Made in the Shade

Jun 19, 2016
424
1,453
Ohio
Just like last year, I found this year's build-off project at the Memory Lane swap meet in late April. My goal was to find something just as unusual as Stylish Trash and in the rattiest condition possible while still being ride-able. I actually think I found something more rare than that wingbar I built last year. I had no idea what this bike was when I first saw it, but I knew that it was perfect for the build-off. The seller said that it was what was left of a 1940 Huffman. I had never seen a tank like that before. Some research revealed it to be a very rare Western Flyer-badged Huffman 5-gill windowshade long tank made in 1940 only. The seller told me that I could have a set of wheels. He handed me what look like the correct wheels for the bike with very old and nice goodyear tires. He also gave me a cool ratty seat. I bought some other cheap ratty parts to use (bars, stem, grips, strut rods). Off to a great start!
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Nov 22, 2011
3,969
8,752
KS
Liking your starting point!


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Jun 19, 2016
424
1,453
Ohio
After looking through pictures of the very few remaining examples of this model, I found only one bike left with the same color combination as mine. A very unusual white with red accents (a very cool reverse pattern compared to most 40's bikes). You can still see a little of it here and there. I like knowing exactly how the bike looked originally so it can influence the direction of the build.
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May 14, 2013
1,964
3,561
Boise, ID
Always love seeing fellow window shade owners don't see many of them !
Here's my 1945-46 Dixie-Flyer.
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Jun 19, 2016
424
1,453
Ohio
After a project finds me and follows me home.........then I start with three initial stages: Evaluation, Research, and Development. The first concern (when trying to make yard art ride-able again) is to evaluate whether or not the frame/fork is strong enough. I am a big guy and this frame has a lot of pitted rust. Although it appears to be strong enough (after close inspection), it will ultimately take a hard test ride to determine whether it is strong enough to be ridden (safely?) again. So, I will be setting it up for a test ride in the next few days. The next step is the research. This is the fun part...........solving the mystery by determining what I bought, how rare it is, and how many original parts still remain. I am fortunate to have the correct fork and rims for this bike (which I did not know when I bought the bike). The third step is developing a direction for the build. This is the challenging part......blending originality with artistic aesthetics, and achieving ride-ability while maintaining that heavily patina'd, barn-find look. Making everything come together is a challenge that I really enjoy.
 
Jun 19, 2016
424
1,453
Ohio
I was looking for a kickstand to use. They all seemed to be too short. So, I started comparing measurements with other bikes of this era. This frame is 1" longer (front to back) and over 1" shorter (top to bottom). The shorter design was utilized at the bottom of the frame providing more ground clearance. I actually like this design because it allows much more lean angle while pedaling through the turns. Ended up bolting on an early 50's CWC kickstand. It will be replaced because it's not rusty enough. And it's still too short but I like the aggressive stance when parked with the wheel turned.
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Jun 19, 2016
424
1,453
Ohio
I really like this raggedy seat. Yes, I know it's a "girls" seat. But I feel that the smaller seats look better. All I had to do was use a little headliner spray adhesive to re-attach the cloth back to the seat pan. The torn parts will stay hanging down and blow in the wind when riding. Perfect!
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Jun 19, 2016
424
1,453
Ohio
This is an example of one of the ways that I try to make components work together aesthetically. I am using strut rods that are a different shape from the originals. These struts are almost horizontal near the top and follow the lines of the top of the frame and tank beautifully. I am also using a drop angle stem from the 20's. It also follows that horizontal line of the rods and the frame. Then I have the tall handlebars going exactly vertical and perpendicular from all those horizontal lines. It really gives a striking look to the front end area of the bike. Subtle, but effective.
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Jun 19, 2016
424
1,453
Ohio
One of my overall goals when I build a bike is to visually improve the aesthetics of the original bike where I feel that it is needed. Just by using these strut rods instead of the original style, there is now one complete flowing top line from axle to axle. Very visually appealing.
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Compared to the original strut rod and stem angles, the original lines do not compliment each other.
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LukeTheJoker

Moderator
Nov 17, 2012
21,381
18,197
Broken Hill, Australia
www.ratrodbikes.com
I really like this raggedy seat. Yes, I know it's a "girls" seat. But I feel that the smaller seats look better. All I had to do was use a little headliner spray adhesive to re-attach the cloth back to the seat pan. The torn parts will stay hanging down and blow in the wind when riding. Perfect!View attachment 94388
Rat-tastic!
This is an example of one of the ways that I try to make components work together aesthetically. I am using strut rods that are a different shape from the originals. These struts are almost horizontal near the top and follow the lines of the top of the frame and tank beautifully. I am also using a drop angle stem from the 20's. It also follows that horizontal line of the rods and the frame. Then I have the tall handlebars going exactly vertical perpendicular from all those horizontal lines. It really gives a striking look to the front end area of the bike. Subtle, but effective.View attachment 94389
The details matter, very nice!
 
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