'DECOLINER' build underway...

Jun 25, 2017
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FUEL TANK PARTS WELDED...
I'm done 'welding' DECOLINER's fuel tank. This was a first for me - I've never welded aluminium before. I used a mix of Durafix and Alubuild 300 brazing rods for this, with nothing more than a butane gas torch as a heat source - and I'm pretty pleased how things turned out for a first attempt.
OK, so I know some folks out there argue that using these kind of brazing rods isn't actually welding, but hey, the tank parts are joined permanently, neatly, and I didn't come anywhere even close to melting anything. Plus I didn't have to splash out mega sponduliks on a pulsed MIG welder. That's a win in my book.
For those who are unaware of the existence of these Durafix and Alubuild 300 products, you should know that these rods melt at approximately 730 degrees and 300 degrees respectively. Neither requires the use of a flux - but Durafix requires the obects being joined to be vigorously cleaned first using a stainless wire brush supplied with the kit of 4 x rods I purchased from a UK eBay seller. I presume the Alubuild 300 is more of a brazing solder with a flux core.
I commenced the tank's assembly using Durafix to first attach the disc-shaped tank ends, then used the Alubuild to secure the filler neck. Pics show the assembled tank after after some filing and sanding.
Given such a positive result, I heartily endorse these products if anyone else fancies having a crack at building their own fuel tank - or anything else made from aluminium. If I can do it and get a good result right out of the traps, anyone can.

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Jun 25, 2017
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A FEW SMALL JOBS....
While waiting for the 1/8" NPT hose tail needed for the gas tank to be delivered, I crossed-off a few more small jobs today on DECOLINER.
Fitted the tail light, hooked-up a Sturmey Archer front brake lever (with handbrake function) and cable, detailed the motor with some deco-themed alloy trim matching the trim on the TRM tank sides, and shaped/polished some alloy trim for the front fender.
The exhaust brackets I ordered finally showed up - meaning the exhaust is now fitted correctly rather than suspended by string from the Brooks saddle as in earlier pics.
I also swapped-out the black handlebar grips that came with the mini-moto restricted throttle I purchased. The new brown grips better compliment the tyres, saddle and the leather tool bag I've ordered to store the aluminium gas tank in.
Oh, and if anyone is wondering why I opted to fit a restricted throttle, it's because I've heard that while these 50cc mini-moto engines offer decent power and performance, they can be prone to self-destruction if worked overly enthusiastically. The restricted throttle I fitted features a single screw adjuster offering restricted, partially-restricted and un-restricted settings. I figure I'll start off with partially-restricted till I've had a chance to become accustomed with how DECOLINER performs.

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Jun 25, 2017
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STASHING PARTS FOR MY NEXT BUILD....
Apologies for this off-topic post, but with the finishing post in sight on my DECOLINER build, I've begun thinking about my next build. I fancy tackling a repro patina'd flat tanker - complete with belt drive and a host of vintage accoutrements. With this in mind, I've begun stashing a few parts for the project which should keep me busy over the long winter months.
Bought this vintage Lucas Silver King bicycle lamp on eBay a few months back. Whilst it came complete with the obligatory age-related dents and tarnish I was looking for, it also came minus the front lens and brass surround - meaning I bagged it for a bargain price. I figured the absent lens wouldn't be too much of a problem given that I planned on converting the lamp to LED anyway.
As luck would have it, the exact same LED lamp I already purchased for use on my Indian board tracker tribute bike turned out to have a lens with chromed surround which fitted my Lucas lamp perfectly. So I purchased another for this project. Costing a mere 4 quid, I had no problem cannibalizing the lamp for its lens. Pics show my Lucas lamp successfully converted to LED function - complete with nifty hinged lens allowing access to the ON/OFF micro-switch and with the triple-AAA battery power pack hard-wired so it's concealed within the lamp body. Result!!!

