Merry Christmas!

From the even more obsessed contributor Ed. Thanks! And Merry Christmas to all.
After trying the latest bars, I tried another set, and finally came back to the originals. I had to braze them on as the stem bolt through them was hardly enough. That's okay - I like the look a lot better this way - it's more of a cast look. I scuffed the bars with emery cloth to get rid of that new chrome look. 1" bars are difficult to come by unless you are looking at modern metric or Harley stuff. The new problem will be fabricating an internal throttle. Cheap and expensive 1" versions are readily available but the only 7/8" option would be the Honda CT-70 Monkey Bike throttle, which would work and is often used for Brit chops, etc., but which might be a bit sloppy. We'll see what I come up with. I also plug welded the bottom bracket bearing insert for the "countershaft". I will cut the remainder of the jackshaft once the chainline is determined for sure. The wheels arrived yesterday and I finally got a look at them this morning. They are plenty strong but will add a challenge, which I was anticipating, of making a sprocket carrier. I will likely use the existing freewheel cog, turn off the teeth and make a carrier of that. The chainline along the right side is close and looks like it will work with this idea.


State of the Project Address

So here's what is looks like at this point. I'm still waiting for the new 1" handlebars to arrive as well as the wheels. The jackshaft in place but I have yet to weld it up. I have to double check the offset needed between the pulleys to allow for the shift as they each expand(one way only each). I had to make a spacer for the crankshaft under the clutch as it was not seating against the crank. Also without a spacer the O.D. of the clutch would rub the case. There was also a gap between the end of the crankshaft and the outside of the clutch so I had to make a spacer so as not to have a 1" gap under there. I bought a larger stainless bolt and rethreaded the crankshaft as 9mm isn't the easiest to find. Really there should be only slight axial loads on the clutch as it open/closes so this bold/spacer setup is just to keep it in place while the woodruff key takes all the burden. Here are those parts and where they go. My plans were to move the engine a bit more to the right. It felt balanced already but without those fins on the flywheel and with the pulleys as the new "meatgrinder", I decided to shift it about 1/8" to the right. I know that's not much but every bit helps get that jackshaft shorter(i.e. right shifted). I decided to remove the outside mounting holes and bosses from the case to clean it up a bit more. Here's what I removed and how the block now looks.


IBT is useless!

I resisted up to this point complaining again about a Chinese tool but the performance of IBT (the bearing distributor) put me in a bad mood today over a petty delay. My lathe chewed up a reduction shaft bearing but that wasn't even a surprise as it is Chinese made! I tightened the shaft a while back where I determined I needed to oil the bushing more. Since the liberal lubrication, it has disintegrated in short order. I wondered why the ratchet clutch on that reduction shaft had been slipping and the chuck stalling more and more lately. The pulleys were probably 1/16" closer than they should've been due to the wallowed out bearing. May I bore you for a moment? It started with the freezing rain on the last of three days of little sleep and three 13-hour nights at work with an added few hours of classroom CE time(in the hospital for 16 hours last night) and the theft of a $170 stethoscope(was not actually mine but was in my keeping for our whole unit - okay, I was slowly claiming it as my own!). I thought I would drop by IBT, their headquarters no less, on the way home for a few bearings and convert the dead shaft from a bushing to bearings. I figured out I could bypass the shaft and run the chuck at higher speeds for the work needed. Also thought I'd grab a bearing to convert the top slide shaft to a bearing mount - a mod I've needed to do for a while. BTW, that iron dust from the flywheel job was really a mess. Gummed up everything! I figured I would disassemble the carriage and clean/adjust everything when doing a few mods. I was hoping to get a lot done on my next few off with new Worksman wheels, new 1" handlebars, Brooks saddle, correct Comet belt, a vintage pin striping tool(for the down and seat tubes - I have brushes but the tools always intrigued me), and new lathe belts and cross slide bearing conversion kit planned for delivery soon, oh and $250 of Enco odds and ends that arrived today(Linda, you shouldn't be reading this). Kevin Hulsey also sent me a higher res shot of the Cyclone tank emblem which I blew up and copied a few times for painting templates. First IBT didn't have the 12mm X 18mm sealed ball bearings I wanted so convinced me to get them in needle bearings. Fine, they aren't subjected to swarf and I wanted to get the lathe going again. Well, they didn't end up having those either. Mind you these bearings in sealed ball in RS or ZZ are all over online. They referred me to a bearing company closer to my house(though I paid IBT and spent about 30 minutes there) for the bearings they sold me on which they didn't even have. For the top slide bearing I asked for a 5/16" ID and that the other dimensions weren't as critical as I would make a block for it - anything around 3/4" for the OD was okay and width 5/16" to 3/8" would be fine. I just checked and the one they gave me is a 3/8" ID! Who orders the ID of a bearing as "not critical"?! I specified 5/16"! Not really a big deal but $18 and 1 1/2 later I have a shaft running on needle bearings possibly on a non hardened shaft and nothing for my conversion. This will likely give me just enough time to turn a new shaft and thread it to replace the one that will crumble. Those of you guys in the country, don't complain for not having access to all the "big city" resources. If you have UPS delivery, you will have delayed but just as good access to what you need nowadays. If it's closer,it's more expensive than the additional shipping so..... I did enjoy boring out the sprocket shaft for the bearings. You would think the bronze bushing would run on a hardened shaft but on this lathe who knows. It certainly wasn't pollished. There are plenty of pics on the web of Chinese taps and twist drills spun around due to not being hardened. I will surface harden it and replace the needles with balls and get the right top slide bearing online - $5 in shipping is worth less to me than another hour running around rewarding the idiots that wasted my morning once already. Sadly, I see our society going this route where human contact is limited. Actually, maybe it's better if I limit my contact to idiots. I added some acetone to the primed tank to check for leaks. There were a few as suspected but not many and not bad ones. I plan to hit it all hard again tomorrow.


