1950's Henry Milnes lathe

Junkyard Dog Part 3 – Give Me Some Space(rs)

With the engine now in place it was time to make the spacers for the wheels, bit tricky to measure with everything flopping about but I got there in the end. I have a 1950’s Henry Milnes lathe that used to be owned by Lincolnshire fire brigade so I have the right tool for the job. It’s power feed and power cross feed and way over the top for making up simple spacers but I expect it will get used for more complicated stuff as time goes on.

I found a couple of spindles that will do the job, they are certainly ok as a temporary measure.

Oil cooler spacersI had a bit of a nightmare day the other day and broke my last remaining bandsaw blade and my last hacksaw blade, I am also down to the last 1mm slitting disc for my angle grinder, which is also broken. It’s my own fault really I have been down to one bandsaw blade for months and it has had a hell of a lot of use. I had some other hacksaw blades that I got cheap having forgotten for a minute that cheap hacksaw blades are effing useless. I have some Bahco bimetal ones on order as well as 2 new bandsaw blades. Until they arrive I will make what bits I can using my buggered angle grinder – the switch has gone so I have hard wired it. Really bad idea and I have a new one coming.

So onto the bracket for the oil cooler, simple affair, I temporarily fitted the headers so I knew I had clearance and fitted the cooler where nothing obstructed anything. My idea at this stage is to make sure every single bracket that needs to be welded to the frame is done before I strip it down again for paint.

I made a couple of spacers for the cooler to hold it away from the frame so it doesn’t rattle or abrade.

Next job will be to cut off the footpeg brackets that are way too far inboard with this engine in place. I will use a similar fixing method but have them about 75mm further out so I can get me boots on them comfortably. I think I will end up wrapping the pipes so I don’t burn my leg, they are going to have to be routed quite close to where my legs will be in normal riding.

junkyard dog downpipesThe exhausts are going to be a serious challenge I was going for a 4 in to one set up that would use the majority of the original system. Trouble is that would put it very low as on the GSX the pipes meet under the engine. I now have a vision to run two lots of 2 in to one, which will increase my ride height by a good 4 inches, which should be just enough to clear sleeping policemen. I want to get the layout sorted before I finalise things so I know where I need to weld brackets on.

I have a cunning plan for hiding all the wiring, I’ve got an old ammunition box that I believe held 50 calibre bullets. My idea is to put the battery, starter solenoid, fuse box, CDI igniter, ignition switch and flasher relay all in the box so there are just a few wires coming out of it. In my mind’s eye it’s going to be a really simple looking bike with as much of the “gubbins” hidden away as possible. It will have the standard switch sets up on the handlebars and will have full lighting so it’s practical as well as being cool. I qualified as an electronic craftsman on aircraft so the wiring doesn’t scare me, in fact I rather like going back to my roots every now and again. I may do some proper lacing like on military aircraft because that can look cool. Only trouble is it takes absolutely ages.

ammo box bracketI had to make up a simple bracket for the ammo box to mount to – just a bit of 50mm x 4mm flat steel with two holes tapped to 8mm to take a couple of bolts. It won’t be seen so doesn’t need to be anything fancy. I welded it on good and proper, an awful lot of the welding on this frame needs to be redone, some is shocking.

This is the bracket that will have the ammo box bolted to it. I welded it with my trusty old arc welder. The frame tubes are about 3mm thick wall and the plate is 4mm so it needs a fair bit of juice to get a really good, sound joint. A lot of the home Mig kits struggle at that sort of mass. My arc welder is variable power – I did this at about 120 amps.

The worst parts are the rear wheel locator plates and the headstock – I’ll deal with the headstock later but thought while I had the welder out I would give the area around the locators a good scrub up and a proper blast with one of China’s finest.

Here’s a before and after type thing.

rear wheel locator plates pre weldingIn fairness it probably wasn’t going to fall off but I like to know for sure.

rear wheel locator plates post weldingIt definitely won’t fall off now, that’s for sure. Probably way ott given that the rear wheel spindle will hold it all together when it’s done up but I think it looks better. I will weld it the rest of the way round when it all comes to bits and then smarten it up a bit before painting.

That’s it for this time, I have no idea what I will be doing next time as it all depends what bits and pieces turns up, although I will be fannying about with exhaust pipes.

Article provided by David Powell of Boston Bike Bits.

Boston Bike Bits