The Schwinn Dixie Dreamcycle

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Make sure your powder coater will stick to your schedule and the deadline. More times than I can count there have been RRB builders that were delayed weeks by coaters and didn't finish on time.
I should hope my coater sticks to my deadline; he's my dad! :21:
 

kingfish254

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Missed that part :D ... Yeah, I think that is one thing you don't have to worry about. :D
Eh, I might not have mentioned it before. Don't worry about it. Plus, if Monday doesn't work, we could still squeeze it in some other time this week. Either way, I'm not worried about it... much.
 
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Ok, today went a lot differently than originally planned. I didn't get home until late last night, and I stayed up even later than that. I ended up sleeping in until about 11am, not that I didn't enjoy it. After thinking it over more, I realized that I needed to figure out the tank for my bike before I could powder coat everything. I need to have all the parts I plan to powder coat ready to powder coat at the same time. Dad's not going to just powder some parts one day and some parts the next. So, I need to figure out the tank so any tank mounts can also be fabricated, sandblasted, and powder coated. Aside from some mental figuring, I didn't do much on the bike aside from getting the paint and primer for the tank, as well as a few nuts and bolts.

I have an idea of how I'll do the tank this time, but I won't know for sure until I test it. See, last time I built a wood tank for my bike, I used some wood screws to put all 3 boards together. That meant one side of the tank had screw heads showing, while the other side looked clean. This time, I want to try to keep both sides clean, with no screw heads showing from the sides. My idea is to hot glue 2 or 3 boards together, so the sides look nice and smooth. There will be some wood screws on the top and bottom of the tank where the brackets mount the tank to the frame, but they won't interrupt the side profile. My big concern with this idea though is figuring out how to keep the glue from squeezing out between the boards, and joining the boards together correctly before the glue quickly dries.

I intend to test my idea tomorrow with some small wood scraps I have, but that all depends on what else happens tomorrow.
 

kingfish254

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....And having typed that part about hot gluing the wood boards together, I just remembered that wood glue exists. So, I think I'll go that route instead.

Who WOOD have thunk it???!!!
 
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Okay, I've got quite of bit of progress to report today.

1st, I picked up my wheels from my local bike shop, trued to perfection!

2nd, I pulled my Craigslist freebie waterbed boards out of storage, and brought them over to my dad's shop to start work on the tank. I clamped the board down to my table to keep it from sliding away from me, with my toolbox serving as a counterweight to help keep things balanced.
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_and_more_1.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_and_more_2.jpg


I think the blade on the jigsaw was bent, because my first tank piece didn't come out that great.
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_and_more_3.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_and_more_4.jpg


As you can see, there are diagonal cuts where there are supposed to be vertical cuts.
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_and_more_5.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_and_more_7.jpg


I had barely started cutting again when the blade finally broke. So yeah, the blade was already on its way out during the first try.
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_and_more_6.jpg


I replaced the blade, and sure enough, my 2nd attempt at cutting out a tank side turned out alright. There's more excess wood to sand off than I'd like, but I can worry about that later.
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_and_more_8.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_and_more_9.jpg


For comparison, here's the first and second tank parts stacked on top of one another.
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_and_more_10.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_and_more_11.jpg


One last tank piece cut, and I'm ready to glue the two halves together.
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_and_more_12.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_and_more_13.jpg
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I used a few clamps to tighten the two tank halves together. Now I just need to give it 24 hours to fully cure before I can start sanding and shaping the tank.
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_and_more_15.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_and_more_16.jpg


While that's curing, I also took the front wheel axle apart and stuck all the parts in Simple Green to loosen up the old grease on everything.
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_and_more_17.jpg


I also took a quick moment to shine up the handlebars. I used some 4 ott steel wool and PB Blaster to clean them up. They're not perfect, but they look way better than before.
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_and_more_18.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_and_more_19.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_and_more_20.jpg
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That's all the progress to report for now. I'm hoping to get the tank sanded and shaped tomorrow afternoon, but we'll see how that goes.
 

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kingfish254

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Okay, well I didn't make any progress on The Schwinn Dixie Dreamcycle on Tuesday like I had thought, but I did spend roughly 7 hours getting the tank sculpted to shape yesterday afternoon/evening. I've got a lot of photos to share this time, so I'm going to need to make 2 posts to show everything.