Lightened Flywheel

Okay, I didn't do this to lighten it and I doubt it will run any better with less weight. If you've read back a ways you'll see pics of what the stock flywheel looked like. Without the ugly shrouds covering it, it was a spinning cheese grater! The fins are needed for weight but for cooling they are now useless, ugly, and scary. It was also dangerously close to my right shin - or where I suspect my shin will reside. They had to go. Here's what I cut off. I then turned the remainder down on the lathe. One day out in the winter weather will make the freshly machined surface look like the rest. Here it is back on the motor. Notice how much narrower the motor appears now. The jackshaft visible in this shot has not been shortened yet. I'm waiting for the wheels to arrive before I decide which side to drive it from. I have a feeling it will be right side drive but, if so, the sprocket will obviously be much closer in than it appears now. Measure twice - cut once. Music of the day: Never got to see them live but these guys were/are always the real deal and always sound good live.


"Copper Bike"

I stumbled upon these on Flickr - a project also from a Ed. See Ed's project in a previous post. Obviously Ed has a passion for BTRs and a vision for doing things the right way. I'll let the pics speak for themselves.



So there are several ways to run this thing. I turned the bearing carriers down to the size of the 2" tube. Once the chainline is figured out, I will plug weld this into the bottom bracket. The pic above is what the setup would look like if I ran the chain on the left side of the bike. Since I don't have the Worksman wheels here, I can't determine the chainline for spacers but it is pretty close to where it would be. If I bought their 3/4" bearing wheels (with .125 inch hub material), requested by the guys making early auto replicas (http://www.smallcarplans.com), I could make my own sprocket carrier for the left side BUT there would be no brakes. I am planning on a rear drum and brakeless front. Since I don't know how robust their sprocket mounting configuration is, and since the drum will be fixed on the left side, I will likely run the chain down the drive side. I would rather have the pulley and driven gear on the same side of the bike so that the opposing forces will not twist the frame as much under torque. More about that as I get to it. Here I am cutting off some of the fins on the flywheel. They are a definite hazard turning 3000 RPM right in front of one's right shin. A small guard should be easy to fashion around the thinned flywheel. After this I will clean it up on the mill. I will leave some material there, not because there is any cooling effect (without all the shrouds), but because the engine needs the weight. Since I'm adding the clutch to the other end of the crankshaft, I'm hoping I will offset the weight reduction enough that I don't lose too much torque or create starting problems.


