Alchemist Airflow

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I've been collecting parts for some time for a special project. I am going to be building the Alchemist Custom Bicycles version of the Shelby Airflo, one of my all time favorite bikes. It will not be an exact copy, but inspired by one. It'll have 6-8" of stretch, but otherwise look like a vintage bike.

That's right, a stretched Shelby. I've got some beautiful deep fenders, a Colson chain guard, Torrington tear drop pedals, a Higgins Colorflow rack, and a set of Patina Kustoms Shelby-style bars, amongst other things. I will be making the frame, tank, and curved fender braces myself. I'm really nervous about attempting this tank, I've gotta say.

This build might take a long while. Here's some of the starting parts:
IMG_5109_zpsbaprqufj.jpg

IMG_5110_zpstky6kw6p.jpg

IMG_5112_zpsluqtptsm.jpg

IMG_5113_zpswika5oma.jpg
 
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Liking the parts pile :)
 
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Got some good shop time in yesterday, and the frame is basically tacked up and together. Just need to place that mid-bar. It took me three different tries to get the tubing behind the bottom bracket right, but I finally got it, and I'm very happy with it. She's a roller now.
IMG_5127_zps4wrrribx.jpg
 

The Renaissance Man

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That looks great!
Here's an idea that was my initial reaction to your latest mock-up.
AA (1).jpg


Just a thought and probably not best for your Airflow tank plans but I had to see it. I'm fully confident that you have no shortage of great design ideas as you always do!
 
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That looks great!
Here's an idea that was my initial reaction to your latest mock-up.
View attachment 40447

Just a thought and probably not best for your Airflow tank plans but I had to see it. I'm fully confident that you have no shortage of great design ideas as you always do!

Not sure I'll use it, but that is a pretty awesome idea. I'll definitely think about it.
 
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Messed with the rear fender, and got the dropstand and clip attached:
IMG_5137_zpsoc4zrngq.jpg


It took a while, but I finally got the midbar on there. Next will be starting on some of the various sheetmetal parts, which terrify me.
IMG_5136_zps3xebcke9.jpg

IMG_5138_zpscvblq6y6.jpg


Do the top and mid-bars have too much curve? It's hard to get that just right with that much stretch.

Anyhoo, the tank is terrifying me. Different methods I could try include:

1. make a tank out of wood, and then form sheet metal over it
2. use tubing quarters as the edges, then fill in with sheet metal
3. just go ahead and make it with squared edges, which wouldn't be ideal, but very doable
4. just make the sides flat, then put them on there skinned over the tubing of the frame. It would be as thin as the frame, but the profile would be great.

I'm leaning towards 2 or 3.
 
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I see what your questioning about the curve of the tubes, it's got a camel back look to it. But any less curve might look to straight.

Option 1 on the tank should be easy enough for you, alot of metal workers use a wood buck and we know you're pretty skilled. Check some YouTube videos, if anything use one of the other options as a backup plan.
 
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Wow cool build! Wouldn't know where to begin on that tank. Maybe try the old cardboard method and see what happens.
 
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I see what your questioning about the curve of the tubes, it's got a camel back look to it. But any less curve might look to straight.

I think you're right. Because of the stretch, any less curve, and it would not have enough curve to flow with the seat stays.

Option 2 works well...

That's the option I've been leaning towards.
 

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Rubber Bladder tank formed over a wooden block that fits the bike. That just popped into my head. Even if you do it, I'm also going to at some point. Sounds to me like a funky cool thing that hasn't been done yet. (may make it to my WBO burrito...)

Carl.
 
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I decided to try option 2. I took a length of 1 1/2" tubing, and put it in the roller until it matched the top tubes of the frame. I then quartered it into four curved strips. I wasn't quite sure how best to lay it on the frame while forming it, so I just tack welded it on there, knowing I can cut the tacks off when ready. I then started a series of pie cutting sections, heating up some sections, and chopping corners. After a few hours work, I have a rough outline of the tank from the head tube back.

I'm still at a loss as to how to make the front nose/headlight section. I'm kind of hoping to find some steel tin or small bucket or something that I can start shaping. But until then, next will be to start filling in the tank sides with sheet metal between the edging.
IMG_5141_zpsonwovjyh.jpg

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IMG_5144_zpsqt6cxtmq.jpg

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Cool man.....really cool. I dunno about the idea of going past the headtube extending the tank. Looks sorta off compared to the flowing section between the bars. Maybe finish the main tank body 1st, then decide if you want to continue building it forward later on? I like the back transition a lot. Just thinking out loud here. Lots of work & very nice DS. Watching your baby come together ..:cool2:
 
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