch of stuff to post, but all the pix are still in the old computer. I'll be changing things over little by little, and going back to posting something once a day.
Just got a call from one of my friends over at Foundry Moto. Turns out the club has a ligitimate issue with me using the name the way it appears now. The way I looked at it was my name "Blue Collar Moto" and this is going to be my "foundry." I can see their point though. If it were anybody else I would of told them to pound sand but I dig these guys. We have partied together more than a few times and they have always had my respect. So no longer will the name be "Blue Collar Moto Foundry." I'm going to be talking to the guys to come up with a solution we can bouth agree with. I will be changing the link and transfering the posts I have already made as soon as we all can come up with a solution. I'll leave the new link up here for a week before I delete this blog. Thanks for contacting me asap with this issue. Would of been a real pain in the ass to change things a month from now.
I used a wire and a paint marker to scribe the parting line where I will cut the tanks in half. I cant cut them here though without getting my ass evicted. The landlord has no sense of humor when it comes to grinders and sawzalls. I'm thinking I could make a rubber mold and take the patterns out of them in plaster till I move to the new shop. It would be nice to have at least some things ready to go before the move!
My first idea on how to run the gates and venting system was to just use large enough vent risers to help fill the part with liquid metal during the solidification process. The thicker parts (mounting points) need to have metal flowing into them up till the time they turn solid. If not the shrinkage would most likely cause distortions in these thicker areas of the part as they cool and shrink. I also was thinking about running the Sprue down the center of the mold and sending the runners and gates to each of the mounting points. I'm sure the pattern would fill up just fine that way but, since the walls of the tank have such a large and relatively thin area throughout the mold, I decided to go with a bottom fed gating system. By feeding the largest section (front of tank) from underneath, its my hope to have very little turbulence in the metal as it flows threw the mold. I'm probably over thinking this but I know turbulence is bad, and it will probably be easier to gate the mold this way anyhow.
So then I started reading about directional solidification. What that is, is where the metal first starts to go from a liquid to a solid and continues to solidify from that point on threw the part. By adding chunks of metal to the mold you can decide where the solidification process begins. In my gas tank mold I would want to add the chill plates to the tank mounting points. The advantages in doing this are, the way the metal sets up with a chill plate makes for a more mechanicaly strong area. It has to do with the way the metal molicules lighn up during solidification. Thats another topic for another post though. Also, by chilling the larger parts (not close to the gate. Wouldnt want to stop metal flow threw the supply gates.) first, there is less of a chance that they will deform from a lack of liquid metal in their center during silidification due to shrinkage. Another plus for using chill plates, and one of the biggest is in the amount of metal needed to fill the mold. If I were to just put big ol risers on top of the mounting points, I could probably kiss a pound of aluminum good by for each mold I fill during a melt. That would have me melting enough extra aluminum to make the large riser concept not such a good idea. More melting time, more metal, more slag, etc, to deal with over all. If I were only planning on casting one part per melt then it wouldnt matter much. However I plan on spending a good five hours pouring as many molds I can make each time I fire up the furnace.
I would use more vents with the chill plates, but they get poked in with a coat hanger size wire, so its not a big deal. I'm also planning on using Petrobonded sand. The pertobond uses oil rather than water to hydrate and does not create steam. Since there is no steam, less venting is permittable. The finish with Petrobond is finer as well, cutting down on finish work to the part after casting. The sand is a smaller grain because it doesen't need to be as permiable as regular water based green sand.
So, first I was gonna use big ol risers. Then I was gonna use chill plates. Then I kept on reading and I learned about insulated risers. The big deal about the large risers was how much extra metal I would have to melt. They would have to be larger than the area they are feeding. In the case of my gas tanks that would be about a 1 1/2 riser. I don't know for sure yet but I'm thinking the insulated risers could be the same size or smaller than the tank mounting points they would be feeding? They would use extra metal, but if small enough that would be acceptable. One advantage to using a riser over a chill plate I cant get out of my head, is that they would not only help supply liquid metal to the mounting points, but the whole area around where they are located. Then again, I could just be imagining the whole thing. Either way, I want to try both ideas. If they both work great then I'll make my decision based on which one was faster, easier to make, and the amount of metal used to pour the mold.
A third option would be to use large metal washers as the chill plates, and puting a small riser up threw the center hole. The risers would only help fill the shrinking metal for a short period of time though, and I don't know if it would be worth the effort. It would however be an excellent place to mount a vent...
PS. Nothing about these drawings is to scale. Just my doodles to get a better idea of what I'm doing.
I did these drawings just to give me a better idea of what was getting messed up in my head. They are from the point of view of the PL (Parting Line) of the way the tank will sit in the cope and drag, not on a bike. I was just trying to figure what the half of the core would look like, but until I drew them I didnt realize that the rear mounting point would extend above the drag into the cope. This realization changed what I thought would be a simple pattern into a more complex one. I'll explain in detail about why this is more complex when I actually make the pattern and post pix of how to set them in sand. Always better to figure things out on paper b4 cutting into expensive materials trying to make a pattern.
Since I stopped posting on the New Blue Collar Moto blog I've had a bunch of time to work on other projects. Studying about how to cast metal parts has filled a large part of my free time. I cant seem to get enough of it! I've been wanting to start doing foundry work for years now. Ever since that fucker in the BMW hit me on my bike on the 405 and broke my ankle. This was long before I even had a computer. I sat there and drew motorcycle parts I wanted to make some day.
The problem for me began when I couldn't even get a foundry to return my call about doing the work. Most places have less than no interest in doing small production runs at an affordable price for a blue collar guy. I'm sure the number of people with good ideas who have given up simply becouse they had no place to get there work done would stager the mind! I figured that if I'm gonna get something worth doing done, I had better learn how to do it myself. That's the American way isnt it? It was once apon a time anyway. So I set out (without a computer) to learn all I could about metal casting. Anybody here remember what a library is? I found some books for sale and started my small personal library of foundry practices.
Its been about seven years now since I started my mission to find info on how to do it myself. The computer has given me a real helping hand in finding out what I need to know. One of the best on line resources for anyone who wants to start a small foundry is Backyard Metalcasting.com. I first signed up there in April of 2008. There is sooooo much stuff there to read! I'll be posting links and talking about books, supply houses, etc, in future posts. Nuf said for now that there is plenty of info out there if someone wants to learn how to do it for themselves.
Its my plan to take in outside work once I get things going in addition to making my own stuff. I already have an order for 100 hot rod intake manifolds from a friend of mine. The amount of aluminum needed to make the manifolds will determine how large my blast furnace will be. I may have to step up from a No.6 (about 5lb of aluminum) to a No.8 Crucible to accommodate the amount of metal needed for the pour. This will be as large as I go.
Just today I went for a ride in the rain to check out a 1200sq' place in Fullerton where I can get things going. I'm stoked! I'll have to get back to work with the union for a few months to save up the cash for first and last along with supplies, and some remodeling so I can live there in the shop. Shower, kitchen cabinets, gas stoves, counter tops, lumber, refrigerator, futon, etc. Donations are welcome. If you know of anyone trying to get rid of this stuff drop me a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. I wont have anyplace to put any of it till I move in to the shop but keep a eye out for me.