New Bars

It seems that I'm slowly redoing every part that I at one time felt was adequate. Because of the stem to bars brazing issue, I knew I would want different bars in there. I didn't like the idea of using my one shot on brazing the stem to bars that look obvious as flipped bicycle bars - similar to the Michealson bikes as they might be. Anyway, rather than splurging for a new 1" die for the JD2 bender, I decided to use some 7/8" clubman bars that were hanging on the wall. These are a thicker wall tubing and, once cut apart, allowed me to weld up what you see above. The center section is 1" scrap and is plug welded to the bars. Ironically, I used every bit of the clubmans except for the 90 degree elbows(<1" on each side wasted). The width is arbitrary but I knew I didn't want them too short. Any opinions? I think it looks more period than the previous bars and stem for sure. They are also more ergonomic and create a less aggressive posture......overall more comfortable. Here's another shot or two.


These are stainless bolts. I have turned the heads to remove any markings. You can do this with a file or even with a belt sander but I like the look of them turned on a lathe. If the heads were taller, they would look even better. The washers are aircraft washers - thicker than usual. I got them from Airparts Inc. here in Kansas City. I would think most major cities would have an aircraft building place. It's worth looking a place like this up. They have tooling received from the aircraft industry. The tooling is mostly used but they are retired far before their useful life is up and they are quite inexpensive. USA-made end mills are like $3-$5, reamers $2-4, etc. It's at least 1/4 the price of new USA tooling. They also have fasteners, AN fittings(new for a couple bucks each), safety wire, Chromo tubing, 6160 plate, and basically most things you need for aircraft maintenance. My grandfather used to say, "If you can't find it at Ace Hardware, then you don't need it." I'll admit, Ace/True Value has more random stuff than large home improvement centers but they are expensive and I'd rather get bulk aircraft quality stuff. 25 new washers of about any SAE size are about $2 so I just grab a few baggies everytime I go. I need to make a list so I get stuff I don't already have. Man, am I rambling or what?

Oh, I found this choke cable there for $1. It will be a good period-looking sleeve where the throttle cable exits the handlebars. I would think that you could strip some bicycle brake cable housing and use that too.

Okay, here's the plate I made to cover the oil filter mount. There is a channel milled in the back that allow the oil to bypass from the filter feed to the return. I mentioned it before but you can see how ugly the filter would be by looking at the older motor posts.

It really stuck out there, wasn't needed, and didn't look the part.


Random stuff

Linda snuck out and took this. I am using a facing mill with a pilot guide (made from an old screwdriver) to mill down four bosses on the engine case. It cut very smoothly and cleanly. These bosses were interfering with the Comet 40 series clutch. The clutch still needs to be spaced out too far from the block but but every 1/4" helps! A few new friends have been following along and encouraging me to finish this thing. The first is Ed. He found my pics and noticed how similar our projects are. It is amazing how similar they appear. Would it be cool to have a get-together with several replicas and race them around a horsetrack? Well it would be to me. The Lifan motor has a full tranny and should really go. Check out his version of the Indian bars. Nice idea. I'll have to steal that idea on a later project. I like some of the little details he uses. I hope to keep this blog updated with the progress of others as well. Another is Patrick from Belgium (Where the Trappist Monks hang out and brew beer!). Here is a link to a cool site that featured his bike more than once. It's a killer 1948 Harley bobber. I dog on (new)Harleys a lot but not these! I'd ride one in a heartbeat. http://www.knucklebusterinc.com/features/2008/09/04/patricks-1948-harley-wl-part-2/ While you are there, surf around that site. It's pretty cool. Patrick also sent a link to pics of his 1925 Moto Lady, a Belgian marque with a 147cc motor. This is one of the company's earliest models and they build motos up until the beginning of WW2. He says it's the oldest one known right now. 2-stroke technology wasn't what it is today but it sure is neat and with plenty of the original parts. Nice keeper! http://www.hesy.be/foto/thumbnails.php?album=13 Here is the Lady's fuel line. just what I was planning for my project. Ironic. BTW, thanks to those that help by expressing interest. I'm always interested in seeing what you guys have going on. Feel free to leave messages on the blog here as well. Dave