The wood glue had more than enough to cure, so it was time to start sculpting.
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_sculpting_1.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_sculpting_2.jpg


The first thing I did was use the belt sander to shave the tank down to the right size to fit inside the frame.
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_sculpting_3.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_sculpting_4.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_sculpting_5.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_sculpting_6.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_sculpting_7.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_sculpting_8.jpg


Next, I needed to figure out the mounts for the tank. I started by marking where the top tube would be over the tank.
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_sculpting_9.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_sculpting_10.jpg


Dad had these 4" x 4" barn tin squares that were ideal for making the mounting hardware. They're thin enough to bend to shape, but stiff enough to hold their shape. I cut a thin strip to make a rough template for the tank mounts.
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_sculpting_13.jpg


I bent the strip into shape by bending it over the smaller tank tube, as the tin has just enough spring to it to expand to a 1 inch diameter. I added the 90 degree bends by wedging the metal between a couple boards and folding it by hand.
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_sculpting_11.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_sculpting_12.jpg


I then used the belt sander to round out the ends. It's not 100% symmetrical, but it's good enough for me.
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_sculpting_14.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_sculpting_15.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_sculpting_16.jpg


Now that I knew how much space the mounts would take up, I marked where I'd cut and sand the tank again.
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_sculpting_17.jpg


I tried using the belt sander to shape the front, but getting that diagonal line right wasn't easy. Turns out, holding the tank so the line was completely vertical while using the radial sander was the way to go. (By the way, I tend to say "belt sander" when referring to both the belt sander and radial sander, as they're both part of the same unit, and I use both when shaping the tank.)
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_sculpting_18.jpg


Here you can see a bit of my blunder with the belt sander, but that would all be covered up by the time I finished shaping the tank.
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_sculpting_19.jpg
 
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Next, I cut the tail end of the tank with the jigsaw. I got to say, I do not like this blade. It gets the job done, but it doesn't cut that smooth. But hey, that's what sandpaper's for!
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_sculpting_20.jpg


I used the belt sander to smooth out the rough cuts. So far so good, but I wasn't done yet!
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_sculpting_21.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_sculpting_22.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_sculpting_23.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_sculpting_24.jpg


I decided to try something crazy to make the next step in shaping the tank easier. I rotated the radial sander platform to 45 degrees to help angle the edges of the tank. I'm sure others have done this before, but this is only the 2nd bike tank I've ever sculpted, so I was a bit nervous.
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_sculpting_25.jpg


It was a little tricky to do, especially with the gap between the platform and the sanding disc, but I did a decent job sanding the edges of the tank.
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_sculpting_26.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_sculpting_27.jpg


Once that was done, I grabbed some 60 grit sandpaper, and smoothed out the edges completely. There's still some refinement left to do, and the tank isn't as rounded as I'd like, but overall, I'm happy with how this tank turned out. I think I'm getting better at this.
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_sculpting_28.jpg
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BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_sculpting_36.jpg
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_sculpting_37.jpg
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BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_tank_sculpting_39.jpg


I didn't shoot any pictures of it yesterday, but I cleaned up the axle parts I stuck in Simple Green earlier this week. Once the parts were degreased, I stuck the rustier bits into some Evaporust for an hour or so, and wiped them off.

I'm not sure what the next step for this project will be, but I intend to work on it again today. I don't don't know if I'll have everything ready for powder coating by this weekend, but I still feel that I'll get this project done before September 6th. I don't know if I'll be able to ride it before September 6th, as I still haven't heard back from the seller on the pedals, but I could return the pedals after the Build Off is over, and just use the ones I have for final photos in the meantime.
 

kingfish254

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Awesome work on that tank! I keep forgetting that I have a smaller version of one of those stationary dual sanders.
 
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Looking good! I can see a lot of work there.

This photo caught my eye. At first I thought that you had stained it and then noticed that it is a shadow.
Either way it looks cool!
bftd_schwinn_dixie_tank_sculpting_36-jpg.169632
Thank you! Yeah, that shadow kind of reminds me of the earlier tank design I had in mind for this bike. It's definitely giving me ideas...
BftD_Schwinn_Dixie_paint_idea.png
 
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Looking good! I can see a lot of work there.

This photo caught my eye. At first I thought that you had stained it and then noticed that it is a shadow.
Either way it looks cool!
bftd_schwinn_dixie_tank_sculpting_36-jpg.169632
Saw it as well and immediately thought, whow this looks amazing, just to realize that's "just" a shadow. But man this would look so cool on the right bike!
 
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