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!