Stem build

Well, I left the Wald stem on the project far too long. It looks too bicycle-ish and puts the bars forward a few more inches on what is already quite a reach. I jacked around with various bits of tubing and wasted half the evening. Finally I looked again at some online pics and can't see any other way to make it look similar to the original than to drill through the center of the bars. This to me is principally wrong and goes against common sense engineering. I'm confident that the bars used back then were of some significant thickness. To strengthen the bars available today, I would likely need to braze them into the stem. You'll see what I mean by following along. I haven't posted a boring step-by-step record of anything in a while and that's the kind of stuff I like to see so I took some pics of the stem build. This is a simple project but one that requires you to think about process order. Remember, I am NOT a machinist. Here's how I went about it. I bored a hole 1" in diameter in the 1.25" solid round using a mill. Try that with a drill press. Finding center is so much easier on a mill. Once the hole is bored I center drilled the piece. Notice this piece is not properly held. Something that long should be supported along it's length. I chose to go easy and since little axial force is applied in center drilling, it worked fine. Push to hard and it could walk the bit and damage the tool, the stem, or me! Fair warning. I bored it on through with a nominal size for the stem bolt. I had to reach into the top hole to center drill the other side before continuing the bolt hole. I left the chuck turning while I snapped this pic. 5 tries later, I got a shot with the bit visible through the side. :) Next I cut the head of the stem from the bar stock. I considered turning it all from a solid piece but that's a lot of chips! Here I'm boring the bottom side for the shaft. The jaws didn't like this so perhaps I should have cut the stock then bored the 1" hole. It worked but it sure doesn't look like it. I left a small lip inside the stem head for the shaft to butt up against. I brazed the shaft into the stem head then sleeved it with another tube. I didn't have the wall thickness needed at the time to make it of one tube. The two tubes are brazed to each other and to the head. I cut the angle for the stem wedge prior to brazing the tubes together and gave it a final pass on the belt sander to match them up. Here's how it turned out. Feel free to comment. It is much better looking than the Wals stem IMO but it won't look right or function if left this way. Several issues: I need to make a larger stem bolt head as per the original and I will probably turn the fork nut down so it doesn't look so spindly there. Shortening that will drop the stem making it effectively stiffer as well. As it is, there is no clamping action on the bars but there is some slop that will only get worse as the hole in the thin bars elongates around the stem bolt. I need to either braze this set of bars to the stem or bend a new set of bars and braze those in. What's amazing is how many things get changed from the mockup to the end product. Though reach is shortened by 2-3" inches it still feels very long!


This is what I found. I rounded the lever a bit. Hopefully it will dull up quickly. Wow - my welds don't really look that bad in person........ do they?
It's starting to look like it belongs in the fleet! Here is one of the brackets. 5 all hand formed from 1/8 stock. Remarkably consistent considering I used no jigs or mandrels. I finished stitching up the tank, adding the filler neck, and fabbing the brackets. I'm off to find a NPT tap to add either the petcock I have or, if I find what I'm looking for, add that one. I want a small brass job but not the little cheapy ones with the stainless rod as a lever. We'll see. Next will be the jackshaft.


Now me with a sunburn, here is the new tank tacked up and sitting in the frame. I don't use the auto darkening helmet like I should for tacking. It's just too dark to see and when manipulating everthing between tack welds it's just too much of a hastle. As simple as the Cyclone tank looks, and it is, it still isn't easy to form those parts on all four corners. The hard part is done. I really dread welding it all up - maybe I should wait for a friend to move his tig to his new house as what I hate the most is grinding down all the mig welds. I have yet to install the fuel filler and and outlet bung. I altered the locations of the brackets from that of the original - no real reason other than to eliminate one. Remember this is not a perfect replica.............. it has a lawn mower engine! Not so funny story: Before tacking it, I took one of the rear side panels over to the bench sander to trim some of the front radius when I saw the tank(top, bottom, and middle sides tacked up) slide off the other end of the bench. It was sitting on plate steel with a 90 degree magnetic welding clamp holing it on it's side. It landed right on the nose and wadded it way out of shape... and after all that anal retentive prep. I had to cut a few tacks and dolly it all back. Still think it added some distortion. Only one bracket is made so far so I'm far from done with the tank portion if this thing. If anyone can make water decals let me know!


