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Friday, April 27, 2012

Fabricating Hollow Struts

It may seem strange that I chopped my rear fender struts only to make new ones but hear me out... I needed a place to mount my lights and I always loved the idea of having them flipped up, 1950s rocketship-style.

The section of the struts where the shocks mount is exactly 2" wide so I started by bending some 1/8" x 2" steel using my MAPP torch and bending it around a large socket held tight in my vise.

I used a bent coat hanger as a guide.  Here you can see both "struts" stacked on top of each other.  I got the bends to match perfectly.

Here they are just sitting on the bike.  They are not bolted on in any way.  You can see some paper taped to the far one, illustrating how I will make sides for them.

I made an aluminum template so I could drill my holes for the lights in the right spot.

Here is one light mounted.

Side view.  I will be able to hide the wiring and fasteners inside the struts.  The only trick will be figuring out how to access the fastener for the light.  I am leaning towards drilling an access hole in the bottom.

A view with the fender sitting on top of the tire.

Full view of the bike:

I still need to cut the side plates for the struts.  I will probably take them to someone to have them welded together since my practice over the weekend with my cheap-ass welder did not go very well.  They will attach to the bike via the top shock bolts.

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