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I've been watching the builds in fascination as a new member and a recent CL parts bike has provided a donor frame so I'm throwing my hat in the ring . I spent some time brainstorming and have my theme and beginning progress to document. I will be building a P-40 flying tiger WWII themed cruiser and I've got some really neat ideas from fake bombs and exhaust to a working propeller and of course the iconic sharklike Mouth and Eye but let's get into some pics shall we?
The donor bike: an aluminum Monterey Bay 3-Speed badged by Next. I bought this solely to steal the Nexus 3spd wheelset for my DR. It rode nice as it was - the aluminum frame is light and responsive plus nearly rust proof (so important for me living on a boat in the pacific) but it just didn't have that classic beach cruiser look I love so much. Now that this build has consumed my thoughts for a few days I may end up wanting to make it my primary ride by the end, we'll see.
Here she is just as I got her:
Now the fun part. I realized if I fabricated a custom tank it would give it the classic cruiser look I love and you wouldn't be able to tell that it's missing the pair of bars that normally sweep from the seatpost to the bottom of the headset. The idea of a custom tank got my imagination running wild. I thought, how cool would a tank look with a sharkey mouth and eye like you see on those wwII planes? something like this:
I don't want a straight up copy of that look, I want rat rod meets P-40. I decided Camo green won't be flashy enough for me so I'm going to go white on the frame with stark red and black design elements complemented by silver and Chrome. I drew up a prototype idea and came up with this:
The drawing is incomplete but I stinkin' love the way the tank makes it look and it was enough to point me in the right direction. I think this just screams for a chrome springer fork but alas I don't have one nor much $ so that may not happen (if you've got a deal or donation by all means let me know )
Red Rims, white spokes, whitewall tires, White frame, mouth, and eye are all decided.
Undecided on Sprocket, tank, and chainguard color/theme.
Ideas for your consideration - A white sprocket with black star circle like the WWII planes had, possibly a silver tank and chainguard.
Possibly a white tank and chainguard with Red accents on the chainguard (pinstriping, RatRodBikes.com sticker, etc)
3 Ideas that didn't make it into the drawing:
1 - I penciled it in but a faux bomb hanging under the frame would look pretty cool IMO
2 - I'm so stoked about this: a red nosecone with a functioning black propeller mounted where the headbadge would normally be (that should be a fun project)
3 - A faux exhaust similar to the P40 pictured either on the tank or the top frame bar
I am so excited to do this build! I'm on paternity leave for 3 more weeks after the birth of my first son (Ryder Matthew Henry) which gives me some free time and I think I have the parts I need so it's just a matter of fabrication and paint. Let me know what you think!
Last edited by MatthewRobertHenry on Tue Jun 22, 2010 11:18 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Here is my progress so far:
[*]Bike disassembled, all stickers, hardware, and headbadge removed. Awaiting cleaning, prepping, priming and paint
[*]Donor wheels located (I put the Nexus 3spd wheelset on my DR since that's what I bought it for)
I realized when I got the tires off that these rims are different widths. I think I'm ok with that, they are true and hold the same size tires. I'll just put the skinny aluminum one upfront and pretend it makes the rear look more beefy
I'm hoping to begin tank fabrication tomorrow and have something workable curing by the end of the day.
Life has proved very unpredictable with a newborn so I had a few day delay but I did get a few hours in on the tank, thought I would share the progress.
Step 1 -> create a tank template:
Step 2 -> Transfer template to wood and cutout (in duplicate) with a jigsaw (my woodworking tool of choice )
Step 3 -> Template some internal stop blocks for mounting the two tank sides together
Step 4 -> Cutout the stop blocks in duplicate
I decided to not create a block that fills the entire length between top and bottom tube so I could have an access point for storage but I may later change my mind, it will depend how it looks in the mock up.
Step 5 -> test fit
All in all I'm happy with the progress. My day got interrupted before I could get to routing. My plan is do a small 1/4 rounded edge on the inner sides of each tank piece (the inside edge next to the frame) and a big 1/2 or 3/4 round on the outer edge. I may stop there if it looks god or I may break out the belt-sander and taper and round the whole thing
Once I'm happy with the shape I'll paint the whole thing in West Systems epoxy to waterproof and seal it. Then I'll sand and prime it and we'll be in business.
We're taking Ryder to Arizona for a week to see the new grandparents and I'm bringing parts along for the purposes of painting while I have access to a garage, should be good times
Thanks for the encouragement fellas. Yes, there are many clues to my lifestyle hidden in these pics
Living on a boat I rarely wear shoes. Its san diego so if I do wear shoes they are flip flops (hence the flip flop tan). Obviously you would not have real grass on a boat but I love the turf equivalent so I recently did the entire upper deck and flybridge in astroturf. Workspace is limited as you can see my saw setup in the aft deck is very small. Storage is alwatlys an issue/challrnge so. I don't. Have very many bike parts laying around :-/.
I will keep working abd posting pics. I hooe to get the tank finished, prop worked out, and everything painted in the next 10 days. Then all I should have left is assembly
Okay, I got it. Click on the pic to see those fabulous tootsies!
Man, I thought I had good excuses to not work on my bike project . . . I can’t imagine doing bike fab work while afloat! And with a newborn? (Always remember that babies are a precious gift!)
Looking good so far . . . keep up the good work!
My Intro <((><
Jesucristo es mi Señor y Salvador!
Okay, I've been silent a while because I thought I didn't bring the camera cord on the trip but I found it in my backpack so everyone gets an update . I've been working really hard while I have access to a garage half the time and relaxing very well while I spend time with the family and new baby. I don't have a ton of time at this second but I'll give a partial update:
The tank is the coolest part so I'll give some updates. I routed the top with a 1/2" round and the bottom with a 1/4" round:
Here is a good picture of the round from a front angle:
Next I fitted the stop blocks and screwed them in from the inside:
I ground down the back block a bit to get it to pinch the frame correctly. Then drilled and screwed (on one side of the tank only) in 3 places with screws that went through one sides tank and block then and into the next block to cynch it together. Looks like this:
Here is a front view of it mocked up. The screws and blocks worked great it is never gonna move
Next step: wetcoat entire outer surface including endgrain with fiberglass resin to seal the grain for paint and protect against dings and rot:
Once this cures I sanded it with a long block to get it partially flat before the second and final sealer coat:
Final resin coat:
There are more photos but I gotta go, I'll update more soon. Hope you guys like it
lookin good! the last shots makes me think of some of the desks at school.
"My eyes are drooling!"
"When it comes to math, there's 3 kinds of people in the world:
Those that can count and those that can't "
Nice job on the tank. Living on a boat would be fun but very challenging with new baby. You must have a wonderful wife.
Double Nickle- " All I'm planing on doing is building a awesome bike for me to ride...."
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