Tank and seat update

Well, I built the first tank with 20 gauge sheet. It fit really well but was warped a bit too much for my taste. A friend thougt it was salvageable but I felt I had learned too much from the first one not to apply it to another. The second one is cut from 18 gauge as it was a bit tricky to be consistent on the welds with the 20 gauge. With metal that thin and a MIG there is little room for error. Pulling gives a good bead but prevents you from seeing the fine joint. Pushing can give you a hole pretty quick. I don't like the idea of spotting the entire thing. a) cold starts = leak city, and b) it takes forever. Here are some pics of the second tank in progress: Above you can see all the panels cut, rolled, deburred, and cleaned. You can see the four spacers bolted to the bottom panel. They are center drilled and tapped on both ends for 1/4 20. There will be two more in the back but I wanted to get the tricky curve set before I made the last two bent spacers. Here are the top and bottom tacked together. You can see my dedicated powder coating oven under the workbench. Used to be an over/under. I compressed it into one oven. I ordered one of Brooks new B190 saddles. It's the largest now made and should fit the bill. It is a compound spring variety but unfortunately comes only in black. The site didn't mention it but it is now on backorder. I have since seen that it's that way anyplace I've looked so I might be waiting a bit..... 3 weeks so far but my card was charged the next business day. Cheap Chinese tool report: Well I bought another one. This time a 3-in-1 sheetmetal machine. Sliproll, sheer, and finger brake all in one. 350lbs of instant crap. Why don't I learn? I had to build a block to hold one end of the top roller in as it would jump out of it's channel under any pressure. The cam bolt that held it was completely inadequate. The roller works okay even on 12" of 18 gauge(typically rated for 22 gauge). The corners are more rolled than the center but that is easy to remedy. I have little expectation from the sheer but the finger brake could be very useful. Oh and the air shear cuts great when it doesn't lock up. I have disassembled it numerous times, filed the planetary gear teeth, and added a longer locator pin as the gasket would spin and block off the air orifaces. It is just amazing how close they(Chinese) get to a functional tool but equally amazing that they can't take that last little step to correct problems. Heck, even cleaning the casting sand/grinding dust out of the parts would be a huge inprovement and might even allow them to see that the tolerances are way too loose. JMO


Tank mockup

Most board track tanks are fairly simple. Some of the early ones were basically riveted boxes, others nicely contoured and soldered. Many early tanks contained a separate oil tank within them - some with oil on one side and fuel on the other. The Cyclone was simple in appearance but does have several unique curves. I mocked this up in hard cardboard(not corrugated) and a glue gun. Plenty of gussets keep it from flexing - important when trying to take measurements or fit a piece over a weird angle. In the end what this does is allow you to see the shape in 3D. Once the shape is acceptable, you can make templates by laying paper over the tank, adding creases, etc. to conform to the curves. Once unfolded, these templates allow you to see the shape needed in steel. The folds will show where shrinking and/or cuts should be made. This is just basic pattern making. You can also use the "buck" you just made to trial fit some of the new pieces although a buck is typically hardwood and would be used to form the metal. All in all, this tank won't require lots of shrinking or forming. A little rolling of a few parts is all that will be needed. These tanks were primarily long and skinny. Adding a baffle or two in there will help prevent sloshing fuel from upsetting the bike. Baffles would also limit cavitation at the stopcock when a low fuel level shifts around. Baffles could also limit flow a bit in a rupture situation(God forbid). It's unlikely that I would ever fill the tank completely but remember, 2 1/2 gallons of fuel is about 20lbs and if you have ridden lightweight motorcycles you know that a full tank can be felt by the rider. It's good practice to build it properly rather than doing just what's needed to get by. JMO I have also revisited the seat idea. The Mesinger "Motorcycle Racer" is the quintessential board tracker seat and maybe the most attractive but I am finding more and more examples that didn't use it. The picture below is of the Michaelson racing team(c. 1912-1914). These bikes are all wearing what looks like compound sprung saddles. I don't know the production years of the "Racer" seat so perhaps it wasn't even available at the time. Certainly it wasn't the only option. Brooks, in fact, made saddles, bags, and even rifle clips for motorcycles at times issueing separate catalogues for bicycles and motorcycles. They even list saddle models made for "speed work". If you are interested, go to http://www.brookssaddles.com/brooksengland.html These are pdf versions of most of Brooks old catalogues! Check out some of the options. Really cool stuff. The Mesinger isn't absolutely necessary and, based on these findings, I might feel justified to venture into another easier option. The proper look is still imperative so no everyday Schwinn seat will do.