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Jun 25, 2017
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MEANWHILE, BACK OVER AT THE DECOLINER BUILD...
It's been a bit 'two steps forwards, one step backwards' with DECOLINER's build this last week or so. After building my own gas tank, I was all set to proceed with my plan to stow it inside a brown leather saddle bag slung behind the bike's Brooks saddle. Unfortunately, when the saddlebag arrived from a Chinese eBay seller, I was shocked and disappointed to find it was a full three inches longer than described in the eBay listing. The listing did say to allow one or two centimeters leeway so far as the bag's measurements were concerned, but sheesh, even that's a lot, so I figured it was simply a typo and the seller meant to say millimeters rather than centimeters - so I was surprised to find the bag was over-sized by such a large margin. Whatever, I wasn't going to spoil DECOLINER's sleek lines with a bag that overpowered the whole look of the bike, so I've chalked it up to experience.
After opting not to go with the 'tank-in-a-bag' idea, and after being so pleased with how my home-built gas tank turned out, I decided I might as well go with the tank on display instead. To that end, I've just primered, painted and clear-coated the gas tank to match the rest of the bike. The tank ends are adorned with decorative rivet heads to match my TRM tank. Pics show where I'm at.

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Now I don't want to sound like I'm blowing my own trumpet, but I reckon opting to build this gas tank rather than buying one was definitely one of the smarter moves I ever made. On cost grounds it was a no-brainer.
1 x 4" (103mm) dia x 200mm long aluminium tube costing 6 GB pounds
2 x 103mm dia aluminium discs costing 3 GB pounds
1 x cnc'd aluminium filler neck and screw cap costing 8 GB pounds
Aluminium welding/brazing rods costing 10 GB pounds
Experience/skill gained 'welding' my first ever aluminium project? Priceless!
TOTAL: 27 GB pounds.
 
Jun 25, 2017
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DECOLINER ALMOST DONE...
With the fuel tank installed and the electrics hooked-up, my DECOLINER build is all but done. Always sad to bring a build to its finale, (at least it is for me 'cause I enjoy building stuff more than anything else) but what a rewarding project this has been. The TRM tank was the inspiration for this build from the git go and I couldn't be happier with the result. Big thanks to Jim at TRM for such a cool product. Now I just need to clock-up some Autumn miles and do some inevitable 'tweaking' to iron out any snags on DECOLINER, then I can begin to enjoy riding her. Naturally I'll do a ride report when the time comes.
Soooo...... a few more things have been done since my last posting. The pics here probably don't show too well the gold striping I've applied to the frame.
Added some polished alloy trim to the quill stem and the gearbox cover.
Wiring and a latching push-button switch for the tank's twin 12v lamps and a momentary push-button for the engine cut-out have been installed. Look close and you'll see both buttons discretely mounted on the tank's underside. To keep things tidy, the throttle cable is also part routed within the tank.
I also adjusted the front fender's horizontal brace so it now flows in-line with the alloy chain guards. Only a small touch - but at least now it doesn't offend my eye.
The fuel tank is suspended from the Brooks saddle via a pair of home-made leather straps. Have to admit I was a little apprehensive about having a fuel tank hung behind the saddle - but now it's done, I'm more than happy to have my home-made tank on display. I reckon it compliments the TRM tank nicely.
Fitted a centre stand.
There's probably a couple more little jobs to finish, but right now the only thing I can think of to complete this build is to cut/shape/paint a length of half-round aluminium trim to fit the rear fender.
Thanks again to all those forum members who were kind enough to follow this thread and offer encouragement throughout DECOLINER's build. Cheers guys.

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Jan 22, 2017
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so beautiful. Congratulations on your good taste. I believe you will need to put a suspicion for air intake in your tank. I was slow to find that the air intake I had in my tank was not enough. When I walked a kilometer the bike would shut down for lack of gas. after much thought I discovered the problem. is the tip!:thumbsup:
 
Jun 25, 2017
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so beautiful. Congratulations on your good taste. I believe you will need to put a suspicion for air intake in your tank. I was slow to find that the air intake I had in my tank was not enough. When I walked a kilometer the bike would shut down for lack of gas. after much thought I discovered the problem. is the tip!:thumbsup:
Leo, Thanks for the kind words.
You may not be able to see it in the pics, but I already drilled a 1mm dia. hole dead centre in the gas tank's filler cap. I found that to be necessary after I test-filled the tank with water to check for pin-hole leaks in my tank's 'welded' (read brazed) aluminium joints. I can always enlarge the hole if necessary after I've put some test miles on DECOLINER.
 
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