19 Sep HOTW 10 – Lisa Needs Braces
If you don’t get this title…consider yourself lucky. Feel free to go look it up, but we’ll warn you — it might make your brain hurt.
Last time we visited the Hell On (Two) Wheels saga, we had started making headway on the bracing that would secure the fender in place. We fabricated the two arms to hold the fender to the frame itself, but that’s not enough. The seat will be resting directly on the fender, and that whole assembly will need to be able to hold two people in place on the seat at all times (as the owner is a big fan of 2-up riding). Therefore, in the interest of making sure that the fender doesn’t deform under the weight of two adults, we decided to add some reinforcements between the mounting points to help distribute the weight around. After the cross-bracing was complete, we added another segment beneath it to complete a triangle:
Now, that bracing alone will look nice, but we want to make sure it’s not going to go anywhere. For that reason, we’ll also be filling in the areas between the rods. As with everything else that requires a shape of precise dimensions, we use templates to mock up the exact size of the filler steel, which we’ll then cut out and clean up prior to welding it in.
Just like with other thin metals that risk warping under excessive heat, we’re welding this one in sort of a piecemeal fashion. That means we’ll weld a small portion of the area, let it cool for a bit, then weld it in again. It cuts down the risk of warping considerably, and we’d rather not be doing things four or five times over for the sake of expediency.
And this process is exactly how we’ll finish up the bracing for the fender. Each time a section is finished, we’ll start on the next one. We’ll get the skeleton of a segment tacked onto the existing bracing, then fashion up a template for the filler steel, cut that steel out, clean it up and weld it in. This goes on for more than just one additional segment, and seeing as how it’s a rather time-intensive practice, we’ll just shorten it down to three pictures for you.
With a little bit of patience, we’ve finally reached the endpoint. All the center pieces are welded in, and this fender shouldn’t experience any issues. This will all get covered up by the seat during operation, but we still plan on painting it to match everything else anyhow. After all, those servicing the bike should get to look at nice things, too, not just the owner. But paint work is still a ways away, so for now it sits in its current spot, welds exposed for all to see.
Those enterprising minds among you might see the battery in the last photo and say, “Hey, I don’t think that was there before.” And you’d be completely correct! While doing the bracing, we also did another job on the bike simultaneously. We won’t give it all away at the moment, as it’s the topic for our next installment of Hell On (Two) Wheels, but for now here’s a skeleton to get you ready.